Set #: 79006
Hello fellow Bricks of the Dead lovers!
Sorry for the long wait between reviews, but non-LEGO® life has been busy and the to-be-built sets have been continuing to pile up (five more ready to open), it looks like I’ll be able to get a few more done in the near future and knock out my stock pile. Today I will be reviewing the second set from the second phase release of the Lord of the Rings theme: The Council of Elrond.
Out of the box
So out of the box you get two bags, the instructions, and a loose sticker sheet. Inside the bags we have smaller bags protecting Arwen and Elrond’s hair pieces and Gimli’s helmet, also have the small cardboard box protecting Elrond’s cloak. The box is quite a bit bigger than the contents inside, and thus they slide around a lot, along with the sticker sheet being loose, it seems a bit odd. In my opinion they could have reduced the box by about a third of the size, and still been ok.
The main platform and seats
The first bag contains everything to build the main platform and includes Frodo and Gimli minifigs. We start off building the base in two halves and joining them together utilizing the machination for the Eye of Sauron reveal play feature as the join. This reminded me a lot of the zombie graveyard build from the Monster Fighters theme, and leaves us with a strong sturdy base for the pretty stuff to go onto. We then construct three seats, a round table that holds the ring, and a small tree in a Rivendell (Autumn) color scheme. The play feature of this section is a hinged part of the floor which Gimli (aka a minifig) gets launched from when you push the hidden rod, the launcher stays up and reveals the Eye of Sauron underneath the floor near the table. The Eye is just a sticker on a red block, which I haven’t put on in the photos.
We move onto the second bag which has the components for a building along with Arwen and Elrond minifigs. The building is a nice way to illustrate a bit of Rivendell architecture and even has a tree integrated into the building acting as the one of the four support pillars that holds the roof up, detailing is provided by grey tiny minifig statues and different coloured cheese slopes acting as tiling. There is a nice staircase which is cleverly built to keep the Rivendell theme going, and a weapon rack that holds Sting and a Bow. The roof is hinged on two technic pins which creates the slope. This then joins by a couple more technic pins to the first platform to give us our built set.
We will start with Gimli and Frodo who are pretty much exactly the same as we have seen before, Frodo is cloakless, has the ring and sting but also sports two new faces double printed on the head (worried & angry), this is the only difference for Frodo. Gimli is identical to the other set releases so far, has a high level of detailed printed onto faces and torso even though you don’t see them under all that hair, helm and gruff dwarf mannerisms.
Elrond and Arwen are new minifigs to the line. Arwen sports a rubberised hair piece, a bow, a plain blue “dress” and a double print face, which almost look identical. There is some nice detailing on the torso which along with the hair gives the Arwen look. Elrond is the star of the minifigs in the set for me. He also has a rubberised hair piece, double print face, well detailed torso and a dual colored cloak. One side is red, and the other is a rusty orange color. When you put him together he looks awesome, and a very nice representation of Elrond. When I pack this set up, I’ll keep Elrond out and kicking around my desk.
I’ll get my constructive criticism out the way first so I can finish on a positive note. There are only three seats, and to me the Council of Elrond is a big deal in the story, we had multiple races coming together to essentially decide the fate of Middle Earth. I wish LEGO® had taken this on board and either made this a bigger set, or sacrifice the random weapon rack building for more seats in its current size, however with Elrond’s cloak getting in the way, and with the other three not having bending legs, none of the minifigs can actually sit in the seats provided in the set as it is, so maybe three is too many.
All this is no drama to me and is merely my personal observation that I felt like sharing; I’ll just go and build my own bigger version with more seats and use figs from the other sets.
Now the positives on the set as is. I like the integration of trees and foliage into the building itself and the Rivendell feeling really comes through nicely on the set overall, as mentioned earlier I also find the Elrond minifig to be great. The play feature of launching Gimli works in the fact that when he hits the ring the Eye pops up and he gets flung across the room, it also works because my three year old daughter thought it was hilarious, and kept wanting to make Gimli fly.
Overall, if you see this set on special pick it up. Worth it for pieces and the Elrond minifig, and if you have a little kid that likes launching minifigs.
Tune in next time for the Battle of the Black Gate!