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.
Pirate 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.
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)
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.
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.