kaelthas

Review: 9474 The Battle of Helm's Deep

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  1. 1. On scale 1-5

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Hi, today I'll be reviewing an old set. Old is gold, right?

Overview
Name: The Battle of Helm's Deep
Year: 2012
Pieces: 1392
Minifigures: 8
Price: £99.99 / $129.99 / 139.99€

Introduction

The Lord of the Rings sets are the one theme that brought me back from my dark ages of LEGO. Then this set wasn't in my first wish list as I felt that grey buildings are not my cup of cake. That's why I got it last before it retired, phew.. I am happy and glad that I got it at last. Let's find out why.

 The Box

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Well, the box art was nice as usual, you can see Theoden riding a horse, killing Uruks, Gimli chopping and Haldir shooting arrows.

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At the back of the box it shows that you need 9471 to add into this to lengthen the wall. Interesting way of making you buy another set. 

 

The Minifigures

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We got 8 minifigures from this set. From left Theoden, Aragorn, Haldir, Gimli, Uruk Hai without armor, Berserker Uruk Hai, and 2 Armored Uruks.

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Lets start from the good guys. Now they are all suited up, Theoden is holding a shield and a standard sword in this theme, and an amazingly detailed printed armor. Aragorn in his ranger outfit, with the jeweled pendant Evenstar necklace from Arwen. (I thought it was lost during Helm's deep's battle? Correct me if I'm wrong..) and Haldir with his Elven long bow.

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Close up on the torso and legs printings. I like the pearl gold arm of Haldir which makes him looks noble. Theoden's smiling face was cute and the outfit beneath the armor was very nice.

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All angry for their alternate faces. Back printing was a bit simple for Theoden and Aragorn but  look at Haldir, still looks noble and nice under the cape.

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All I can say was LEGO was putting a lot of effort in to the King. Helmets, armors and the shield are so well printed!

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See, even the back of the helmet was printed. Luckily its not sticker if you get what I mean. Haha.

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Oh yes, This set comes with a horse (only one?) for Theoden. Ride with me!

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Lets go to the next good guy, Gimli son of Gloin. He gets a solo review because he is in a lot of sets makes him less noticed. He is great too! He is holding a big and a small axe which makes him not so stable but luckily the long bar can act as a stick to make him stand. Overall he is a very nice minifig too!

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The beard mold was very detailed but it covers all of his torso, so i take it out to see clearer. The logo of the belt resembles the shape of an axe. Without the manly beard now he looks like a boy.

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He has an alternate face too! Two backpack at the back and that ring. If I pull it will it say 'There's a snake in my boot'? Hmm the angry face was also kind of unnoticeable due to the large beard and helmet. Can you differentiate from the picture below which one is angry and which one is not?

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Left is normal face, right one is angry face.

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Berserker Uruk Hai. Bred to die bombing the wall. Saruman's white hand is all over the body and head.

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The figure was exclusive to this set and yes, keep that fire away from the bomb.

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The back of the head looks like he is wearing some kind of helmet, printed on his head. 

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Lets look at the army. These babies are too cute that you forgot they are the bad guys in the movie! Their helmets did not have any Saruman's hand print on them but still they are coming to attack the Helm's deep. They are all the same for you to build an army of Uruks lining in front of the castle. 

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Inside, they are identical brothers. All have the same printings and so much details on the torso and legs.

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The back too. The alternate faces are angrier, maybe they don't like the fact that Saruman put his hand on them. :grin:

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These three minifigures are exclusive ONLY to this set. You can't find them elsewhere but there would be quite a lot of extras as quite a lot of people purposefully bought 2-3 sets or more to make a very big Helm's Deep castle. The special Uruk was the one who brought down the wall. He has very different design from other Uruk Hai. The helmet was printed to the head as a 'bald' minifigure. Torso print was with 2 Saruman white hand print and six packs body. Haldir looked elegant in this set which I feel he really worthy to be included (but where is Legolas?). Theoden King was in fighting mode after he asked Aragorn to ride with him. He shared the same shield and leg with Eomer in 9471 but he and his full armor and helmet can't be found elsewhere.

 

The Build
There are 9 numbered bags in total. Sorry I don't have a picture for that as this was a rebuilt set.

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This is bag number one. The black technic 1x4 indicates that the build was some kind of modular building technique.

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This looked like the main door of the castle. On the right side there is a mechanism that you can flip a minifigure to the gate, which recreates the scene of Aragorn tossing Gimli to kill Uruks in front of the gate.

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This is the back part of the build. The secret door to access to that mechanism. There are more modular pin holes to connect. The clip is to hold the gate, and the tiles are nicely placed for the doors to slide.

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After bag 2 you can see the gate was installed, and the top of the castle was finished. The wood planks was for the Rohan soldier to throw pebbles or rocks at the Uruk Hai in front of the gate. The flag and the fire definitely added some color to the greyish building. At this part its already a gorgeous building. The use of grey profile bricks, sand green bricks and the irregularly placed rock underneath makes it a very nice castle wall.

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At the back you can see the gate was fully enclosed by the arch pieces beautifully placed. With the army of 3 Uruks, they provided more than enough bullets to fire upon them.
Then you go to book number 2.

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Upon finishing book number 2 which is bag 3 and 4, you have the runway for Uruks to charge in, and the two curved walls at both sides of the gate. The brick built ladder was quite accurate with the hook which looks like those in the movie.

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The back view. Its like a half circle enclosing something that we will be building in book 4. There are actually plenty of place to stand for minifigures at the top of the walls.

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The result of Book 3. You get to see the weakness of the deep. The water sewage with a bomb. Up at the back you can see the Horn of Helm Hammerhand. Underneath was stickers showing the molded walls adding some details to the tower.

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At the back of the tower you can see 3 ladders connecting for Gimli to climb up to the Horn. And there is the box to be found by Legolas for GImli to stand maybe? Under the sewage was the technic parts where the mechanism will blow the wall apart. The pieces were put together loosely so that the blow will create a large hole for Uruks to charge in.

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The side view. There are actually plenty of room here with another secret door. For storage maybe?

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Book 4 is basically the King's throne. This is the place where they decided to ride out to meet Gandalf the White and Eomer. Gold plates and cups, and the Rohan's flag. It was a sticker but honestly, it was a very nicely printed sticker.

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The back of the throne room looks quite well designed too. The 4x10 plate was a platform to stretch to the main gate to make a bridge. Again, the flag and the torch added color to the building. A very nice finishing touch to the castle.

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Connecting everything and tada!!! The gorgeous looking castle! Now even the castle fans will be stunned by it. It really looks like the one in the movie, just smaller in my opinion.

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Lets look at the back. Salute the designer! Its like the whole Helm's deep packed in a set of LEGO!

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Adding the minifigures at their respective positions. Now I feel complete.  (The pictures below are with additional minifigures and horses NOT included in this set.) Now we need more Uruk Hai's to add into the army.

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Or lets add Legolas first. haha.

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Aragorn: Ride with me, Gandalf and Eomer is here!

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Oh no the bomb set off! The hole is quite big I would say. Or the castle too small? Should we ask for a UCS version? haha.
Gimli: DON'T tell pointy ears!

Conclusion
This is a great set for The Lord of the Rings fans out there. Its a replica of the actual Helms deep in LEGO. Lots of diorama can be done with this set alone or it can be displayed in a glass cabinet. Packed with so many details, I can look at it and play with it for a very long time. Its a retired set now, but the price is still reasonable unlike those ships with so much hike of the price.

Review Summary
Playability: 8/10 - Actually there were only 2 play features in this set but its not why we buy it, right?
Design / Building Experience: 9/10 - Majestic castle building fun.
Minifigures:  9/10 - Great minifigures! All the printings and the details exceeds all expectations.
Price / Value for money: 9/10 -  The prices went up as it retires, but still worth it.
Overall: 9/10 - Can I put 10/10? It was just too awesome to own this set.

 

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The scene where they actually won the battle. 

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Very nice review! Lotr also brought me back :-) This set captures the different scenes so well, I only missed a regular elf warrior, but with 8 minifigures I can't complain.

The pictures are also wel shot, great job!

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This was such a fantastic set! Definitely one of the best in the line next to Bag End and Orthanc.

Looking back I only wish they had also included Eowyn in the set knowing she never appeared anywhere else. I wouldn't have cared if it had been Arwen or Tauriel that got excluded from the line, but not getting Eowyn remains one of my biggest disappointments.

Edited by wesker

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Have you had this on display? Some of your LBG bricks seem to vary hugely in colour. Or is it just the light it is photographed in.

 

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On 4/24/2017 at 3:36 AM, Sir Iron said:

Very nice review! Lotr also brought me back :-) This set captures the different scenes so well, I only missed a regular elf warrior, but with 8 minifigures I can't complain.

The pictures are also wel shot, great job!

Thanks for the kind words! Regular elf warrior? You mean Legolas? He is no regular.. haha

On 4/24/2017 at 3:56 AM, AgentKallus of Hydra said:

I really wish I'd gotten more of the lotr sets while they weren't too costly.

Luckily my friends poisoned me deeply in getting them.. haha

6 hours ago, wesker said:

This was such a fantastic set! Definitely one of the best in the line next to Bag End and Orthanc.

Looking back I only wish they had also included Eowyn in the set knowing she never appeared anywhere else. I wouldn't have cared if it had been Arwen or Tauriel that got excluded from the line, but not getting Eowyn remains one of my biggest disappointments.

Hmm Arwen, Tauriel and Eowyn should be included! Yea without the woman who killed the witch king of Angmar is quite a disappointment..

6 minutes ago, MAB said:

Have you had this on display? Some of your LBG bricks seem to vary hugely in colour. Or is it just the light it is photographed in.

 

Once I dismantled it and stored them as spare bricks because it took up so much space. Just recently I rebuilt it to make this review, so I might have mixed with those from bricklink.. haha

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A great review of one of the best licensed LEGO sets ever made.

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On 4/29/2017 at 7:14 PM, Hive said:

A great review of one of the best licensed LEGO sets ever made.

Yes! This set is one of my favorite lotr set in my collection! Glad you enjoyed the review. Thanks.

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Great review mate! So much nostalgia, I used to buy LEGO LOTR. Too bad I never got too many, I moved on to Star Wars. Still, seeing these reviews are nice :classic:

Keep up the good work :thumbup:

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On 5/6/2017 at 2:17 PM, VaderFan2187 said:

Great review mate! So much nostalgia, I used to buy LEGO LOTR. Too bad I never got too many, I moved on to Star Wars. Still, seeing these reviews are nice :classic:

Keep up the good work :thumbup:

Thanks mate! You should keep on with lotr and hobbit, star wars is an endless journey.. haha.

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