Hey all, the big Hobbit LEGO news this morning is that good pics of the upcoming sets have hit the intertubes. As you've seen in the trailer, there's going to be a lot of action sequences in Desolation of Smaug, and that's certainly reflected in these sets. The name of the game here seems to be army building. These photos are thanks to Huw at Brickset, and seem to originally come from an eBay auction. No word on how these sets got out into the wilds of eBay.
79012 Mirkwood Elf Army
This appears to be from that scene in the trailer where we see orcs, including Azog, leaping over the walls of an elf fortress. Three generic elves, two orcs and a warg in dark brown - time to start gathering up characters for that massive Battle of Five Armies scene you've been wanting to build. BTW, I see the newish gothic half-arch in brown. I'm a little bummed that Thranduil's crown seems to make that hairpiece not generically useful, and also that two of the elves have hoods - it would be good to get more generic elf-hair. But OTOH dark green hoods are nice.
79014 Dol Guldur Battle
There's been rampant speculation on Dol Guldur. In the books we know that Gandalf and the White Council "put forth their power" and drove out the Necromancer (i.e. Sauron). So, the question comes, will this be translated in the movies as a big battle on the scale of Helms Deep, with elf armies coming out of Lorien and joined by all the wizards, or will it be more of a magical duel where just the Wise show up and fight, or will it be something at a distance (like the contention between Galadriel and Sauron she alludes to when talking with Frodo)? When I heard the name of this set, and also a glimpse of massive orc armies in the trailer, I thought that was clear proof that we would see a big Helms Deep style battle. But this suggests something different. We also see in the trailer Gandalf and Radagast sneaking around the ruins of, presumably, Dol Guldur, and running into trouble. This seems to suggest that. Two interesting foes in this set, and I'm curious what this implies for the movie. First we get Azog (so I wonder what just happened to the value of those BrickCon Azogs?), which means he's going to be one busy orc, if he's overrunning an elven fortress in the north of Mirkwood one moment, and down fighting wizards in the south of Mirkwood the next. Second is that dark figure. Is that Sauron? Some of the rumors about this set were that it would include the Necromancer. I would not have been surprised to see Gandalf clash with a Nazgul, since we know there's going to be an exploration of the opened "tombs of the Nazgul", but I did not expect that.
79011 Dol Guldur Ambush
This set looks great as an army builder, since it should be less expensive and includes two of the "hair orcs", which I like quite a lot. I can't say I'm terrifically thrilled with Beorn's mohawk/mullet hairdo, but oh well. Interesting that this fits together with 79014, which suggests that Beorn might come to the rescue of Gandalf and Radagast? Or somehow otherwise Beorn will be involved in the action sequence around Dol Guldur.
Just to complete the set, we've already looked at 79013 Lake-town Chase, but I'm not sure I've posted the box-art here. Also, I suppose it's time to give up hope of a fifth set in this run. I'd based this hope on a mention of "five sets" in the official video presenting the Lake-town chase set this summer, and my assumption that a hypothetical fifth set would be centered around Smaug (presumably in the treasure-chamber).