Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Closer Look at the Lord of the Rings Lego!

Everything is being made into Lego now! RIGHT NOW! It's like the cunning Danish have invented self replicating studded nanobots who are infiltrating every possible aspect of our lives, starting with pop culture! Soon every film ever made will have its own Lego sets. Lego Driving Miss Daisy! Lego Look Who's Talking Too! Lego Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants! If you think I'm being obscure then bear in mind that this is a company who made a Lego set out of the ostrich race in Prince of Persia. They should include a picture of that set when you look up the word "optimism".

But a far safer bet is the much anticipated Lego Lord of the Rings the first wave of which releases next month! We showed a preview of these a little while ago, but now that they are officially available for pre-order we can get a much better look at exactly what's on offer this first round.

And if that image doesn't get you excited then you're as dead inside as that fish. I like how the fish's mouth appears to be a connector. The very first thing I would do is attach it to Gandalf's head.

To see the actual sets, join me after the jump!

 Let's look at these in order from cheapest to most expensive. See how they get you addicted and then bump up the price!

First up:

Gandalf Arrives is a total no-brainer. It makes total sense to begin with one of the first scenes of Fellowship of the Ring and include the two main characters. Gandalf is a crowd-pleaser and I'll bet his Danish engineers are also pleased because they got to re-use a ton of Harry Potter pieces and an old  horse. Notice that his cart is filled with fireworks and carrots. This is the perfect cargo to confuse/explode a rabbit. My only complaint is that they didn't include his pipe.

Also notice that this set is recommended for ages 8 - 14. Meanwhile my Wolverine Chopper Showdown set is aimed at 6 - 12 year olds and it contains a cancerous assassin, a magnetic terrorist, and a blade-fisted murderer. Are you telling me that's less controversial than an old man, a horse, and a hobbit? Wacky Danes!

You can pre-order this one for $12.99. LEGO - The Lord of the Rings Gandalf (TM) Arrives - LEGO (R)

My most anticipated figure is Gollum and for that you'll need to buy Shelob Attacks, the catch being that you also get stuck with pudding-head, Samwise. The plus side is that you also get a dirty great killer spider, the suction fish, and the legendary One Ring. I love how Frodo has the spin around head which reveals his totally wigging out possessed by the Ring face. That face alone should make this set 15+ because it would scare the crap out of a kid.

Shelob will set you back $19.99 which is kind of a bargain for what you get. LEGO - The Lord of the Rings Shelob (TM) Attacks - LEGO (R)

The Uruk-Hai Army is probably the least interesting, but a necessity if you want to build up your troops. The star of this set is Eomer, a character which is about as exciting as that Lego carrot. There doesn't appear to be a ton of unique sculpting here, but you have to admire the new Uruk-Hai helmets, shields and swords. OH URUK HAI GUYZ!

This one is $29.99 but you should buy at least 20 of them to build your army. That means the Eomer is going to go for about ten cents on ebay. LEGO - The Lord of the Rings Uruk-hai (TM) Army - LEGO (R)

Onto something far cooler:

Now we're talking! Sure, Attack on Weathertop features more carrots, more horses, and more Samwise, but it's also our first appearance of badass ranger Aragorn! Who kind of looks like Jamie Lannister in prisoner mode. ZOMG wouldn't Game of Thrones Lego (6 - 12) be the best thing ever! You could have Lego Tyrion with the little hobbit legs, a Lego Iron Throne with Joff and Ned, and the Lego women could have reversal bodies so you could make them naked. What were we talking about? Oh! Weathertop! Not WHETHER Daenerys is going to remove her TOP this season.

Let's take an even closer look at this one:

I think this is a really great environmental piece, and if you look carefully you'll see it's hinged so you can open it up and use it like a playset. And Lego Ringwraiths are pretty irresistible. Let's hope it's not too long before we see a Lego Witchking riding one of those big dragon things.

What I really love about that promo photo is that Frodo is fighting for his life against a superior and supernatural opponent, and fat bastard Samwise is making dinner. Some things never change. Update!: An anonymous friend in the comments section points out that this in face Merry, not Samwise, thereby revealing my ingrained hobbit racism that they all look the same to me).

Holy crap! I think this one might be the best one yet. The Mines of Moira gives you Lego Sean Boromir Bean, that idiot Pippin, the gruff Gimli, the girlish Legolas, two orcs, and this killer Lego cave troll:

If you're in it for the minifigs (and most of us are) then it's pretty crafty that you pretty much have to buy every set to assemble the fellowship. Even though Aragorn, Frodo and Gandalf feature prominently in the Moira scenes, they are not included here. Could a Balrog set be in our future?

I think these environmental pieces set the scene pretty well, making this set quite desirable. All this awesomeness comes at a price though. It will cost you $79.99 if you order it now. 
LEGO - The Lord of the Rings The Mines of Moria (TM) (LEGO) - 5+ Years

And finally, here's the big one:

One of my first Lego sets was the big yellow castle from the late seventies/early eighties, and this one shows that Lego has come along way since then. This is a solid piece of architecture, and it would want to be because oddly the minifigs all appear to be repeats from other sets? I find that super strange that they haven't included a much sought after character as an exclusive. The Avengers line had the sense to put Black Widow only in the most expensive set - I'm surprised they didn't do something similar here. If you don't want a large Lego Helm's Deep then this would be the one to skip.

Another update! Apparently Haldir and Theoden are exclusive to this set. I also can't tell elves apart, or beardy, grimacing men! So if you want everyone then you DO have to buy this one. Sorry!

It's the most expensive at $129.99 and can be pre-ordered here: LEGO - The Lord of the Rings The Battle of Helm's Deep (TM) (LEGO) - 5+ Years

This is a solid first wave, but there's still so many things missing. No Balrog, Witch King, ents, Liv Tyler, Hugo Weaving, that undead army, the watcher in the water, Lego Cate Blanchett, Wormtongue, Whats-His-Face, Thingamajig, and Buggerlugs. Not to mention the upcoming Hobbit. If Lego plays their cards right they could have a huge ongoing franchise on their hands, much like the success that they've enjoyed with Star Wars.

I'm not sure if I'll jump in on these, but I definitely look forward to seeing how they progress.

A final update! Our anonymous friend also draws our attention to the The Orc Forge, another set which, for some reason, does not appear on Sideshow's site.

This one is an obvious winner because it contains a light-up brick to simulate the hellish fires of the forge. It also looks like a pretty fantastic troop builder. I am very pro orc this year and would like to see them take over from vampires as the new hotness that young girls go nuts over. Why not get ahead of the curve and forge some sexy orcs of your own?

This one includes Lurtz and will set you back $39.99.


  1. has there always been a rearing horse piece?? Surely not.

    Mines of Moria does the most for me, probably for the Bean factor.

    1. I thought there was something different about those horses. They are considerably different, but look really nice. The old ones had no leg articulation at all, and they were a lot squarer around the edges.

  2. Great pictures! Some notes on the accuracy though: Weathertop doesn't feature Samwise (what a shame!) but Merry. Helm's Deep does have some unique characters, although not as unique as you'd want them to be: Haldir & Theoden (and the berserker Uruk-hai ofcourse...). And what do you think about the Orc Forge (9476)?

  3. Thank you for the heads up, anonymous stranger! I have updated the info with your corrections. Appreciate the help!

  4. Just wanted to mention that I was in Wal-Mart last night (Florida) and all the Avengers sets and most of the Lord of the Rings sets were there.

    1. What!? Where are you located? My wallet is not ready for this yet.

    2. A bit South of you, I'm in Florida. I picked up the Captain America for my daughter, have to say it's cool but I hate all the "special" pieces Lego is now coming out with.

      I hope they keep going with both lines, it will be a welcome break from Harry Potter and Star Wars LOL