Collecting The Precious – Sideshow Collectibles Sauron Premium Format Review
“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them,
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
— J.R.R Tolkien
Comic-Con 2012 brought us without a doubt one of Sideshow Collectibles best pieces ever. After months of teasing and getting fans ready for something big, we finally got the chance to see Sideshow’s Sauron Premium Format. For this amazing piece, Sideshow teamed up with artist Jerry Vanderstelt to bring to life his awesome print of Sauron looking over Mordor. This piece blew me away as I stood there looking at it among all the other pieces as Sideshow’s booth. Sauron is huge, detailed, and it felt like I was looking at the real thing. It was the perfect balance of both the beautiful image Jerry Vanderstelt painted and Sideshow’s ability bring a 2D image to life.
Sauron as a statue is a massive collectible and the same in regards to size can be said about his box. I would venture to guess this thing is the size of an apartment-sized refrigerator so even for the box you’re going to have to make room. Graphically Sauron’s box is simple yet quite elegant. The only picture on the box is a giant image of Sauron’s helm while The Lord of the Rings and Sauron are done in a dark silver color. The rest of the box is done in a simple black and white. The styrofoam packaging had to be cut very specifically to help make sure that this giant statue and base made it to you intact. The bottom part of the styrofoam has been cut out and contained the base along with a couple of the smaller pieces of Sauron. The upper part of the box contains Sauron’s body, head, mace, and two more smaller pieces. All in all this was very well thought out and has ensured that Saurons all over the world are making it to their new owners in tip-top condition.
A figure the size of Sauron is going to have many hands on deck to help bring it to life. The work the sculpting team did to bring what Jerry Vanderstelt’s created via is art print and what Peter Jackson put on screen is unreal. Sauron is a total spot-on recreation with every little fine line and pointy detail in the armor that was in both in the print and movie. Sideshow did a fantastic job creating a life-like suit of armor, and that, to me, is why this figure comes out so well. Even in tough areas like his hands you have all these great little fine lines mixed in with the little plates. Of course you also have the One Ring, which is sculpted on his right hand and the detailing on the mace accurately matches the movie prop. The only cloth bit is Sauron’s cape, which is a nice material with the proper amount of dirty weathering to give it a lived-in look.
The base is also superb. It reveals the desolate land of Mordor that Sauron surveys, littered with the skeletal remains of the victims of his merciless quest for power. On one side of the base is a skull and a broken and worn Numenorean shield. The other side has even more of Sauron’s victims with a High-Elven Shield and helm, plus two Numenorean helmets with the skulls of the soldiers that once owned them.
Finally, I want to go over the pose and how it came out. In Jerry’s art print the pose mixed with everything else just gives off a menacing vibe. You just feel the evil that Sauron is to all those in Middle-earth. Sideshow did a superb job of recreating this amazing print into 3D with this giant PF. It’s like being privy to watching Sauron walk through Mordor gloating over the remains of the fallen.
Sauron had one of the more complex paint jobs I’ve seen among pieces from Middle-earth. The reason is the need to match Jerry Vanderstelt’s print. In itself, that is a huge challenge. However, the hardest part was re-creating the cool lava glow illuminates everything. Sideshow was able to effectively translate this — a subtle glow lava that flows through Mordor lights up the entire scene. This is one of the cooler effects I’ve seen Sideshow attempt and their success really adds “pop” to this statue.
Skulls, shields, helms, and even the rock and earth base all have the incredibly aged and worn look you’d expect in Mordor. The skulls are yellowed with passing of an entire Age. The helmets, shields, and swords all have a great metal/wood look to them while also looking appropriately pitted and worn. Then, of course, you have to nail the color of Sauron‘s armor and match it with both the movie and Jerry Vanderstelt’s art print. I believe this was done in spades and it absolutely matches what we know Sauron’s armor to looked like. The armor has the proper mix of clean metal and dirty-looking metal and is especially close to the vision of the art print.
I’ve been collecting items from Sideshow Collectibles since December of 2003 and this is without doubt the best piece they’ve ever done. I was blown away when I saw it in 2012 at Comic-Con and again this year when I saw it during Comic-Con 2013, but finally having it in my collection has really allowed its awesomeness to sink in. Sauron is huge, detailed, and imposing.
It’s why it’s one of the best collectibles in my collection. The price tag on Sauron is $900 and he has an edition size of 1500 pieces worldwide. If you’re a fan of Middle-earth I cannot over-emphasize that this is a must-own piece.
Sauron has an edition size of 1500 pieces Worldwide. The dimensions for the Sauron are as follows: 36″ x 18″ x 12″ (H x W x D)