21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A magical Lego set that should captivate Tolkien fans both young and old!,
= Durability: = Fun: = Educational:
This review is from: LEGO The Hobbit An Unexpected Gathering (Toy)
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.
# of pieces: 652
Lego's retail price: $69.99
Minifigures: Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo Baggins, Balin, Dwalin, Bofur, and Bombur.
*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.
*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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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 29, 2012 3:33:09 PM PST
P. M. Bego says:
Thanks, excellent review of an excellent set. I agree with your "negative" feeling on the stickers -- that is the one major annoyance for me with many Lego sets. In some cases it is unavoidable, but you are right that we have woodgrain-printed pieces in other sets. The printed pieces are SO much nicer to me (1. they are special and unusual, 2. you don't have to be painstakingly careful in how to apply them without messing them up, and 3. they LAST!). I mention this "last" point because in some of my older sets that were built several years ago, the stickers have started to degrade.. shrink a bit, come loose at the edges, etc. So in other words anything with a sticker may eventually degrade the long-term "perfection" of a model."
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2012 11:16:53 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 31, 2012 11:17:15 AM PST
Thank you for your kind words and for adding to the discussion. It does baffle me why Lego won't use the wood grain pieces on every set. I to am always a bit concerned with stickers deteriorating over time. It is a sad thoguht indeed.
Posted on Nov 15, 2013 4:07:09 PM PST
P. M. Bego says:
Thanks for the good review.. yes, it's amazing how many of us *hate* stickers -- you see it in a lot of Amazon reviews, and also on shop.lego.com. For me, I sometimes make a choice of buy/not-buy based on the number of stickers (ideally, none = almost surely a buy!)
Sets like the new $200 Collectors X-Wing are a no-buy for me, because of many horror stories about the canopy clear sticker. For $200 I don't need that sort of frustration (and risk of damaging an expensive item.)
I do like the new woodgrain pieces I've seen in some other sets -- don't know why that couldn't be applied more widely, as you suggest.
And, yes, I do have some older Technic sets (6+ years old) where the stickers have started to shrink and discolor, even though they are in a room of fairly constant temperature, no direct sun or heat. To me it just ruins a good set when there are too many stickers. I know some collectors just never use them, as a rule. But on some sets you really need them to complete the "image."
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