Hinckley

REVIEW: 9473 Mines of Moria

  

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Number – 9473

Name – The Mines of MoriaTM

Theme – Lord of the RingsTM

Year – 2012

Minifigs – 9

Pieces – 776

Price – $79.99 USD

Links: BrickLink, Brickset, Peeron – no entry yet, Shop@Home

For the release of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the RingTM, the construction toy license was awarded to the dreaded and evil Megablocks corporation (Booooo!). Fanboys speculated that the LEGO Group had turned down the opportunity to bid for the license due to the violent content of the movies. The resulting Megablocks product line was more horrifying than a night trapped in The Mines of Moria :cry_sad:. For years fans hoped for a LEGO line of Lord of the Rings sets and rumors constantly rose that it would come to pass. Many talented builders created beautiful renditions of Tolkien settings while the community waited for official LEGO sets to be released. And now, here they are. Were they worth the wait? Did the LEGO Group do justice to the timeless tales or come anywhere near to the beauty of the fan MOCs? Read on to learn more...

Packaging

The Box

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Let's take an in-depth look at the new packaging. Here is the front of the box adorned with the beautiful Lord of the Rings logo. We also see the evil Sauron's finger adorned with The One Ring. There is a nice cold and dark feeling to the packaging, reminding us of the ancient stone and adventurous nights lost in the forests of the Lord of the Rings story. There's a nice gradient into the warmer colors of the fires of Mordor, all across a map of Middle Earth. The graphics are very exciting. They re-create the danger and adventurous feelings of the story and indicate that you'll be assembling a quality product!

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The back of the box shows of the set's many play features.

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Look, you can give the cave troll an upper back injury by toppling a column onto him. Don't forget to tell him that his shoes are untied first...

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Oh no! Look at this! Lord of the Rings, the video game!!! I can't wait to play this with my nephew. :wub:

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Look at all the great minifigs you get in this set and wonder at their corresponding trademark emblems.

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There are so many languages! This is definitely being marketed outside of their main target markets, the US and Germany. It's good to see the brand rising in popularity enough to require this many translations.

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So, why does one of the translations of "Cave Troll" omit the cave altogether and just go to Isengard? :wacko:

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If you put an accent over the o, there's no trademark. :wink:

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At least this isn't the entire credits from the films.

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This is the Sauron of Megabloks flipping us off for purchasing the product. I love that the Elvish writing is present.

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Oooh, someone nailed an additional parchment, containing the set's minifigs, to the front of the box. It must be hard to package with that nail sticking out.

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A perfect marriage.

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Hi, I'm a minifig with a creepy face and enormous mouth. Don't you want to join my club?

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"Oh no! My head! I'm not supposed to have brick walls fall on it!"

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"If you want to come through the door you have to put both arms at your side, stupid Troll de I'lsengard."

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"Aaah! Giant child!!"

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"Stop shooting me with arrows. I'm really no threat. My scary mouth is only painted on."

"It's silk-screening, you stupid Troll de I'lsengard."

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Wow, lots of new weapons!

Pieces

Instructions

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Let's take a quick moment to have a round of applause for the LEGO Group's decision to start wrapping the DSS (Dreaded Sticker Sheet) and instructions with cardboard to prevent them from being damaged. Those who like to keep their instructions in pristine condition, rejoice!

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Mines of Moria comes with two instruction books, labeled 1 and 2 to indicate which order they should be built in. :grin: How about that?

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Behold, instruction book #1!

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And now, bask in the glow of instruction book #2! The pictures on the cover of each indicate the models that the corresponding book has the instructions for.

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The DSS! These are some great designs. I really wish these bricks came decorated this way. Some of my sets that are over 10 years old are starting to show some serious failure on the sticker front. :cry_sad: There are some stickers that seem to last forever, but there seems to have been a time when they were using different stickers. My Rebel Blockade Runner (10019) had to be completely de-sticker due to major sticker curling and utter failure.

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I would really love to see these as decorated elements. I understand that is much more expensive and the licensed sets are already more expensive due to the Intellectual Property fees, but I wonder how much more it would cost to silkscreen the graphic onto the brick. Probably a lot. Otherwise, we'd probably see these as decorated elements. I could see a ton of uses for a graphic like this one. Although, it would be quite fun to build this out of brick too. :sweet:

Bag #1 Parts

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Parts from bag #1. This set includes the new orange brick separator and lots of great pieces for castle builders.

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More parts from bag #1. The nice thing about this as a parts set for castle builders is that it's more specific and detailed than regular System Castle sets. So there are better pieces for the serious Castle builder and a great selection and quantity thereof.

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New figure parts!! Let the patented Hinckley over-done and over-photographed-causing-the-review-to-run-too-long-and-take-forever-to-load new figure parts parade begin!

Bag #2 Parts

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There's a great amount of dark bley elements in this set, basic and special.

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Since this theme is replacing Castle, for the time being, it's nice to see that castle builders part monkeys have this line to boost their collection of castle parts.

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This is a nice, detailed set, so all parts monkeys, not just the castle builders, will enjoy the selection

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Bag #3 Parts

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Gems and treasure chests? I predict an unnecessary play feature that has nothing to do with the movie!

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Loads of dark bley...

Bag #4 Parts

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If you like headlight bricks, this set is definitely for you. :thumbup:

New Parts

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There are a lot of new SNOT (Studs Not On Top) parts this year. This one is listed as "Bracket 1 x 2 - 1 x 2 Inverted" on Bricklink. The "inversion" would be that the bracket is perpendicular to the plate and above it as opposed to the configuration of the original bracket piece: Bracket 1 x 2 - 2 x 2. The bracket is also 1 x 2 as opposed to 2 x 2.

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The "brick brick" is also new this year and seems to be the LEGO set designers' new favorite part! It's available, so far, in four different colors and in 15 different sets.

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The 2 x 2 facet brick has been around since 2010 but this is the first year we are seeing it in the light bluish gray color.

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The panel 1 x 2 x 2 corner has been around since last year but, so far, is only available in light bluish gray in this set.

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This set also contains the new brick separator piece in orange.

Spare Parts

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Figures

Cave Troll

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Like the Giant Troll found in the Castle sets, it comes in five parts: body, right arm, left arm, right hand, left hand.

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Here is a closeup of the arm mold.

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And this is the hand mold. Also like the Giant Troll, a minifig foot fits in the troll's hand so he can swing minifigs around by their feet. The hand also has a notch where a minifig utensil can be held.

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The body is the largest mold. The legs are rigid and his face is painted on, but it's still a very neat figure and looks very much like a LEGO version of the troll from the movie. It could use a little more drool though.

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Tee-hee, troll butt-crack. He must be a red-head, he is covered in freckles.

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Graaaaaawr!!!

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Oh, how convenient. There are studs on his head, in case a minifig elf wants to stand up there and fire arrows directly into his brain. I wonder if natural selection will cause that feature to evolve out of his species...

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*huh*! :blush:

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The arms connect directly to the troll body. They move in a complete circle, but do not hinge out like the old Dino joints do. The hand are connected with blue Technic friction axle pins.

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RAAAAWR!!! Here is the troll all put together.

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Rut-ro! This doesn't look good for our friend, Hinckley!

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Oh, the humanity!

Bag #1 Figs

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Here is the legs and torso for Boromir. The figure parts for this line are beautiful and excellently detailed. They are great illustrated versions of the fantastic costumes from the movies.

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I so welcome this era of back-printed torsos!

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Boromir's very detailed face. There is a nice likeness to the actor in the movie. Good definition added to the regular minifig face by employing the use of some simple lines.

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Turn Boromir's nice face around and you get angry face! Grrrrrrr!!!!

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Boromir's weapons match his from the movie as well. The shield makes a great new crest for Castle builder's army factions!

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It's an excellent weapon too.

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Here is Gimli's torso. I assume it's close to the costume from the movie as it's often covered by his beard. A collection of these would make a cool castle faction.

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Here is the printing on the back of Gimli's torso.

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Gimli's face, similar to Boromir's, is detailed with some simple design lines. This is an excellent face for new characters.

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Grrrr, watch out though. That kind face of a hero can get snarlingly angry as well.

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Now let's cover up that great minifig head with a huge beard. Here's the kind, bearded Gimli.

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And here's the snarlingly angry, bearded Gimli. See the difference?

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Well, the difference is in the eyebrows, but no matter! We'll just cover those off with this awesome and beautiful helmet.

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Here's a side view of this amazing helmet.

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And we can't have the back of the helmet feeling left out.

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Gimli's double-fisting the axes. ... *huh* ... :look:

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Is this the torso of Tiny Tim from Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol?? No, of course not. Not only would that make an incredibly odd addition to this Lord of the Rings set, but it's Pippin!

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Here's the back of Pippin's torso.

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Here's Pippin's cute face and fun new hair piece. Pippin is the only hobbit appearing in this set, despite this being a pivotal scene for our hobbit heroes. However, neither Gandalf nor Aragorn are in it either so I guess you'll need to buy a lot more sets to complete the story. :wink: Pippin is needed to knock the bucket into the well, of course.

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Speaking of which, here is Pippin's second face, appropriate for use in knocking buckets down wells.

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Here's a side view of that fun new hairpiece.

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And here's a back view of that fun new hairpiece.

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And here's Pippin, completely assembled, along with his weapons.

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Here is Pippin's broadsword.

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Did someone say "fun new hairpiece"?

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Let's spend way too much time putting this fun new hairpiece on different figures and cause the lengthy review to be lengthier and more difficult for those with slower connections to load! :grin:

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American Idol auditions.

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Yay! It's Braveheart! Can this be the scene where we show them our butts? :sweet:

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Here's a bag #1 family portrait.

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Oh, right. There are two skeletons, too. There's lots of bones laying around Moria.

Bag #3 figs

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LEGO ears!!!! I'm really happy they went with the ears and I wonder what the discussions were at the table with the LOTR licensing team. Did LEGO resist this due to their minifig patent? Either way, it's very cool and very well designed. This sets contains three hairpieces with ears. One for Legolas and two for the Orcs.

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Here is an extraneous top view of the hairpieces with ears.

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Before moving on to the figs, let's play with these new headgear elements. You can play The Dark Crystal! Look, it's Kira!

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Hey, Legolas! What's up? Great figure. Olive green torso with excellent printing. These colors look great together, the olive green, dark brown and light blue. His cheek bones are a little too severe, in my opinion.

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Here we see the back of the hairpiece again. Excellent molded braid. :thumbup:

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Here we see the back of the torso print and Legolas's angry face. This is a very complete and well designed torso. I like the way the belt knocks again in the back. The angry face's cheek bones seem high again.

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Here his is all put together on the right side with the angry face. The cheekbones make his face look like it's being squeezed out of his head. No wonder he's angry. This is not the best print on Legolas's face, in my opinion.

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"I see your equipment is bigger than mine." This set uses a new bow and arrow mold: bigger, thicker, better.

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Here is the Orc torso: ripped fabric over scaly armor - freaking cool!

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The back is equally cool and well detailed.

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Freaky Orcs! What an amazing face and headgear element. It's a pretty intense, scary fig. It's more severe than any other fig I can remember from past lines. The huge mouths in the Atlantis line were kind of freaky, but they were intended to enhance elaborate head molds. They were inadvertently freaky. This figure is just plain disturbing by design.

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They have two different faces. I'm not sure what the huge emotional difference is. I admit, however, that the emotional range of an Orc might not be very elaborate.

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Orcs are coming to beat your megablocks! Look at these guys. They are LEGO figures to create nightmares...

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Here is the Orc's shield. I can imagine these being bought en masse where possible for faction builders.

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Allow me to go overboard photographing this bad-megablocks new mold. It captures the Orc shields from the movies very well.

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Exorbitant shots of the shield. :blush:

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The Orcs have a plethora of weapons at their disposal in addition to the ones the instructions intend them to carry. These weapons litter the floor of the Mines of Moria as well.

Build

Bag #1 Build

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On to the building of the set...only 77 pictures into the review. :blush: The first build of the set uses our fun new bracket pieces!

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Here we see the completed hammer that the cave troll carries. It's not a Fabuland hammer, but it is pretty severe.

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The new bracket piece holds some cheese wedge at angles to provide spikes to the troll's weapon of choice.

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The hammer fits into the troll's hand at the connection point shown here.

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The troll must hold the hammer at this angle or the weight knocks him over.

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Rut-ro Hinckley Dimble Chubb! That's my hobbit name. :grin: The cave troll stays balanced, with the hammer at this angle, only by resting the hammer on Hinckley Dimble Chubb's head.

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The troll can also stay balance, while holding the hammer, when the weapon is at the post-swing position.

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Here is the beginning of the well. Notice how the texture of the bricks is randomly mixed up with the texture of the "brick-brick" to achieve that run-down, ruined feeling.

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Here we see the cool new 2 x 2 facet bricks in use and the 2 x 2 dark bley (bluish-grey) tile indicates that there will be a sliding mechanism in use for this well feature!

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Here is the completed well, completed with stickers. I usually do not apply the stickers, but in this case, they really do enhance the feeling of the Mines of Moria. Some nice brick patterns and crumbly stone to make the tiles look like slabs of old, weathered limestone. I would love it if these were decorated pieces, instead of tiles, but I digress.

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I do, however, question the logic of using a brick pattern sticker when the "brick-brick" is in such wide use in this year's sets, let alone this particular set. It's even on a 1 x 2 brick! :wacko: Then again, that is a 1 x 2 x 2, so it wouldn't be possible unless that one piece was replaced by two...but I can't see that adding a lot to the cost, so this choice is a bit confounding to me.

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You must adorn the skeleton with the chain and bucket exactly like this and then rest it on the tile right where the instructions say. You must!

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Play feature test! Here's how it's supposed to work. The skeleton is sitting there, minding his own business, hanging out with his bucket on a chain. To knock him into the well, inadvertently summoning the Orcs of Moria and their Troll de I'lsengard.

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Woosh! I pull the lever and the bucket falls through, but the skeleton just curls up on the edge and smiles. "Ha ha," he says, "I'm still here. I like it here..."

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Not as much fun as if he had just fallen in, he must be tapped to complete the play feature.

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Thunk! Here come the Orcs! :cry3:

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As we move on to the sarcophagus, we can see that there will be a play feature added. Considering the technique being used, there'll be some sort of catapult.

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Oh yes, and as is typical for these devices in LEGO instructions, the obligatory warning appears next to this step in the instructions. They couldn't be bothered to make a new graphic from the warning about the triggered missiles with the rubber ends. They just removed the end of the missile so it looks like the head is being hit by a simple ball. What does that have to do with a LEGO set? There are no balls inside. So the warning is "While building your LEGO set, don't throw a ball at a bald man's disembodied head or he will wink and shed one black tear.

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There we have it, the catapult will...:look:...launch the body?

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Let's give him our skeleton friend a hand! "I already got one!" He looks so sweet, lying in his final resting place. :cry_happy: Awwwwww.

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Here is the lid to the sarcophagus. More good use of designs, however stickered instead of silkscreened.

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This is a pretty cool design. Using the brackets allows it to slip right over the panels of the sarcophagus and not need to stud on. It's necessary for it to be held in place with just gravity since the catapult will be blowing the lid off and popping the skeleton up from his little nap.

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Here is the complete coffin with all its stickers and the little book.

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Let's test out this coffin-catapult. Fawiiiiiiiiiiing! :look: Um.... It didn't fawiiing anywhere. It just kind of moved over a little.

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Oh. Well, he flipped over anyway. That's ... helpful. I have to deem this play feature a failure. :sceptic:

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Bag #1 family portrait.

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Onto Bag #2, I'm impressed that they've decided to put a pebble/dirt texture to the base of these structures.

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Here we see the cool stickers being put to use. Also notice the wall panels are asymmetrical. They face the same way.

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I love the creepy eye sticker, but it doesn't worry me that it might be a scary animal. What kind of frightening animal would fit inside a thin wall panel? A flatworm? Aaaaah, parasites!!!

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Here, we can see the giant door frame starting to take shape. The designers really know how to use the new brick brick piece. I think it's really effective, blended in with a normal column.

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Play feature alert: there is a removable chunk of rock on the top of the door frame...

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...that can be catapulted off, but hopefully not into a floating, crying head. They really only have that one ball graphic. If you flip this rock catapult too hard, a ball will hit a child in the head. It's a very odd warning, but I suppose they have to cover all bases.

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Faaaawiiiiiiiiiing! Fawhump!

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Someone knows what this says in Elvish. Look at the details over the door frame! They're not skimping on little parts, they're designing it! :sweet:

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The instructions are very specific about where each sticker goes. They are numbered for reference.

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Here's how teh new bracket piece is put to clever use. This configuration of LEGO elements becomes...

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...the lock for the door!

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Now, let's add the bag #2 build to the mix for our family portrait. At this point, there is already a plethora of extra pieces.

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As predicted, here is the beginning of a play feature that involves a treasure chest...nothing to do with

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Here's the base of the bag #3 build. Notice we still have a bit of asymmetry, which I really enjoy in this design, since it lends to that feel of a ruined old ancient dwarf mine. The placement of the stickers is still specific and I must say my sticker application skills have improved over the years. The treasure hides under the platform ... just like in the movie? :wacko:

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One thing I noticed in this set is that a dark bley 1 x 1 brick with 1 side stud is used every time just a 1 x 1 would work. This works out great for us LEGO fans who love this new piece. It's just odd that they used it considering the set comes with plenty of regular 1 x 1 dark bley bricks. The particular build pictured is very effective in adding a cool brick texture to the wall.

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See what I mean?

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Here is the complete bag #3 build. The top uses some SNOTted tiles to achieve another very interesting ruined wall texture. It looks like someone didn't enjoy reading very much. The numbered stickers make interesting archways and the goofy treasure slides out when the lever is pushed from the back. That is one goofy play feature.

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And finally, (thanks for sticking with me through this lengthy review) here is the bag #4 build. In the first couple steps we can predict another play feature a-brewin'.

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It does appear that it will be another catapult of some kind.

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This build attaches to the side of the bag #3 build and it appears the catapult will topple a column, just like the chunk of rock at the top of the doorway from bag #2.

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The other platform is basically a mirror of the first, yet it is asymmetrical again. The designers seem to have put a bit more effort and detail into these sets. The Castle builds, probably intended for younger builders, tend to be a bit more generic. The level of design on this set is a bit more sophisticated. Maybe simple asymmetry doesn't impress others, but I'm happy to see it here.

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Here are the columns that will topple when the troll hits them with his hammer. They use a simple brick pattern sticker to create some interesting texture. Again, it's odd to see a brick pattern sticker on the same build as the brick brick mold.

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Here is the completed bag #3 and Bag #4 build.

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Faaawiiiiiiiing!

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Yay! :grin: The columns fell over ... :look: Well, one of them did. The other jumped and landed in place. :snicker:

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And we've reached the end! Here's the complete set with all of its characters. I wonder who will win the battle for the treasure! :hmpf: I mean ... if our heroes will all make it out of the Mines of Moria alive. :blush:


Conclusion

Design 9/10

The LEGO Group has suspended the regular Castle line while they have the Lord of the Rings license. While some Castle fans may be disappointed, there is a lot for them to be happy about. Judging by this set, The Lord of the Rings sets are designed with more focus on detail than the regular Castle line. There's a lot of detail, subtle asymmetry and a high quantity of special pieces like 1 x 1 tiles, 1 x 1 brick with 1 side stud, cheese wedge and many other small pieces in dark and light bley that castle MOCers love to work with. The Lord of the Rings line will support our Castle fans more than the recent System Castle lines. Overall, the designers seem to give Lord of the Rings builders more credit for being able to figure out more clever building techniques.

Parts 9/10

There are a lot of pieces for creating detail for serious builders. There are brackets, bricks with side studs, a lot of tiles, cheese wedge, etc. While the price per piece is higher than non-licensed lines, there appears to be a lot more pieces in this set that are in higher demand. The inventory list almost read like a Castle LUG's LUGbulk list.

Figures 10/10

Despite the ridiculous amount of cheekbone on Legolas, the figures are amazing. There are great new torso prints as well as new head prints. Sometimes they are a bit covered up, especially with Gimli, but the detail that is covered by the beard will be greatly appreciated by LEGO castle builders who want to create unique characters. Besides haven't beautiful and accurate

Build 9/10

The instructions are very detailed, with some steps only adding two or three pieces. This is great for new builders who may be drawn to the sets because they are fans of the movies. With the DSS employed, there's an added element of aggravation for the sticker-impaired. Each sticker is numbered and the numbers are indicated in each step where the stickers are added. There's a nice build of anticipation waiting for those hairpieces with ears to come into the design! With three figures in the first bag and three more in the third bag, it gives a little something to look forward to later in the build. Like when grandma comes over in the evening on Christmas and brings you another gift to open! :grin: Since the design is more intricate and challenging the build is more interesting and enjoyable.

Playability 7/10

While I appreciate the fact that the play features get young builders thinking about simple machines without even realizing they're learning, some of the play features are a bit lame or out of place. The toppling columns and coffin lid don't work the way they're supposed to. They work occasionally but it would be nice if they were more consistent. I love The LEGO Group and I have noticed integrity and consistency in their brand. In the past few years that has come into question with some production problems as they've farmed out the production of the brick to other countries. It makes me feel a bit weary when it comes to things that are questionable. So, I'm probably a little over sensitive to catapults that don't work. However, there are other things that I feel don't really belong. Could we take the treasure chest on a lever out and put an extra Orc in? Does the coffin lid have to catapult off? Could we get an extra hobbit instead? I'm sure this is just from an adult fan point of view. The LEGO Group has their target and it's definitely the kids, but this review is for an adult fan community and the play features are a bit annoying for those who want LEGO Lord of the Rings displays.

Price 7/10

I am sure that the high price in the States has a lot to do with the weakness of the American dollar. We've seen the cost of LEGO sets go up quite a bit over the years and that's especially true with the licensed sets. I'm not going to harp on this for too long. It's noticeable the prize has risen. I've been around for a while though, too. Inflation is going to be noticed in a lifetime. If we have to pay a bit extra so LEGO can purchase a license and create quality sets like this, I'll eventually learn to live with this. :blush:

Overall 85%

It was worth the wait. The LEGO designers have done the movies and characters justice with an excellent product. It works as a model for fans and a great toy for kids. There's a lot of play features in it that don't necessarily work the way they're supposed to. However, they do spark the imagination and get kids thinking about simple machines like levers, without even realizing it. The new minifig molds are pure gold for fans and kids alike. The introduction of minifig elf and orc ears and some great new torso and face prints are sure to make their mark on MOCs and displays for ages to come. The build is more challenging than regular Castle sets with many a great amount of smaller detail pieces that are sure to challenge young builders and please the adult fan.

-

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Thank you for this excellent review, Hinckley. :wink: I think this is a superb set with great minifigures, but although the stickers do add much-needed detail, I think there are just too many. Most of the play features sound interesting, but as you said there are a few that don't really work that well.

Edited by Ferrik

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Thanks for making me laugh on a Monday morning, Hinck! :laugh: What a super review. :wub:

We have yet to build any of the LOTR sets we brought back from Brickworld. You just upped the anticipation by a few notches! :excited: I do love the detail they've put into these sets, especially the figures, though I'm hankering after a bit more structure.

This is the Sauron of Megabloks flipping us off for purchasing the product. I love that the Elvish writing is present.

It is the language of Mordor, which I will not utter here. :snicker:

Someone knows what this says in Elvish. Look at the details over the door frame! They're not skimping on little parts, they're designing it! :sweet:

They are Dwarven Runes, and apparently say 'DIORDIE WAS HERE'. :wacko: Some kind of in-joke by the designers? :look:

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Really nice review full of... troll and orc and funnies :thumbup:

Makes me want to buy the set... I have to convince my wallet :hmpf:

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A very nice review of a very nice set! I too was extremely confused by the Troll de L'Isengard... Games Workshop would be pleased to see that.

A shame they didn't make it so that the tomb broke in two when you hit it on the top or made shorter dwarf skeleton legs, and I'll have to disagree with you on the shield. It's too much like the shields of the Isengard Uruk-hai in my opinion. But the rest of it is brilliant.

Now, if only I had some space!

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So, why does one of the translations of "Cave Troll" omit the cave altogether and just go to Isengard?

It's "Troll de L'Isengard and not "I'Isangard" as you write for the stupid Troll :)

It's mean in french "Isengard's Troll", "Isengard Troll" or "Troll from Isengard"... Whatever, people who make french translations must be hang up for that :)

The real translation is "Troll des Cavernes"

Very nice review by the way. One of the most complete I ever see !!!

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Great review. A few notes:

1) Mega Bloks never had the license to make LotR construction sets. Intelli-Blox did , and yes, they were horrible.

2) I'm a native french speaker and generally speaking, their French translations are horrible. On each booklet it even says "LEGO The Hobbit: Coming SPRING 2012" where in English and Spanish they have it correctly as Winter. :hmpf:

3)This set is even more awesome when putting it on a 48x48 baseplate. The Troll then becomes completely poseable that way.

628-3.jpg

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Thanks for an excellent review 'Hinckley', malfunctioning play features.....oh, well....it will be alright on the night eh ? :laugh:

I only have this and Weathertop to buy now, so fingers crossed this week for this one....bills come first sadly ! :cry_sad::blush:

The DSS is the only let down, so many parts requiring stickers.....but what could Lego do....tie up a whole stack of castle parts in the designs from LOTR only ? :wink:

Brick On Review On 'Hinckley' ! :classic:

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Insanely detailed, I didn't know it was possible to be so thourough. Awesome review, and I don't think that I'll ever forget the Troll de l'Isengard. :laugh:

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Very nice review Hinckley.

I like those new hair pieces.Those green ears suit your avatar very well.:laugh:

I also like the catapults in the set, but judging from your review thay seem to stick.Do you think if you raised up the leavers another 1/2 stud the catapult it would fling better?

Edited by Alasdair Ryan

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this is the type of review I like :)

detailed with a lot of closeups :)

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Great review, I must say!

This is actually my first (and so far only) LotR set. It was expensive (I bought it from France for 99 €), and I can't tell if it was really worth the price as a whole set (I don't like how it reminds me more of theatrical setting than an actual cave), but the wonderful minifigures and the unique parts almost make up for it. I can't wait for the line to come to my country so I can get the rest of the sets.

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Thank you for the thorough review. I really appreciate the work and I love the sheer amount of detail shots. Very well. Oh, and I laughed a lot. So thanks for amusing us!

I'll keep my thoughts on this set, as I have already shared them in the other review.

Edited by Balrog

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It's "Troll de L'Isengard and not "I'Isangard" as you write for the stupid Troll :)

It's mean in french "Isengard's Troll", "Isengard Troll" or "Troll from Isengard"... Whatever, people who make french translations must be hang up for that :)

The real translation is "Troll des Cavernes"

I understand the translation without even knowing French. The confusion is that why does it list the Troll as being from Isengard? Also, I think I used a lower case l the first time not a capital i. Then I just started misspelling it after that. :blush:

They are Dwarven Runes, and apparently say 'DIORDIE WAS HERE'. :wacko: Some kind of in-joke by the designers? :look:

Thanks for looking that up. *huh* Weird...

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Great review,it does look like an interesting set but the price is about 10-11000 yen here in Japan *sigh*

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The only thing keeping me from giving this an 'Outstanding' vote is the insane amount of stickers. Otherwise, it's my favorite set from the first wave! I was head over heels excited when I first saw pictures of the set. :laugh:

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Impressive review, must have taken quite a long time. Great work!

The set itself, however... I vote "below average". Sure, it has some good figs - but that's pretty much all I think it has going for it. The set itself is some weird, scattered builds that aren't really all that impressive and doesn't give us a fullfilling structure but rather a part from a movie scene. Might just as well have been and old 'Studios' set. And the sticker sheets, oh the horrow... so many of them! :oh3:

Honestly, I think people are rating this set much higher than they normally would just because it's LOTR and they're happy to see these LOTR sets. If this was a Kingdoms set, people wouldn't be quite so impressed, I think. It's greatly overrated.

But eh, that's just my opinion. And so far, it seems like I'm the only one having such an opinion.

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Great review! I can honestly say I enjoyed this review more than the set itself, thank you.

I'm one of these people that have been building LOTR inspired creations since the early '70's and had been hoping that TLG would license the franchise since I spotted my first Lego Star Wars kit and thought, "Hey if they can license a movie, why not a book..." That said, I wish TLG would do more with LOTR than they have in this first round.

I have no complaints about the parts and mini-figures in the Mines of Moria offering (I'm actually contemplating picking up another one just for the parts). I think guys at TLG did a great job of sweating the details, but the playability (usually not a big factor for me in general but I recognize I'm not in the core target audience) seemed a little contrived.

The downside to this set, for me, was the build and the DSS, I like big, complicated builds, but this is more of a big set with lots of small builds bundled together, not that there's inherently anything wrong with that, but it was a little too "short attention span theatre" for my taste. As for the stickers, the set looks pretty bland without them (I built the whole thing sticker-less just to see how it would turn out) and with them, I find the process of applying them actively distracts from the fun of the build. I usually have a high tolerance for this sort of thing but this one just went overboard. Hinckley is dead on suggesting that they should have made more use of pre-printed bricks and the new brick-brick element.

Thanks again for a most entertaining review.

Honestly, I think people are rating this set much higher than they normally would just because it's LOTR and they're happy to see these LOTR sets. If this was a Kingdoms set, people wouldn't be quite so impressed, I think. It's greatly overrated.

But eh, that's just my opinion. And so far, it seems like I'm the only one having such an opinion.

You're not alone, Hive. I gave it an "Average" mostly for its value as a source of useful SNOT and castle parts and some cool figures, but as a LOTR set my response is lukewarm at best. I'm still holding out hope (and lobbying for over at Cuusoo and elsewhere) for LOTR to get the Star Wars treatment (some play sets, some battle packs, but most importantly an Ultimate Collector's Series with non-mini-figure-based complex models) rather than the Harry Potter treatment (take away the mini-figures and most sets fall flat). With stickers applied and all the little builds packed together, the Mines of Moria set at least reminds people of the scene in the movie even without mini-figures, and it's not a bad start for the franchise, but as a LOTR offering, I think there a lot of potential to the IP that TLG has yet to explore.

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Freaking great review, thanks. Alot of close up images (could been more, I don´t mind :D) and text.

I agree on that TLG did a great job on this set with design and other stuff, altough not all play features work as they should :). The biggest let down with this set is the stickers (as in all sets with them) altough they are beutiful and well though through design on them, they would be better printed. Another is (don´t know if ohters are bugged by this but) that, isn´t Moira orcs suppose to be smaller then regular orcs. Like goblins, mean, green and short. Not that it matter because I can´t stand the short Lego leg mold, why can´t TLG just make an new one that has the legs working.

Overall great set and this is the set I would get if it wasn´t so pricy for all the great diffrent parts and the Minifigs :thumbup: , oh well I will just wait for the sales :P :sweet:

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Thanks for the very thoughtful review! I own this set myself, and while I find that my falling columns feature works very consistently (and enjoyably), I do agree with just about everything else you've said. It's a fantastic set, and I'm in awe that you took almost as much extra effort to cover all its little details as the set itself did to replicate the movie setting. Very comprehensive review, great job! :thumbup:

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Thanks for a great and extensive review. I never was much of a fan of licensed sets, however, LOTR series has me re-thinking on licensed sets. What I like best in this set, is a huge amount of various special bricks (such as the 'brick' brick, cheese, headlights etc.) in grays. The minifigs look extremely detailed and with great torso printing, however, the face of Legolas has left me a bit disappointed (he's not as handsome with those high cheeks marks). :cry_sad: Also, I'd prefer printed bricks to stickers, but one can't have all. Some of the sticker have a really neat design that could be used on other bricks to enhance the texture of the build. I'm slowly gaining interest in Castle theme, so I see the set mainly as parts pack (and hoping to sell or trade the minifigs will at least partly cover for the higher price).

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The only thing keeping me from giving this an 'Outstanding' vote is the insane amount of stickers. Otherwise, it's my favorite set from the first wave! I was head over heels excited when I first saw pictures of the set. :laugh:

My thoughts exactly. I would of probably gave it an outstanding rating even with a few stickers. Over 30 stickers is just too many in my eyes though :sceptic:

Also I dunno what you guys are talking about, those Intelli-Box LotR sets rocked! :grin:

lordofrings1.jpg

Edited by Deathleech

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Is this the torso of Tiny Tim from Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol?? No, of course not. Not only would that make an incredibly odd addition to this Lord of the Rings set, but it's Pippin!

...

Let's spend way too much time putting this fun new hairpiece on different figures and cause the lengthy review to be lengthier and more difficult for those with slower connections to load! :grin:

:roflmao: Oh lordy.

Fantastic review, thanks! :sweet:

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