TheOneRing.net’s table at the convention. Thanks to all who stopped by!
It’s hard to believe a week has passed already since HobbitCon Vier in Germany. Staffers deej and greendragon were delighted to be there, meeting fellow fans and sharing the fun. As promised, here are some tales of the weekend for those of you who couldn’t be there – or who were there and just want to look back!
HobbitCon was held in the Hotel Maritim in Bonn, April 1-3. Folks started arriving on the Wednesday before, and there was an atmosphere of anticipation as more and more people, often laden with suitcases full of costumes, showed up to be reunited with friends.
On Friday the con officially got underway, and the big ‘kick off’ was the Opening Ceremony that evening. All the guests were invited on stage – TORn’s staff had no idea they would have to speak, but greendragon dusted off her German to say a few words! Of course the crowd was really waiting to see the guest actors; in attendance this year were Mark Atkin, Dallas Barnett, John Bell, Billy Boyd, Jed Brophy, Sadwyn Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Lori Dungey, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Stephen Hunter,William Kircher, Craig Parker and John Tui. Mark Ferguson was a seemingly indefatigable host for the weekend! (You can read full details of all the guests at HobbitCon’s website, here.) (more…)
The TORn family would like to congratulate Sir Peter Jackson who is among the six new inductees to New Zealand’s Business Hall of Fame. The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film productions contributed to the New Zealand economy for years, not to mention Weta Workshop, Weta Digital, and many other spin-off endeavors that Peter had a personal hand in founding, or contributed to in partnership with others.
The hall of fame was established in 1994 to recognise and celebrate individual business people who have made a big contribution to the economic and social development of New Zealand. According to the stuff.co.nz article, the inauguration ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 9. Congratulations, P.J.!! Read More …
Have you ever wondered what the honey from Beorn’s hives gifted to Gandalf and Thorin’s Company on their Quest tasted like? Now you can find out! For the first time ever, Beorn’s treat is available worldwide from Middle-earth Honey, a New Zealand based company striving both to bring the tastes of Arda to the world and to also save the precious bees that produce it.
Their first product is called Anduin Vale Honey and its inspiration was taken directly from the text of The Hobbit: “This is what he promised to do for them. He would provide ponies for each of them, and a horse for Gandalf, for their journey to the forest, and he would lade them with food to last them for weeks with care, and packed so as to be as easy as possible to carry—nuts, flour, sealed jars of dried fruits, and red earthenware pots of honey, and twice-baked cakes that would keep good a long time, and on a little of which they could march far. The making of these was one of his secrets; but honey was in them, as in most of his foods, and they were good to eat, though they made one thirsty.” – The Hobbit, “Queer Lodgings”
You can meander through the Vale at the Middle-earth Honey website here, and likewise may keep up to date with new products and recipes by following their Facebook page here.
Like Beorn, the nature-loving guardian of the Vale, Middle-earth Honey holds its bees in high regard and gives them the best possible treatment. Their honey is 100% natural and is based just ten minutes from Hobbiton in Matamata, NZ.
Anduin Vale Honey is but the first of many Middle-earth products, including candies, chocolates, and even some meads (honey wine) to be released later this year.
Even better, Middle-earth Honey is helping to support the endangered honey bee by maintaining healthy hives on the Pacific Island nation of Niue where the bee population has been untouched by disease or decline.
You can find out more about these special island bees in the video below:
Another of my favorite pieces from Comic-Con 2015 is now available for Pre-Order. This statue really impressed me with the likeness, detail, and the amazing metallic paint job. Lord Elrond at Dol Guldur is the next piece from The Hobbit Trilogy that fans can get ready to add to their collections. Sculpted by Gary Hunt this amazing piece is available right now for $299(there is a NRD at the time of purchase) with an edition size of only 1500 pieces world wide. Due to ship in quarter two of this year the wait won’t be long until we have Lord Elrond in our collections.
From stuff.co.nz: Peter Jackson along with fellow Oscar winner Jamie Selkirk stepped down from Sir Richard Taylor’s Miramar workshop on December 31, Companies Office documents show. The change comes ahead of new legislation which would make directors personally liable for health and safety, which the Institute of Directors said demonstrated that directors needed to be across all aspects of the business. Jackson and Selkirk both still own about one third of Weta Workshop.
Weta Workshop senior communications manager Erik Hay confirmed the law change was behind the move for Jackson and Selkirk. “The reason was centred around the law change, which will require them to be more involved on a daily basis. As a manufacturing business, it’s important they are. Peter felt he was not and decided to step out of the piece. They will still retain shares in the company.” Read more…
Autumn had finally arrived in northern California when I boarded a plane to head into spring on the other side of the planet in New Zealand. To say I wasn’t frightened would be a lie. I felt very much like Frodo heading out into the wide world, for I was about to be away from my family and my continent for longer than I ever had. The weather in Wellington had been pleasant until I arrived, or so I’m told, and as more and more cold rainstorms blew into the bay off the Pacific, my co-workers at Weta Workshop teased that I had brought winter with me to their beautiful island nation.
The flight from Auckland to Wellington, NZ
Like most fans of the TheLord of the Rings films, I had long dreamed of visiting New Zealand and seeing as much of its Middle-earth landscape as I could. However, also like most fans, the cost of such an adventure always held me back. As such, if someone had told me that I would have gone to Aotearoa twice in 2015, I would’ve thought they were as full of tall tales as old mad Baggins! But step out my front door I did, each time with a little nudge.
Our friend, artist Jerry Vanderstelt, has released the final print in his The Hobbit Trilogy series. This beautiful print covers all the fantastic points of the third Hobbit film and, like the previous prints from Jerry, comes in two sizes of Paper Giclee’s. The 18 x 24 version is priced at $65 while the epic 28 x 36 version comes in at $120. Both are in-stock and ready to ship, so you can acquire some amazing Hobbit art for Christmas. If you order before December 14th you can use this coupon code: VS-XMAS2015, to save 15% off of your purchase. Check out the Vadnerstelt Stuido Facebook page for a full list of prints that you can use this discount on. If you are awaiting the canvas edition of this print, it will be available after the new year and we will let you know when that goes up.
Have you finished all of your Christmas shopping yet? Or are you yet to start? If you’re like us, you’ll definitely have a few more things on your list and what better way to complete the task than buying some Tolkienesque presents. TORn’s staffers deej, Elessar, Earl, Altaira and Kelvarhin scoured the internet to find the perfect presents to celebrate the holidays and we were astounded by how many wonderful choices there are. So, without further ado, here are some lovely gift suggestions for your favourite Tolkien fan (even if that happens to be you). All prices are in U.S. dollars.
One of the awesome Weta pieces from Comic-Con 2015 is now available to order. If you enjoyed the look Azog took in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, or if you’re like me and just want more Azog, then this item is something you and I will both be adding to our collections. Azog: Commander of Legions is now up for Pre-order. The statue captures Azog with all his really cool armor and that new sword he implanted in his arm after The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The new Azog statue has an edition size of just 1000 pieces world-wide, and given the success of the first Azog statue I wouldn’t wait to order this one. The price tag is $349 and will be shipping in the first quarter of next year.
In celebration of the release today of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition Blu-ray and DVD, we have another EXCLUSIVE clip to share with you! From the behind the scenes footage in the Bonus Features, this gives us a little more insight into dwarven armour. (Cosplayers, who will be the first to make Thorin’s unseen ‘Ram’s head’ armour??)
Weta Workshop just announced that TORn friend and former General Manager of Weta Limited has passed away.
Tim was given a nice tribute from Weta that you can find here. There, Richard Taylor and his wife Tania explained who Tim was and that cancer took him.
Tim headed up Weta’s consumer products company, which handled the tourism and fans that visit the workshop from around the world and started the company’s collectibles line.
Tim was a friend to TheOneRing, setting up several party events surrounding conventions and events in the U.S. and in New Zealand. He arranged receptions and tour events with TORn staff and TORnadoes around the world.
Tim was a terrifically positive influence. It was impossible not to get swept up in his absolute enthusiasm and love for everything ‘geek’. It was a wonderful thing to see. His passing is deeply saddening, especially considering the courageous fight and victory over cancer the first time around. – Richard Taylor, CEO and Co-founder, Weta Workshop
On a personal note, Tim was a friend that I looked forward to seeing at events, meals, in emails and in offices. I know I am not the only staffer to feel that way.
I remember conversations with him about work and life and how much he enjoyed the film and fantasy environment. I also recall conversations about his family and his wife and children. Tim was willing to do hard things to achieve success and was honest and open, often explaining what he couldn’t be honest and open about. His loss is felt across the oceans and he will be remembered. Thank you Tim Launder for your kindness, courtesy and friendship.
Josh of Collecting The Precious adds:
It’s not very often as a collector that you truly feel your opinion is valued. Those of us collectors who knew Tim never felt that way. We always knew if we made a comment in person at a convention or on a message board Tim truly valued those comments. He let us know they played a part in the pecking order of what wonderful Middle-earth pieces were made.
As a collector I can’t put into words how awesome that is. For me personally he made doing the Collecting the Precious columns easier. At events like Comic-Con he would allow me to have special access cases being lifted to take pictures or video. Tim would allow me to pick his brain about what might be coming, and allow little teases I could pass on. When he left Weta it made me sad because a friendship had developed and I knew that would wain with him not being there.
Tonight, I find out that he has passed away. Sailing into the West and hopefully pain free. The collecting world lost a good friend tonight but the world lost a great guy. Thanks Tim for all the kindness you showed me and all the Middle-earth collectors.
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