Prepare to march on Gondor! This latest set has a good balance of good and bad guys and a fair amount of playability. Let's get down to it, shall we?
PIRATE SHIP: Makes you feel like its 2011 and your back with Jack Sparrow again (with a slightly more Viking feel). The ship does many things that the others did, with firing flick missiles (no idea they had that kind of tech in Middle-earth), dropping anchor, and steering wheel. This ship also has a removal rear section to open up the prison under the helm. It's sails are well done, and its a great and mighty ship to add to your collection. Personally, I will be using it with the Black Pearl and Queen Anne's Revenge, since the scene from LOTR is so brief. But the minifigures is what will get you a bit more pumped.
-Pirate of Umbar: This guy was never seen in the movie (unless he was in the extended version, that thing is 4 hours long so I still haven't finished it), but he's not a bad figure all the same. His hair is the same as Thorin and Kili's, and he has a bearded face and pirate armor. Not much to say about him, but he makes for more cannon fodder.
-Mordor Orcs: We've seen these before. Mostly the same as Hunter Orcs, save for the legs. They've got a catapult and the standard array of evil Middle-earth weapons. More cannon fodder.
-Aragorn: He's never been seen in a less than sixty dollar set, but oh well, here's another chance anyway! He's got long brown hair and a regular or angry face. He has brown robes featuring the Evenstar around his neck, and is armed with his sword of the king of Gondor. Which is him.
-Legolas Greenleaf: The elf has been seen in two other sets as well, but only the LOTR version has gotten this expensive to buy. He has a green torso with Elvish printing, and a blonde hair piece with elf ears. He has his bow and arrow and a neutral or angry face.
-Gimli: The dwarf was also in a cheaper set as well as being with Legolas in Moria, but he's here again. He has a large brown beard and dwarvish helmet which also completely covers his face save for the eyes. He has a red and gray torso with dwarvish armor printing, and is armed with his axe.
-King of the Dead: I never really liked these guys, but now that they're here, it's okay to have them (though they would be even more useful with an actual Minas Tirith set. I have the full idea layed out for you in the OVERALL section, LEGO). Anyway, the king has a ghostly green look to his entire body, as do his soldiers. He has a skeleton like head and printing, a crow and red cape. A good ally, but only if you have the king of Gondor handy.
-Soldiers of the Dead: There are two, but they aren't too different, save for front torso printing and hand color (one is brown, one is greenish). They have knight helmets that are greenish in color and are ready to serve their leader. Kind of weird for some people since there's no army builder here with this, but just as long as you have other good guys to fight the growing number of Orcs.
OVERALL: This is a pretty cool set, though its based on only a split second attack of the fellowship. So while we can celebrate a new pirate ship and all three of the best heroes in LOTR, I'd like to give LEGO a little idea for a set of Minas Tirith. You know they won't listen, but it's always worth a shot. Anyways, my idea:
-Set name: Minas Tirith Battle
-Contents: A wall of Minas Tirith with your choice of catapult/battle area or gate, maybe a room of Denethor, or both. Probably something for the bad guys too; a battering ram or catapult, or if you really want to please us, give us a Elefant or a Nazgul dragon.
-Minifigures: Let's not go crazy. Denethor, Eowyn, Faramir, and the Witch-king will give us some exclusive figures and higher price (we know that's necessary nowadays). An Orc or two is probably needed, maybe a Gondor soldier, but he's not a have to. I'd also think about adding Gandalf the White and/or Pippin, since they're pretty big in the Gondor section of the movie.
-Price: Depends on the size...it's really more for you guys to figure out, but certainly no more than this set here. Remember: content and figures count!
Anyway, just a little consideration for LEGO to entirely ignore, but to all those who have spent an extra few minutes reading this, I say totally get this, and if you find the need for a Gondor that never happens to appear, just go with Helm's Deep. Thanks for reading!