Read for another mini review? Today I look at this cool set that I picked up the other day which is clearly from Lord of the Rings. I believe it is 76020: Attack on Isengard.
So this set is suppose to represent the scenes from the second LotR movie The Two Towers where Isengard is attacked. You get some enemies defending their mining equipment, as well as an Ent with a Hobbit companion. There's a lot to like here, but there are also a ton of discrepancies, so many that it makes you wonder if they even watched the source material!
To start out with, you've got the Ent. It might be Treebeard, but it's hard to tell, so it may just be a generic Ent. He's pretty tall, and makes excellent use of the Mixel joints for his arms and legs. He has a very intriguing hand design, which uses those new clips on a Star Wars droid body to great affect. There's also leafy printing on the brown curved slopes on his legs, which is nice because they usually force us to apply stickers here. The head / upper torso is actually all one giant piece, and while the detailing is nice, it doesn't really allow for much customization. The use of browns and dark green works very well here, but I do think they should've included some leefy greeble to make him more tree-like. Still, overall, a good Ent.
Now, the Hobbit, on the other hand, they totally missed. His outfit it totally not cannon, and there is way too much fur on his head. And what's with the tail? Hobbits don't have tails! All this detail and they still missed the furry feet. And he has this big weapon... what's with that? The Hobbits were throwing rocks in that scene, but that still looks like a weird rock. And I can't even tell if this is supposed to be Pippin or Merry. Additionally, the official set doesn't even have a way for him to sit on the Ent's shoulder, but I was able to repurpose a bracket from elsewhere in the set to sit him up there. So at least that works. Still, they could've done much better here.
The other two figures are nice and detailed, but also seem to miss their marks. One is apparently a Black Rider. It's odd since they didn't appear in this scene, but Lego's had trouble before getting the right characters in the sets for specific scenes. His robe printing could use work but it's decent. I don't know what that weapon is supposed to be, looks a little odd for a Morgal Blade.
The other one is a blue-skinned purple-uniformed Orc. It might be a Uruk-hai, but it's a bit different from the official version, especially with the colors. For one thing, the torso and head printing seem to indicate this is a female. I know there were women stunt actors who played Orcs in the movie, but I thought all the Orc characters were supposed to be male? She does have some swords, so that fits in, even if they are katanas and a far cry from the traditional Uruk-hai weapons.
The mining equipment is a good design and fits in much closer to the movie than some of the others. There's a small pit where they store trans yellow round bricks, and a guard tower for observation. The tower is a simple but stable design, and even has a couple of features. There's a trap door on the top, and then another lever that can send the whole structure flying. This makes for great play value when the Ent attacks. Another interesting thing is the mini catapult next to the pit. Normally, these things hardly ever work, but this is situated perfected to launch a round brick into the pit beneath the tower. Like, it works, more than half the time! Color me impressed. Finally, there's also a black turret with the new spring loaded launcher. It's a decent function, but is still a poor stand in for the catapults that the Orcs utilized. Still, the launcher works.
And finally, we have this odd round blue vehicle thing. It has some nice curved sections on it, utilizing a few SNOT techniques. But for the life of me, I can't figure out what this is supposed to represent? The color scheme clashes with the rest of the mining equipment, so it doesn't appear to be part of the Orc's equipment. The official artwork shows the Hobbit in it, so it might be a makeshift prison? Lego has been known to add in random things that don't appear in the movies (see Mandarin's Flame Throwing Truck from Iron Man III) but this is just ridicules.
Overall, this is a decent set, with a fun Ent and plenty of mining equipment for him to smash. But there are many, MANY errors in this set that differentiate from the source material. The figs, while nice designs, hardly match the characters. After seeing all the detail they put into the previous LotR sets and figs, I'm sad that this one is so off the mark. Still, you get 433 pieces for $39.99, so it's a decent value. And I guess you could always just pretend this is for some other theme, like Guardians of the Galaxy. The Hobbit would make for a decent Rocket Raccoon, although it seems the Ent might be a little large for Groot.