Our friends at Weta Workshop have unveiled their next amazing statue, representing the 20th Anniversary of The Fellowship of the Ring. If you’re a fan of a certain White Wizard who ended up going bad, this one is for you! That’s right: fans will have until October 14th to place an order for Saruman the White on Throne. At midnight PST on the 14th the edition size of this collectible will be set. Saruman looks absolutely amazing, and will be a superb addition to anyone’s collection. The price for Saruman is $1,399 (US), with an expected shipping date in the third quarter of next year. This will give fans time to save up, if they decide not to use the payment plan system that the folks at Weta have available. If expanding your collection at a smaller price point is something you’re looking to do, fans can add these great options: Figures of Fandom Aragorn, Figures of Fandom Lurtz, Mini-Statue Gandalf the Grey, and Mini-Statue Gimli. All of these come in a price range of $99 for the Mini-Statues, to $119 for the Figures of Fandom.

Continue reading “Collecting The Precious – Weta Workshop Saruman the White on Throne”

Over on Twitter, Fellowship of the Fans (FOTF) has posted some new rumours about LOTR on Prime’s series that are sure to provoke head-scratching and even more rampant theorising about the composition of the initial two episodes.

Warning: these are, potentially, spoilers. If that’s important to you, what are you even doing here? Run away!

Photo by Stewart Cook/Variety/Shutterstock (5813163v) Robert Aramayo Discovery’s ‘Harley and the Davidsons’ Party, TCA Summer Press Tour, Day 5, Los Angeles, USA – 01 Aug 2016

According to Fellowship of the Fans’ sources:

  1. Actor Robert Aramayo was on the production’s dwarven sets and filmed scenes with the dwarves.
  2. Actor Owain Arthur plays an important dwarven character in the same scenes.
  3. The dwarves wear “amazing dragon/dragon scale armour”.
  4. The dwarven king is said to look strikingly similar to Tormund from the HBO Game of Thrones telly series.
  5. Scenes in the first two episodes will show dwarves climbing a mountain, or ravine, and there is an “underground pub set piece”.

You can read the full run-down here.

However, dwarven sets? Is this cold water being tipped over the Year of the Trees brigade? Regardless, the Valinor image still exists and it seems beyond belief that the production would lead with an image like that purely as fan catnip.

Keep in mind, this is not confirmed, while the Valinor image is most certainly official.

But it may be that that segment is shorter than we want to believe. Maybe it’s a short PJ-style prologue per Fellowship of the Rings. Because dwarves do not belong in Aman (unless it’s in Aulë’s workshop, or your name is Gimli), and the most natural place for dwarves and elves to be seen together is Eregion and Khazad-dûm, during the Second Age.

If it is Second age, the dwarven king is likely to be Durin III. Owain Arthur might be Narvi. Narvi most famously had a close friendship with Celebrimbor, but I wonder whether Celeborn might fit in there somewhere too.

Food for thought.

The folks over on The Digital Bits have unearthed a breakdown of Warner Bros. forthcoming “Middle-earth 31-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition”. If you’re a collector, you’ll want to have a read of this before committing your hard-earned.

The Digital Bits says that Warner Bros. are close to an official announcement. They also report the set will include “the Theatrical and Extended versions of all six Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films on both 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray (including the remastered Lord of the Rings films on Blu-ray).”

But, here’s the kicker.

They says that the new content is expected to be one Blu-ray bonus disc containing the 26-minute presentation reel shown at Cannes in 2001, and the Alamo Drafthouse cast reunion.

Further, The Appendices will not be included in this new set.

All that will set you back a total of 196 quid. Release is slated for October 26.

Staff reactions to the report are a bit mixed. Personally, I’m much more stoked for the Evangelion box sets that TDB mentions in the same article, while Staffer Earl suggests that:

So after waiting 20 years, the “ultimate” edition ends up having just the Cannes reel and some newly filmed reunion footage hosted by Colbert (hope it’s not some late night show format with his jokes and display of Tolkien knowledge)? 

Uh oh!  I sincerely hope that ain’t all. 

To be honest, I’m inclined to think if this is it, then why bother with the 20th anniversary at all. But maybe this is great for truly hardcore fans who can afford to splurge on yet another version and can’t wait another 5 years.

Middle-earth 31-disc Ultimate Collector's Edition
Middle-earth 31-disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition.

If you are keen, though, check out the full, detailed breakdown over on The Digital Bits.

Well, we’re back – with Episode 2 of our collectibles themed podcast. (If you missed it, you can find Episode 1 here.) In this episode, we talk about the importance of having a clear concept of what you want your collection to be, what you want in that collection, and being open to when a special piece crosses your path. We think this topic is important when collecting, because it’s very easy to feel the need to have everything, and thus get overwhelmed and burned out. We hope you enjoy the podcast – and we’re already working on episode 3!

Continue reading “Collecting The Precious Podcast Episode 2: A Focused Collection”

Today’s the day! Our friends at Weta Workshop’s latest Master Collection statue goes up for order today at 2 p.m. PST. This is yet another amazing statue from the Master Collection line, as we’ve seen for several years now. This superb looking piece recreates the sequence where the Hobbits have to get off the road as the Nazgul track them. All we know right now is that this piece will be limited to 500 pieces world-wide. Price and shipping timeframe won’t be unveiled until this goes live; so we absolutely suggest standing by, ready to order this piece as soon as it goes up, because there is virtually no chance this makes it through the day.

Brian Sibley and Pauline Baynes are names which will be instantly familiar to many Tolkien fans. Author, broadcaster and screenwriter Sibley scripted a radio version of The Lord of the Rings for the BBC, and his wonderful book The Maps of Middle-earth was illustrated by John Howe. Sibley also wrote The Making of the Movie Trilogy for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies, and the three ‘Official Guides’ for his Hobbit trilogy.

Photograph of writer Brian Sibley

Artist Pauline Baynes, who died in 2008, worked with Tolkien himself, creating maps and illustrations for his works. Many fans will have had her art work on their walls, as she illustrated Middle-earth posters in the early seventies. Her work adorned covers of various editions of the Professor’s works, and she first collaborated with Tolkien when she illustrated Farmer Giles of Ham back in 1949. She also illustrated all of C S Lewis’ Narnia books.

Photograph of artist Pauline Baynes

Baynes and Sibley were friends for many years, and together they created a tale of Osric the Extraordinary Owl. TORn’s good friend Jay Johnstone has finally been able to publish this wonderful work, in a limited edition of just 250 – with a foreword by none other than Tolkien scholar Wayne G. Hammond! Here’s what the official press release tell us:

Osric the Extraordinary Owl resulted from the collaboration of two friends: artist and illustrator Pauline Baynes and writer, dramatist and broadcaster Brian Sibley. It was a friendship spanning more than two-and-a-half decades, with many shared interests, among them the work of J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis famously illustrated by Pauline and the subject of acclaimed dramatisations by Brian.

Sibley’s tale of a small grey owl in search of the courage to establish his individuality and ‘be himself’ (but which can be also be read as a ‘coming-out story’) was written in 1970 but had to wait until 2007 to find an artist at a time when Baynes was without any commissions and was wanting opportunities to keep drawing and painting. As a result she produced 22 delightful, double-page illustrations featuring not just Osric and his owl family but also an entire aviary of the most spectacular, colourful birds from black swans and peacocks to flamingos and toucans.

Baynes completed her pictures for Osric the year before her death in 2008 but ‘the extraordinary owl’ had to wait another decade to find a publisher. At the Tolkien Society’s 50th anniversary conference in 2019 noted Tolkien artist Jay Johnstone met Brian Sibley and another of Pauline’s friends, Wayne G. Hammond who, with his wife Christina Scull, is responsible for many key works of Tolkien scholarship and who, as Librarian of the Chapin Library of Rare Books at Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, has curatorship of the Pauline Baynes bequest of paintings, drawings. Out of that Tolkien encounter came the decision to finally get Osric’s saga into print.

After a delay, caused by the Covid pandemic, Jay Johnstone is now pleased to announce the publication of Osric the Extraordinary Owl. This collector’s edition hardback book is written by Brian Sibley and illustrated by Pauline Baynes, with a foreword by Wayne G. Hammond. It is designed and produced by Jay Johnstone and comes in a gilded presentation box. Each book is individually numbered and comes with signed book plates by Brian, Wayne and Jay.

Photograph showing the cover of 'Osric the Extraordinary Owl', with a lovely grey and white owl against a blue, starry sky. Also shown is a two page spread inside the book, with an illustration of many varied birds.

Fans of Bayne’s art and Sibley’s writing will not want to miss out on this very limited release. You can find out more by clicking here.