Pieces: 1368 Minifigures: 8 Retail Price: $129.99 Price I Paid: $85+tax
December Special! The final Hobbit movie comes out in the middle of the month. Unless Peter Jackson has J.R.R. Tolkein’s body dug up and reanimated to write more books, it should be the last we see of Middle Earth on the big screen for quite awhile. I’m a big fan of the Lego LOTR sets and will attempt to review all of them in the next few weeks. As many of these sets are no longer available, I’m going to use a 1-5 rating system where 3 is average and 5 is excellent.
Well, here it is. The biggest Lego Lord of the Rings set, save the UCS like exclusive Tower of Orthanc. This is the third largest set I’ve built after Arkham Asylum and Medieval Market Village. It took 3 solid hours of building to get it finished.
Helm’s Deep comes with 8 minifigures, 3 are exclusive to this set. The Uruk-hai who carries the torch to light the bomb to blow up the wall, Haldir and King Theoden. King Theoden is my favorite, his printed plate armor piece is very nice. Then you’ve got Gimli and Aragorn (they really should have included a Legolas) and 3 more Uruk-hai – visible in the next photo along.
The construction uses light grey, what some call bley, with a few dark grey and some light pastel green thrown in here and there. There are many 1×1 bricks and 1×2 masonry bricks involved. The building is done in sections then completed by “plugging” the sections into each other. With the exception of the keep section, which is meant to be placed directly behind the main doors.
The long plate raises and extends and creates a bridge to the rest of the structure – although there is no ladder on the inside so I’m not sure how you get down.
Inside there is no ladder or staircase but there is a lovely throne and some weapons and a turkey leg on a golden bowl/plate. Not nearly as impressive a Lego food display as Bag End.
There’s the “connection” – I’m not sure why they didn’t make it a little more complete but oh well, the keep is a nice part to have individually but it’s not going to figure in your massive battle scene.
What surely will feature is the side door that Gimli, Aragorn and Legolas – apparently called the “Three Hunters” – make use of to go back out and join the battle after the main door is sealed. It’s kind of comical when you think of it – “how do we get out of this huge fortress?” “oh, just take the side door” – and it leads to Gimli being tossed across the divide.
There is a big tower in the middle and a succession of three connected ladders to the top – I don’t remember this featuring much in the film, I think the three ladders are just a way to have the set seemingly make the top reachable. Unlike reaching the keep on the other side of the set.
As you can see this is another mostly 2 dimensional set, the back is not really much to see or look at other than the tops where the armies can walk along. It’s less disappointing here, as there isn’t much shown in the film either.
Here is the set with the 9471 Uruk-hai Army set attached, extending the wall. As cool as it looks by itself, adding the wall really does make it look better – and, again, closer to the film.
Once you have the two sets, you have quite a battle already, with 6 of the “good guys” and 8 Uruk-hai.
I may need to get some more elves though.
So, there it is. quite the set in some ways and not quite in others. I really think they should include Legolas here, he’s as crucial to the battle as any. And Gandalf the White would have been nice, at least they released him in a later set. On the outside this does look quite a bit like the scene in the movie, one of the most memorable scenes from all the films I believe.
In terms of rating, I’ll give it a 4. It cost $129 and I held off on buying it until I got it for $85 at Target, but it wasn’t widely available at this price so it wasn’t always a great deal for everybody. But now that I did get it and finally built it, I’m quite happy.