• The Battle Of Helm's Deep

    Overall rating
    Building experience
    Parts
    Playability
    Value for money

    A great set of a great battle from a great movie.

    Written by (TFOL) in United States,

    I got this set for Christmas, and it is one of my favorite sets ever. Almost everything about it is great: Its size, its minifigs, its playability, its build, its appearance--all excellent.

    Size: This thing is pretty huge. Even bigger when you connect it with the Uruk-Hai Army set.

    Minifigs: Great figs. You get 3 generic Uruk-Hai, which are great and make great army-builders; The Uruk-Hai Berserker, a great fig with great printing; Haldir, one of my favorite LotR figs, with his elven bow, red cape, yellow elven hairpiece, and extraordinaty printing; King Theoden, another of my favorites, with his great helmet and armor and excellent printing; Aragorn, not exclusive to this set but great nonetheless; and Gimli, also not exclusive but an excellent fig nonetheless. I only have one complaint with the figs: There should have been more Uruk-Hai than there are defenders. I guess that's what Uruk-Hai army is for, though.

    Playability: The dwarf catapult works pretty well, and can fling Gimli onto the causeway. The small catapult and the rock-drop features work pretty well. The exploding wall sometimes fails for me, but it works other times and is a very cool feature, even if the entire wall isn't always blown away. And, of course, there is tons of roleplaying fun to be had with this set.

    The Build: Took me hours to build. It uses a variety of interesting building techniques such as SNOT and rounded walls. Very enjoyable.

    Appearance: Epic. The rounded walls, tower, deeping wall--it just looks like the fortress from the second LotR movie.

    So, on to the pros and cons, then:

    Pros:

    Great figs

    Great size

    Great playability

    Great appearance

    Great build

    Lots of useful pieces

    Teams up with Uruk-Hai Army

    Pretty accurate to movie

    Cons:

    Exploding wall doesn't work 100% correctly all the time

    Needs more Uruk-Hai

    Overall: A great set.

    8 out of 8 people thought this review was helpful.

  • The Battle Of Helm's Deep

    Overall rating
    Building experience
    Parts
    Playability
    Value for money

    "Forth Eorlignas!"

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

    Out of all the first LotR sets this one is the best. It accurately depicts the fortress from the movie plus it has great playability for a fantastic price. Read on to find out why this is one of the best sets ever made...

    Box/Instructions

    The box is like all other LotR boxes with a dramatic, action packed scene on the front. On the bottom left is a 'box' where pictures of all the different types of minifigs are displayed. In the top right is a picture of Sauron's finger with The One Ring on it. The box seemed pretty full to me which is a good thing. There are four instruction books included. The first and second books have instructions for the gate and outer walls. The third book shows how to build the tower and the exploding wall and the fourth book shows how to build the inner keep.

    One curious thing about the box though is that it cuts off a couple studs at the end of the wall. On the box it looks a bit shorter than what it really is which is kind of surprising to me. You would've thought they'd try to show as much set as possible to make it look bigger.

    Parts

    Most of the parts in this set are light grey bricks which are always nice to have, especially for castle builders. There are 40 of the new engraved bricks in this set which is fantastic. These are used with the pale, light green bricks to add a lot of texture to the walls and to make it look older and more weathered. There's also a fair amount of dark grey slopes which are nice. It's hard to see from pictures but there are also a fair number of large castle wall pieces like the ones used in other generic castles. Unlike those however Helm's Deep is not built around those, instead they are used in effective ways which work well. (It seems like other castles designed around a few large bricks). We also get lots of fantastic minifig parts as well as some rare gold and green colored pennants.

    Minifigures

    The minifigures in this set are amazing. Like most of my other reviews, let me start with the good guys.

    Gimli: I have a detailed review of him in my Mines of Moria review but let be say just this. All the detailing on him is amazing, especially his helmet. I went back and watched part of the movie and checked them side by side and the LEGO pieces are as accurate as can be.

    Aragorn: I also reviewed him before, this time for Attack on Weathertop. But let me just say this, he is also very accurate and looks suitably like the weather worn ranger that he his with his scruffy face and worn out clothes. His leg printings are nicely done plus he comes with one of the newer sword molds which is fantastic.

    Haldir: Since some Lothlorien elves came to the battle in the movie (unlike in the book) Haldir was included and I'm so thankful for it. His torso has some of the best printing I've seen. Included are all the intricate and detailed parts and elements of his clothing and armour. When I first saw him I was almost at a loss for words. Incredible job LEGO! His leg printing is fantastic as well which matches up perfectly with the rest of his body. He also has a very nice back printing but that can't be seen under his two capes. Yes, 2. I don't know exactly why he has two but I suppose it makes it a bit thicker and a little less flimsy. Anyhow, I'm certainly not going to complain about it. His face is double sided. One expression has a "neutral" look while the other is his fighting expression. At first I thought his head was the same as Legolas's but after close examination I found that they have slightly different eyebrows and mouths. Other than that they look identical. Hmm. I suppose all elves sort of looked alike. (At least in Peter Jackson's films). Haldir's hair is identical to Legolas's though and so is his fantastic longbow.

    King Theoden: King Theoden is just as good as Haldir or maybe even better. His legs are printed with a nice chain mail. His torso is designed to look like his green tunic with a red undershirt like the one we see in the rest of the film(s). His head is double sided. One side is "happy" while the other is "angry/fighting". But the really incredible part about him is his armour. I've never seen such fabulous printing on a LEGO armour piece before in my life! All the lines and designs in it right down to the two horses on his chest. Then comes his helmet. It's the same mold as Eomer's but the level of detailing is astounding. All the designs are so accurate to the movie. He also comes with a sword and a round shield with, again, amazing detail. Out of all the licensed themes I don't think I've ever seen so much detail and effort put into its [the theme's] minifigs. Incredible, fantastic job LEGO!

    Uruk-hai: Again, I reviewed these in the Urak-hai Army set so I'll just make a few notes here: Again, they are incredibly accurate, as well as menacing and tough looking. They all have fantastic new weapons. They both have double-sided heads too. One side is angry while the other is even more angry. On that side there's the white hand of Saruman on them so I guess that would explain for the extra surge of rage and anger.

    Berserker Uruk-hai: These guys were the toughest soldiers in Saruman's army. Their job was to simply get as many enemies before they were killed. Consequently these guys got the toughest jobs including this one who lit the bomb to blow up the wall. His legs are a simple brown with a grey middle section. His back and torso are nicely printed with two white hands across the chest. He also has some back printing too. Instead of giving him a helmet they made his head grey. I like this decision because the Berserker's helmets were fir tighter than the other Uruk-hai. Consequently there is no double face but there is back printing on the head. His mouth is open showing his teeth suggesting that he's yelling as he runs to the bomb. All in all he's quite intimidating, for a LEGO minifigure. Especially with that big, black, flaming, torch.

    The build

    The build is quite fun even though some sections are a mirror image of each other (e.g. the outer walls). But I had no problem with this. It's always a challenge building round structures with LEGO but the designers did a fantastic job with this one. It looks nice, even, and is surprisingly sturdy. In the walls are periodically placed the engraved and pale green bricks to add more texture to it which looks outstanding.

    The set is built modularly which makes it nice to build as a family or other small group. Especially since each instruction book is for a different part. Even though I get quite a few LEGO sets and even though it is mostly walls I haven't had so much fun building a set in ages.

    The completed model

    The completed model looks fantastic. Even though it is downsized it captures all the awe and "epicness" from the movie. From the causeway up to the gate to the tower, it look incredible. It looks wonderful as a display but it has tons of playability with it too. I don't exactly know what the skeleton head inside the ramp is for though... Inside Theoden's throne room are some nice additional weapons plus some golden cups and plate. There's also a nice banner on the wall too. The exploding wall is also one of the best parts. It's one of the most original "play features" I've seen. Instead of exploding into one of two pieces this explodes into several (5) which looks a whole lot better (even though it takes a little longer to set up). Occasionally when I didn't press the lever fast enough the bottom piece wouldn't fly out. But, when I turn the top part of the lever so that it faces in towards the stream it solves the problem.

    LEGO also added in a touch of humour by adding a box at the bottom of the ladder that leads to the horn. (If you don't understand what I mean you'll have to watch the movie). The only problem with that is that they didn't include Legolas which puzzled a lot of fans including myself since Legolas was a key part of the battle. Oh well, I guess they just wanted to make you buy the Mines of Moria (which I would've done anyway even if he was included). One more great thing about this set is its price. Most licensed sets are overpriced but this one isn't. 9.5 cents per piece is a good deal, especially with all the great elements and features. Thank-you LEGO! All in all this is one of my favorite sets that I own.

    Summary

    This very well could be the best set of the theme and maybe even one of the best sets of 2012 (maybe Bag End would take that spot, I don't know). Whatever the case, this is one of my favorite sets I recommend getting it before it's discontinued. Don't miss out before it's too late!

    9 out of 9 people thought this review was helpful.

  • The Battle Of Helm's Deep

    Overall rating
    Building experience
    Parts
    Playability
    Value for money

    One of the best of 2012

    Written by (TFOL) in Australia,

    The Battle of Helms Deep recreates those scenes in the movie where Edoras' inhabitants are at Helms Deep to defend from a Uruk-hai attack orchestrated by Saruman. Is this worth $200 AU, or should it stay on the shelf? Read on to find out!

    Box/Instructions

    The box is shiny. That was my first thought. It has the Lego logo where it should be, and the LotR logo next to it. On the other side of the top banner, there is a close-up of Sauron's finger, and the One Ring. Underneath, there is a very nice photo of the set and all the minifigures in battle. Usual stuff, age rating, piece count, etc. are just underneath the logo. The back shows the usual, play functions, the other side of Helms Deep, more close ups.

    Upon opening the box, 9 (!) bags full of 1,368 small, plastic bricks fall out, along with 4 (!!) instruction booklets and 6 stickers. Not much to say here, really.

    Parts

    Not many parts are really notable, and if they are I'll mention them in the next two sections. Mainly the next section.

    Minifigures

    All of the minifigures are amazing, and really deserve to be in this set. They are separated over bags 1,3,5 and 7, which is a shame.

    First, there's the three Uruk-hai, who only differ from their weapons and armour. They all have a double-sided head, one angry, and one angry with the White Hand on it. Each has a wonderful helmet (hardly giving their faces any difference), with two having Orc Shields, two having Uruk Swords (one with shield), and the sword-wiedlers having chestplates. The other shielded Uruk has some dirty great axe thing, which is just way too big. The Uruk are just amazing.

    Aragorn also appears in Weathertop, but I got him here with a misprinted shirt, but I think this one looks better and more accurate. He also has two faces, neutral and sneering. His hair is the same as Dastan's (colour and all, I'm sure) and his shirt, going off my Weatertop Aragorn is supposed to be a blue shirt with a brown coat thing, which continues onto his legs, and they're the same colour as his boots in the movie. He has a new sword, which I expect to become the standard sword for all themes. Aragorn is a little bit plain compared to other figs in this set, though.

    King Théoden is one of three exclusives, and he deserves to be in this set more than any other. I think the helmet might be a new mould, but it is definitely a new and great print, which is good. The chestplate is also well-printed and underneath is a nice shirt piece that, unfortunately, doesn't run with his shirt. His face can be either smiling or sneering, even though he smiles the least in the movies. He wields a sword and a Rohan shield, which is in Uruk-hai Army and is the same mould as Captain America's Shield. Théoden is probably the best figure in the set.

    The Beserker is another exclusive and is the last Orc in the set. His head should be brown, but it's gunmetal instead, which is actually his mask. Oh well, at least his chest is nice and brown, and it has the White Hand print on it. His legs have no print, and he holds a torch to set the bomb off. More on that later...

    Haldir is the final exclusive, and probably the most disappointing. He looks a LOT like Legolas, and that can get very confusing. He even has the same hair as him, and expressions, with subtle differences in the face. He wears a reddish cape and a mixture of red and gold, and holds the same bow as Legolas. He could be used as Legolas, but Legolas never wore gold. Overall, he felt like the worst figure in the set, but none were too bad.

    Gimli also appears in Moria, and no misprints with this one. He uses short brown minifig legs, and has a nicely printed shirt that is covered by his fantastic beard mould. Seriously, I don't think any beard, even from the Hobbit sets, beats this one. His two faces are unimportant because the beard an the helmet cover them. Speaking of the helmet, it is just fantastic, printing and all. Even though you can get him in Moria cheaper, this set just wouldn't be complete without him.

    The build

    Very long. If you're going to do this in one go, like I did, prepare for the long parts in bag 6. Unless you have the rest of it clicked together perfectly, they will be a bit frustrating. Otherwise, it's both simple and fun.

    The completed model

    Oh man, this is one big set. Longer than the Star Destroyer of 09, this is full of stuff, from exploding walls to 'Toss me.'

    The main gate is where the Uruk-hai try to get in, with nice brick-built doors and catapults that I never use. On top, you can easily find a spot for Haldir and possibly Legolas, if you have him. It is surrounded by two walls and the keep, which I will explain later. The walls are perfect for the ladder to cling on to and the Orcs to climb. There is a play function where you can put Gimli on a catapult-like thing and toss him. It ends up overshooting most of the time.

    The horn tower can easily fit a minifig on it's ladder and they can blow the horn. No sound brick, but you can think something up.

    The exploding wall really explodes! (Plastic bomb included) Using a simple Technic mechanism, and flat tiles, the wall can be forced to tip over. (Does not explode 10 feet in the air. Always read the label.)

    The keep is where your heroes can go and rest after a hard day battling. There really isn't much in here, but there is a chicken leg and a mouse. Something could be made up about a cheeky mouse stealing chicken legs...

    But that's not all! You can even connect set 9471 to make an extended wall. That gives you Eomer and a Rohan soldier as well as 4 more Uruk-hai to make your armies bigger.

    Summary

    This is probably one of the best sets of 2012, and would be a definite purchase if I wasn't for the horrendous price in Australia. Overall, this is definitely a great set. I would recommend it any day.

    2 out of 2 people thought this review was helpful.

  • The Battle Of Helm's Deep

    Overall rating
    Building experience
    Parts
    Playability
    Value for money

    "Legolas shoot him" oh wait he isn't included!

    Written by (TFOL) in Europe,

    Well... This is by far the best Lego castle lego has ever made. It's large and fun and amazing to look at. Read on to find out why I think this set is so great

    Box/Instructions

    …the box is very attractive supporting a dark mountain where helms deep is set in the movie, the two towers. There is rain heavily pouring to give it the dramatic feel from the movie scene. It shows the minifigures supporting there double sided faces whilst in battle against the four urukhai included. It also promotes the new horses rear leg feature, where it can pivet upwards. The instructions are split into four large books, two for the towers and curving defence walls, one for the inner helm and one for the wall and helm tower. There were no mistakes in the instructions and were very clear. All include a advertisement for other sets and the 4 th book has a large gallery with all the themes figures and a very large part list. In the top right of the box, the one ring is boldly seen with The Lord of the rings logo is seen in the top left. The minifigures included are displayed in the bottom left. All in all very well done.

    Parts

    ...the parts will be a big draw for hardcore fans, what with the 1368 pieces. Averaging at 7.309 p per piece it is very affordable and a good deal, considering there are a lot of large pieces in this set. There are 40 of the new texture (brick) pieces and many other corner and pillar pieces. They come in numbered bags up to nine so not a quick build! All in all this set makes a great parts pack for those that don't need or want the castle.

    Minifigures

    …the 8 minifigures included in this set are perfect and 3 of them are currently exclusive to this set. Firstly we get 3 Uruk hai warriors. 2 of these are fully equipped with a chest plate and a brand new shield and sword. They also sport the urukhai helmet piece which covers most of there detailed head, which is double sided, one with the white hand of sauraman, the other looking very angry. The other only wears a helmet and carries a large Lego axe, no chest plate or shield, so you can see the great detailing on the torso. The 4th urukhai is exclusive to the set, the berserker urukhai. He is incredibly detailed, sporting a new face print with back detailing and also a brand new torso print. He carries the famous torch in which he uses to light up the bomb. On his chest he has the white hand printed on. On to the heroes in which we receive four, two of which are exclusive. Firstly we get Aragon and Gimli, two of the three members of the fellowship to fight in the battle. These ate both in one other different set, however they are quite expensive meaning there not at all that common. They both have double sided heads and Gimli is very nice, with his short legs and long beard (almost to long?!?!) they are very nice figures but the question we all want to know, where is legolas. I know he is included in mines of moria but it would of been nice to receive him in this set. However the two exclusives redeem his lost. Fitstly we get halidr, the elf to bring the Elven warriors to helms deep. He is amazingly detailed with gold and burgundy patterns on his torso and legs making him insanely detailed in appearance. He has a cape ( I found the material much more flimsy than usual, my set came with 2) and a very nice double sided head. He sports the same long Elven hair as legolas which is very blonde. Fmyou don't own a legolas figure halidr could be a appropriate replacement. Finally is king theoden. He is very nice with his brown helmet (same mold as workers in urukhai army and the rohan soldier) with amazing gold patterns printed on. He has a nice torso print, but this is covered up by a very nice chest plate which is covered in gold printing. He carries a green and gold shield and a sword. All in all very nice figures but could include a rohan soldier and a legolas.


    The build

    …the build took me around 4 hours and was very straight forward with some intresting techniques. It was separated into 9 bags so a very simple build. It was enjoyable and due to separate manuals, it could be a family project so every one could build a different modular to the castle. I built it alone but young children may struggle due to theolder age range of the set ( box says 10-14). You build five different modulars to the castle towers, 2 curving walls, tower and deeming wall and the inner helm (room). A very fun and relaxing build and not to challenging.

    The completed model

    …the completed model looks extraordinary. Lego really have proved themselves worthy of making a great castle with this model. The inner helm has a detailed dining hall where you can sit figures at the table whilst theoden has a well built Brock throne, includes sticker. There is panels all around the walls so figures can stand around. The creeping wall is nice as it includes a very nice exploding wall function where it explodes into five pieces to reveal a gaping hole in the wall. The wall can also connect to urukhai army to increase the size, just slot it into the pins. The tower wins the tallest build with a fantastic ladder leading up to the top where you can see the helm hammer head horn. A Verny nice touch. Lego also included a box for Gimli referring to the famous line in the movie. On the edge of the towers is a door where Aragon and Gimli can escape and jump onto the walkway, using the catapult feature. Again accurate to the movie. It really does look epic and looks great on the shelves. An amazing play item.

    Summary

    …all in all the best set of the year in my opinion. It really is large, around 50cm wide and is definitely worth the high value. So if your thinking about it don't hesitate, go and buy one. Makes a great holiday gift. Thanks for reading and I hoped I helped you.

    6 out of 6 people thought this review was helpful.

  • The Battle Of Helm's Deep

    Overall rating
    Building experience
    Parts
    Playability
    Value for money

    Don't hesitate with this set.

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

    Nevermind it being a LOTR set, I think this is the greatest castle set Lego has ever produced. It has a much more realistic feel to it. Instead of merely consisting of a facade, or a cramped little interior, this set is almost as deep as it is wide, and is open enough to be playable inside and out. The castle conists of 5 modular wall elements that can be connected in any order, and set 9471 can also connect to make an even bigger wall. If money isn't an issue, you could buy two and make a giant castle layout. This set just ends up having an epic feel I think is worthy of Helm's Deep. There is a separate throne room section that sits inside the wall, but isn't connected (there is a ramp on the top that can be layed on the outer wall). One of the wall sections has exploding action to recreate the movie scene, but instead of just a wall section falling over, it literally explodes into 5 seperate sections and gives the action a satisfying feel. It also contains a total of 8 figures, orcs and heroes, to reacreat the battle. Add in 9471 and it feels more like the epic battle scene of the movie. $130 is a lot, but you are getting a lot with this set!

    5 out of 6 people thought this review was helpful.