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One Brick to Rule Them All
December 16, 2011 11:36 AM   Subscribe

Lego Picks Up Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Licenses

Your favourite toy and your favourite book (and/or movie) are now joining forces in a move that is bound to create tears of joy and lots of empty wallets. Other than the official announcement not many details are known. But hopefully we will see sets as awesome as this, this, or this.
posted by Vindaloo (80 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
God, I have lately been discovering that I want ALL THE LEGO and this is not helping.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:37 AM on December 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is so fantastic and so horrible.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 11:40 AM on December 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Great Cthulhu, it never ends. My wife and I splurged and got our sons The Complete Lego Star Wars for the Wii, and have been busy playing it ourselves when they go to bed.

This will make sure I have no free time.
posted by never used baby shoes at 11:41 AM on December 16, 2011


Isn't part of what's cool about those creations that they're not built from licensed sets?

I was a huge Lego fan as a kid, but Star Wars lego really did not help keep me interested.
posted by Jahaza at 11:41 AM on December 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


Stop franchising play, for fuck's sake.
posted by R. Schlock at 11:43 AM on December 16, 2011 [27 favorites]


It's not about the license specifically - I loved the nonspecific knights-n-castles as a kid - but man, there are so many cool possibilities in terms of sets. Hobbiton! Minas Tirith! Rivendell! Just cool visuals and some really neat possibilities.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:44 AM on December 16, 2011


oversized hairy plastic feet
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:44 AM on December 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


My nephews are getting the 1200-piece Millenium Falcon for Christmas. I am so jealous.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:45 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Legolas joke in 5....4....3....
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:46 AM on December 16, 2011 [18 favorites]


One does not simply license Mordor.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:47 AM on December 16, 2011 [27 favorites]


Are these really toys for kids, or toys for kids that guys really buy for themselves?
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:48 AM on December 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


They're taking the hobbits to Denmark!
posted by griphus at 11:49 AM on December 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


#extendedadolescence
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:51 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Zeus: anyone who claims that there exists a toy which falls into the firstcategory but never the second is lying or naive.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:51 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The day they release a lego Gollum I will have him..all to myself..my precioussss.
posted by tetsuo at 11:51 AM on December 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Are these really toys for kids, or toys for kids that guys really buy for themselves?

No, er, I... NO!

I'm just going to try it out a little bit, you know, to make sure it's suitable for the boy...
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 11:52 AM on December 16, 2011


Jahaza: Isn't part of what's cool about those creations that they're not built from licensed sets?

Licensed sets never scale up to the amazing things people build on their own. An 8′ wide model of Isengard, weighing over 145 pounds and using 22,000 bricks? That would cost a couple thousand dollars, if it were a licensed set. Licensed sets are relatively small, compared to some of the amazing sets created by fans.


ZeusHumms: Are these really toys for kids, or toys for kids that guys really buy for themselves?

My wife is the one who requests Legos in our household (at least, for now). But she's not really a fan of most of the licensed sets.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:52 AM on December 16, 2011


I was a huge Lego fan as a kid, but Star Wars lego really did not help keep me interested.

I, too, was a Lego fan as a kid. I started with the basic "bucket of bricks" and I was in my prime-Lego age when the Minifig first came out, when Tecnic started (it was called Expert Builder back then) and then as the classic space sets were introduced and now I have a son who has all manner of Star Wars and Harry Potter sets and I can tell you that they are FREAKING AWESOME and in no way take away from what can be done with Lego. A specialized piece can be used all sort of ways, just as a 2x4 brick can.

These sets will probably be coming out just as he starts getting into LotRs. I better start saving up now.
posted by bondcliff at 11:52 AM on December 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Shit. Shorty has been moving out of Star Wars Legos and into Ninjago Legos.
In the past few weeks he has been asking me about The Hobbit and LOTR.
So . . . in the next year or so, I get to fend off all of the comments such as "Well so and so's parents let him have all of the Orc figures!"

I wave my fist in the general direction of Legoland.
posted by Seamus at 11:53 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are these really toys for kids, or toys for kids that guys really buy for themselves?

The Lego Taj Mahal set (5200 piece one) was one of the better presents I've ever gotten my wife. She had fun with it (like a toy), and now we keep it up as a decoration (like grownups, but with Legos).

Bizarrely I remember it being only $300, but it seems like you can't get it now for less than twice that.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:53 AM on December 16, 2011


This really fucks with my joke about the Elven member of the fellowship being named Legoland.
posted by grubi at 11:55 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


An 8′ wide model of Isengard, weighing over 145 pounds and using 22,000 bricks? That would cost a couple thousand dollars, if it were a licensed set.

Having purchased used bulk bricks recently, even at a very good price of $8 per pound (sometimes up to $12 depending upon the forces of supply and demand), that model of Isengard would still be $1160.

I'm betting a licensed set would be more than "a couple" thousand dollars.
For that, the kid would have to get a job.
posted by Seamus at 11:57 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Lego Taj Mahal set (5200 piece one) was one of the better presents I've ever gotten my wife.

The Lego Eiffel Tower set (3,500 piece one) was one of the better presents I've ever gotten for myself. A good two weeks of building, every night. Immensely satisfying. Meditative, even.

Stoopid finances prevented me from getting the Taj Mahal. Stoopid finances...
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:59 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Stop franchising play, for fuck's sake.

Non-franchise Lego Themes are still kicking: Town, Ninjago, Alien Conquest, Mars Mission, Atlantis, Kingdoms. But I do miss Forestmen, Pirates, and still want my Lego Space Opera featuring the epic struggle between the factions of Blacktron, M-Tron, Space Police, Ice Planet, Spyrius, et al. And there are also non-themed sets with just bricks or Creator sets that emphasize building or education sets that emphasize learning.

But, Lego has to survive independently. The last thing I'd want to see is Mattel or Hasbro buying out Lego Systems. And by then, we'd get the franchise sets anyways, except much, much crappier.
posted by FJT at 12:00 PM on December 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


I have a good friend who collects the Lego Harry Potter sets. She has almost all of them now, and every once in a while she'll fill me in on what she's still looking for and how her project to sort all of the pieces by color and shape is going and I usually just nod and look for the McGonagall minifig because McG had the best hat.

Now I see the tables will be turned.

(OK, not really, I just would like an Elrond and a Rivendell set. And a Celebrían, which is unlikely to be included but I figure I can take a Galadrial body + a Celeborn head and maybe that would work? Elladan and Elrohir shouldn't be difficult at least.)
posted by rewil at 12:00 PM on December 16, 2011


Lego Internet Discussion Bingo Card
posted by Legomancer at 12:02 PM on December 16, 2011 [13 favorites]


Non-franchise Lego Themes are still kicking: Town, Ninjago, Alien Conquest, Mars Mission, Atlantis, Kingdoms. But I do miss Forestmen, Pirates,

One of the better things about non-licensed Legos is the way in which there's just a slight hint of story that (at least as a kid) it felt like was there, but I didn't know. The Forest Men had SOME relationship to the the Knights, I was never quite sure what, but I enjoyed the mystery.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:04 PM on December 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


When I was eight I could tell you in detail what that relationship was, down to the names of all the horses. It really is pretty awesome.
posted by restless_nomad at 12:06 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Legomancer, having built many a set, it wasn't until I had to sort through buckets of random "bricks" that I began to realize the amazing potential of all of the "set bricks". I can hardly wait for Christmas, when the kid opens that bucket of dirty-ass, random bricks, we are going to build some amazing shit.
posted by Seamus at 12:07 PM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Shit. In my day, it was Town, Castle, and Space Legos. And that was IT.
posted by grubi at 12:07 PM on December 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


I hope they merge this with the new girl line because I really want the Bridezilla Arwen Wedding and Hobbit Pillow Fight sets.
posted by sawdustbear at 12:07 PM on December 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


I want a set with Eowyn killing the Nazgul. This will (sorta) make up for goddamn Lego for Girls.
posted by epersonae at 12:08 PM on December 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Not just a Nazgul. The WITCH KING OF ANGMAR, thank you very much.
posted by grubi at 12:09 PM on December 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Terrible timing - the advent of loathsome "girl lego" means that LOTR lego will go in the boys' section of most toy stores. Argh.
posted by Wylla at 12:10 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Which is dumb -- Lego is part of why I'm a feminist today.
posted by grubi at 12:11 PM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


When I was eight I could tell you in detail what that relationship was

For me, that relationship was "they're all going to get smashed to little bits in the demolition derbies my brother and I are going to have."

It's sad now, seeing all the broken and scratched pieces I've bequeathed to my son, but goddamn we had some amazing crashes.
posted by bondcliff at 12:12 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Remember, there are two types of lego play - one is building stuff for the joy of building stuff, a creative outlet. Kids who like that style of play toss out the instruction sheets and just have a ball.

The other type is actually building a model - the satisfaction comes from seeing the progress made in following the steps, figuring out how the pieces go together to make the object or scene on the box. You don't need the glue, paint or manual dexterity modelmaking requires, and you can disassemble the model and use it again, or use the components in a new design.

The franchise kits are aimed at the second type of lego builder, who enjoyed watching Lord of the Rings and would be pleased to see scenes recreated with Lego.

The first type of lego builder wouldn't much care, except they'd be pleased to have Gandalf drive their dragon-winged amphibious racecar in outer space, because really, who wouldn't.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:16 PM on December 16, 2011 [24 favorites]


That bingo card should really feature the always entertaining LEGO vs LEGOS argument.
posted by elizardbits at 12:17 PM on December 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


The last thing I'd want to see is Mattel or Hasbro buying out Lego Systems
Something about those slightly scary Lego folks lead me to believe this wouldn't happen.

Mainly because of the bombings, but the kidnapping incident with the CEO of Hasbro would certainly stall the merger talks.
posted by fullerine at 12:17 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The new sets have all these special pieces and can only build the model on the box.
posted by LordSludge at 12:18 PM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not just a Nazgul. The WITCH KING OF ANGMAR, thank you very much. I stand (very happily) corrected. (I knew it was a very special Nazgul but wasn't going to go look it up.) All I know is that every time I see that in the movie, I cry and shout "f*** yeah!" at the same time.
posted by epersonae at 12:22 PM on December 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I reluctantly admit that, if they came out with a LEGO My Little Pony set, I'd fight you all for it.
posted by SPrintF at 12:26 PM on December 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Forget this LoTR stuff; after reading the comments upthread, I'm feeling all nostalgic for my Castle, Forestmen, and Wolfpack sets.

I suspect that my parents sold my old LEGO at a garage sale years ago, but now I'm going to feel compelled to see if they kept any of it when I visit over the holidays.
posted by asnider at 12:27 PM on December 16, 2011


I want the A:TLA sets back in production. Can we get that please? Pretty please?
posted by kmz at 12:28 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I CAN HAZ LEGO TOM BOMBADIL?
posted by mosk at 12:31 PM on December 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Over thanksgiving, I gave all my old legos to my youngest cousin. Most of the pied and mottled spaceships I'd cobbled together in the 1990s were still intact, untouched, on the top shelf of my closet for 15 years. He intuitively knew exactly what kind of spaceship each one was "this one's a scout! this one's a cruiser!" (except he pronounced it "cwoosuh", which was totally cute). It was a proud moment. But also, he was excited just to have regular rectangular blocks and platforms, which aren't as abundant in the new sets.
posted by Jon_Evil at 12:32 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I want the A:TLA sets back in production. Can we get that please? Pretty please?
OMFG I want this so so much. Screw Legolas, I want Zuko~ And the Cabbage Guy. And..yeah, everything.

Maybe when Korra comes out they'll do a set or two for that. Korra + her bearwolf-thing would be awesome!
posted by ashirys at 12:43 PM on December 16, 2011


This needs to happen!!!
posted by Pendragon at 12:46 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I want





to build





a giant





LEGO





Smaug.
posted by grubi at 12:48 PM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Smaug sitting on a pile of ALL THE LEGO.
posted by daniel_charms at 12:49 PM on December 16, 2011 [14 favorites]


So this means that there's going to be a LEGO Hobbit/LoTR video game right? RIGHT?
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 12:50 PM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


My sons gansh their teeth with anger over the lack of bulk-packs of (esp. Star Wars) minifigs. I wonder if thisOfficial Lego Policy won't have to change in order to facilitate the assembly of MASSED ORC ARMIES!!!11! w00t!!

*ahem*
posted by wenestvedt at 12:51 PM on December 16, 2011


Sadly, I expect that the Lego Ents will look like kelp.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:52 PM on December 16, 2011


I'm old enough to remember when they introduced Duplo. And how the first set of star wars movies came and went without any themed sets that I recall.

The Lego Taj Mahal set (5200 piece one) was one of the better presents I've ever gotten my wife.

I was so excited to have 4 extra days of vacation I had to spend or lose by the end of the year, now that I have a place big enough to work on this one, so was quite disappointed to find out I'd mis-counted, and had only 1 day.
posted by nomisxid at 12:58 PM on December 16, 2011


Relevant
posted by mosk at 1:02 PM on December 16, 2011


*spontaneous nerdgasm*
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:05 PM on December 16, 2011


This will be a big boon for people who use Lego for gaming (self-link).
posted by jiawen at 1:18 PM on December 16, 2011


I saw this earlier all over twitter and it made me think of this post by Daniel Sinker on LEGO becoming increasely about movie-tie-in model sets.

Not that I don't think these kits are cool but more thinking of the hours I spent creating my own versions of vehicles or place from my favorite TV shows or films. (and yes I've seen the bingo card)
posted by Z303 at 1:33 PM on December 16, 2011


One of the better things about non-licensed Legos is the way in which there's just a slight hint of story that (at least as a kid) it felt like was there, but I didn't know. The Forest Men had SOME relationship to the the Knights, I was never quite sure what, but I enjoyed the mystery.
Likewise with the classic Lego Space sets. What did the different uniform colors mean? It was pretty much up to you. I always kind of thought the rare black spacesuit minifigs were maybe secret agent and/or bad guys, even though they had the same sigil on their uniforms.

Oh, man. Major nostalgia pangs. I need one of these!
posted by usonian at 1:38 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


grubi: Shit. In my day, it was Town, Castle, and Space Legos. And that was IT.

And you had to build your horses, right? How barbaric?
posted by filthy light thief at 1:51 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Alternative horse design)

I like some of the new character designs, but old instruction books make me nostalgic like nothing else.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:54 PM on December 16, 2011


WE MAKE FOR THE REFUGE OF LEGO DEEP!!!! First mefi post that ever made me call my family and friends while still reading the main post.

The plot rooster bought me Harry Potter lego for my birthday. But LOTR? I'm giddy. So is he, but in a different way: "We're going to need a bigger house now, right?"

Still won't give us a lot of new girl minifigs, though.

I think that's the problem with the new girls sets: we love the minifigs, we just want to change their hair, etc., so they look like us. I'm going to have to buy some education sets to come up with poor Goldberry, 'cause you know she's going to be left out. Again.
posted by theplotchickens at 1:54 PM on December 16, 2011


And you had to build your horses, right?

No, my generation had the ready-made horses. Circa 1981-1987.
posted by grubi at 1:55 PM on December 16, 2011


Nothing wrong with building your own horse.
posted by bondcliff at 1:58 PM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I want the A:TLA sets back in production. Can we get that please? Pretty please?

We bought this, which was insane to build. It's since been disassembled, but I still have the figs, which are pretty awesome.

This will be a big boon for people who use Lego for gaming (self-link).

QFT. (This party was assembled from -- IIRC -- the medieval town, a pirate set, the dwarven mine, and a Spiderman set, with other accessories from I don't know what. Actually, I think the dwarf's head may be from a mid90s castle set. Bonus shot with kitty.)
posted by epersonae at 1:58 PM on December 16, 2011


Lego LoTR is way too mainstream. I'm holding out for the Stickle Bricks Tékumel.

(But yeah, Lego Smaug would be off the hook. He could devour the plastic people of Dale like a wolf among sheep, and where are their injection-molded kin that would dare oppose him?)
posted by sourcequench at 2:02 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meh, nothing will ever beat Space Lego.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:13 PM on December 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


One of my greatest regrets to date is that my kids have never really gotten the "legomania"...

However, OTOH my kids and I started up our own Minecraft server the other day, so... it all evens out in the end...
posted by jkaczor at 3:04 PM on December 16, 2011


My wife and I splurged and got our sons The Complete Lego Star Wars for the Wii

Glad to see I'm not the only one who assumed this was about a new LEGO video game series. I guess the actual LEGO brick sets of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman, and Harry Potter all preceded the video games?
posted by straight at 3:19 PM on December 16, 2011


Daniel Sinker: I’m starting to think Lego is evil
posted by dhartung at 4:51 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, at Lego-compatible Mega Bloks: Power Rangers, Hello Kitty, Halo (some of those sets are pretty frigging awesome), The Smurfs.

Mega Bloks Micro are an excellent source of weird-coloured (everything from olive drab to baby pink), odd-shaped, and printed bricks, as well as some pretty neat base plates. They also have a lot of barely-legofied pieces that I'm not crazy about, but, yeah.

You can buy a bucket of 1000 basic bricks for thirty bucks.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:10 PM on December 16, 2011


We quit buying Mega Bloks after getting a couple of sets that wouldn't go together right. We've never had that happen with Lego.
posted by not that girl at 5:58 PM on December 16, 2011


Why won't Sinker's son's Millenium Falcon set get re-mixed or "hacked," whatever he means by that? Especially if he knows it won't be built as a model a second time? It's not Lego's fault is he is unwilling to let it eventually become raw material.
posted by not that girl at 6:01 PM on December 16, 2011


If this means there'll be LEGO LOTR video games coming out eventually, I am all for it.
posted by Spatch at 6:54 PM on December 16, 2011


Sigh. We already were beginning to need a bigger house for all our Lego before this announcement came out. Now we will definitely need a bigger house.
posted by troublesome at 10:55 PM on December 16, 2011


I suspect that my parents sold my old LEGO at a garage sale years ago

Yeah, they did. And I couldn't believe the price - I kept expecting them to laugh at their joke and then name a figure ten times higher. When I got it into the car and was driving off, it still didn't seem real.
Um, thanks.
posted by -harlequin- at 2:29 AM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


One does not simply block into Mordor.
posted by Fizz at 6:28 AM on December 17, 2011


So after two back-to-back Lego discussions on the blue yesterday, I went out and bought a Medieval village set. Two buildings and five minifigs cost me about $80, which is kind of insane, but that seems to be about average. The used market doesn't seem much better - people on craigslist are asking for stupid amounts of money for unsorted buckets.

I had a huge amount of Lego(s), collected from 1990-1995 (roughly age 5-10) and at the exchange rates I'm seeing online I could have paid for a year of state school with them. Instead, I gave them to my niece when I was a teenager, and she promptly threw them away.
posted by modernserf at 10:48 AM on December 17, 2011


If you buy Legos for your kid so you can play with them, that means (I hope) that you're playing with your kid. I recommend it.

As long as the construction is still interesting and fun, kids will like it. They'll still use their imaginations to make up their own stories. Just turn the tv off. Mini-figs will make good hobbits; they're pretty hobbit-y already.
posted by theora55 at 3:42 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


My sons gansh their teeth with anger over the lack of bulk-packs of (esp. Star Wars) minifigs. I wonder if thisOfficial Lego Policy won't have to change in order to facilitate the assembly of MASSED ORC ARMIES!!!11! w00t!!

As always, lawyers ruin everything. Since Kenner has the license to make Star Wars action figures, Lego cannot sell packs of Star Wars minifigs. They have to be packaged with a small vehicle, or as magnets or keychains. The best they can do is something like this.

I'm not sure if a similar legal limitation exists for LOTR. Hopefully not!
posted by Fleebnork at 5:16 PM on December 17, 2011


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