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The Hobbit - Azog mini-bust
Gentle Giant

Azog The Hobbit mini-bust by Gentle Giant


We are two Hobbit movies in, and I think it's safe to say that these three won't be all that the Lord of the Rings trilogy was. They aren't awful, but some of the additions have been silly, and some of the cuts have been missed.

One of the characters that has been hit and miss, depending on the movie and even the scene, is Azog, the Orc leader. He has a real bug up his butt over certain dwarves, and he's bent on revenge. I'm betting Legolas will get the honor of killing him, but we'll have to wait til next fall to find out.

We don't have to wait that long to get him in min-bust form, however, - he's the next release from the Gentle Giant based on the films. He's just now shipping (along with the Goblin King, who I'll cover soon as well), and will run you around $70 - $80 depending on the retailer. He's a very limited edition, with only 780 produced. Other statues and busts will call themselves 'limited' with a run of 3000 or more, but when you get below 1000 pieces, you're actually walking the walk.

Packaging - ***1/2
It's not so much the box, although it is an attractive color scheme and keeps the bust very, very safe within the styrofoam trays. It's really the cool baseball card style Certificate of Authenticity that gives the Packaging score that extra half star. Gentle Giant has used these for several years now, and they are so cool that I know people that collect just them - no easy feat.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Azog The Hobbit mini-bust by Gentle Giant
Azog The Hobbit mini-bust by Gentle Giant
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Azog The Hobbit mini-bust by Gentle Giant
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Azog The Hobbit mini-bust by Gentle Giant
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Azog The Hobbit mini-bust by Gentle Giant

Sculpting - ***1/2
This is a large bust, standing about 7 inches tall, and it should be - Azog is a big dude. The likeness is solid, and I love the dynamic pose.

One of the complaints of some Gentle Giant busts is the lack of texture variation. Too often, the skin, clothes, weapons, armor, etc are all smooth, blending in.

That's not the case here, and it's nice to see the variation. While the skin is fairly smooth, it does have the soft wrinkling. The armor has a hammered metal look, and the texturing on the weapons and replaced left hand gives them a realistic look.

Paint - ***1/2
A very clean paint application really makes this bust pop. Sometimes when you go in for the close inspection, you find issues - not so here. It looks great no matter the angle or the macro.  The red gums and dirty teeth look great, and the bright blue eyes are piercing and straight. They could have gone wash crazy, but they wisely avoided it, only using just enough to bring out the details.

Value - **1/2
The bust costs $70 - $80 at most retailers, which is a decent value. Costs haven't risen on these busts as much as they have on other collectibles, and I for one appreciate that.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing!

Overall - ***1/2
While I enjoyed the first Hobbit film, it was easily surpassed by the second. Azog isn't one of my favorite characters, but he is visually striking, and this version captures his look extremely well. While I certainly hope we get the entire gaggle of dwarves before Gentle Giant drops the line, it's also nice to have a few villains - especially large ones - to offset the display.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Urban Collector has it for $72.

- Big Bad Toy Store has him at $77.

- Fanboy Collectibles comes in at $75.

- Entertainment Earth is at $85.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
The only other bust I've looked at so far is Dwalin, but other recent Hobbit goodies include the Key to Erebor replica, and the 4" scale action figures.

Discussion:
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Azog The Hobbit mini-bust by Gentle Giant


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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