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!

DragonCon is upon us! For the first time since 2019, the full Dragon (almost – numbers are slightly limited again this year) is being awakened. And TORn staffers are there to share the fun.

You can find staffers deej and greendragon at TORn’s ‘fan table’ (which we believe will be in our usual spot, in the Hyatt opposite the entrance to the Art Show) throughout the con. We’ll have new button and shirt designs on sale, and all kinds of fun things for fans to look at. You can also sign up at the table for the Evening at Bree costume contest! (Sign up is also available in the High Fantasy Track Room, Marriott L401-403).

Events of interest to Tolkien fans during DragonCon are as follows:

Thursday 1st 7pm TORn’s Rings of Power preview

A last chance to speculate what’s coming in Prime Video’s highly anticipated show, before it becomes available to watch at 9pm ET. Spoiler-free speculation! Marriott room A601-602

Friday 2nd 5.30pm Behind the Scenes of The Rings of Power

TORn staffer greendragon hosts a panel with very special guests artist John Howe and dialect coach Leith McPherson, talking about their work on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power – and beyond. Hilton Grand West

Friday 2nd 8.30pm An Evening at Bree

TORn is delighted to join the High Fantasy track again to host a long standing DragonCon tradition. Party like a Hobbit! We have three live bands this year, to get toes (hairy and otherwise) tapping – The Brobdingnagian Bards, Beth Patterson, and Landloch’d. We’ll also have the Elf Choir, and of course the costume contest. If you’d like to enter, please sign up in advance of the evening, at the TORn fan table or the High Fantasy track room. Our panel of judges this year will be cosplayer Joshua Duart, together with very special guests John Howe and Leith McPherson.

Saturday 3rd 1pm War of the Rohirrim

Find out more about this exciting anime film, telling the tale of Helm Hammerhand – coming April 2024. Marriott room L401-403

Monday 5th 10am Rings of Power After Hour

Discuss and reflect on the first two episodes, and what may or may not be to come this season and beyond!

Let the games begin! Please come and say hi if you’re in Atlanta; see you in the belly of the beast!

The rollout of the Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power TV series has re-energized Middle-earth fandom, and one thing is clear, we all love to get together, online, at conventions, and at the theater and talk Tolkien.

Reading The Hobbit during the Baggins Birthday Bash

The Baggins Birthday Bash, coming to Los Angeles at 11:30am on September 24 at Griffith Park’s Mineral Wells picnic area is the perfect way for SoCal Tolkien fans to gather and party like Hobbits. There will be games, there will be food, there will be plenty of Tolkien discussion going on, and I’m sure we can fit some fun in there somewhere.

Regarding food, in the before times it was a big buffet, and last year, we decided to ask everyone to just bring enough food and drink for their own party. This year, it will probably end up being a bit of a hybrid. Some will just bring what they want to eat, and a few will bring shareable dishes, and we’ll let the food and drink sort itself out. It would be nice if some folks bring extra picnic plates and cups, maybe some paper towels, and of course, everyone should bring a portable chair or blanket and a popup if you have it.

We would like to bring back the Cake or Cupcake contest for the best Middle-earth designed desserts. We’ve had some really creative and beautiful designs in the past, so start contemplating now on how to wow your fellow fans this year. Costumes are welcome, as usual, especially any new 2nd Age costumes. If we do trivia, there is a decent chance it will include some references to the Rings of Power show, since the 5th episode will have screened just 2 days before the picnic.

Please do RSVP on our Facebook Event page, located at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1271178800320132/ and read through the About Details, including selecting ‘see more’ to access the directions for those driving from different sections of Southern California in order to get to Griffith Park and the Mineral Wells section of the park.

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”

In response to a question on twitter, editor Brian Sibley has given a few more details about the contents of The Downfall of Númenor.

Sibley says the book will draw on Akallabêth and Of the Rings of Power (from The Silmarillion) plus material from The Peoples of Middle-earth (HOME Vol XII), Sauron Defeated (HOME Vol IX), The Lost Road and other Writings (HOME V), The Nature of Middle-earth, Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, and The Lord of the Rings.

He makes no mention of new, previously unpublished material.

Previous promotional blurb has described that “J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fall of Fall of Númenor collects all of Tolkien’s Second Age writings together, following the chronology of The Tale of Years.”

It also includes ten new color paintings by Alan Lee. The book is out in November.

Thanks to Frode for the newstip.

The Downfall of Numenor edited by Brian Sibley

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!