• Gandalf Arrives

    Overall rating
    Building experience
    Parts
    Playability
    Value for money

    The first Gandalf of many

    Written by (TFOL) in United States,

    Most of the time, I only get smaller sets because my parents don't mind buying them for me. This one I actually really wanted, not only because I'm a huge LotR fan, but it comes with a ton of great parts, and two of the most important characters in the series.

    Parts

    This set comes with some wonderful parts and accessories, like a book, a carrot, a bag with a letter, and a red snake. It also comes with some different wheels that are bigger than the wheels on other carts.

    Minifigures

    None of the LotR series could've happened without Gandalf or Frodo! (Or Bilbo, who would've also been nice in this set.) This is the first time we see Gandalf, and at the time it was pretty cool, but now we've got tons of the same one and he's not so special anymore. He still looks nice though, and he has a dark grey wizard hat and cape. He holds a brown staff. Frodo looks great too, and I think this and the polybag are the only sets with him in this outfit. He has a double sided face, one happy and one sort of worried. There's also one of the new brown horses, obviously, who carries the cart.

    The build

    Like I said before, I always have fun building Lego sets, so I have nothing bad to say about the building experience.

    The completed model

    It looks adorable when finished, and I really like the placement of the fireworks and bag. It's very hard to get Gandalf to sit on the cart though, especially since there's no place for his cape.

    Overall opinion

    For $12, this is definitely a set worth buying, whether you're a Lord of the Rings fan or not. It comes with good pieces, one of the new horses, and two nice minifigs. Pick it up if you see it!

    6 out of 6 people thought this review was helpful.

  • Gandalf Arrives

    Overall rating
    Building experience
    Parts
    Playability
    Value for money

    A Fantastic Start to a Fantastic Theme

    Written by (AFOL , bronze-rated reviewer) in United States,

    Wow! What a great set. Is it small? Yes. Is it fairly simple? Yes. But despite that, in just 83 pieces, TLC managed to put together a perfect rendition of Gandalf's arrival in Hobbiton for Bilbo's 111th birthday.

    Parts

    Nothing too special here, although the use of a red cobra piece as the dragon firework that Gandalf infamously sets off over Bilbo's party is a clever move and a fantastic addition to the set. Also, I believe this is the first set to feature Lego's new horse model . . . and I'll admit, I'm impressed. Without looking too different from the earlier model, this new horse adds a ton of playability and "pose-ability" for AFOL MOCers.

    Minifigures

    Gandalf is superb, with a new beard mold and a torso with front and back printing. As far as Frodo goes, I've heard people complain about the simplicity of this model as if that's a bad thing. . . well, I couldn't disagree more! This version of Frodo is supposed to be simple. He is still living a carefree life in the Shire . . . his quest lies ahead of him. In this version of Frodo we get a front-and-back printed torso which captures Frodo's Shire attire perfectly. Both minifigures are superb, IMO.

    The build

    This is a simple model, so I was surprised to find the build quite enjoyable. I was especially pleased with the construction of the sides of the cart––with just a few pieces and the use of a clever building technique, the designers managed to give the cart an ornate, hand-crafted look that matches the look of the movie cart nicely.

    Overall opinion

    In short, this is a fantastic set, one that any LOTR/Hobbit collector should jump to get their hands on. You'll only need one, but it's definitely worth the cost.

    3 out of 3 people thought this review was helpful.

  • Gandalf Arrives

    Overall rating
    Building experience
    Parts
    Playability
    Value for money

    Small, but Excellent

    Written by (TFOL , gold-rated reviewer) in United States,

    Even though this is one of the smallest Lord of the Rings (LotR) sets it is still one of the best. It has tons of playability yest at the same time can be used as a display on that empty piece of furniture.

    Box/Instructions

    The box itself is one of the more flimsy types (which is used for nearly all smaller sets) that requires your thumb to tear open the one side. This is fine except for the people who try to keep the boxes in top condition. On the front of the box the entire set takes center stage (of course) with a picturesque background behind which is meant to look like the Shire.

    Parts

    For parts we get mostly tan colors which are so useful (but somewhat rare), plus one of the new horse molds. In the back of the cart we get several of Gandalf's fireworks (isn't the big, red, "dragon" one a Ninjago snake?). The two two brown wheels are also extremely nice.

    Minifigures

    The two minifgures in this set are both exclusives (to the first wave) which made it a must have being the LotR fanatic that I am. First I'll start with Gandalf. His legs are a plain dark grey and his torso is of the same color. On his torso are several folds in his clothes, even on the back. Most of the time you can't see them though since his cape and beard are on. (Speaking of the beard, without it he looks nothing at all like Gandalf :-) .)

    Frodo is sporting his green shirt with suspenders like when we saw him for the first time in the film. His hair is the same one we get with him in Attack on Weathertop and in Shelob Attacks. His face however, is exclusive (like his shirt). One one side we have a happy expresion while on the other side we have a worried look.

    The build

    The build itself is fairly simple, although there are some neat building techniques used in those four tan posts at the corner of the cart.

    The completed model

    When the model is finished it brings back all those memories from the movie (and book) when Gandalf rides into Hobbiton. The minifigs, build, parts, are all fantastic. I only have three small complaints.

    • There's not quite enough room for Frodo to sit beside Gandalf.
    • Sometimes the carrot and fireworks fall out the side/bottom of the cart.
    • The price is a little high, perhaps we could have gotten Bilbo, or a Ring?

    But it's still one of my favorite sets, especially when you put it beside Bag End. (a Hobbit set)

    Summary

    For being a small set it is fantastic. It's a great replica from the movie plus it has tons of play opportunities. The minifgures are great too. All in all it's one the best LotR sets.

    6 out of 6 people thought this review was helpful.

  • Gandalf Arrives

    Overall rating
    Building experience
    Parts
    Playability
    Value for money

    Fun little set packed with goodies; captures the spirit of Middle-earth

    Written by (AFOL) in United States,

    I rate all LOTR and Hobbit sets based on seven categories, listed below.

    Minifigs-8/10-They could have easily just given us Gandalf with this set, so props to Lego for including a special Shire version of Frodo. Both figs are beautifully rendered, especially Frodo, who's green and brown outfit is perfectly designed. Gandalf is generally lovely, although I would have loved if they could have found a way to incorporate his signature long hair, even if it were as an alternative piece to the hat. As of now, he looks like he's bald. Also, I understand the expense of making a new, infrequently used mold, but I really would have liked his staff to be a bit more than a brown stick. That being said his face gets the eyebrows just right, and having a Gandalf minifig is such a thrill to begin with.

    Parts-10/10-Lots of useful pieces. We get the new articulated horse, two big wagon wheels, a barrel, a book, a carrot, and a Ninjago snake (used as a firework). That's better than most sets that are twice as large.

    Build-10/10-Small sets usually aren't much of a thrill in this department, but this one certainly was. Watching the sides of the wagon come together in the way they do almost felt like assembling an actual horse cart. Nothing frustrating, but never boring, and extra points for achieving that given its size.

    Design-9/10-Again, the sides of the wagon are so cleverly developed, with the back piece both creating the angle of the sides and preventing them from collapsing in. I also love the "wooden" posts on either side. They really give the whole thing an appropriately rustic feel. My only issue is that there are small gaps between the sides and bottom, allowing small items to occasionally fall through.

    Accuracy/Fan Service-10/10-The model absolutely captures the charm of the scene and looks just like its movie counterpart, and the fireworks are a great detail, especially the big dragon firework. Also, I love that this Frodo gets a different face from the other version. He's less weary and more cheerful here, which is perfect as he has not yet received the ring or been injured by the Witch-King. I love having a more youthful Frodo.

    Playability-9/10-No actual play features, but they aren't necessary here, and would likely feel forced and tacked on. Clip-clopping Gandalf around on his cart is great fun, and the multitude of props adds a lot of playability. Gandalf sits a bit off center, which I believe is accurate, although a really wish there was room for Frodo to sit next to him, as he does in the film.

    Price-7/10-13$ for 83 pieces is fairly steep, although the license, new minifigs, and horse somewhat explain it. Still, I would have preferred it to be 10$.

    THE FINAL TALLY: 63/70 (90%), which puts this great little set at an A-

    3 out of 3 people thought this review was helpful.

  • Gandalf Arrives

    Overall rating
    Building experience
    Parts
    Playability
    Value for money

    "A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to."

    Written by (TFOL) in United States,

    After seeing several licensed themes come and go, I have decided that The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit theme is the best licensed theme since LEGO Star Wars hit the shelves way back in 1999. This is the smallest set from The Lord of the Rings theme (minus the polybags and the key chains). This set is perfect for an introduction of the LotR theme, due to the fact that it includes two main characters: Gandalf the Grey and Frodo Baggins. Even at $13 dollars, this set is worth every penny. Read on to find out why.

    MINIFIGURES:

    1. Frodo Baggins - In this set, Frodo is dressed in his Shire outift, and has not undergone the journey to destory the One Ring. The likeness to actor Elijah Wood is uncanny. He's wearing a light green buttoned shirt with brown overalls. His face has two sides: smiling and scared. The new Hobbit hair is perfect. His accessory is a book, true to the movie (despite the fact that the book is comically large when compared to him).

    2. Gandalf the Grey - Fantastic. In this set, he wears his grey robes, which don't have a lot of detail (which is okay, since his torso is covered up by his cape and beard). He wears a dark grey cape and a dark grey hat, and carries his staff with him (admittedly, it would've been nice if his staff resembled the one from the trilogy).

    PARTS - This set includes a nice selection of parts: a brown book, the Ninjago snake in red, a letter, a carrot, a wizard hat, Hobbit hair, the brilliantly designed new horse, and some fireworks. A good amount of part for a smaller set.

    BUILD - A quick, enjoyable build, with a couple of surprising techniques along the way.

    FINISHED MODEL - Lovely to look at, well-designed, and yes: do give into temptation and roll the cart along.

    SUMMARY - An excellent set, a perfect introduction to the LotR theme, two important characters, a beautiful model, and a new horse to boot, all for $13! This set also goes along well with 79003 An Unexpected Gathering. My verdict -

    10/10

    BUY THIS SET

    3 out of 3 people thought this review was helpful.