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on November 25, 2012
This is an amazing Lego set and I had a ton of fun building it. I am a huge LotR/ Hobbit fan and this is easily the best of the bunch Lego has released for the license. It captures Bilbo's house wonderfully and there are tons of unique pieces to this set, along with a bunch of details that show a lot of love went into designing this. Such details as a fireplace and chimney, a stovetop with pots, a broom, a lantern, several potions, a treasure chest, plates, food items, a bench, table, I could go on and on. But my favorite detail has to be Bilbo's table where he writes There and Back Again, along with the book, ink jar, and feathered pen. Really nice touch! I also really like that the front door can be opened along with the front gate. The front door even has a little scratch painted on it where Gandalf wrote on the door to let the dwarves know the house where the meeting with the burglar was to take place. ;)

The minifigures themselves are great. You get Bilbo, Gandalf, Balin, Dwalin, Bofur, and Bombur. I love that Dwalin comes with a large battle hammer, and I like how Lego made Bombur fat with an extra piece, and he also comes with a little sausage and cooking pot. Bofur's hat and mining pick are awesome as well. Like I said, some really nice touches.

I should mentioned that the top part of Bilbo's house can easily come off and this was done on purpose so that the inside can be played around with. Thats fine by me, as the house does have a few blocks that will attach the top to a secure fit so that it wont slide off if you move the set

The set came with 652 pieces, and I took my time and spent a late night completing it, probably around 3-4 hours. This was really satisfying to build and was a lot of fun. . Overall, I really did feel I got my $70 worth of Legos and a lot of great minis.

As always I was happy with Amazon, fast shipping and the preorder was sent to me before the official date, so I was really surprised to get it a whole week early.

If I had to nit pick, I wish I got a couple of more tree leaf pieces to make the tree on top of the house a bit more lush, but luckily I have some spare pieces from other sets that I can put in.

Bottom line: If you are a lego and lotr/hobbit fan, and could only pick one set, this is your must have set. No questions ask. Unless you hate the Bag End, you will not be disappointed. I feel Bag End was one of the most iconic things from LotR/ Hobbit and this set really captures that look. Easily my favorite Lego set ever.

Check out the customer pics I uploaded.
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on November 26, 2012
There are few images in fantasy literature more recognizable than the round, green door of Mr. Bilbo Baggins. It is an endearing image that perfectly represents the connection between man and nature that Tolkien envisioned as representative of life in the Shire. Lego has now taken this beloved and classic setting and turned it into a delightfully enchanting Lego set based upon the film version of The Hobbit. Whether you are interested in this set as a display piece or you are purchasing it for a younger Hobbit fan to play with, I do believe you will be delighted with how Lego has captured the feel of Bag End in brick form.

The Facts:

# of pieces: 652
Lego's retail price: $69.99
Minifigures: Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo Baggins, Balin, Dwalin, Bofur, and Bombur.

The Positives:

*Where to start? First of all, the set beautifully captures the organic feel of the shire. While inside Bag End is organized with wooden shelves, a stove, various household items hung in their respective places, and a nice writing nook, the outside of Bag End feels wonderfully organic. The usage of various shades of green and brown Lego bricks makes this set feel like it is a house burrowed out of the side of a hill. Trees, shrubs, and flowers adorn the set giving it a rural and natural feel. It looks beautiful!

*The architecture of the windows and doors is fantastic. This set uses some pieces I was not familiar with to create the wonderful round windows on the front and sides of Bag End. The iconic green door is a single piece with some nice printing on it to make it look like multiple pieces of wood. It also has Gandalf's rune scratched onto it. How wonderful!

*Do you like accessories? You'll be in heaven! There are weapons: Sting, knives, swords, and a warhammer. There are house hold items: Pots, a barrel, a broom, and dished. There is plenty of food: Carrots, apples, drumsticks, a pretzel, a sausage, and grapes. There are items for the journey ahead: The Red Book of Westmarch, a pickaxe, a chest, and maps of the lands traveled in the Hobbit.

*The minifigures are all stellar! Bilbo is adorable with his casual Hobbit garb, plus he has two faces! His regular, happy Hobbit face and a more concerned, worried face (probably for when Dwarves began to pour into his home!) The dwarves are all unique and have some very detailed outfit and headpieces or hair pieces. While you might already have a Gandalf figure from one of the already LOTR Lego sets, you certainly can't knock Lego for including him here.

The Negatives:

*My only real negative about this set is that it uses stickers in places that I would much rather have printed tiles. While flat bricks printed with a wood grain pattern are not uncommon, Lego still includes stickers in this set to turn flat bricks into more recognizable boards. Getting a sticker perfect on a long, thin Lego piece is a bit tricky. More printed pieces, Lego!

Overall: While "An Unexpected Gathering" is not the largest Lego set produced for the Hobbit so far (that would be the more conflict driven "The Goblin King Battle" set), I'm quite sure this is the set that most fans are going to want first. It is exceptionally charming and looks fantastic whether populated with minifigures or displayed on its own as a model. Lego really excelled in making a beautiful set to represent Bag End and any hobbit would be pleased to dwell there.
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on January 7, 2013
The wife picked this up for Christmas for me. I am not the biggest hobbit fan, but I have read the book and was thrilled about the movie. So this set was also one I was looking forward to. I have to say it really did live up to my expectations, even if it has a few short comings.

Biggest issue, the price. Why this set is so high makes no real sense to me. All I can think of is the license costs raised the prices of the set, but then again over priced just seems to be the lego way recently. The set itself is nice, it looks good and I love how colorful it is. It is a decent size, but not as long as I thought it would be.

The best thing about the set, apart from the minifigs, is the details. You have Bilbo's garden, flowers and other plants all over the house. You have his book, his kitchen and other odds and ends. It really does take things that just seem boring in other sets, and makes them work in this one. It is cheery and putting the dwarfs around the table with all the little food it comes with put a smile on my face.

I like to take pictures of lego sets. I make little scenes and it is just fun to me for some reason. This one is perfect for that. I had as much fun setting up different shots as I did putting the blocks together.

If you are a fan, you will appreciate this set. You will be able to look past the price, and you will find a place for it. I do think they did better with this then the other Lord of the Ring module sets as well. I did have a few minor gripes with it, but overall I was very happy with it as a whole.
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on October 14, 2013
My 10yr. old son loves this. He can read the instructions and put it together himself. He loves LOTR and this is very appropriate for him.
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on February 5, 2014
I bought this as a present for my little brother. He was thrilled to receive it on Christmas day. I helped him put it together and it was so much fun. It is a very intricate and detailed set - I loved all the little pieces - from the goblets on the shelf to the pan over the fire. It also comes with a great selection of characters from the Hobbit. Overall a fantastic gift that provided a few hours of fun.
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on September 3, 2013
The Lego rendering of the hobbit hole doesn't really look like the real thing. It's pretty easy to build and not as interesting as the other sets in this series. My big complaint is the number of tiny accessories. So, don't think the number of pieces in the set is an indication of how hard it will be to build.
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on February 17, 2014
Being a big lego fan, I own many sets. This one is definitely one of my favorite. It has all the stunning details: the front yard, the flowers, the windows, the round wooden door; inside the little house, there is an oven, a desk, selves, dinning table, and six mini figures!!
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VINE VOICEon February 13, 2013
I haven't been into the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit sets at all despite loving the books and movies. The problem is the sets are clearly aimed at play and as an adult that's not my thing. I like sets that look good on display and that's just not the case with sets like Attack on Weathertop, The Mines of Moria, Attack of the Wargs and The Goblin King Battle. Standing apart from the rest was As Unexpected Gathering which looks absolutely stunning and having assembled it I can attest to the fact that it looks even better in person.

An Unexpected Gathering is a very easy build with four numbered bags so you don't need to spread out all 652 pieces. The only difficulty I had was in putting together the stained glass window but that was just a little confusion on my part that other people may not encounter. The set includes Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins as well as four of the thirteen dwarves that Bilbo travels with including Balin, Dwalin, Bombur and Bofur. You'd have to get just about every Hobbit set to get all thirteen dwarves. At $70 An Unexpected Gathering is a pretty good price for a licensed set and includes some very lovely green pieces. The one downside of the set is the unfortunate number of stickers. I am not a fan of stickers. It's also a shame that the legs on shorter minifigs (children, hobbits, dwarves etc) don't move so you can't have them sitting on the bench or at the table. There are a lot of loose objects on the table including cherries, chicken legs, bread and a pretzel so there is a high possibility children may loose stuff while playing or moving the set from one place to another.

If you're older and you want a challenge I would suggest the new Horizon Express but for sheer beauty it's hard to top Bilbo's Hobbit Hole. My personal opinion is that An Unexpected Gathering is the standout Tolkien set and if you only get one this is the one to get. There is another wave of Lord of the Rings coming in 2013 and I'm intrigued by the Pirate Ship Ambush but for now I'm satisfied with this one set.
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on January 3, 2013
Hobbit

I love this Lego set. I really like the door and the windows. The biggest window has a really neat design. I also like the Lego guys in this set. I like the tree on the top of the house. I like the garden, too. They have carrot top pieces that make them look like they are growing out of the ground. There is a wood bench in the garden. There are a lot of neat food pieces and pots and a frying pan. I like that they have the book that Bilbo wrote, even though he writes it later.

My review as a parent:

We all are Hobbit fans at my house, so of course that is a big part of our enjoyment of this set. It gets 5 stars (though I wish it had more for the $...wheelbarrow might have been cool.) As a little girl at heart, I'm delighted that my boys enjoy this set as much as me...with all the flowers and the quaint little garden, etc. (His older brother (10 y.o.) liked it some too, but not enough to request it on his wish list.) My son saw the movie a few days after getting the set, and that made him like it even more. He soon came home and was setting up a scene from the movie, with Bilbo's hands up in the air, complaining to Gandalf, as the dwarfs feasted. :) He has not gotten tired of the set yet, and it is actually staying built (or getting rebuilt as) the original set, instead of permanently raided for pieces for new creations (which is usually the fate of most sets with this kid.) I really enjoyed all the little details (for $70, it better have neat details.) Great set.

***END of REVIEW, BEGINNING OF SOAP BOX****

P.S. If Lego is trying to make some sets more appealing to girls, they might do well with making a set for Bilbo's birthday party, that includes Rosie and Sam, and other hobbits of both genders. Or some more of the Hobbit village. Turning everything pink isn't necessarily the best way (we MAY be somewhat in the minority, but there are plenty of girls that gag at all the pink.)

**You can make sets that have appeal to BOTH boys and girls...and this set is a good example. **

Include more animals, figures of both genders, cool/pretty architectural elements, details like fireplaces, furniture, bookshelves, little things the figures can "use" in situational play, pieces that can change the outfits/gear/hair of the figures, while keeping the "adventure" elements that appeal to both boys and girls. The Kingdoms sets, Harry Potter sets, some of the Prince of Persia sets, Pirates of the Caribbean, Christmas village, and LOTR/Hobbit are headed in the right direction this way.

I really loved the Oriental style elements in some of the Ninjago sets, and as a girl would have LOVED a set that was a market place or palace, etc. with that style. Even my boys probably would have thought that was cooler than all the skeleton's vehicles (normally love vehicles, but they said it seemed like it didn't fit with the ninjas and dragons...they always lamented that Lego "ruined it" with the vehicles.) More dragons, ninjas, and cool architecture, please!

Think about how Pokemon and Schleich both create a variation of characters, some tending to appeal more to girls, some to boys, some to both, but all within the same "world"... I would like to see some more of that with Lego. How about a creature-creation line that used the same type of connecting pieces as bionicle/hero factory, that allowed kids to make made-up creatures from cuddly to ferocious, with stylized fins, horns, claws, tails, shimmery scales, snail shells and googley eyes, feathers, etc., so kids could make their own made-up animals? They could have something like little guardians that came with each animal, some female, some male. The bionicle style pieces are great for posing and playing with; my youngest enjoyed playing with them when he was still too young not to get frustrated with the regular Lego sets breaking apart when he tried to play with them.

O.K., I better stop there. I've got all sorts of ideas of how they could make sets that would appeal to this little girl (at heart), but I've already gotten way off topic for this review. Lego, contact me if you want some concept ideas. hah!
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on February 8, 2014
Totally awesome, we enjoyed putting it together as a family project, and show it off proudly with many other lego sets. The price, directions, and everything about it was perfect. The shipping, the packaging totally happy with the whole expericence.
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