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Captain Cook and Endeavour in LEGO


Endeavour and a canoe as they might look in LEGO

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Some Endeavour voyage characters in LEGO format


LEGO is not just for kids anymore.  Most of us either played with LEGO blocks, or watched our children and grandchildren spend hours putting together standard kits or exercising imagination in building fanciful creations.  The company, with headquarters in Denmark, now makes and markets not just the bricks and figures that are familiar to all of us, but also video games and clothing, movies and learning modules for teachers,  It also operates seven LEGOLAND parks and resorts.  The global consultancy firm Brand Finance ranked LEGO as the world’s most powerful brand in 2015. 



Recently, CCS received a letter from Mr. Andreas Hinske, of Hanover, Germany.  In his letter, Mr. Hinske shared information about his own interests in LEGO, and requested the assistance of CCS in bringing to market a new product featuring Captain Cook and the First Voyage of Discovery in Endeavour.  Hinske considered LEGO his best toy as a child.  As he grew up, he collected many LEGO sets, including Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.  As a young man his interest in historical subjects drew him to the age of discovery and sail, and he decided that Captain Cook would make an appealing LEGO set.


LEGO makes available on-line programs for developers, and has a formal process for evaluating new ideas for possible production.  At the LEGO website, using LEGO DIGITAL DESIGN, Hinske designed the project which includes 2,395 individual pieces.  It comprises several figures, and objects, depicting Cook’s First Voyage, including scenes of Tahiti and New Zealand.  Among the characters are Cook, Banks, Parkinson, Gore, Green, and native peoples.  The objects include Endeavour, a Polynesian double hulled canoe, an astronomical observatory, maps, and various instruments.


The design process for the Cook project was entirely digital.  Hinske wrote, “I made it with the Lego Digital Designer and rendered it with the LDD to POV Ray Converter.  I drew the coats of the minifigures with a paint program.  All coats are based on one drawing; I changed only the colors.  I searched in the internet for maps, flags and other images which I could use for my project.  It is easier for me to build it digital, because I can use all bricks in all colors.  It would be very difficult to get all the real bricks.  I made the sails with bricks, because the LDD doesn’t have a canvas sail option”.


On the LEGO website you can see the proposed set, and read Hinske’s excellent narrative of the Endeavour voyage.1 


At this point, Hinske and the Endeavour voyage project need help.  LEGO requires that proposed new projects receive 10,000 votes of support in order to proceed to the next step, which is a formal review by LEGO development teams.  In order to give your support, visit the project on the website, and click the blue “SUPPORT” button on the right.  You will be asked to open a LEGO account, and then go back again to vote “SUPPORT”.2  If LEGO considers the project to be worthwhile, it will go forward into commercial production.


Imagine—Captain Cook as a LEGO figure! 



  1. James Cook and HMS Endeavour on the LEGO website.
  2. Establishing a LEGO account costs nothing.  But you need to provide some personal information, your email address, and be prepared to receive marketing solicitations, from LEGO until you opt out.

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 3, volume 38, number 4 (2015).


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