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Why aren't there more large Lord of the Rings sets?

ucsstarwarsfanucsstarwarsfan Washington StateMember Posts: 18
I just picked up the Tower of Orthanc, but am not interested in any other LOTR sets as none of them are at a 'collector' size/scale. Why does Star Wars get so much more attention than LOTR?
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Comments

  • CaptainPirateManCaptainPirateMan MichiganMember Posts: 241
    Battle of Helms Deep and An Unexpected Journey are BOTH very good also. You might be suprised.
  • tmgm528tmgm528 Member Posts: 373
    Obviously the lack of films in the past few years is a huge part of it. LOTR is also - generally - I would say a significantly more 'intense' experience, at least the films. They're dreary, bleak, and not exactly a fun romp to show your kids. Lego is primarily focused on their main audience (Children) and LOTR I think has a lot less child appeal then Star Wars. 

    Though with this new Amazon Prime Prequel thing maybe we'll get more
    madforLEGOgmonkey76Altair
  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 775
    I really really want a Minas Tirith set, D2C size.
  • tmgm528tmgm528 Member Posts: 373
    Battle of Helms Deep and An Unexpected Journey are BOTH very good also. You might be suprised.
    An Unexpected Journey is definitely in the top 5 of my collection
    CaptainPirateMan
  • xwingpilotxwingpilot UKMember Posts: 784
    edited January 7
    Why does Star Wars get so much more attention than LOTR?
    Because: Lightsabers, Boba Fett, X-wings and AT-ATs ;) 
    FowlerBricksSumoLegoJohnyk668dmcc0Onebricktoomanybandit778
  • RecceRecce 10,171km away from BillundMember Posts: 675
    The sets are good for getting multiples to build a whole scene though, or bigger versions. 


    YodaliciousMegtheCatSumoLegostluxOnebricktoomanybandit778LittleLori
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 8,275
    Why does Star Wars get so much more attention than LOTR?
    Because: Lightsabers, Boba Fett, X-wings and AT-ATs ;) 
    And SW LEGO has been the hands-down bestseller since 1997.  LotR - not so much.
    SprinkleOtter
  • samiam391samiam391 A Log Cabin in KY, United StatesMember Posts: 4,073
    SumoLego said:
    Why does Star Wars get so much more attention than LOTR?
    Because: Lightsabers, Boba Fett, X-wings and AT-ATs ;) 
    And SW LEGO has been the hands-down bestseller since 1997.  LotR - not so much.
    Not that it really matters, but I believe Star Wars LEGO was first released in 1999, not 1997. 

    LotR probably would have done a little better if they had gone more grand as the OP suggested/questioned.
    SumoLego
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 8,275
    Yes, that's right - 1999.  And nonetheless, if there were better sales of the Hobbit-era sets, I'm sure there would have been more releases.

    Although - in the current era of mammoth-sized sets, who knows what LEGO could design up if new Tolkien-Universe media were in production.  Unfortunately, I don't have the patience for the very impressive Helm's Deep MOC...

    (I for one, would be interested in an Edoras, for sure!)
    Fizyx
  • FizyxFizyx ColoradoMember Posts: 223
    SumoLego said:
    Yes, that's right - 1999.  And nonetheless, if there were better sales of the Hobbit-era sets, I'm sure there would have been more releases.

    Although - in the current era of mammoth-sized sets, who knows what LEGO could design up if new Tolkien-Universe media were in production.  Unfortunately, I don't have the patience for the very impressive Helm's Deep MOC...

    (I for one, would be interested in an Edoras, for sure!)

    I definitely think the small size of the the LotR sets probably hindered them quite a bit.  The IP itself is definitely targeted towards older teens and adults, and it also is given towards massive, expansive settings.  And while play features are great, and small sets are not necessarily bad, they are probably not what the LotR demographic would really be looking for when looking to collect LotR LEGO sets.

    Of course, at the same time, LEGO can't just release all large multi-hundred plus dollar sets in a theme like LotR.  It's too much risk, and it's unlikely that even most older LEGO fans would be able to get more than one here and there.  I think these competing facts put LEGO is a pretty tough spot when it comes to LotR sets.  They did a good job with what they could when the movies were at the height of their popularity, but keeping a sustained LotR presence in their lineup is a fight that they would have a very hard time winning, and so in all likelihood (and I agree with their choice) they decided to avoid it altogether.  
    MaffyD
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 4,165
    Another thing to think about is just look at any Lego product line: City, Star Wars, Friends, Chima, whatever. Vehicles dominate and it isn't even close. Even location based sets often have a scooter or a small car or helicopter or something.

    Now, name a vehicle in Lord of the Rings.

    The ferry to Bree? You could argue for the Oliphant. They made the pirate ship which seemed kinda odd but makes sense in this argument. Perhaps some sort of siege tower or something? 




    Fizyxcatwrangler
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 15,399

    Now, name a vehicle in Lord of the Rings.

    Gandalf's cart. Which they did :-)



    I thought Gandalf Arrives, The Wizard Battle and the Witch King Battle were all fairly decent sets, for their size / part count (and their discounted prices). The same with the wall-type sets (Uruk-Hai army), where you could buy as many as you want to make your scene any size.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 4,165
    ^Right, I knew there was a cart I was forgetting. I really enjoyed the entire line of LotR, I think the Hobbit movies getting chopped up into 3 instead of 2 at the last minute wrecked the plans Lego had and could be the reason we ended up without any of the Gondor sets we all wanted so badly. 

    I am slightly optimistic the license could get a renewal in the vein of what Harry Potter is getting this year when the Amazon show comes out. A few tie-ins and a large D2C Minas Tirith please?
  • tmgm528tmgm528 Member Posts: 373
    I think the Amazon show is your best bet for more LOTR stuff. I could also maybe see them putting out some more Hobbit/LOTR or rereleases essentially at that time - but even that I doubt. Still, if the show goes to some interesting places and yes, has some interesting vehicles - I wouldnt be surprised to see more. 

    Also for sure vehicle sets do better, but I've personally always been a much bigger fan of different 'place' sets. Bag End for that reason is an absolute delight of my collection
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 15,399
    ^Right, I knew there was a cart I was forgetting.
    I can't wait for the argument about whether the UCS Gandalf's Cart with display plaque is really a UCS or not.

    The problem with location type builds is the huge number of parts to make things look good. Bag End is great, but quite a small location. Orthanc is a much bigger building "in real life" and is just about OK at the scale it is done, any smaller would not have worked. Yet the wizard battle set takes the location and recreates the action from Orthanc quite well, for the piece count. The bigger sets didn't work so well with other locations (Dol Guldur, etc) - they felt quite lacking given the part count, whereas Witch King Battle was fine for the size.

    Fizyx
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 4,165
    CCC said:

    The problem with location type builds is the huge number of parts to make things look good. Bag End is great, but quite a small location. Orthanc is a much bigger building "in real life" and is just about OK at the scale it is done, any smaller would not have worked. Yet the wizard battle set takes the location and recreates the action from Orthanc quite well, for the piece count. The bigger sets didn't work so well with other locations (Dol Guldur, etc) - they felt quite lacking given the part count, whereas Witch King Battle was fine for the size.

    Yeah - Weathertop was good even though a bit small. Mines of Moria was my least favorite by a good bit, there was really nothing that interesting or fun about the build. 
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 929
    I hope there are no more LOTR sets. I nearly have that minifigure collection nailed! 
  • MaffyDMaffyD West YorkshireMember Posts: 1,935
    edited January 8

    #79006 Council of Elrond - set that kinda needed to be made, but was really just a minifig gathering with some bricks to put them on...

    Reminds me, I still haven't built #9470 Shelob Attacks yet...

  • CaptainPirateManCaptainPirateMan MichiganMember Posts: 241
    I think the only minifigs we DIDN'T get from this line was the king of the dead, his soldiers, and the pirates.
  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 775
    I think the only minifigs we DIDN'T get from this line was the king of the dead, his soldiers, and the pirates.
    Do you mean they weren't made? Because they were, in #79008.
    SumoLego
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 8,275
    CCC said:
    Now, name a vehicle in Lord of the Rings.
    Gandalf's cart. Which they did :-)
    So Gandalf's Cart is clearly the helicopter of the LotR world.  And maybe the barrel that Gloin uses in Orc Pinball from the Desolation of Smaug?

    Who knows, maybe that ridiculously expensive LotR television show miniseries could spell the beginning of some other Tolkien Universe licensing.  (Probably not.)

    I suppose we should buy HP stuff in droves to bolster the financial appeal of a more teen/adult-based theme.
    catwrangler
  • tmgm528tmgm528 Member Posts: 373
    I think the only minifigs we DIDN'T get from this line was the king of the dead, his soldiers, and the pirates.
    For me the biggest missing were a proper Sauron and Witch King from the LOTR trilogy
    LostInTranslation
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,237
    What about Eowyn and Faramir? We also didn't get them did we? 
    FowlerBricks
  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 775
    ^No we didn't, nor a Denethor, which isn't cool at all. The LOTR line had such potential that Lego didn't take advantage of. :(
  • CaptainPirateManCaptainPirateMan MichiganMember Posts: 241
    edited January 8
    FowlerBricks said:2k18i
    I think the only minifigs we DIDN'T get from this line was the king of the dead, his soldiers, and the pirates.
    Do you mean they weren't made? Because they were, in #79008.
    No, I mean I don't own those ones. When I say "we" i am talking about my wife and I. She LOVES this theme perhaps more than I do. We made it a point to collect as many of the LOTR/Hobbit minifigs that we could get our hands on. But for whatever reason, the "dead" and pirates never appealed to us much. Maybe someday we will get them, especially if new sets ever appear.

    @tmgm528, I agree a proper Sauron would be EPIC. We did get The Witch King, but the hobbit version not LOTR. So at least we have "A" Witch King. We also "sorta" got Sauron because of the Necromancer. But again proper versions of both would have been preferred. 
    FowlerBricks
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 8,275
    I always had the impression that a RotK-based set collection never made it to market, other than the Pirate Ship.  (Which could be argued is a TT set.)

    One could easily imagine a 'Gates of Minas Tirith' set, a Gondor battle pack, Orcs with Grond, Coronation of the King, Witch-King with a Fellbeast...

    A 'Defense of Theoden' set would probably be a bit too heady for LEGO.
  • tmgm528tmgm528 Member Posts: 373
    edited January 8
    @SumoLego The Black Gate I would definitely call RotK but yeah, I agree - it could have used a few more for sure!

    And as Im thinking of cool set ideas - even just the top of Minas Tirith could be beautiful. 100-200 bucks and get a pretty detailed recreation of the throne room - tree etc.
    SumoLego
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 8,275
    Ah, I forgot they snuck that set in.  I normally use that set as my example where there was a minifigure based on a scene ultimately cut from the film.  

    (He was riding a First Order Snowspeeder and a Heavy Scout Walker.)
    tmgm528
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,210
    For "vehicles" they could have done "Grond".  While not part of the Helms deep scene, would have gone well as a play factor for it.


    FowlerBricks
  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 775
    ^Too demonic for little kids. ;)
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 Washington, USAMember Posts: 614
    ^I don't see it. Looks like a cuddly pig-wolf who just wants a hug to me.
    gmonkey76snowhitiebandit778catwranglerbobabricks
  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 775
    ^Oh, you're right. He's just a misunderstood little pig-wolf-demon who likes to violently spear and roast anything and anyone in his path. That's the kind of thing that'll help kids sleep at night, right? :D
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 8,275
    It's definitely the most impractical battering-ram, that's for sure...
  • BrikingBriking Dorset, UKMember Posts: 706
    ^Huh?  And there was never any violence in SW?  But of course, Little Timmy realises that SW is just fun and not real, so that is ok.  Unlike LoTR, which is... oh wait...
  • tmgm528tmgm528 Member Posts: 373
    edited January 8
    Briking said:
    ^Huh?  And there was never any violence in SW?  But of course, Little Timmy realises that SW is just fun and not real, so that is ok.  Unlike LoTR, which is... oh wait...
    No one gets their heads (visibly) chopped off in Star Wars. The LotR film violence is definitely more graphic on the whole.
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 Washington, USAMember Posts: 614
    edited January 9
    ^No, only this: 

    Minor The Last Jedi spoiler contained below

    When Snoke's Praetorian Guard falls into the pit and explodes guts everywhere in TLJ


  • tmgm528tmgm528 Member Posts: 373
    @Switchfoot55 Being vague here as I dont know how to tag properly but having seen it 4 times I firmly believe that's cloth
    stlux
  • gmonkey76gmonkey76 ChicagoMember Posts: 948
    edited January 9
    It was my understanding that the person running Tolkien's estate at the time didn't want to licence anything after the movies were done. He has since been replaced and the new person is more open to make money off of Tolkien's works, and that is why the tv show is happening. So there's a good chance we get more sets, but who knows if any will be movie based.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,816
    The short answer...

    Star Wars converted to an evergreen line because people kept buying sets even when the prequels stopped. 
    LOTR did not convert to an evergreen line, because people did not keep buying sets. I am not convinced the line did exceptionally well either, because they did not quite get the target audience correct.







    CrownieFollowsClosely
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 Washington, USAMember Posts: 614
    tmgm528 said:
    @Switchfoot55 Being vague here as I dont know how to tag properly but having seen it 4 times I firmly believe that's cloth

    Admittedly, I've only seen it once and it caught me off guard (pun slightly intended). Red cloth though, right? Hahaha, so easily mistaken. 
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 15,399
    What about Eowyn and Faramir? We also didn't get them did we? 
    No.

    Sauron, Witch King, Eowyn, Faramir and Denethor are probably the main missing ones. Denethor is quite easy to MOC (long grey hair, Magneto's head, black robes and legs), Eowyn not too hard. Faramir could do with a Gondor torso. But the headpieces for Sauron and Witch King are the hard parts and why there are many customs for those two.
    FowlerBricks
  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 258
    tmgm528 said:
    Briking said:
    ^Huh?  And there was never any violence in SW?  But of course, Little Timmy realises that SW is just fun and not real, so that is ok.  Unlike LoTR, which is... oh wait...
    No one gets their heads (visibly) chopped off in Star Wars. The LotR film violence is definitely more graphic on the whole.
    Jango Fett?
    SumoLegoYodalicious
  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 775
    tmgm528 said:
    Briking said:
    ^Huh?  And there was never any violence in SW?  But of course, Little Timmy realises that SW is just fun and not real, so that is ok.  Unlike LoTR, which is... oh wait...
    No one gets their heads (visibly) chopped off in Star Wars. The LotR film violence is definitely more graphic on the whole.
    Yeah, what about poor Jango Fett who got his head violently sliced off only to have his son pick up his decapitated head and stare at it sadly. That's pretty gruesome. 
    dmcc0
  • MaffyDMaffyD West YorkshireMember Posts: 1,935
    Anakin's transformation...
    FowlerBricks
  • tmgm528tmgm528 Member Posts: 373
    Forget about Jango. Dooku too but that was offscreen sort of. Anakani's transformation is definitely pretty brutal - but that film is also PG-13 unlike the others (Though Im not sure about 7-8). 

    What I mean is - in general - the LotR films are more gruesome and dark on the whole
  • gmonkey76gmonkey76 ChicagoMember Posts: 948
    edited January 10
    Remember Jaws was a PG movie when it came out in 1975. I don't know if they changed the ratings over the years, but I don't think you can compare the originals to the sequels. There is violence in both, but LOTR is a darker universe.
    FowlerBricks
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 2,867
    I was told by a designer a couple of years ago that the LOTR and Hobbit sets didn't sell well.
    FollowsClosely
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 15,399
    I think the supermarkets essentially said the same thing, heavily discounting waves 2 and 3 of The Hobbit within weeks of their release.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,816
    If you look at things historically as well.... the annual reports show how Star Wars and Hp movies were basically alternating almost every other year. Star Wars movies and sets would come out, sell well, and then stop selling when the movie faded. The same thing would occur with HP. It was really only with that last Star Wars prequel that Star Wars kept selling even after the movie faded. HP did not quite make the leap at that time, but there is no question HP was a license that continually did well for them.

    I could argue the conversion of Star Wars and not HP really had to do with parents into Star Wars being at an age to have kids, but whatever the reason Star Wars made that evergreen jump and HP did not quite make it. It wasn’t successful enough to do that, though, they have brought it back and there are the current rumors again for this year. 

    From everything I can ascertain, LOTR, never was close to becoming evergreen.

    It is just as simple as that. It is the large evergreen lines that generally get large sets, and LOTR at least had 3ish larger sets, with two being more play oriented.... that is a pretty good run.

    If you compare the success of Star Wars vs LOTR, there is no comparison as to why one has had a number of larger sets. 

    If you look at a non-evergreen line like HP vs LOTR, there is also no comparison as to which makes sense for them to do a large set. 

    If you look at themes with a number of large sets.... Star Wars, Ninjago, Minecraft, they are huge successful lines.


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