Saturday, January 28, 2012

Journey of the Fellowship

Let's just wrap up our look at the Journey of the Fellowship by sharing some additional links. First up, let's note that this won the 'best group display', and Leda Kat's Bree won 'best small building', and Kevin's Barad-dur won 'judges' choice' - all greatly deserved. Here are the collaborators:

Leda Kat peeks behind the scenes.

Leda also shows the finished display.

Here's Leda's Bree page.

Kevin had a bottle of whiskey visit the display.

Here are Dave Kaleta's pics.

Mark Kelso shows the building of Minas Tirith.

Dave Sterling's Minas Morgul (or on Flickr).

Tyler Halliwell has photos here.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Another scene never visited in the book, but first glimpsed from Amon Hen and then again at its downfall, is Kevin Walter's breathtaking Barad-dûr, our last stop in the Journey of the Fellowship collaboration. BTW, here's a great article on Kevin's MOC.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Black Gate is Closed, or is it Open?

Hmm, I'm out of order. Oh well. In the Journey of the Fellowship, Heath Flor made this great Black Gate. Ah, yes, this is from the Black Gate is Closed, as Frodo and Sam are hiding in the corner of the scene.

Tolkien set descriptions

Yesterday I posted Huw Millington's descriptions of the Tolkien sets, but FBTB correspondent Bigospedros was also at the London Toy Fair, and here is his report. One interesting aspect of this is that Bigospedros has apparently neither read the book, listened to the BBC radio play nor even seen any of the films. I'm including the '80s animated films here. Peter Jackson is NOT synonymous with the Lord of the Rings. He's not even the first movie adapter, for pete's sake. Okay, enough ranting. Needles to say, Bigospedros is here responding to the sets simply as LEGO sets, and not so much as to how well they fit the characters or scenes.

Now, before I try to write this up, I’m going to qualify this post by saying I’ve only seen the first hour of the first LOTR film! I got bored, so stopped watching the rest. Yes yes … I am a heathen … get over it. With that in mind, forgive me if I miss any important bits out.

However, despite this lack of knowledge, I was bowled over by these sets. Fans of this licence are going to LOVE these sets. It’s another line where the minifigs are the star, but even so, I found some of the supporting buildings to be very cool too, the Helm’s Deep castle being a particular stand out. They’re well constructed and detailed.

You’ll need to buy all 7 sets if you want to get the complete Fellowship and the prices start at 11.99 to 99.99.

9469 Gandalf Arrives … a scene I recognised!! ;-) You get Frodo and Gandalf with cart and fireworks. A pretty cool opener of a set and a way to get the two most obvious (at least to a noob like me) from this range, all for a measly £11.99.

9470 Shelob Attacks … Gollum! Now, even with watching only a hour of the first film, I know what Gollum looks like … the fig is a custom mould, with Gollum in crouched position with articulated arms, smilar in connection to the main body as skeleton / battle droid arms. Printed face and “clothes” (i.e. bit of cloth round his nether regions!!). The big spider (Shelob) is also pretty cool, with a winch being used for her spider silk, meaning she can be hung up if you want. You also get Frodo, with ring (which is a gold chromed ring, sized perfectly to fit on a minifig hand) and Samwise Gamgee. Priced at £19.99

9471 Uruk-Hai Army … Comes with Eomer, Rohan soldier and 4 Urak-Hai and a small section of wall, siege machine and one of the new horses, which features articulated back legs (which is an excellent new feature for the horses). It’s designed to be joined to the Helm’s Deep castle, via technic pins. The minifig printing was beautifully detailed, especially on Eomer. Priced at £29.99

9472 Attack on Weathertop … Most of my time looking at this was marvelling over the new horses and moving them from stood normally to being on their hind legs only. Even in that position, they were very sturdy. This is a great inovation. You get Frodo, Merry, Aragorn and two Ringwaiths on horseback. There’s a small section of Weathertop, which includes a spiral staircase and ruins at the top. Priced at 49.99.

9473 The Mines of Moria … Comes with a great selection of minifigs, such as Pippin, Gimli, Legolas, Boromir, a cave troll and two Moria orcs. The troll is pretty awesome and detailed … great printing on the rest of the figs. Priced at £69.99.

9474 The Battle of Helm’s Deep … The castle here was really cool … pretty large and well constructed with curved walls. There were new modified 2 x 2 bricks to simulate bricks, mixed in with the walls, which was pretty cool to see. I can see people wanting these bricks on their own for added detail in building MOCs. The castle comes with the “side door” feature, which I was reliable told is important to the story?! ;-) It comes with 8 minifigs – Gimli, King Theoden, Haldir, Aragorn and 4 Urak-Hai warriors. Priced at £99.99

9476 The Orc Forge … reminded me a little of the Dwarf Mine set from a few years back … comes with 5 orcs and a various forge related stuff and has a light brick, which was a nice feature. Priced at £39.99.

All sets are due to be released in August. There was mention of Hobbit sets coming later in the year, perhaps January although that might be a little late with the films release in December … who knows, they might land early.

Anyone want to lend me the films? ;-)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Stairs of Cirith Ungol

Meanwhile in the Journey of the Fellowship, where is the Ringbearer? Frodo and Sam are following Gollum into Mordor, past Dave Sterling's Minas Morgul.

Toy Fair report

Huw Millington of Brickset was at Toy Fair and, while he was not allowed to take photos of the actual sets, he has a full report:

I'm back! It was excellent!

Although photography was not allowed on the stand, there was nothing stopping photos being taken of the stand: the sides and, for that matter, from the balcony above. This picture was decorating the side of the stand and as you can see it shows the whole Fellowship of the Ring.

So, what was on display inside the stand? Everything. Or at least everything that LEGO will let normal retailers sell. Of particular interest to us was the Marvel Super Heroes; LOTR; Summer Star Wars, Technic, and Ningago; Monster Fighters and Friends.

In this article I'll tell you about LOTR and will discuss other themes in later articles.

First, to answer a quesion I can see has been asked in the comments of the article below, the ring IS a real gold-chromed ring with a hole big enough for Frodo to grip it in his hand. All seven sets were on display and I'll tell you what I remember of them. Actually, before I do that THERE IS A NEW HORSE! Yes, the minifig horse has been redesigned and its hind legs now swivel so it can be made to rear! I'm not sure if all the horses in all the LOTR sets were like this but the ones in Attack on Weathertop certainly were.

9469, Gandalf Arrives: 2 minifigs: Gandalf and Frodo, Gandalf on horse and cart with fireworks and snake in the back. I think the price was £9.99.

9470, Shelob Attacks: 3 minifigs: Frodo, Samwise and Gollom! Gollum looked great, hunched over with movable arms, a bit like skeleton arms but different. Shelob the spider looks fantastic and scary!

9471, Uruk-Hai Army: 6 minifigs: Eomer, Rohan soldier and 4 Urak-Hai. The set consists of a small section of wall, a horse with moving legs and a small siege machine. The wall can be joined to the Helms Deep castle, apparently, so this will make a great battle pack to extend the castle and build your armies.

9472, Attack on Weathertop: 5 minifigs: Frodo, Merry, Aragorn and two Ringwaiths on horseback. The set builds a small section of Weathertop with spiral staircase and ruins at the top.

9473, The Mines of Moria: 7 minifigs: Pippin, Gimli, Legolas, Boromir, a cave troll and two Moria orcs. The set builds a selection of sub-assemblies for mine walls, doors, pedestals etc.

9474, The Battle of Helm's Deep: 8 minifigs: Gimli, King Theoden, Haldir, Aragorn and 4 Urak-Hai warriors. The castle itself is fairly substantial, complete with the 'side door' used to gain entry

9476, The Orc Forge: 5 orcs with a forge, various metalworking tools and weapons.

Overall I was VERY impressed with these sets. Legolas' ears were attached to his head like the elf in the collectable minifigs but looked to be slightly bigger and better quality. The sets were well designed and highly desirable. As was pointed out to me by the stand guide dressed as Gandalf, you need to buy every set to get the whole Fellowship but I suspect many of us can't wait for the day when we can! They are to be released in August.

Toy Fair London

It's Toy Fair time! Over the next few weeks different toy manufacturers, including LEGO, will display their products for the coming year at events in a few different cities. It seems that London is first up. Unfortunately, attendees are not allowed to take photos in the LEGO booth, so we can not yet see the actual sets, but the blogger at Blogomatic3000 took photos of the publicly available artwork on the outside of the booth.

Here were my quick initial thoughts that I posted in the discussion on Classic-Castle: a new hairpiece mold that is used for all four hobbits, little bits of fleshy color show up on all of the hobbit torsos and also Aragorn (darn), Elf ears the same as the collectible fig, but fleshy, is the Ring a Clickit ring or a new mold?, new dwarf beard I think, same hair mold for Aragorn and Boromir (was that one in a collectible fig?). Also, credit should go to Classic-Castle member Dyntar for finding this blog post.

I should also note that prolific blogger Brick Will of Lord of the Brick has been threatened by LEGO legal for posting previously leaked images. I choose to not post leaked images (though I've seen them and they're awesome!), but I want to stand with my fellow AFOL here. If LEGO can't control their own internal content, that is not the fault of those of us who simply love, purchase, and, very importantly, promote their product for them (Free of charge! I think we should start charging them for the free advertisement they get from all of us AFOLs who are simply excited to talk about their product.). If someone who signed a confidentiality agreement broke that, well, go after that person. It is not my job to police the internet for LEGO's lawyers.

BTW, dang he's fast. In the time it took me to write this post, Brick Will posted these images to his blog already.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Another area more referred to than visited (in the book, that is) is Osgiliath, our next stop in the Journey of the Fellowship as we begin to look East.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Battle of the Pelannor Fields

A 'collaboration within a collaboration', as part of the Journey of the Fellowship, Mark Kelso and Chris Phipson joined up to make a massive Minas Tirith, along with Tyler, Shannon Ocean and George Kemper who helped assemble and rebuild portions at the convention, and Lee Jones who brought much of the army. Be sure to go to Mark's page to see lots of WIP pictures as well.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

War beacons

More from the Journey of the Fellowship. We never actually see these up close in the book, aside from Gandalf's statement that the beacons of Gondor are alight, calling for aid. War is kindled., but Tyler Halliwell (Wow! Have you been keeping count of his contributions to this group build?) shows us some. Okay, quick movie rant - I hated hated hated the scene of Pippin climbing up to light the beacons. Peter Jackson totally screwed up Denethor's character. He may not have had much hope, but he was trying to defend Gondor, up until mistakenly thought he saw the fleet from Umbar in the palantir as Faramir lay stricken. Grr. That scene in the movie showing the beacons lighting from mountaintop to mountaintop is certainly stunning, though. I suppose that pretty much sums up my thoughts on Peter Jackson - pretty much everything was visually spot on, but he screwed up the script in pretty important ways.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The King of the Golden Hall

Next up in the Journey of the Fellowship collaboration, after the company is broken, the three hunters meet up with Gandalf and go to Meduseld, here by Dennis Price.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

BrickWorld 2011

Last summer in Chicago, a group of builders got together to make a huge Journey of the Fellowship display. The journey begins with Tyler Halliwell's Bag End (hmm, it doesn't seem to be on his personal MOCpage.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What will be the next poster?

We've seen a couple of teaser images for the upcoming Tolkien theme, and as others have pointed out, these are basically LEGO versions of some of the Peter Jackson movie posters:

This, of course, raises the question of what will be the next poster. These seem pretty obvious candidates. BTW, was there a movie poster for any of the three movies that focused just on Sam? I can't find any, which is, IMO, a pretty good indicator that Jackson largely missed Tolkien's point. Okay, I'll save a movie rant for another day.

If they break away from the pattern of character close-ups, these are some others that I'd love to see in LEGO. Of course the third one would answer the question I asked before about how they will do the Ring.

I've shared this image before, but this is a good time to describe it in detail. Back in 2004 there was a movie poster contest on Lugnet. Here was my entry. There were several movie posters that were collages of images, and LEGO could do something like I did here. BTW, in case you're wondering, the faint image of the Ring in my poster is the top of a LEGO key, faded out in Photoshop.

One last, that would be fun and old school: