Welcome to BrickUltra's first LEGO set review (hopefully the first of many)! In this review, I will be taking a look at 10237 The Tower of Orthanc, which is perhaps the most anticipated set for the Lord of the Rings theme. This is the first time LEGO has attempted to construct the 10237 The Tower of Orthanc and the detail is incredible and the scale of the set is mind-blowing!
This is the largest Lord of the Rings set released to date, The Tower of Orthanc having over 2359-pieces. Naturally though, with a greater piece count comes a higher price, and this set costs $199.99, so this is definitely a high-end LEGO set. Does this new set live up to the hype! Let's find out!
Box and Contents
The box is of course fairly large given the size of the set, however the height of the actually set when built is somewhat taller than the box! On the cover, The Tower of Orthanc is clearly visible on the right hand side of the box, with Gandalf the Grey swooping in on the Great Eagle in the center. On the left hand side of the box, Ent's, a walking tree, is holding onto Uruk-hai while being assaulted by the Orc Pitmaster. The standard blue/golden border and minifigure gallery are also present, with five Minifigures in total (excluding the Great Eagle and Ent's). The Tower of Orthanc includes 2359 pieces and is recommend for ages 14+. Also you should take note that The Tower of Orthanc includes a Light brick!
The back of the box reveals the insides of The Tower of Orthanc, which contains six floors. Most of the images showcase lots of the features that are available in The Tower of Orthanc, including trap doors and moveable objects. At the bottom of the box, an image features the weapons that are included in the set.
Inside the box one finds fifteen numbered bags, and a cardboard backed package containing three instruction booklets, and a sticker sheet.
The Minifigures included in this set are somewhat inconsiderable comparing them to the actually structure and the price point. Unlike some sets the Minifigures in The Tower of Orthanc aren't really the selling point, so if your just interested in the Minifigures I would advise purchasing them on either eBay or Bricklink. That aside we'll begin with the “Saruman” Minifigure. The “Saruman” Minifigure is quite detailed to say the least, featuring one piece that makes up for both the beard and hair, unlike most where you have two separate pieces. The figure has a printed robe and comes with a white cape, along with a double-sided face. As an added bonus, LEGO was kind enough to throw in both moveable legs and the printed brick which acts like legs, but isn't moveable. The “Saruman” Minifigure also comes with his own unique staff which nice added touch.
The next Minifigure is “Grima Wormtonque”, the only character that is new to taking on Minifigure form. The “Grima Wormtonque” Minifigure features a double-sided face, along with a brown cape. The figure also comes with two daggers.
“Gandalf the Grey” is the third Minifigure in The Tower of Orthanc. Gandalf features the Great Eagle which he can come riding in on. The figure features double-sided face, along with a grey cape. Unlike the “Saruman” Minifigure, Gandalf the Grey comes with a two pieces for the beard and his hair. The Minifigure also comes with a staff, however it is quite unimpressive compared to Saruman's.
The fourth Minifigure included is “Uruk-hai”. “Uruk-hai” features a printed helmet with a hand printed on it, along with a torso armor piece. The figure comes with an sword that is curved at the end.
“Ore Pitmaster” is the fifth and final Minifigure in The Tower of Orthanc. The Minifigure is somewhat plain, however it comes with an giant ax and a rope hook (used to battle the Ent's).
There are some interesting moments during this build as one might expect of a larger set. It takes about five-eight hours to complete and can become somewhat of a gruesome set to build because of the time needed.
My favorite part about building the The Tower of Orthanc was probably putting together the third floor in the tower. The third floor is the magic room, which features a multi-color orb and makes use of the Light brick to create an interesting awe to the room.
However, while there may be pleasing moments, the set wasn't comply dull free. Building the exterior of the set can be somewhat tiresome consider you've flipped through several pages finishing a panel only to find out that you have to repeat the panel 4 more times. Nevertheless, the overall building is incredible to say the least and was definitely worth the wait.
The Completed Model
When complete, this is an impressive structure from just about every angle. The creation itself is immensely tall, dwarfing Minifigures by standing it. We'll begin with the Ent and work our way over to the tower. The Ent is extremely detailed, from it's feet all the way to it's branches. The touches I noticed the most was the mushroom on it's foot but also the feet themselves. The moveable arm was also a nice addition to the set, and making the how character flexible was a huge plus. The arm was especially fun to use to thrash around other Minifigures. It's also good to take note that the eyes for the Ent were printed instead of a sticker.
Now let's begin with the tower itself, we'll begin on the first floor. The first floor is basically a dungeon, having several skulls placed around along with bones added to the authenticity of being an actually dungeon. Included was a rat and stickers making up the background of the first floor, while having a trap door just above it.
The second floor is like the greetings room for the tower. Travelers who enter the tower could risk falling down into the dungeon because of the trap door. Noticeable touches included the axes across from each other, the flags, the mini-Minifigure, and the chandelier hanging above it.
The third floor is home to the magic orb. The orb makes use of the Light brick making the orb turn red when someone presses up on the chandelier on the second floor. The room also includes books, potions and a mini throne. The throne also had nice touches like being able to sit your Minifigure correctly even if he's wearing a cape, LEGO made a crack to account for the cape which was really nice.
The fourth floor is the boiling room. A huge boiling pot takes center stage, allowing Minifigures to make potions and such. The boiling pot contains small grey 1×1 circle studs, and the pot itself can turn with a lever.
The fifth floor is the library. This room stores all the spells needed to make potions and such. Several books appear here, each book having sticker attached to them on both sides to give it more of an authentic look. You'll also notice in the background several painted of characters which really adds life to the room itself.
The sixth and final floor is home to the weapons of the tower. The room includes a shield, helmet, keys, several staffs, and a ladder that repels into the fifth floor.
If your interested in watching seeing the set in person, please view the video we made highlighting it's features. Enjoy!
The recommendation that you need to be 14+ which I strongly agree with. This set was gruesome to build considering the time needed building it. The set itself is just incredible considering how much detail LEGO put into both the interior and exterior of the tower. My favorite floor has to be the third floor with the orb. The most impressive thing about The Tower of Orthanc, but for me personally I just love the detailed Ent. Is this set a must buy, yes and no. If your a fan of the Lord of the Rings, you'll love this set and it might be the best set for the LEGO theme. For me, someone that's never really followed Lord of the Rings, the set is still impressive, but you might enjoy other larger LEGO sets instead.
Also I wouldn't recommend this for children because they'll get really frustrated building this most likely and would probably enjoy another set that isn't just a building. For investors The Tower of Orthanc will definitely be a hot product on the secondary market. The reason being is that I don't think LEGO will make The Tower of Orthanc again, and Lord of the Rings is a huge franchise so they'll always be people wanting to buy this set. This is a must buy for investors and LEGO fans of Lord of the Rings, LEGO fans that aren't really into Lord of the Rings you might want to pass on this one.
The Score = 9/10