TOY BIZ - LORD OF THE RINGS
I wish that we could show you pictures of the upcoming Fellowship of the Rings and The Two Towers toys, but Toy Biz politely asked us not to photograph them (with one very notable exception).
They are beautiful.
They are incredible.
They include a breathtaking iridescent Ring-vision Ringwraith and a ten-inch-tall armored Sauron who looks like a still from the movie's introduction flashback scene. Toy Biz is still working on making his fingers removable.
New and improved Hobbits include elbow and knee joints, so there'll be no more problems getting Merry and Pippin to stand up straight. New versions of Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas look vastly better than their already-nifty predecessors. You say you want Gollum? You'll get Gollum and Smeagol. You'll also get Mordor orcs and armored elves and Bilbo with his door and a giant electronic Treebeard and Gandalf's fireworks cart and... wow. How long do we have to wait for this stuff, again?
In the meantime, here's the Balrog!
More thoughts by Matthew Greenbaum
The huge Balrog figure was revealed to the public at this event. Said to be 12" tall, it actually looks quite a bit larger and, according to a designer, was meant to have been *much* larger. It features electronic sounds and weapon-slashing movements, and will probably have to be sold in open-fronted packaging, like the Cave Troll, just because of its size.
There were other new and interesting LOTR figures in attendance. Bilbo was a pleasant little surprise, and his figure appears to match the actor with a likeness that is almost unbelievable even in today's era of "RealScan" technology. Also surprising, but by no means little, was the Dark Lord, Sauron, himself. Looking to be fully double the size of any human figure in the line, and with a suit of armor that makes him look like a dinosaur skeleton, Sauron will feature electronic lights, sounds, and voice clips. He comes armed with the huge mace that he used to send those hapless soldiers flying in the "Fellowship" prologue, and he's even wearing the One Ring on his finger. The designer who spoke with us said they hoped to be able to make the fingers of Sauron's right hand all removable, to represent the sequence in which they are all cut off.
Another new and interesting figure was the Twilight Ringwraith, which shows that character as Frodo perceives him while wearing the One Ring. Shrouded in white and glistening eerily, with a withered human face and tall crown, it was a very impressive figure. The designer said they had hoped to be able to release all nine Ringwraiths in their ghostly human-faced versions, but were currently unsure whether that would happen.
Treebeard was in attendance too, but was sealed away from prying eyes behind a locked cabinet door. Strange way to display a toy, yes? We were told that in addition to his other moving features, he will be able to pick up and carry the smaller LOTR figures just as he does in the movie.
Conspicuous by his total absence was Gollum, whose appearance is still such a closely-guarded secret that there was not even a picture of him viewable. The designer noted that they hoped to be able to give the final figure's eyes that same eerie luminescence that they had during Gollum's brief cameo in "Fellowship". He also hinted that they had found a way to make the figure appear somewhat translucent. In addition to that version of Gollum, Toy Biz will also release figures of his more "normal" self, Smeagol, as well as Smeagol's travelling companion.Copyright 2002 Altered States Magazine