Which toy pirate ships are best?

Kids are fascinated by swashbuckling pirates and have been for over a century. With their iconic eyepatches, peg legs and skull-and-crossbones flags, the pirate is perhaps one of the most recognizable characters in children’s entertainment. But no pirate story is complete without a pirate ship. 

Toy pirate ships can vary from colorful, cartoonish boats to detailed vessels with historically accurate cannons and sails. The Playmobil Pirates Skull Ship is a top pick because it features a working cannon and a crew of three pirate figures. 

What to know before you buy a toy pirate ship

Types of toy pirate ships

  • Historical: These toys are based on the iconic wooden galleons that pirates used in past eras. Historical toy pirate ships usually feature multiple masts, cannons and a crow’s nest. The boats may also include pirate figures and additional accessories with an emphasis on detail and loose historical accuracy. 
  • Fantastical: These toy pirate ships will often take some of the basic details of historical ships and give them a magical or futuristic spin. One of these toys may feature mythological creatures like the mermaid, or it could be a high-tech vessel with incorporated science fiction elements.
  • Entertainment-inspired: Most of our knowledge about pirates comes from books, television shows and films, so it’s no surprise that many pirate toys are inspired by the same productions. Many toy pirate ships may be based on the ships from the popular “Pirates of the Caribbean” film series, while others could be inspired by video games like Minecraft. If you choose to buy one of these toy pirate ships, make sure that the child is familiar with the source material. 

Age range

Handcrafted Nautical Decor Wooden Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge Black Sails Limited Model Pirate Ship

Toy pirate ships often come with small pieces that could pose a choking hazard for young kids, so always check the suggested age range before settling on a product. If you need a pirate ship for kids under 5, look for ones with bright, colorful designs and rounded edges. Pirate ships designed for kids 5 to 12 years old usually feature intricate designs and smaller pieces. If you’re shopping for a kid 12 and older, you’ll find more historically accurate model kits or Lego building sets with over 1,000 pieces. 

What to look for in a quality toy pirate ship

Brands

When shopping for a toy pirate ship online, try to avoid products from obscure manufacturers or ones with little to no internet presence. These products may be affordable at first glance, but you could find yourself with a toy that’s poorly designed or breaks easily. Instead, look for a ship that’s sold by a reputable toy brand like Lego, Fisher Price or Playmobil. 

Pirate figures

HAPTIME 6 Pcs Pirates Action Figure Playset with 6 Weapons

A pirate ship won’t get very far without a reliable crew. Look for a toy that comes with miniature action figures so children can create their own swashbuckling adventures. Most toy pirate ships come with at least one or two pirate figures, but you can also buy them separately as a bonus gift. 

Floatable

If your child wants a toy they can play with in the pool or bathtub, look for a pirate ship that floats on the water. These toys make playtime particularly immersive, but be careful with any ships requiring batteries, as they will quickly break if submerged in water. 

How much you can expect to spend on a toy pirate ship

Toy pirate ships vary in price depending on size and suggested age level. A simple ship with two or three pirate figures will usually cost around $20-$50, while a large building set for older kids often costs $150 or more. 

Toy pirate ship FAQ

Why do kids like pirates? 

A. Ever since the release of “Treasure Island” in the late 19th century, storytellers have developed pirate stories and toys for children. Pirates are usually depicted as colorful, romantic anti-heroes roaming the high seas in search of treasure, imagery that is sure to capture a child’s imagination. 

Who is the most famous pirate? 

A. Edward Teach, otherwise known as “Blackbeard,” is considered the most famous pirate in history. His image and many escapades were the inspiration for many of the fictional pirates that we know today. 

What’s the best toy pirate ship to buy?

Top toy pirate ship

Playmobil Pirates Skull Ship

Playmobil Pirates Skull Ship

What you need to know: Suitable for any kids ages 4 and up, this popular pirate ship comes with fun features and accessories. 

What you’ll love: This pirate ship comes with a total of 132 pieces, including three pirate figures, animals and weapons. It can float on water, and the cannon shoots real cannonball projectiles. 

What you should consider: The assembly instructions could be a little more detailed. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top toy pirate ship for the money

Fisher Price Imaginext Pirate Ship Playset

Fisher Price Imaginext Pirate Ship Playset

What you need to know: This whimsical pirate ship playset is budget-friendly and features a fantastical design. 

What you’ll love: This toy combines a classic pirate ship with a robot shark that will chomp down on enemies at the press of a button. It includes two pirate figures with swords and multiple cannons that fire real projectiles.  

What you should consider: This toy is more appropriate for younger kids. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Lego Pirates of the Caribbean Silent Mary Building Kit

Lego Pirates of the Caribbean Silent Mary Building Kit

What you need to know: This massive Lego building set features over 2,000 pieces. 

What you’ll love: Inspired by the popular film franchise, the building set features eight recognizable figurines, a moveable rudder and a collapsible mast. It features intricate details and is quite large once it’s fully constructed. 

What you should consider: The suggested age range is 14 and up and costs significantly more than other pirate ship toys. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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