It’s been a while since we looked at any actual Lego sets here on FigureFan. I guess I’m still bitter over them dropping my beloved Pharaoh’s Quest line. Either way, Lego launched two brand new lines last week so it was time to sit up and take notice. There’s the Monster Hunter line, which doesn’t really grab my interest right now, and then there’s a little known license called… Lord of the F’ing Rings. Obviously, the Lord of the Rings sets are right up my alley. I grew up reading the books and my favorite Lego sets have been the Kingdoms, Castle, and even some of those Prince of Persia sets. The LotR stuff seems to mesh pretty well with that whole medieval theme and so Lego had my monies from day one on this series. I was oh so tempted to jump right in and pick up one of the biggest of the sets, but cooler heads prevailed and I went with one of the middle of the road sets. Good thing too, since my computer died the very next day, hence blowing my budget for the week.
The packaging is pretty standard Lego fare. It’s a box with a cool LotR-inspired deco on it that shows you exactly what you’re going to get inside. Keep that in mind, as it’s important later. Inside the box you get two good sized baggies containing a total of 257 pieces, and a fairly hefty instruction book. The first baggie contains the Uruk-hai forces, made up of four minifigs and a siege crossbow. The second baggie contains a section of wall and two Rohan minifigs. Normally, I cover all the minifigs first, but this time we’ll look at each bag in order, so let’s check out the Uruk-hai. Keep in mind, the content of these sets seem to draw strongly on the movie, rather than Lego going with their own interpretations from the books. That’s probably a good thing, since most casual fans will relate to the movies and with The Hobbit coming out (eventually) these sets will help keep the property in circulation. Ok, onto the toys…
Yes, as the name of the set suggests, you get an instant squad of Uruk-hai soldiers. Really, it’s the same minifig four times over, but you get different pieces to customize them and make them each a little different if you want. The pieces include three helmets, one hair piece, two poleaxes, two swords, two shields, and two breast plates. The printing on the figures is excellent and each one has a double-printed face to help you mix things up even more. The equipment consists of the vicious killing tools from the movie shrunk down to adorable minifig form. I’m particularly fond of the swords, as they look just like the mass-produced, utilitarian choppers seen on the big screen. I really wouldn’t change a thing about these guys. Well done, Lego!
You also get the big siege crossbow, which is a very cool piece. It rolls along on four big wheels and flick fires two huge battering missiles. It uses some cool new pieces that have printed wood patterns on them and really go a long way to give it a natural look to the construction. I’ve got quite the growing number of siege weapons from my Kingdoms and Prince of Persia sets, and I’m happy to add this fine piece to my ranks.
And then there’s the second baggie with the Rohan stuff. You get two minifigs, Eomer and a Rohan Solider, you get a horse, and you get a section of wall to defend. The minifigs are both excellent. Eomer features some beautiful printing to make up his outfit, a double-printed face to mix up his expressions, and one of those cloth capes that I love so much. He also comes with a gilded helmet, a sword, a shield and a spear. The soldier has some equally fine printing and the same helmet as Eomer only not gilded since he’s just cannon fodder. He also comes with a quiver that slips over his neck and a bow and arrow. The horse features a saddle with clips to hold two pieces of equipment and it’s also articulated in the neck and in the back legs so it can rear up on its haunches. Is this new? I don’t remember my other Lego horses being articulated at all, but maybe I’m thinking of the Playmobil horsies. The horse also comes with the bricks to fill up his mid-section in case you just want him chilling out in the background.
Ok, so let’s talk about that wall. It has two levels, so you can stand figures behind it or up on the top of the battlements. You get a mounted catapult just like the ones we’ve seen in Kingdoms and Prince of Persia. There’s a staircase leading up to the battlements, and a torch and a flag. It’s certainly serviceable to give the Uruk-hai something to attack and the Rohan people something to defend, but it feels incomplete, and that’s because it is. You see, it’s actually designed to link up with the Battle of Helms Deep set, so by itself, you’re just getting a piece of a larger wall. I would have much preferred a tower or something that could both stand alone and link up with Helm’s Deep, rather than an incomplete structure.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, the box shows you exactly what you get, so Lego isn’t pulling a fast one. They even show you how the wall links up to Helm’s Deep. They even have the audacity to suggest you buy two Helm’s Deep sets and link them together. That’s awesome, Lego, but the Helm’s Deep set costs $130. I’m not made out of money, damn you!
Maybe I’m making too big a deal about the wall piece. The truth is, this is still a great set and it gives you everything you need to have a little battle right out of the box. What’s more, this set is absolutely perfect for army builders. You can buy multiples of this set and if you’re willing to count Eomer as a Captain and not a specific character, then every piece goes toward building a bigger army. And that’s a big part of what LotR is all about, huge battles. It’s cool to see that Lego recognizes and embraces it. At $30 you’re getting a lot of absolutely fantastic minifigs and two set pieces to have a battle. The fact that this set will mesh so well with Helm’s Deep when I finally pick it up is just icing on the Lego Cake.