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Why aren't there more large Lord of the Rings sets?
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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Though with this new Amazon Prime Prequel thing maybe we'll get more
If you're looking for larger LotR creations like some of us, I would advise you check out:
Kevin, does an excellent job recreating some of the best scenes in LotR in a larger format.
I'm putting the finishing touches on his Helm's Deep which totals in close to 20,000 pieces (not including figures). You'll see pictures of my work in a few days :)
LotR probably would have done a little better if they had gone more grand as the OP suggested/questioned.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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
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.
#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...
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.
@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.
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.
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.
(He was riding a First Order Snowspeeder and a Heavy Scout Walker.)
Minor The Last Jedi spoiler contained below
When Snoke's Praetorian Guard falls into the pit and explodes guts everywhere in TLJ
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.
Admittedly, I've only seen it once and it caught me off guard (pun slightly intended). Red cloth though, right? Hahaha, so easily mistaken.
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.
What I mean is - in general - the LotR films are more gruesome and dark on the whole
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.