Lord of the Rings: Shelob Attacks (#9460) by LEGO

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.

Lord of the Rings: Uruk-Hai Army by Lego

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.