On December 15, 2020, WETA Workshop opened up Unleashed, a hybrid entertainment experience in Auckland that is part film set and part creative workshop. This project started as an idea about 3 years ago, but it was 18 months ago when they landed on the concept that would become Unleashed – A Fantastical Film FX Experience. WETA took over an entire floor at the SkyCity entertainment precinct in Auckland, at the foot of the Sky Tower. This finally gives WETA the space to grow and flesh out what they began with the WETA Cave and the Window on the Workshop experience they have in Wellington.
Upon entering, guests are greeted by Jeff, head of security and health and safety; who happens to be an animatronic character, voiced by Mark Hadlow, with 40 points of articulation. Guests will go on a 90-minute immersive journey, through several rooms that aren’t always what they appear to be. Jeff will get you started on your adventure to learn about the creation of three original films in the Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction genres. Each room will offer hands-on, interactive activities, such as sculpting, making armor, or tracing creatures. The concept is to show the creative process involved in filmmaking from the beginning through the final stages before release, and leave the guests inspired to take that creativity home with them.
In addition to being a fun day tour experience for movie fans and tourists, this facility is big enough to be an event venue, a themed event venue at that: from small groups of 15 or more for things like Birthday or Anniversary parties, all the way up to large corporate or professional groups. There is room for receptions up to 700 people, or banquets of 300. And to add atmosphere, you can include an SFX make-up demo, hands-on workshops, guest speakers, and Middle-earth themed feasts. Makes one wonder if they will have space for some 20th anniversary partying next December…?
For details on where to find WETA Workshop Unleashed and all of their various tours and venue options, simply head over to WETA Workshop Unleashed
One of my absolute favorite lines that our friends from Weta Workshop put out within their The Lord of the Rings statue line is the environment sub-line. As I’ve said in this column before, it allows us to go to places we will never get actually to visit. So today we’re going to take a look at Minas Morgul, and the outstanding job Weta did on this piece. This one is sold out, but if you can track it down and afford it, I think this is absolutely worth it.
If you haven’t been following our friends on Weta Workshop or our own social media accounts then you might have missed the pre-order for the new Legolas and Gimli statue. This great looking statue was sculpted by the super talented Jane Wenley, and it continues the great series of statues from Amon Hen. Legolas and Gimli is available to pre-order for $699 and will ship in March/April of next year. The key part of this is the edition size of these two characters will be set based on the number of people who want one. So in these last 24 hours, get your order in, because it’s likely there won’t be one to go around.
Over the summer I got a chance to sit down and finally review one of my favorite pieces, and my favorite version, of the character Aragorn. This outstanding piece from our friends at Weta Workshop has long been sold out, with eager collectors snapping it up during the early bird pre-order stage. So while you may have to go to the secondary market if you want to get him yourself, I hope you use this review to see it is absolutely worth tracking down.
Our friends at Weta Workshop revealed the new Cave Troll collectible at their Weta Workshop’s Comic-Con at home. It’s the next superb piece in their premium statue series, and it goes live for pre-orders on Wednesday, September 30th.
While this new sub-line of statues is new to Weta’s line of collectibles, at only 500 pieces, this statue won’t be lasting long. Collectors should log into their accounts before it goes live (times listed below) and be ready to be quick with the order button. We’ve been waiting for years to get another shot at the Cave Troll. Make sure you’re logged in and ready to go!
We saw Thranduil on Throne during our friends at Weta Workshop’s Comic-Con at home. It’s the next superb piece in their Masters Collection series, and it goes live for pre-orders on Tuesday, September 15th.
These Masters Collection pieces do not last long, and with only 400 of these being made, that streak is going to continue. Collectors should log into their accounts before it goes live (times listed below) and be ready to be quick with the order button.