The Sea Serpent set (set #6057) was released in 1992 and contains 142 pieces along with five (yes, five!) minifigures! Two of the minifigures are part of the Black Falcons faction while the other three minifigures belong to the Black Knights.
This is another set from my childhood - and as a kid the biggest draw for me with the set was the huge assortment of men and weaponry!
Luckily, my original set has survived mostly in tact - I have the original instructions and all of the original pieces except for the rope used to tie the sail down. According to brickipedia, the set contains part 6066 which you could only find in this set (in the particular shade of blue). In addition, this is the only set that contains the cloth sail (and happily my sail has survived the passage of time quite well)!
We shall begin our review of the Sea Serpent with the two enemy soldiers from the Black Falcons.
Each Black Falcon soldier is easy to spot since they sport the Black Falcons crest on their torso. One soldier also holds a shield with the crest while the other Black Falcon comes with a bow and quiver full of arrows.
Moving over to the Black Knights side of things, you get three different soldiers - and each soldier is different (unlike the two identically outfitted Black Falcons).
The first soldier sports a sword and shield (with Black Knights crest) and black arms with a chain mail breast plate. The second solider also features the same chain mail breast plate but this time comes with blue arms. The directions show the second soldier as the grunt man - he has the distinct "pleasure" of rowing the boat for the other soldiers. The final included minifigure is (presumably) the captain of the ship who comes with a shield and crossbow. I'm not sure how easy it would be to load a crossbow while holding a shield...but I guess that's why I'm not a ship captain.
The ship itself is a relatively simple build though it can be easy to miss a piece here or there since the majority of the ship is made up of only blue and black pieces.
Only the red bottom and the flags/shields provide a bit of a splash of color. Speaking of the red bottom, I loved the fact that LEGO outfitted the ship with six of the floor runners - it made sliding the ship over carpet easy as a kid and greatly increased the set's play value.
Unfortunately, not every design was great by LEGO. For example, while I LOVE the fact that the set comes with five minifigures, the truth is that the five figures don't fit "nicely" on the ship at all. I guess that's ok since two are enemy soldiers...but as a kid I always thought the lack of space was a major disappointment with the ship.
In the end, the Sea Serpent set is a great army builder set with a great selection of minifigures and equipment. The cloth sail is also quite nice (as are the yellow and green pennants and the Black Knights flag). I also love the look of the ship from the front - the small dragon coupled with the shields and sail make for a rather imposing force given the set's small size.
Unfortunately, the small size of the boat does end up detracting from the set as a whole since you can't comfortably fit all five figures on the vessel. Even worse, you can't really have any fun battles on the ship as there isn't much room to line figures up to fight each other (something that the set is otherwise begging for with two different factions included).
The Bottom Line (out of 10):
Play Value: 7
Kid Value: 10
Adult Value: 5
For kids, this set comes highly recommended. Five figures for the price (at least back when you could buy the set in stores) was a steal. For adults, the set does offer a few unique pieces (and a great chance to army build) but there isn't a lot else you can build with the set itself (perhaps someday I'll try to do an alternate build with this set if I really want to challenge myself).
The set was never my favorite castle set - but it was unique in that it was a fairly large castle nautical set which makes the set novel enough that it is worth tracking down if you can!
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