Storming Eldorado Fortress1989 Poster – Exclusive for Lego Builders Club
Ahoy mates! LEGO Pirates are here! Again!!!!
In 2020 LEGO released the amazing 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay as part of LEGO IDEAS theme.
Now is time for its counterpart: introducing the 10320 Eldorado Fortress!
Thanks to LEGO that, through Brickcentral, gave me the opportunity to have an early look at this brand new LEGO Icons set.
The set contains 2509 pieces and 8 minifigures, specifically 2 pirates, 5 soldiers, and the modernized governor (Broadside?), plus a skeleton, a parrot, a crab and a monkey.
There’s also a rowboat, which serves as the pirates’ main assault vehicle, and a merchant ship—an homage to the one found in the old 6277 Imperial Trading Post.
I never had the fortress when I was a kid, so when I saw the box with its yellow borders and the angle of the picture, I felt like I was back in school again, discovering this new and fascinating LEGO theme for the first time.
Building it was a fantastic experience. I tried to immerse myself in the mindset of 1989, but I was quickly captivated by the techniques and details. I especially love how the designers recreated the look of the red bricks that were printed on the vintage walls.
The old 3D baseplate has been completely redesigned as a brick-built structure, and the effect is incredibly cool. The old stone pattern is reproduced in a very efficient way, which is particularly evident with the ramp.
The construction is divided into modules, so it’s also possible to build with multiple people. Perhaps one dressed as a pirate and one as a soldier.
The fortress looks like its old self and any angle you choose to photograph, you end up with a nice and detailed view.
Three cannons are defending it, covering almost every side of the building.
Too bad that if someone is coming from the prison side, there’s no defense there.
The highest of the cannons can maybe do something but i would have placed a new one on the watchtower.
The crane is completely redesigned. Is bigger than the original, almost too big, but it lends itself to a beautiful silhouette if placed against a bright light. Plus is black so there’s no loss of details!
The new doors let a lot of light slip through them. In this case I prefer the older version, completely closed. The new one doesn’t give me exactly the idea of an impregnable fortress.
The prison has some nice windows that have on the top the classic shingles in red which nicely breaks the white color of the towers.
The designer also made a very interesting choice. Instead of going with a strictly coupled building, they decided to make it unfoldable, giving the chance to reshape it as you wish.
You can easily separate the fortress in 5 modules (front, back, prison, crane and courtyard) and rearrange them as much as you’d like.
This can give you a new look when you want to take some pictures filling the background differently.
To close up things, the old fortress had just one palm, while this new one improved the vegetation, adding 2 more palms plus a bunch of weeds to cover some rocks.
But LEGO, please, give us back the old palm’s trunk.
Is posable and looks really like a palm tree.
Unlike the vintage model, this new version features stairs that provide access to every location, eliminating the need for soldiers to engage in parkour-like maneuvers.
If you keep the fortress closed, you’ll have a decent amount of studs to place your soldiers. The courtyard features a table with stools and a small kitchen, allowing you to set up some decent meals.
Additionally, there’s a trap door that releases unfortunate souls into the cold waters behind. However, all is not lost, as it serves as an alternative path for exploring hidden caves beneath the fortress.
The main entrance tho, is located near the prison. A trapdoor leads you to the mysteries beneath the fortress. The first cave you’ll encounter is a treasure chamber, containing a chest and some ingots—an elusive bounty that I’m certain the pirates have been desperately searching for since 1989.
Moving along, on the left side, you’ll come across the cellar with wine barrels, offering soldiers a chance to forget about pirates and indulge in the pleasures of sea life.
In this area, the space for figures is quite limited, so careful positioning is necessary when taking pictures. For an immersive experience, it’s best to conceal all the plate borders, making a macro shot the optimal choice.
The Governor’s office is even more cramped in terms of space. There’s only one stud available for placing your minifigure, as the rest is occupied by a table with a map on it. The back of the office is open but occasionally closed off by the turret of one module, unfortunately featuring a cannon on top. Just imagine being the Governor, engrossed in studying the map when suddenly, behind you, someone shouts, “PIRATES! FIRE!” and lights the cannon. In that situation, I would have relocated my office to the cave.
In comparison, the prison in this new model is quite spacious. To add a touch of comfort, there is hay on the ground for the prisoners. However, they don’t plan to stay for long, as there is a hidden hatch door concealed beneath some wood, providing an easy escape route for the pirates to reach the beach before potentially being captured again.
This aspect reminds me of “The Secret of Monkey Island” when Guybrush continually escapes from the cannibals’ prison.
To create more space for placing the figures, you can easily remove the rooftop and one window to better access and handle the secret door.
10320 Eldorado Fortress is an incredibly photogenic LEGO set that provides an abundance of opportunities for photographers to unleash their creativity.
With a bit of planning, patience, and experimentation, you can capture a great variety of pirate pictures to fulfill your hunger for this theme.
Having the choice of displaying it fully enclosed or unfolded grants a wide range of opportunities.
I would have loved to have Redbeard included, to make an epic battle with the governor.
Moreover, I don’t like the choice of the entrance gate’s doors. The vintage set had closed doors, making it more mysterious. This one has bars, allowing more than one peek inside.
With a reference to the Pirates of Barracuda Bay, if I give that set a 10/10, the absence of Redbeard, the choice of having gates at the entrance instead of entirely closed doors and the very small spaces in some areas, bring down my score, resulting in a 8/10.
The 10320 Eldorado Fortress will be available starting from July 4th for $214.99 / €214.99 / £189.99 on LEGO.com and certified stores.