The set I want to look at today is not exactly a favourite set. It is, however, a set that is currently standing in my collection (and many sets are not), as well as one that I think is fairly well-designed, interesting, and I'm glad I own. What's more, I'm on a bit of an Islander kick at the moment, and 6236 King Kahuka was the first one I had.
I got King Kahuka back in the fall of 1996, so only a few short months after I got the last set mentioned on this blog, 6626 Speed Trackers. Unlike those good policemen, King Kahuka had been sitting on the store shelves for some time--since coming out in 1994 with the rest of the Islanders theme. I wasn't particularly interested in Islanders at the time, but I had a few spare dollars and I wanted at least one for my collection. A long-standing pattern was being established where if I had money, I would spend it on as much LEGO as it would get me.
My parents were a bit loath at the time to let me get an Islander set. I think they were worried that they contained "idols," and that my games would henceforth involve the pagan demons of the South Seas. They needn't have worried. I was entirely too much of a 20th century North American child, and the statues in the Islander theme never looked like anything other than statues to me. In any case, King Kahuka's throne didn't have a statue, or even a graven image, and possibly on those grounds, my parents let me get him.
As a set, King Kahuka received little attention thereafter. One Islander wasn't much of a threat to either my Pirates or my Soldiers, and it would be another couple years before I would find any more Islanders--how I found an Islander set in Toys R' Us in 1998 is still a little beyond me, but I guess they didn't clear out their old stock quite so quickly in the 1990s as the 2000s. What's more, the Islander didn't have any guns or cutlasses, so he seemed to be a little at a disadvantage against the other figs, who looked sharper from my perspective.
Fifteen years later, however, I wish I had more Islander sets. Though perhaps the most forgotten of the five classic Pirate themes, I almost think they're my favourite--though an ancient Imperial Guard preference prevents me from quite saying it. In the Pirates "Grandfather's Tale" that I've mentioned as wanting to work on if I ever finish the Castle version, the Islanders have an important--even central--role to play.
In fact, the treasure chest that comes with this set, tucked away beneath King Kahuka's throne played a major role in my mental development of the plot, and will likely crop up in the story, if it should ever appear, though I doubt it will still have any treasure in it.