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"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort."I'm sure many fans of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were eagerly awaiting the release of this set, and now that it's out, I've decided to review it. Here's a look at the LEGO re-imagining of Bag End.PresentationFrom the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set. The box has a lovely picture of our favorite hobbit hole on the front with the set's cast of characters, including a little box giving you their names. The back has a view of the inside, along with some pictures that highlight details of the home and the fact that you can take the roof off the top. These photos are also on the LEGO shop page and The Hobbit page of LEGO.com.BuildingHalf the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it? The build isn't terribly long, but it definitely isn't short. There are some creative things about this build that I liked, which I'll get to in the design section. A lot of it is fairly straightforward, with a few detail things to worry about here and there (like when to use light green pieces vs. green pieces).Set DesignNow that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here. The interior of Bag End has a couple of cute corners. The one corner has some shelves with jars of somethings sitting by the window and Sting (because he totally had that at the beginning of the book ). There is a treasure chest and a couple of maps on the floor, and yes, the maps are stickers. On the other side we have the dining room table where the dwarves roll dishes and throw food at each other, and in the window is Bilbo's book that he'll eventually write about his adventures (again, with stickers). To the side of that is the fireplace and chimney with a couple pans/pots, along with a broom to keep your hobbit hole tidy. On the outside we have a garden with carrot sprouts growing, a bucket of freshly picked vegetables, and flowers galore all over the house. I do like how they have Gandalf's mark on the door (which is printed, by the way) and the tree on top of the home. And who can forget the bench on which Bilbo first encountered Gandalf?One of the coolest design aspects of this set for me was the window. It is actually not connected by studs to the house, but is instead just sandwiched in with other pieces. The window design looks like this: which just fits into a couple of arch pieces. The characters are pretty cool, too. Let's start with the dwarves. Balin was one of my favorite characters from the books, and I really like how his character was re-imagined for the movie. His LEGO minifigure is very true to his movie form, and his hair/beard piece is really neat. Dwalin is the only dwarf in this set who didn't get a flip face, due to the tattoos that go around his head. His beard is more like the traditional beards that sit under the minifigure's head, and he has what I think is a new type of cape; there's only one hole for the neck to go through, unlike most capes which have two that fold on top of each other. I like Bofur's hat. It makes me think that he's from some snow-filled land where the hottest it ever gets is 10°C. His angry face amuses me, as do most of the angry faces from these minifigs. It's just adorable how he thinks he can be threatening. LEGO really went all out with Bombur's hair and gut piece. Like Gimli, only his eyes and eyebrows are really visible from under his hair/beard. The end result looks very good, though, and in terms of being true to the movie he's one of my favorites. His face is also very jolly, which I like.Now let's look at the wizard who organized this gathering in the first place. This is the same Gandalf minifigure from the Gandalf Arrives set. I like his unique beard piece and new gray color, though I sort of wish his staff were a bit more unique. His face under his beard is nice and looks a lot like Sir Ian McKellen himself.But, of course, Bag End is not complete without our beloved little hobbit. Bilbo Baggins' minifigure is seen here in his leisurely clothes that he has on when the dwarf party arrives at his house, suspenders and all. He's just adorable. His face flips to give him either a happy look or a worried one, depending on how exasperated he is at the dwarves.PlayabilityThe other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with? "Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?" This set has a lot of play time in it. My favorite thing to do is recreate various scenes from The Hobbit, but you can also throw in a few scenes from Fellowship if you like. You could also make up your very own hobbit adventure! "Would you like to take some time to hear about our creator, Aulë?" Final ThoughtsOnce it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it? "Can you not do that? You'll blunt them!" This set is beautiful, and anyone who likes hobbits and food will enjoy this set. While the price tag is $60, that's not too bad for licensed set this size.ProsWhat's to like?[*]It's Bag End.[*]Six minifigures, four dwarves.[*]Lots of food and foliage pieces.ConsWhat's not to like? [*]Not an exact replica of Bag End, but who cares?[*]Price tag is $60, but it's worth it.Hopefully you enjoyed this review of our favorite Hobbit home. For extra pictures, check out the gallery when public.
It was amazing. I don't want to put any spoilers here (though really if you haven't seen it you shouldn't have clicked ), so I'll suffice with saying that it was an excellent movie. There are some parts that I would've liked to see done differently, and there are some parts that absolutely blew me away. Aw, whatever, I've gotta get into a few specifics. If you haven't seen the Hobbit, guard yourself and turn away! First of all, I have to say that the opening sequence was easily one of the best parts, if not the best part of the movie. Erebor was portrayed magnificently; every scene of the halls under the Mountain were stunning to the point of breathlessness. Smaug's invasion was thrilling even though the Wyrm himself was hidden, and the war at the gates of Moria was also excellent. Andy Serkis stole the film as Gollum. The riddle-scene was more than I could hope for, and Bilbo's struggle between murder and mercy was brilliant (that reminds me: Martin Freeman did an exceptional job as the titular Hobbit). Overall, it was an excellent movie. There were however, a few downsides: One was the length. At nearly three hours, this movie almost matches each of the three LotR films for length. This isn't helped by the fact that the film drags a bit in parts, especially the first act, which is almost entirely spent inside Bag End. Something else that disappointed me was the license that Peter Jackson took with the book. One of the things I love most about the LotR trilogy is how faithful, for the most part, it is to the books. The Hobbit, in contrast, is not. Some of these changes are nigh unnoticeable; some are appreciated; but some are completely unnecessary. Regardless, I highly recommend the Hobbit. If you haven't seen it, but read through this entry anyway, I encourage you to go buy a ticket and see it for yourself. I loved it,and will probably end up seeing it in theatres at least a few more times. What does everyone else think so far? Favourite scene? Praise? Complaints? Let's hear it!
Now that pictures of the characters have been officially released, what do you all think?Aragorn looks epic (as always)I like Gollum (how could I not?)Gandalf looks coolBlack riders sorta look like Dementorsand all the Orcs look, well, violent (which they should)If you are wondering where to find the pictures, go here.