Thursday, April 11, 2013

Theme Guide: The Lord of the Rings (2013)

With a little interlude in the realm of The Hobbit, Lego's Middle-Earth adventures return to The Lord of the Rings this summer (and I'm sure will flip back to The Hobbit in time for the next film at the end of the year). There appear to be just four regular sets in this summer wave, plus a new Lego Game. With the potential for this theme to only continue as long as the new Hobbit films are coming out, it makes one wonder which bits of Middle-Earth might never get Lego releases. Let's have a look at the elements that are getting the brick treatment this year.

Official images have so far only been released of two of the sets, posted on Eurobricks by GRogall. I've used images from Toy Fair displays, from FBTB's coverage, for the rest for now. I'll update this article with better images as they become available.

79008 Pirate Ship Ambush
  • The largest set of this wave, is a bit of an obscure surprise, one of the ghost army pirate ships which are in the films ever so briefly from my recollections. It's a welcome addition though, because that's one nice Lego ship! We've had a junk-style boat quite recently, in the form of the Ninjago set 9446 Destiny's Bounty; it's a really nice set, but it will be good (ironically considering the theme) to have this less fantastical version, and much larger version too. That said, there are certainly many fantasy elements with this boat, including three members of the army of the dead - Hopefully these will have some glow-in-the-dark parts, I'd guess from the photos that maybe their heads and arms are.

79007 Battle at the Black Gate
  • Next up we have, a big chunk of wall. As chunks of wall go this isn't a bad one; it has big swing-open doors, and lots of spiky detailing. What this set is all about for me though, is the eagle! I love Lego animals, and will often buy sets just to get them, which would certainly be the case here. The wings on their own could be very useful parts too, considering they're attached with regular clips. The only thing that disappoints be a little about the eagle are its joined up massive feet. I want talons for picking up minifigures in distress!

79005 The Wizard Battle
  • The smallest set in the range gives us Gandalf battling Saruman. A little dull, but for the size I suppose it does the job. What I really want is for this to be one tiny part of a huge Orthanc tower set! One nice little element in this set that is rather tempting; there's a printed Sauron eye in that glass ball!
79006 The Council Of Elrond
  • A little chunk of Rivendell in this set. Can't really go wrong with that lovely elven architecture with hints of gold, and autumnal trees all around. Plus that Arwen minifigures looks superb.
50011 The Battle of Helm's Deep
  • This second Middle-Earth Lego Game looks rather more exciting than the previous Hobbit game; thanks mainly to the more varied design of the whole thing. I'm normally most drawn to Lego Games that have unusual parts in which, which isn't really the case here. The micro-figure versions of the characters should be fun though.


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