O the many licensees to make collectibles for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey only one, The Bridge Direct, gets to make some of the coolest action figures you will find. For this review, I called upon my fellow collector and friend from our message board, Dwalin, for his insights. With the holidays fast approaching these items will make great choices for you to get your favorite fan of Middle-earth!
Full review after the break.
Attention all hobbits, dwarves, elves, men, women, goblins, orcs, and so on, here is a review on the figures released for The Hobbit; An Unexpected Journey, via The Bridge Direct. They contain a high level of detail and the articulation is similar for almost every figure: ball joints at the neck, shoulders, elbows, legs, and knees, along with swivel waists, hips, and wrists. Please assume this is the case unless otherwise noted.
First, we’ll take a look at the Goblin King and Thorin Oakenshield. The Goblin King is massive and quite heavy even in comparison to the 6” figure line. However, this is appropriate as he is one of the larger goblins. Plus, he’s the king! Varying from most of the other figures in the 3.75” line, the Goblin King has hinge joints at the legs and chest as opposed to the hips. The Goblin King comes with a staff that appears to be made out of the bones of what was once an animal that resembled a ram. There is also a crown with a spoke in the center that fits fairly well onto the King’s head. The dress piece is not removable.
Thorin has the basic articulation described above. He comes with a cool Dwarven sword, the famous Orcrist, and his oak shield. There is a sheath for the Dwarven sword on Thorin’s waist. Orcrist has a fancy sheath that attaches to Thorin’s back via a pin and hole. This sword comes complete with Elvish markings. The oak shield also fits with pin and hole. However, it is rather loose. I would suggest leaving the rubber wrap on to hold it in place. The leader of the Company is even has some grey hairs, which I thought was a rather nice touch.
“Mr. Baggins, I could see that you enjoy food as much as we do!” The star of our journey, Bilbo Baggins, comes equipped a satchel, binoculars, Sting with Elvish markings, a sheath, hairy feet, and a protruding tummy. Rightfully so on the last item! The likeness of the figure, while not dead on, bears enough of a resemblance to Martin Freeman that it’s worth a buy. Gollum, so much younger, but more immobile? The former Smeagol has maintained his creepiness. Gollum has standard articulation at the neck, shoulders, legs, and stomach. The biggest issue with this figure is the lack of articulation, and a lack of accessories. I know he’s practically naked, but it would have been cool if Gollum had a ring, his boat, or even a small dagger.
Fimbul, the great hunter. This orc is one mean looking mamma jamma! He comes with a wild spear, mace, and a dagger that kind of looks like the one Shakru used in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. I give The Bridge Direct credit for that idea. Fimbul comes with a mangled cape that is removable. There are a few downsides to the hunter. For one, he has nowhere to store all of his weapons. I had him carry the dagger and mace while the Warg held on to the spear. That would be an interesting game of fetch! Remember, he’s a Warg rider. Yet, his skirt mail makes it very complex to get Fimbul on the Warg. You have to bend the rubber or cut it off to keep him on there. The Warg is fierce and if you work for the postal service, this is not the animal you want chasing you. There is articulation at the ankles, neck, stomach, tail, and the jaw opens and closes, which was a nice touch. Besides the fur being frayed, there are some blotches of blood on the coat. The coloring is perfect and I was very pleased with this beast.
The Grey Pilgrim rides again! Gandalf styles his usual attire and comes with his sword, staff, a sheath, and removable hat. His robe limits his movement, but why does a wizard need to do flips anyway? His face is a bit dirty, which adds to naturalization of the character. After reading the tale, we’d all be surprised if Gandalf made it out without a scratch. Bolg is a very interesting character. The son of Azog is ridiculously intimidating. Some of his armor is made from the bones of fallen enemies. I don’t even want to imagine what this fellow would use for a tie! The armor at the shoulders does limit his movement, but it’s not too bad. The detail on the face is pretty accurate. His beard appears as though it was the color of fire itself. This reminds me of an eye that we are all very familiar with… He rocks a HUGE mace and 2 swords that resemble scimitars. These items seem very fitting. Though, like Fimbul, this goblin has nowhere to store his weapons. That may be the biggest issue with any of these figures is storage space
Orlando Bloom is back as our Elf of the Wood. His robe limits his Elf-like abilities, but he still looks pretty cool. He comes with a bow with Elvish markings, and daggers with Elvish markings that all fit nicely into the quiver on his back thanks to the pin and hole. However, the arrows are all bunched together and cannot be separated. The bow does lack string which could be an issue shooting arrows. Tauriel has the same robe limitations. Like Legolas, her bow and daggers have Elvish markings. However, her quiver has no room for her daggers. Where are these blades of fury supposed to go while she’s shooting the evil forces down? Her hair also covers the quiver a bit. Finally, it is difficult to get her to stand while holding her weapons. We all know how annoying that can be. So a little work is required to get that to work
“Fili and Kili, at your service!” The youngest Dwarven members of Thorin and Company are ready for adventure! Fili comes with a nice Dwarven hammer, twin blades that look like machetes, and a sheath on his back that holds the blades nicely. He has the handles of knives sticking out of his forearm armor. Yes, those are just handles. The blades do not come out. He also has throwing axes laced into his boots. They look great, but they are apparently just for show which knocked down my rating of the figure a bit. Kili comes with a quiver that holds his bow, arrows, and sword on his back. Like Fili, he has a knife attached to his quiver that is just for show. The sleeves of his coat make it difficult to get his elbows to bend so there may be some fidgeting with them in order to achieve this. His boots are dirty, which does give the figure some additional character. Both of these figures suffer from the shirt mail getting in the way of their leg mobility.
Balin, nice beard! The Lord of Moria comes with a mace and short sword. I say short only because it is smaller than everyone else’s. Unfortunately, this figure also has a tough time finding where to put all of his weapons. The detail is amazing and he totally rocks the pointy shoes! Dwalin, the bruiser, comes equipped with a full arsenal! He has a TREMENDOUS battle hammer, his 2 axes (Grasper and Keeper), sheaths on his back to hold both axes, and a knife and sheath that stand their ground via pin and hole. Unlike Kili and Fili, this knife actually comes out. Anyway, the detail on this figure might be the best in the group. He has cuts along his forearms. No doubt, these were from epic battles. He also has the tattoos on his head. I believe this may be an up and coming trend of fans. His boots are a tad faded and he even has armor on his hands to resemble the character in the film. In my opinion, Dwalin is a must have in the 3.75” line. I hope The Bridge Direct will eventually make a 6” likeness as well.
Speaking of 6” figures, I also want to review the 6” version of Thorin Oakenshield. He has articulation includes all of the basic spots along with the ankles. The detail on this figure is immaculate! From the random strands of grey hair, to the fur coat, and all the way down to the mud covered boots, this Thorin does Richard Armitage proud. He comes with the same accessories as the 3.75” Thorin. The enlarged pieces are more in depth. The legs are slightly restricted by the shirt mail. The oak shield is less of a pain to keep on the toy and has more of a real feeling than the 3.75” Thorin. The other 6” figures are similar to their 3.75” figures the same as Thorin with improved likenesses, accessories, and great paint. As of right now the 6” range consist of Thorin, Gandalf, Bilbo, Legolas, and Tauriel.
Elessar: One of the none action figures that The Bridge Direct is making for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is Bilbo’s trusty sword Sting. This mini-sword for kids to play with and have their own adventures isn’t just for kids. I can’t deny that I have also enjoyed playing with my own sword and one of my puppies have enjoyed joining me on my own adventures. Sting has the same detail that you would see in a metal replica only in plastic. It also has a button that when you push will turn the sword blue allowing you to know if Orcs are near. When swinging Sting you also get some awesome sword sounds. Sting isn’t the only item you get when you purchase this as you also get your own One Ring.
Overall, The Hobbit figures from The Bridge Direct have their ups and downs, but I feel that they are a good collection to have for any fan of Middle-earth.