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Archive for the ‘Merchandise’ Category

NEW! White Cloud Worlds – Volume 3

It’s no secret that the artists of Weta Workshop who brought both Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to life are an insanely talented bunch, but have you ever wondered what they’ve been up to post Middle-earth? Aside from contributing to multiple other films and their own projects, several have been collaborating on a wonderful series of books showcasing their Fantasy and Science Fiction art: White Cloud Worlds. New Zealand’s Maori name is Aotearoa, which means “the land of the long white cloud,” and given that the art is all Kiwi-made, well, you get the picture! Several of the art pieces included were also inspired by Middle-earth.

The covers of Volumes 1 & 2

The covers of Volumes 1 & 2

Books one and two have already been released, and book three is due out in November.  This new volume is said to contain over 200 images, showcasing the work of 60 New Zealand artists, several of whom include such Middle-earth artists as:

Gus Hunter, Weta Workshop Designer, LOTR & The Hobbit

Ben Wootten, Weta Workshop Designer, LOTR

Paul Tobin, Weta Workshop Designer, The Hobbit

Jamie Beswarick, Weta Workshop Designer, LOTR & The Hobbit

Andrew Baker, Weta Workshop Designer, The Hobbit

Lindsey Crummett, Weta Workshop Designer, The Hobbit

Nick Keller, Weta Workshop Designer, The Hobbit


Posted in Books, Merchandise, New Zealand, The Hobbit

Battle of the Five Armies EE DVD available November 17!

BoTFA EE DVD CoverAfter weeks of rumors (and some nail biting), it’s official! The DVD and Blu-ray editions of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, will be available on Tuesday, November 17. Those who prefer a digital copy can own it four weeks earlier, on Tuesday, October 17. The official press release follows:










The Hobbit Trilogy Extended Edition Also Available on
Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD

Burbank, CA, August 25, 2015 – The adventures of Bilbo Baggins come to an epic conclusion when “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” from Academy Award®-winning* filmmaker Peter Jackson, is released as an Extended Edition on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.  A production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), the extended cut of the final film in The Hobbit Trilogy includes 20 minutes of extra footage and more than 9 hours of bonus features that will complete every Hobbit fan’s collection. The film, the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on November 17 and will be available early on Digital HD on October 20.


Posted in Adam Brown, Aidan Turner, Benedict Cumberbatch, Billy Connolly, Blu-Ray, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Crew News, Dean O'Gorman, Director news, DVDs, Evangeline Lilly, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Hugo Weaving, Ian McKellen, James Nesbitt, Jed Brophy, John Bell, John Callen, Ken Stott, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Manu Bennett, Mark Hadlow, Martin Freeman, Merchandise, MGM, Peter Hambleton, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Production, Richard Armitage, Stephen Fry, Stephen Hunter, Studios, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Warner Bros., William Kircher

Collecting The Precious – Weta Workshop’s The Balrog: The Demon of Shadow and Flame

IMG_5878One of my favorite creatures in all of Middle-earth is the Balrog. When this guy first popped on-screen in The Lord of the Rings; The Fellowship of the Ring, my jaw dropped with just how cool he looked, and last year at Comic-Con the same thing happened when I saw this amazing piece. Part of the reborn The Lord of the Rings statue line, this time fans get a large version of this mind blowing creature. Coming in at 20.5″ high, with a weight of 33 pounds the Balrog is going to be a piece that will make everyone who sees your collection stop and look at it in awe. Shipping right now from all warehouses, the Balrog can be yours for $649 with an edition size of only 1500 pieces worldwide.

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

Collecting The Precious – Dain Ironfoot on War Boar

IMG_4917Today, is the last of the three week run of Weta Workshop post Comic-Con extravaganza collectibles.We end this run with a very cool rider piece capturing Dain Ironfoot himself on that really awesome War Boar. Dain, who hopefully we get to see a bit more of in the extended edition because what we did get to see of him in the theatrical release was pretty cool, is presented in incredible detail. One of the other things I really liked about Dain, besides the incredible detail and likeness, was the metallic paint used on the armor. Fans can order Dain right now for a solid price of $449 with a pretty low edition size of just 800 pieces worldwide. You can expect Dain to arrive into your collection during the first quarter of 2016.

Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop

Collecting The Precious – Asmus Toys Aragorn and Tauriel Sixth Scale Figures

902523-aragorn-06As we’ve mentioned before, Asmus Toys is doing 1:6 figures from both The Lord of the Rings as well as The Hobbit. Our friends at Sideshow Collectibles are helping fans get both Aragorn and Tauriel by distributing them to collectors. Both figures come with loads of items allowing you to create whatever poses you want. Plus, if you order Aragorn you get a special base with an Amon Hen theme. You can snag Aragorn for $199, and he is due to ship between September and December of this year. Tauriel will be shipping to collectors a little sooner, with a shipping scheduled for September or October of this year.

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, Sideshow Collectibles, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Collecting The Precious – Weta Workshop’s Uruk-hai Swordsman Pre-Order

IMG_4788This week marks the second of the three week Weta post Comic-Con Extravaganza. Fans of Middle-earth now have the chance to add the Uruk-hai Swordsman who was part of Saruman’s army attack on Helm’s Deep to their collections. The Uruks were some of the coolest creatures we’ve seen in any movie, and this statue does such a fantastic job capturing all that amazing work by our friends at Weta. You can snag the Uruk-hai Swordsman for $299, he comes with an edition size of 1500 pieces world-wide.

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

New Tolkien Book: The Story of Kullervo UPDATED


Available for pre-order now is allegedly one of Tolkien’s darkest stories, which (if any of you are familiar with my books) has me all kinds of excited.

Here’s the official press release we have received:


The world first publication of a previously unknown work of fantasy by J.R.R. Tolkien, which tells the powerful story of a doomed young man who is sold into slavery and who swears revenge on the magician who killed his father.

  • • The Story of Kullervo is the first piece of prose fiction that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote
  • • This is its first appearance in book form
  • • 2015 is the centenary of its creation
  • • Illustrated on the cover by one of Tolkien’s own paintings


Kullervo son of Kalervo is perhaps the darkest and most tragic of all J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters. ‘Hapless Kullervo’, as Tolkien called him, is a luckless orphan boy with supernatural powers and a tragic destiny.

Brought up in the homestead of the dark magician Untamo, who killed his father, kidnapped his mother, and who tries three times to kill him when still a boy, Kullervo is alone save for the love of his twin sister, Wanona, and guarded by the magical powers of the black dog, Musti. When Kullervo is sold into slavery he swears revenge on the magician, but he will learn that even at the point of vengeance there is no escape from the cruellest of fates.

Tolkien himself said that The Story of Kullervo was ‘the germ of my attempt to write legends of my own’, and was ‘a major matter in the legends of the First Age’. Tolkien’s Kullervo is the clear ancestor of Túrin Turambar, tragic incestuous hero of The Silmarillion. In addition to it being a powerful story in its own right, The Story of Kullervo – published here for the first time with the author’s drafts, notes and lecture-essays on its source-work, The Kalevala – is a foundation stone in the structure of Tolkien’s invented world.


The book will be released in the UK on the 27th of August 2015 and is scheduled for release in April 2016 in the US.

[Read More]

While I doubt the rights will be released any time soon, this sounds like an edge-of your seat read that would make a fantastic film. With stories like this kicking around in his desk drawers (or wherever the Professor kept them!), one has to wonder what would be his chosen medium if alive and publishing today. Would he be like J.K. Rowling and write not only novels, but for the stage, and the screen as he expanded his magical world? Or do you think he would’ve just stuck to books? Before you go into a lecture about Jackson’s films “ruining everything,” remember that Tolkien willingly sold the rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, knowing full well their stories would be told on the big screen with all kinds of changes to match the cinematic storytelling medium.

Posted in Books Publications, Headlines, J.R.R. Tolkien, Announcements, Tolkien

Crowd funded Minas Tirith pricetag: £1.8 billion

Minas TirithA group, that displays one man with 500+ Facebook friends, has started a GoFundMe page to build a 1 to 1 scale replica “of Peter Jackson’s depiction of Minas Tirith, as seen in his Lord of the Rings films.”

For American readers, if my pounds to dollars calculator is working right, that is about $2.8 billion, an ambitious amount to raise on IndieGoGo, or really any crowd funding site, or really, by any method. Still, the project would be a dream to visit and would create an economy all its own and would provide years of good media material as the world watched its progress.

“We aim to create both residential and commercial properties, allowing for sustainable growth and a high quality of life,” Jonathan Wilson says on his intro page. He also breaks down the cost, a little bit, to say, “The vast majority of this expense will cover building costs – £15m for land, £188m for labour and £1.4bn for material.”

He hopes to raise £1.8 billion. (more…)

Posted in Fans, J.R.R. Tolkien, Locations Sets, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, New Zealand, Studios, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, WETA Workshop

Street date and running time for the BOtFA EE

BOFTA EE Canadian cover - courtesy of

BOFTA EE Canadian cover – courtesy of

Bill Hunt over at Digital came out with two updates on The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies yesterday afternoon. The first, which you can read here, is that the street date for the DVD release looks to be Tuesday, November 17th, according to which, according to Bill, almost always coincides with with Warner Bros. release date. The second update is that the official running time appears to be 164 minutes, which means the EE will be around 20 minutes longer than the theatrical version, not 30 minutes as intimated by Peter Jackson in various news outlets last December.

The shorter running time has been rumored for the last week or so, with the reaction from our Hobbit forum users mostly reflecting disappointment regarding the ‘lost’ 10 minutes.  Of course, there are also the ‘glass half full’ fans that are hoping that quality will beat out quantity in this case. Let us know what your reaction is in the comments, on the forum, or in Barliman’s chatroom. In the mean time, Bill believes an official announcement from Warner Bros should be forthcoming in the next few days.

Posted in Blu-Ray, Director news, DVDs, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Tolkien’s Beowulf translation now in paperback – enter to WIN!

Beowulf Online GiveawayOur good friends at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt this week released Tolkien’s wonderful translation of Beowulf in paperback – and to celebrate, they are offering YOU a chance to win a copy of the paperback, as well as a poster of the beautiful cover art (drawn by Tolkien himself).

To enter, all you have to do is click here and complete the entry form. The contest winner will be selected on August 18th – so don’t delay! (Alas, this US based competition is only open to those who are over 18 and who have a valid US address – sorry!)

If you didn’t grab a copy of Beowulf in hardback, now is your chance to own this fabulous translation by the Professor.  You can read TORn staffers’ reviews of this edition here and here; suffice to say, it’s well worth adding to your library. Snap up a copy or try your luck to win the poster as well!

[Click here to enter the HMH giveaway]


Posted in Books, Books Publications, J.R.R. Tolkien, Merchandise, Other Tolkien books, Posters Prints, Shop, Tolkien

LOTR Online consolidating servers

LOTRO-Logo-8.18.10Tubine, Inc. has announced that they will be shutting down 19 of the servers that host their Lord of the Rings Online interactive game. The worlds that are currently hosted on those servers will be consolidated to the remaining ten worlds. Characters that exist in one of the worlds being shut down will be able to transfer to one of the remaining worlds free of charge. According to gamer Lady_Celebrian:

“We’re losing 10 US and 9 EU servers. In the U.S.: Elendilmir, Riddermark, Firefoot, Nimrodel, Windfola, Imladris, Dwarrowdelf, Silverlode, Vilya, and Meneldor. In the European Union: Estel, Gilrain, Eldar, Anduin, Morthond, Maiar, Vanya, Withywindle, and Snowbourn. Servers remaining are: U.S.: Arkenstone, Crickhollow, Landroval, Gladden, and Brandywine. European Unoin: Belegaer, Gwaihir, Sirannon, Laurelin, and Evernight.”

You can read and lean more about it in the World Transfers article, which also contains a good FAQ.

“The Barliman’s group who play together on Imladris are all moving to Arkenstone. You can come join their kin if you wish. They include the chatters Lady_Celebrian, Delta, Pippin, wisey, Lord_Elrond, and LadyArwen. Shadowfax is currently on Firefoot, I think. Message me (Lady_Celebrian) If you have questions, and we’ll try to help any players who need it.”


Posted in Lord of the Rings, Merchandise, Video games

Collecting The Precious – Weta Workshop’s Minas Tirith Pre-Order

IMG_5664Today is the first of three wonderful weeks of new items we can order from the goodies Weta Workshop had on display at Comic-Con 2015.

Minas Tirith one of the most important places in all of Middle-earth has been expertly captured by principal sculptor Leonard Ellis. All told it took eight people a total of 1,000 hours to bring this collectible to life. Due to land in our collections starting in the fourth quarter of this year Minas Tirith can be yours for $599.

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