Friday, December 30, 2011

Brick Tales

In my last post I alluded to my LEGO illustrated Lord of the Rings, so let's go into that a little more. When I emerged from my Dark Age my first thing was telling stories in LEGO form. After a Robin Hood story and another short castle story, my roommate suggested I take a stab at my favorite book, the Lord of the Rings. Over time I did about 30 chapters worth. Maybe someday I'll go back and finish this, but I've got other things on my plate now. Anyway, I'll try and do one of these a week here, so that will take most of a year.

The first chapter I did was At the Sign of the Prancing Pony. I want to emphasize how much I am not proud of the LEGO building here, so don't take this as a sign of things to come, hopefully. If I ever were to complete the whole book, I'd probably go back and redo some of my earliest stuff. So, with all that caveat, here is the Prancing Pony (exterior and interior):

BTW, note how I started this project before we had "stubbies", or short legs, so I used headlight bricks for my hobbits.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all. On December 25, of Third Age 3018, the company of the Ring set out from Rivendell at dusk. Here's how I illustrated this scene.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Lord of the Brick

If you like Tolkien and LEGO, you should also be reading Lord of the Brick. Will (who also runs Brick Heroes and HothBricks) started this blog a month or so ago in response to the growing rumors of the recently announced Tolkien theme.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hobbit trailer

I'm sure if you read this blog you've already seen this, but the Hobbit trailer came out today. I have to say I'm pretty excited to see this. Some other time I'll give my extended thoughts on the Jackson Lord of the Rings movies. The thumbnail sketch is that I loved the look almost everywhere, but was upset by the MANY places Jackson sacrificed important thematic elements from the book for the sake of adding another action sequence. Anyway, this trailer certainly looks amazing. We get a few clues as to the content of the movie. For instance, it seems that we will see the gathering of the White Council that Gandalf left Bilbo and the dwarves to go join. Probably we'll see a little bit of the attack on Dol Guldur, which is a cool little addition. Plus there are other ways they will tie this in with the Lord of the Rings movies. For instance, instead of Rivendell just being a jolly place to stop for a meal and a chat (while singing tra-la-la-lally), it will be the much deeper location we see in the later book, with an allusion to the whole story of Isildur (we see Bilbo checking out the shards of Narsil). I loved the instrumentation of the dwarves' song from the unexpected party (though why!?!? did they edit Tolkien's words?). Anyway, I can't wait for the next year to go by.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.

Not a dirty, nasty, wet hole, but a beautiful MOC built of LEGO. This one goes back quite a while. Jon Furman was one of the first builders to really make a mark with Tolkien themed MOCs going back about ten years. Perhaps my favorite of his work is his gorgeous Bag End.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Great Hobbit Contest

I'm sorry, it's too late to enter, but over on MOCpages a group is currently judging the entries for the Great Hobbit Contest. I'll announce the winner when it comes out, but my favorite is Trolls, goblins and wargs, oh my.

I like how this scene captures all the essential elements - the trolls fighting, Gandalf and Bilbo in the bushes, the lost key, the treasure cave, but most of all, the dwarves tied up in sacks:

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I was going to start out looking at MOCs with some of the first Tolkien based creations I remember, but there's a problem with Brickshelf right now. So instead I'll jump to one of the most amazing MOCs of 2011. Remi Gagne, Brandon Griffith, Alyse Gagne and Bruce Lowell teamed up this year, calling themselves OneLug, and created the Last March of the Ents.

This collaborative effort deservedly won them Best in Show at this year's BrickCon gathering. As a community we are often easily won over by very large MOCs, but don't let that fool you. This is an amazing construction at every level. Each of the Ents, in particular, has strong characterization, and the flow of action is extremely well done. If you haven't done so before, be sure to look through all of the pictures in the Flickr stream.

Labels for posts (3 of 3)

See previous post for explanation.

Labels for posts (2 of 3)

See the previous post.

Labels for posts (1 of 3)

Just a quick post to help organize the labels I'll be using for posts. I'll actually have to break this up into pieces, since I can only have so many labels per post. Creations featured here will be organized in a few ways: By place: Shire, Eriador, Rivendell, Misty Mountains, Wilderland, Mirkwood, Lonely Mountain, Moria, Lothlorien, Fangorn, Rohan, Gondor, Mordor, Lindon, Beleriand, Valinor. Yes, some of these are subsets of others (e.g. the Shire is in Eriador, Moria is in the Misty Mountains, a whole host of places are within Wilderland, etc.), but in those cases I will only use the smaller subset to designate a place. For instance, a Hobbiton scene would get the tag Shire, but not Eriador, while a Bree scene would be labeled Eriador. By subject type: Location (for those MOCs primarily focused on a building or an exterior location), scene (for those MOCs depicting some action, even when it is at some location), characters and creatures (when people just make custom figs or build a Balrog or whatever). There will obviously be some overlap here - for instance, Shelob fighting Sam with the Tower of Cirith Ungol in the background - but I'll try to pick just one of these (scene in this example). By creation type: I won't put minifig scale, since most creations will be at that scale, but microscale, miniland, sculpture, mosaic By book: Hobbit, Fellowship of the Ring, Two Towers, Return of the King, Silmarillion. Scene MOCs are obviously tied to specific books. Location MOCs will be attributed to the first book (in publication order) where they were fully described. So Bag End would be linked to the Hobbit, even though it shows up in Fellowship of the Ring and Return of the King as well. Orthanc is mentioned in Fellowship, but is fully described in the Two Towers, so would be linked there. I'll do the same with characters, but characters in groups will be linked to where that group came up. So Gandalf by himself would go to the Hobbit, since he is first linked there, but Gandalf as part of the group of nine walkers goes to Fellowship. Allusions to characters in verse is the exception here. Beren and Luthien, Earendil and some others come up in songs in Lord of the Rings, but are fully described in the Silmarillion, and so would go there. Some characters are never really fully described, and so would go where they are first mentioned - for instance, I'd link Gil-Galad with Fellowship, since the Last Alliance is described as a matter of lore (or living memory, if you're Elrond) in Fellowship, but he's never a fully realized character anywhere else (hmm, is there anything in the HOME books? I can't think of any, but maybe in UT). Some others: metadiscussion, non-LEGO, contest, official theme news

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Welcome to TolkienBricks

Welcome to my newest blog, TolkienBricks. Yes, I am completely insane. I already have a gaggle of blogs (see the tabs at the top of the page) devoted to various LEGO niches, and I am constantly bemoaning the fact that I don't have time for the blogs that I already have. Yesterday, though, when LEGO announced their upcoming Tolkien license, I just had to add one more. The Lord of the Rings is my favorite book, ever since I first read it 30-odd years ago, and my first major LEGO undertaking was a (now long-interrupted) LEGO-illustrated Lord of the Rings. That movie poster above is my work from that project, BTW. Over the years I have also appreciated the number of great Tolkien-based creations (called MOCs, for My Own Creation) that other LEGO builders (AFOLs, for Adult Fans of LEGO) have built. This new theme may provide them impetus for me to re-start my dormant project, but in the meantime I want to bring my interests in Tolkien and LEGO together in this blog.

This blog will address all aspects of the intersection of Tolkien and LEGO. I'll cover the official theme as news and eventually sets come out. I'll also cover all of the great original creations that AFOLs have been building over the years. Content will draw on all of the Tolkien opus, from the original song of the Ainur to the dawn of the Fourth Age. Things could even go broader, if I find any relevant content. Say, for instance, a LEGO rendition of Farmer Giles, or Niggle, etc. I'll also occasionally delve into some non-LEGO Tolkien thoughts, but probably not so much as I'd like to maintain the character of this blog.

So, if it's not too presumptive: Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be!

Possible set list

The folks over at Eurobricks always seem to have inside information about upcoming LEGO products. They're generally right, but I cannot confirm this list, so take it with a grain of salt. Anyway, the claim is that the initial run of Tolkien sets will be:

9469 Gandalf Arrives
9470 Shelob Attacks
9471 Uruk-hai Army
9472 Attack on Weathertop
9473 The Mines of Moria
9474 The Battle of Helm's Deep
9476 The Orc Forge

Of course when we get official news, and most importantly images, you'll be sure to see it here on TolkienBricks.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Official Tolkien LEGO license!

Warner Bros. Consumer Products and The LEGO Group Build on Partnership to Produce Construction Toys for THE LORD OF THE RINGS™ Trilogy and the Two Films Based on THE HOBBIT

-Building Sets Based on Epic Film Trilogy and Forthcoming Theatrical Release Slated for 2012-

BILLUND, Denmark and Burbank, CA – December 16, 2011 – Warner Bros. Consumer Products and The LEGO Group announced today a partnership that awards the world’s leading construction toy brand exclusive rights to develop build-and-play construction sets based on THE LORD OF THE RINGS™ trilogy and the two films based on THE HOBBIT™. The multi-year licensing agreement grants access to the library of characters, settings, and stories for THE LORD OF THE RINGS property, as well as films The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again. LEGO® THE LORD OF THE RINGS construction sets are slated for a rolling global launch beginning in June 2012 in the United States, with LEGO THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY scheduled for later in the year.

“Only LEGO, with their expertise in the construction category, is capable of doing justice to the incredibly imaginative environments depicted in the world of THE LORD OF THE RINGS and the two films based on THE HOBBIT,” said Karen McTier, executive vice president, domestic licensing and worldwide marketing, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “These films give life to amazing worlds and characters and we are thrilled to bring fans these products that deliver an imaginative play experience befitting of these beloved properties.”

The LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS collection will translate into LEGO form the epic locations, scenes and characters of Middle-earth as depicted in all three films, including The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

In late 2012, LEGO THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY will give fans of all ages a chance to build and play out the fantastical story and new characters of the legendary Middle-earth adventures depicted in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey from Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, slated to premiere December 14, 2012.

“Our collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products has delivered numerous worldwide successes in the construction toy aisle with lines like LEGO HARRY POTTER and LEGO BATMAN, introducing us to loyal audiences who love great stories, strong characters and the toys that they inspire,” said Jill Wilfert, vice president, licensing and entertainment for The LEGO Group. “It’s particularly exciting to now be able to create sets based on the fantasy worlds and characters from THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and the two films based on THE HOBBIT, not only because we know they will foster collectability and creative play, but also because these are two properties that our fans have been asking us to create for years.”

Information about the sets and collectible minifigures from both collections will be unveiled at a later date at