Posted by: Draddog | November 11, 2012

Review: An Unexpected Gathering (#79003)

The Hobbit Trilogy hits movie theaters in December, and LEGO is releasing a run of Hobbit based sets. One of the premier sets, showed first at San Diego Comic Con, is #79003 – An Unexpected Gathering also known as Bag End. This is a larger set, running $69 for 652 pieces, and includes 6 minifigs.  While the set is suppose to release at the end of November, we found one at our local Fred Meyer and rushed home to build it.

Read on for the details!

Co-Build Rating: 3/5

As is becoming LEGO’s standard, this set comes in four numbered bags, with 2 instruction books. While this usually makes co-building slightly easier, for Bag End it meant that one of us had to work on the roof and the other the house. There are a lot of mini-figs to build for this set, but you do a couple per bag.  Even the furnishings were somewhat reliant on the house being built.  You can build this with someone else, but it’s tough.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

This set has a lot going for it. The mini-figs are really nice, there is some interesting use of slopes to convey a natural design and lots of cool pieces.

Of the 6 mini-figs in this set, Gandalf the Grey is the only one with bendable legs. This is odd as the set has a table and the dwarves and Hobbit can’t technically “sit”. I believe Gandalf is the same from the LOTR LEGO set Gandalf ArrivesBilbo is okay, though I’m not excited about the figure. Balin the Dwarf has a new beard/hair piece which is destined to be used on a Highfather mod (DC Comics, New Gods). Dwalin is pretty cool, the head has come great printing on it – his hammer is also pretty nice.  Bofur the Dwarf comes with a new heard piece, a crazy looking hat. Bonbur, the last dwarf, comes with a new hair/chest piece.  There are a lot of cool mini-fig parts here.

There is a lot of green in this set, as you can tell. The outside is well done, using a variety of green slopes to make an organic shell that represents Bag End  and it’s presence in a hill.  The windows and door are very representative of the books, being big circles. This leads to several pieces that I don’t recognize and believe to be new.

The first is a 4×4 round plate in clear. Unlike part 60474, the middle is a big hole. There are also 4 sand brown rings of the same type. The large round, green door is a modified version of part 6177, Tile 8 x 8 Round with 2 x 2 Center Studs.  Sam’s favorite piece is the 1×2 block molded to look like bricks.

The table is well stocked with Hobbit food, and Bilbo’s book has a prominent place in-front of the window. The room also has Bilbo’s maps, a shovel, and some nice shelves. The interior of Bag End is a bit crowded with so many mini-figs, but I think that is consistent with the book.

Overall the set is very bright, and has a lot of cool parts. I recommend it if you are a fan of the book or the upcoming movies.

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