Mini review: 79004 Barrel Escape

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79004 Barrel Escape79004 Barrel Escape is what LEGO call a 'market driven' release which I think means that, other than direct from LEGO, it's only available in a given country when a specific retailer wants it as an exclusive. In the UK it's Toys R Us; I'm not sure about the USA.

Not having seen the movie yet, I can only guess that it's some sort of tavern with a prison cell in or next to it, and going only by the action scene on the box (and the name of the set), it appears that Bilbo releases the dwarves, who presumably are being held captive by the elves, from the cell, and they escape in beer barrels.

The main structure, consisting of a barrel ramp, a bar and the cell, is hinged in two places. The set also contains a weapons rack, table and chairs and a free-standing barrel stand. There are three of those nice gold elven-swords that Elrond brandishes in 5000202, and two spare One Rings. If you have all the LotR sets you'll have quite a collection of spares by now!

 

79004 Barrel Escape The set comes with 5 minifigs, from L to R: Mirkwood Elf Chief, Mirkwood Elf Guard, Bilbo Baggins, Gloin the Dwarf, and Oin the Dwarf.

Bilbo is the same as that in 79000, reviewed last week but the others are unique to this set.

 

79004 Barrel Escape They all have double-sided heads and printed backs. I'm not sure if the Elf chief looks happy or scared!

 

79004 Barrel EscapeThere isn't a lot of 'action' in the set. The cell doors can be opened and the barrel ramp can be raised so that the barrels, with dwarves inside, roll down thus making their escape. The only other action involves sitting the figs in the bar and drinking which, while fun for many of us, probably isn't too exciting for kids :-)

This is not a terribly exciting set to play with, then, but it's well designed and full of useful pieces. Although I've only built three of the Hobbit sets so far, I suspect this may be the weakest of them. Nevertheless, the Hobbit completest will need to buy it for the 4 unique minifigs.

15 comments on this article

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By in Norway,

I would suggest reading the book, as you won't see this scene before the next film. It's a wine cellar, not a tavern.

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By in Netherlands,

Thanks for the review Huw!
You may not find it a "terribly exciting set" but I for sure like it a lot. The minifigs are excellent, and there seem to be a lot of nice parts included in the set. And, yes, I admit I am one of those LOTR/Hobbit completest collectors. I probably want two of this set, because of the two elves included in this set. I hope TLG will make more sets with more (different / unique) elves in them. I cannot wait for a Rivendell and a Loth Lorien set with an Arwen and a Galadriel minifig included!
ps.
Indeed, by now I have enough rings to set up a Lego jewellery MOC
pps.
The only thing which is a huge bummer is that none of all these really nice LOTR polybags are ever available in The Netherlands, and as a consequence I own none of them.

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By in Canada,

Elf #1 is quite happily in his cups... ^^

I actually quite enjoy this set. I like the colors and concept, and it can easily work as a medieval 'tavern' too!

@Big Legoski - A lothlorien set could be very interesting, if made large enough. I would assume Rivendell gets a set next year, I *hope* it's big - I would actually prefer it as a large adult-oriented set a la Diagon Alley or the Haunted House. =)

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By in United Kingdom,

I would suggest reading the book too! It's a great read even if the style is ever so slightly childish. Can't wait for the movie to come out!

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By in United States,

Yes, this set makes a lot more sense if you've read the book :)

And of course, these go on sale at midnight (27th), just as the holiday promotion ends :(

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By in United States,

^^^ Yeah, OMG, haha, I noticed it too!! To answer HUW's question, "I'm not sure if the Elf chief looks happy or scared", I definitely think that his alternate face makes him the world's first overtly DRUNK minifig!! XD

A rogue move for TLG, huh? Although I remember their policy specifically forbids "drinking in any modern-day context", so Pirates, Vikings, Knights, and Elves getting sloshed are all fair game, but never so obvious!

P.S. - There was a very nice animated version of The Hobbit from the '80s, if you have 90 mins and Netflix Streaming.

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By in United States,

Oh yeah the animated movie (1977)...actually watched that not too long ago:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hobbit_%281977_film%29

It was made by the same people who did the classic rudolph and frosty show. It's not bad at all. Of course it's not the same as reading the book but luckily this was a movie I found -after- reading the book :) If I knew it was out there, I probably would have watched the movie instead of reading it!

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By in United States,

This is a great looking set and a very memorable part of the book and I'm fairly surprised that TLG has produced all thirteen dwarves. (pleasantly surprised that is!) I also believe the Elven weapons are called glaives.

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By in United States,

I'm getting that for Christmas!!!! I can't wait! :-)

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By in United States,

And I think the Elf Chief's backwards face just makes him look like he's drunk :P

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By in United Kingdom,

I rather like this set, it certainly has a fun feature in the form of the rolling barrels and as a parts pack it looks excellent to me! Thank you for the review Huw.

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By in United States,

This set is being sold at Toys R Us. I just picked one up, along with the other Hobbit sets at a Wisconsin-US store. Toys R Us is running a buy one get 50% off promotion right now, which will put the total cost less than MSRP if you get the more expensive ones together.

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By in United States,

I am reading The Hobbit with my daughter and we just read the chapter that describes the Barrel Escape last night! Both elves in the book get drunk and fall asleep and that's how dwarves get their chance to escape (with Bilbo's help of course). So you were absolutely right about "drunk" face :-). I can't wait to get this set, only wish they would include more barrels so we could fit all of the dwarves in. Also wonder if they would float :-D

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By in Canada,

US/Can - the Hobbit sets are buyable at shop@home with the free shipping for the next, what, hour and few? I'm trying very hard not to get Barrel Escape here, we're broke and xmas is coming, but damn, free shipping!

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By in United States,

Hobbit sets are now buyable on Lego.com, free shipping still in play.

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