It's official: LEGO lands 'Hobbit' license

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There have been rumours circulating for a few months, which of course we couldn't publish here, but now the biggest news story since 1999 is official.

From Variety, published at 8am GMT today:

Lego has found its next precious

Warner Bros. Consumer Products has awarded the toymaker the rights to create action figures and playsets based on "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and the two upcoming films based on "The Hobbit," the first of which bows at the end of 2012.

The multiyear deal grants Lego access to the library of characters, settings and stories of "The Lord of the Rings," "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" and "The Hobbit: There and Back Again," all helmed by Peter Jackson.

The first toys Lego plans to produce will hit store shelves in June, tied to "Lord of the Rings," with new construction sets planned for the weeks leading up to the Dec. 14 bow of "An Unexpected Journey."

"Only Lego, with their expertise in the construction category, is capable of doing justice to the incredibly imaginative environments depicted in the world of 'The Lord of the Rings' and the two films based on 'The Hobbit,'" said Karen McTier, executive VP, domestic licensing and worldwide marketing, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. "These films give life to amazing worlds and characters and we are thrilled to bring fans these products that deliver an imaginative play experience befitting of these beloved properties."

Warner Bros. has a long history with Lego.

Lego has produced toys around the studio's "Harry Potter" franchise, the Batman and "Speed Racer" pics and now the entire DC Comics library. Lego also has tied toys to Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Toy Story," "Cars" and "Prince of Persia" pics, and has long had the "Star Wars" and "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" license.

Warner Bros.' Lego-made DC toys are also expected to hit store shelves next year, the same time Lego will also release its Marvel line, tied to Sony's "The Amazing Spider-Man" and Disney's "The Avengers."

"Our collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products has delivered numerous worldwide successes in the construction toy aisle, introducing us to loyal audiences who love great stories, strong characters and the toys that they inspire," said Jill Wilfert, VP, licensing and entertainment for the Lego Group. "It's particularly exciting to now be able to create sets based on the fantasy worlds and characters from 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy and 'The Hobbit,' not only because we know they will foster collectability and creative play, but also because these are two properties that our fans have been asking us to create for years."

Going after film franchises has paid off for Lego, with "Harry Potter" and "Star Wars" helping the toymaker top $1 billion in sales in the U.S. for the first time in 2010, a figure it's confident to repeat again this year. Altogether, sales are up 106% for the fourth-largest toymaker since 2006, the company has said.

This year, shipments of Legos to stores between August and October are up more than 65%, according to Panjiva, a New York-based data firm.

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Has there ever been a better time to be a LEGO fan? There's so much cool stuff coming our way that I really think we are in a new 'golden age' of LEGO, one that surpasses that which many of us remember from our childhood.

Update: LEGO has already published a teaser page for the theme (thanks to everyone that emailed about this)

Update: Here's LEGO's press release:

Warner Bros. Consumer Products and The LEGO Group build on Partnership to Produce Construction Toys for THE LORD OF THE RINGS™ Trilogy and the Two Films Based on THE HOBBIT

Building Sets Based on Epic Film Trilogy and Forthcoming Theatrical Release Slated for 2012

BILLUND, Denmark and Burbank, CA – December 16, 2011 – Warner Bros. Consumer Products and The LEGO Group announced today a partnership that awards the world’s leading construction toy brand exclusive rights to develop build-and-play construction sets based on THE LORD OF THE RINGS™ trilogy and the two films based on THE HOBBIT™. The multi-year licensing agreement grants access to the library of characters, settings, and stories for THE LORD OF THE RINGS property, as well as films The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again.

LEGO® THE LORD OF THE RINGS construction sets are slated for a rolling global launch beginning in June 2012 in the United States, with LEGO THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY scheduled for later in the year.

“Only LEGO, with their expertise in the construction category, is capable of doing justice to the incredibly imaginative environments depicted in the world of THE LORD OF THE RINGS and the two films based on THE HOBBIT,” said Karen McTier, executive vice president, domestic licensing and worldwide marketing, Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

"These films give life to amazing worlds and characters and we are thrilled to bring fans these products that deliver an imaginative play experience befitting of these beloved properties.”

The LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS collection will translate into LEGO form the epic locations, scenes and characters of Middle-earth as depicted in all three films, including The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

In late 2012, LEGO THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY will give fans of all ages a chance to build and play out the fantastical story and new characters of the legendary Middle-earth adventures depicted in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey from Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, slated to premiere December 14, 2012.

“Our collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products has delivered numerous worldwide successes in the construction toy aisle with lines like LEGO HARRY POTTER and LEGO BATMAN, introducing us to loyal audiences who love great stories, strong characters and the toys that they inspire,” said Jill Wilfert, vice president, licensing and entertainment for The LEGO Group. “It’s particularly exciting to now be able to create sets based on the fantasy worlds and characters from THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and the two films based on THE HOBBIT, not only because we know they will foster collectability and creative play, but also because these are two properties that our fans have been asking us to create for years.”

Information about the sets and collectible minifigures from both collections will be unveiled at a later date at http://TheLordoftheRings.LEGO.com

125 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

YAAAAYYY!!! I'm going to be so broke in 2012....but happy :)

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By in United Kingdom,

WOW!! :)

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By in Australia,

I am very, very, very 0kay with this.

My wallet, on the other hand, is crying for blood.

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By in United Kingdom,

"UH OH"

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By in United Kingdom,

WAHOOOOO!
It had to happen. One brick to rule them all? Toy license of the century? They could milk this cash cow for YEARS...
Like Zordboy says below- so long as the main themes retain their charm.
Now I am ahead of the game that I lost with Star Wars, I intend to collect EVERY set..... I feel almost ill with the exciting yet expensive, house cluttering challenge.

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By in United Kingdom,

@LostInTranslation YAAAAYYY!!! this is exactly what I said :)

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By in Germany,

GREAT! It will be expensive, but absolut great. I love it!

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By in Australia,

I'm not sure that it's a "golden age". I have to admit, when I think of all the name-brand sets, and contrast that with the trains and houses and castles of the late 80s/early 90s... I'm quite torn, you know?

I'd love to have Batman, Spider-Man, Harry Potter, Jack Sparrow and Frodo Baggins take a ride in the Cars cars to defeat evil and stuff ... but I'd also love to have some of the wonder back in town and train sets.

But that's just me.

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By in Belgium,

I never buy any licenced lego sets, but LOTR, definately YES!

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By in Germany,

Great news!

Man, the new series 6 & 7 minifigs, the superheroes sets, and now this. I'll go broke as well...

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By in United Kingdom,

Quite possibly the best Lego news I've ever heard. When asked what new themes I'd like to see, Lord Of The Rings was always first on the list. I had a feeling there'd be a nice surprise new theme this year.
With so many characters the figure collection will be amazing, not to mention Elf, Gondor and Ork Armies!
CAN'T SMEGGING WAIT!!!!!!

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By in United States,

Great news! I can't wait to see the pictures.

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By in Australia,

an age old dream finally fulfilled. Looks like 2012 will be one of Lego's best years.

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By in Denmark,

Oh happy day...

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By in Australia,

Oh, finally. Star Wars can shove it, give me The Fellowship in LEGO any day!

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By in Germany,

Oh no!
This will be expensive! I love the Star Wars sets, now I have to buy the LotR-Sets, too!?!
Not enough time to build them, not enough place to store them. :(
But I am very exited and hope for some really nice models!

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By in United States,

Star Wars, PoTC, Collectible Minifigs, Super Heroes. And now Lord of the Rings?!?!

Lego makes dreams come true.

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By in Germany,

I wonder how they'll do the One Ring as a LEGO piece.

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By in France,

I can't wait to see a LEGO Gollum!

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By in United Kingdom,

i think i'm going to need to sell something of high value... no, NOT the MF! maybe an organ of some kind?

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By in United Kingdom,

Brilliant, I can't wait

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By in {Unknown country},

Ben J: Same question from me too. Maybe a printed 1x1 round tile? Something that a minifig can "grab" would be too fragile if it had a hole in it.

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By in Germany,

Never read the books or watched the movies, but at least we'll get some LEGO elves. ;)

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By in United States,

Yes! Finally! I have been waiting and asking for these sets since 2001!

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By in United Kingdom,

Yes! Thank the Lords of Gondor! Now, who wants a UCS Barad-Dur, or maybe Orthanc. Hey TLC, why not make both?!?

Finally justifies having a hoard of CMF S5 Dwarves and 2 Ninjago Earth Dragons.

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By in Australia,

I'm happy for all you guys that are excited, but for me it's become a bit of overkill with the licenses at Lego.

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By in United States,

Bueno...

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By in United States,

All hail, Ole Kirk Christiansen! Creator and Father of the brick. Hazzah! With out him, we wouldn't be here today. Hazzah!

And with LOTR, Marevl and DC super hero sets coming out, that can only mean one thing. Tt games should be coming out with their Lego version video games.

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By in United Kingdom,

Now all we need is a lego Simpsons theme then I will be content

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=335991675618
The good
The Simpsons are yellow, lego is yellow!
They can provide lots of scenery,figures and cars, aswell as lots of varations of one particular character
The Simpsons is one the the biggest if not the biggest merchandising brand out of all the others in the world, I mean how many things have you see with their face on them.
If they can have toys based on them, why not lego?
The bad
Parents may not want their children playing with simpson characters
Lego would have to make contact with Fox to see the idea of it
Places like Moes or the Burns' Casino would never be made for obivious reasons
The ugly
The figures may be alike those like jack stone,friends or even galidor, but they could be a bit like the new spongebob figures like squidward for example http://www.brickset.com/minifigs/?m=bob020

Ps LOTR and Hobbit, yay!, one of my favourite books and movies =)

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By in United States,

Finally! my greatest LEGO wish has come true! Hey, @itsaturkey, you were right!
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
@Alemas: They are the best books ever!

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By in United States,

no if they would do an ancient rome theme, i could die a happy woman.

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By in United States,

Well, I do not like the movies or books, but I'm sure the sets will be very new-piece rich, so I will at least get a few of these sets.

Bad news: This whole thing basically means- Bye Harry Potter.

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By in United States,

Wow! In only about 3 hours, there are 33 comments!

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By in United States,

YAY! It's about time! My wallet is going to be on the ground writhing in pain when it hears about this... :P

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By in United States,

And thus the day Lego dies.

I rather have Kingdoms or Heroica.

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By in United Kingdom,

OK I said on the forum's a few weeks ago that it wouldn't happen, more than happy to be put in my place. LOTR's is my favorite of all films and I am simply over the moon at this announcement. I am sooooooo going to skint all next year! These are going to be expensive people, but you already knew that.

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By in New Zealand,

Me too.
Im going to get torn down a lot of people disagree with this, but I do think this has the potential to be as big as star wars.

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By in Germany,

@Gandalf1: Everyone says that. :P

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By in Sweden,

this is gonna be an expensive 2012 year!!
not only for the lego...just because i will need a NEW HOUSE!!!
hahahaha

that is great, great great news!

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By in United Kingdom,

Now with all my Harry Potter Star wars POTC and now LOTR I am now very happy now all they need is to bring back indy! Ps what is CMF?

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By in United States,

Nice move TLG! :)

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By in United States,

CMF= Collectable MiniFigure

Gotta have UCS Minas Tirith. Biggest lego set ever?

Agree with gardenom. I would love to see Roman stuff like a large scale model of the coliseum rebuildable into the forum or circus maximus with chariots.

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By in United Kingdom,

@dixondog Perhaps that should read "WOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" But I completely agree with everyone's excitement! I think I need to start selling a lot of my Lego to make room.

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By in United States,

This... is.... EPIC!

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By in United States,

I can die happy :)

I have always said LOTR would be perfect for LEGO and I couldn't understand why LEGO wasn't fighting for the rights.
This is going to be epic on so many different levels. UCS Helm's Deep... BRING IT ON!

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By in United Kingdom,

This is great, but if I could count the amount of times this theme has been suggested in "If only Lego did..." forums and someone has said "They'll never do it, it's too dark"...:P

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By in Canada,

MOST AWESOME NEWS...EVER!!! If people thought I was nuts about Star Wars LEGO, that will be nothing compared to this...!! So happy that I can get in on it from the beginning, and won't have to track down old sets that will cost a fortune and perhaps miss out on some.

Am also interested to see how they do the ring, but agree that the new 1x1 round tile seems to be made for it. Similar to the idea of the compass with every JS minifig in POTC.

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By in United States,

I don't think I've ever met a kid under 14 who was interested in LOTR, maybe that will change with the new movies coming out, but I think LEGO is really missing the mark with their biggest market.

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By in United States,

So let me get this straight.....they are making a Lord of the Rings theme?

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By in United States,

Some of the BEST Lego news ever!!! Think of all the possible battle packs!!

My wallet is aching already...

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By in United States,

Wow, a few days ago my girlfriend asked me "Why don't they make a Lego Lord of the Rings?" I replied "That would be a good idea" and now a few days later lego decides to do it. (TRIPPY)

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By in United States,

@spency13 Harry Potter was going no matter what - no more movies, no more marketing tie-in. It was inevitable.

Great news, but it's going to be ALL about the implementation. Outside of the minifigs, most of the iconic locations in the LOTR universe are BIG. How do you bring that down to scale for the price point without completely diluting them? That's going to be the challenge.

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By in United States,

Best Lego news ever!!! Better than Stars Wars for me and I LOVE Star Wars. The sheer volume of minifigures that Lego can produce for this theme will keep me broke for years. That doesn't even take into account various size sets or USC !

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By in Canada,

I honestly wasn't expecting to read this article... given that I had to scroll down a little bit to see it. I actually jumped out of my seat shouting "YES, yes, yes!". I usually don't check my laptop for news while eating breakfast... but I suppose good Lego news is apart of my senses!

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By in United Kingdom,

Only one word needed to sum up how I felt when I heard this news: Meh!

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By in United States,

@ypres - lol. I ran downstairs shouting and woke up my wife.

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By in United States,

Darn....More money out the door. Oh well, this is one series my wife will approve of since she is a big LOTR fan. Time to get a second job I guess. Do they still have child labor laws? My kids want the sets too, but I won't be able to afford multiple sets to make everyone happy. ;-)

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By in United States,

On the surface, I'm excited about this. However, knowing these are based on the movies (which I thought varied between brilliant (when they stuck to the books) and downright terrible (all the other times)), and I don't see the name J.R.R. TOLKIEN mentioned anywhere (this is the FIRST time it's appeared, between the article and all the comments?!?), I probably won't spend a dime on these. Pity.

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By in United Kingdom,

Awesome, so much for reducing my lego expenditure next year.

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By in United States,

Shut the front door! Although LOTR will not be my favorite theme (Super Heroes and Star Wars) it will definitely be something I'll be collecting. Definitely a Golden Age for LEGO.

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By in United States,

Darth Vader: Is there anything bad today?
Emporer: Yes.
Vader: What?
Emporer: LEGO, annouced they are making a Lord of the Rings theme with sets coming out in 2012.
Vader: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

I, 100%, hate LOTR, and now this happens?!?! What's going to happen to Harry Potter? Will Star Wars lose popularity? Will LEGO ever make a Nintendo theme? And if anyone is wondering why I hate LOTR, I find it boring.

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By in United States,

Should be a HUGE seller for Lego. Along with the Marvel and DC sets, new Star Wars, Friends line for the ladies....2012 will be the biggest sales year for Lego yet.
This is what the Mayans predicted for 2012...The Reawakening of the Divine Feminine (Friends line), and the Apocalypse* (Lord of the Rings).

*An Apocalypse (Greek: “lifting of the veil” or “revelation”) is a disclosure of something hidden from the majority
of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception(megabloks), i.e. the veil to be lifted."

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By in United States,

^ it will be a huge success! But Lord of the Rings will never replace the epicness of the Star Wars sets :)

Looks like I have to rewatch the LOTR films :) yay!
Sales for Lego will definitely go up in the coming years. But will I buy a set? Probably not :P

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By in United States,

LEGO is LORD of the RINGS!

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By in United States,

YES!

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By in Netherlands,

Some of the best books and films ever made, now in LEGO! Just one word: FANTASTIC!!

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By in Israel,

I am so happy with all the advances LEGO has made recently, and this one makes it perfect. Too bad I have so little money to spend on these amazing series's, though!

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By in United States,

Seems like a little too many licenses... Hopefully they get rid of harry potter to even it out..

But I'm still SUPER excited! This trumps the news of the Superhero license!

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By in United States,

I can image army building could reach a new level with this series....

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By in United States,

I think they are getting rid of POTC for this. No biggie for me, as I only liked the ride :P

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By in United States,

@Legolover9531 hahaha! I had forgotten about the ride..

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By in United States,

@yys4u Remember, the ride started it all!

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By in United States,

PotC all over again...(good minifigures and pieces, bad sets)

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By in United Kingdom,

I cant wait the figures will be immense =)+=)

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By in Australia,

While excited, I can't help but feel a little apprehensive towards this new license. PotC this year had the potential to be something really great, but all we got were mediocre/poor sets that were way overpriced and barely resembling what we saw in the movies (yes, I'm looking at you Fountain of Youth!!!). I'd have to say that PotC was a massive disappointment for me, and I'm worried that LotR may go the same way.

To be honest, I don't really know how TLG are going to do this. I mean, most of the structures are huge - think Minas Tirith, Helm's Deep, Isengard, Moria, Osgiliath, Rivendell..... the list goes on. To do each of these structures justice would require thousands of pieces with exorbitant prices attached. PotC had at least some vehicles in the form of the pirate ships going for it - LotR has none.

What I fear is that we'll end up with smaller "playsets" that take a scene from the movie - such as the Fountain of Youth or Isle de le Mueta - which were utter flops and way, way overpriced.
I think that Berrybrick has hit the nail on the head with this one - expect great minifigures but poor sets.

Although I do hope that they'll be at least one UCS set for one of the above structures - I'd pay UCS prices for one of those to be done properly......

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By in United Kingdom,

Well now. Lego Gandalf. Enough said. :)

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By in United States,

^Yes, at last I'll have a minifigure of myself. :{D}

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By in Canada,

There has been a 65% increase in the amount of LEGO bricks/sets shipped to stores but an increase in profit for TLG of 106%. That has more to do with in-store prices going up every year and less to do with licenses.

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By in United States,

anyone else want solron (excuse my spelling)

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By in United States,

YEEESSS!!!!! YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!!

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By in United States,

What was the news from 1999? Star Wars, I assume?

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By in Philippines,

LEGO Prologue Elven Warrior, anyone?

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By in United States,

Wow, now that my little happy dance is over and I've posted about this everywhere, I realized that Frodo's Ring is pretty big, but I'm okay with that.

Frodo: Will you marry me if I give you THIS ring? :P

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By in Italy,

What happened in 1999? I was born?

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm feeling rather sceptical, mainly because the POTC and POP sets were, I feel, rather disapointing. Nice looking figures but frankly dis-jointed playsets that werent big enough to have enough substance to them. The most recent Hogwarts was a bit like this also, just bland.

This theme deserves a much higher level of detail, closer to the Winter Village sets (IMHO).

I think anyone expecting a huge helms deep with 2000 bricks is going to be disapointed, one built with 8 BURPS is more likely.

Like everyone else the figs are going to make this a win for me. I want Aragorn and Gandalf most of all.

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By in United States,

Duilim makes some very valid points. I have to say, I am extremely surprised that Lego has taken up this challenge.
I'm really excited for all the scenes and minifigs that will come out (Big Hobbit feat? :P) But am quite frankly disappointed in Lego. Lego has always been an extremely kid-friendly company (Any one from the Lego MB's knows that :) And they are making themes of increasingly violent and horror-ish films. Then again, myself and other TFOL's have been asking for more attention by Lego. But what's next? It's not the sets that I'm worried about, it's the principles of Lego that I am concerned about. But I guess we'll all have to wait, huh :)

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By in United States,

I've been waiting so long for this theme! This is one of the most exciting moments in my LEGO history.

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By in United States,

how much does it cost for Lego to make a minifigure? So many sets' prices skyrocket just because of great figures. Like POTC or (don't kill me) most Star Wars.

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By in Canada,

^ Great point.

This is awesome! Can't wait to see the sets.

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By in Germany,

@modena: The Star Wars licence was announced in 1999. :P Or, at least, the first SW sets were launched. :P

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By in United States,

Legolover9531, I have to agree with you! I will not completely 'diss' LOTR because I know it has many, MANY fans, but I still must agree that to me this simply means that HP and PoTC will simply be forgotten in the history books. :(

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By in United States,

SUPER EXCITED! Good for the imagination and the minifig collecting! WooHOOO!

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By in United States,

Unlike HP and PoTC though, LOTR though has had a strong and devoted fan following for decades (it is over 50 years old now). Most of us who liked the direction Lego Castle was going with the dwarves are likely still unconscious after feinting in excited shock. I am very excited about this theme, though I don't think it will cause the other good liscenced themes (HP, IJ for example)of the past to fade into obscurity, websites like the one we are on do a great job of helping people discover the gems of the past. Speaking as a fan of the Star Wars, HP and Indiana Jones themes and as a huge Tolkein fan in general, I am super excited and anxious to see what Lego will do here. Whether you like it or not, LOTR has been instrumental in shaping the modern Fantasy genre in general, and to see the marvelous settings and characters of this series rendered in Lego should be truly amazing.

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By in Philippines,

For the big sets, I think they'll do it ala the starwars planet sets.

I also think they might do something like this:

http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=7949-1

then just rehash the wagon and put Gandalf and Frodo in it when they met in the first movie.

And let's not forget a lot of Old English Houses and cabins.

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By in Canada,

I couldn't disagree more with the "expect great minifigures but poor sets". We haven't seen any images yet and already some find it appropriate to dampen such a happy occasion. The Lord of the Rings has many sets which have to be scaled down... and from past sets in other themes (in my opinion) they didn't turn out bad. The Battle of Alamut (Prince of Persia) was obviously scaled down yet it looked great. At some point we need to differentiate between affordable models and MOCs built on a single man's budget. There's hundreds of possible sets Lego could choose to make, all of which can be made affordable and of great quality.

Give the theme some time and, like Starwars, we'll probably see some adult-directed sets which fit into the UCS and not our homes!

AND I don't like hearing Americans say their Lego is too expensive (to whom ever complains!!!) because I'd suggest you wait about one week for yet another SALE!!!

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By in United States,

Forget going broke in 2012, I'am worried about running out of room for sets.

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By in United States,

People are expecting this to last for years? Just like Batman, Indiana Jones, and Pirates of the Caribbean...seriously though, if there wasn't a new movie coming out, chances are there wouldn't be any sets. Using Indiana Jones and the recent Harry Potter rerelease as examples, we'll see a wave before the new movie comes out, about the time the movie comes out, when the movie's sequel comes out, and then one after the sequel comes out. Then that'll likely be it. They could still cover a great amount in that short time, give or take a couple waves, but stop counting your chickens before they hatch.

And Ypres-Most of us are only taking it with a grain of salt, what's wrong with that? We are less likely to be disappointed if they do come out nicely. But remember, even though POP had pretty nice sets which were scaled down, they weren't really movie accurate, possibly because the sets would of been in development at the same time as the movie. This would be understandable for The Hobbit, but I think the article says the trilogy will be the first wave, and those movies have been around for over ten years.

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By in United States,

This is going to be awesome. And a lot of the doubts that are being expressed, I don't share; I feel this is probably going to be more of an Indiana Jones than a POTC sort of theme.

Obviously the rollout is going to be much more similar to IJ than POTC; a wave based on the first trilogy, and THEN a wave based on the new movie. What stifled POTC was that the original trilogy sets were all but drowned out by the concentration on On Stranger Tides, which everybody went to go see but nobody liked very much. People like the first movie, but there was only one tiny set based on it, and that couldn't carry the theme. With IJ, however, even though a lot of people felt kind of 'meh' about the fourth movie, that theme wasn't killed by it because the first wave, based on the tried-and-true first trilogy, was so strong that sales could continue until the next waves, which gave a fair queue of nice sets. Even if people don't like The Hobbit (but really, it seems like it's much more foolproof than POTC4 or IJ4), the first wave can carry the theme through and get on to more LOTR sets.

The other thing that makes me hopeful is the fact that there are TWO Hobbit movies coming out, one year apart. So unlike IJ, that gives us Original trilogy wave (summer 2012), New Stuff wave (winter 2012), OT wave (summer 2013), NS wave (winter 2013), OT wave (summer 2014). By then, it could be so established that it'll keep going in perpetuity, like SW did in the interregnum between Ep III and SW:CW.

So that's my expectations for the more satisfying length of the theme. As for quality; the minifigures are going to be amazing, no matter what. And I think that LEGO ought to be able to make satisfactory sets around them. The solution that I see to the hugeness of some settings is this: Architecture scale. Sure, LEGO probably won't do it, but what if they did? Architecture scale towers!

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By in United States,

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Pt. 2) is rated 96% at rotten tomatoes and Pt. 1 has 87% for audience views, both of which are pretty good, but it isn't enough to carry Harry Potter on even though the last movie had a great score, is it?

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By in United States,

This is great news. Time for me to put on my reading glasses and actual read these things instead of just watching the movies.
Although I am happy, I have to say that this could NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS be bigger than the Star Wars line. Little kids really aren't into Lord of the Rings like they are Star Wars, and yes, no matter what you say, Lego is aimed at kids. I'm still excited and think it will have a descant run, with great figures.

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By in United States,

They should have a set of The Shire built similar to Medival Market Villiage, and Bilbo's house, and maybe Gandalf's cart thingy from TFotR, ah and I can't stop thinking about the minifigures! I hope they do the Hobbits right, I'm not sure I'd enjoy little legs on all of them but regular legs would ruin them, and what about big feet? And I hope Sam has orange/red hair the same color as Obi-Wan's. AND IMAGINE THE WEAPONS! I am a tad bit concerned for younger fans of LEGO, however. LEGO has been targeting themes for a higher-aged audience. Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Lord of the Rings are all rated PG-13 (the movies) as far as I know, and Harry Potter may be, too (I don't watch HP). So is Prince of Persia, I believe. Maybe LEGO made the Friends theme to tone it down a little, but from what I've seen in the media not too many people are friendly toward Friends ;P.

Also, I hope the video game (I'm sure they'll make one) is just one, not two games. LIJ and LIJ2 were totally different, and I have to say I prefer the first one. Then again I'm not sure they could fit it all into one game, but what I'm saying is they shouldn't make a game and then make a second that has the movies from the first COMPLETELY redone.

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By in Australia,

Well its about time!!!
Lets hope the sets are well thought out and more thought into creating the set and not the pakaging.
It will be most interesting to see what scale the minifigs will be. I am sure the Hobits are shorter than the Dwarfs. They might use Toy Story scale for the minifigs.

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By in United States,

^ I'm sure LEGO will try very hard. There are MANY LotR fans out there, and if LEGO messes up they face HUGE critisism.

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By in United States,

Just zoomed in on the picture of the ring, and it has elvish writing on it! Granted this is an animated picture but still, cool! Anybody got a translation?

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By in Australia,

Just to add to my previous posting.
PLEASE NO STICKERS!!!

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By in United States,

@Jay Kenobi ZX and spacehulk08- Yep, kids are very critical about small detials like that

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By in United States,

@ Carnigee77 Wow! Thanks for poiting that out! It translates to: "One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them."

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By in Australia,

IM SOOOOOOOOOOO HAPPPPYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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By in United States,

Lots and lots of brown and tan pieces :D

I guess an overwhelming demand, but isn't LotR series over?

LEGO never disapoints

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By in United States,

The best way for LEGO to approach larger sets would be to portion them out. Give us 3-4 action set-pieces that take place at Helm's Deep that can all be connected to make one mega playset (they touched on this idea with HP with Hogwarts sets). Ultimate Collector sets would be cool too but I think the theme will have to prove itself sales-wise before we see that. For now, I'd be happy with the minifigs and some sets that look good smaller (Bag End, Weathertop, Prancing Pony Inn, etc.). This is the theme I've been clamoring for since 2001.

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By in United States,

^^ Yes, but the Hobbit is coming out next year.

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By in United States,

"This year, shipments of Legos to stores between August and October are up more than 65%, according to Panjiva, a New York-based data firm."
- Right around when minifigures market started catching on... eh?

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By in N/A,

I don't see why these sets would be so bad.

Can't you imagine a simple shire, 2 smaller houses and with frodo, sam, gandalf, bilbo, merry, pippin,... . Like the kingdom "Mill village raid" set. Or maybe just one larger but nicely detailed hobbitsee. something like that shouldn't cost too much. and you'll normally get a great looking set.

Rivendel, Moria, Osgiliath,... perhaps even Isengard are setting Lego can make great sets of. and then we'll probably have smaller costing sets, which will mainly focus on minifigs (i hope).

Now we probably won't get a massive gondor/helm's deep set. more likely, we're going to get sets like the SW: battle of endor set. which I liked very much.

In any case, I'm very excited with this news, can't wait to see the first sets that "leak" :p

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By in United States,

This may not be as big as SW, but it'll be BIG. To me it will be just as good. And this is much bigger news than SW was, because I was only 1 at the time, and wasn't really into LEGO.

I wonder how they'll do the Ring, the way it was in the picture, or different.

Oh, and I noticed in the logo, it's Saurons finger with the Ring on it.

And wow! This news article has over 100 comments! :{D}

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By in United Kingdom,

Lego have been doing stealth LOTR for many a year. Think, dwarves mine, forestmen, trolls (large and small ones = orcs), giant spiders and those evil looking castles. Just use a bit of imagination and invention and there you have it. I'm just saying......

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By in United States,

kem-dm-That's simple?

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By in United States,

Lego Sting! What will that look like?

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By in United States,

This could be their best selling theme yet! Give it up for LEGO!
I will have to get 2nd job and a bigger house for my armies!
Wonder how this will effect star wars theme though .....

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By in Sweden,

Hmm, Have to begin saving my money 'til summer.

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By in N/A,

@ berrybrick. Okay maybe not that simple when I think about it :p

yeah. maybe cut back on minifies in sets, like they do in star wars sometimes, and prices may be reasonable.

I do want a shire though :p

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By in Netherlands,

I saw the news only today since I didn't visit this sit for some time. Great news for a combined LEGO and Lord of the Rings fan. I wondered already for some time why this combination took so long !! Looking forward for some great sets since I'm already a Castle fan. This is going to cost me next year but I can't wait for the sets to come.

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By in United States,

Yessssssss! This is wonderful. However, now I am going to be very poor.

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By in United States,

well, i used to only collect castle, now to add this line

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