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Set Review: 9473 Mines Of Moria

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Set Review, LEGO Jul 01 2012 · 186 views

Moria LOTR Lord of the Rings fool of a Took Cave Troll
Today, we take a journey to Middle Earth and take a look at the LEGO reimagining of the Mines of Moria.

Presentation
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.

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I really like the LEGO LOTR logo with the one ring on Sauron's finger in the upper right corner along with the map of Middle Earth in the background. The back highlights various parts of the set. I do like their cave-like choice of background for the front picture.

Building
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?

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This set comes with four bags of pieces which build the well & Balin's tomb, the wooden doors, the center of the wall, and the outsides of the wall. The build took me about 2-3 hours or so (not counting distractions). I must admit that at times I jumped the gun with some of the smaller pieces and thought I had run out of pieces, meaning that I was frantically searching my pile of pieces for I piece I simply misplaced during the build, so follow instructions carefully. :P

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Again, this set does come with stickers (grr!) for some of the detail, such as the dwarves' record and Balin's tomb.

Set Design
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.

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I totally forgot the cave troll in this pic, sorry.


The set consists of three main parts: the wall, the door, and the tomb and well.

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The door has some pretty good detail, but some of that is provided by stickers with the wood plank patterns. They also included the axe that locks the doors shut for about 10 seconds from the movie, and this axe has a metallic copper blade, which I thought was cool. I also like the use of spyglass pieces as torches. Looking from the back, the wall on the right has a lever that makes it fall.

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I like the detail of the cave troll; however, he has absolutely awful balance while holding his hammer, so the number of poses he can have while wielding it are limited. He has a tendency of falling forward, since his mold is rather forward-heavy, even when not wielding the hammer. If you have studs beneath his feet, then he should be fine, but he's rather unstable just standing on a table.

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The wall consists of bookshelves with some of the oldest books stickers can convey. There is also some of the dwarves' treasure underneath the floor in its own little nook. For some reason the treasure chest moves in and out.

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The sides of the wall have towers that can be toppled using levers underneath them. The box shows one of these landing on the troll.

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These are my favorite parts of this set. I don't know if it's the fact that they're small and simple or if it's because these are the parts most focused on in the movie, but I love the well and the tomb. The tomb actually opens to reveal Balin's skeletal remains.

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Shouldn't Balin's skeleton be dwarf-sized?


My only qualm with the well would be that the skeleton does not have any armor/helmet on it unlike the movie. Otherwise, I love this part of the set. :)

Now, onto the minifigures:

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The heroes are very true to their movie selves save probably for Pippin; I don't really see Billy Boyd when I look at him; in fact, Pippin's face isn't too different from Shire Frodo's face. My favorite is probably Gimli,since the detail in his face, beard, and helmet are amazing. Boromir's appearance is probably second in terms of movie accuracy.

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the goblins are pretty creepy looking, and while I'd say their faces are pretty good, they seem to have too much hair (but maybe I'm remembering the movie wrong). I do like the shield that the one carries, as it's very jagged and looks goblin-made.

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All the characters have back printing on their torsos, which is more impressive on some than others. They also all have flip faces, which is amusing for Gimli, since all that changes when his beard is on is that his eyebrows go from neutral to angry. Also, they tried to make Legolas look intimidating, which just never happens in the movies. :P

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The hair/helmets of the characters all seem to be new molds to match the movies. I particularly like Gimli's helmet, which again has a lot of detail put into it (including printing).

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As far as interesting pieces go, there are quite a few jewels in this set. You also get a set of weapons that came originally in the Heroica games which I found interesting. They're mainly there to litter the ground of the tomb, probably to serve as the weapons of the dwarves who once populated the halls. You also get a bone and a rum bottle that originated the Pirates of the Carribean sets.

Playability
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?

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For the Shire!


This set has quite a bit of play to get out of it, since you can basically reenact the battle in the tomb with it. It's also makes for good scenery for any type of underground adventure you'd like your characters to embark on, so there's a good deal of potential. Any Lord of the Rings fan, of course, will just want to spend hours having our heroes take out that cave troll. :P

Final Thoughts
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?

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For any fan of the movies this set is a good pick, since it is, I think, one of the more accurate depictions of one of the movie scenes. All the minifigures in this set, save for the skeletons and Gimli, are exclusives, so it's a must-have for those who want, well, at least half of the Fellowship. :P

Pros
What's to like?
  • Great detail
  • Very true to the film
  • The minifigures
  • Cool pieces
Cons
What's not to like?
  • The price tag
  • Cave troll is a bit unbalanced
I hope all the LOTR fans who are reading enjoy this review. For the gallery, go here when it becomes public. :)

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Great review!

Though I'm still that one guy who still hasn't seen/read the lotr. That's my summer vacation plan.
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About Me

Akano Toa of Electricity
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Name: Akano
Real Name: Forever Shrouded in Mystery :P
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Likes: Science, Math, LEGO, Bionicle, Ponies, Comics, Yellow, Voice Acting
Notable Facts: One of the few Comic Veterans still around
Has been a LEGO fan since ~1996
Bionicle fan from the beginning
Misses the 90's. A lot.
Twitter: @akanotoe

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