I have recently become a big fan of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Unfortunately, my late discovery of Tolkien’s works meant that I missed the release of most of the LEGO sets based on the films. Fortunately, LEGO are planning to release a third wave of Hobbit sets which will be based on the upcoming film The Battle of the Five Armies. The sets will reportedly be released in October in the US, but images of four of the sets have already surfaced.
Keep in mind that most of the information in this article is simply my speculation of the upcoming sets based on what I have read and seen in the available images.
The Lonely Mountain
79018 The Lonely Mountain was unveiled at the San Diego Comic Con and is currently listed on the official LEGO The Hobbit website. It features a scene from Erebor, which includes a Dwarf mining station and Thror’s throne, complete with the Arkenstone.
The set also includes Smaug, which appears to consist of entirely new parts and is not simply a reissue of the dragon from the LEGO Castle 70403 Dragon Mountain set, with the possible exception of the first two tail segments which appear to simply be recoloured. The new mold appears to be far superior, allowing Smaug to have a higher level of detail, appear larger, and pivot his wings as will probably be seen in the upcoming film. I recommend you checkout Brotherhood Workshop‘s excellent video The Aggravation of Smaug to see Smaug in action, as well as some of the new minifigures and scenes included in this set.
The minifigures included all all new and unique to the set. Bilbo Baggins appears with a new torso print which includes his new blue coat he picked up in Lake-town as well as the Mithril shirt given to him by Thorin. Kili and Fili have the same faces and hair pieces as in 79001 Escape from Mirkwood Spiders, with new torsos depicting dwarven armour and new coloured legs. Dwalin and Balin again appear to have the same faces and beard pieces as 79003 An Unexpected Gathering, only with new torsos and different coloured legs.
The set is to retail for $130 in the US. I would really love to buy this set when it is released in Australian stores, but at that price in the US, I am worried how high the Australian RRP will be. 9474 Helm’s Deep also retailed in the US for $130, and the Australian RRP was $200, but with the extremely high markups in Australian LEGO prices recently, it might possibly go over that.
The set I am most looking forward to (probably because it will be the only one I can afford) is 79015 Witch-king Battle. This is the smallest set of the wave, and consists of a small lump of rocks and tree bits that is supposed to be a scene from Dol Guldur. Also included is a small catapult.
The set includes three amazing minifigures: Elrond, Galadriel, and the Witch-king of Angmar. Elrond appears to have the same face and sword/spear/staff as in 79006 The Council of Elrond. His hair also looks to be the same except his silver circlet is now gold. He is clad in pale green in gold armour with printing extending to his legs, and a pale green cape.
Galadriel is a minifigure that I have been wanting for a long time. She appears to have the same hair as Elrond, only in yellow and with a silver circlet. She is equipped with the phial which she later gives to Frodo in The Fellowship of the Ring. She has torso printing which extends to a skirt piece, and a white cape.
The Witch-king of Angmar is the third figure. He appears to have a white Ringwraith cape, a phosphorescent head, and a spiked crown. I know that some people were wishing for the helmet that the Witch-king wore in The Return of the King, but personally I prefer the crown as it more closely matches his description from the book.
This set will retail for $15 USD. That’s a little high for a 100-piece set, but I guess that it includes three quality unique minifigures. I’m guessing it will retail around the $30 mark in Australia.
Attack on Lake-town
79016 Attack on Lake-town is supposed to be an extension of 79013 Lake-Town Chase from the second Hobbit wave. As I do not own that set, that doesn’t mean much to me, but this looks to have virtues as a stand-alone set *cough*minifigures pack*cough* as well.
Included is Bain, Bard’s son, who is new with this set. He has brown short-legs much like the Dwarves and Hobbits. Bard looks the same, or at least similar to his incarnation in 79013 Lake-Town Chase. According to The Brick Fan, this is not the version of Bard that was given away at San Diego Comic Con. Tauriel looks like she has the same face and hair as 79001 Escape from Mirkwood Spiders with a new Lake-town outfit as seen in The Hobbit LEGO video game. The set also includes two Orcs, which look similar to Mordor Orcs and the hunter Orcs from 79002 Attack of the Wargs, only with a hairpiece that I have not seen before and possibly a different face.
The set itself includes a tower with the Dwarvish Windlance as seen in the films, which is powered by the new spring-loaded shooters. This tower is connected by a bridge to a smaller platform on which is mounted a contraption which appears to be for whacking Orcs. There is also a tiny brick-built boat, which has won the Award for Most Ridiculous Boat Does Not Float.
This set retails for US $30. I’m expecting it to follow the similarly priced 79006 The Council of Elrond and retail in Australia for $50 – $70.
Battle of the Five Armies
The second-largest set in this wave, 79017 The Battle of the Five Armies, includes 7 minifigures and a Great Eagle. The set itself consists of a platform-thingy which I suppose is part of the front-gate of Erebor, as well as what looks like an upgraded version of the hook-shooter from 9471 Uruk-Hai Army.
According to The Brick Fan, this looks like the set that includes the SDCC version of Bard. It includes Azog, which is probably the same version that was given away at the 2013 SDCC, as well as two basic Gundabad Orcs that don’t even include hair pieces or armour. Also included is Dain II Ironfoot and Thorin Oakenshield with his crown.
The final minifigure has not been identified on any of the sites I have seen, but to me it looks like the same version of Legolas as in 79001 Escape from Mirkwood Spiders. This would make sense, as Legolas was last seen riding out of Lake-town in pursuit of Bolg. A picture of a scene from the upcoming film also shows Legolas and Bard talking at what looks like the Lake-town camp outside the Lonely Mountain.
As this is most likely going to be the last wave of LEGO sets based on the world of Middle-Earth, it is an extreme shame that there are so few sets included, and that the sets that do exist have such high price points. This wave does include quite a few nice minifigures, but not all of the models really appear to be anything special.
If the sets were priced reasonably in Australia, these would all be must-buys for me, but as it stands I am unsure of how many of these I will be able to own.