Sunday, December 4, 2022

There Be Pirates Still...

 In 1972 the model company MPC released a rather strange line of plastic kits based on a Disney attraction. Actually, they released two lines, but we're just going to focus on one today. The two lines were kits for Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion. Now these weren't your typical model kits in two ways: first, they didn't actually model anything in the attractions (they were, rather, based on the general idea of the attractions), and second, they featured "Zap-Action." This was a fancy way to say they moved with the aid of a rubber band.  Pretty cool, really. 

I actually had a Pirates of the Caribbean model back then, although I can't remember exactly which one. They were all kind of the same, in a way. Oh, would you like to see them? Here ya go!

There were seven kits in total. I'm not sure how many Haunted Mansion kits there were, but as I said, we're going to be focusing just on the Pirates today. Pay attention! 

Anyway, that kit got trashed and tossed many years ago (sadly, as original kits can be expensive). Then a year or so ago I was strolling through the local Walmart and I spotted this...

Alarm bells went off! 

Then they caught the guy and I looked at the model (ok, I made that up). Anyway, clearly Lindberg had bought MPCs old molds and re-released the Pirates of the Caribbean models! Of course now they are no longer licensed by Disney, so some renaming was required for the series. Now they are "Jolly Roger Series." But the model is the same! Let's look inside the box!

Ok, that's a lot of glow in the dark plastic.. And a lot of little parts...that have to be painted and glued together... Huh.

Well, let's look at the instructions-

Well, with enough free time and quite a bit of patience, I think this could be a fun build. So, I'm thinking this might go on the "after retirement" list. That list is getting pretty long, by the way!

Oh, and they not only renamed the series, they renamed the individual models. I'm not sure why they bothered to do that, since the names don't have anything to do with Disney. But, for any who are wondering the old names and new names are:

"Hoist High the Jolly Roger" became

"Freebooter's Last Leg"---

"Ghost of the Treasure Guard" became

"Duel With Death"---

"Freed in the Nick of Time" became

"Escape the Tentacles of Fate" (my kit)---

"Dead Men Tell No Tales" became

"Shining Spoils of the Scallywag" ---

"Dead Man's Raft" became

"Hex Marks the Spot" ---

"Condemned to Chains Forever" became

"Dismay Be the End" (my favorite pun) ---

"Fate of the Mutineers" became

"In the Pinch of Peril"

So, if you remember those old MPC kits and would like to build them again, you're in luck! Actually, if you'd like to build the Haunted Mansion ones, you can build those too, but we're not talking about those...yet. So, you never know where you might find some really cool stuff from your childhood!

So you should always "Keep Searching For Treasure!" (became "Treasure Finder's Delight") Ok, I made that one up...


  1. Oh, boy! I had no idea these had been re-released. More models to buy that I’ll never get to until “after retirement,” which for me is at least 10 years away. I still have a stack of unbuilt kits from childhood. Heck - I have an unbuilt kit from my dad’s childhood!

    My cousin (six years older than me) had Dead Man’s Raft, and I remember being utterly fascinated - and slightly creeped out by - the model (this was between my first terrifying ride at age two and when I finally got the nerve up to ride it again when I was seven). I bunked in his room with him when we would visit, and I remember avoiding going over by his desk (where the model was) after the lights went out.

    He also had an AMT Lief Erickson during the glow-in-the dark “Interplanetary U.F.O.” era. We took that into the closet a bunch of times just to watch it glow. Opening up the doors and pulling out the glowing shuttlecraft was just awesome when I was six.

    Need to look for the Haunted Mansion kits, too. Quick, Robin - to the Chuck-computer!

    1. I think everyone had a cousin that had some "creepy-cool" thing. My cousin's were those scary comic books that used to be so popular in the early 60s. I still remember a couple of the stories. Real creepy stuff, actually!
      I have a Lief Erickson (I built it as the Yuri Gagarin). I converted it to fly on 3 model rocket motors for a contest about 10 years ago. The "up" part was cooler than the "down" part because there was no way to fit a big enough parachute in it. It splatted. But since it was all plastic, it survived. That was the only time it flew and it still has the spent engines in it. you've made me start looking for the HM kits too. Dang peer pressure!

  2. These kits really are great—with all the details. The age minimum should be 60+....little kids couldn’t build these, and young adults are too busy with everyday life. Retirement sounds like the perfect time.

    Thanks for sharing, looking forward to seeing the Haunted Mansion kits.


    1. Yeah, I'm going to start working on that HM part...Hmmm...

  3. I had all the Universal monster model kits way back we
    when. Thanks for the tip. Going to have to check Walmart and beyond.
    Sue, I past retirement and still working but I'll make the time to put this together, I say to myself. Buy it at least for later.

  4. I miss the days when I used to build plastic models - mostly because my older brother built them too. Ah, that scent of Testor's glue! No, I didn't sniff it on purpose, but it DID smell. I had an Aurora model of Frankenstein (OK OK, Frankenstein's monster) and we figured out that you could put model cement on your fingers and make convincing spiderwebs. So of course we overdid it with the webs!

    I had one Pirate kit, but I forget which one; it might have been "Condemned to Chains Forever". My grandparents gave it to me. I thought it was tricky to assemble, and was amused that it used the same little rubber bands that were used for dental retainers.

    Everything "glow in the dark" is automatically cooler!

    1. Very true on the "Glow in the Dark" thing! This week's item glows too!

  5. Oooh, I'm behind on my "Attic" readin'! I loved these POTC models, when I was a kid. Well, I still do! Between my brother and myself, we had three of these model kits. As of today, we still have one original box with the instructions, but not the model (my brother's), and two models, but not the boxes or instructions (mine). It's frustrating, because I was usually better than that when it comes to keeping things. Oh, well. I did post pics of what I do still have. There was also a paper insert, in addition to the instructions, with some kind of history of "pirates" and also a description of the attraction at DL. I kept that, too! It's tempting to buy the reissues of these, but since I was never very good at model building, I will just enjoy the pics of other people's finished models! I'm hoping if/when you get around to building yours, you will share pics of it with us!


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