2011
04.03

 

Wave 2 of the Lord of the Rings 2 packs appeared in November. The 5 2-packs have a couple of repeated (but slightly different) figures plus some good guys, including the rest of the hobbits, and some more Orcs. The Gollum and Sam 2-pack brings together Frodo’s faithful companion on his trek to the Crack of Doom, Sam Gamgee, and Gollum, who was last seen in the TRU 4-packs but is slightly redone here.

Packaging

The packaging for wave 2 is the same as for the other LOTR 2-packs. Although you can see exactly what you are getting through the window, the cards are larger and more unwieldy than the dinky little Marvel 2-pack boxes. Also this is the first time 2 of the 2″ figures have been packaged together so it makes the bubble look bigger.

The back of the packaging shows each of the new sets in wave 2, plus the exclusive Elves. I always like the style of the artwork and text, it seems very faithful to other products in the Lord of the Rings line whist still managing to bring its own quirky Minimates charm to it

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The Figures

Gollum (angry)

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I’m calling this Gollum “angry face” to differenciate it from the previous one. The packaging makes no such distinctions. Of course, following the films, the mournful version of Gollum we got in the 4-pack should have been called Smeagol, and that way this one could have stayed as Gollum. This figure is pretty much identical to the version in the 4-packs, except for a couple of interesting changes.

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The biggest change is, of course, the head. In the films, Gollum was wretched one minute, evil the next, due to the corrupting power of the Ring, and this figure is showing Gollum in a snarl of rage. It is an effective look and it’s nice to have a different Gollum to the one that came in the 4-pack.

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2 other very small changes are apparent. Wave 2 sees the first use of the differently pegged torso in the LOTR line. You can see the difference in the torso connector in the picture below, but essentially instead of a torso connection point that fits all round the lower torso peg, the newer style sees a diamond shape. It doesn’t hold as well as the rounder connector. Not sure why this change was made, but all the later-produced 2″ Minimates (including Marvel & C3) appear to be constructed this way. Also the copyright information on the legs is different. That’s one area you would expect to be identical but it isn’t, as the newer Gollum has trademark information on one leg only whilst the 4-pack Gollum has it on both legs.

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This Gollum comes with the same fish accessory as the first one.

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Overall, this is a good attempt at portraying a more vicious Gollum, but I do prefer the original one because of its haunted expression.

MMC Score – 6 out of 10

 


 

Sam Gamgee

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Some of the LOTR Minimate faces are very true to the characters, and some are less so. Sam’s isn’t really a very good likeness of Sean Astin, although they have tried to make him look fatter with the cleft chin effect.

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Sam, like the other hobbits, is very well dressed. The grey suit is impeccably detailed with a fine paint job. As well as the elven cloak, Sam is also carrying a bed roll and some pots and pans for cooking coney’s in. These are molded onto the cloak, and whilst they look great, they do somewhat unbalance the poor hobbit, and with the smaller C3 feet Sam sometimes has a bit of a job to stand up.

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Sam comes with his own sword and sheath. The weapons for the LOTR sets are always very good and these are no exception. Sam also comes with an additional hand, which is holding the light of Earindil, the phial that Galadrial bestowed on Frodo, which he uses in “dark places” in the film. This is a really nice touch and allows for some great play options. Figures crossed for a LOTR Minimates Shelob!

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Overall, Sam is a superb Minimate, with both character and playability. 

MMC Score – 8 out of 10

 

Review and pictures by Danny Mills

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