Saturday, November 24, 2012

9469 Gandalf's Cart

It's been about two months now since I cashed in my accumulated LEGO VIP points to add a couple Lord of the Rings sets to my collection, but as that happy day took place in the middle of my computer's convalescence, it has taken until now to post about theme--but we'll only cover the smaller one today. Indeed, 9469 Gandalf's Cart is the smallest set in the Lord of the Rings line, barring polybags. It features Gandalf driving a cart full of fireworks and Frodo Baggins. In reference to the Movies, it belongs to the earliest part of The Fellowship of the Ring, when Gandalf arrives in Hobbiton for Bilbo's 111st party.
Unlike most of the sets in the theme, however, it does not include any "stationary" elements such as landscaping, buildings, walls, or trees, and I kind of like that, since although it does draw on a single scene from the movie, the set does not feel limited to this particular scene. The most limiting elements in the set are the fireworks, but Gandalf is supposed to have a wide reputation for fireworks--though I daresay I don't imagine him going into places like the Necromancer's dungeons with them. Of course, the ever-present problem for me with LEGO's licenced themes are the flesh-toned minifigs. As I've done with previous sets, I've tweaked the minifigs in Gandalf's Cart to be more compatible with my old-school minifig collection.
Gandalf has not only had his flesh-coloured parts removed. He's also had his hat changed to blue and his beard to an old-school Majisto white. The main impetus behind these two changes is to be more faithful to the books. The first description of Gandalf from The Hobbit says:
All that the unsuspecting Bilbo saw that morning was an old man with a staff. He had a tall pointed blue hat, a long grey cloak, a silver scarf over which a white beard hung down below his waist, and immense black boots.
(J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "An Unexpected Party") This also brings my new Gandalf more in line with the "traditional" LEGO Gandalf I used to make, as seen in the picture below, though the Iceplanet head I used before has been updated to a "Triton" from the Collectible Minifigs Series 7.
Frodo did not get quite as rigorous a treatment as Gandalf, but the final result is rather nice--I think the face works well as a Pippin. Note, however, that I've switched hairpieces with Merry's from 9472 Attack on Weathertop.
Overall, I am quite happy with Gandalf's Cart. It's not a ground-breaking set, but it is a solid one--though expensive. More so than the other sets I have, the licensing felt noticeable.

No comments:

Post a Comment