I have fond connections to the Lord of the Rings series. My old dog was called Bilbo, I loved the films and couldn’t wait to head to the shops to pick up the extended editions. Of course, the books really bring the rich world of Middle Earth to life. But for many, it’s the film series from New Line Cinema which has provided the route into this amazing world. They also acted as the inspiration for the LEGO® Lord of the Rings theme which launched in 2012 and continues a few years beyond that with sets inspired by the Hobbit. The theme concluded in 2014 but it’s set to make a surprise return in 2023 with a trio of LEGO BrickHeadz sets. It’s a surprise due to the complex ownership of the Lord of the Rings IP. These are based on the original films and are not connected to the recent Amazon Prime series. In fact, not even Warner Bros. are mentioned on the box. So here’s a look at all three of the LEGO Lord of the Rings BrickHeadz Double Packs.
Due to the similar style of BrickHeadz sets, their basic construction of them is basically the same. A core of bricks acts as a base to add the necessary details to turn it into various characters. There are 2 characters with slightly deviate from the usual style. The Balrog is slightly bigger than most BrickHeadz and Gollum is built in the smaller ‘Buddiez’ style. As with other BrickHeadz, all of the detailing not achieved with elements is captured through printed parts, so there are no stickers.
Frodo & Gollum
Set Name: Frodo & Gollum | Set Number: 40630 | Pieces: 184 | RRP: £13.49/$14.99/14.99€
Across the three main Lord of the Rings films, we meet many characters but it’s essentially the story of Frodo. For this double pack, he’s joined by Gollum. Both characters are recognisable with Frodo in his green cape and red waistcoat. He’s also a little shorter than normal BrickHeadz, this is done with a smaller body and shorter legs. The texture of the hair is well-balanced. I feared it would be covered in 1×1 studs to capture the curls. He’s grasping the One Ring, which is partly covered by his cloak. I’m not sure I like the sword he’s holding, it’s too big to be Sting.
There are many characters who could have joined Frodo, but he’s joined by the iconic character of Gollum. He’s built in the smaller BrickHeadz style lovingly known as ‘Buddiez’. They take the cubic style associated with BrickHeadz but shrink it down to a smaller scale. Obviously, this smaller size does mean the build loses some detail. Plus Gollum isn’t that detailed a character anyway. It doesn’t allude to any evilness so maybe it’s more Sméagol than Gollum. It does have a couple of printed plates for his thinning hair and it looks good paired with Frodo.
Gandalf the Grey & Balrog
Set Name: Gandalf the Grey & Balrog | Set Number: 40631 | Pieces: 348 | RRP: £17.99/$19.99/19.99€
Gandalf the Grey is probably one of the most iconic characters from Lord of the Rings. He first appeared in The Hobbit and has played a key role in many adventures. As a wizard of the Istari order, his knowledge and power are unmatched by many. His BrickHeadz build is inspired by his Grey Wizard form. His long robes are a mix of various-sized sloped bricks and bow plates. I especially like his little hood. But it’s the hat which really captures the character’s iconic look. The way it’s built and the elements used, perfectly recreate his floppy wizard hat.
Although Gandalf is a powerful wizard, he faces a true test in the Mines of Moria. The mighty Balrog is a fiery demon which pursues the Fellowship. Gandalf holds off the beast at The Bridge of Khazad-dûm. Although we don’t get a great look at the Balrog in the film, its appearance is fairly monstrous and it makes an amazing BrickHeadz build. It still has the main style and traits of a BrickHeadz character but it also includes plenty of elaborate details. Licks of flames are found on its legs, head and tail. The wings and large horns really help to give it a unique look as well as resulting in the most visually imposing BrickHeadz character ever. It’s really fun to build as it’s offers something different and it incredible. This is by far my favourite ever BrickHeadz character. It’s because it’s different as well as being the first time the character has appeared in LEGO form.
Aragorn & Arwen
Set Name: Aragorn & Arwen | Set Number: 40632 | Pieces: 261 | RRP: £17.99/$19.99/19.99€
Aragorn’s journey from a mysterious ranger to the King of Gondor takes place across the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The character is mainly portrayed in his Fellowship outfit, but for this set, he’s sporting his royal robes. I personally think this was a great choice as it results in an interesting-looking BrickHeadz build. Aragorn’s regal armour features a couple of printed pieces, including the chest plates and his crown. I like the use of shiny bows around the head. It’s simple but works nicely.
Much like Frodo, Aragorn could have been paired with many other characters. The fact Aragorn is featured in his royal clothes, it only makes sense for his set partner to be the Elven daughter of Elrond, Arwen. As Aragorn is crowned king at Minas Tirith, he greets various people from across Middle-Earth, including a party of Elves from Rivendell. It’s here Arwen is reunited with her mortal love. She’s wearing an elegant light green dress. In BrickHeadz form, this dress is far more colourful and quite simple looking. Thankfully her ornate crown adds a little detail. This is similar to Aragorn’s, being created by a mix of shiny elements and a great printed plate, which also forms part of her face.
I know there are many who have been disappointed that the return of LEGO Lord of the Rings has been via the BrickHeadz range. Personally, I love them, admittedly some are better than others. In terms of sets, Gandalf and the Balrog are the best, with the other two sets on equal measures. The Balrog is the best character overall, but they all have their charms. I must say I now want more Lord of the Rings BrickHeadz. Even if it’s just a pack with Gimli and Legolas, there certainly is scope for more – Galadriel & Elrond, Saruman & Wormtongue, the list could go on. If you collect BrickHeadz or you are a fan of the Lord of the Rings, this is a must. If you want an interesting set to build grab the Balrog set.
These sets were provided BricksFanz and provided by the LEGO Group for review purposes. The thoughts within this review are that of BricksFanz and do not reflect those of the LEGO Group. Providing a set for free does not guarantee a favourable opinion of the set.