You might recall that we’ve previously profiled the incredible Middle-earth LEGO dioramas of Blake Baer here on TheOneRing.net.
Now he’s back with his biggest piece yet — a 56-inch-tall model of Erebor made from 80,000 pieces of LEGO that weighs close to 200 pounds! This time he’s working with fellow LEGO aficionado Jack Bittner.
When we saw the first movie last year, we loved it too much not to build a scene from it. Of course, we couldn’t build any thing less than the iconic dwarf city. So here it is, our third and latest collaboration (our first was Amon Hen, our second was Rivendell). We chose Erebor for many reasons, not the least of which was that we love building mountains [sarcasm]. This build was a ton of fun, and we hope you enjoy it. And now, it is our pleasure to present Erebor, the dwarven hall of kings.
We had the chance to ask Blake a few questions about his and Jack’s Erebor diorama. Here’s what he had to say:
TORn: How big is it? Is it your biggest yet?
Blake: It most certainly is our biggest yet at 56″ tall, and close to 80,000 pieces totaling close to 200 pounds of LEGO.
TORn: How long did it take?
Blake: It took my friend Jack Bittner and I close to 400 combined hours to get the model designed, built, photographed, edited, and uploaded.
TORn: How difficult was conceptualizing the design?
Blake: We had the movie to rely upon for reference, so a lot of the design stages was just us watching the movie, haha. It obviously isn’t an exact replica, but it captures the essence of Erebor. We had the general layout of where we wanted Dale, the rivers, the mountains, etc. to be, but much of that changed as we built. We didn’t work off of any blueprints, so we were converting directly from imaginations to bricks, so many changes occurred.
TORn: What inspired the concept?
Blake: Large amounts were drawn from the movie portrayal of the Hobbit. The style of the facade of the gates of Erebor, for example, were drawn from the movie. In addition, representing Dale as a Sicilian-style city with terracotta roofs was drawn from the movie.
TORn: Will you be showcasing it anywhere?
Blake: We currently don’t have any plans to put it on display, but we hope to keep it together for a while so that we can possibly take advantage of any possibilities that may arise. The public unveiling was at Brickfair, VA, earlier this summer, but Erebor hasn’t seen any action To get an idea of the scale, check out the photo below that Blake supplied us. Amazing!
It is an exciting day for fans of LEGO® and The Lord of the Rings! As of right now, you can download the iOS game ‘LEGO® The Lord of the Rings’ from the Apple App Store! Check out the full release below as well as some screen caps. The game is only $4.99 and available for both iPhone and iPad. [Download]
One wonders how much Middle-earth’s Hobbits, wizards, elves and dwarves have contributed to the success and growth of the Lego company over recent years. It has now grown bigger than Hasbro, and become the second-largest toy company in the world.
The boss of Lego Group carries two business cards – one the usual kind and the other a Lego mini-figure in his likeness, complete with beard and glasses, with contact details on the back.
That kind of playful thinking has helped the Danish company become the world’s second-biggest toy maker as it clicks with fast-growing Asia and builds on its popular plastic bricks with video games and theme parks.
“We are seeing a society where the wealthier it becomes, the more room there is for what I call the business of play,” Chief Executive Jørgen Vig Knudstorp told Reuters in Singapore.
“In that I will include the role of play in education, the role of play in theme parks and family entertainment, the role of play in adult age.”
Video games are big business and Lego Group has “a major role through licensing arrangements” but the digital realm is a complement, not a replacement, for physical play, he said.
Tom Bombadil has always been the most enigmatic of characters in the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. When he didn’t make the cut in the movies, despite not being central to the plot, many fans objected and wondered why. The answer is revealed below at last from the Brotherhood Workshop!
Tolkien wrote a few times about his character, especially in letters to those who asked. In one such letter to Peter Hastings he says in part,
“I don’t think Tom needs philosophizing about, and is not improved by it. But many have found him an odd or indeed discordant ingredient. In historical fact I put him in because I had already ‘invented’ him independently (he first appeared in the Oxford Magazine) and wanted an ‘adventure’ on the way. But I kept him in, and as he was, because he represents certain things otherwise left out. I do not mean him to be an allegory – or I should not have given him so particular, individual, and ridiculous a name – but ‘allegory’ is the only mode of exhibiting certain functions: he is then an ‘allegory’, or an exemplar, a particular embodying of pure (real) natural science: the spirit that desires knowledge of other things, their history and nature, because they are ‘other’ and wholly independent of the enquiring mind, a spirit coeval with the rational mind, and entirely unconcerned with ‘doing’ anything with the knowledge: Zoology and Botany not Cattle-breeding or Agriculture . Even the Elves hardly show this : they are primarily artists. Also T.B. exhibits another point in his attitude to the Ring, and its failure to affect him. You must concentrate on some pan, probably relatively small, of the World (Universe), whether to tell a tale, however long, or to learn anything however fundamental – and therefore much will from that ‘point of view’ be left out, distorted on the circumference, or seem a discordant oddity. The power of the Ring over all concerned, even the Wizards or Emissaries, is not a delusion – but it is not the whole picture, even of the then state and content of that pan of the Universe.”
During Comic-Con 2013 the folks at LEGO unvelied a brand new set for fans of Middle-earth and it comes from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The new set is called Lake Town Chase and comes with several mini-figures like: Bard, Thorin, Bilbo, a guard, and The Master of Lake Town. This set launches in December of this year with a retail price of $49.99 and has 334 pieces. Also, during the unveiling which was really cool with a glass case with misty glass was some great videos from The Lord of the Rings. LEGO has already given fans some really great sets from both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and this set is going to be another winner.