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LEGO Lord of the Rings overview

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LEGO Lord of the Rings overview

Postby Bruce N H » Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:57 pm

Hi all,

Over the last several months, we've taken a look at all of the LEGO Lord of the Rings sets:
9469 - Gandalf Arrives
79005 - The Wizard Battle
9472 - Attack on Weathertop
79006 - The Council of Elrond
9473 - Mines of Moria
10237 - Tower of Orthanc
9476 - Orc Forge
9474 - The Battle of Helm's Deep
9471 - Uruk-Hai Army
9470 - Shelob Attacks
79008 Pirate Ship Ambush
79007 - Battle at the Black Gate
Promos, polybags, gear
There are also a couple of Bag End sets, though those were marketed as part of the Hobbit series, so I've left those off this list (we'll do the Hobbit sets at some future point).

The rumor is that we won't see any more Lord of the Rings sets (though has this ever been confirmed by LEGO?). So, at the end of the run, what is your overall impression? What were the high and low points? What other sets did they miss out on including? Give your thoughts on the line as a whole.

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Re: LEGO Lord of the Rings overview

Postby Brickninja » Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:57 pm

One word: Gondor.
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Re: LEGO Lord of the Rings overview

Postby Athos » Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:27 pm

I really liked the line. It had some great sets (Bag End, Helms Deep, Orthanc, Gandalf's cart) and some neat figures. Even some of the not so great ones were neat looking sets (Shelob) or had some good parts (Moria). I do wish they'd continued the line.

Minis Tirith is a pretty big example of something they missed… Bree would have been nice too...

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Re: LEGO Lord of the Rings overview

Postby Brickninja » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:15 pm

Bruce N H wrote:Hi all,

Over the last several months, we've taken a look at all of the LEGO Lord of the Rings sets:
9469 - Gandalf Arrives
79005 - The Wizard Battle
9472 - Attack on Weathertop
79006 - The Council of Elrond
9473 - Mines of Moria
10237 - Tower of Orthanc
9476 - Orc Forge
9474 - The Battle of Helm's Deep
9471 - Uruk-Hai Army
9470 - Shelob Attacks
79008 Pirate Ship Ambush
79007 - Battle at the Black Gate
Promos, polybags, gear
There are also a couple of Bag End sets, though those were marketed as part of the Hobbit series, so I've left those off this list (we'll do the Hobbit sets at some future point).

The rumor is that we won't see any more Lord of the Rings sets (though has this ever been confirmed by LEGO?). So, at the end of the run, what is your overall impression? What were the high and low points? What other sets did they miss out on including? Give your thoughts on the line as a whole.

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About the line ending, I have word from a LEGO employee that they will not be making sets anymore :cry: , but the license has not yet expired, so an Ideas set is feasible.
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Re: LEGO Lord of the Rings overview

Postby Azaghal » Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:23 am

Brickninja wrote:About the line ending, I have word from a LEGO employee that they will not be making sets anymore :cry: , but the license has not yet expired, so an Ideas set is feasible.


And on that note, I see that the impressive Minas Tirith MOC I posted a while back is just a few hundred supporters away from consideration.

Overall, I've been really impressed with all the LotR sets I've gotten - looking at the list, I'm somewhat surprised it's as short as it is, they seemed more numerous.
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Re: LEGO Lord of the Rings overview

Postby TeufelHund » Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:30 am

The first wave of sets was good and covered a lot of bases - the entire Fellowship (albeit spread across a lot of sets), a decent orc army builder, a nice castle-like big set, some fantastic minifigs and new accessories...but they lost their way with the second wave. If you asked a fan what they wanted top of the list would be Iconic stuff like the Witchking (& Fellbeast!), Balrog, Gondor-related stuff and some important characters like Faromir, Eowyn etc. Instead we get a Pirate Ship and the Mouth of Sauron who wasn't even in the theatrical version of the trilogy...

The Hobbit sets have covered a few more bases and the UCS Orthanc was very good, but most fans will be a bit disappointed about what could have been in the end.
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Re: LEGO Lord of the Rings overview

Postby Kev » Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:17 pm

Gondor is the big miss. I feel like there was an intended 3rd wave that got dumped after the poor showing of the second wave. Probably Gondor.

I wish they would do a CMF series to fill out the line. Lots of great characters to do. Like the Simpsons, they could always come back to LOTR and get a license to do a CMF series in the future.
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Re: LEGO Lord of the Rings overview

Postby Mark of Falworth » Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:25 pm

Some interesting points all around. I'm not a big fan of Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit, so these sets don't peak my interest as far as story/characters are concerned. However, they have introduced some really nice parts into the realm of castle building. So I'm happy about that. :D

I know some people will be upset if the line ends without some of the aspects and scenes they really wanted to see on the store shelves, I think folks should be absolutely thrilled they got all the sets they did! A couple years back it was pretty tough to make purist LOTR figs and mocs. (Unless you're Blake) :wink:
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Re: LEGO Lord of the Rings overview

Postby AK_Brickster » Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:20 pm

Helm's Deep is one of my favorite sets of all time. A really good castle parts set with tons of gray and sand green parts, and the official build was fun too.

Other than that, the series gave us a ton of amazing minifig parts, particularly the intricately printed torsos and legs. I believe that Weathertop was the first set to give us the new posable horses. We also got "the One Ring", and lots of new weapons (new spear, longbow, new sword mold for Sting, and I think the first appearance of the longsword as well).
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Re: LEGO Lord of the Rings overview

Postby rogue27 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:16 pm

Azaghal wrote: I see that the impressive Minas Tirith MOC I posted a while back is just a few hundred supporters away from consideration.



Huh, neat. I signed up for LEGO Ideas just to give you a vote. I always wanted figures and shields bearing the Tree of Gondor.


LEGO's Peter Jackson/Tolkien product line was solid. Bag End and Helm's Deep are really cool sets, and the line provided a lot of great parts for a medieval/fantasy setting. However, I also look forward to Lord of the Rings and Hobbit to go away with the hope that traditional LEGO Castle sets can return.
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Re: LEGO Lord of the Rings overview

Postby Sir Erathor » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:24 pm

I forgot to mention Helm's Deep. Easily the best LEGO set I've ever bought, love it to this day and would gladly buy another one if I got the chance. The weapons and new pieces have been a fantastic addition to a castle fan's collection. :D

It will be very sad to see it end, especially since the final film is released this December too.
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Re: LEGO Lord of the Rings overview

Postby RedBrick » Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:02 am

They have released some very good sets. A nice, kind of matured variant of the castle theme, which added a lot of variation.
I totally regret not having started with it earlier - trying to catch up though. It did hurt a bit to see the shelves flooded with starwars and only one or two different lord of the rings sets (if any), so - yes: the end isnt surprising. Still a shame!

But i am happy of the sheer amount of new and pretty cool parts and minifigs. I think that is a big advantage of lego licenseware in general.

So in conclusion: pity pity its not getting continued - i have no idea what to expect of a new castle theme though. The last were quite overshadowed by lord of the rings. now with that theme gone question is if there is enough interest in the fantasy/medieval direction in general to expect good sets or will they go on with another lukewarm castle generation?
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Re: LEGO Lord of the Rings overview

Postby Bruce N H » Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:22 am

Hey,

I guess I didn't add my own thoughts on this line.

On the one hand, I'm not really thrilled with licensed themes. I'd rather have LEGO make their own fantasy line, and let people expand it with their own imagination. Also, having an official line in some way limits some people's imaginations as to how LEGO creations should look. If there is one "right" LEGO interpretation of a fig or a setting, that implies that all other interpretations are wrong. I'm actually more talking about kids here, not experienced AFOLs. I remember that I first came out of my dark age before the Peter Jackson movies came out, and I started building Lord of the Rings MOCs. Then the movie came out and a large proportion of the comments I got were that I got this or that wrong (e.g. - "your Legolas is wrong because he doesn't have long hair" - where again in the book does it say that he has long hair?). Having an official line only cements this in place.

That said, the set designs were excellent. As others have noted, the Helm's Deep set is one of the best castles ever, especially with the small expansion set as an add-on. I think LEGO was really smart to have two concurrent castle lines - the LotR license at an advanced building level appealing to advanced kids and AFOLs, and the non-licensed castle sets for younger builders. In addition to great designs, as others have noted, the Tolkien sets introduced lots of detailed figs, new accessories, the rearing horses, gothic half-arches, and other new elements.

There were several misses, IMO:
-Of course Gondor. The rumors are that a final wave of Gondor sets was squashed, which is sad. The most obvious set would be Eowyn, Witch King, and Merry along with a brick-built fell beast. My ideal line would include a modular series to show the attack on the city. Set 1 would be the gates and Grond (the battering ram). Set 2 would be a portion of wall and a siege tower. Set 3 would be a portion of wall and a trebuchet (for throwing severed heads into the city, of course). The wall portions would be able to hook to the gates, and you could buy as many as you want to make a larger city wall. Of course each set would come with a couple of orcs, a couple of Minas Tirith soldiers, and a named character (Gandalf the White at the gates, Faramir in one of the wall sets, maybe Denethor (or Imrahil) in the other) (sure, Denethor never made it to the walls, but I don't think they'd realistically make the citadel, and that would give his fig).
IMO they could have ditched the ship set if they'd instead had some representation of the city itself, either the modular series I suggest or even a large set.
-A stand-alone Ent set. Sure, there's one in Orthanc, but that's a set that many could not afford to get, but they'd be happy to get a Treebeard. Also, you could buy multiples (maybe varying up the design a bit) and have an army of Ents to attack Isengard.
-More Moria. IMO they should have had three Moria sets. One for the western gate, with the watcher in the water. The one they did with the Chamber of Mazarbul. The third would of course be Gandalf vs a brick-built Balrog (maybe along the design they had in the video game).
-Pose-able stubby legs. The Lord of the Rings and even more so the Hobbit sets were the best chance for us to ever get these, with the great number of key characters of shorter stature. Various customizers have shown that it is possible. Why, LEGO, why, must any Hobbits, Dwarves, or just kids in non-fantasy sets be doomed to a static existence?

If I ruled the LEGO set design world, they would have come out with three waves:
Fellowship:
-Gandalf's Arrival - existing set
-Bag End - existing set in the Hobbit line
-Weathertop - existing set
-Council of Elrond - existing set
-Moria 1 - western gate, watcher in the water
-Moria 2 - existing set
-Moria 3 - Gandalf vs Balrog
Two Towers:
-Treebeard - stand alone ent similar design to that in the Orthanc set, along with Merry and Pippin
-Helm's Deep - existing set
-Helm's Deep add-on - existing set
-Orc Forge - existing set
-Orthanc - existing set
-Shelob - existing set
-Maybe if they wanted another small set, something like "Warg attack", sure, not in the book, but a simple set with a warg, an orc, a rohan soldier, and a named character
Return of the King
-Eowyn vs Witch King (with brick-built fell beast)
-Minas Tirith 1 - gate, Gandalf, battering ram
-Minas Tirith 2 - wall section with siege tower
-Minas Tirith 3 - wall section with catapult
-maybe the Corsairs of Umbar - existing set
-Battle at the Black Gate - existing set
-Something with Frodo and Sam, either at the Cracks of Doom or in the Tower of Cirith Ungol

Sure, there are tons of additional settings (Bree, Lorien, Meduseld, more Shire) and other figs (esp Galadriel, though we finally got her in the Hobbit sets) that would be possible, but I was trying to describe something that could actually be feasible along the lines of what they did produce.
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Re: LEGO Lord of the Rings overview

Postby Sir Erathor » Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:56 pm

Bruce, I'd almost totally agree with you - my brothers, friends and I used to discuss our ultimate LotR line all the time and we pretty much had the same sort of set ideas.

Just to say, would Shelob not be in the RotK line, since the sets go by the films? In its place I would have had a medium-sized scene featuring part of the Golden Hall of Edoras with a Theoden fig before Gandalf 'heals' him.

I actually think that changing the stubby legs would change the 'feel' of the LEGO itself, but it would certainly help make some more action packed/realistic scenes. Just my thoughts.
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Re: LEGO Lord of the Rings overview

Postby BoradorIV » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:30 am

I'm not overly fond of the idea of dividing the waves up by movie. A lot of important characters didn't appear until Two Towers (Eomer, Theodon, Eowyn, etc) and it'd feel even MORE incomplete with every wave...

As for the Lord of the Rings line as a whole?

A pretty good line if you ask me. Every set was detailed, well designed, and had a decent price point for it's size (and for being licensed, that really makes it feel like a good deal). An excellent figure selection, and every figure was incredibly detailed and accurate to the film.

If I had one complaint of this line, it's the common one; too short. Ended too soon. So much was missed. I'm happy we got as much as we did, since it seemed impossible before, but still, no Gondor is a bit glaring.

Oh well, bright side. What we did get was great!
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