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Blocky Balrogs: Lego Lord Of The Rings Has "That Line"


Legos have come a long way since I was but a naive youth who could still play with colorful blocks and not fear the judgmental scorn of my peers. Back then, I’d crack open a fresh bucket and let my unbridled child imagination craft epic dreamscapes that… well, they mostly ended up looking like boxes. Sometimes I put wheels on them. OK, so maybe what I imagined didn’t quite end up sticking the landing in reality. Lego Lord Of The Rings, on the other hand, looks pretty much a perfect reproduction of Peter Jackson’s take on Tolkien’s genre-birthing opus – except that Vigo Mortensen’s rugged handsomeness is slightly diminished by the transition into pudgy-block-person-hood.

Cave trolls! Balrogs! Gandalf screaming a line so thoroughly embedded in our cultural subconscious that it’s only rivaled by “second breakfast” as the most memorable phrase in all of human history! I am impressed, though, by how much Traveler’s Tales has been diversifying the Lego series as of late. Batman had its gigantic open world, Indiana Jones introduced a pretty robust level builder, and now Lord of the Rings seems to be managing a scale of battle completely unlike anything its increasingly stranger bedfellows have pulled off.

I must admit, however, that I’m still pretty burnt-out on Lord of the Rings’ central plot beats. I mean, I’m excited to see them re-imagined with Lego’s trademark humor (and this trailer managed that in very promising fashion), but this franchise has spent ages in the spotlight. If nothing else, The Hobbit will give us a different story in that universe for everyone to merchandise-ify and reference for years to come, so that’s something, I suppose. But still, I’m having trouble mustering much Tolk-a-mania these days. Oh well.

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Nathan Grayson


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