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Archive for the ‘Merchandise’ Category

From frustration to hope: moving beyond the new Blu-ray release

The recent announcement of the “Middle-earth Limited Collectors Edition Blu-ray Box Set” has stirred up quite a hornets’ nest not only in our message boards, but elsewhere, be it the comment fields of retail sites, or the blogs of people interested in Tolkien, or the home releases of cinematic material in general.

Many are concerned that the reported and rumored price of US$800 for the limited edition is too high, given there is no new cinematic or ‘behind-the-scenes’ material. Some compare the release unfavorably to Warner Brothers’ Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection, which provided a bonus disk. Some point out that you could purchase the Blu-rays, a player and a small HDTV for the price of this set. Others point out that one could fly from North America to New Zealand for that amount.

So yes, one feeling is that ‘this is way too much money for nothing new but packaging.’ But for some, there’s more than just a sense of consumer rejection – there’s a sense of disappointment, outrage, frustration, and even sadness. Why? What drives that?

Some possibilities:

a) Some fans have been hoping for an ‘ultimate edition’ with bloopers, extra bonus material, and whatnot. This release is not that.

b) Some feel that “The Hobbit”, has not been handled properly from the beginning (too many films, or some other complaint). These fans feel this is yet another example of the studio “blowing it with the material, and with the fans.”

c) Some feel that they are being treated as fools. With no new cinematic material, how is it possible that the studio could think that a shelf, nice boxes, some small posters, a notebook, etc. come with such a high markup? Is the shelving made of wood from the white tree at the heart of Minas Tirith? After all, with the US$800 for this release, I could get the extended edition Blu-ray edition of all six films, hardcover copies of the books, along with The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and the History of Middle Earth, a copy of Jens Hansen’s One Ring, a version of Arwen’s Evenstar pendant, Gandalf and Saruman salt and pepper shakers, and more, and still wonder what I will do with the rest of the money I have saved.

The list of possible causes of frustration goes ever on and on… we Tolkien fans are known to get easily excited!

But let’s take a collective deep breath and do two things.

First, let’s challenge ourselves – should we be so angry? Consider: in the non-Tolkien collecting world, similarly high-priced ‘collectibles’ exist. I can go to a local store and pay about $14 for the a copy of Scrabble, or I can go to a specialty retail store and pay $225 for ‘Premiere Edition Scrabble’. It’s the same game. There are no extra tiles, no new letters in the alphabet, no new special rules for the well-heeled logophile. It’s still good old Scrabble, just packaged a different way. Perhaps those premiere edition Scrabble game purchasers are fools – or maybe they just really like Scrabble and want a really cool looking set as a focal point of their family room to reflect their interest in the game. Similarly, the well-heeled and price-unconscious Tolkien fan can indeed decide to spend $800 on this set – and that doesn’t harm those who choose not to do the same. So perhaps anger over the high sticker price needs to be reduced.

Second, let’s see if there’s something deeper going on here. Perhaps the frustration we are expressing is really just a mask covering a deeper emotion. Let’s face it. Almost all of us sense that, at a global level, the heady cinematic, culture-impacting days of Middle-Earth are really, truly, over. We are sad. At the turn of the century, our dear Middle-earth was shown to the world, and they loved it. We felt everyone got ‘it’, and because of it, got us. Now things our different. Our favorite franchise, books that matter so much to us, seem to no longer matter to the world, or even to their film studio, as much as they did just a few short years ago.

But we knew this would happen one day – popular culture cannot stay focused on one thing for any length of time, or it won’t have room to take on anything new.

We’re sad because, instead of things ending with a bang and applause, like Bilbo’s Long-Expected Party, with the last film loved most of all, and a glorious home release acknowledging a track record of success, we just get a repackaging. No new material. The Middle-earth cinematic saga, the wide cultural exposure to all things Tolkien ends not with a bang, but a whimper.

We are sad – even angry – because we simply didn’t think it would end this way.

But perhaps we are wrong to feel that way. Perhaps it’s important to remember someone’s wise words, and paraphrase them to fit our current situation: “End? No the impact of Middle-earth doesn’t end here. The eventual loss of wide cultural exposure is just another path; one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of decades of niche-interest will roll back, and once again, Middle-earth will be on the silver screen. And then you’ll see it. White searchlights; and beyond, a premiere of a new generation of films, screening at night after a swift sunset.”

This is not the end – this is just the simple pause after a cycle of cultural interest, the end of one long inhalation and exhalation. One day, the world will breathe again. Tolkien fandom has been here before: at the end of a heady time in the 1960s and early 1970s, it went quiet for 25 years, until exploding open in 2001.

Therefore, I believe and hope that twenty years, fifty years, a century from now, our children, their children, and beyond, will continue to find hope and meaning in Middle-earth, and produce new interpretations of it for others to enjoy. On the screen, in plays, in forms and delivery mechanisms not imagined by us now, our offspring will be stirred by Theoden’s re-awakening, by Gandalf’s wisdom, by Sam’s loyalty, and by Frodo’s courage. These new interpretations will be worse than Peter Jackson’s vision in some ways, but also much better in others. For that is the way of such things. But whatever successes and flaws these new versions will have, a few things are certain: they will be amazing and inspiring. They will ignite in a new generation a sense of a nobler purpose in life, a joy of simpler living, and an appreciation of works of wonder, because behind all possible interpretations, supporting them, letting them breathe, will be the timeless, unchanging words of the good Professor.

Our job now, as lovers of Middle-earth, is to carry the hope and deeper messages of Tolkien’s work forward and ensure it is not lost and forgotten, so that one day, perhaps a day that I or you might not see, the world can re-experience the joy we have felt these past fifteen years.

Posted in Blu-Ray, Fans, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Tolkien, Uncategorized

The nuts and bolts info on the new Middle-earth 6-film collection release

There is a lot more to come on the new Middle-earth film collection from us here at To be honest, the greatest discussions of Tolkien happen behind the scenes with the staff via email from staffers with recognizable names and ones that get less attention but who are still wicked smart. It is all pretty interesting. There is lots of great commentary and info to come from that staff.

Staffer Deej (soon to be part of the TORn team appearing at Dragon Con) posted our original story.

But, lets get to the nuts and bolts of what is being released on Nov. 1. while sticking to the facts — with minor background info as notes.

There are three products hitting store shelves, all listed here with suggested retail prices in American dollars.

Theatrical versions DVD: $35.99
Theatrical versions Blu-ray: $68.99
Limited collector’s edition: $799.99

So see, that $800 price tag rumor was bogus; it is one Abraham Lincoln penny less than originally thought. Lets have a look at the promotional material. (more…)

Posted in Blu-Ray, Collectibles, DVDs, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, MGM, New Line Cinema, Studios, The Hobbit

Middle-earth Limited Collectors Edition Blu-ray Box Set Coming!



**Update** – Not only has Amazon comfirmed the list price – $799.99 – but they have also changed the release date to November 1st.  This writer hopes that list price includes a round-trip ticket to New Zealand. 😉


Ever since the final ‘Hobbit’ film was released, fans have been waiting for a box set of all 6 Peter Jackson films.  Well, it looks like that’s finally happening!  Amazon announced today that a Middle-earth Limited Collectors Edition Blu-ray Box set would be released on October 4th of this year. From their listing:


– The Limited Collector’s Edition includes 30 discs featuring all six Middle-earth films in their extended edition forms, housed in six stunning faux leather books and a collectible Hobbit-style wood shelf. The one-of-a-kind wood shelf is crafted from solid wood with design selected by Peter Jackson.
– In addition to the extended edition release of every film, the collection also includes all previously released bonus content from both the theatrical and extended editions.
– Exclusive premiums designed for the collection include: · Spectacular 100-page sketch-style book with replica The Red Book of Westmarch, filled with original film sketches and new artwork · Original reproductions of exquisite watercolor paintings by acclaimed conceptual artists Alan Lee and John Howe, framable and wall-ready.

Special features (doesn’t specify whether these are all from the existing dvd/blu-ray editions):

– The Hobbit Extended Edition Trilogy features almost one hour of additional footage that were carefully selected under the supervision of director Peter Jackson (THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES extended edition is rated R), and more than 34 hours of theatrical and extended bonus content. The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Trilogy features more than 2 hours of extended scenes, also selected by Jackson, and more than 33 hours of theatrical and extended bonus content. Bonus content from The Hobbit trilogy theatrical and extended editions will be included on Blu-ray disc. Bonus content from The Lord of the Rings trilogy theatrical and extended editions will be included on DVD disc. Additionally, digital copies of all films in their theatrical and extended edition forms will be included for download on Digital HD.


No price is currently listed, however the website Io9 posted that it was initially listed with an $800 (gulp!) price tag before being removed.  Expect to see the listing updated soon – hopefully with a less expensive price tag!



Posted in Blu-Ray, Hobbit Movie, LotR Movies, Merchandise

Minas Tirith Battle LEGO Set Concept

Minas Tirith update Main Image 2 copyCalling all LEGO fans!  Would you like to see the Battle of Minas Tirith as a LEGO Set? Well here’s your chance to let LEGO know.  JediPippin has sent us his concept images that he has submitted to LEGO for the Minas Tirith Battle LEGO set to share with you.  To get it looked at seriously by LEGO he just needs a minimum of 10,000 votes.  So if you think this set looks as cool as we do, cast your vote here to have this concept set for the Battle of Minas Tirith designed by JediPippin put into production.


Posted in Creations, Fans, Gaming, Headlines, LEGO, Lord of the Rings, Toys

Collecting The Precious – Asmus Toys Gandalf the Grey 1:6 Figure

g3If you’re into 1:6 figures of your favorite Middle-earth characters then Asmus Toys has you covered. Their latest figure is Gandalf the Grey and the fantastic thing about this figure is that it covers both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. How is that? This figure comes with all the staffs Gandalf uses over the course of all six films. The thing that blows me away the most in the pictures of this figure is how well done the clothes look. They really look movie screen quality. I also like the blend of sculpted hair in the beard and real hair on the top of his head. The final thing that really impressed me was if you want to recreate the bridge scene from The Fellowship of the Ring. Gandalf comes in with a price tag of $199 and comes with an insane amount of stuff.

Gandalf the Grey Specs:

Authentic and detailed fully realized likeness of Gandalf the Grey from The Lord of the Ring trilogy and the Hobbit trilogy.

Asmus Toys KP01A+ male body

Approximately 30 cm tall

Over 36 points of articulation

Features :

An authentic likeness of the actor from the film.

  • One pair of relaxed posture hand
  • One pair of weapon holding hand
  • One pipe holding hand

Special features on Clothing:

  • One signature grey wizard hat
  • One pair of brown long sleeved inner shirt
  • One dark grey robe
  • One dark grey hooded cloak
  • One brown woven belt
  • One printed blue belt plus sheath holder
  • One pair of brown leather boots
  • One traveling bag

Special features in weapons:

  • One wizard staff, used in the first entry of the movie.
  • One wizard staff, used to defeat Balrog
  • One elvish sword
  • One sword sheath
  • A pipe


  • One interractive cutom base of the broken bridge in Moira
  • One Asmus Toys figure stand
  • One display base of Asmus.

PRE-ORDER ONLY:  One wizard staff, used in the Hobbit movie

Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Winner of TORn & NZ Post’s “The Hobbit” Contest

Battle of the Five Armies Presentation PackLast week, we ran a Hobbit-themed contest courtesy of our friends at New Zealand Post, and today we’re happy to announce the winning entry.

Congratulations to Dave P. from U.K. who answered all three contest questions correctly. Your prize will be on its way soon.

Thanks to all who entered the contest!

Posted in Collectibles, Merchandise, Stamps & Coins, The Hobbit

Collecting The Precious – Weta Workshop Comic-Con 2016 Booth Tour

IMG_7806One of my favorite things to do at Comic-Con is to do a booth tour video of many of the collectibles that you can find at the Weta Workshop booth. As you’ve seen from my previous post, Weta has some really superb items this year, like the new Lurtz at Amon Hen, Boromir at Amon Hen, Saruman the White at Dol Guldur, Lady Eowyn of Rohan, and the Elven Warrior. Those are just the items you can order right now. There are also amazing items like Galadriel at Dol Guldur, Grond, War Troll, Skully Helm, and the 1:30 line which were being previewed at this years Comic-Con. Hope you all enjoy this look at all these great items!

Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop

Collecting The Precious – Weta Workshop Comic-Con Booth Coverage Part 1

IMG_7814Comic-Con 2016 has come to and end. However, I’m here to let you know that we’re just getting started with the excitement over what we saw during last week’s event. In this article, we bring you pictures of the many items that could be found at the Weta Workshop booth. Weta had so many new items this year, and they were all amazing. I can’t wait to get so many of these into my collection. The new items making the show this year that fans can pre-order right now are: Lurtz at Amon Hen, Boromir at Amon Hen, Saruman the White at Dol Guldur, Elven Warrior, and Lady Eowyn of Rohan. Fans also have these superb items to look forward to Galadriel at Dol Guldur, War Troll, Skully Helm, Grond, Gimli at Helm’s Deep, The Witch King at Dol Guldur, and the 1:30 Dol Guldur Environment/mini-figures. Below you will find details of these statues with edition sizes and the names of the talented artist who bring you these collectibles. You will also find pictures taken during Comic-Con. I hope they bring you the excitement of event the way I saw it as I was drooling over these collectibles.


Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop and New Zealand Post’s “The Hobbit” Contest

Battle of the Five Armies Presentation Pack

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Presentation Pack

Over the last couple of years, New Zealand Post has issued various products featuring characters and scenes from The Hobbit films, ranging from official stamps and uncirculated coins, to commemorative pure silver and premium gold coins.

With San Diego ComicCon 2016 upon us, we’ve teamed up with our long-time Tolkien friends at NZ Post to bring you a fun new Hobbit-themed contest.

If you know your Wizards from your Orcs, this could be as easy as “String… or nothing!


Posted in Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Stamps & Coins, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Collecting The Precious – Weta Workshop Comic-Con 2016 First Look

86-01-01919_LOTR_Boromir_1-6_002Today we’ve got a first look for you at some of the items that will be at the Weta Workshop booth during Comic-Con 2016. Both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are covered with pieces that will be in high demand when they go up for pre-order.

From The Lord of the Rings we get a duo of statues that help recreate one of the coolest yet saddest scenes in the trilogy with Lurtz taking down Boromir at Amon Hen.

The helmet line has also been rebooted in full glory with the Skully Helm from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. One piece not pictured below but we will get you pictures is the best version of Galadriel we’ve seen done.

From The Hobbit there is a great looking Saruman the White statue and a HUGE War Troll from The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Stay tuned as we have plenty of coverage of this weeks new items.


Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, ComicCon, Events, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, Merchandise, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop’s panel at San Diego Comic con is this Friday

SD comic-con-logo2If it’s July it must be San Diego Comic Con, and with that biggest of popular culture events you can bet is right in the middle of it all. No, there are no new Tolkien films on the horizon, but there are new collectibles, in a variety of styles, coming to fans bookshelves soon. There are also fan gatherings, at SDCC and beyond, and plenty of other tidbits of Tolkien news just waiting to be shared with one and all. And there will be a few Middle-earth alums attending the con this year, chiefly Elijah Wood and Graham McTavish. So keep a wary eye on for any and all Middle-earth news, rumors and cosplay. Oh, and don’t forget our panel, which is listed after the cut.  (more…)

Posted in Collectibles, ComicCon, ComicCon Rumos, Conventions, Elijah Wood, Events, Fans, Graham McTavish, Happy Hobbit, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Merchandise, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Tolkien Reading Day, TORn Book Club, TORn TUESDAYS Live!, WETA Workshop

Collecting The Precious – Weta Workshop’s Minas Tirith Review

IMG_6715As we approach another Comic-Con I wanted to share a review of an item I loved from last years Comic-Con. The amazing Minas Tirith Environment from Weta Workshop was the scene stealing item of their booth last year. Sculptor Leonard Ellis out-did himself with the detail that went into this piece, from the detailed front gate to the last little brick in the upper-most wall. This is the kind of piece that you feel, with the right camera, you could do a fly over to film your own Minas Tirith scene. Thankfully for collectors, this piece is an open edition and can still be had. I would encourage you to get your Minas Tirith today.


Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Shop, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop