Quick, what do I have in my pocket? Okay, yes, it might be a bit of a spoiler, but seriously, if you haven't read the book or seen the movie, there's nothing I can do to help you. And this movie has been out on BluRay for a couple of months now, so... no real excuse. While my movie review was harsh all around to the first outing of The Hobbit trilogy, the sets have been a lot more interesting. And while a lot of the movie was a big deviation from the books, the one scene it got spot-on was the exchange between Bilbo and Gollum, telling riddles back and forth. At $10, this set comes in lower than similar sets in other lines, so the real question is... does that make it worth it?
In a word? Yes. The Hobbit sets as a whole are a somewhat weird bunch. The Lord of the Rings line was uneven at best (though the new Tower is an absolute knockout at this point). The smallest LotR set was probably the weakest of the line (though Mines of Moria and Shelob Attacks aren't far behind), so there was a fair deal of skepticism when these sets were released.
Like I said before, we get two figures in the set, Bilbo and Gollum.
Bilbo is pretty much Bilbo, the same one that comes with Barrel Escape. If you didn't get the version that came with the Hobbit BluRay comb pack at Target, this is basically the same thing, only in red and with less flair inside. Another version is in An Unexpected Gathering as well, in a more casual tone. On one side, you never want to have too many of one figure... on the other hand, at least they're all unique, and we're not looking at a Captain Jack situation here. Otherwise, an alt-face, one which is startled, and hair that's on all the other hobbits.
Gollum is nearly identical to his Lord of the Rings version in Shelob attacks, with some slightly different face printing. At least according to BrickLink... I honestly never even noticed the difference.
The set itself is very basic, a bit of a rock with a mechanism to flip-forward the ring. Sure, it's a bit of overkill for it, but it at least sort of fits the scene. It opens and shuts, because rocks are known for their mobility. Mostly, this is just a collection of some dark grey slopes, so if you need dark grey slopes, this set is for you.
The other part of the set is a little boat for Gollum... which I honestly don't remember in the movie, but it could be that all of the White Orc and fart jokes just crowded it out. It's simple and comes with a fish. There's not a whole lot I can say about it, other than I wonder what the bones are from. I guess one of the Goblins he snacked on between fish?
So not a whole lot to the set, but at the same time, it's only $10. I wouldn't expect a whole lot. Sure, in the movie Bilbo basically picked up the ring when Gollum dropped it trying to scam lunch. In the book, he found it while feeling around in the dark trying to escape. Neither one really had a mechanism for hiding the ring in a wall, but I suppose you have to put something in here.
What I liked
- When was the last time we had a $10 licensed set that wasn't a polybag?
- Decent parts and figure value for the money
- Parts have utility elsewhere
- Did I mention it's $10?
What I didn't like
- It's slopes all the way down
- You'll never need more than one of these
- Piece count is inflated by a lot of cheese slopes
- There's not much reason to get it if you already have Gollum or Bilbo
Verdict: Pick up one. It's cheap and simple.
You can get Riddles for the Ring at Lego Shop @ Home, along with all of the other Hobbit and Lord of the Rings sets.