Jump to content


Review: 9474 The Battle of Helm's Deep


66 replies to this topic

Poll: Review: 9474 The Battle of Helm's Deep (161 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you rate this set?

  1. Poor (flattened Uruk Hai) (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. Below Average height like Gimli (3 votes [1.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.86%

  3. Average number of bricks per wall (9 votes [5.59%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.59%

  4. Above Average good looks like Aragorn (46 votes [28.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 28.57%

  5. Outstandingly stupendous with a rearing horse! (103 votes [63.98%])

    Percentage of vote: 63.98%

What would you buy this set for?

  1. The amazing figures (15 votes [9.32%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.32%

  2. The Castle design and parts (29 votes [18.01%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.01%

  3. Both (117 votes [72.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 72.67%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#26 KurttKrueger

KurttKrueger

    Posts: 216
    Joined: 02-June 08
    Member: 3227
    Country: United Kingdom

Posted 09 July 2012 - 01:09 PM

Although I'm a big fan of both the LotR books and movies, I was going to pass on these sets, as nice as they are.

Now you've got me thinking about picking this one up! Great review.
My Brickshelf Gallery - Forestmen, Trolls and Crownies oh my!

Also, Star Wars The Old Republic Custom Minifigures.

#27 Aeturnus

Aeturnus

    Posts: 101
    Joined: 08-February 05
    Member: 216
    Country: Japan

Posted 09 July 2012 - 02:28 PM

A Great review , keep up the good work. :D I do like the looks of this set but I think a couple of regular knights would have also added to the set, however 8 figures is not too bad though.

#28 The Blue Brick

The Blue Brick

    Posts: 1179
    Joined: 01-July 11
    Member: 18793
    Country: United States

Posted 09 July 2012 - 04:29 PM

Great review. This really is a fantastic set for the price in my opinion. It comes with great minifigures and an awesome castle.  :thumbup: :classic:

#29 MikeyB

MikeyB

  • Closet Nocturnus Fan


    Posts: 849
    Joined: 15-October 08
    Member: 4147
    Country: USA

Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:25 PM

Great review.

I built this a couple weeks ago and was impressed with some of the techniques they used, seems a bit more advanced than your normal sets.

And I too thought I got two bag "6"  until I realized it was a bag "9"!

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image


Lord Arlindus, Captain of Circardia and the Phoenix Guard, Avalonia Guildsman


#30 Bilbo Baggins

Bilbo Baggins

    Posts: 1180
    Joined: 07-May 12
    Member: 28477
    Country: Mexico

Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:58 PM

Great review, why didn't you scored playability 10 out of 10? It has lots of pllay features

#31 Brinstar

Brinstar

    Posts: 179
    Joined: 05-November 11
    Member: 21451
    Country: UK

Posted 09 July 2012 - 08:00 PM

This is probably my favorite Lego set of the year. Over 1,300 pieces seems very substantial for a model at this price point, particularly a licensed one. The finished model is undoubtedly very impressive and the look of the set is faithful to the source material. The modularity with Uruk Hai army is an added bonus. Kingdoms Joust perhaps remains my favourite castle set since the MMV but this is a close second.

#32 TheLegoDr

TheLegoDr

  • Yellow Panel Expert


    Posts: 4449
    Joined: 18-July 11
    Member: 19128
    Country: USA

Posted 09 July 2012 - 09:20 PM

Thanks for the review. I only read part of it because it is quite extensive/detailed. Exactly what people need to see.

The printing with LOTR is brilliant and the newly designed castles are quite clever and give a nice unique shape to them. You could easily incorporate them into your own unlicensed land and be just fine. Even though it is a sticker, the banner with the emblem is beautiful. That is probably one of the few stickers I will definitely put on my set. I am saving mine for Christmas. We got a great deal on it from B&N so I ordered all of the main sets on sale and put them back for Christmas. Now my wife is almost done shopping!

The figures look great. The armor/helmet of the king is brilliant. I can't wait to see it in my hands.
Posted Image   Posted Image  Posted Image   Posted Image   Posted Image  Posted Image

flickr
See my collection

#33 kboleen

kboleen
    Posts: 36
    Joined: 24-June 12
    Member: 29357
    Country: USA

Posted 10 July 2012 - 04:17 AM

That was a great review of a terrific set. I'm a big fan of Tolkien and have studied The Battle of Helm's Deep extensively, though I am hardly an expert. I except the set for what it is; a Lego representation of a classic literature location. My only complaint is the tower in the book is connected to the Hornburg and not the Wall. But that's just nitpicking.

On a side note, I watched a program on the Military Channel where researchers would input classic battles, such as the Battle of Troy from The Iliad, into a computer and run simulations to access their plausibility. They inputted the Battle of Helms Deep and it was totally plausible that the Rohirrim could hold off an attack of 10,000 as they did in the book.

Posted Image

Heroica RPG: Sir Roual Bartell Level 1 Knight 46 year old Human Male
Power: 4 Health: 10/10 Ether 5/5 Gold: 10
Inventory: Longsword (WP: 3) Shield (SP: 2) Potion


#34 jedi1984

jedi1984

    Posts: 81
    Joined: 16-June 12
    Member: 29231
    Country: Italy

Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:19 AM

View PostHive, on 09 July 2012 - 12:21 AM, said:

I consider this set to be the best Castle set since Medieval Market Village.

I agree with you, that's the same thing that I was thinking while reading the review

#35 iamded

iamded

  • Cannot neigh to save his life.


    Posts: 5033
    Joined: 09-January 07
    Member: 1225
    Country: New Zealand!

Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:59 AM

Outstanding, both the set and the review. :cry_happy: The walls, the tower, that wonderful Castle build I love so much. And the minifigs are, of course, excellent. Fantastic review, ISC! :thumbup:


Check out Eurobricks' RPG, Mafia and Wargames forum for the best fun.


#36 legomonk

legomonk

    Posts: 317
    Joined: 30-August 11
    Member: 20122
    Country: usa

Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:41 PM

Just bought this set today. Now I have all the LOTR sets. I havnt opened it but I want to badly lol. I have to wait till I get home but I can say with ut a doubt one of the coolest set for LOTR.
Posted Image

the answer to your question is yes I have a Lego tattoo. Minifig count is at 768!

#37 Zzz

Zzz

  • Flick-fires the hell out of aliens!


    Posts: 984
    Joined: 21-January 07
    Member: 1281
    Country: Germany

Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:03 PM

Would like to pay respect to the review, it's lovely done and very entertaining. Still, and please don't take this personally, I have another opinion about the set. The problem with many licensed sets is the concentration on one specific movie scene, one action, one (for the set) very limited character set. I have a hard time imagining playing with this set, even if the castle is nicely done and so are the figures. Also it lacks a certain degree of detail that I consider given since a few years. In a fair comparision by theme (licenced "castle"), price and piece, I would say that the last Hogwarts was offering more playability, more power to creativity. I could imagine playing with this, and that's not only by the fact that it has a much bigger role in the books than the LotR set, but it just has more detail, and more interactivity, which leads to imagining a story for the set. Perhaps a few more details and a few more knights might have helped the set a lot, just my 2 cent though.
"I am Iron Man."  -  "I am Groot!"

#38 SheepEater

SheepEater

    Posts: 1048
    Joined: 10-May 12
    Member: 28524
    Country: Canada

Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:11 PM

View PostZzz, on 10 July 2012 - 10:03 PM, said:

I would say that the last Hogwarts was offering more playability, more power to creativity.

Are you serious? You're comparing Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings?  :laugh:

JK Rowling flat out STOLE most of her ideas from Tolkien.

Personally I couldn't be happier that Lego finally ditched that sorry license.

#39 Combee

Combee

    Posts: 292
    Joined: 29-January 12
    Member: 25193
    Country: USA

Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:19 PM

View PostSheepEater, on 10 July 2012 - 10:11 PM, said:

Are you serious? You're comparing Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings?  :laugh:

JK Rowling flat out STOLE most of her ideas from Tolkien.

Personally I couldn't be happier that Lego finally ditched that sorry license.

No need to be so rude. I think most people will acknowledge that Tolkien has inspired much of the modern day fantasy genre, but to claim that she stole his ideas is a bit much.

#40 Falconer

Falconer

    Posts: 82
    Joined: 05-January 12
    Member: 23841

Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:24 PM

I too am having a hard time trying to think of sets as “scenes.”

When I was a kid, we would play out all kinds of stories with our sets. The Falcon Knights always started in the Knight’s Castle, the Crusaders always started in the King’s Castle, and the Forestmen always started in their hideouts. The story possibilities were limitless. The King’s Castle naturally came with the 12 soldiers who lived there.

It’s REALLY strange to me that the Hornburg set comes with NONE of the soldiers who actually live there. So you really can only recreate that one scene (inadequately… no Rohirrim, no Dunlendings, no Huorns), rather than any of the other possible scenes in the entire history and alternate history of the Third Age and Fourth Age.

But maybe I’m the only one who “roleplayed” with his Lego?

#41 Hive

Hive

  • Friendsified!


    Posts: 1073
    Joined: 19-March 10
    Member: 9979
    Country: Denmark

Posted 11 July 2012 - 12:37 AM

View PostZzz, on 10 July 2012 - 10:03 PM, said:

Would like to pay respect to the review, it's lovely done and very entertaining. Still, and please don't take this personally, I have another opinion about the set. The problem with many licensed sets is the concentration on one specific movie scene, one action, one (for the set) very limited character set. I have a hard time imagining playing with this set, even if the castle is nicely done and so are the figures. Also it lacks a certain degree of detail that I consider given since a few years.

I agree that licensed sets most often focus on the minifigs in a too limited and often not all that aesthetic "scene". POTC especially suffered heavily from this in my opinion. And I think it's definately the case in some of the LOTR sets as well, perhaps most notably in the Mines of Moria set.

But I don't see this is one such set at all. It has a fine assortment of figures (though it could have used a couple more, but such are all LEGO sets these days) and is, although not enclosed like most castles, full of possibilities and diversity. And let's not forget that it's compatible with another set, how often do we see that in LEGO these days? And to say that it lacks detail makes me doubt that we're even looking at the same set... I mean, when is the last time you saw a castle with this kind of detail? I've personally never done so before!  :oh:

I'd argue that if people have a hard time using this set for more than that one battle, the problem lies not with the set but with their own imaginations being unable to abstract from the movie they have seen.

#42 Falconer

Falconer

    Posts: 82
    Joined: 05-January 12
    Member: 23841

Posted 11 July 2012 - 12:49 AM

Again, they didn’t provide even a single minifig that would be present at Helm’s Deep at any time outside “that one battle.”

#43 SheepEater

SheepEater

    Posts: 1048
    Joined: 10-May 12
    Member: 28524
    Country: Canada

Posted 11 July 2012 - 01:11 AM

View PostCombee, on 10 July 2012 - 10:19 PM, said:

but to claim that she stole his ideas is a bit much.

Wise wizards (Dumbledore in Harry Potter/Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings) mentor and guide the "little" people (children/hobbits) who are short on wisdom but tall on courage. The evil sorcerers (Voldemort/Sauron) are weak in the beginning of the stories and must be prevented from regaining the power they had lost. Voldemort and Sauron attempt to acquire magical objects (the Sorcerer’s Stone/the One Ring) that can make them strong again. Possession of the Sorcerer’s Stone has given Dumbledore’s 666-year-old friend, Nicolas Flamel, the key to immortality; similarly, the One Ring has enabled Gollum, a hobbit, to live for more than 600 years; and Bilbo, the hobbit who acquires the Ring after Gollum loses it, has also lived a longer-than-normal lifespan.

This was only a small paragraph from a very long essay. I'm not gonna copy the whole thingt here, here's the link.

http://greenbooks.th...les/050102.html

#44 Hive

Hive

  • Friendsified!


    Posts: 1073
    Joined: 19-March 10
    Member: 9979
    Country: Denmark

Posted 11 July 2012 - 01:32 AM

View PostFalconer, on 11 July 2012 - 12:49 AM, said:

Again, they didn’t provide even a single minifig that would be present at Helm’s Deep at any time outside “that one battle.”

So what? I repeat myself: if you can only see this set in the strict context of the movie and can only use minifigs with it that *were there* in the movie, it's not a problem with the set but with your imagination.

So maybe Frodo was never there in the books or movies... but why can't he be there when children play or AFOLs create an imaginative scene? Why can't Gandalf lead the defense instead of Aragorn? Or maybe the ring wraiths join the attack? Your imaginaton is the limit, not the set. With all due respect.

#45 SheepEater

SheepEater

    Posts: 1048
    Joined: 10-May 12
    Member: 28524
    Country: Canada

Posted 11 July 2012 - 03:00 AM

I agree with Hive.

And I'll go even further: Why can't I use my army of policemen & firemen help to defend the castle, while my construction workers, truck drivers, airplane pilots, race car drivers and various town citizens try to storm it? They could use wrenches, hand-axes, screwdrivers, brooms and shovels as weapons. :tongue:

(Prior to LOTR, I had 0 castle sets apart from 3739 Blacksmith Shop)

Edited by SheepEater, 11 July 2012 - 03:01 AM.


#46 Skipper

Skipper

    Posts: 555
    Joined: 25-July 11
    Member: 19281
    Country: USA

Posted 11 July 2012 - 03:17 AM

Thanks for the brilliant review ISC! I really appreciate the closer look at all the parts of the set (esp. the interior side) that the previous review didn't cover as much, really helps me make up my mind on whether or not to sink $130 into it.  :classic:

View PostHive, on 11 July 2012 - 01:32 AM, said:

So what? I repeat myself: if you can only see this set in the strict context of the movie and can only use minifigs with it that *were there* in the movie, it's not a problem with the set but with your imagination.
For me the problem is, like you said, that the Helm's Deep from the movie is so iconic, so ingrained in my memory that when I see the set, that's all I can think of. To use it as something else would take quite a bit of modding, which is what I'm planning to do when I get it, actually--I think that, minus the Hornberg and with some other edits, it would make quite a spiffy dwarven fortress.

View PostSheepEater, on 10 July 2012 - 10:11 PM, said:

JK Rowling flat out STOLE most of her ideas from Tolkien.
I disagree. No doubt she was influenced by LOTR, as many modern fantasy writers are, but to despise the Harry Potter books because you think JK Rowling "flat out stole her ideas" is ridiculous. Besides the fact that borrowing other writers' ideas is an accepted practice (and Rowling definitely doesn't cross the line from 'influence' to plagiarism) , Tolkien himself had numerous influences. And while, as countless other stories do, they both follow Campbell's hero's journey, the difference between them all is that they each simply repackage it into a different world. As your own article says, with a quote from Prof. Tolkien, "It is precisely the colouring, the atmosphere, the unclassifiable individual details of a story, and above all the general purport that informs with life the undissected bones of the plot, that really count."

Edited by Skipper, 11 July 2012 - 03:20 AM.


#47 Falconer

Falconer

    Posts: 82
    Joined: 05-January 12
    Member: 23841

Posted 11 July 2012 - 03:48 AM

All I’m saying is it would have been nice to have some regular Rohan Soldiers to man Helm’s Deep. As it is, Uruk-hai Army is basically a non-optional add-on to me. *shrug*

#48 Niku

Niku

  • Wants two initials


    Posts: 1503
    Joined: 26-December 10
    Member: 14912
    Country: Guatemala

Posted 11 July 2012 - 04:54 AM

This is a very complete review, and covers many views and aspects I had interest to see.
Thanks.  :classic:

On personal opinion this set is a MUST have, I am very excited about actually building it, for so many wonderful pieces and minifigs, but also the round wall technique is new to me.

Posted Image


Spoiler


#49 tvih

tvih

    Posts: 58
    Joined: 30-June 12
    Member: 29478

Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:36 AM

View PostFalconer, on 11 July 2012 - 03:48 AM, said:

All I’m saying is it would have been nice to have some regular Rohan Soldiers to man Helm’s Deep. As it is, Uruk-hai Army is basically a non-optional add-on to me. *shrug*

I fully agree that the sets are sorely lacking in "generic" human/elven soldiers. It's just one "main character" after another. Sure one can try to imagine them to be something else, but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be more normal soldiers. Even with my non-licensed childhood stuff it would've seemed a bit strange to - for example - have only mounted knights with breastplates and pointed-visor helmets and no "grunts" at all. While I buy stuff to display rather than play with now as an adult, the scenes just seem "wrong" with little to no generic soldiers. Like it or not, in any given large-scale battle it's the nameless and faceless soldiers of Rohan and other nations that did most of the killing, no fair to not even inclulde them in the sets Posted Image The Rohan soldier in the Uruk-hai army set is literally the only non-named character on the good side as far as I can tell. That's just silly. There doesn't even appear to be an actual battle pack to solve that problem.

One important thing with this is also to realize that with the above being the case the good side lacks any notable "cannon fodder". If a kid is playing with the set(s) and actually likes to keep his/her heroes alive as per the story, there aren't exactly a plethora of characters one the good side to kill off as not to have an entirely one-sided slaughter. The only heroes that die are Haldir and Boromir. Not much variety in that sense. And yes, obviously one can kill off others, nothing stopping them, but I have a feeling not every kid wants to do that - my favorite childhood minifigs were certainly known to go in a killing spree if they were starting to get outmatched! Thus, the solution: cannon fodder!

#50 Hive

Hive

  • Friendsified!


    Posts: 1073
    Joined: 19-March 10
    Member: 9979
    Country: Denmark

Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:37 AM

View Posttvih, on 11 July 2012 - 10:36 AM, said:

The Rohan soldier in the Uruk-hai army set is literally the only non-named character on the good side as far as I can tell. That's just silly. There doesn't even appear to be an actual battle pack to solve that problem.

Uruk Hai Army is a battlepack of sorts and contains two good-side soldiers. If you don't have the imagination to switch some heads and gear around to make the extra Eomer figs not all be him, then I'd once again argue that the limit is not with the sets themselves.

Also, with a Fellowship containing a whooping 9 main characters and only a limited range of sets (naturally) for a first-wave release, what were LEGO to do? Excluse some of the main characters in favor of generic ones? Imagine the reactions from people if they had done that... and this isn't the 80's, we won't see a set like this containing 12 minifigs and 4 horses ever again. The number of figs for this set is equal to unlicensed sets of a similar size.

Quote

One important thing with this is also to realize that with the above being the case the good side lacks any notable "cannon fodder". If a kid is playing with the set(s) and actually likes to keep his/her heroes alive as per the story, there aren't exactly a plethora of characters one the good side to kill off as not to have an entirely one-sided slaughter. The only heroes that die are Haldir and Boromir. Not much variety in that sense. And yes, obviously one can kill off others, nothing stopping them, but I have a feeling not every kid wants to do that - my favorite childhood minifigs were certainly known to go in a killing spree if they were starting to get outmatched! Thus, the solution: cannon fodder!

I'm not sure LEGO's main concerns about playability evolve around children "killing" the minfigs, nor do I think it ever should. And I'd like to remind you, btw, that in the 80's, while a castle of this size did indeed offer more figs than now. As I mentioned, perhaps 11-12 minifigs would have included for this one had it been released back then. But then again, they would probably all just have belonged to the faction holding the castle and offered no adversaries for conflict-playability on its own - so I'm not sure how that would have been better; in both cases, you'd have to buy extra sets to get where you want to be.



Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users