Collecting The Precious – Weta’s Bag End Collector’s Edition Review
In 2010, the artisans at Weta, brought to life through help of the members of the Shadow and Flame forum, one of the most well loved places in Middle-Earth. That place would be none other the hole under the hill, Bag End. The home of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins would finally be turned into something The Lord of the Rings fans could bring into their collection.
Weta would not settle though for just making one version of Bag End for collectors to choose. They would go out and make a traditional open edition, and for the collector who wanted just a little bit more they also made a Collector’s Edition. The difference between the two types is the collectors edition has an edition size of 1,111 to help honor Bilbo’s 111th birthday, and on the backside of the environment you also get some truly finely sculpted rooms in Bag End.
Oh and by the way, you can win one of these if you enter our naming competition with Weta for the brand new Orthanc Environment.
The graphics for the front of the box to Bag End has a very nice simple look to them with The Lord of the Rings in the upper left hand corner, and a screen capture of Bag End from the movies in the upper right. In the center of the front you have the Bag End piece itself which with the screen cap give you a nice comparison between the two, and then below you have the name of the piece with Collectors Edition. One side of the box shows the collectors edition backside where you can see all the amazing rooms they added on this version. While the other side shows several of the pieces you can buy from Weta’s website. The back end of the box gives you a nice story of this nicest of hobbit holes. Finally, the foam inside is designed to house the main part of bag end separate from the Tree, which allows for safe transport during shipping.
David Tremont, Shari Finn, and Daniel Cockersell are the three individuals responsible for the exceptional detail put into this environment. The beauty of this piece is the ability to feel its been pulled from the screen and placed into your collection. Initially the big Tree draws you to the piece and the level of detail put into it very much makes it feel like a real tree. The grass very much gives you the look of grass that you see in the movie or out in your yard along with the really well done flowers around Bag End. This to me is amazing considering the scale of the piece and shows the talent that these two sculptors posses. Then you have the detail added to each window in order to reproduce the look from Bag End on screen. Within those windowsills you can also see what’s meant to be small bricks and much like the flowers at this scale they give a real look to the overall piece. Laying outside of that you have some very well done garden pots and the most amazing aspect of the outside are small pair of garden sheers. You also have detail further out with items like the fence and the sign that lets people know about “no admittance except on party business.”
On the backside of the collectors edition of Bag End we get a look at some of the rooms inside the home of Bilbo and Frodo. While these are small they pack some of the most amazing detail and allow you to think about moments from the films. My two favorite rooms are the one with the table and The Red Book of the Westmarch in which Bilbo, Frodo and Samwise all added information on events in Middle-Earth. The other room is the kitchen table where Gandalf and Bilbo talk about him leaving Bag End and Bilbo talking about him starting to feel the effects of The One Ring.
The paintwork on Bag End is amongst the best you will see on any piece at any scale. This is what helps make the sculpture look like it was taken from the big screen and placed into your collection. The colors are very bright and very much feel like its set in hobbiton which is of course a great success. Again, the amazing thing about the paint to me with this piece is how well the little rooms on the CE are done. That shows the level of care and detail Weta made sure to put into Bag End and why this is a must for any collector.
Bag End costs $250 for the collectors edition and $125 for the regular edition. It doesn’t matter which way you go this piece is a winner and worth the value of the price tag. Having a chance to owning something this cool looking is the main thing but if you’re willing to treat yourself to the CE then you are getting something really special. The recent announcement of both Rivendell and Orthanc really are even more reason to add to your growing environment line from Weta.