LEGO is doing their best to make up for discontinuing my beloved Pharaoh’s Quest line with these new Lord of the Rings sets. This time we’re checking out the next size down from the Uruk-hai Army set that we looked at last time. Shelob Attacks recreates the battle between Frodo and Sam and the giant spider, Shelob, while on their way to Mordor.
The set comes in a typical box that does its best to show you all that you’re getting inside. I’m still digging the Lord of the Rings deco across the top. Tearing open the box, you spill out four baggies of pieces and an instruction manual. The baggies aren’t numbered, so you have to spill everything out into one big pile. You also get a little box with the capes for the minifigs and a little box with the string for Shelob’s webbing. The piece count on this one is 227, which is only 30 pieces less than the last set, and there are a lot of tiny pieces in here. When all is done, you get three minifigs, a little cave, and the showpiece of the set, Shelob. Let’s start with the minifigs…
The set comes with Frodo, Samwise Gamgee, and Gollum. You’ll have other opportunities to get Frodo and Sam, but right now it seems like Gollum is exclusive to this set. The Hobbits are both smaller than your average Lego minifig, which is cool, although some may take issue by the fact that they’re wearing shoes, rather than have hairy feet like Hobbitses should. Seriously, LEGO? How did you drop the ball on that one? They also have less articulation than normal minifigs, as their legs are not hinged at all. The printing on their outfits is very nice and each one has a double-printed face. Their hair pieces are repaints of the same piece, but it works well, and they each come with the same cloth cape. Gollum is even smaller than the Hobbits and he’s actually molded almost entirely from one piece. His arms attach and can move, but that’s it. He’s also got one seriously deranged face printed onto him making him the most disturbing LEGO minifig I have ever seen.
Each minifig comes with some accessories. Frodo comes with his Elven sword, Sting and the ring (actually I got two Stings and three rings!), and the ring is a very nice vac-metal gold, albeit obviously oversized for the figures. Sam comes with a sword and what I first thought was a diamond, but it’s actually meant to be a flask of Elvish potion. Gollum comes with a fish!
The cave is nothing to write home about. It’s just a little archway for Gollum to hide in and it does have a little see-saw like catapult that you can put Gollum on and flick him toward Frodo so he can try to reclaim his Precious. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect to get in an impulse set and it makes a decent little piece of scenery for the main event…
Yes, Shelob is the big attraction here. I’ll confess I wasn’t terribly excited about building her since I’ve built my share of LEGO arachnids before and they tend to get a little repetitive what with the same build for each of the eight legs and all. That having been said, I really did enjoy building this one, mainly because of the very clever gear system used for her working web. Ok, it’s more like a grappling hook, but you can pull the string out pretty far and then use the gear on the bottom of the figure to crank it back in. It’s a very cool gimmick. The figure itself looks great and even has one of its printed eyes poked out! The legs are each articulated in four places and the back of the body can raise and lower, as can the head. Shelob can also stand perfectly fine on her legs. She’s a satisfyingly large figure and looks even more impressive when displayed against the tiny Hobbits.
This set goes for about twenty bucks at Target and Walmart and when you consider the piece count and the fact that it took me a solid hour to build, I’m pretty happy. In fact, as much as I love the Uruk-hai Army set, I’d say this one feels like a better value. It feels more complete and it was a more satisfying build, and it also comes with three of the most central minifigs in the series. On the downside, I may not be able to sleep knowing that LEGO Gollum is in my house. He scares the shit out of me.