Mr. Nostalgia Presents…”In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit”…

Since you’re reading this post, you no doubt know the story of The Hobbit, so I will skip the brief description of the story and get on with the toy details, though I will be going back to the book for reference points from time to time.

The Hobbit movie figures were designed by a toy company called The Bridge Direct.  There were two sizes of toys released.  The first being 3.75 inches and the second being 6 inches.  The 3.75 figures were sold in two different ways, one was five single carded figures and the second way was as multipacks, seven two-packs and one five pack set.

For the 3.75 inch five single carded figures they are:

Bilbo Baggins

Gandalf the Grey

Thorin Oakenshield

Legolas Greenleaf

Grinnah the Goblin

   

 

The 3.75 inch seven two-pack multipacks are:

 

Bilbo Baggins & Gullom

 

Fili the Dwarf & Kili the Dwarf

 

Balin the Dwarf & Dwalin the Dwarf

 

Legolas Greenleaf & Tauriel

 

Bolg & battle damaged Gandalf the Grey

 

Fimbul the Hunter & Warg

 

Thorin Oakenshield & The Goblin King

The 3.75 inch five pack features the following figures:

Bilbo Baggins

Thorin Oakenshield

Kili the Dwarf

Fili the Dwarf

Dwalin the Dwarf

The 6 inch figures include:

Bilbo Baggins

Gandalf the Grey

Thorin Oakenshield

Legolas Greenleaf

Tauriel

 

There were also two exclusive figures created by The Bridge Direct:

Invisible Bilbo Baggins

Azog the Goblin

Now, before we discuss the figures more, let’s just start off by briefly talking about the book for a moment. In The Hobbit, there are essentially 15 characters on a quest (a Hobbit, thirteen Dwarves and a Wizard, though Gandalf does run off and now and then). While Bilbo and the Dwarves do come across some other characters along the way, most won’t be happening until films two and three, which is reason for me to believe that this is just Wave One of a Three Wave toy set.

That said; let’s list the names of the major characters of The Hobbit just to avoid any confusion, because for some people the list of characters above might be causing just that.

In The Hobbit, the main characters are:

Bilbo Baggins

Gandalf the Grey

Thorin Oakenshield the Dwarf

Balin the Dwarf

Dwalin the Dwarf

Bifur the Dwarf

Bofur the Dwarf

Bombur the Dwarf

Fili the Dwarf

Kili the Dwarf

Oin the Dwarf

Gloin the Dwarf (Gimli’s father from Lord of the Rings)

Nori the Dwarf

Dori the Dwarf

Ori the Dwarf

Two other characters to note that are in the book and the movie, but are not major characters but have important parts, would be Elrond and Gollum, though we will talk about Gollum in a little bit, and hope in the future we’ll get an Elrond figure.

These are the main characters of the book that we read about and see in the movie.  So, as I listed above, the fact that we only have five Dwarves out of thirteen leads me to believe (or at least hope, I mean, you can’t make The Hobbit and NOT make all thirteen Dwarves) that this is just Wave 1 and that more Dwarves will be released with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug this December 2013, and the rest with The Hobbit: There and Back Again in December 2014.

A figure of Bilbo obviously had to be made because, well, he IS the Hobbit after all. Gandalf, too, needed to be made since he sets the whole story off. Thorin Oakenshield needed to be made since it’s his family’s gold they’re going after. With the exception of Balin, the oldest of the Dwarves and would know the history of the task at hand best, it seems that the rest of the Dwarf figures were picked at random.

Which leaves us with Gollum. He too, is a necessity to have in the first wave, not only is he an important part of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and appears in the films, but it’s his ring that Bilbo finds when he gets lost in the caves, and one might even say this is where the story of The Lord of the Rings really begins, the second Bilbo finds that ring in the dark.           

Now let’s talk about who was mentioned in the book briefly by name and how he was used for a larger part in the movie and got a toy, how characters from the Lord of the Rings who weren’t in The Hobbit but were added to the movie got a toy, as well as characters who weren’t in the book and were made up for the movie got a toy.

We’ll start with Radagast the Brown, one of the five Istari, or Wizards, that Gandalf talks to Bilbo about in the movie. Radagast is only mentioned by name in The Hobbit in Chapter 7: Queer Lodgings when Gandalf brings the company to Beorn the Skin-Changers home.  Here Gandalf introduces himself to Beorn and then says,”…perhaps you have heard of my cousin Radagast who lives near the Southern borders of Mirkwood?”

“Yes; not a bad fellow as wizards go, I believe. I used to see him now and again,” said Beorn.  

While that is the extent to which Radagast is mentioned in The Hobbit, he also appears in The Fellowship of the Ring the book, but not the movie.  He is mentioned in Book II, Chapter 2: The Council of Elrond, when Gandalf tells his story how Saruman tricked Radagast into luring Gandalf to Orthanc and captured him.

However, in the movie it is Radagast at his home Rhosgobel on the Southern borders of Mirkwood, who discovers the spiders entering the forest and who also discovers the Morgul blade, and gives it go Gandalf.  I’m sure we’ll see more of Radagast in the future installments of The Hobbit because it doesn’t seem as if his story is finished yet, and hopefully we’ll get a figure of him.

Another character mentioned by name only in The Hobbit is the large Goblin Azog. Mentioned in Chapter 1: An Unexpected Party, Gandalf says to Thorin, “Your grandfather Thror was killed, you remember, in the mines of Moria by Azog the Goblin!”

While only mentioned by name, Azog’s exploits are told in more detail of what he did in Appendix A – Part III – titled Durin’s Folk in Return of the King.  Thror, wishing to reclaim Moria for his for his forefathers and the Dwarves, went with his old companion Nar, and walked right into Moria’s doors. Days passed then one day a body was thrown from the doors of Moria. Nar went to see what he feared was true. The body was Thror. His head had been severed, and a name branded in Dwarf-runes on Thror’s brow so the Dwarves could read it. Azog then called out from the darkened doors of Moria,”…But if his family wish to know who is now king here, the name is written on his face.  I wrote it! I killed him! I am the master!” said Azog.

The Dwarves joined forces and hunted out Azog from every Orc stronghold they found, killing any Orc in sight.  Finally all led to Moria and the Battle of Azanulbizar began.  It’s here we learn that Thorin’s shield was broken during battle, and using his ax to chop off a branch of Oak wood and shield himself with it, that is the way Thorin got the name of Oakenshield.

As the Orcs began to flee from losing the battle, Azog turned and tried to retreat into Moria, but right before he reached the door a Dwarf with a red ax named Dain Ironfoot attacked and took Azog’s head with his ax.

Though he dies here in the notes, way before the story of The Hobbit had even started, Peter Jackson saw a great enemy this Goblin could be and took the liberty of using him for the movie chasing after Thorin and company throughout the film seeking revenge and full of hate for the Dwarves and I’m sure to help add an even bigger amount of suspense at the Battle of Five Armies. Though Azog was created as an exclusive toy, perhaps he will be sold in the second Wave so collector’s can get him.

Azog did have a son who is in The Hobbit book.  He is mentioned in Chapter XVII – The Clouds Burst, and leads the Goblin army to war in the Battle of Five Armies.  He is also made into a toy for the film.

Though not in The Hobbit book at all, Saruman the White and Galadriel make an appearance at The White Council, which makes sense since Gandalf is always running off to take care of matters that have to deal with the Necromancer (who is in the book as well, and turns out to be Sauron). The addition of The White Council, who also includes Gandalf and Elrond, helps connect The Hobbit movie to The Lord of the Rings movies, and setting the way for the return of Sauron. No toys have been made presently for either Saruman or Galadriel, but perhaps they might make them.

In Chapter XI: Barrels Out of Bond in The Hobbit, the Dwarves are captured and taken prisoner by the Wood Elves, except for Bilbo, who uses his ring to follow them to the Elvenking of Mirkwood’s fortress. The Elvenking keeps them hostage for weeks until Bilbo thinks of a way to rescue his thirteen friends and they escape.  It isn’t until The Fellowship of the Ring: Book II – Chapter II Elrond’s Council that we discover the Elvenkings name is Thranduil the King of the Elves of Northern Mirkwood, and is actually Legolas’ father. Thranduil sent Legolas to the Council to let them know that Gollum had escaped from Mirkwood.

There is a great bit of dialogue here from the book when the Council learns of Gollum’s escape.

“Escaped?” cried Aragorn. “That is ill news indeed. We shall all rue it bitterly, I fear.  How came the folk of Thranduil to fail in their trust?”

“Not through lack of watchfulness,” said Legolas; “but perhaps through over-kindliness.  And we fear that the prisoner had aid from others, and that more is known of our doings than we could wish.  We guarded this creature day and night, at Gandalf’s bidding, much though we wearied of the task. But Gandalf bade us hope still for his cure, and we had not the heart to keep him ever in the dungeons under the earth, where he would fall back into his old black thoughts.”

“You were less tender to me,” said Gloin with a flash of his eyes, as old memories were stirred of his imprisonment in the deep places of the Elven-king’s halls.

Though Legolas was created for The Lord of the Rings, it is justifiable that he could have been in Mirkwood, his home, when the Dwarves were captured (one of which, Gloin, is Gimli’s father, who Legolas would form a friendship with, though at first they were weary of one another), and since Elves live long lives, and The Hobbit only takes place 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, it is believable that Legolas was there and even at The Battle of Five Armies.

Taking liberties once more, Peter Jackson and his screenwriters created the female Elf Tauriel. While her name has a certain Tolkien-esque ring to it, I’m wondering why they felt the need to create the character when the book has so many already to begin with, and how she will be worked into the story.

My only complaint is that toy wise they released the figures of Legolas and Tauriel with the First Wave instead of waiting until the second movie when they appear.  They are shown in the trailer for The Desolation of Smaug, so there is surprise enough that Legolas is in the movie and wonder as to who the female Elf is, so releasing them later on would have seemed like a better idea to me at least.

Finally, there is Smaug himself.  He will be in the next film and have quite some film time. Will they release a toy of him, and if so, how large will it be?  Large enough to play with the 3.75 inch figures, or large enough for the 6 inch figures?

Hopefully questions like this, and whether or not we will get the rest of the Dwarves, Radagast, and a Saruman and Galadriel figure, as well as who will be made from the next two films will soon be answered as The Desolation of Smaug is now only three months away.

Until Next Time,

Mr. Nostalgia

 

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