Lord of the Rings is back in vogue thanks to Amazon Studio’s first-ever TV series inspired by The Lord of the Rings, The Rings of Power. But back when Warner Bros. wasn’t cancelling films and TV left, right and centre, they also dabbled in the world of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings books, with a trilogy of blockbuster films. Each film was crafted around the three main The Lord of the Rings books – Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and Return of the King. Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema partnered with the LEGO Group for a series of sets based on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Although the films were released between 2001 and 2003, the first LEGO® The Lord of the Rings sets were released in 2012, around the same time the first of the films inspired by The Hobbit was released.
A number of sets, including playsets and polybags were released as part of the LEGO Lord of the Rings sets. Each playset was inspired by iconic moments from the Lord of the Rings films including Gandalf Arrives, Shelob Attacks and the Tower of Orthanc. Three sets I still have on display. The theme was an instant hit as it evoked aspects of the much-loved Castle theme.
To promote the LEGO Lord of the Rings theme, a series of animated mini-movies were created. A total of four mini-movies were created and they distilled the journey of the Fellowship into a 5-minute animated adventure.
Shortly after the LEGO Lord of the Rings theme was launched, a series of buildable board games were also released known as LEGO Games. One of the games included in the short-lived theme was inspired by The Lord of the Rings Battle of Helms Deep. The game featured 28 microfigures based on key characters from the films.
As well as playsets and minifigures, LEGO The Lord of the Rings was also the subject of a LEGO Games title from WB Games and TT Games. The LEGO The Lord of the Rings video game included all three films from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, with audio lifted directly from the films. Some moments were slightly tweaked to be a little less violent. These lead to many iconic moments having a comedic twist often associated with the LEGO Games series. The LEGO Lord of the Rings game remains one of TT Games’ most popular titles and even led to a follow-up game based on The Hobbit.
Although not solely based on The Lord of the Rings, characters and locations from the films were used in WB Games’ Toys-to-life title, LEGO Dimensions. Gandalf was one of the three main characters featured in the game’s Starter Pack. Three Fun Packs inspired by The Lord of the Rings were also released as part of the game’s first wave of sets. These included a minfigure and minibuild and could be used in the game to unlock the Lord of the Rings Adventure World.