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Lord of the Rings Set Reviews

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#21 Dr. Dood von Doodstormer

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 05:25 AM

I find it odd that Moria has a skeleton to dump into a well but no Gandalf to scold you for it. Of course, they have to divvy up the fellowship some way or another, I guess.

Or put all 9 in every set and add $30 to the price.

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"As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy." - Christopher Dawson


#22 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 07:42 PM

I demand to see pictures of the Mines of Moria with the entire Fellowship in it.

I mean, erm, uhh, it'd be nice to see pics like that... :unsure:

Hmm, I'll try to do that. I'm sure the set will look better with the little sections combined on a baseplate.

Truthfully, I'm a bit disapointed by this set. The Mines of Moria was one of my absolute favorites (the Balrog is so boss)
And then you have ... this.
Gimli and the goblins look pretty awesome, though.

Yeah, I would have chosen the Balrog fight for the subject of the set rather than the cave troll. The Balrog is pretty hard to make from LEGO, but I would love to see how LEGO themselves would do it.


Anyway, last set review! (until I get the Orc Forge)


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#9474 The Battle of Helm's Deep (MSRP: $129.99)

The flagship set of the first wave of Lord of the Rings LEGO sets, Helm's Deep has quite a hefty price tag, but boy, is it an impressive LEGO model when fully built!

The pictures here don't really do it justice. To my eyes, it looks bigger in person. And it's a joy to build - the architecture is very intricate compared to most LEGO castles, with almost no large wall pieces, so it's a slow and rewarding process to put together. When fully built, it looks fantastic.

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The model would look bigger in the photos if this back section here (the one containing the throne room) were slightly raised. I may have to build a foundation for it later. If you plan to display the set, consider putting this section atop a box or something to make it more visible.

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Theoden's throne room is awesome, even if the design on his throne and the beautiful banner overhead are stickers, not prints. As you can see, the weapon racks feature two of the new swords and spears - not bad! Theoden himself has a dark green tunic design under his armor.

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Our heroes show us their war faces. Theoden might be my new favorite minifig ever - just look at the detail on that armor! He was always one of my favorite characters in the film, so it's great that he got such an amazing 'fig. His shield is the same as Eomer's though.

Haldir's hair is the same as Legolas's, which means no quiver, but he does come with a dark red cape. He's a pretty cool minifig, and I wish a generic elven warrior had been included as well. The Aragorn here is the same one as in Weathertop.

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The back of the main wall. You can see here how the arrow-slit windows are constructed using sideways wall panels. The wooden hoardings open up so that defenders like Peter Jackson can lob rocks out. And of course, there's a mini catapult on top! Wouldn't be complete without one!

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The ladder up to the top of the tower features a box for boosting up dwarves. There are two small brown doors on the set: one here, and another as a side exit from the main gate. As you might expect, the Technic lever here can be pulled in order to blow up this section of wall...

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The Uruk berserker runs to light the bomb...

Note that the Berserker's skin is regular brown (the new "reddish" brown) rather than dark red like the other Uruks. Not sure why.

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"How can fire undo stone? What kind of force could bring down the wall...?"

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Combining this set with #9471 Uruk-hai Army results in an extended wall and a larger Uruk-hai army. There are Technic pins in both sections so you can extend it as much as you like.

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Here is the side exit complete with dwarf-tossing catapult.

Final thoughts: When I first saw pictures of this set, I wasn't too sure about the size or the color scheme (light grey with sand-green bits). But in person, it is really an impressive model with a very detailed, professional design. If you've got the money for it, I highly recommend splurging to buy Helm's Deep, along with an Uruk-hai Army set to extend the wall. Then you'll have yourself an impressive LEGO diorama you can display with pride! This might just be my new favorite LEGO set of all time. I can't wait to see what other large sets we get from the Lord of the Rings series. Here's hoping for some truly massive Collector's Edition sets!

My poor little wallet is ready.

-Scorp


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#23 Spider-Man

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 10:24 PM

Scorp, you're making it really hard for me to go with Avengers over this... minifig scale Hellicarrier or Helms Deep?

Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrgh :capyoself:

#24 Prattitude

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 10:53 AM

Gah, I really want that Uruk Hai berserker fig... and that Gimli... and well, all of them. If I had $125-130 to just throw around I'd splurge and get Helm's Deep, but I need to save money. :( However I did pick up Shelob's Lair and the Helm's Deep wall sets and they're awesome! :D

Also, 1,000th post :D Woopee!

#25 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 06:07 PM

Welp, it's time for the last set review, guys! At least until any more sets get released.


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#9474 The Orc Forge (MSRP: $39.99)

The Pits of Isengard would have been a more compelling name, I think. Anyway, this is considered a "Hard to Find" set - it even says so on the box. I've heard some say it's a Target exclusive, but I've yet to see it even there myself. I've only seen it available from LEGO's website, so that's where I ordered this one. There's currently a promotion that all LotR orders include a free LEGO Frodo poster. It's not that great to look at, but hey, it's a numbered limited edition! And it's free! :P They also have a Lord of the Rings Collection pack featuring all of the sets for about $20 off the grand total.

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Anyway, the Orc Forge! Here are the minifigs: an Uruk-hai, newly-spawned Lurtz, and two regular old Orcs, though one is lacking a hairpiece. LEGO is loath to include two of the new orc hairpiece in a set this size... <_<

In total, the set also includes 4 Uruk-hai blades, 2 breastplates, and 2 shields and helmets bearing the White Hand print of Saruman. It's the only set with the printed armor pieces, and the extra armor comes in handy for equipping the un-armored Uruk-hai in #9471 Uruk-hai Army.

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The Forge itself has a simple mechanism: the dark metallic 1x1 round tiles at the feet of the bald Orc here are lifted via the basket on the upper right. Then they slide down the chute into a waiting cauldron (not in this photo), which is moved onto the fires. There is a light brick under the fires to make the pit glow red.

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From the back you can see the 2x2 column section pieces used as handles to turn the pulley that raises the basket (on top), and to push the button on the light-brick in the forge (on the bottom right). The wall is supported by some Technic beams, and there's a hole at the bottom to push Lurtz through.

NOTE: The set, unlike any of the other LotR sets, is full of brightly colored red, yellow, and blue bricks in the interior construction. There are also some dark green tiles in Lurtz's little tunnel there. The 1x1 slope tiles are the same olive green as the Moria Orcs in the Moria set.

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Lurtz's birth. Note that the Mordor Orcs here have no alternate face printed on the back of their heads - just a weird bald pattern, seen here, because one did not come with a hairpiece. Also, Lurtz, like the Uruk-hai Berserker in Helm's Deep, is regular reddish-brown instead of dark red. I'm not sure what color the other Orcs are - it's similar to dark tan, but appears slightly different.

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Final thoughts: The Forge itself is kind of neat, but oddly constructed. The rocks at the base are strangely repetitive, and would have looked better if the tall light-grey slopes had been dark-grey instead. Then there's the bright blue, red, and yellow parts used in the construction... But the dark metallic 1x1 round tiles are unique, and it comes with a light brick. Overall, a decent little playset, but not that pretty to look at.

Of course, you might just be wondering if the minifigs and printed Uruk-hai armor are worth $40. Well, I guess that's up to you. But to help you decide, here's a wallpaper-sized photo of my full Uruk-hai army after purchasing this set, plus 2 (TWO) #9471 Uruk-hai Army sets and #9474 The Battle of Helm's Deep:

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-Scorp


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#26 Jociva Flcol

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:43 PM

:shock:

Holy sh-

Scorp, that army is beautiful. Any plans to make it bigger? If so, more pics. :P

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#27 Horatius

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 01:47 AM

And you got that many in how many days? At this rate you'll outpace Saruman! I sense a battle diorama...

Then out spake brave Horatius,

The Captain of the Gate:

"To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late.

And how can man die better

Than facing fearful odds,

For the ashes of his fathers,

And the temples of his gods."

 


#28 Blue-Wolf

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 01:58 AM

And you got that many in how many days? At this rate you'll outpace Saruman! I sense a battle diorama...

Oh man, that would be sweet...
A diorama with all those figs fighting? I second this!

#29 Spider-Man

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 03:33 AM

And I was jealous of my brother's ten Uruk'Hai... Why must Avengers be such a good movie?

#30 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 05:09 AM

I haven't even gotten any Avengers sets yet... I'm hoping to get the Hulk Escape set if I can find it on sale... :unsure:

And yeah, I plan to put my Uruk-hai army to good use. I think I might start out modest and just build something small... you know, like this:

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Good news: I found two dark metallic breastplates I completely forgot I had! They came in the Kingdoms blacksmith set, now that I think about it. So now 2 more of my Uruks have breastplates... nice.

-Scorp


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#31 Prattitude

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 05:39 AM

I had the same thing, so all of my Uruks from the Wall set have breastplates :D

#32 JarkosofTroy

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 08:28 AM

Hopefully soon (9 days) I'll be able to enjoy the Uruk-Hai Army set, because in 9 days is my birthday, and I've told one of my friends that's going to be there that I really want that set. I've seen the set box in person though, it is bigger than I expected. Also hopefully I'll get at least one 50 dollar gift card for Target, so I can get the Barricade RV-10 and the Deploy CS-6. If I get two, I'm probably also going to buy the new Striker-class starfighter.

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#33 Bobafettmaniac

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 06:21 PM

Ok so I got the Uruk Hai army set and I am lovin' it... (I also got a mystery pony bag too and received the collectors edition Pinky-pie!) :D

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#34 Spider-Man

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:05 PM

I haven't even gotten any Avengers sets yet... I'm hoping to get the Hulk Escape set if I can find it on sale... :unsure:

I only have the two smallest, but I should be getting $100 fairly soon, so I'm debating weather to get the Quin-Jet first or Hulk...

And yeah, I plan to put my Uruk-hai army to good use. I think I might start out modest and just build something small... you know, like this:
*Isengard*

Do. It. You could definitely pull it off.

#35 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:17 AM

It's that time again, guys!!! The Hobbit sets are out, so here we go! I'll start out with the two smallest ones:

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30212 Mirkwood Elf Guard (MSRP: $4.99)

Holy crap did this set knock your socks off or what?? This is one of those "polybag" sets, which means it comes in a plastic bag instead of a box. I didn't review the Frodo and Uruk-hai polybags last time because I never found 'em. :( They had gobs of this one in TRU though. I bought 4. Should have bought more than that, but I was dumb.

Anyway, if you want a set with an elf dude "guarding" a rotten tree and a barrel of booze, this is the set for you! You can tell he's en elf because he's got those chiseled elven cheekbones, see. Sadly he's covered up his pointy ears with a hood, so no elf hairpiece, but the dark green hood is nice! Unfortunately there's no cape to go with it. He's got an olive green torso too, if you like gross colors. And a longbow.

Set also comes with a barrel, wineglass, green gem, mushroom... why in the name of Morgoth am I just listing everything you can see in the photo? Anyway, it's honestly got some cool stuff for the price. Might as well get some. It's a better use of your time than reading me list things you can see perfectly well in a photograph!


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79000 Riddles for the Ring (MSRP: $9.99)

I almost didn't buy this one because some moron named it "Riddles for the Ring" instead of "Riddles in the Dark," the title of possibly the most famous chapter Tolkien ever wrote, which is included in sci-fi/fantasy anthologies everywhere. But then I remembered I'm a mindless consumer and bought it anyway!

This set comes with Bilbo, Gollum, a "boat," and a rock. Now, I know what you're thinking: The last set came with an elf, a rotten tree, and some booze. Why does this set cost TWICE AS MUCH??

Well, here's the answer my friend: because it's a really nice rock. No BURPs at all! And it's got an amazing "turn this little knob to make the One Ring pop out for some reason" action that'll blow you away! It's just like that scene in the book where a big rock slammed the One Ring into Bilbo's unsuspecting face like one of those mechanical pop-out boxing gloves in cartoons!

Except that didn't actually happen. And if you are already getting Bilbo in another set and already have "Shelob Attacks" from the LotR line, then there's really only one reason you should consider buying this set:

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Gollum looks a little different.

Yeah, that's why I bought this set: for a different Bilbo torso and Gollum face. It's a better Gollum face, I think... but it's your decision whether it's worth the :10bux: or not. But really, what else are you gonna do with that money? Give it to me so you can be a Nova Member and help pay for this blasted forum server? Haha, I didn't think so.


I give the first set 7 scorpions out of 10 for having some cool stuff but no cape.
I give the second set 4 scorpions out of 10 for costing too much and having the wrong name.

-Scorp


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#36 Trevize

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 05:08 AM

I got Helm's Deep for my birthday, and I'm savouring it, but it is really nice so far. Also, is this the right place for posting a link to my microscale Isengard? I mean, it's LEGO, and it's LOTR, and I guess you could review it if you really wanted to.

#37 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:32 AM

Sure, link to it wherever you like! Here, or in the main LotR & Hobbit thread, or in Construction Zone... All of the LEGO boards need some more activity anyway. :P

I know what you mean about savoring the building experience of big sets like Helm's Deep. It's a shame the biggest Hobbit set is just some junky goblin warren. I'm really looking forward to the next wave of LotR-based sets, since those have the epic stuff. Boy, I'd kill for a UCS-style super-expensive huge Minas Tirith or something...

-Scorp


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#38 Spider-Man

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:40 PM

How sure is another LotR wave? And no sets names have been leaked yet, have they?

'Cause I'd really like to see the Balrog and the Olliphants...

#39 Trevize

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:25 AM

Great, here it is: http://mocpages.com/moc.php/341322

#40 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:03 AM

How sure is another LotR wave? And no sets names have been leaked yet, have they?

I feel 99% sure, based entirely on previous licensed LEGO lines. The Indiana Jones line went something like this: "trilogy > Crystal Skull > more trilogy", so I expect these to go similarly: "LotR > Hobbit > more LotR > more Hobbit". And I'm really hoping it goes on further from there, since the Hobbit movies are now going to be a trilogy. In my dreams, this LEGO license would continue at least half as long as the Star Wars one has. Man, I really shouldn't be getting my hopes up... :P

If you'll notice, none of the first LotR sets were based on material from "Return of the King" (except Shelob, who was technically still Two Towers in the books), so the next wave will probably fill in that gap. A set with an oliphaunt and some rangers would be cool... but most of all, I want a set with the Witch King & Fell Beast vs. Eowyn & Merry.

But then, I really just want sets of everything. :D

Great, here it is: http://mocpages.com/moc.php/341322

Hey, that's pretty awesome!

-Scorp


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