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LEGO has a Ring to it

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LEGO has a Ring to it

Post  vyronwynter on Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:46 am

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Re: LEGO has a Ring to it

Post  rgb on Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:10 am

This could be big for Lego. Lot's of Tolkein fans out there who would collect these sets.
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Re: LEGO has a Ring to it

Post  Cale on Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:43 am

To quote Jim Foulds from our most recent Kidsfest event just 2 weeks ago.

"You'll never see a LEGO Lord of the Rings license. There is to much violence in there for LEGO to produce some thing like that"

I've been hearing rumors about this for several months now. At first they were pretty sketchy so I didn't put much faith in them. But they kept popping up and were coming from increasingly more believable sources so I suspected some thing was up. So I had a good feeling Jim was full of it and was bluffing when I asked him about it at Kidsfest. lol!

As a Castle theme fan I feel there is both pros and cons to this. On the good side just as the Pirates of the Caribbean license did for Pirates this will certainly mean an infusion of some great new parts for Castle builders. There a huge well of inspiration to draw from the LotR for some really great sets and some really cool figs.

The down side is that with this license the current Castle line will likely be put on hold for a while. A long time possibly if LotR LEGO takes off and is successful just as the Star Wars license has be stifling space for years. Which is disappointing as I really love the direction the recent Castle sets were heading in and the LEGO designers were on a roll with some of the best set designs we've seen in a very long time. It also means fleshy castle figs. No

I'll still be buying plenty of these sets. I a LotR fan and these sets will probably be a gold mine of great Castle parts.

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Re: LEGO has a Ring to it

Post  Shuppiluliumas on Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:49 pm

Well, that issue, Cale, figures in to another thing Jim was saying, I think. People are identifying Lego more and more as a purveyor of licensed products. I agree that I prefer the "raw creativity" mode of regular sets. Licensed themes can limit possibilities by making parts and figures too specific for other uses (although regular System is good at this too, just in different ways). It also annoys me that the big licenses, especially Star Wars, have stopped innovating useful new parts, which was the silver lining of them for me. Yeah, Pirates had a few, but not really any basic parts like, say, a 1x1 round tile. On the other hand, their hottest product right now is Ninjago, and they're dumping tons of new pieces/colors into that.

I'm really curious to see what Lego does with this. Most of the LotR setpieces are huge. Scaling them down for sets seems like a challenge.

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Re: LEGO has a Ring to it

Post  ctbyrne on Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:21 pm

You all probably know by now that hearing this news this morning was another straw added to my LEGO camel's back. I really don't like the licenses and I have only come to see the cons of them. I'm glad that LEGO will stay in business by cranking out these fanboy themes (although think of the BrickLink market if TLG stopped producing!!!) but my first thought was also, "well, there goes castle for a couple years..." Nate, I do think that the scaling will cause some problems as well. I like the theory of LEGO, but not the practice. lol!
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Re: LEGO has a Ring to it

Post  Cale on Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:52 am

Shuppiluliumas wrote:Well, that issue, Cale, figures in to another thing Jim was saying, I think. People are identifying Lego more and more as a purveyor of licensed products. I agree that I prefer the "raw creativity" mode of regular sets. Licensed themes can limit possibilities by making parts and figures too specific for other uses (although regular System is good at this too, just in different ways). It also annoys me that the big licenses, especially Star Wars, have stopped innovating useful new parts, which was the silver lining of them for me. Yeah, Pirates had a few, but not really any basic parts like, say, a 1x1 round tile. On the other hand, their hottest product right now is Ninjago, and they're dumping tons of new pieces/colors into that.

I'm really curious to see what Lego does with this. Most of the LotR setpieces are huge. Scaling them down for sets seems like a challenge.

I definitely see your point Nate. I still think this can be a cool line but I will really miss the current castle line. I think the set designers were on their A game in the past 2 years with the Kingdoms line. We got an awesome oldschoolish castle, great factions, goats and chickens, and we we're getting more civilian themed castle sets they we've had in a very long time. It will be a loss to see it go away to make room for the LotR theme which could indeed be poorly executed. I'm still holding out hope that LEGO will make the effort to do this license right as there is no turning back now. For better of worse we'll have LotR for a while. I just hope that it's a good line and that when LEGO gets back to the traditional castle line they haven't lost any of the momentum from the awesome Kingdoms line.

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Re: LEGO has a Ring to it

Post  Shuppiluliumas on Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:49 am

After all the moaning and complaining, I'm sure I'll still buy LotR sets anyway. That said, it sounds like they're pulling out all the stops next year. The original LotR stuff and the Hobbit line will launch in the same year, from the sound of the press release. That's a lot of castle stuff in one year, even if it is licensed.

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Re: LEGO has a Ring to it

Post  Cale on Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:11 pm

It looks like LEGO is already making room for the new LotR theme. All the Kingdoms sets are sold out on Shop@Home and the theme has been removed from the site. The Medieval Market Village is still available but I suspect it will be gone soon as well since it's been out for quite a while now. At least we'll have the great looking Kingdoms Joust set as one last blaze of glory before the attack of the licensed theme. I hope they make LotR great or it's going to be a long castle dry spell.

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Re: LEGO has a Ring to it

Post  Shuppiluliumas on Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:33 am

Set pictures have been leaked on youtube. Just search "lego lord of the rings 2012". I imagine they'll be taken down as they're put up, so I won't bother linking.

The sets are pretty preliminary, but most of them look kinda like I'd imagine them to - just fairly uninteresting piles of bricks to serve as backdrops for the overpriced figures. I'll admit Helm's Deep is a pretty good rendition, though. Hopefully they'll look better in their final form.

Also there is apparently going to be a "monster" theme? I'm not sure what to make of it.

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Re: LEGO has a Ring to it

Post  vyronwynter on Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:48 am

The Monster theme looks like it will give us a new train.
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Re: LEGO has a Ring to it

Post  Cale on Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:54 pm

vyronwynter wrote:The Monster theme looks like it will give us a new train.

Not to crazy about the set design on that one but these are very preliminary so I'll wait to
see the final product before passing judgement. Now that the Emerald Night is
discontinued and the Toy Story train likely not far behind it's great to see the
LEGO designers still keeping the the drivers and cow catcher available in sets.
There are obviously at least a few people at LEGO who love trains. I'm willing
to bet that even though the blind driver is not shown on the box a pair will
still be included in that set.

Looking at the town sets it looks like we're getting a mining sub theme next summer including a neat little narrow guage mine train. That's kind of cool.

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Re: LEGO has a Ring to it

Post  cjedwards on Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:56 pm

Cale wrote:...it's great to see the LEGO designers still keeping the the drivers and cow catcher available in sets.
One of the summer 2012 Ninjago sets--the red samurai mecha--appears to have two cow catchers as shoulder armor.
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Re: LEGO has a Ring to it

Post  Cale on Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:20 pm

cjedwards wrote:
Cale wrote:...it's great to see the LEGO designers still keeping the the drivers and cow catcher available in sets.
One of the summer 2012 Ninjago sets--the red samurai mecha--appears to have two cow catchers as shoulder armor.

Yes it does. Ninjago is really a hit for LEGO. They are putting out a lot of sets with some really neat stuff. That snake wrecking ball set recently shown is definitely on my wanted list. It's just so over the top crazy it's awesome!

As for the preliminary LotR set pics they seem safe and predictable but at least headed in the right direction. We'll just have to wait for the final versions. Helm's Deep looks like it might be surprisingly good though.

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Re: LEGO has a Ring to it

Post  ctbyrne on Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:53 pm

Where can I see these Monsters line pictures?
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Re: LEGO has a Ring to it

Post  P_Thorne on Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:26 pm

Shuppiluliumas wrote:The [LotR] sets are pretty preliminary, but most of them look kinda like I'd imagine them to - just fairly uninteresting piles of bricks to serve as backdrops for the overpriced figures. I'll admit Helm's Deep is a pretty good rendition, though.

I've been wondering exactly which elements of the saga could be adapted. There are no vehicles aside from boats; most of the venues are impossibly grandiose. Hobbit-holes are generally turf-covered (would probably require lots of pieces), and Lothlorien is build in treetops, Ewok-style. Orthanc in Isengard, Minas Tirith, etc. are all huge. The Prancing Pony inn and Rivendell are more the scale of recent Kingdoms sets. Personally, I hope Smaug looks better than the brick-built Viking dragons, and is less of a giant block as with the Dino 2010 or current Dino dinos. Articulated Ents could be done with a resonable part-count.

But consider how "Harry Potter" was adapted. The only building in the line was Hogwarts (repeatedly) until they added the Burrow [the Weasely homestead] and Diagon Alley, but there were tableaux-type sets (characters plus a wall or some props). "Prince of Persia" downsized its buildings; the caverns in PoP and "Indiana Jones" were abbreviated/abstracted.

Who remembers the Playmates Intelli-Blox sets from the early '00s? (I don't have any of those in my Archive of Modular Building Toys and LEGO Competitors.) Lots of specialized woodland/ground elements, but the big gimmick was proximity-activated voice-chips, similar to the "Star Wars" prequel-based action figures. (Each of the figures essentially wore cement overshoes, containing the chip, rendering them only partly articulated.)

FWIW, the six sets listed on BrickTuts.com (19 December, photos removed) are:
  • “9469 Gandalf Arrives” – Minifigures: Gandalf, Frodo
  • “9470 Shelob Attacks” – Minifigures: Samwise, Frodo, Gollum
  • “9471 Uruk-hai Army” – Minifigures: x4 Uruk-hai with a siege crossbow, x1 Rohirrim Soldier, x1 Rider Of Rohan with his horse
  • “9472 Attack On Weathertop” - Minifigures: Samwise, Frodo, Aragon, x2 Nazgul
  • “9473 Mines Of Moria” – Minifigures: Frogo, Gimli, Legolas, Boromir, x2 Goblins, x2 Skeletons, Cave Troll
  • “9474 The Battle Of Helms Deep” – Minifigures: Aragon, Gimli, Legolas, Theoden, x5 Uruk-hai
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