Last month we had the awesome privilege of sitting down with Daniel Falconer of Weta Workshop. We talked about the last 20 years of collecting Middle-earth, and how things have changed over those years. We also chatted about current stuff like the new Strider Statue; the things to come; and the hopes for items we may see in the next 20 years. You all are going to love this lengthy conversation, as we pick Daniel’s brain and get into all the stuff he’s seen over the last 20 years at Weta Workshop. We at TORn thank Daniel for his time, and Weta Workshop for lending him to us for a couple of hours!

Continue reading “Collecting The Precious: Exclusive Interview with Daniel Falconer of Weta Workshop”

Have you ever wanted to listen to the sounds of Mirkwood? Hear the flow of the Brandywine River? Or perhaps stand in the midst of whistling winds on Caradhras? Soon, you will be able to – thanks to the extraordinary concept and creativity of Jordan Rannells.

Jordan is a composer and sound engineer, with many years experience in the business. His work will be familiar to some Middle-earth fans: he’s an editor for the Prancing Pony podcast. He also has his own podcast – Music of Middle-earth – and, as if that wasn’t enough, he worked with renowned Tolkien artist John Howe on his audiobook Ultimate Fantasy Art Academy.

But Jordan has a dream and a vision – or perhaps one should say, a ‘hearing’! He has long felt that audio books are lacking something. In computer gaming, the artificial realm is brought to life with music, sound effects and ambient sound; the same has long been true of radio plays. And yet, when we listen to books record by brilliant readers such as Stephen Fry and – most recently in Middle-earth – Andy Serkis, we generally only hear their voices delivering the text.

Jordan has a plan to change that. He’s creating (to quote his own words) ‘an audio soundscape to accompany your journey through Middle-earth while you read J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings’. He tells us:

This is something that has never been done before. It is on a scale far above any of our wildest Tolkien fan dreams. I will have CHAPTER SPECIFIC audio.

  • I will be writing an entire score. Each piece will run alongside the length of an entire chapter of the book.
  • I will be using advanced 3D immersive audio equipment to record the natural world. These recordings will be inserted into the Soundscape to make you feel like you are walking alongside the Fellowship.
  • I will be designing and mixing sound FX for creatures like the Balrog, Ringwraiths, and many more to appear along your journey through the story.

All of these layers will be presented separately and together to have a multitude of listening experiences for your adventures in this world. They will be composed and mixed for the purpose of listening while you read, but these files will also be excellent for relaxing, D&D nights, immersing into other fantasy worlds, and more!

Composer and Sound Engineer Jordan Rannells

Jordan recently shared with TORn some insight into HOW exactly he will create this incredible soundscape. Thanks to the latest technology (such as 3D microphones), he can capture locational sound, which will surround the listener. He intends to record specific, different sound environments for all the realms of Middle-earth (no two forests will be the same!); and to have continuous, through-composed audio, with no looping. He also plans to create different speed versions of the soundscape – with one timed perfectly to be played as background whilst you listen along to Andy Serkis’ recording of The Lord of the Rings!

All of this is a huge undertaking, of course! We’re looking forward to hearing how Jordan’s journey to create this audio feast progresses; we hope to connect with him in the coming months, as he conjures and explores his soundscape for Tolkien’s world. Meanwhile, if you’re as excited by this project as we are, you’ll definitely want to know more – and see how you can get involved, and perhaps even lend your voice to the work! Click here to read all the details about this amazing undertaking. We wish Jordan the best of luck – can’t wait to hear the finished product!

If the smallest person can change the course of the history…what can one of the largest officially licensed Lord of the Rings collectible do? Impress some friends – that’s for sure!

Our friends over at Sideshow.com are now offering a six-foot tall Sauron life-size bust from Infinity Studio X Penguin Toys. No, no…you read that correctly. The scale of this item, priced at $5000, is immense.

We will include the fine details below, but in case you were wonder…YES…it comes with a full realized light up The One Ring, but alas, the finger is NOT removable! (Between us, that does feel like a bit of a lost opportunity)

Worried about the life-span on this investment? The whole piece is made up of a high grade fiberglass material, equivalent to that of a steel alloy – resistant to temperature fluctuations and humidity.

There are only 99 being made for the entire world…so if you have the money to spare, you probably don’t want to wait to get one on the secondary market. It is expected to starting shipping in November of this year. As a small aside, with anything thing big, don’t expect it to ship via a standard delivery service. Guaranteed this is one of those items that is going to arrive in a truck!

Continue reading “You Need to Check out this Life Size Sauron Bust!”

Amazon’s latest book sales chart reveal that J.R.R. Tolkien books now occupy five of the top 20 spots.

The charts for the week of March 27 show the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings in spots #3, #5, and #7, while sales of The Hobbit meant it slotted in at #4. The real surprise, though, is that Tolkien’s posthumously published novel The Silmarillion sold well enough to enter the charts at #12.

Apparently this is the first time that The Silmarillion has reached the top strata of the Amazon sales charts. The result might indicate that Amazon Studios’ Rings of Power series is creating a wider interest in Tolkien’s First Age myths.

Our friends at Diamond Select Toys are announcing the next two figures in their The Lord of the Rings action figure line. Fans can start looking forward to adding Aragorn and a Moria Orc to their Middle-earth action figure collections. These figures, like the previous, will have multiple points of articulation, detailed sculpting, and paint applications. Aragorn includes a torch, his ranger sword and the sword Anduril, while the orc includes a sword, a spear, an alternate helmeted head, and removable shoulder armor, so you can customize different orcs! These two figures will come in with a price tag of $29.99 like the rest of the line – and, like those earlier figures, they include parts which can be assembled to build your own Sauron!

Continue reading “Collecting The Precious – Diamond Select Toys Aragorn and Moria Orc Figure Announcement”

Last year we launched our Collecting The Precious Podcast, and were able to film 2 episodes before 2021 ended. Today, we bring you the third episode of our little collectibles chat. In episode 3, we were able to get Ben back with us, and we’re really really grateful that he was willing to take time out of his schedule to sit down with us. In this episode, we talk about price, edition size, and “value”, and really how subjective these three things are, as we collect these absolutely fantastic pieces. This was a set of topics I wanted to chat about, since it’s something that comes up all the time over the years and has been a point of contention I think, as prices rise and new companies like Prime One enter the game. I hope you all enjoy this one, and thank you for the support! Continue reading “Collecting The Precious – Collecting The Precious Podcast Episode 3”