I really liked the first Hobbit set I put together, 79012 Mirkwood Elf Army. The movie it was (very loosely) based on… not so much. With the Mirkwood Elves, I at least knew a bit about what was there, and they were entities I remembered from the book. I won’t really say characters, because none of the elves, other than Thranduil, even had names as far as I can remember.
Dol Guldur, on the other hand, wasn’t something I remembered. Which meant I had to go to the great source of infallible information… Wikipedia, and it’s cousin that we don’t let near any matches, Wikia. Turns out it was mentioned in the original movies, as well as the books those were based on, during the Council of Elrond. In the book, it was just called the “Dungeons of the Necromancer” and never visited. Especially by Beorn, the skin-changer guy who played a crucial role in helping the dwarves and then at the Battle of Five Armies (and no point really in between).
This is the smallest set in the second wave of Hobbit sets, coming in at $20, and includes an Beorn as an exclusive figure, a couple unique parts, and of course, flick-fires. There might be some minor spoilers in here, so just a warning.
So we get a lot of people that like to complain about our reviews when they’re opinionated or negative. I could rant about stuff like that for a whole post, but instead, I’ll go with this disclaimer: If you don’t want to read an opinionated review about this movie, just skip this post. That and I should have come up with a good joke about spoilers to put in this post. Yet all I have are spoiler-ific rants to put below the fold. So… spoilers ahead.
By now, anyone who has read my reviews know that my method of choice is flimsy analogies, name calling, and long, drawn-out comparisons to other movies. This movie actually makes it kind of hard to take that route, because there were so many ways for me to tear into it I ended up giving myself a headache (watching my Cowboys play like the * bleep * Keystone Cops of football right after watching this movie probably didn’t help). But hey, I can push through and give it a shot…
In Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, a movie I think most everyone here will agree with me is just terrible, there was a specific scene that had me wanting to walk out of the movie. I know, it’s like picking the smelliest piece of a manure pile, but the only reason I stuck through the movie in the theater is that it was towards the end. It was while the kid that ruined Indy 4 ran through some ruins that were supposedly by the pyramids (which were actually like 90 miles away) in order to get to Petra, a city in Jordan and nowhere near Egypt, for those keeping scores. It was perhaps the most Michael Bay scene ever done this side of wingsuits.
LeBouf was running across walls and rooftops, dodging explosions (in slow motion), shards of stone and concrete, shrapnel, and jumping out of clouds of dust. The part that bugged me was the whole shrapnel thing. I can suspend disbelief in a guy falling for a few thousand feet and somehow getting caught and saved (instead of shredded into several smaller pieces). I can look past the stupid mom-on-pot jokes, or the general racist tone of most of the characters (though not easily… let’s say we snuck some “refreshments” into the movie theater to help). But what I couldn’t look past was the fact that Sam would have been turned to hamburger by the shards of rocks and shrapnel flying around him. I got to see exactly what that stuff was doing because of all the slow-motion scenes. That scene, more than any other in there, was just horrible.
All of that being said, that the action in that scene looks like the opening of Saving Private Ryan compared to what we get in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. (more…)
Wait, the title of this article doesn’t give away my conclusion, does it? Because I enjoy a good setup. So maybe just try to ignore what I wrote there and read everything. Of course, I actually have to issue an official retraction for a comment I made on the forum when these sets were first leaked…
Based on the price conversion and random guessing, prices would look to be $25 (perhaps $30)… no way it would be $20 for Ambush, $40 for Mirkwood (though I could see this being $50 and replacing Attack of the Wargs in the lineup), and the Fortress is likely replacing Goblin King Battle at $100. No way it’s in the $50 range.
Turns out, Ambush is $20, Mirkwood is only $30, and Fortress was only $70. Given the recent trends in Lego prices being somewhere between “are you kidding” and “those greedy *bleeps*,” it seems like something is up here. I mean, this set is basically a $30 battle pack with six figures, five of them being generic and the kind of things you want a whole bunch of. What is this, opposite world?
The second movie just came out, and to be honest, I have no idea if this scene is in it, in the extended edition release that’s going to trick us out of $20 next year, or in the third movie that we haven’t even been disappointed in yet. But on the Lego front, there’s a whole lot to love in this wave of sets. After some shaky initial releases, it looks like both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings sets are hitting their stride. Anyway, let’s see how much value can be pulled out of your $30.
The good news: Walmart is applying a discount on all of the The Desolation of Smaug LEGO sets as high as 24% off. The bad news: all but one of the sets are unavailable for delivery, meaning you’ll have to order online and go to your local store to pick up.
Other good news: LEGO Shop@Home has all of the Smaug sets in stock AND you’ll get a free Hobbit poster with any purchase. Other bad news: no discount.
Clavius from our forums is reporting finding a new Hobbit Desolation of Smaug polybag: 30216 Lake-town Guard. He found it north of the border at a Toys’R’Us store in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. ‘Twould make a good stocking stuffer if you happen to find them. No idea if they’re available stateside yet, but given the time it takes for other polybags spotted in Canada first to make it south to the US, I wouldn’t count on seeing it before Christmas. I would LOVE to be wrong about that though.
Target is selling the discontinued 79010 Goblin King Battle with a 55% discount off of $99.99 MSRP. They’re asking price is $44.99 before any tax and/or shipping. Use your REDCard and that price drops even further to $42.74 and ships for free! This set is sold out on both Amazon and LEGO Shop@Home and when Shop@Home marks a set as sold out, it usually means it’s discontinued so act now or regret it later. This set comes with Gandalf the Grey, Dori the Dwarf, Nori the Dwarf, Ori the Dwarf, Goblin Scribe, 2 Goblin Soldiers and The Goblin King. All but Gandalf are exlusive to this set.
Entering the ring to fight for your dollars once again are Amazon and Walmart. They are both discounting 79014 Dol Guldur Battle (Amazon | Walmart) down to an even $59.00, a 16% drop from $69.99 MSRP. 79011 Dol Guldur Ambush (Amazon | Walmart) is similarly discounted, 15% off of $19.99 for an asking price of $17.00.
Right now, Toys’R’Us online and brick and mortar locations are offering a BOGO sale on all LEGO construction sets except for Mindstorms, Ninjago, Technic, Hard to Find and sale items. This doesn’t include the new Hobbit sets released for The Desolation of Smaug. And on top of that, they priced those sets at MSRP without their additional markup. Not yet anyway so, like always, time is of the essence. Act now and you can pick up them up at a discount. Their site search is a tad broken but I’ve included links here:
With the clock striking midnight on the east coast, it is now December 1 when The Hobbit merch is now available from most if not all major retailers.
LEGO Shop@Home is now (or should be at least) selling The Hobbit sets. Amazon has had pre-orders available for a few days now, and Walmart has listed all of the sets as well (you’ll have to search on their site for them as browsing through the categories will yield no results since they’ve been miscategorized under Models & Figures). There are also reports of the sets being available at Toys’R’Us stores. If you haven’t bought any of the sets yet, Shop@Home offers free shipping once your order total reaches over $75 and, of course, VIP points. If you’re getting all four sets, you’ll be set for free shipping.
Amazon is slashing the price of 3920 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey LEGO game. The going price as of this writing is $14.99, a 57% discount off of $34.99 MSRP. The game, according to Shop@Home’s website, is now considered retired and this is probably the last chance you’ll be able to get this set at such a great price.