It seems impossible that this coming December, it will be twenty years since Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was released. But here we are, twenty years on – and as they did for the anniversary of The Fellowship of the Ring, NZ Post is celebrating with some very special stamps and pins. Here’s what their press release tells us:

NZ Post releases The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers stamps

NZ Post is proud to release special edition stamps and lapel pins to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. This is the second of three 20th anniversary collections to be released by NZ Post – with The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring stamps and coins issued last September.

NZ Post Head of Stamps and Collectables Antony Harris says The Two Towers stamps and pins will be very popular among Kiwis and international collectors. “There will be a lot of interest from around Aotearoa New Zealand and the world as this collection marks another milestone in the history of such an iconic series of films,” Harris said.

The special edition stamps and pins are being released in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

Harris also said the majority of last year’s The Fellowship of the Ring stamp and coin collections were snapped up by new customers from overseas. “These sold across the globe like nothing we had ever seen before.”

For the first time this year, NZ Post has also released enamel lapel pins with designs featuring Gollum, the Eye of Sauron and Mount Doom.

The artist behind the stamps and pins is New Zealander Sacha Lees, who began her career at Wētā Workshop working on The Lord of the Rings trilogy as an illustrator, creature designer and airbrush and concept artist.

This year’s stamps not only feature hand-painted scenes from the film, but special text hidden within the illustrations. As a special treat for the most ardent fans, this year Lees has also created a unique The Lord of the Rings trilogy poster that stands apart from the stamp designs and includes various images and
messaged hidden in UV ink.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 20th Anniversary stamps will be released on Wednesday 7 September 2022, with additional products to come later in the year. To order and read about the collection visit www.collectables.nzpost.co.nz

As ever with NZ Post, these products are beautiful – and the hidden messages are such an amazing feature! You can snap up these fabulous collectibles by visiting NZ Post’s website now – don’t miss out!

Our friends at Weta Workshop were not at Comic-Con in San Diego last week, but that didn’t stop them from showing off some really cool stuff down in New Zealand, coinciding with the timing of SDCC. The items from the Collectibles Unleashed event ranged from their amazing Masters Collection series to those very fun Mini Epics. This year’s Masters Collection piece captures Frodo’s journey to destroy the Ring as he, Sam, and Gollum make it through the Dead Marshes.  This stunning piece is a 25-inch tall multi-layer collectible that gives you a full view of what each character was going through during this moment. It is currently in low stock and I’m sure with only 550 pieces available it will be gone quite soon. Not due to ship until the first quarter of next year, fans have plenty of time to save up the $2599USD required; or you can use Weta’s awesome payment plans to help break it down.

Continue reading “Collecting The Precious – exciting new releases from Weta Workshop, revealed in a virtual Comic-con 2022”

Our friends over at Sideshow don’t only produce incredible collectibles – they also make some very entertaining videos! One of their shows is a sixth scale figure posing contest, ‘Strike a Pose’.

Often featuring celebrity guests, the show is hosted by ‘Pose Master General’ Terry Smith. Three contestants have a short period of time in which to pose a figure (shipped to them by Sideshow – the show is filmed remotely in these Covid-concious times, which opens it up for participation from people all over the world). Smith then judges the poses; and the best one wins kudos and glory! It’s really all about the banter and fun – check out an episode from a couple of years ago, when actor David Dastmalchian relived one of his earliest movie appearances, in The Dark Knight.

Today Sideshow have let us know about a very exciting episode, coming up later this month, which fans of Middle-earth will not want to miss: Oin, Bombur and Bifur will be taking part! Actors John Callen, Stephen Hunter and William Kircher competed with an entirely suitable figure; here’s a glimpse of the fun in store, in this trailer Sideshow have exclusively shared with TORn:

July 23 is when the episode will air, during San Diego Comic-Con. Our friends at Sideshow will be at the con – if you’re there, be sure to stop by and visit them at Booth #1929. They always have an incredible display; you won’t want to miss it! (After you visit TORN at Booth #1202, of course!) And if you aren’t one of the fortunate folks visiting Comic-Con, why not entertain yourself by watching past episodes of ‘Strike a Pose’? And then catch up with our dwarven friends, and see how they got on when grappling with Gandalf the Grey!

As we work our way through the 20th anniversary period of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, we can at the same time celebrate the 10th anniversaries of The Hobbit Trilogy. Our friends at Weta Workshop currently have a timed pre-order going for an amazing-looking Smaug statue from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This timed pre-order runs until July 6th, which is just next week!  However many fans order this by that cut off date will set the edition size of this collectible. You can snag Smaug right now for $1,299 (USD), or $187.50 a month on a payment plan – allowing you more easily to acquire this piece. If you decide to do the full payment plan you have time to save, with this stunning Smaug not arriving until quarter one of next year.

The awesome folks at Diamond Select Toys have some cool new  The Lord of the Rings collectibles for fans to add to their displays: their D-Formz figures (Series 1). These 2-3 inch tall figures of Aragorn, Gandalf the Grey, Frodo, Gimli, Legolas, Smeagol, and Gollum come individually blind-boxed for $8.99. If you would like, you can order a set of 12 blind boxes – thus at least increasing your chance to get all of the figures – for $107.88. These are in pre-order right now, but are due to ship in October; not too much of a wait to add this cool twist on The Lord of the Rings Trilogy to your collection.

Over on Wraith Land, Thomas Kelley has just published the first part of an extended interview with noted Tolkien artist Jay Johnstone.

Jay’s artwork employs techniques from religious manuscripts, icon and fresco illustrations from the medieval period, and uses a variety of mediums — oils, watercolors, acrylics, egg tempera with gold powder and leaf. Striking detail and traditional techniques give the impression of artwork that could have been produced in the real Middle-earth.

Kelley delves into the goals underpinning Johnstone’s unique approach, and some of the insights into Tolkien’s worksthat Johnstone himself has gained out of it. If the interesection of Tolkien, art, psychology and spirituality is your thing, you’ll find this a very interesting read indeed.

An excerpt:

Johnstone dreams in Tolkien. And through him and his artwork we can perceive anew what it would mean to live in Middle-earth and to create art inside it. While Tolkien himself made “sub-creation” the purview of his own characters, from the creation of the Silmarils by Fëanor to the writing of the Red Book of Westmarch by the hobbits, Johnstone imagines what it would be like to be a painter inside Tolkien’s world, and then paints that world and its history. Reminiscent of the religious medieval icon paintings by Duccio di Buoninsegna and Fra Angelico, Johnstone’s paintings work not just like time portals but dream portals.

Visit Wraith Land to read the feature in full.

Tolkienography: Isildur’s Bane & Iconic Interpretations by Jay Johnstone
Tolkienography: Isildur’s Bane & Iconic Interpretations by Jay Johnstone.

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