• The Mines of Moria

    Overall rating
    Building experience
    Parts
    Playability
    Value for money

    Cave Trolls, Goblins and One Amazing Set

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

    For me, this was the set I was most excited about when I first found out that TLC was releasing LOTR sets. Not only is the battle in Balin's Tomb still my favorite scene in the LOTR movies, but the set is chuckie-jam full of amazing minifigures. Plus, of course, there's the Cave Troll. And who wouldn't want to own a Lego Cave Troll?

    Parts

    Now, to be fair, there are a lot of stickers in this set. Personally, that doesn't bother me, in fact, I found that in this set, the stickers really enhanced the model. In particular, I really liked the stickers used to make the Book of Mazarbul . . . a little easter egg that really adds to the feel of the set. The stonework stickers and the wood stickers aslo helped accent the set. Call me crazy, but I liked them.

    As far as parts go, there are a few standouts:

    • The set comes loaded with minifigure accessories, including jewels, torches, books and more weapons than you can shake a stick at
    • Less common nowadays, but still exciting, are the numerous gray 2x1 "brick mold" bricks . . . you know, the ones that look like the side of a brick wall? Yeah, infinite uses with those babies
    • Finally, the set comes with a ton of lesser-known slope and cheese pieces, again, a treasure trove for any castle builder

    Minifigures

    As should be expected, the minifigures are fantastic all around. This set comes with 4 exclusives: Boromir, Pippin, and the Moria Orc (5 I guess, if you count the Cave Troll). Additionally, the set also includes Legolas (also available in 79008) and Gimli (also found in 9474, 79006, and 79008). So if you're hoping to collect the entire Fellowship, this set is a must-purchase. All of the minifigures have double-sided faces (Legoals, Gimli and Boromir have angry/neutral expressions, Pippin has scared/confused expressions, and the Moria Orcs have angry/angrier faces). The printing is fantastic all around, with Boromir and Gimli's torsos being a particular highlight for me. The torso patterns for Legolas and Boromir are both continued on their legs.

    The build

    The build was a blast, with multiple parts of the set incorporating fun/challenging builds. Balin's tomb was particularly awesome––more for it's importance to the scene than for anything else. Also enjoyable was the fact that TLC managed to include a lot of fun play features in the set, like collapsing walls, skeletons that tumble into wells, and hidden treasure chests.

    Overall opinion

    This set and Bag End are probably my two favorite Lego sets of all time. There are so many reasons to buy this set (minifigs, parts, collectibles, etc.), that I'm finding it hard to narrow my focus down to anyone thing. In short: buy this, and fast.

    2 out of 2 people thought this review was helpful.

  • The Mines of Moria

    Overall rating
    Building experience
    Parts
    Playability
    Value for money

    They've got a Cave Troll...

    Written by (TFOL) in United States,

    "They've got a Cave Troll."

    This is my personal favorite set in the LOTR. Reasons being it has the best price for the amount of pieces, best play features, some of the best characters, and the most awesome LEGO piece ever! (The Cave Troll) Now, to the pros and cons...

    Pros

    • The Cave Troll!
    • Legolas (one of the best minifigs yet!)
    • Pippin
    • Boromir
    • Gimli
    • Well feature
    • Doors are so awesome!
    • Detail is amazing!
    • Heroica weapons

    Cons

    • The Cave Troll's hammer is too heavy and he can't stand up unless arm is all the way back.
    • Tomb feature doesn't work too well
    • Door "knock-off" is slightly pointless.

    Overall, this is an amazing set and totally worth all the pros!

    2 out of 3 people thought this review was helpful.

  • The Mines of Moria

    Overall rating
    Building experience
    Parts
    Playability
    Value for money

    "Here lies Balin, son of Fundin, Lord of Moria"

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

    Finally after years of waiting we get this famous scene from the movie in LEGO! I think It is pretty well done, except for a couple minor flaws.

    Box/Instructions

    The box for this set shows the characters in action frighting the orcs and cave troll. When I opened the box it seemed like it was a little over sized but that's not too big of an issue to me. You get two instruction manuals. The first one contains directions for the gate, Balin's tomb, and the hole that Pippin tips the skeleton into. The second covers that back main wall with the collapsing pillars. Just as a note, it's not obvious from the box of the second instruction manual, but on instruction book 1 you can see that the background is actually the same one used in Shelob Attacks, the Stairs of Cirith Ungol which really isn't accurate at all.

    Parts

    In this set you get a lot of dark grey bricks which make up most of the set. But you do get some light grey and black as well. 19 of those dark grey bricks are the new "profile" bricks with the engravings on them to make them look more weathered. Plus there are tons of minifig pieces which are great.

    Minifigures

    Being a large sized set you get a fair number of minifigs. Like my other reviews I'll start with the good guys.

    Legolas: Being one of the most popular figures from the movie fans eagerly awaited the release of this minifigure. I'm glad to say he does not disappoint. His printing is fantastic, accurately representing the elf we saw in the movie. His leg printing is pretty good to which is a continuation of his top garments. He also has quite a bit of back printing even though you don't see it under the back of his hair. He also comes with a new bow mold which suits him much better than the old one would have. Back to his hair, some have complained about it because it doesn't leave room for a quiver. I actually like the hair piece he comes with quite a lot contrary to what other may think. I'm more concerned with his face. LEGO added lines on his cheek which doesn't really look like Legolas to me.

    Pippin: Since Pippin is the one who sets this scene in motion I think it was a good choice for LEGO to include him. He comes with his blue jacket and scarf which, by the way, is excellently done. There's a little back printing but like other hobbits, isn't too exciting, especially since his light green cape covers it up. He comes with a double face, one side is "neutral" while the other is "scared". His hair is like most hobbits only in light brown.

    Gimli: The minifig that LEGO has made for Gimli may be my favorite of the theme, and that's sayin' a lot. His beard piece, which makes up most of him, is fantastic on the front and the back. LEGO included all the braids, lines, and everything. His head is double sided but when you put him together you can't tell the difference except for his eyebrows which go from "normal" to "angry". His torso is amazing, from his belt and his tunic to the chain mail that shows at the top. His back is even more incredible with lots of detail. But the most astounding thing about this is that we never see it! It's all covered up by his immense beard! LEGO could have gone cheap on this guy but they didn't and I'm incredibly glad about that. Well done LEGO! One last thing I haven't mentioned yet is his helmet. All the lines are so accurate and clearly depict the dwarves' nature. I was so amazed I went back and watched part of the movie. Then I was even more impressed because all of the lines and designs match the movie perfectly! All in all I would buy this (or Helm's Deep) just for him alone! But fortunately I don't have to do that since there are lots of other great elements too.

    Boromir: Boromir, heir to the Stewardship in Gondor is also great in minifig form. The detail and colors are very well done. In this scene he's wearing his dark red shirt with an extra dark blue vest/light armour thing (I can't remember the name for it at the moment). His leg printing is a continuation of this and matches up with his torso perfectly. On the back is a little more printing but nothing impressive. He comes with a brown cape, a sword, and a specially printed round shield which is accurate to the move. His face is double sided. One expression is "neutral" while the other is "angry/fighting".

    Moria Orc(s): Every good battle scene has to have a villain(s). This set comes with two orcs, Moria orcs to be exact which are a little different from other orcs and I'm glad LEGO distinguished them by using a green color (which is accurate to the movie). Their legs are plain dark grey with a black belt. Their torso is a different story though. The armor is (again) very well done and is very "orkish" to say the least. Their heads are double sided but both faces are extremely similar. The main difference are the wrinkles between the eyes. That is still hardly noticeable and I've seen lots of reviewers overlook it. That part about them seems strange but I guess it's for people who don't want to have two of the exact same minifig. Their hair is like the elf ones except that their ears are more rough and stick more plus their hair is cut unevenly short.

    Cave Troll: I wouldn't normally label this guy as a minifig but if Brickset does I guess I can too. :-) He is a great replica from the movie with the grey spots on his back to the lines and shape of his head, and even to his 4 grey toes. With his roaring, open mouth he looks quite terrifying, for a LEGO piece that is. ;-) There's just one problem with him, he's unstable. If you take his club away he's fine but with it he won't stand up, unless you put him on a baseplate. The only way he'll stand up with his club is if he holds it above or behind his head.

    The build

    The build is pretty fun, maybe not quite so exciting since you're mainly building walls but it was enjoyable nevertheless. The main problem with this build (as many have pointed out) are the stickers which come in abundance. I don't think any other LotR has more than this one so people who don't like stickers beware! But they look nice when put on well.

    The completed model

    When finished the model looks pretty nice. It doesn't have that awe factor like some other sets but it still looks impressive. I don't think it works as well as a model but it has tons of playability with all the minifigs and play features. Speaking of play features most of them work well. The hole that Pippin knocks the skeleton down is the worst. It's hard to set up and then most of the time it doesn't work properly. The other problem spot is Balin's tomb. But this can be fixed by putting his legs straight up in the air, then it works very well. The gate part of the model feels quite a bit bigger than it looks in the pictures. It and the other wall are very dwarvish with their crystalline, geometric shapes which is pretty easy to do in LEGO. I haven't mentioned this yet but it comes with lots of extra weapons which is a nice addition.

    Summary

    All in all I like this set. The minifigs are superb, (most of) the play features work well, and there are lots of good bricks for building. But I still don't think it's my favorite of the theme, even with all the great features. The cost isn't too bad, $80 (USD), but it could have been better. This has tons of play opportunities for kids and it's a must have for LotR fans since all the minifigs (except Gimli) are exclusive. It doesn't work as well as a display though with all the loose parts and structures, but it could be managed.

    4 out of 5 people thought this review was helpful.

  • The Mines of Moria

    Overall rating
    Building experience
    Parts
    Playability
    Value for money

    Held back by a sheet of stickers

    Written by (AFOL , silver-rated reviewer) in United Kingdom,

    Wow. Just wow. This is set is almost perfect, and would be if it weren’t for one thing. Actually, 34 small, hard to place and even harder to place perfectly, stuck for eternity things. The stickers. They are the only thing that hold this set back, and I just don’t understand it. At least 18 of them could have been printed, like in other sets. What has Lego come to when not even the book is spared from the agony of stickers, when there are books in, say, Harry Potter sets that have wonderful printing? But the stickers are only one small downfall in an epic set, so I’ll move on.

    To make it easier, I’ll focus on the different constructions in the order they were built, which means the well is up first. The well itself is quite good. It’s a suitable size and is of decent construction, but has three stickers. When it came to placing the skeleton wrapped in the chain attached to a bucket, I had trouble getting it all to balance. Once it was balanced, although still dodgy, I would pull out the support to send it all crashing down to awaken the drums in the deep, only more often than not the skeleton got caught on the support and would stay clinging to it or flip over the side and land at Pippin’s feet instead. Until I removed the two 1x1 cheese slopes at the end and all my problems were fixed. The skeleton had a place to sit properly, which allowed the bucket to balance, and when it came down they all fell down the mighty three-brick-deep oblivion, never to be seen again. Until I wanted to do it again.

    Balin son of Fundin. Lord of Moria.

    To look at, Balin’s tomb is quite impressive. The ruins on top are straight out of The Fellowship of the Ring, which is a nice touch. But there are two issues I have with it, excluding the non-dwarf sized skeleton. Firstly, the lid doesn’t fit properly. The width is perfect, but the length is one stud too long. I know that stud is needed for it to be even, but it means the lid moves. A lot. And the second problem isn’t something I actually have a problem with, but it goes against what Lego has said, in that hitting the lever to send Balin’s skeleton up to knock the lid away doesn’t work. If I hit the lever hard enough the lid will shudder, which would be enough to creep you out, but the lid isn’t pushed off. The dwarves book of records is also included with the tomb. It is a fine book and looks great, as long as the stickers are placed carefully and exactly.

    Next is the doorway that the cave troll can bash his way through. I never thought I’d be impressed by a doorway, but Lego has proven me wrong. The doorway is very solid, which is great. There are some fantastic details, such as the ruins above the door, which I translated to: "Diordie Was Here". I’m not sure who Diordie was, or if that’s even correct, but I thought it was a great touch that he took the time to write that he was here. The doors are cool with their wood detailing. If you push on the doors the axe holding them shut will eventually flick up with potential eye hitting force, but I guess that’s part of the security measures. At least there are no flick-fire missiles. The final part of the doorway is a level that lifts up part of the wall to simulate the cave troll bashing his way in. This works as expected and can even crush a well-placed orc.

    Finally there is the, umm, I’m not sure what to call it so I’ll go with the stage, where Legolas can perform and show off his awesome archery skills. Before I had this set and could do nothing but drool over the pictures, I was excited to see a certain ruin on the spine of one of the books, the ruin Tolkien says in the Hobbit represents a hidden door. My imagination took that and went crazy, so I was quite eager to see how this hidden door worked, but alas there is no door. Just a fancy, yet fixed, bookshelf. Luckily there is a lot more to this stage to hold my disappointment at bay. I’ll start with the treasure, because everyone loves treasure. You can push from the back and slide the treasure chest forwards. Inside there is some gold and a couple of jewels, so you can’t really go wrong there. The second feature is really quite cool. The two pillars can be released by a lever at the back and fall forwards in a last attempt to crush the cave troll. On the stage are a couple of torches, a skull and a single bone, a barrel holding a pick-axe, another jewel, an old bottle, a book and a spear in a stand.

    Those are all the constructions, but the best is yet to come. Introducing: Legolas, Boromir, Pippin, Gimli, two Moria Orcs and a freaking cave troll! Legolas has two faces, a serious face and an angry face. His hair piece is really detailed, even including plats down his back, and of course, the pointed ears. He has his bow, but unfortunately, due to his long hair, he can’t have a quiver. I will be trying to find a cape for him though, because I think the whole fellowship should have their capes. Boromir as a minifig is awesome. The colours of his torso and legs are great and his shield is just perfect. His face and hair piece are the coolest, though. Even if his serious face does remind me more of Eddie Izzard than Sean Bean. Pippin has been translated into a minifig well – you can almost see him trembling as the cave troll approaches. The blue torso is great (it’s good to see he and Boromir are colour co-ordinated!) and I love that he has his scarf. You can’t help but feel bad for him when he has his scared face. Gimli looks even shorter holding his double bladed axe, but once he is standing on Balin’s tomb he is ready to take anything on. His helmet is brilliant, as is his beard. But I found it interesting that he has a double sided head, considering all you can see is his eyebrows and eyes. The two Orcs are identical, apart from their weapons of choice. Someone is clearly the favourite, though, because only one of them has a shield. Granted, the other has a cave troll, but that could be more of a liability. They have two faces, one with a slightly more open mouth than the other, but very little difference. Their hair pieces are the same as Legolas’, with the ears attached. But the cave troll steals the scene. He is massive! His arms spin all the way around, and his hands rotate likewise. The club is great, but must be too heavy for him because it pulls him over unless it is above his head. But my favourite feature is that he can hold a minifig by a leg, which is just awesome. (But again, only above his head so that he can balance.)

    And that’s about it. The set also comes with a weapons pack to be scattered around, which is a great added detail and I think it really makes the set when it is on display. Despite the couple of let downs (*cough* stickers *cough*), this is a fantastic set and one that everyone should get. It looks great on display, yet still has tons of playability.

    9 out of 10 people thought this review was helpful.

  • The Mines of Moria

    Overall rating
    Building experience
    Parts
    Playability
    Value for money

    Great minifigures and great pieces

    Written by (TFOL) in United States,

    Minifigures

    The two Moria Trolls are built great a reversable head and elf like ears with attached to the hair piece

    Gimli's helmet is probably the most detailed piece in this set, he has dwarf legs and a reversable head

    Legolas is built similarily like the trolls, he has ears that are attached to his hair piece.

    Baromir has a great orange hair piece and a nice shield

    Pippen has a new hair piece and also has dwarf legs

    Cave Troll is probably the best thing in the set, the only problem is that when he holds the hammer, you have to put his arm far back

    The set includes a trapped well, where you can pull a piece out, and the skeleton falls into the well

    Also the grave site is built so you can make the lid fly off

    The door is very nice, I love that you can put the axe in the slot to make the door not open

    The main structure is very nice and it includes rare pieces

    This set looks just like the scene in the movie, and is very playable, and the price is just right.

    ONe other added bonus is that the set comes with a orange brick seperator.

    3 out of 7 people thought this review was helpful.