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Friday, February 8, 2013

Toy Review: Lego Lord of the Rings / Mines of Moria

I have been having an on and off rekindling of all things Lego lately.  Mainly through my refound interest in the Clone Wars Cartoon Network series *midnight feedings have given me a perfect excuse to catch up on all of my on-demand shows the wife can't stand including TMNT, Adventure Time and Regular Show which I freaking love!* and my seeing "An Unexpected Journey".    Ironic because my wife already gave my Lego collection two previous kick-starts which stupidly I have since sold off and am kicking myself for....why did I sell that AT-TE that's reselling for 200 bucks these days?

I've been slowly picking up various Hobbit and Star Wars Lego sets within my price range...which has since shrank dramatically since the baby boy came about 4 weeks back.   But this set goes back a week before the delivery that I miraculously found on a Wal-Mart clearance shelf for 50 bucks priced down from I think 80 or so.  Score and a half, I'd say.

This is the LOTR: Mines of Moria construction set.  I gotta say, it was a blast to build although I kinda hate that Lego spoon feeds their sets anymore through the smaller numbered bags.  Screw that, I remember when it was luck of the draw with no tips at all.  Just you and your building skill all weekend. 

The set itself is a nice sectional rendering of the Moria scene; you get a Tomb of Balin with book and skeleton, a well with quick-drop feature along with skeleton attached to a chain and bucket for your two smaller pieces.  For the big "set-pieces", you get the gated doors with collapsible wall, torches and ax to jam the door and you get a columned, bi-level wall section with decals, hidden treasure and nice details.  The sets for the Hobbit can only do so much since they are trying to recreate ruins like Weathertop or the crumbling walls of Helm's deep so they don't have that "shiny" newer feel that the older Castle System sets have.  Lego is going for realistic so that is why the set seems to be a little lacking which I'm still a bit disappointed with.  Granted, I understand that costs are up and they can't build you a whole room but really, I remember 80 dollar Lego sets as a kid building you a 3 story castle with multiple rooms, features and passageways.  You just gotta swallow the pill that times are a changing and I love LOTR so it shall pass.

The minifigs are where a lot of us are compensated...you get some awesome staples including Legolas of the Woodland Realm, Gimli son of Gloin, Boromir of Gondor, Pippin Took, two Moria Goblins and a Cave Troll along with two skeletons for ambiance.  Along with a plethora of orcish weapons you can mix and match and a chain to harness the Troll who also get a nice smashing club.  You get a lot of options with the figs but I'll say articulation takes a back seat...examples are that halflings legs cannot move, the Troll is pretty off balance beyond one or two static poses and the hairpieces for Legolas and Gimli make their heads immobile but you do get the option to change the facial expressions on Legolas, Pippin and the Goblins which is a feature I love.

The action features are nice touches if not limited...you get a sliding treasure chest (filled with jewels) that can be hidden under the bi-level tier, the doors are movable. and the archway has a level which can knock down the wall section and the two pillars have levels in the back that can smash them down to recreate the Trolls mayhem from the movie.  This stuff really isn't for me but I do give Lego credit for being so true to the film.  The stickers are really well made and add a lot to the backgrounds and the ability to recreate the shattered stonework without making it look like a broken set is a feat within itself...(they also do this really well with the monster hunters sets)

Anyway, I like the set.  It makes nice vignettes and has great figures but I'm also really glad I got it for nearly 40 percent off.  If your a LOTR fan, you probably already have this one, if not but want to start a collection, I'd hold out for the newer sets coming in March/April like the Black Gate of Mordor or Council of Elrond.

"Throw yourself in next time!"
"I think I'm getting the hang of this!"

1 comment:

  1. I as well have been getting back into Legos. Not so much for the Star Wars stuff, even though I still pick a set up here and there, but for their new Legends of Chima stuff. That stuff is so cool. It reminds me so much of Thundercats that I have to have them all.


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