An unexpected gathering, the designer presentation.
The second wave of the Lord of the Rings Lego sets is now officially known to be about the Hobbit, which movie will soon be released (have you seen the first and second trailer ?). The set available was Bilbo’s house in the Shire.
There was no name associated to this photo, today, we know that this set is number 79003 named An Unexpected Gathering. Lego just released a designer’s video showing this product.
So, the set includes the minifigures Bilbo, Gandalf, Bombur, Bofur, Dwalin and Balin. The stage is Bilbo’s house, his Hobbit hole. The video shows the nice details and accessories available, especially inside the house. If you have read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, you know that most of the first chapter took place around the table while the dwarves had dinner. Another expected place is Bilbo’s desk, which you’ll find behind the table along with the book he is writing.
The designer’s video offers a nice overview of the set. As we may have a good peek on the outside, we haven’t from the inside. From a design point of view, the video is interesting from the second minute as Bjarke Lykke Madsen, the designer, explains the evolution of the concept.
If you want to gather all Thorin’s Company minifigures, you’ll have to get this box since all dwarves are exclusive to a specific set. If you want to build a Hobbit hole, this looks like to be a really good box. If you want to offer this box to a kid to play in a Shire’s Hobbit hole, unfortunately, he may have some disappointments in the inside. The designers have made a good job with the removable roof, which allows the access to all the interior of the house. But it looks like it remains really narrow. The dining table is occupying all the space. From the book, while the dwarves had dinner, Bilbo spent his time preparing the food. It looks like impossible to reach the kitchen part of the house while some minifigures are sitting on the table. Bilbo’s desk looks like to have a nice design but suffer the same accessibility problem. On the opposite, the entrance looks really empty.
In my opinion, the designers did a good job to provide everything we could expect from Bilbo’s house in this set, and keep it at a decent price for a licensed box (announced to be $59.99). If you are a Lord of the Rings products collector, this set is made for you. If you have a kid who would love to play in this house, the best may be to get some more plates to widen the interior. Nevertheless, this is a great stage in the Lord of the Rings universe.
This box is announced to be released in December 2012. Is it on your list to Santa ?