Packaging - ***
Let's face it - this isn't the kind of toy that the packaging is too
crucial. But to catch your eye on the shelf and make the sale it's
three figures (Frodo, Strider and Pippen) are easy to see in the small
window at the top right corner. The graphics are bright and very
attractive, and the entire line is well displayed on the back of the
The sculpting on the three included figures is nice for this scale.
The detail is as good as you could expect, and the hands are sculpted to
hold the included weapons.
only flaw with these small figures is the softness of the plastic
used. You have to be particularly careful with the two Hobbits, as
their ankles are fairly weak, and I can see having problems with them over
The paint ops on the small figures is terrific, with some great
details. The paint work on the set itself, including the fireplace,
door and torches is great as well. Overall the set is colorful and
The articulation is pretty good for tiny figures, with neck, shoulders and
waist. There's nothing for the legs, since they are mounted on the
the softness of the plastic comes into play though, and you should be
careful with the arms.
The figures only come with two accessories, a sword and what appears to be
a walking stick. These two accessories fit into the figures hands
well, and look good.
set actually comes with what I would call several other accessories
though. There's a table, bench, fireplace, and torches which all
attach to the other blocks. These all look great, and help the
accessory score for the overall playset.
Quality is important with building block playsets. The blocks are
well made, they fit tightly together, and the windows and doors are well
designed to work within the block structure.
my set was missing three blocks, and I consider that part of the 'quality'
rating. It's crucial that they don't make mistakes like that, since
it frustrates the parents and kids, and turns them off to further
Design - ***1/2
I picked up this particular playset because it was the most fun looking
set of the current bunch. That means that although I've ranked it
high for cool play value, the other sets don't look nearly as good.
really helps this set is the layout. With the door, bench and table,
there are all kinds of scenarios kids can play out. The
'inside/outside' look and feel to the set also enhances it's appeal.