Friday, November 30, 2012

LEGO Hobbit sets now available

The second wave of Lord of the Rings LEGO sets is starting to show up in stores. They went on sale through earlier this week and now they are also up on There are reports of them showing up in major retailers as well. I want to take a few minutes to go over the new additions to the line and offer some of my thoughts on them.

An Unexpected Gathering - I'm going to start off with the set that's probably going to be the best seller of this wave and the one that's probably the most anticipated. For $70 you get a 652 piece set that includes six minifigures. Not an amazing deal, but decent enough for a licensed set. It's of course based on Bag End and it does a fairly good job at capturing what a hobbit hole might look like in brick form. There are some impressive MOCs out there already, but I find it hard to imagine LEGO doing a better job than this with a retail-friendly release. It will probably be the first set from this wave that I pick up. I might even be tempted to not wait for a sale.

Attack of the Wargs - Behind Bag End, this will probably be the next set many people have in mind for this wave. That's largely because of the very excellent warg mounts that are included. You get two in the set, each in different colors, along with a few goblins and dwarves. The brick-built tree looks a little random, but I'm liking the mixed use of colors in the foilage. One of the down sides of larger LEGO trees is they always look like they have more trunk than they do greenery.

Escape from Mirkwood Spiders - The biggest appeal for me in this set is the red tree leaves, which I imagine will go for a decent price since there are only a few included. Having two more elves to add to the collection is also a strong selling point. As for the spiders, I'm not terribly impressed with them based on the pictures I have seen so far. Of course, it's hard to top the excellent design of Shelob when it comes to brick-built arachnids.

Riddles for the Ring - Honestly, 90% of this set feels like Shelob Attacks without Shelob. Instead, you get Bilbo and a little boat. I'm glad to see they ditched the Gollum-pult though. This set replicates a pivotal scene in the book and features the One Ring, before we knew it was the One Ring, which should make it an easy way to satisfy any Hobbit LEGO lust that hits after the movie comes out in theaters. I'm glad to see a different torso print on Bilbo than what's included in An Unexpected Gathering.

The Goblin King Battle - One of the things that always cracked me up about the Hobbit storyline was how Bilbo and the dwarves always seemed to be getting caught or trapped somewhere. As Bilbo wanders the caves of the Misty Mountains and has his encounter with Gollum, the dwarves find themselves the prisoners of the goblins. This is an interesting set with a wide number of play features. It includes seven regular minifigures and the giant goblin king. Much like the Mines of Moira though, it feels a little incomplete.

Barrel Escape - Look at that, another "we are your prisoners" scene from The Hobbit. All joking aside, I actually think this is a nice looking set for what is essentially a dungeon and barrel rack. Note that this is a retailer exclusive, so buying it anywhere other than from LEGO directly will probably end up costing you a bit more than what you should be paying.

Also of note are the two polybags out there. In the US, these are only at Toys R Us so far. They feature a hooded Mirkwood Guard and Gandalf the Grey. My local TRU is on the other side of the city, so I have not been out to look for these yet. I'm hoping they still have some by the time I am able to.

That about covers it for Wave Two of the LotR line. Overall, there are a few nice features in the sets we are getting. I'll probably pick up at least a few of them early on, although I might wait at least a little while for a sale. What do you think of The Hobbit sets? Are there any you can't wait to buy? Sound off in the comments.

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