LOTR Cave Troll

The Lord of the Rings film opened yesterday across the nation, and it looks like they timed the release f the latest toy, the electronic, sound and action, Cave Troll perfectly.

If you wondered what happened to the Rancor after his Star Wars gig, wonder no more.  Here he is, with a slight make over, starring in another epic trilogy.

These are hitting Toys R Us first, and run $20. I'm betting we'll see them at Wal-mart and Target any day now.

Packaging - **1/2
The box is very attractive, with the great LOTR graphics and colors, but it's not for the MIB collectors.  Sure, you can take him out and put him back, but the box won't survive much shelve time, or even time around your house.

Sculpting - ***1/2
He's big, he's bad, he's one ugly mother.  The sculpting on the head and face is excellent, although he isn't quite the same as the movie photo.  The eyes are higher on the head, the nose lower, and the mouth is a little off.  But if you aren't too worried about it matching the movie exactly, then you'll love this figure.

His face is sculpted in a soft rubber which stretches over his mechanical mouth.  The chest and stomach also have the soft body feel, which is a lot less disgusting than it sounds.  This soft rubber cover works much better than I had anticipated, and this is one of the coolest figures out this year.

Scale is pretty good on this figure as well, and he'll tower over the rest of the line nicely.

Paint - ***1/2
There's not a lot of paint detail here, but the wash on the body and face is great.  Also, the various body tones are done well, and the paint work on the teeth and mouth is appropriately gross.

Articulation - ****
The Troll has neck, shoulders, elbows and hips.  While this isn't the greatest, he gets a great score because of how well the arm articulation works with the action mechanism.  Press the left arm button and he thrusts forward with the spear.  Press the right arm button, and he slams down with his hammer.  Both work smoothly, and it feels like they won't easily break over time.

On top of that, he roars, a nice loud, deep roar.  The mouth moves open with each push of the lever, and he swings, stabs and snarls.  Excellent!

Accessories - ***1/2
The spear is the only 'real' accessory, but the hammer and the chain/collar can be counted as accessories if you are willing to stretch the definition a little.

All the accessories have great details, and the spear fits his hand perfectly.  When Toybiz does it right, they really do it right.

Value - ***
$20 isn't bad, but $15 would have been a whole lot more palatable.  All prices have gone up this year, more than is appropriate.  But this figure is certainly an improvement over most, so spending a little extra won't hurt too much.

Overall - ***1/2
If you're collecting the LOTR figures, get off your butt and get this figure now.  If you don't, this figure may be the one that gets you into it.  Toybiz has hit a winner here, and this is by far the nicest figure in the line so far.

Where to Buy -
As I mentioned earlier, these are hitting Toys R Us right now, and retail for $20.  Don't succumb to the on-line sales yet, since I bet we'll see plenty of these in the next two or three weeks.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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