kaelthas

Review: 9473 The Mines of Moria

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Hi, I'm glad to present my final review for my graduation. Thanks to all the teachers in Reviewers Academy and lets go into the set.

Introduction

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When was this? Two years ago? Three? December of 2001 was really 16 years ago when The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring premiered. Time really flies but this LEGO set came quite late after the movie which dated back to 2012 May. Like what Gandalf said in the picture above, I literally had no memory of this place as 16 years was too long ago. In the movie, the Fellowship of the Ring was drove into the Mines of Moria by Saruman's magic that brought down the snowy mountain.

Lets greet the dwarves inside the Mine.

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"Speak Friend, and ENTER." Frodo reminded Gandalf of this riddle written on the door to speak out "Mellon" (Elvish word for friend) and the box seal opened magically. The box art was very nice and the first thing you'll see is that blue colored creature holding a club with chains. That's a very nice big fig in this set! The back of the box was the fighting scene in Moria and the play features of this set. At the side of the box you can see six minifigures of the set in which mostly are exclusive to this set.

Overview

Name: 9473 The Mines of Moria
Theme:  The Lord of the Rings
Year: 2012
Pieces: 776
Minifigures: 6 (+1 Cave Troll and 2 skeleton)
Price: £69.99 / $79.99 / 79.99€
ResourcesBrickset

  Quote

On their epic journey across the lands of Middle-earth, the heroic Fellowship of the Ring travels through the abandoned Mines of Moria. Pursued by the evil Moria orcs and a giant Cave Troll, Pippin, Boromir, Gimli and Legolas make a stand in Balin's Tomb. Can the heroes hold back the evil horde and make it out of the mine unhurt? Includes 6 minifigures: Pippin, Boromir, Gimli, Legolas and 2 Moria orcs. Set features giant cave troll and 2 skeletons.

  • Includes 6 minifigures: Pippin, Boromir, Gimli, Legolas and 2 Moria orcs
  • Features giant cave troll and 2 skeletons
  • Weapons include chain, club, bow, double-bladed axe, single-bladed axe, small hobbit sword, shield and Boromir's sword
  • The Mines of Moria features well, wall and gate, and several weapons
  • Wall features hidden room with treasure, opening doors and falling wall elements
  • Topple the walls!
  • Defeat the cave troll!
  • Drop the skeleton into the well!
  • Flick open the tomb!
  • Wall and gate measure11" (27cm) high and 5" (12cm) wide
  • Tomb measures 3" (7cm) long
  • Well measures 3" (7cm) long
  • Cave troll stands 4" (9cm) tall

Instruction Manual

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Inside the box you get two booklets of instructions with my favorite soft binding. Quite thin I would say. I think its because this set is not so focused on the build with so many exclusive figures. 

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 The best part of the binding was that I can fold them like this and not damaging them. So I prefer more booklets rather than a thick dictionary. :laugh:

The Build

"And they called it a Mine, A Mine!"

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"This is no mine, its a tomb!" Boromir said this as he saw so many skeletons and discarded weapons on the floor when they walked in the entrance. Saddened by the barbaric scene of his dead kin, Gimli rushed into this room with a tomb with elvish inscriptions. 

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"Here lies Balin, son of Fundin, Lord of Moria." There is no printed brick in this set. So all the inscriptions are stickers. In Book one, you get to build Balin's tomb, stick the stickers to the book and a well. Both the well and tomb are with play features that flicks open the cover of the tomb revealing a skeleton and the panel which can be pulled at the black 1x2 modified plate to make the skeleton with bucket fall. I love this small builds as the inscriptions are the same ones from the movie. Just that the scribe wasn't thick enough.

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Pippin's curiosity was the culprit that brought danger to the company. 

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You can recreate the scene by just putting the respective minifigures beside the build. Pippin is ready to call the orcs and Gimli is filled with sadness and anger. 

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These are the minifigures that we get from book one. I feel that this set is very worthy of the figures. You get five exclusives and two skeleton. Great bargain! With all these included, I won't complain about putting so many stickers in the set. 

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Proceed to Book two. This is the place where they battled the Cave Troll in the movie. There are three parts connected by modular pins, with a deserted library and a treasure box underneath the center part. I like the design of the walls and the similarity to the scene in the movie was spot on! The scene actually shown in the movie for just a glance of one or two seconds only and LEGO managed to bring it out to live.

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There are a few play features here. The two levers that will lean the pillars forward and push down the large pillars targeting the Cave Troll. The other one is to push out the treasure box which is quite non-related to the movie I think. I'm quite satisfied with the design of the wall of the cave but not the size of it. I think a lot of MOCers out there will think of building the whole cave but what I see in the wild were only Batcaves were built. Hmm...

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The other half of bag one was this cave door that blocked those filthy orcses for a little while. We got a bronze axe here to put on the door to prevent them from opening the door and an Elvish inscription. I apologize for the lost of the wooden stickers here but without them it still look like a messy old door. The design of the door was nice and at the same time preserve the feeling of broken woods. The walls with dark grey and a few profile bricks nicely portrayed the look of the cave from the movie. 

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"They have a Cave Troll." Two arrows shot at the door after Boromir peeped through the opening of the door. The antistuds showing here is not quite nice if you are looking at this side. There will be some work to do here for MOCers out there. 

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"Orcs!" Legolas screamed out to get everyone ready for battle. "Let them come. There is one dwarf yet in Moria who still draws breath!" So Gimli stood on Balin's tomb and welcomes the attack. 

*The fellowship minifigs are not all in this set. (But Most)

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Ready, steady, here come the orcs! Fight! 

*Only Pippin is included in this set.

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Hey! Wrong door you fool!

*Goblin King is not in this set too.

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Grand Entry of the main character in this set. I like it very much that the door is designed in his size. The cave troll fits nicely in the door when it opens but in the movie I think he broke the door. :grin: 

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The sticker on the side of the wall here with two sets of eyes should be placed at the door but quite nice from this view so I'm not complaining. Here lies a play feature which you can flick the technic part to literally break the wall. 

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Fight!!! We are outnumbered! Looks like the orcs are outnumbered here. I think more variants of orcs added would be nice here. 

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This is the full view of the finished build. It does look like a cave if you arrange them as such but the dilemma of making it full will be not able to take photos in minifigures view. So I think this set is very well adjusted of the figure to build ratio. But for displaying the set, it is taking a lot of space and the parts are four separated compartments. So you might need a base plate to contain all of them into one unit.

Lets move on to the minifigures.

Minifigures

 

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Gimli, son of Gloin. He is a great minifigure despite being common. 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.  The beard mold was very detailed but it covers all of his torso, so i took 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. He has an alternate angry face.  Hmm the angry face was kind of unnoticeable due to the large beard and helmet. 

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Peregrin Took. He is exclusive to this set, so if you want to complete your Hobbit collection, this set is a must buy. The print of this minifigure is very detailed with his scarf and the dark blue coat. The shire belt is also a very nice print. The facial expression is very nice that they include the scared face after he was scolded by Gandalf. The cape is also specially designed to fit the height of a hobbit.

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Legolas Greenleaf. He is not exclusive to this set. He is wearing an olive green outfit which is the same in the movie, with all the Elven curves at the torso. I like it that the print that extended to the legs actually made him looks taller. The Elvish hair is also very nicely carved but it was too big and blocking his head to be fixed to look at the center. He also comes with alternate angry face.

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Here come the bad guys. Ironically both of them are exclusive to the set. The skin colors come in olive green and they have two face prints that looks very similar. I've mentioned the difference in the above picture. The torso and legs are identical. To make them slightly different I usually display them with different faces, one with the large blunt sword and shield, other with that mace. The brown color orc is for comparison. They look green maybe because of chronic darkness in the mine?

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This is also an exclusive minifigure in this set. Boromir. He is wearing a blue outfit with a belt just like in the movie but printing a Gondorian horn at the back of the torso would be a nice addition to this very nice minifigure. He came with a long sword and a special shield designed just for him. I like him so much as he is packed with so much exclusiveness in one minifigure!

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Nooooo!!! Don't shoot him please...

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Tadaa!!! This is the main reason for me to buy this set. This exclusive giant is a very nice big fig ever designed. The legs and head is one piece, and both arms are connected by this clicking pin which will hold the position of the arm if they are lifted up. There are two studs on top of his head for Legolas to kill him with style. The muscles on the arms are nicely molded and the hand can easily fit a minifigure for him to hold on to. 

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He came with a brick built club and a chain which the orcs used to 'tame' him. They clearly didn't do a good job at this. The face is nicely printed with nice canines pointing at the lower jaw for a scary face. Overall this is a perfect big fig for a cave troll. I love it.

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For comparison, The Hulk and Goblin King are here to compete for size. Cave troll is considered medium here with Goblin King largest and The Hulk is smallest for the big fig category. Pippin is smallest here and he should be scared. Haha. 

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This is the complete line up of the minifigures in this set. Its very awesome and worthy to say that only Legolas and Gimli can be found in other sets. The rests are exclusive. This alone would be a killer reason to buy this set. 

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'Orcsssss!!!'

Conclusion

This is one of my favorite Lord of the Rings LEGO set. In my opinion, the set is well balanced in the minifigure selection and the size of build. I got most of the member of the Fellowship of the Ring just by buying this set. The only downside is that I always dream of MOCing the whole cave but hard to come true. Do share in the comment here if you come across any Moria MOC. 

Review summary 
 
Playability: 6/10 - I think the play features here are for only kids to play with.
Design / Building Experience: 6/10 - The cave is quite easy to build with lots of long bricks.
Minifigures:  10/10 -  Most of them are exclusive. Really can't argue with that in this set. I love them so much!
Price / Value for money: 9/10 - This set is worthy for the cave troll and Boromir and Pippin.
Overall: 9/10 -  The design of the door, well and the coffin are very nicely done. Just that you might need to get another set to make the cave bigger and wider.

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The Fellowship of the Ring.


 

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Great job on adding story. I feel that your review is a standout and fits history/medievals set lovers.

You know your reviews on LOTR/Hobbit make me regretful for missing them out entirely. Looking forward to more of your reviews! :thumbup:

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This is a thorough review and very nicely done. This set was one of the best in the LOTR lineup. I didn't appreciate that they used so many stickers here, but the cave troll made up for it.

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12 hours ago, makoy said:

Great job on adding story. I feel that your review is a standout and fits history/medievals set lovers.

You know your reviews on LOTR/Hobbit make me regretful for missing them out entirely. Looking forward to more of your reviews! :thumbup:

Thanks! Yes you should regret. Those are very nice sets you missed.

12 hours ago, Only Sinner said:

This is a thorough review and very nicely done. This set was one of the best in the LOTR lineup. I didn't appreciate that they used so many stickers here, but the cave troll made up for it.

Thanks my friend. I agreed that the cave troll made up for everything here in the set. Having this set completes my Fellowship collection. So its a gem to me. :laugh:

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Awesome review!! If this set were to be re released would buy it in a heartbeat just for the review.

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9 hours ago, Niku said:

Awesome review!! If this set were to be re released would buy it in a heartbeat just for the review.

Thanks!! Yeah I would buy too just to get the army of Moria Orcs and expand the cave room. 

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Brilliant review. Photography, writing, ideas - all top notch. You really make the set shine. Your review actually makes me regret not having left my dark age a couple years earlier. Golden days! :wink:

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39 minutes ago, Littleworlds said:

Brilliant review. Photography, writing, ideas - all top notch. You really make the set shine. Your review actually makes me regret not having left my dark age a couple years earlier. Golden days! :wink:

Thanks! I left my dark ages just in time of these gems released. Around 2012/13. I'm lucky that my wife bought me my first set of LEGO at that time. Missed those golden days. LOTR, Hobbit and POTC are my favourite themes.

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4 hours ago, kaelthas said:

Thanks!! Yeah I would buy too just to get the army of Moria Orcs and expand the cave room. 

Do you build armies now? I thought you're not the army-building type? 

 

3 hours ago, Littleworlds said:

Brilliant review. Photography, writing, ideas - all top notch. You really make the set shine. Your review actually makes me regret not having left my dark age a couple years earlier. Golden days! :wink:

We probably left our dark ages about the same time -- and this guy has all the good sets that I don't have. :angry: 

 There's always going to be a bit of nostalgia factor in those golden age. :sweet:

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Nice review. I am glad to own this set, but I am not fond of the built. There are way too many stickers. The cave troll and the excellent minifigures made it up for it. I break the parts for my own spare bricks. I don't think I will really maintain the built. Thanks for doing this review. 

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Though this is such an old set, I enjoyed reading your review.  The story telling style is refreshing and it conjures images of the movie.

A pity Lego discontinued the LOTR/Hobbit line else I would love to see you do the review for the new sets.

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On 7/20/2017 at 11:28 PM, WhiteFang said:

Nice review. I am glad to own this set, but I am not fond of the built. There are way too many stickers. The cave troll and the excellent minifigures made it up for it. I break the parts for my own spare bricks. I don't think I will really maintain the built. Thanks for doing this review. 

Thanks @WhiteFang! This was the last lotr set that I bought. The hesitation was that I'm having the same thought that the built is not interesting. It once became my spare bricks too, but after I took it out for rebuild, all the design of the well, Balin's tomb, the side hall and the door are quite similar to the scenes in the movie. So I've agreed to myself that I will not dismantle it anymore but to stack them together to save space. Haha

3 hours ago, Tom Bombadil said:

Though this is such an old set, I enjoyed reading your review.  The story telling style is refreshing and it conjures images of the movie.

A pity Lego discontinued the LOTR/Hobbit line else I would love to see you do the review for the new sets.

Thanks @Tom Bombadil! I'm glad you enjoyed the review! I told the story again to refresh the great scenes from the movie near two decades ago. Yeah I even think they left Hobbit LEGO sets incomplete. Should have more armored dwarves. I will slowly do more reviews for the old sets, stay tuned!

On 7/18/2017 at 1:24 PM, makoy said:

Do you build armies now? I thought you're not the army-building type? 

 

We probably left our dark ages about the same time -- and this guy has all the good sets that I don't have. :angry: 

 There's always going to be a bit of nostalgia factor in those golden age. :sweet:

You can't resist 10,000 Uruk Hai standing at a base plate, can you? Haha 

Golden age. I wished I have the time machine.

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This was one of the first sets I bought after emerging from the Dark Ages.  The Shelob set was the first LOTR, but it was not long before picking this one up.  It was of course crucial for getting all of the Fellowship as Boromir and Pippin are still exclusive to this set.  The build itself is OK.  I was not as fond of the massive sticker sheet and the fact that the completed set was in several pieces, but the minifigs are great.  It also recreates the scene in Balin's tomb very well.  

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Excellent review! I have bought all the LOTR sets but they are still patiently waiting in their sealed boxes as I am waiting for my son to be old enough to build them with me... 

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