The next set in our ongoing examination of the upcoming official set release is 9476 The Orc Forge. This set does not depict any specific scene from the book or movie, but I guess is meant to be one of those scenes in the PJ movie where Saruman is making(?) (hatching?) Uruk-Hai. This one will be exclusively available at Target stores and will sell for US$40.
I quite frankly have no idea what the structure is supposed to be. If you watch the video you'll see that the bucket goes up and down on a winch and the fire lights up. It seems that this set was a bit of an afterthought, as the box art was obviously unfinished at Toy Fair, showing the old troll figures and having a slightly different design than the set on display.
If you're buying this set, it's quite frankly for a chance to get more orcs and weapons. Unfortunately, only one of them is an "ear orc", which is too bad as that new hair/ears piece is the most interesting thing about these orcs in my opinion. I'm also disappointed that for a forge this doesn't seem to have a lot of weapons. According to the box art, three of these are supposed to be Mordor orcs, one random Uruk-Hai, and one Lurtz (created by Peter Jackson so we'd have an identifiable bad guy, seen below)
Okay, this set is a mess. It can't decide what it is, and ends up falling between two chairs. LEGO could have created two really winning sets here instead. One would include a mix of orc factions and Merry/or and Pippin, and maybe Treebeard, to give us the hobbit-napping that ran from Amon Hen to the borders of Fangorn. (Yes, I know, it should end with Riders of Rohan, but the Riders feature in two sets already and we've got no Treebeard set yet, and that would be close enough.) The other set would give us a piece of Isengard (maybe this silly forge), a couple of Uruk-Hai, Lurtz (if we must) and Saruman(!). Both of those would have been snapped up by fans. I see this one sitting on the shelves of Target until it goes on sale, then getting grabbed for the figs. I won't be featuring any MOC versions of this set as no Tolkien fans that I know of have conceived of this scene(?) as an appropriate subject for building.