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Boromir and Lurtz

Lord of the Rings
by yo go re

"...and flights of arrows sing thee to thy rest."

Boromir, a valiant warrior and eldest son of Denethor, the Steward of Gondor, joins the Fellowship to protect Frodo. However, his false beliefs about the power of The One Ring ignites a growing fascination and a desire to possess it.

Alas, poor Boromir: his father is an emotionally abusive lunatic, and Boromir knows it's truly his own responsibility to defend the people of Gondor; the dwarves hide underground and the elves are fleeing to the West, so it's really just the humans that are directly threatened by Sauron's forces. So he's within arm's reach of the weapon he sees as his best chance to protect everyone, and it's being carried away from the place it can do the most good. Can you really blame him for being tempted by the Ring?

Boromir is just about 6¼" tall, and has 12 points of articulation. So far, Boromir is only available in this two-pack. His likeness is a good representation of Sean Bean (an actor famous for dying), if perhaps a bit too clean-shaven. He's got his goatee, but he's lacking the rest of his scruff. But then, it's not like you can sculpt stubble, right?

Boromir is wearing is dark doublet and red tunic with gold patterns. The chainmail showing on his elbows is painted and textured to look like actual armor, his girdle (that's the long belt, not the stomach-flattening underthing) flows well, the padded gauntlets look appropriately quilted, and the straps of the regal bracers above seem to press down on the fabric. The paint on all this detail is well-applied, as evidenced by the sliver buckles running up the figure's chest; it would have been easy for a paint app to go awry on these small bits, but the paint is well contained.

He comes with his sword and shield, the Great Horn of Gondor, and a removable cape. The sword (which, quite unusually, goes unnamed through the entire story) fits in the sheath on his left hip, and the shield can either be held in his hand or slung over his shoulder. The Great Horn is on a baldric - a long belt or strap worn across the chest from one shoulder - or it can be held in the left hand.

Push the button on Boromir's back, and his arms swing as he turns his head. According to the back of the package, if you push the button halfway, he is supposed to turn his head to the left and raise his horn to his lips, but that doesn't happen; no matter how far you push the button, he turns to the right and lowers his left arm, though the action feature is still fairly good. Really, how did they think that was going to work?

Lurtz is the strongest and largest of the Uruk-Hai, bred by Saruman and whose soul [sic] mission is to seek out Frodo to gain possession of the Ring.

In the book, all Lurtz's actions were performed by unnamed orcs (because the book didn't distinguish as strongly between Orcs and Uruk-Hai as the movie did); he's a character created for the film. Why create a monster who's not in the book? Because otherwise the first movie lacks a sufficient antagonist. All the real threats - Saruman, Sauron - won't even be faced directly until later in the series, so unless the filmmakers invented a villain, the story would just peter out at the end. Yes, the same events would take place, but they'd lack the emotional impact. Imagine if at the end of The Matrix, Neo didn't have a final face-off with Agent Smith, but instead just fought the Sentinels. It'd suck, right? Lurtz keeps that from happening.

This hulking maroon brute looks just as menacing in plastic as he did on the big screen - his piercing yellow eyes, stringy unkempt hair, and cruel snarl easily intimidate the other figures on my shelf. He's even been marked by the white hand of Saruman. The paint is all done well, very crisp and clean. He's dark, but not muddy.

His thick leather armor is excellently reproduced - every flap and strap is there, all stitched and wrinkled like real clothes would be. The outer layer of armor is molded from soft PVC, so it's slightly pliable, to better mimic the original on-screen costume.

All of the LotR figures have an action feature built in, but Lurtz's is one of the coolest. This towering beast comes with a bow and arrows; notch an arrow on the bow's real string, slip it between his fingers, and press the large button which sticks (oddly unobtrusively) from his shoulderblade, and he really draws his bow and fires. The arrows travel a good distance, but the tips are made from that same PVC, to decrease the chance of putting someone's eye out. This is the type of feature we would've liked Legolas to have, but at least it showed up somewhere, right?

Boromir and Lurtz are sold in this two-pack to recreate one of the film's penultimate scenes, so the weapons and costumes reflect that. My only complaint is that Lurtz does not include his sword and shield. You could get a version of this figure for free in a Burger King promotion, including an Uruk-Hai helmet but none of the weapons; which is odd, since Lurtz never wore a helmet. You can also buy a "Newborn Lurtz" individual figure which is a lot more, uh... naked.

Standing almost 7⅛" tall, Lurtz has 12 points of articulation.

Both figures in this two-pack are executed superbly, even if the action features do not perform exactly as advertised on the back. This is the only place you can get one of the Fellowship's main heroes, and you even get a large opponent for him, as well. Two figures for less than the price of two individually packaged figures? Good deal!

-- 01/18/02

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