Foreign BK Lord of the Rings

A friend of mine (thanks Melvin!) sent over 7 of the 9 Burger King Lord of the Rings figures from his Singapore BK.  These are very much different from our U.S. versions.  Each small figure (about 3.5" tall) comes in a plastic box, with one of three different film cels for that character.

This means that while there are only 9 figures, there are actually 27 film cels.  This makes getting multiples of the same character necessary if you want the full set of cels.  These premiums are being used in Asia and Europe, so if you have a friend overseas they may be able to get you a few.  I suspect that there are plenty on ebay as well.

The set includes Legolas, Galadriel, Strider, Saruman, Gandalf, Frodo, Gimli, a Ringwraith, and Arwen.

Packaging - ***1/2
Normally you don't get much in the way of 'packaging' with kids meal toys.  They simply come in a plastic bag.  But since they wanted to hide the cels from you, they put the figure and cel in a plastic and cardboard box inside the bag.

Each of these boxes are very nice, with great graphics and text.  The only problem is that they aren't quite square at the top or sides, because they are a little flimsy.  This means stacking them can be a bit of a problem.  But overall they're very nice for a kids meal premium.

Sculpting - **
I think the sculpt quality on these figures is not as good as what was available with the U.S. toys.  Does BK use someone else other than Equity for their international premiums?  I didn't think so, but I'm not positive.

Of course, great detail in figures this size is difficult, but they aren't THAT small.  They could have done a better job here, particularly with the face sculpts.

Paint - **1/2
This is another area where these are inferior to the U.S. versions.  While a couple of the figures - Strider and Saruman in particular - had fairly decent face paint, most were sloppy or have very little detail.

This level of paint ops doesn't help the sculpting, and it makes a good assessment of the sculpt difficult.

Articulation - Bupkis
While some of the UK versions had limited articulation, these have none.  They are simply PVC figures, each done in an action pose.  Legolas looks like he's supposed to have a bow - mine didn't.  Let me know if that's an oversight.
  Again, the two best figures are Saruman and Strider, at least in terms of their posing.

Accessories - ***
As I mentioned, each figure comes with a film cel.  There are three possibilities for each character, but the ones I saw were all nice shots from the film, highlighting the character very well.  Of course, collecting all 27 is a pain in the neck, but that keeps folks coming back to BK.

Value - **
I have no idea how much these cost at most foreign BK's.  Fast food does tend to cost more in Europe, and I'm betting these were $3 or so each.  That's on the high side for what your getting, and it means that your ebay prices will probably be higher than they are really worth.

Overall - **
This promotion is decent, although not nearly as imaginative or fun as the U.S. version.  If you're working on a big LOTR collection, or are a major fan of one of these particular figures, then I suggest doing what you can to pick them up.  Don't break the bank though, as you should be able to find plenty of them on ebay.  You also might want to try asking folks on the message boards if they can help you put a set together.  Many times, foreign collectors are more than happy to help out if you're willing to help them with U.S. kids meal promotions in return.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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