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Darryl Shpak
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
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In this simple children's game, a plastic pirate is pushed onto a spring-loaded plunger in a plastic barrel. Players take turns sticking swords into slots in the side of the barrel. One of these slots, different every time, releases the plunger, causing the pirate to fly into the air. This tends to be quite startling, since there's no warning, and it's easily launched a couple feet straight up. Whoever pops the pirate loses.

As can probably be inferred, there is no skill whatsoever in this game. The pirate may pop on the first sword or the last one. However, most kids love the flying pirate, and play it simply for that. Winning or losing seems incidental; it's a game kids will play just for the fun of watching the pirate fly into the air.

The barrel feels well-constructed, and the pirate is solidly built enough that it won't fall apart after repeatedly being shot in the air and landing on the table. It's also fairly light, so if it manages to land on someone's head it won't injure anyone. The barrel comes with a blue base to sit on, but there's nothing holding the two pieces together, so the barrel just slides around. I suggest sticking the base back in the box - it adds nothing.

The game I bought was faulty - sometimes every sword would be inserted, but the pirate wouldn't pop. We returned the game and got a new one, which seems to work fine.

The rules as written make this an elimination game - one player loses, and the rest play again, until there's only one player left. The kids I've seen play this instinctively play that the person who pops the pirate wins, which works far better.

Playing time is about five minutes for a single round.
 
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David Etherton
Scotland
Edinburgh
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Re:User Review
I've also found that I have to spin the inner mechanism (the black part inside the barrel that contains the spring mechanism) between plays or the "trigger" slot will be the same every time you play.

I've had the "put all of the swords in but it never triggers" problem before -- you have to be careful to put the swords in as straight as possible or occasionally they'll bend off-kilter and won't trigger the mechanism. Perhaps both problems would be fixed by exchanging the toy, but it's not worth the trouble.

House rule when playing with my five-year-old -- you must shout out a lively piratey ARRRRRR!!!! whenever the pirate pops. As the reviewer already made clear, this is a pretty mindless game but it's good to kill a couple of minutes once in a while.
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Brent Wilson
United States
Montgomery
Illinois
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etherton wrote:
I've also found that I have to spin the inner mechanism (the black part inside the barrel that contains the spring mechanism) between plays or the "trigger" slot will be the same every time you play.

I've had the "put all of the swords in but it never triggers" problem before -- you have to be careful to put the swords in as straight as possible or occasionally they'll bend off-kilter and won't trigger the mechanism. Perhaps both problems would be fixed by exchanging the toy, but it's not worth the trouble.

House rule when playing with my five-year-old -- you must shout out a lively piratey ARRRRRR!!!! whenever the pirate pops. As the reviewer already made clear, this is a pretty mindless game but it's good to kill a couple of minutes once in a while.


Thanks. Mine has been "stuck" with the same trigger for a while. My 2 yr old hasn't noticed, but I'd still rather fix it.
 
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