Review: Pirate Roller Coaster 
In late 2017, LEGO® fans rejoiced with the release of roller coaster tracks in the Joker Manor set. This set was followed up with two more roller coasters in 2018. No longer did AFOLs have to resort to using train tracks in their custom roller coaster builds. In fact, with three roller coasters to choose from, no longer did AFOLs have to custom build any roller coasters if they didn’t want to. The most affordable of the three roller coaster sets was the Pirate Roller Coaster, which is the subject of this week’s review. As always, if you are curious about how scores are generated in my review, you can check out my rating system by clicking here.
NAME: Pirate Roller Coaster
SET #: 31084
THEME: Creator 3-in-1
COST: $109.99 CAD
BRICK COUNT: 923
OF INTEREST: 1 skeleton
RELEASE DATE: June 2, 2018
SUMMARY REVIEW: 89%
VALUE: 95% ($0.12/brick, and a lot of fun build time for the price.)
BUILD: 85% (Generally great, but I wish it was mechanized.)
MINIFIGURES: 77% (Great accessories, generic characters, bad brick:fig.)
ENTERTAINMENT: 100% (Loads of fun to be had.)
The Pirate Roller Coaster costs $109.99 in Canada, and comes with 923 parts. So, at full price, you are looking at a cost per brick of $0.12. Based on all of the sets that I have bought over the last couple of years, my average cost per brick is currently $0.14. So, the Pirate Roller Coaster is actually a pretty good value. I rate it at 4.5/5 (90%) in this category.
The Pirate Roller Coaster took me three hours and 48 minutes to build, for a grand total of 228 minutes. Considering the price tag of $109.99, each minute of build time cost me $0.48. My current average cost per minute is $0.84. Being way below the average, this set easily earns a score of 100% for build time value. Averaging this score with the brick value gives an overall value of 95%.
Being a Creator 3-in-1 kit, you actually get the instructions for three different builds with the Pirate Roller Coaster. I only built the namesake, but I really enjoyed it. It took me back to the pirates sets of my youth, while also providing me with experience using new parts. I was also impressed with the overall sturdiness of the final product. You can actually pick up the whole roller coaster and move it around without it falling apart (which was super convenient for photographing). I also got a kick out of the decorations built around the track, particularly the sunken pirate ship. The whole track has an underwater vibe to it, and Minifigures ride around in a shark car that moves along the track with ease.
In summary, out of five points this set can gain on my rating scale, here’s what I like (1 point each):
- The build is reminiscent of an imperial soldiers’ fort from the ’90s.
- The shark themed car rolls through an underwater pirate theme.
- The build is much sturdier that I imagined it would be.
- The build itself is novel in that I got to use some new parts.
- You get the instructions for three different builds in this kit.
Where the Pirate Roller Coaster falls a little short is in the details. Firstly, it is not mechanized. This is not a shocker given that this is a Creator 3-in-1 set. It probably would have made this set harder to produce (and more expensive) if the same parts needed to be used for three mechanized rides. But, I still wish that I didn’t have to push the car up that first hill. A crank or something would have made this more fun. My other complaint is the swinging skull decoration. It is a neat idea, but it smacks Minifigures in the face as they pass under it. Opening doors would have been better as the cart would bump them open for a more realistic feature, but this is a minor complaint.
In summary, out of five points the Pirate Roller Coaster can lose on my rating scale, here’s what I don’t like:
- There are no mechanized parts (-1 point)
- The skull decoration smacks Minifigures as they ride by (-0.5 points)
Overall, I really like this build. It gains all five awardable points, and only loses 1.5, for grand total of 8.5/10.
There are four Minifigures included with the Pirate Roller Coaster. Three of them are regular Minifigures, and one is a stumpy child without moving legs. That costs this set some points right from the get-go. I am not a fan of the child Minifigures. Otherwise, the characters are pretty standard. With the exception of the pirate, we are not seeing anything out of the ordinary, or any new parts. The last time that I collected Pirates sets was in the ’90s, so I don’t know if this pirate Minifigure features printing from the newer sets seen earlier this decade or not. Based on just parts and design, I would rate these Minifigures at 67% (40/60, 15 points max. per Minifig). However, you get a large number of accessories in this kit as well. There is a crab, two fish, 3 seaweed pieces, 2 large blue flame pieces, a skeleton, 3 cutlasses, 2 printed tile tickets, 2 chalices, 1 pink crystal, 1 storage bin, and 1 bottle. On top of that, you get a firing canon from the Pirates theme of old. The large number of accessories brings my Minifigure design score up to 100% (60/60).
As I mentioned before, there are four Minifigures included with the Pirate Roller Coaster. However, you also get a skeleton, which is still a figurine. So, with five characters, and a brick count of 923, you are looking at a brick-to-Minifigure ratio of 185:1. That is not great. My current average is 133:1 in this category. So, sadly the Pirate Roller Coaster only gets 54% as its ratio score. Averaging that with the design score gives this set an overall Minifigure rating of 77%.
This set really brought me back to playing with LEGO® as a kid. The boarding platform for this roller coaster is built inside of a fort that looks like an Imperial Guard fort from the ’90s. As an AFOL, that little trip down memory lane was fun. I also really enjoy this set from an adult’s perspective. I will keep this one built, and if I had space in my city for an amusement part, the Pirate Roller Coaster would earn itself a permanent place.
From a play perspective, I think this set would also be a lot of fun. I would build cities as a kid, and probably would have really enjoyed amusement park rides. I can imagine all kinds of scenarios that would have played out with this track and Super Heroes (Joker’s hideout was almost always an amusement park, after all). There is also a play feature included. When the shark car reaches the bottom of the last hill, it triggers the blue flame pieces to swing up, simulating splashing water. From an adult and kid perspective, I think the Pirate Roller Coaster is great, and I give it the full 100% for entertainment.
The Pirate Roller Coaster is a solid buy, even if you are getting it at full price. The set is an excellent value, loads of fun, and comes loaded with Minifigure accessories. The number of Minifigures is a little low, and I wish the whole launch of the shark car was mechanized, but those are not major drawbacks in my opinion. I like this one, and I do recommend it.
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Until next time,
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