LEGO Lord of the Rings

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The Christmas wish of many AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) are coming true, well at least they will next year. ;)

That’s right folks, LEGO Lord of the Rings is finally becoming a reality. The LUG (LEGO Users Group) forums are burning with all the back and forth chatter, Facebook is buzzing with the news, and as my friend Wes coined “It is as if a million wallets suddenly cried out, and were suddenly
silenced.” :D

Building Sets Based on Epic Film Trilogy and Forthcoming Theatrical Release Slated for 2012

Warner Bros. Consumer Products and The LEGO Group announced today a partnership that awards the world’s leading construction toy brand exclusive rights to develop build-and-play construction sets based on THE LORD OF THE RINGS™ trilogy and the two films based on THE HOBBIT™. The multi-year licensing agreement grants access to the library of characters, settings, and stories for THE LORD OF THE RINGS property, as well as films The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again.

LEGO® THE LORD OF THE RINGS construction sets are slated for a rolling global launch beginning in June 2012 in the United States, with LEGO THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY scheduled for later in the year.

“Only LEGO, with their expertise in the construction category, is capable of doing justice to the incredibly imaginative environments depicted in the world of THE LORD OF THE RINGS and the two films based on THE HOBBIT,” said Karen McTier, executive vice president, domestic licensing and worldwide marketing, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “These films give life to amazing worlds and characters and we are thrilled to bring fans these products that deliver an imaginative play experience befitting of these beloved properties.”

The LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS collection will translate into LEGO form the epic locations, scenes and characters of Middle-earth as depicted in all three films, including The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

In late 2012, LEGO THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY will give fans of all ages a chance to build and play out the fantastical story and new characters of the legendary Middle-earth adventures depicted in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey from Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, slated to premiere December 14, 2012.

“Our collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products has delivered numerous worldwide successes in the construction toy aisle with lines like LEGO HARRY POTTER and LEGO BATMAN, introducing us to loyal audiences who love great stories, strong characters and the toys that they inspire,” said Jill Wilfert, vice president, licensing and entertainment for The LEGO Group. “It’s particularly exciting to now be able to create sets based on the fantasy worlds and characters from THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and the two films based on THE HOBBIT, not only because we know they will foster collectability and creative play, but also because these are two properties that our fans have been asking us to create for years.”

Information about the sets and collectible minifigures from both collections will be unveiled at a later date at TheLordoftheRings.LEGO.com.

So the rumors that have been floating around about a TT Hobbit game are probably true. I really can’t see LEGO not putting out a video game to tie-in with the movie and sets.

The really interesting thing — and you have to take it with a grain of salt — but many years ago a friend of mine (who now works for Weta but didn’t at the time) told me that a friend of his said (that’s right, this is third hand) LEGO was offered the license for the LOTR movies the first time but they turned them down because LOTR was too violent. Perhaps because Hobbit is a friendlier, less violent story (I’ve always liked it) LEGO thought it was appropriate. More likely, its because LEGO sees that they really missed the boat last time.

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4 Responses to “LEGO Lord of the Rings”

  1. Purple Dave Says:

    Regarding the reasons they turned down the LotR license the first time, I expect it was a combination of things. They knew how violent the LotR trilogy got, and weren’t comfortable with it. They’d also recently signed on for the Harry Potter series _before_ they knew how dark the series would get in the later books, and we know they’ve had an issue with putting what they perceived to be competing themes on the shelves. So, no Space while the Star Wars theme was active, no Castle while Harry Potter was still active, and no Pirates as soon as they landed the PotC license. While they’ve relaxed this rule a bit for Space and Castle themes, it was still in full force when Fellowship came out.

    I think at this point they’ve relaxed their aversion to violence. I mean, they’re making official minifigs of Wolverine and Deadpool next year. Aside from the fact that nobody can ever kill either of them, there’s not a lot of non-violence associated with that pair. Certainly it’s the last thing people are likely to think of when those names come up.

  2. Katie Walker Says:

    Really? Wow. I guess I never thought that could ever actually happen. But…. yay!

  3. Purple Dave Says:

    Okay, here’s something that will make some people upset and others happy. I’ve had a few hours to let this information simmer, and after getting home I did some fact-checking. New Line Cinema produced the LotR trilogy with Peter Jackson. Due to their “creative” book-keeping, Jackson ended up suing them over royalties that he was owed (he was foolish enough to sign a contract for a percent of the _profits_, so NLC made sure that one of the most successful movie trilogies in the history of ever was never allowed to show a profit on the books, so they’d never have to pay out profits-based royalties). Apparently his relationship with NLC has not improved, and he shopped The Hobbit around. Warner Bros. will be producing the duology, for which the first movie is due out in a year.

    Meanwhile, we get a press release saying that The LEGO Company has signed on with WB to produce LotR/Hobbit sets (and a Hobbit video game from TT Games has been leaked through other sources). The problem here is that WB has zero involvement with the mega-successful LotR movie trilogy, and therefore they almost certainly don’t have the rights to license a toy line based on those movies or the designs depicted within them. So, while it has been confirmed that they will be making sets based on both LotR and The Hobbit, don’t expect any of the former to look like anything you’ve seen in theaters.

  4. Ronnie Libra Says:

    All I know is I don’t think I’ve ever seen an angry looking Lego face before…

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