Lord of the Rings
Werbal_Kint is back tonight, with some help from photographer Hiroxian -
take it away guys!
Hello, Werbal_Kint from Toymania here with another
Sideshow Toy review. I'm a huge fan of Sideshow's military lines, but they've also got me addicted to their Lord of the Rings statue and bust line-up, which is a bit lamentable as it is a very expensive line to collect. Today I take a look at their latest hot item, the Fell Beast and Morgul Lord statue.
As Frodo, Sam, and Gollum make their way towards the Cirith Ungol stairs, a great, unearthly beam of light issues forth from The Dead City, Minas Morgul. From the depths of the city rises the Witch-king of Angmar, keeper of the Morgul Vale, on his terrifying Fell mount. The gates of the city open and the march towards Minas Tirith begins.
Packaging - **1/2
Packaging is one of Sideshow's consistent strong suits, but when they get rushed, the final product tends to suffer. The graphics on the front look great, but the remainder of the box is flat black. The full graphics on the other LOTR items look great, so it's a bit disappointing to see them cut corners.
On the positive side, the edition number is printed on the bottom, and the statue is securely packaged. It does its intended job, albeit plainly.
Sculpting - ***1/2
There are basically three sculpted elements to the statue; the Fell Beast, the Witch-king, and the rock they're perched on.
The Fell Beast is exceptionally well done. From the evil grin to the scaly texture across the skin, this the definitive Fell Beast sculpt. The musculature looks biologically correct too, which is a little bizarre when you think about it since the beasts only ever existed in a computer.
The rocky spire is flawless too. It looks and FEELS like it's made of actual rock instead of polystone. And while it may not be the focal point of the piece, if it looked fake, the appearance of the statue would suffer.
The weak link is the Morgul Lord. He's only about an inch tall and the sculpt is a little rough as a result. It's a passable sculpt for the size, but for the price it should look crisper. It probably would have been a better decision to make it a normal Ringwraith, since their sculpts don't require as much precision.
Paint - ***1/2
The paint overall is wonderful, with good choices of color with no bleed or slop around the edges. But, once again, the Witch-king could be better. The division between the pieces that are armor and pieces that are cloth is blurred, primarily because the choice of black paint for the cloth and acid-gray metal of the armor look very similar. If the armor were more silverish, it would've made up for the rough sculpt.
Quality/Design - ****
Value - **
The Fell Beast is a difficult creature to translate into a statue, but they've done an admirable job in capturing the character.
The serpentine nature of the creature is beautifully presented as it coils around the rock, and while some may regret the choice to have the wings folded up, it would have made the piece even more expensive to have the wings outspread. There are a few delicate points on the statue, but I'm giving it four stars since its plain to see which parts could be breakable.
I paid $150 dollars from Sideshow's website, and quite frankly, I think that's too much. It's not a huge statue, and 3,000 isn't that limited of an edition for the line. It should be closer to their standard $125 price for statues.
I thought about giving it **** because considering the prices it's going for on eBay, I got a steal. But, then again, those people are crazy.
Overall - ***
If this statue were cheaper, larger, or had a better sculpt on the Witch-king, it would have been the favorite piece in my collection. Alas, it's not perfect, but it is nonetheless uber-cool, and I still feel proud to own it.
Where to Buy -
-eBay- Need this statue? Have 400 bucks or more lying around? Then be my guest, because this statue is SOLD OUT at Sideshow.com.
Toys- You might have missed this statue, but they just put a Morgul Lord Statue up for pre-order, so I'd get that before it's gone too. Also, every now and then, Sideshow receives some pieces back from cancelled orders, so keep checking the website to see if they get a few pieces back in.
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