Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Weta Workshop to make new Middle-earth items for us!

It looks like Weta Workshop has finally secured the rights to making more new Middle-earth replicas. The first announcement came through this morning, and is for the following items:

  • 10 only fullsized Anduril swords made by Peter Lyon. I expect these to cost around us$4000.
  • An unknown number of fullsized bronze (or faux-bronzed fibreglass) Gollum statues, as seen at the Weta Cave. Price unknown, and I'd hate to estimate that one. us$10k for the bronze, probably. Much less for the fibreglass one, obviously.
  • Gandalf the Grey cloaks, made not by Weta but by Stansborough, the fabric specialists for Middle-earth, Narnia, and a bunch of other movies (including "30 days of night", of all things). I predict they'll cost us$1000, possibly slightly more. Fantastic quality, by the way. Stansborough is an amazing company, focusing always on quality rather than quantity.
  • And finally, something affordable for the rest of us - a new range of three miniature shields - one elven, one dwarven, and one Gondorian. They can be kept on the custom made bases or "used as badges", which sounds awesome. It doesn't sound like they are limited run items, so hopefully everybody should be able to get one off the Weta website soon. I'm hoping these are truly affordable (us$30 or so) but they're probably more like us$100.

For the last four years or so, Weta Workshop has not made any LOTR related items, due at least partly to NewLine Cinema not renewing the merchandising licenses to Weta.

On top of that, Weta has also had a bad habit of making only limited numbered ranges of miniatures, so once the range is finished, nobody else gets to buy them. This has its good point, of course - if you did manage to secure yourself one, you know it's a highly sought-after item. Some of the items I own were only created 400 times.

The bad part of this is of course; the items are so beautiful you don't actually end up caring if thousands of other people have them - you just want one yourself. Too bad they're no longer available.

I'm sincerely hoping that this time around, Weta has the foresight to create longer lasting licencing rights to continue creating beautiful items for everyone. One of the most often asked items I have from my guests when we get to the Weta Cave has been "why aren't there more LOTR items for sale"? Maybe after "The Hobbit" has been released, and we take people on Hobbit Tours around the region, we will have a better answer to that one.


  1. I brought my boys to New Zealand and while we were in Queenstown we visited the LOTR shop and bought some goodies, like a replica of Bree, a Roherim helmet, etc. Great stuff, great quality. My boys will enjoy them forever. I got the notice from Weta this morning in South Korea (military family, we're usually in the States) and we'll have to pick up some more goodies on our next visit.

  2. Hi,

    Welcome back. Hope you enjoyed your honeymoon.

  3. @José :

    Thanks! We sure did! It's taking me a little longer than I thought to get back into the swing of things but I think I'm back again properly now.

    Only thing is, I haven't heard any good gossip lately, at least nothing fit to print!

    @Amy Proctor :

    I wouldn't come back just yet if it's to buy goodies - so far the prices have been astoundingly high! And as I feared, all of them were limited editions so far - 10 swords only, 30 Gollum bronzes, etc.

    Mind you, for those prices I don't think there's much of a market anyway!

    I'm REALLY hoping the miniature shields are actually affordable for me.