Lot of classic toys, including Pirate Ships are back in action. These are great for imaginative play as kids don the role of the captain and sail to far off treasure island, hunting for hidden treasure, and on the battling some dastardly foes.
In recent years, stories of famous pirates and their unique personalities have received lot of attention, with even films made on them. In case your kids are also fascinated by the stories of pirates, these toys will appeal to them.
What’s So Special About These Ships?
Pirate ship toys are available from various retailers. Here are some of the features of these toys.
- Made from different materials, although wood is the most commonly used material for making these ships. Some of these ships may require some assembling (comes with instructions).
- While these ships are durable, some of them may require re-tightening the screws over time.
Parts of a Pirate Ship
While there are several parts of a ship, here are some basic terms associated with ships:
- Front = bow
- Back = stern
- Left side = port
- Right side = starboard
The crow’s nest is a platform fixed at the upper part of the masthead of a vessel and is used as a lookout point.
What kids love about these ships:
- These playsets offer lot of exciting features that make playing with them so much fun. These are excellent toys for imaginative play.
- The ship comes armed with cannons and projectiles (that actually fire) in to ward off the pirates.
- These come with a secret hiding place to hide your treasure from the pirates.
- You can throw the prisoners in the brig that opens & closes, you can hang then from the yardarm.
- These ships come with fine detailing. You will find pirate flags, proper costumes, hat, swords, telescope, anchor, prison cage, and more. The ship comes with a plank on which you can make the figures walk
- These may come with a few figures. You can also buy more pirate figurines separately (these really complement the ship well).
- You can use these ships to teach your child about the various parts of a ship.
Kids love to pretend to fire the cannon (some actually come with cannon balls), push the enemies from the deck below, wind the anchor up and down, engage in chases, or raid a village (make use of your Lego village).
Most of these ships are quite big in size and come with elaborate features. So you can even have two kids play with it (or maybe a parent and the child).
Pirate ship toys also make for nice show pieces! You also need one of these in case you plan to host a pirate party for kids as you will need to arrange a few pirate themed activities.
Best Pirate Ship Toy for Ages 3 – 8
Fisher-Price Imaginext Shark Bite Pirate Ship
This is a bestselling toy with several nice features that will appeal to children. The playset includes a shark shaped pirate ship, it comes with two pirate action figures and pirate hats and small swords for the action figures. It comes with a a cannon ball and four projectiles that can be fired from the ship.
For the kids, an additional interesting element in this pirate ship is that the ship’s front is designed to look like a giant shark; the mouth of the shark ship actually opens and can swallow those pirate action figures. The ship also has shark fins that move when you move the ship around, making the ship look like its swimming.
Dimension: 8 x 21 x 16-inch size. There’s space in the ship’s haul to accommodate other toys.
Le Toy Van Barbarossa Pirate Ship Set
This is a premium quality wooden toys suitable for kids aged 3 years and above. Kids will love the fact that this ship comes with a cannon that spring-loads cannon balls and actually fires. A bit on the expensive side but the quality of the product explains why it is pricey. Excellent quality materials used, impeccable finish. You can use it as a centerpiece in your living room, it also glows in the dark. You can buy the Le Toy Van wooden figures separately that go with the ship; includes a girl pirate as well which is a a rare thing. See PRICE on Amazon
Best Pirate Toy For Toddlers (Ages 1 – 4)
VTech Treasure Seekers Pirate Ship
This is a battery powered pirate toy ship that is easy to play with and comes with features that will provide toddlers with playtime adventures. The pirate ship comes with a pirate captain, a sailor, an octopus, a spinning steering wheel, a cannon ball that fires, and a treasure chest. The ship comes with buttons and make various sounds. It requires 2 AA batteries. Dimension: 6.69 x 18.66 x 16.54-inches.
More Best Pirate Ship Toys
The best pirate toy ships come with cannons that flash and give a booming sound, treasure that glow, realistic flags and sails, crow’s nest, and figures of crew members.
- PLAYMOBIL Pirate Raiders’ Ship: Three sails, figures, canons and several other pieces. Age 4 to 10 years
- VTech Treasure Seekers Pirate Ship: 2-in-1 playset transforms from a pirate ship to a deserted island with treasure. For ages 1.5-4 years.
- Fisher-Price Little People Pirate Ship playset for ages 1-5 years
- Fisher-Price Imaginext Shark Bite Pirate Ship: Playset with figures and accessories, for ages 3 to 8 Years
- Bigjigs Toys Mini Pirate Ship Playset: Nice wooden start set for toddlers. Age 3+ years.
- KidKraft Wooden Pirate Ship: This play set makes sounds and has lights, pirate figures. Age 3+ years.
In case your kids have been into pirates lately, pick one of these ships and also checkout island, hideout and castle fort to make a pirate village.
The assembly of these ships can take some time (20-30 mins) as these comprise of several parts. Here’s video that shows the assembly of the PLAYMOBIL Pirate Raiders’ Ship.
History of the Pirate Ships
Pirates are basically robbers who loot merchant ships. They have their own ship and target the ships of the wealthy; although occasionally they would launch attacks on coastal towns as well. Most sea pirates were persistent and were prepared to travel long distance to get their treasure. There are several stories of pirates crossing the Atlantic in their ordinary boats in pursuit of treasure.
While Hollywood movies depict pirate ships as large fearsome, well-armed vessels, there were several smaller pirate vessels in operation as well back in those days (in the 17th century). So pirate vessels included a variety of longboats as well as spectacular warships. Irrespective of the size of the ship, pirate ships had certain characteristics. For example, they were all sea-worthy because pirates took them in the stormy waters.
Did you know?
During the Elizabethan period, when Anglo-Spanish relations were at its worst, Queen Elizabeth I gave licenses to privateers (privately owned ships) and encouraged them to attack Spanish fleets and loot the ships. The proceeds would then be divided by the ship crew and the government. While a pirate is a lawless robber, a privateer would act under a commission.
Pirates stole treasure from other ships, and most of the time, they stole the ships as well. They favored the following vessels: Sloop (small and quick ships), Schooner (bigger than a sloop but still small enough to hide), Brigantine (larger and powerful), Square-Rigger (huge ship to deter enemies).
Famous Pirate Ships
- The Golden Hind: Type: Galleon, belonged to Sir Francis Drake, a privateer for Queen Elizabeth I.
- Queen Anne’s Revenge: Guineaman (a large cargo ship), belonged to Blackbeard (Edward Teach).
- Royal Fortune: Type: Frigate, belonged to Captain Bartholomew Roberts (also known as Black Bart)
Funtoyworld is a family-managed website with me (Ben), and my wife doing most of the work. We are proud parents of two wonderful kids and love reviewing toys. We have a firm but friendly “democratic parenting” style and offer several practical suggestions backed by extensive research. Our own experience with raising two children prompted us to share our knowledge. Read more.