Collecting The Precious: Gentle Giant Thorin Oakenshield mini-bust review
“May the hair on his toes never fall off!”
-Thorin talking about their burglar Bilbo Baggins
Comic-Con 2012 brought us the first look at many things for this December’s release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This was a chance for a company like Gentle Giant to show off just some of the items they will be bringing to collectors. The exclusive from Gentle Giant was the second mini-bust in the 1:6th range of busts from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The character chosen to represent the bust line at Comic-Con was the leader of the Dwarven party: Thorin Oakenshield.
Thorin was one of many dwarves of the Lonely Mountain driven into exile by the dragon Smaug in the year 2770 of the Third Age. During the Battle of Azanulbizar, Thorin had his shield shattered. He grabbed a large oak branch as a replacement — the source of the name “Oakenshield”. Later, a chance encounter in Bree with Gandalf The Grey eventually led to Thorin and his company visiting the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. There, they began a long, arduous quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain. The mountain was ultimately reclaimed, but not without cost.
The graphics on the box for the Comic-Con Exclusive was kept very simple. You have a black box with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in the font we’ve come to know from various products over the years. Underneath that there’s the name of the character and running along the top there’s a graphic telling fans it’s a 2012 Convention Exclusive. Inside the box is protective styrofoam that ensures we get our collectibles in perfect working order.
Gentle Giant is known for creating fantastic sculpts. One of the technologies they use is an awesome 3D sculpting program that allows them to get super accurate scans of the actors. For fans, the result is a great sculpt of Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. It very much has the look of the actor as he’s in his costume/makeup for the role. You have so much attention to detail in the capture of the Dwarvish look right down to the bits of armor, his Dwarven ring, his Dwarven sword sheath, and especially the Elvish design of Orcrist with its sword sheath. The base of this bust is also very well constructed, with little cracks all over giving it a great sculpted from stone appearance.
The paintwork on Thorin is very good. The overall paint job is nice and clean with no smudges or areas bleeding into each other. The skin tone on Thorin is really outstanding and has a great natural skin tone. Another solid job by Gentle Giant is the paint job done on the outfit, armor, and swords. All of these have great detail, which is not lost with the paint but enhanced with the job done on the production level. The outfit matches the screen captures and the metal parts all still very much have that metal look. The work on Orcrist and its sheath are excellent as well, with the bits looking again like what we’ve seen so far from props and in screen capture. While the sculpt on the base is very good the paint job on it is very good in making it look like granite and very Dwarvish.
Thorin retails for $70 at Comic-Con and can be purchased right now for the same price on Gentle Giant’s web site. The job done by Gentle Giant on Thorin is outstanding and makes this bust worth getting especially for such a good price. While not the first announced bust, this is the first in hand and a darn good way to get this line off to a strong start as we await his other companions from what should be another outstanding Trilogy from Peter Jackson.
The edition size of the Thorin Mini-Bust is only 500 pieces worldwide with a retail price of only $70.