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LEGO Lord of the Rings new set: 10237 The Tower of Orthanc

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  • legomattlegomatt Member Posts: 2,543
    Not selling well? While i agree to an extent, I think a LOT of lego themes cannibalise the sales of other themes. For example: Ninjago was REEEEALLY popular with kids, which would inevitably impact sales of other themes released at the same time. Wouldn't mean the other themes weren't wanted though.
    Similarly, it could be argued that the Original Trilogy Star Wars is a slow seller (if compared only with Clone Wars, judging by the sets that get released), but of course we all know it would be insane to drop the OT line on that dodgy logic, as it still makes a huge amount. If LotR can hold it's head up, i think (and hope) it gets the support from TLG. After all, it might have a smaller fan base than Chima/Ninjago, but it would be a different fan base (and isn't promoted half as strongly by TLG, so that is to be expected).

    LotR might just be struggling to find it's audience, as it's relatively new and has to compete with Star Wars, Ninjago, Chima, Modulars, CMF Series, etc, and might therefore be playing catch-up.

    And it hasn't helped that the theme, which is of epic battles, has been promoted shortsightedly with a total lack of Battlepacks to build forces up - kids love battlepacks.

    I think if there'd been a battlepack of Moria goblins (and i mean a proper one, with variation in the prints and armaments), another of Uruks (Saruman's army/Lurtz's Hunters), and another of Rohan guards with Elven bowmen, and perhaps even one with a Black Rider and hobbit/bree civilians, the range would be flying. Plus I agree that they are all overpriced to begin with, which again does not help in the 'battle for attention' on the toy aisle.

    Plus i think TLG is being unimaginative with the potential of the theme. There are TONS of great and unique buildings in the LotR theme that TLG is really missing - Castle builders would be eating up Osgiliath sets, Minas Tirith sets, Rohan homesteads (Edoras). Pirates fans would be buying up Taverns (prancing pony) and period style houses. LotR has a lot going for it, but need TLG to give it some love. :o)
    TheBigLegoski
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,526
    ^ The problem is that they can only have a small number of sets (6-8) at a time. There are loads of good ideas, but competition within the range is then a problem. They also have to reach the different price points, one small set, a couple slightly bigger sets, etc. Then they probably need the whole wave of "core" characters at once - who would have bought into LOTR if half the fellowship were missing in the first wave for example.

    I think it is true what you say about castle fans and pirate fans buying specific sets. But then, why do this with a licensed set? If there is need for a new big castle set, make it unlicensed (and thus less heavy on licensed minifigs) for the castle builders. Anonymous taverns and period houses for pirate / medieval fans.
  • legomattlegomatt Member Posts: 2,543
    edited February 2013
    I totally agree with you, I'm sure there's lots of problems built into the way they operate, but I think sometimes TLG could do with being more flexible with its strategy of releases.

    I was really miffed when they dropped the pirates line, only to then do a half-@rsed job with Pirates of Carribbean movies, so that we ended up with NO port royal/Tortuga/Desert Islands of any description, and no generic pirates to crew ships, and they completely dropped the ball by omitting to release a Flying Dutchman & Kraken - which should have been the Pirates equivalent of Jabba's Sail Barge and the Sarlacc. In the end nobody was happy.

    I think rigidly sticking to a specific price-point format (which they obviously do with all ranges) is a bit lazy of them though, especially when a theme might not always warrant certain price tags (or could do with a few extra in a different range). Star wars gets oodles of cheap sets, as has Friends, which i think really helps keep the range in the kids hands. £10 sets are the bees knees for kids where i live, LotR has no £10 BP sets at all, which can't have helped.

    I also see no reason why they can't have a theme that sticks to cheaper or more 'modular' based sets, that we could build up as our wallet will stretch to, rather than instantly lose fans with that instantly unattainable high price set (but that's a whole 'nuther subject, i guess).

    Hmm, it's an interesting subject really. :o)
    Andor
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 3,003
    legomatt said:

    I totally agree with you, I'm sure there's lots of problems built into the way they operate, but I think sometimes TLG could do with being more flexible with its strategy of releases.

    I was really miffed when they dropped the pirates line, only to then do a half-@rsed job with Pirates of Carribbean movies, so that we ended up with NO port royal/Tortuga/Desert Islands of any description, and no generic pirates to crew ships, and they completely dropped the ball by omitting to release a Flying Dutchman & Kraken - which should have been the Pirates equivalent of Jabba's Sail Barge and the Sarlacc. In the end nobody was happy.

    I think rigidly sticking to a specific price-point format (which they obviously do with all ranges) is a bit lazy of them though, especially when a theme might not always warrant certain price tags (or could do with a few extra in a different range). Star wars gets oodles of cheap sets, as has Friends, which i think really helps keep the range in the kids hands. £10 sets are the bees knees for kids where i live, LotR has no £10 BP sets at all, which can't have helped.

    I also see no reason why they can't have a theme that sticks to cheaper or more 'modular' based sets, that we could build up as our wallet will stretch to, rather than instantly lose fans with that instantly unattainable high price set (but that's a whole 'nuther subject, i guess).

    Hmm, it's an interesting subject really. :o)

    Part of the reason TLG prices sets how they are is so they have the sets spread out across a number of price points, and have a complete play experience at each price point. Modular sets are a great concept for somebody who is already a dedicated LEGO fan, but if a kid has a set that doesn't fully represent a scene then it can be a major disappointment. TLG has been toying with the concept of modularity in the LotR theme, though, with the Uruk-Hai Army set that is compatible with Helm's Deep. Both sets work as stand-alone sets while also being able to be combined into a single scene.

    I didn't mind the Moria set. Caverns, mines, and other settings are immensely difficult to depict in LEGO since having them fully enclosed is usually completely unreasonable, both in terms of play value and pricing. The Moria set, like the Battle of Hoth set from a couple years ago, integrates some of the most memorable scenes from the location quite accurately, with just enough scenery to establish the scenes' atmosphere (this it does even better than the Battle of Hoth set, I think everyone will agree).
    CrownieAndor
  • TheGuyWithTheBricksTheGuyWithTheBricks Member Posts: 7
    edited February 2013
    Perhaps one of the reasons they haven't sold well it's that the sets haven't matched the splendor of the visuals in the movie series very well. (With the exception of Helm's Deep, which seems to have been received better than the rest of the line.) Perhaps Lego just hasn't managed to excite the market they obviously believed existed when they started producing LOTR. It will be interesting to see what happens with a properly scaled set like Orthanc that has the potential to be what the fans were looking for in the first place.
  • legomattlegomatt Member Posts: 2,543
    edited February 2013
    A set would always contain a full play experience.

    When i say Modular I don't mean incomplete, it should (when done properly) mean expandable to even greater play experiences by adding other sets in the range, and even extras of the same sets twice. It does mean more boxes (but smaller ones, as there's no large box so same space taken up on shelf).

    Primarily It promotes multiple purchase across several sets (netting more sales of the same units) while broadening the consumer base at the same time via the lower price gateway. Win win win.

    In many ways, a battlepack is an example of modular sales practice on a very small scale. They're a low price set (attainable and attractive to all), they work well in large numbers, and add value to other sets including itself, taking up small shelf size.

    But how many Battlepacks would sell, if they were £30 and contained 12 figs? Not many, and they would be viewed as a failed design. But 4-figs-sets at £10 regularly sell in multiples, and lots of people can buy just one, broadening the appeal of a series.

    (doesn't mean you can't have big sets too, but was just meant that big sets aren't always the best way to promote a theme, and can be broken down into bite-size chunks, for example, Helm's Deep could have been broken down into Gateway Toss, Breached Wall, Inner Sanctum... all viable play sets, lower price point individually, but potentially more revenue than a single set, with ther added bones that some of these sets will sell multiples (breached wall for example) and to a broader fan base on lower income.

    Andor
  • jockosjunglejockosjungle Member Posts: 701
    Each theme has always had its big set though, I don't see this being any different. As a fan of the movies I'm buying up the nice display sets such as Gandalf Arrvies, Gathering and Helms Deep, but don't really see the appeal of the play sets like Goblin King.

    If my son was six, he'd love to play with Goblin King, but I doubt I'd have let him see the movie
    Kanohi
  • burnsiderburnsider Member Posts: 75
    legomatt said:

    Pirates fans would be buying up Taverns (prancing pony) and period style houses.

    I would buy the Prancing Pony on day 1, much like I did with the Unexpected Gathering set.

    icey117Andor
  • HarryPotterLoverHarryPotterLover Member Posts: 238
    I think this set will be released seperate from the rest of the LOTR cause we havent herd any new develpoment on this at all.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,110
    The problem with LOTR is obvious: the set designs are mostly aimed at kids* while the IP resonates with AFOLs. Its a bad match

    *helms deep and gathering being the exceptoions
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 3,003
    edited March 2013
    dougts said:

    The problem with LOTR is obvious: the set designs are mostly aimed at kids* while the IP resonates with AFOLs. Its a bad match

    *helms deep and gathering being the exceptoions

    I wouldn't say the set designs seem aimed at kids-- sure, they have a lot of attention put towards giving them plenty of play value, but there's just as much emphasis on accuracy and detail. Shelob Attacks features what may be the most detailed, fearsome-looking giant LEGO spider to date, Attack on Weathertop does a good job packing all the important parts of that scene into a fairly tight space (without any BURPs whatsoever-- in fact, that seems to be a trend in the LotR sets, which are packed with complex, brick-built landscape details), and The Goblin King Battle turns a sprawling chase/battle scene into a modular design that can be arranged to fit any sort of display area. Even the Orc Forge, which has quite a significant amount of play features, could have been put on a flat base with only certain parts elevated. Instead, the entire base is elevated, with rocky textures as the supports all around.

    Overall the sets seem to put about as much emphasis on appealing to adult collectors as they do on appealing to kids, using creative building techniques and realistic colors to evoke a detailed, evocative portrayal of each scene. Unless all the sets were designed as 1000-piece direct-to-consumer models for ages fourteen and up, I can hardly imagine how they could be made much more representative of their intended scenes. And if they were all huge, pricy, all-encompassing models, I imagine they would alienate several AFOLs just as they'd alienate several kids, because some AFOLs might not want to pay upwards of eighty dollars for a sprawling display model packed with far more detail than is necessary to reenact that setting's key scenes.
    BrickDancerBumblepantsCCCAndor
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,110
    ^ sorry, what I meant by set designs was really around aiming for the usual small piece counts and price points, sacrificing the complete or "substantial" feel to what they were trying to depict. I think LOTR may have been an interesting theme to step outside the normal range of price points, and instead offer more sets in the upper-mid and upper end.
  • sonsofscevasonsofsceva 1904 World's FairMember Posts: 542
    LOTR was not in the top ten LEGO areas sold this year, but neither were any of the Super Heroes, or Monster Fighters, or DINO. Not every series can be in the top ten if there are more than ten. To my knowledge, TLG has not put out a comprehensive list of how series fared, so saying that LOTR is fareing poorly is really conjecture. Shelf life is not evidence. Friends went on clearance early at some WalMarts and many were saying it was a failure, but turned out to be the #4 seller. Our local views are not an accurate reflection of the entire TLG business, so this really is all quite speculative.
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,357
    I think that themes like Lord of the Rings and Super Heroes have a very specific fan base, much more so than other themes where people dip in and out, which would explain their lower selling figures. I really hope that both themes continue though, they are two of my favourite lines of recent times.
    Andor
  • burnsiderburnsider Member Posts: 75
    I forgot which post it was, but someone said that the problem with the LotR sets is that the movie depicted such large structures and environments that it would appear to be difficult for LEGO to properly represent those scenes from the movie. I'd have to agree.

    Without knowing it, the sets I have purchased are those that offer a close approximation to that of the movie. An Unexpected Gathering (I know, Hobbit, but close enough), Gandalf Arrives, and Shelob Attacks. When Orthanc is available, I'll be buying that as well. All the other sets seem to belittle the story.
    y2joshLadyLovesLegos
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    The Hobbit just make 15th in the top grossing films. So, it has a following. Course, LOTR Return of the King comes in at #7. Success at the box office doesn't mean success in LEGO, but it sure helps.

    I think LEGO knew that the LOTR theme wouldn't be in the top ten since it's more for AFOLS. If so, they would have produced quantities to match what they thought the demand would be. I think that's the case. I don't see a lot of LOTR overstock. So, I think LOTR will be considered a success relatively speaking.

    Speaking of top grossing films, Avatar is number one. I think it would be great to see a LEGO theme based on that film.
  • jasorjasor United StatesMember Posts: 839
    ^^ Orc Forges are history around here. Consider yourself lucky. My lil'un wanted Moria the most, so i guess there was some viable playability factor there.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    ^ or just a great big troll
    kylejohnson11
  • jasorjasor United StatesMember Posts: 839
    ^^You're probably right. She loves Gimli too... win-win.

    Back OT, Orthanc is cool in movies and books...I just cant imagine it'll be "epic" in Lego. Now, I might be wrong. Goodness knows, it happens quite enough.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,526
    ^ Probably not. Helm's Deep is poor in comparison to the one in the film. But then, it was always going to be that, unless it cost £5000.
    kylejohnson11
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,357
    edited March 2013
    I cannot be absolutely sure, but I would hypothesize that this teaser image from Marcos Bessa: http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcosbessa/8479314328/in/photostream most likely refers to the Tower of Orthanc set, especially since he mentions that this will be a theme he has not worked on before, thereby excluding almost every licensed theme.

    I suggest keeping an eye on things there...
    kylejohnson11
  • GeddesGeddes Member Posts: 574
    edited March 2013
  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Cologne/GermanyMember Posts: 1,079
    ^yep, has been posted before (the date in the link says 3. of January 2013!!!)!
  • GeddesGeddes Member Posts: 574
    ^ I know just checking :)
  • richardh4388richardh4388 Member Posts: 132
    There will be no mini figs with this set. Shame..
  • BrixyBrixy United statesMember Posts: 57
    Really? That's too bad. I was really hoping for a worm tongue.
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,461

    There will be no mini figs with this set. Shame..

    Assuming your source is correct, that is a shame. However it also speaks possible UCS, which will mean the Tower of Orthnac will be built (or should be) to its actual grandeur. That is, as opposed to a small dinky version with a few minifigures and... *shudders... flick fire missiles everywhere.
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,357
    ^ Those flick fire thorns in the Weathertop set still leave me cringing :)
  • HELLRAZR_28HELLRAZR_28 Member Posts: 61
    At least you can get Saruman from the Wizard Battle. I guess that set is now a must-buy for me.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,825

    There will be no mini figs with this set. Shame..

    This will be interesting....I reckon there are. ;-)
    Furrysaurus
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,357
    ^ I agree, surely there must be? In this kind of set I would expect at least four or five Minifigures. The model will presumably be designed as a playset as well as something which looks realistic and accurate from the outside so I doubt Minifigures will be absent.
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,461
    Legoboy said:

    There will be no mini figs with this set. Shame..

    This will be interesting....I reckon there are. ;-)
    More than fine with me!

    Just as long as the top of the tower doesn't have some massive flick fire gun on it too go along with them..
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 1,996
    ^It'll actually use the spring-loaded missile launcher from the mid-2000's.
    SirBen
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,461
    ^Which actually, in my opinion, is way better than flick fire missiles...

    By far their most powerful weapon.
    And they thought the all seeing eye was scary... psh.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFW/BGMember Posts: 7,512
    Steering even more off topic but I am really pleased to see the spring-loaded bit coming back strong in this years sets. Much better than flick-fire.

    Also, somebody leak a decent photo of this set already!
    Andor
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,099
    I don't see what the big deal is with flick-fire missiles. Yeah they are a bit silly in a set like Weathertop, but really are they that much of a distraction? You can always just flip the bricks around and wala no more flick-fire missiles.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Northern VirginiaAdministrator, Moderator Posts: 5,234
    I'm not sure if this is news but I have it from a reliable source that Orthanc will include Tonto.
    y2joshcloaked7
  • HarryPotterLoverHarryPotterLover Member Posts: 238
    @Yellowcastle Im sorry- Tonto? As in The Lone Rangers sidekick?
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    ^^ Ya know, now that you mention it. Tonto does have face paint like a Urak-Hai :-)
  • legomattlegomatt Member Posts: 2,543
    Red 5 standing by... oh wait, wrong off topic thread. lol :oD
    JBricks27Furrysaurus
  • HarryPotterLoverHarryPotterLover Member Posts: 238
    Really, I wouldn't mind not having figures as long as it can maintain the UCS legacy.
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,146
    So instead of reading through a couple hundred posts, and maybe not even getting the answer. Could someone just point out quickly if we have any more definitive information regarding this set? I.E. actually coming out, date, price, etc???? Thanks!!
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448

    So instead of reading through a couple hundred posts, and maybe not even getting the answer. Could someone just point out quickly if we have any more definitive information regarding this set? I.E. actually coming out, date, price, etc???? Thanks!!

    You're wanting to take all the fun out of it! :-) Are you saying it's boring to read through all the endless blab in the all so endless threads? Looking for the answer to a question that is haunting you. It's like hunting for Easter eggs. What fun! Oops, got off on a tangent! :-)

    Oh yeah, were was I? In response to your query. I don't have a clue. Maybe someone else does.

  • kezkez United KingdomMember Posts: 831

    So instead of reading through a couple hundred posts, and maybe not even getting the answer. Could someone just point out quickly if we have any more definitive information regarding this set? I.E. actually coming out, date, price, etc???? Thanks!!

    Sorry to tell you but there is no definite release date as of yet but if I were to guess I'd say around about late October. I heard that this set is to be priced at about $150 but this is probably speculation and there are some dimensions of the set lying about on that blurry picture on the Internet :-)
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFW/BGMember Posts: 7,512
    ^I thought it was going to be the June 10xxx set? SW usually takes the Fall slot.
  • ryanromusicryanromusic Member Posts: 27
    Good news. Not enthralled with the summer LOTR sets, but I expected some kind of super-set. Orthanc is a solid choice; hopefully it has a nice wall around it and maybe Treebeard?

    I do hope we get at least one more year out of it. They haven't even touched Gondor. I would love a $200 (cdn) style Rivendell set. Something that's not a pirate ship. Sigh. Cos when I think Lord of the Rings, I think pirate ships.
  • kezkez United KingdomMember Posts: 831

    ^I thought it was going to be the June 10xxx set? SW usually takes the Fall slot.

    I hope it is June but I guessed October because that's about the time that the haunted house got released and also it's pretty close to Christmas. :-)

  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,110
    ^ there is often more than one fall slot. we had 2 of the 10xxx sets on January 1, the Cinema on March 1, and we'll get the X-Wing on May 4th, one in the summer (last two in summer sets have been Sopwith and VW Van) - this year the rumor is the new large scale Sydney Opera House. Last year we got the HH on September 1 and the B-wing on October 1. Orthanc makes a ton of sense for one of those slots, with the Ewok village taking the other.
    kez
  • davetheoxygenmandavetheoxygenman Colorado, USAMember Posts: 213
    It was unveiled in Lisbon and will be available on July 1st.
    http://ceeteamblog.com/2013/04/26/tower-of-orthanc-unveiled/
    adello25JosephPoochyPenkid11
  • jockosjunglejockosjungle Member Posts: 701
    Any idea on the RRp? Looks pretty cool but a bugger to display
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