Review of 79010 The Goblin King Battle
It's now just a matter of weeks before the highly anticipated The Hobbit sets are available. The Goblin King Battle is the largest of the six sets being released to coincide with the premiere of the movie in December.
LEGO has provided us with a copy and we're very pleased to bring you this exclusive review ahead of its release.
Box and contents
The glossy box is perhaps smaller than I anticipated, perhaps a sign that LEGO is shrinking its boxes, at last. It's about 47 x 37 cm and as usual shows an exciting action scene.
The back of the box illustrates the movement and features, some of which will probably make more sense once we've seen the movie.
The box weighs a fair bit, and there are a lot of parts in it. I don't know how many because the box is the European version that doesn't state it on it. Parts are divided into 5 bags and the instructions and sticker sheet are packed in a bag with cardboard which ensures they remain pristine.
There are three instruction books, and one sticker sheet which thankfully is clear plastic film and not the white film that is prone to peeling over time.
Minifigs - The dwarves
The set contains seven minifigs and the goblin king. There are three dwarves, from left to right: Nori the Dwarf, Dori the Dwarf and Ori the Dwarf. Ori sports a brown version of Ron Weasley's hair, Nori has a new beard piece and Dori has new hair.
Minifigs - Gandalf
Gandalf the Grey is, as far as I can tell, identical to the one in LotR set Gandalf Arrives. His head is single-sided.
Minifigs - Goblins
The seven minifigs are completed by three goblins, two goblin soldiers and a scribe (the short one). They all have different torso printing, but share the same double-sided head.
Their torsos are printed on the back, and their head printing is just visible below their head-piece, which I know bothers some people, although I can't say I'm worried about it.
The Goblin King
This is how the goblin king is packed. Thankfully the plastic bag is not polythene, as has been used for this sort of packaging in the past. I always find it difficult to open the polythene bags and usually have to resort to scissors. This one opens much more easily.
Here's the king in all his ugly glory. His arms and hands are the same as those used for the troll in the LotR set Mines of Moria, but his combined body and head piece is new.
The model itself is made up of three parts: the king's throne, a small platform on the right of it, and a larger one on the left. Bag one builds the right-hand platform...
...which is in two parts. They don't join together. There's a small 1x1 round brick flinging catapault on one half and a wheel, which serves no purpose, on the other.
Bag 2 builds the throne base. The treasure, skeleton, crystal at the front can be slid back and forth underneath from the back.
There's a cage on the right of the throne that can be flicked over onto an unsuspecting drarf, using a lever at the back.
Bag 3 completes the throne build, which looks great. This is where most of the stickers are used, on tiles and on the brown panel at the back. All the stickers in the set are easily applied accurately.
Bag 5 completes it, adding a rope walkway and rotating-bucket mechanism. The rope walkway can be disconnected from the left-hand end by means of a lever sending all those on it to their death below! Similarly, the ladder at the front can be pushed away, again using a control at the back.
The completed model
Here's what it looks like when completed. The left-hand part, and the two right-hand parts do not join to the throne, they just but-up to it. Without having seen the movie and not having read the book (I'm sorry to say), I don't know what goes on in this scene but presumably, looking at the box picture, the dwarves and Gandalf battle with the goblins to talk to/kill/overturn their king. There are planty of obstacles and traps to foil unspecting dwarves on their quest!
What I liked
- All seven minifigs are superb. The new beard and hair pieces are very detailed and I look forward to seeing more like them in the other Hobbit sets.
- The Goblin King looks suitably revolting.
- The model itself is fantastic. I particularly like the 'irregularity' of it. A lot of effort (and bricks) has gone into ensuring there's hardly a right-angle or straight edge on it.
- Because of the model's irregularity, it's a particularly interesting build experience, and actually, quite a long one, too.
- It's a great parts pack. I don't think there are any new non-minifig parts in it but it's chock-full of dark grey, brown and dark tan pieces. There's even a few olive green 1x2 plates which haven't been available in that colour before. There are no brightly coloured filler/marker pieces.
What I didn't like
- It is perhaps slightly disappointing that Gandalf is the same as his LotR version.
- It would have been better if the four sections of the model were fixed together in some way. Presumably they are not because it's not that easy to do so due to the angles involved. However, in play, I can forsee that they'd get separated which might be annoying.
This is an excellent set: great minifigs and an interesting model to build, play with and display. If the rest of the Hobbit sets are even half as good, they all need to be on your Christmas list. I had thought (hoped?) that I had finished spending money on LEGO this year but it seems that's not going to be the case.
All The Hobbit minifigs
The back of the instructions shows all the minifigs that are in The Hobbit sets. The Wargs look great, don't they!