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REVIEW: 9469 Gandalf Arrives


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Poll: REVIEW: 9469 Gandalf Arrives (58 member(s) have cast votes)

What do you rate this set on a scale of 1-5?

  1. Like being stabbed by a Nazgul (2 votes [3.45%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.45%

  2. Below Average (6 votes [10.34%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.34%

  3. Average (19 votes [32.76%])

    Percentage of vote: 32.76%

  4. Above Average (20 votes [34.48%])

    Percentage of vote: 34.48%

  5. Like destroying the One ring! (11 votes [18.97%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.97%

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#1 Ferrik

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 06:54 AM

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This is the smallest set of the new Lord of the Rings wave and has one exclusive minifigure, it's of course...

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Introduction

As soon as I saw the new Lord of the Rings sets, I just knew I had to get my hands on at least one of them, being somewhat of a LOTR fan. In the end, I decided to pick up the smallest of the series and test it out. As stated in the S@H description, this scene depicts the opening scene of "The Fellowship of the Ring" movie, the part where Gandalf arrives in a horse and cart. But does this set really capture the spirit of the scene? Well, there's really only one way to find out... Read on!


Set Information

Name: Gandalf Arrives
Set Number: 9469
Theme: Lord of the Rings
Year: 2012
Minifigures: 2
Pieces: 83
Price: £11.99/ US$12.99/ AUS$22.99
Links: Brickset, Bricklink, Flickr

From S@H

Quote

Visit the Shire with Gandalf the Grey and Frodo!

Join Gandalf the Grey as he travels to the Shire to celebrate the 111th birthday of his old friend Bilbo Baggins and relive the opening scene of The Fellowship of the Ring! As Gandalf makes his way through the Shire on his horse and cart, he meets an excited young hobbit, Frodo Baggins. This is where the legendary adventure of The Lord of the Rings begins! Includes 2 minifigures: Gandalf the Grey and Frodo Baggins.

• Includes 2 minifigures: Gandalf the Grey and Frodo Baggins
• Also includes the new LEGO horse
• Accessories include book, staff, backpack and letter
• Features horse cart, carrot and barrel with fireworks
• Collect the exclusive Gandalf the Grey minifigure!
• Build the scene where the adventure began!
• Cart and horse measures 6" (16cm) long


The Box

This set was packaged in quite a small box, about the size of a LOTR book (well any standard size book, I'm just saying this for LOTR fans :laugh:) or the "Freeing Dobby" set from the Harry Potter line. The box art looks absolutely beautiful with the setting sun hiding behind some hills and trees. The design at the top with a snipet of a map of Middle Earth and the One Ring, is terrific. Overall, it's a very nice box-cover! :thumbup:
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The back of the box has the usual punch tab found in small sets and shows off some of the play features (or the lack of any). Wow, taking one of the fireworks out of the barrel and feeding the horse a carrot, looks like so much fun! :laugh: No wonder so many children love Lego. Anyway... There's a small ad in the corner for the new LEGO Lord of the Rings video game coming out soon.
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Parts

There were two bags and the new horse was loose in the box. I will talk more about the horse later on. All the small parts such as the minifigure heads were in a clear bag, while all the larger parts were in a printed bag. There wasn't much extra room in the box after the parts and instructions were placed inside. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, I'm not sure. It depends on what you think... As you can see, there is a nice little collection of light and dark tan.
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After the set was built, there were two parts left: a carrot top and a 1x1 light tan stud. Nothing special about these parts, but then again, what more would you expect from a small set like this?
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Instructions

There is one instruction booklet with 24 pages inclduing ads. It was neatly folded in half to fit inside the box but luckily the pages weren't bent. The front page has the exact same rather pleasant picture as on the box.
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Here's a step from the instructions. About halfway through, we can see how the base of the cart is made and how the sides of the cart are hinged to create that slanted-side look. There are piece callouts as we are used to now, and there were no colour-differentiation problems throughout the whole booklet.
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The parts list only takes up one page as there aren't that many pieces in this set. Moving on... :sadnew:
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On the next page, after the parts list, there is an ad for the Mines of Moria set (AKA the LOTR set with way too many stickers and a big blue troll)
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Then on the next two pages, to my surprise, there is a list of all the minifigures from the current Lord of the Rings wave. Under each minifigure there is even a box for you to tick off the figures you already have and the set number it comes from. I thought this list of minifigures was a wonderful addition, especially due to the fact that all the minifigures are in poses, ready to fight. :wink: Here's the first page.
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And here's the second page. For close-ups of some of the minifigures, just vist my flickr page. Pippin seems to be the only one not fighting (or trying to do ballet but failing like the Mordor Orc on the right) on this page. He's just happy to smile for the camera it seems (Say Cheese).
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And on the last page.... You guessed it, the kid we all love to hate (Drumroll please)... the screaming "win" kid. *Groans* When will TLC get rid of this page?  *huh*
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Minifigures

Now to the part you've all been waiting for... The Minifigures! This set comes with two minifigures: Gandalf and Frodo. Gandalf is exclusive for now, until the Bag End set is released and Frodo in his Shire clothing only comes in this set and the Frodo polypag.

Gandalf the Grey has a newly-moulded beard which has more detail than the one Dumbledore from the newest Hogwarts set had, which is terrific as it makes him seem wiser. He also comes with the standard wizard hat in grey, a cape and a staff. It would've been great if there was a new mould for the staff but nope there isn't one, what a shame. He has a nice wrinkled face that gives him this great Gandalf-y feel. The torso printing will be revealed in the next picture. Now on to Frodo. He has the new hobbit hair in brown (I just love that hobbit hair... :wub:) which looks stunning on him. He also has a pleasant smile that fits him well and lovely overalls on the torso.
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Oh no, it seems Gollum has stolen Gandalf's hat and he had a shave. Anyway, this is how he looks. :grin: Great printing on the body to make it look like a cloak to match the cape. I didn't mention it yet, but I'll mention it now. Gandalf has a cape that feels softer than normal capes from other themes. More on that later...
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And the back printing for the two minifigures. Nice detail on the back but nothing too exciting here. The backprinting matches the front of both minifigures really well. Only Frodo has a double head, with his second one being a worried look.
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Animals

There's only really one animal in this set, the horse, but a Ninjago snake is also included. The snake is nothing new as it's very common in Ninjago sets so it's nothing too exciting.
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Here's a closer look at the new horse. The tail has been extended and the sides of the head actually pop out a bit, giving it this 3D look to it. It looks a lot less blocky when compared the older one so I have to say that I definitely prefer this new horse as it is much more realistic.
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Of course the head of the horse can move up and down just like the old horse, but one of the main features of this horse is that you can push back the hind legs to make the horse rear up. I could imagine some people just buying this set for the new horse and the minifigures.
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Accessories

There aren't a lot of accessories, but there are enough for a small set like this. There are three fireworks in a barrel, with the Ninjago snake representing the dragon firework from both the book and the movie.. There's also a bag/ sack with a letter, a carrot and a brown book, almost as tall as Frodo, which makes us wonder how he could possibly hold it and smile at the same time. Even though the accesories aren't that special, they're great for anyone who just can't get enough accesories.  :sweet:
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The Build

Here's a look at one of the stages of building the cart. This is the same step as the instructions picture I showed you earlier on, so you can have a little comparison.
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The Set

The set looks superb, especially when placed on an angle like so. I definitely wouldn't mind placing this set on display. You can see the accessories in the back and how the cart is attached to the horse. The barrel and the bag are both placed on brown 1x2 plates with a single stud on top, while the carrot and book are just loose in the back.
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From the front you can note the printing on the head of the horse and the slanted sides. I like the design of the sides a lot as it just adds that extra detail instead of being just some boring cart. However there is something I didn't like about the design: the fact that a 1x2 piece with one stud was used for Gandalf to sit on. Now he sits to the side which just doesn't look right and the cape gets crumpled quite a bit. Maybe that's why there was a softer cape for Gandalf? However, fellow reviewer, Clone O' Patra did mention to me that if a 2-stud piece was used, it might stick to Gandalf when taking him out of the cart. I have tried using a 2-stud piece and I have to say there were no problems though... :hmpf_bad:
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The side view... The wheels look just a tad too big, but it does mean that the cart rolls along more easily, so I don't really mind. I like the amount of accessories in the back so the cart looks quite full and interesting at the same time.  :classic: Something else I noticed was the simplicity of the two 1x1 light tan pieces connected together to form a post of some sort. There are four, one on each corner. They are simply attached to the slanted sides with a "lamp holder" but they still add quite a bit of detail to the cart.
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Here at the back of the cart, there is (as seen from the side) the light tan posts on an angle. This view isn't too appealing as the grey hinges can be seen but it isn't too bad.
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And finally the top view. Just imagine you're Smaug the dragon flying around. You can see most of the accessories from up here, except for the bag with the letter. The fireworks looks stunning.
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Ratings

Parts: 7/10 - There are some great parts that you could use for MOCs and quite a bit of accessories, but then again there's nothing too special.
Design: 8/10 - The design of the cart was excellent. I liked the slanted sides especially. However, the problem with only having one stud for Gandalf isn't that easy to overlook. But I suppose you could just add your own 2-studded 1x2..
Minifigures: 8/10 - It's always great to get one exclusive and one semi-exclusive minifigure in a small set and this is no exception. There's great printing on both minifigures. I would've like a new mold for the staff, though.
Playability: 6.5/10 - You can re-enact the opening scene of the movie but that's not that interesting. I guess this is more of a display set.
Value: 8/10 - The price for this set isn't exactly great, but nor is it horrible value, but hey you get Gandalf, the new horse and a cart. What more do you want?  :wink: And after all, this is a licensed set.

Overall Rating: 7.5

Overall, I think this is an small but excellent set. Fans of Lord of the Rings will love this depiction of the first scene in the movie, and even non-LOTR fans will like this set for the pieces such as the new horse.


Extra

Poor Frodo

Frodo looks worried for some reason. Is it because of the mysterious letter Gandalf is holding, what could it be? Or is it because his arm is twisted at such an angle?  :tongue:
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Magical Transformation

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"Welcome to another episide of Fashion Mayhem!"


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"Today we have special guest, Gandalf! As you can see, Gandalf is in dire need of a makeover. Uhhh... That wizard's hat is so last season..."

"You shall not pass... and touch my precious."


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"Don't you worry Gandalf, we have the perfect hat for you. There, you look stunning. And there you have it folks, another magical transformation. Stay tuned for the next episode of Fashion Mayhem."

"Wow, this hat sure does look amazing on me. It brings out the colour my eyes."


Thank you for reading my third and final Reviewer's Academy bronze review. I hope you enjoyed reading this and look forward to more of my reviews.  :sweet:  Until next time, Ferrik out!

Edited by Ferrik, 27 September 2012 - 12:03 AM.

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#2 dyntar

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 08:04 AM

Great review.
I bought a few copies of this set just for the horses.


Have you noticed that the 2x1 brown brick in the back of the horse isn't the same colour brown as the horse or the 2x1 plate on top of it. :wacko:  It really shows up in the picture of the horse standing on its hind legs. I have the same problem with all the copies of this set that I have.

#3 Ferrik

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 09:26 AM

Thanks, dyntar. And to answer your question, yes I have seen a colour difference between the horse and the 2x1 brick. Although the brick is only slightly darker, it really shows when you look closely.

Edited by Ferrik, 12 August 2012 - 09:28 AM.

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#4 Legonardo

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 10:22 AM

Great to see you passed :laugh:
Very nice review, hope to get some of these when they come to New Zealand in mid-September

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#5 Brickmamba

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 10:33 AM

Thanks for the review, a cheap way to pick up 2 iconic characters but Gandalf just doesn't look right to me, needs a long hair piece for when the hat is not on.
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#6 SheepEater

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 02:01 PM

What a coincidence, theonering.net posted their review of that set at the same time!
http://www.theonerin...lf-arrives-set/

Here's what you can build with the cart from this set!

Originally posted May 31, the week the sets came out. Click the link for more photos.
http://www.eurobrick...showtopic=70330

Here is my first LOTR creation: Frodo's wooden race car!
Consists only of parts from one 9469 set.

Back when they were even smaller hobbits, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin would construct wooden cars to pass the time. Then they would race each other down a steep hill, only to crash into some tree or big rock and eventually having to rebuild their cars over and over again.

A great way to deliver those fresh turnips across Hobbiton! :classic:
Features an opening cockpit.
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Edited by SheepEater, 12 August 2012 - 02:44 PM.


#7 Ferrik

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 07:22 AM

The One Ring really posted on the same day? :laugh:

That's a great mod of this set. Nice use of the harness for the cockpit. :wink:
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#8 Deathleech

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 03:18 AM

I already posted my thoughts on this set in another review, but I guess I will here as well.  

Personally I find this to be the weakest LotR themed set in the current wave. I would say it is average at best which is a shame considering how great I think all the other sets are.  The wagon design looks alright but isn't very functional.  Like you said the one peg seat is kind of silly considering you can only fit one minifig in the front.  What point does it serve other than to off center the driver?  And not only that, the back wagon doesn't open or anything.  Both of these issues could of easily been fixed with some slight modifications.  Sure you can do them yourselves but it just reeks of laziness they weren't built into the original design.  

As for the price point, at 16 cents it's WAY higher than any other LotR set.  Sure the set is smaller so it's going to have a higher price per piece point, and sure it's a themed set, but still.  Every other LotR set is around 12 cents per piece.  Even the cheaper Shelob Attacks set, which is also a smaller set at 20 bucks, is only 9 cents per piece.  

Finally there are the minifigures and the new horse.  This WOULD of been the saving grace of the set since both Gandalf and Shire Frodo were exclusives, but not anymore.  Soon you will be able to get Gandalf in the Bag End set which seems infinitely better than Gandalf Arrives, and Shire Frodo is currently available in the polybag.  Personally I would of passed this set up if I wasn't such a competitionist.

#9 Gryphon Ink

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 03:34 AM

I, too, think this is the weakest LOTR set of all now that Frodo is available in several other sets and Gandalf will appear in the excellent Bag End set later this year.  The only other thing that really appeals here is the new brown horse, and that comes in Uruk-Hai Army, a set that is much more enticing to buy multiples of.

The way I see it, this set is meant to be the set for all the non-AFOL LOTR geeks out there, who want one Lego LOTR set just because it's cool.  They won't buy many other sets, so the one they buy has to have uber-iconic characters in it.  For them, Gandalf Arrives is perfect.
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#10 Bilbo Baggins

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 03:53 AM

Great review, I found quite cool the use of a snake as a firework.

#11 MihaiMariusMihu

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 08:50 PM

Thanks for the great review!

#12 Ferrik

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 10:01 AM

View PostDeathleech, on 21 August 2012 - 03:18 AM, said:

I already posted my thoughts on this set in another review, but I guess I will here as well.  
Even the cheaper Shelob Attacks set, which is also a smaller set at 20 bucks, is only 9 cents per piece.  

Thanks for letting us know your opinion, Deathleech. I was thinking of buying Shelob Attacks or this, but I decided to buy Gandalf Arrives as I would prefer to have a cart rather then a giant spider... :wink:

Edited by Ferrik, 22 August 2012 - 10:02 AM.

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#13 SheepEater

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 01:49 PM

View PostFerrik, on 13 August 2012 - 07:22 AM, said:

That's a great mod of this set.

Since I built it from scratch it's not a mod, but a MOC. None of the assembly for Gandalf's cart remains.

View PostFerrik, on 13 August 2012 - 07:22 AM, said:

Nice use of the harness for the cockpit. :wink:

Thanks. I fell in love with that part ever since I bought 6335 and saw the clever way LEGO used it to hold the entire upper back section of the trailer.
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Edited by SheepEater, 22 August 2012 - 07:50 PM.


#14 Venunder

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 05:05 PM

I love this set and the Hobbit race cart is pretty amusing too. :thumbup:

#15 ShaydDeGrai

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 06:38 PM

Thanks for the review.

I picked up this set mostly for Gandalf and to get an extra horse.  While I think the designer made an honest effort to capture the scene from the movie, there's not much to that scene.   For my money, the most important aspect of the sequence is Frodo hopping in to the cart and riding along, but the cart isn't big enough for two.  By itself, the cart is fine; I could stick it in Medieval Market Village and be quite happy with its shape, but for this scene, it's the wrong scale.  I'd make the cart two studs wider, a little longer and maybe add a tailgate that can actually open (but leave the wheels the same size)  These are fairly minor modifications, I just wish TLG had thought to do them from the outset.

I think, in the end, this is really the "stocking stuffer" set of the new line; a kit adult LOTR fans (but not necessarily AFOLs) get as a token gift to assemble and stick on a shelf or the corner of a desk - LOTR's answer to kits like HP 4736, Freeing Dobby.


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#16 Ferrik

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 07:43 AM

View PostSheepEater, on 22 August 2012 - 01:49 PM, said:

Since I built it from scratch it's not a mod, but a MOC. None of the assembly for Gandalf's cart remains.

Sorry, yeah I should have said MOC. :wink:


View PostShaydDeGrai, on 22 August 2012 - 06:38 PM, said:

Thanks for the review.

I picked up this set mostly for Gandalf and to get an extra horse.  While I think the designer made an honest effort to capture the scene from the movie, there's not much to that scene.

Thanks, ShaydDeGrai. :sweet: I agree with what you said, the cart just doesn't look right I guess you could say, but it's close. Parts-wise though, MOC-lovers will have a great variety of parts to add to their collection.
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#17 Balrog

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:15 AM

Thanks for the review.

I got this set yesterday. It is quite a nice set, though the price seems pretty high. The build is straight forward and quickly done. The minifigures are great, though I would have wished for a proper staff for Gandalf. I really like the details of the cart and especially the fireworks, though the cart is not very movie-accurate. What I really liked are the new parts. I really like these 2x1 plates with click holder thingy. I have not seen them before.

#18 Duce

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 11:00 AM

Built this last night, not a bad little set, some nice looking pieces and easy enough to throw together, but just seemed like another cart set to me.

Do like the way the sides of the cart are built though, may be stealing it for making more for my medieval themes.

Edited by Duce, 23 August 2012 - 11:00 AM.


#19 andhe

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 12:43 PM

I got this set the other week, as my first dip into LOTR lego, and mainly to look at the new parts first-hand. While I am pleased with the figures (the parts and printing are excellent) I can't help but be slightly baffled by the cart.

It contains a number of nice pieces, but just seems as it it was designed by someone 'trying to be clever' rather than creating an actual solid build. I also wonder why they used 2 1x2 plates instead of just using 1 2x2 plate in a couple of places? I can understand this in a larger set that might already have a large number of 1x2's, so it's easier to stick in a few more than add a different part. But does anyone know why TLG do this? It just seems like an attempt to inflate the piece count.

Love the new horse mould though.

#20 SheepEater

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 01:04 PM

View PostBalrog, on 23 August 2012 - 10:15 AM, said:

The minifigures are great, though I would have wished for a proper staff for Gandalf.

I disagree, his staff is fine. Proof: Gandalf from the book (was drawn long before the movies)
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Besides, if the staff was any different, what could I have used as front axle in my wooden race car MOC?  :laugh:

#21 Krawi

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 01:12 PM

Thanks for review, its very nice set. I like the new horse and minifigs. I can use this cart in my castle town :)Accessories are very usefull.

It is expensive so I will buy it during sales.

#22 Balrog

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 01:19 PM

View PostSheepEater, on 23 August 2012 - 01:04 PM, said:

I disagree, his staff is fine. Proof: Gandalf from the book (was drawn long before the movies)
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Besides, if the staff was any different, what could I have used as front axle in my wooden race car MOC?  :laugh:

Well in that context, you are right. I would have just wished, that the staff is more like in the movies. Right now it is like a simplified version, but they could have made a new one anyway. I hope they do it for Gandalf the White.

#23 Deathleech

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 04:00 PM

Here is what the staff looks like in the movie though, which the LotR sets are based on:
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#24 Haltiamieli

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:03 PM

Personally I don't think any attempt to design a unique mold for Gandalf's staff would have had satisfactory outcome, really. It just wouldn't work in the scale and simplified aesthetics (but of course that's my opinion and others are free to disagree – it's obviously an opinion question how detailed minifig accessories should/can be). I'm just happy that they have restrained the new molds to the things that really count instead of using new molds for everything that's vaguely different than existing pieces (I even remember seeing complaints that they should have done a new mold for Gandalf's hat, because it's so different than the usual Lego wizard hat) and thus raising the prices or reducing design quality/other elements of the sets.

Edited by Haltiamieli, 23 August 2012 - 09:07 PM.

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#25 Deathleech

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 02:31 AM

Here is what I did:
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Either can be achieved by just adding 1 or 2 pieces to the end of the staff.  It's another super easy change you can do yourself (like with the wagon seat and back hinge), but it just seems lacking on Lego's part that they didn't do it themselves.



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