Monday, June 3, 2013

Summer wave of LEGO Lord of the Rings sets now available

The summer line of LEGO products is coming out fast and furious, with the latest releases including a fresh wave of Lord of the Rings sets. I have to admit, I sat out for The Hobbit sets. Most of them were cool and Bag End is still very much on my want list, but I only recently got around to watching the movie and the dwarves just did not excite me very much. For some reason, the LotR sets feel a little different in my eyes. I don't know if it's just fond memories of the trilogy, or if it's that there are far more characters and environments to work with right now. I really feel like there's plenty they can do with the line.

With that said, I'm very excited about the latest wave that's hitting store shelves now. We are getting a good mix of items at fairly reasonable price points. There's also the first female fig of the LotR line with Arwen, which I'm sure many people are excited about. As is usual when a new line of a theme I enjoy hits the shelves, I like to take a few minutes to jot down my thoughts on them.

79005-1: The Wizard Battle
I will admit, this seems like a bit of a concession to the fact that the only other set with Saruman is the awesome Tower of Orthanc that's due out later this summer. It's of course the cheapest set in this wave at $12.99 and the parts are pretty much a mix of black and light grey. The most interesting piece in here is of course the minifig head with the Eye of Sauron printed on it. I can see this being a very easy impulse buy at some point down the road.

79006-1: The Council of Elrond
An older Elrond and Arwen are the obvious big draw for this set. I find it funny that there's yet another Gimli-pult here, with the first coming in Helms Deep. That poor dwarf keeps getting thrown around. I love the inclusion of these two figs, but I'm actually far more excited about the Dark Orange 6x5 plant leaves. This is the first set these have appeared in and they will go great with the Dark Red plant leaves that came in one of The Hobbit sets to help create some fall foilage. I'm sure there will be quite a bit of demand for these from builders everywhere. I just wish there were more than three in this set, since $29.99 makes it hard to pick up a few. If you ever see these in a Pick a Brick wall, buy me a cup!
79007-1: Battle at the Black Gate
Figure wise, there's quite a bit going on here. Gandalf the White, a different Aragorn torso print, the Mouth of Sauron, and Mordor Orc are all new to this set. Add in the giant eagle and you get a great selection of figures. That said, the actual gate portion feels a little lacking. This is very easily a candidate for the "encourage you to buy two and combine them" category of sets, which is fine. However, it still feels like you are just getting half a set with this one.

79008-1: Pirate Ship Ambush
It's a pirate ship, I'm sold. Honestly though, it is a little strange to see a set based on a scene that's just a few minutes long, even if it comes from a key plot point in the movie. At $99.99, I can say that this one will be hard to pass up when I see even a modest discount. The ship actually looks fairly substantial in size and the sails are a cool shape. You also get a great array of figures, even if Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are repeats. I know I already want to build up an Army of the Dead to sweep down on the forces of Mordor.

There are easily sets in here that I would love to pick up and I'm excited that the LotR line continues with some strong offerings. The pirate ship will probably be the first buy for me, unless something else gets discounted heavily before I find it on sale. Enjoy and feel free to sound off with your thoughts in the comments!

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