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Review: Attack on Weathertop (9472)


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#1 Lynx

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 05:07 AM

I recently purchased my first LEGO sets in nearly 20 years and thought I'd share my impression of one that wasn't reviewed on this site, yet.

The Attack on Weathertop was released in May/ June 2012 as part of the initial LEGO Lord of the Rings wave. The set depicts a scene taking place in the Weatherhills, in between the Shire and Rivendell. Aragorn accompanies the hobbits Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Merry while the servants of Sauron, the nine ring wraiths, chase after them. Aragorn suggests to rest at the old and ruined watchtower of Amun Sul on the highest peak, the Weathertop.
While the ranger is examining the proximity, the hobbits' campfire attracts the attention of five ring wraiths. In the ensuing fight, Frodo is stabbed by a nazgul before Aragorn saves the day, fighting off the wraiths with sword and torch.

General information:

Price: 59.99 US$, 89.99 AU$

Piece count: 430

Minifigures included: 5 (Frodo, Aragorn, Merry and two ring wraiths)

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The box and set. The top of the ruins reaches approximately 14 bricks in height.

The instruction manual is very clear. It contains 74 pages of building instructions, various advertisements for the upcoming Lord of the Rings (LotR) video game and other LotR LEGO sets, an overview of all LotR minifigures currently available and a list of included pieces.

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An overview of the pieces in this set.

The build

I enjoyed the build tremendously. It features the very clever use of hinged elements to create a round shape of the watchtower's back. The exterior is simply beautiful with all the uneven slopes, angles and colour variation.

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The set's backside. The lose rock structure on the right side is included. Not the brown lever which opens a trapdoor into the interior.

The front is characterised by the camp site that can comfortably fit two to three hobbits and a spiralling stair case. The stairs are surprisingly sturdy and have a nice flat look. Obviously, this flatness comes at the expense of studs, and minifigures have a hard time posing on the staircase.

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The stair case. Merry couldn't care less and rather enjoys his second breakfast.

The top part features combines nice looking textured bricks, microfigures from LEGO board games and classic castle pieces. It was pure joy to find elements I have had when I was a kid and marvel at the new pieces and building techniques. LEGO has come a long way from when I was a kid but still is still instantly recognisable for what I knew it.
The watch tower's interior is small but well designed. The tower ruins can be opened up to access the inside. LEGO Technic pins ensure stability in its closed state.

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The interior.

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Frodo entering the watch tower's ruins. Note that the weapons are dark grey (just as the nazgul swords)

For a detailed, stop-motion animation of the complete build, I highly recommend the following video:


Movie accuracy

I think the designers have done a great job in recreating the scene in LEGO pieces. For a LotR fan looking to acquire a single set only, it has to be mentioned that multiple characters are absent: Sam and Pippin are equally missing as are three ring wraiths. Instead, two horses are included. The set depicts the watchtower of Amun Sul, only. The actual Weathertop is not included but opens up creative opportunities (LEGO or something else) to add it to the ruins.
The campsite is positioned exactly right, features the characteristic overhang and the adjacent staircase leading up to the top. The stairs themselves are more open compared with the movie. The ruins interior is a delight for LotR fans as it not only features ancient weapons and statues but also the platform that used to hold the palantir which was lost centuries ago at sea. While the proportions are obviously off (it's LEGO, after all), the set is large enough to recreate the scene and even fit another hobbit or two onto the top. Most importantly, the set is immediately recognisable even for casual movie fans (such as my wife). Well done, LEGO!

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Aragorn marvels at the remains of the ancient palantir.

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Strider to the rescue!

Minifigures, horses and accessories

If you keep in mind that my last minifigures just made the transition from uniform yellow faces to yellow faces with beards, you may understand how much I loved this figures. The printing is not only highly detailed but also accurate to the movie. On top of it, each character comes with two printed sides on his face. Frodo displays a determined look as well as that of somebody stabbed by a Morgul blade. The designers captured Merry's smirk and provided an alternative with a face ready for a fight. Aragorn's face has a high level of detail and shows a cool demeanour as well as a battle face. The things I don't like a minute: Aragorn's pants are held in the colour of his boots and thus too light. I'd have preferred the boots in the colour of his pants to give it a darker look. While it does not matter on the front, the figure's back side looks bland. Conveniently, LEGO inaccurately added a cloak to Eomer in set 9471. In case you possess both sets, I recommend swapping the cloak and giving it to Aragorn.

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Frodo after being stabbed. The cape on Aragorn is not included.

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Albeit not cloaked during the fight on Amun Sul's ruins, Aragorn wore a green cape on the way to Weathertop.

The ring wraiths feature dark plastic hoods, plain faces and a nicely designed cape. Their horses show the characteristic red eyes and metal face plate. Both horses are a new design (to me, anyway) in that they have articulated hind legs and rounder faces.

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A nazgul. Note the three holes in this cape compared with the usual two. It ensures a tight fit around the figures shoulders.

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The horses.

The choice of accessories is marvellous! The hobbits have short capes, a backpack, a cooking pot and three food items (apple, carrot, chicken leg). In terms of weapons, there are three different sword molds. Aragorn and the ring wraiths carry long swords, Merry a short sword and Frodo wields his trademark sword Sting. Technically, he didn't possess the sword at this part of the story, and I would have preferred an extra basic short sword instead of an extra Sting. The weapons come in two different types of grey, nicely capturing the age of those weapons left in the ruins and those carried by the ring wraiths. The highlight in terms of accessories has to be the one ring. This piece fits into and onto a minifigures hand. LEGO was generous by including two extras in case you lose one or like to fool Sauron's minions in chasing after the wrong ring.

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Merry's sword (light grey) and that left in the ruins of Amun Sul.

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The spare parts. Note black bricks for the horses in case you don't like saddles and a brick separator.

Play features and appropriateness for children

For this younger ones, the set comes with the aforementioned trap door and two missiles (note the two brown dots at the camp side in a previous photo). Aside from these, the tower opens up, has a nice area to fight on top, walls to climb and a campfire site to role-play. There is not much to add aside from dreaming of being a child again...
Speaking of which, the LotR sets are much darker than the castle sets of the 80s and 90s. However, compared to orcs and uruk-hai, this set (along with Gandalf Arrives) features the struggle of good and evil without depictions of monstrous faces. It might thus be a suitable for very sensible parents.

Verdict

I was thoroughly impressed with this set. I bought it for 71AUD$ and used a 25$ gift card on it, but even at the full price of 90$ I wouldn't have regretted the purchase. The build was fun, the minifigures are fantastic and the set looks as much as a collectible item as it looks like a toy. Compared to my other LotR sets, Helm's Deep and the Uruk-hai Army, I particularly like one aspect of "The Attack on Weathertop": Rather than depicting specific parts of a set (e.g. Mines of Moria, Orc Forge) or being open (e.g. Helm's Deep), Weathertop achieves a complete feel. While this is obviously possibly due to its comparatively smaller size, the set reminds me of my old Forestmen and Pirate sets. Possibly it is for this reason in combination with the LotR license, that 9472 is my favourite LEGO set of all time.

Out of 5, I consider the following for this set:

Build - Fun, interesting, clever, creative
:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:    
Movie accuracy - Easily recognisable, perfect if not for lack of characters
:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:    
Minifigures - The level of detail is something I never expected to see in any LEGO figure!

:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:    
Playability - Regarding the set's size, lots to play with!
:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:    

OVERALL
:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:    



Note: I did not give an opinion on the usefulness of pieces for adult builders since I don't build myself. As such, I hope the piece overview from the instruction manual is useful. In addition, the linked video shows all bricks included.

Edited by Lynx, 01 June 2012 - 05:46 AM.


#2 Skipper

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 05:18 AM

Thanks for the review.  :classic:

I've already gotten the general sense of the set through the LEGO.com video, but it's nice to have some larger, still images to look at. About the pictures: you need to grab the URL of the picture itself, not of the flickr page that it's displayed on. When you get to the page with the options for different sizes (640 x 480, 800 x 600, etc), control-click on the picture and select "copy image URL," and use that in your EB post. Hope that helps.

Edited by Skipper, 01 June 2012 - 05:20 AM.


#3 CorneliusMurdock

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 05:34 AM

You can't just copy the url directly from your photostream on Flickr.  Click "Share" and get the BB code.  That will have the correct link.  Copy/paste.  (Remember to choose a size 800x600 or smaller.)

For example, the link to your first pic is http://farm8.staticf...1099e8ba1_z.jpg and when placed in img tags becomes:

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#4 Lynx

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 05:35 AM

View PostSkipper, on 01 June 2012 - 05:18 AM, said:

Thanks for the review.  :classic:

I've already gotten the general sense of the set through the LEGO.com video, but it's nice to have some larger, still images to look at. About the pictures: you need to grab the URL of the picture itself, not of the flickr page that it's displayed on. When you get to the page with the options for different sizes (640 x 480, 800 x 600, etc), control-click on the picture and select "copy image URL," and use that in your EB post. Hope that helps.

Thank you. That works! I'll update my post.

#5 SheepEater

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 05:51 AM

The only bad thing about this set is the horrible price-per-piece ratio ($75 canadian for 430 pieces). Especially when compared to Shelob Attacks ($25 canadian for 227 pieces). If it was $60 CAD I would already have it.

#6 JackJonespaw

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 12:11 PM

Nice review! Does Frodo have the same faces in Shelob Attacks?

This is a fantsastic set. You've just convinced me to buy it with this picture:

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#7 Lynx

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 12:23 PM

View PostJackJonespaw, on 01 June 2012 - 12:11 PM, said:

Nice review! Does Frodo have the same faces in Shelob Attacks?





I haven't found Shelob in Australia, yet. But from other reviews, I'd say he's got the same face. Serious on one side, shocked on the other.

The picture you liked actually bothered me a bit. I don't like the look of the two holes and the brown lever piece in the middle. I used some technic pins (had spares from Helm's Deep) and grey slopes to cover the holes. Looks better, in my opinion. Maybe I'll try some vegetation from the old Forestmen sets or something similar. Otherwise, I agree - it's a fantastic design!

#8 just2good

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 12:24 PM

Nice review, 'Lynx'!
You might have convinced me to buy this set. It's just that darn price holding me back. The figures are great, and the structure looks intricate.
Also, I really like your rating system! :thumbup:

Edited by just2good, 01 June 2012 - 12:26 PM.


#9 questforcastle

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 01:24 PM

Thank you for the review!

Interesting to see the brick separator included with the kit, any reason for that? Does it come with other LOTR sets? A nice addition, nevertheless!

Here is my review of the orange brick separator, BTW: http://questforcastl...rick-separator/
Read my LEGOLAND Billund reports and my projects to build the 1984 LEGO King's Castle and 1980 Inter-City train, using spare parts: http://questforbricks.wordpress.com

#10 Combee

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 01:26 PM

Thanks for the great review! When the LotR sets were first spoiled this set looked the most underwhelming to me in terms of price point (430 pcs for $60 seems really bad) but having seen it first hand I got it and I love it. They did a great job with the rounding of the outside wall. I actually ended up getting two of the sets and selling off all the excess minifigs  because I liked it so much and to get some more Nazgul  :sweet:

#11 Big T

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 01:34 PM

Great review man, it was really interesting to hear what you thought of the set, as well as how Lego have evolved since you last bought a set, I always love hearing that kind of thing. I'm not much of a LOTR fan myself, but I do like this set (just not at the Australian price).

I must say I love how many figures comes with these sets, they don't really skimp given the size

#12 llb

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 02:27 PM

Cool review, as said elsewhere it's nice to hear opinions from someone who has just come back from their 'dark age'

#13 Lego Otaku

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 02:29 PM

View PostBig T, on 01 June 2012 - 01:34 PM, said:

Great review man, it was really interesting to hear what you thought of the set, as well as how Lego have evolved since you last bought a set, I always love hearing that kind of thing. I'm not much of a LOTR fan myself, but I do like this set (just not at the Australian price).

I must say I love how many figures comes with these sets, they don't really skimp given the size

I've gotten the brick separator in set 9474 Helms Deep and 9473 Mines of Moria and it looks like just about every good sized sets will have one for a while.  The Shelob set 9470 didn't come with one and the reviews posted elsewhere didn't show 9469 Gandalf or 9471 army set having one.  orc forge 9476 may have one but I haven't seen it yet.  

(note, there is no 9475 for LotR set, the number was used long ago for a different set.)

#14 Bilbo Baggins

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 05:15 PM

Nice review :thumbup: Now I'm sure of buying the set besides of it being overpriced.

#15 Hive

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 08:58 AM

Before this review, it was my impression that this set was one of the weakest of the range and I had little interest in it. I must say though, that I have somewhat changed my mind after this splendid review. Still don't know if I'll be getting it, but at least I won't rule it out anymore.

#16 SheepEater

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 04:16 PM

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That has to be one of the most "adorable" picture I have seen of any LOTR set, yet.  :laugh:

#17 Wout

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 09:28 PM

[quote name='Lynx' date='01 June 2012 - 06:07 AM' timestamp='1338523661' post='1299845']


Strider to the rescue!

[quote]


Oi! That notty N√Ęzgul Horse is eating Merry's apple.
How Rude! :angry:

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#18 rafsemedo

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 05:23 AM

Thank you very much for the great review! I was waiting for someone to review this so I could compare my impression of the set with theirs.

I went to a LEGO store today to buy it but came back empty handed. I thought the price was too abusive and ended up not getting it. The set is indeed awesome, the round structure does look good and the minifigs are nice, as well as a few interesting parts like the green slopes for rocky textures. However, I still think it's not worth the money. This should cost U$40.00, not U$60.00... The only reason I actually wanted to buy it for was for Merry's minifig, but I guess I'll just get it separately somewhere.

I also thought the box was way bigger than it could be. I think LEGO made it like that so the set would seem bigger, and therefore they'd be able to charge more for it, although it's only a small/medium build.

Another thing I didn't like are the grey statues, those mini-minifigs. I think they look terrible with the short arms and the big head  :wacko:

In my opinion this set is the less appealing in terms of money, it's incoherent to charge triple the price of Shelob's attack for it. By reading the comments I'm glad to notice I'm not the only one who's complaining about the price/piece ratio. It seems that it will sell less than the others and thus LEGO might realize they made a mistake with that price  :classic:

EDIT: Corrected Merry as the minifig instead of Pippin and a few text issues.

Edited by rafsemedo, 03 June 2012 - 05:38 AM.


#19 LEGO Train 12 Volts

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 06:39 AM

Fantastic review Lynx, this set is great ...but for 60$ I espected to find in the set all thefour hobbits  :sceptic:
Posted Image   Posted Image

#20 Tria

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 02:07 PM

Thanks for the great review  :classic: ! Really beautiful set.. especially the minifigs!

#21 Multiverse

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 05:56 PM

Okay, so Pippin is the redhead? I have watched the movies (and I liked them), but I had a difficult time trying to tell the hobbits apart. Provided that Pippin is the redhead, can anyone tell me whether he's available in other sets? I desperately need the hair if I'm going to make a self-fig, but I won't buy this set if he's in a set I like better. =)

#22 SheepEater

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 06:16 PM

View PostMultiverse, on 03 June 2012 - 05:56 PM, said:

Okay, so Pippin is the redhead? I have watched the movies (and I liked them), but I had a difficult time trying to tell the hobbits apart. Provided that Pippin is the redhead, can anyone tell me whether he's available in other sets? I desperately need the hair if I'm going to make a self-fig, but I won't buy this set if he's in a set I like better. =)

No, Merry is in this set, he's the redhead. Sam (from set 9470)'s hair color is a cross between orange and tan.

Pippin has normal brown hair, and he's in Mines of Moria.

Edited by SheepEater, 25 July 2012 - 11:45 PM.


#23 Haltiamieli

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 06:18 PM

View PostMultiverse, on 03 June 2012 - 05:56 PM, said:

Okay, so Pippin is the redhead? I have watched the movies (and I liked them), but I had a difficult time trying to tell the hobbits apart. Provided that Pippin is the redhead, can anyone tell me whether he's available in other sets? I desperately need the hair if I'm going to make a self-fig, but I won't buy this set if he's in a set I like better. =)
The hobbit with the orange-ish hair in this set is Merry, and currently he's exclusive to this set (just like Pippin is exclusive to the Mines of Moria set).

(Brickset has an informative gallery of all the figs in this theme and the sets in which they appear)

Edited by Haltiamieli, 03 June 2012 - 06:21 PM.

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#24 Multiverse

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 06:36 PM

View PostSheepEater, on 03 June 2012 - 06:16 PM, said:

No, Merry is in this set, he's the redhead. So is Sam (who only appears in Shelob Attacks)

Pippin has dark brown hair, and he's in Mines of Moria.

Okay, thanks. I'll be getting Shelob Attacks anyway, but Sam's hair isn't the shade I want, so I'll probably put this on the list as well.

View PostHaltiamieli, on 03 June 2012 - 06:18 PM, said:

The hobbit with the orange-ish hair in this set is Merry, and currently he's exclusive to this set (just like Pippin is exclusive to the Mines of Moria set).

(Brickset has an informative gallery of all the figs in this theme and the sets in which they appear)

Oh, thanks! I knew there had to be some kind of registry somewhere. =D

#25 Slobey

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 06:46 AM

Thanks for the review Lynx!

Can I ask where you mangaed to pick this set up in Australia so soon?

Cheers,

Slobey
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