This weekend I spent with my son building some of the new LEGO kits from the new Lord of The Rings series. Here is a quick review of the kits we have built this far. You can click on the images for high-res versions of them.
9469 Gandalf Arrives – 83 pieces
A small but nice set. Contains Gandalf in his cart loaded with fireworks, as well as Frodo welcoming him.
Plenty of nice details, like the fireworks, a carrot for the pony and an envelope for Frodo to put the ring in.
9472 Attack on Weathertop – 430 pieces
This is a very nice set. It contains five minifigs: Aragorn, Frodo (with the ring), Merry and two Nazgûl (ringwraiths), as well as two horses. The three first minifigs have a feature I have not seen before, they have two sets of faces. By turning the head and exposing the part hidden by the hair, you get two different facial expression, like stern and aggressive or scared. The Frodo minifig in 9460 got the same feature, but not Gandalf as the back of his head is visible. All the minifigs are extremely detailed, it is obvious that the designers of the kits realized that collectors and adults will buy these kits.
The kit itself is of the ruins on top of Weathertop (Amon Sûl), and it features a trap door and a cooking fire. The ruins can be opened and in the inside you find weapons, toches and much more. Even a rat! There is also a stand-alone pieved of ruin with a bush and some plants.
The plants are the only thing I did not like with the kit. For some reason, perhaps the kind of softer plastic used, they don’t stick well to the bricks they are placed on. But that is a minor detail, otherwise this is a great kit.
9473 The Mines of Moria – 776 pieces
This is a big set, the second largest in the series, and it depicts the events in the Chamber of Mazarbul. It contains six minifigs (Gimli, Legolas, Boromir, Pippin and two Moria orcs), as well as the cave troll. There are four separate sections, a large wall section, the doors to the chamber, the well with the skeleton and the chain and bucket, as well as Balins tomb, containing the skeleton of Balin. By pulling a lever, the skeleton, bucket and chain will fall down in the well, just like in the book and movie.
There are plenty of details, from old weapons to gems and even the Book of Mazarbul.
9476 The Orc Forge – 363 pieces
This is currently my son’s favorite kit. It features a light brick, so when a rod is pushed, it looks like fire under the melting pot. In addition, there are four minifigs: Lurtz, two Mordor orcs and one Uruk-hai. To be really picky, Lurtz was created by Sauron, just like the Uruk-hai, so there should not have been any Morder orcs, but Isengard orcs. There is two sets of Uruk-hai armor (complete with the white hand of Sauroman), a crane to lift material to melt for the forge, etc.
So what is the verdict? As a Lord of the Rings fan (both the books and the movies by Peter Jackson), I am very happy with the LEGO kits this far. The quality is good, the instructions are very clear (recently I have seen some instructions where it was easy to miss a piece of pick the wrong shade of gray) and the detailing is amazing.
I still have two more kits to build that I already purchased, and I have to get the last kit (Battle of Helms Deep). I will report on them later.