After almost a decade we have our return to the filmic world of Middle-Earth with the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. To celebrate this I've gathered up all the Hobbit toys I could find for this lovely game of Reviews In The Dark, as it were, precious!
Lego - The Hobbit: Riddles for the Ring
This is basically a smaller version of the Shelob set and while I'm not crazy about the Gollum figure that appears in both I do like that this has the angry Gollum face while the other has the smiling Smeagol face. It's an uninspired design but filled with plenty of nice rock-y bricks useful elsewhere, especially since the break-apart rock face that the packaging advertises doesn't open much at all once you flip over the ring-concealing bit. Basically this is a set you get for the figures, with bricks useful for padding out many of your other displays. A fun build, solid figures, a forgettable set.
The Bridge Direct - The Hobbit: Legolas (6")
Behold - Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film! This is decent figure of about the quality that one would expect from a brand-new company to this to world of action figures. He has a really strong likeness and is very much in the style of the ToyBiz figures, which is kind of key. He gets the bow, both of his Elvish knives, a removable quiver and about five or six individual arrows! On the downside, a lot of the detail on them is paint rather than sculpt, and the bow is really fat around the middle which makes it really hard to get him to hold it properly. He get balljoints everywhere, but because the range is restricted, he can't really hold the arrow directly to the bow. Also his skirt restricts the motion of pretty much all of his leg articulation. He does have balljointed ankles but I find it hard to keep them standing, especially with the quiver and all of its removable accessories attached to his back. He looks pretty darn cool, but he's not that great of a figure.
The Bridge Direct - The Hobbit: Bilbo (6")
This figure is virtually identical to the all-clear SDCC variant from this past Summer. It's a solid figure, pretty reasonable for The Bridge and for the film. Oddly enough he's got his scarf on the outside of his shirt and vest, which means this is definitely from the Gollum sequence (and perhaps even the Warg attack afterwards). I'm not really that crazy about it since he's got his scarf in, cravat-style, for most of the film, but what are you going to do - I guess the Gollum sequence is the signature one for this film. While I can forgive characters like Legolas and Tauriel in this line I don't understand why this figure comes with a sack and two jugs which he definitely does not have in the film. In fact, I don't recall seeing anything that looks like them anywhere, Regardless, though, he's a solid figure as well as the titular Hobbit so your collection is essentially incomplete without him.
The Bridge Direct - The Hobbit: Gandalf & Bolg (4")
Gandolf is 95% identical to his single-carded figure, the only changes are a little bit of brown paint signifying dirt on his face and his "dress," so I got this two pack and probably won't get the single carded figure. His hat and scarf are removable and I'm quite fond of his staff, it's a good execution for this scale. Glamdring is good for the scale but conspicuously short, but it does fit well in the permanently attached scabbard. The other figure here is Bolg, another Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film. I believe this guy will be featured more in the later films since he only appears in one shot battling Dawlin in one of the flashbacks. Regardless he is a really cool figure and a classic sort of Jacksonian Orc design. He's got balljoints all over the place and a pretty solid sculpt, though it's impossible to find a good paint job on him, but this is certainly passable. He comes with three great accessories: an awesome spinal column mace, a big sword and a dagger! All around cool figure, Bolg is probably the best figure in the line despite somewhat limited joints, weak paint and, of course, not really appearing in the film.
The Bridge Direct - The Hobbit: Tauriel & Legolas (4")
Bridge was really banking on Legolas being a hit since he appears in three of their lines, and while I want there stuff to be successful (so we get more) part of me is very pleased to see it totally backfire on them since these characters got bumped from the film. That's exactly why you don't focus on the gimmick characters right out of the gates! Like the 6" figures these look good, however they get a little back-heavy with their quivers attached. Plus their skirts, particularly Tauriel's, are very firm plastic basically rendering their legs immovable. Legolas' bow is a little too fat for him to hold but I do really like all of the accessories included here, especially Tauriel's. She gets a cooler bow and I really like her gold/bronze daggers. This is a cool set and definitely worth picking up.
The Bridge Direct - The Hobbit: Kiki & Fili (4")
One of my problems with the movie is that it does not do a good job of establishing the dwarves as individuals, so while I understand this is Fili and Kili, I honestly can't tell you which one is Kili and which one is Fili. Accessories are plentiful here - we get two swords for the blonde one as well as a big mace and the bow for the brunette. However, while the latter is the only dwarf who is an archer he wields a cool geometric sword in the film which is sadly missing. It looks like there's a space for it to hang in his quiver but for whatever reason it's just not included here. Still though this is a cool set with really good figures of two of the dwarfs and definitely worth having (especially since there is no guarantee Bridge will be completing all 13 dwarfs in the 6" line).
The Bridge Direct - The Hobbit: Grinnah (4")
This goblin is the only figure that is 100% unique to the single-carded line. Plus he's kind of a n armybuilder since all the goblins pretty much look the same, so I'm tempted to get at least one more once I get the Goblin King. Grinnah is a good figure with balljoints at most points and a heavy but reasonable dirty gray wash. Clearly his leather straps/bandoliers don't stay in place very well and what I presume is a whip is just a very firm piece of linear plastic but as a bad guy he's pretty solid. I like him and I hope that we see an additional goblin warrior in the next series.
The Bridge Direct - The Hobbit: Fimbul & Warg (4")
Fimbul is the second leader of the Warg riders and he's a really solid figure. A cool Orc, though a little bland in his coloring, his collar and cape is a separate piece in a softer plastic which means there is some flexibility to it. He can ride his Warg pretty well. Plus he comes with three cool accessories: a little Orcish dagger, a mace and a spear or lance. The Warg is surprisingly articulated! He's got swivel shoulders, hips and neck with balljointed knees, elbows, ankles, paws, rib cage, head, tail plus a hinged jaw! Other than the legs the motion is limited, but all around it's much better and much cooler than I expected. Of course one thing this figure doesn't answer is why these Wargs look so much different than the ones in The two Towers. I really wish they had done a generic Orc in the single carded line or an alternate set with a different Orc and repainted Warg so that I could battle build a whole Warg Attack Pack!
The Bridge Direct - The Hobbit: Bilbo & Gollum (4")
Bilbo is pretty much a 3" version of the 6"-scale figure, he comes with the same inaccurate accessories as well as the same scarf-out look. Gollum, on the other hand, is unique to this set. He has very limited articulation for this line - only the Big 5 plus ribcage, but at least they're balljoints. I get that it's hard to fit the articulation in such a spindly body but I feel like there could be something more done here. It's just very limited especially compared to all the other figures in the line. Gollum has a good sculpt but I'm not crazy about the heavy peach colored spray around the eyes - it just makes him look like he's got a weird raccoon tan. This is a signature two-pack though, being that it's possibly THE signature scene from this first film, plus has the titular character along with one of the most popular characters in the franchise. However, because of the small size of both figures, the non-uniqueness of Bilbo and the very limited nature of Gollum this set just can't help but feel like a ripoff.