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The Hobbit - Key to Erebor
Weta

The Hobbit Key to Eredor prop replica by Weta


So have you made up your mind yet? Are you going to the IMAX or the HFR? I want to see both...but I think I have to go for the IMAX first.

Obviously, I'm talking about The Hobbit, the biggest movie release of the year. Fans of the Lord of the Rings trilogy from Peter Jackson have been waiting years for his take on the prequel, and now that it's here there is much rejoicing.

There's not much in the way of collectibles...yet. Some of the toys are out, but not in droves or at every retailer, and most of the prop replicas haven't started shipping yet. One that has is the cool Key to Erebor, carried by Thorin. This is one of the items being sold by Weta for the film, and comes in at a very reasonable $30 at most retailers.

Packaging - ***
It's pretty straight forward - it's a small box with a decent quality set of styrofoam trays keeping things safe inside. There's no Certificate of Authenticity or edition numbering, but that's not really an issue at this price point.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
The Hobbit Key to Erebor prop replica from Weta
The Hobbit Key to Eredor prop replica by Weta
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The Hobbit Key to Eredor prop replica by Weta
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The Hobbit Key to Eredor prop replica by Weta
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The Hobbit Key to Eredor prop replica by Weta
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Sculpting - ****
This is a bit of a judgement call, since we haven't actually seen the screen version yet, but I'm giving Weta the benefit of the doubt. The detail and texture work is fantastic, and I'm betting it's very film accurate.

My only real worry is whether or not the scale is correct. This is a large key, coming in at about 5" long and about 2 1/4" wide. I'm hoping it will be quite large in the dwarve's hands.

There's some writing along each side - dwarfish? elvish? I don't remember - and since it's made from a metal alloy, it has a nice heft and balance. That also means the edges have a sharp cut, and clean sculpt details.

Paint - ****
It's supposed to look like tarnished metal, and it does. The wash brings out the details and the rough texture, making it appear like aged iron. The weathering looks terrific, although a little more rubbing off the higher points might have given it a slighlty more used look.

Value - ***
Good prop replicas for less than a hundred bucks are hard to find these days. At $30, this is a great deal, considering that it's metal and full sized.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - ****
I'm really looking forward to the film, and while I'm a little hesitant about the HFR version (I hope it doesn't look like a television on a high refresh rate), I do want to see it both ways. There's hobbits, there's Peter Jackson - how can you go wrong?

Weta is doing a nice job with the prop replicas, but most of them are going to be more expensive than most collectors are going to want to spend. This is an item that will hopefully be very screen accurate, is high quality, and is at a reasonable price.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Value - ***
Overall - ****

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Big Bad Toy Store has it for $30.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I haven't done a ton of Hobbit merchandise reviews yet - oddly enough, I haven't found any of the 6" scale figures in my neck of the woods yet, and even the 4" stuff is only at Toys R Us. But I did hit up a couple of those figures awhile back.

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The Hobbit Key to Eredor prop replica by Weta


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

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