The Review of Sideshow Weta Collection Series

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    The Review of Sideshow Weta Collection Series

    Author : Obrother in Dec, 2013

    Talking about the Lord of the Rings Collection, almost everyone admits that Sideshow Weta collection should be No 1, but recently I often heard some common questions from younger collector about specific information like helm quantity, limitation and etc and relevant information turned less and less on the web. Meantime, more & more old collectors sold out their collection due to varied reason.
    Base on it, I like to make one brief review to summarize this Sideshow Weta line to keep this great memory and contribute it to all Sideshow Weta collector whatever they still are in or not.
    My personal LOTR collection begun almost on year 2003 after I watched 5th DVDs of gift set of The Two Towers movie because I used to be DVD collector, I still remember its name" Capturing movie moments". During that period, one common question is why and how one unknown work shop can make such an amazing work from New Zealand? Why Sideshow Weta is special? From my perspective, dedication, innovation and proactive attitude are key point in their successful story. They could make collection closer to actual movie props than any toy maker because they are there and they do love to do it.
    And another possible reason is that "Weta must go!” As DVD explains, Richard makes first connection actively with Sideshow to see any coordination opportunity through one staff of Weta who is friend of Sideshow CEO, of course it can be called as “Newborn of Sideshow Weta”.
    At that time, that is creative idea because previously movie props maker and collection & toy maker are totally different person, no any direct collection. As a fact is who can do it better than movie props maker, this is Weta's best advantage, and sideshow love this brave idea to make it happened in the end
    Finally, they reach an agreement to work together on LOTR memorials, and named this line with "Sideshow Weta LOTR collection”, usually we call its short name “SSW”. Weta shop was responsible for product design and sculpture, Sideshow would do marketing & manufactory, the entire cooperation was running approximately from year 2000 to 2003.

    Actually it was not easy in the beginning; I still remembered that I have found a lot of discount information on LOTR fan club magazine. One possible turnover maybe is "SSW collection introduction DVD"'s release as I mentioned early, it was another creative idea at that moment because they contain one polystone bookend into DVD gift set of movie expansion version, and introduced SSW product through 5th DVD “Capturing movie moments" of "The Two Towers" expansion DVD gift set. Beside DVD, another smart way is to build direct sales channel with DVD and GK collector, they includes one "Smeagole" polystone bookend into DVD set and one ticket which guide how to order another pair "Gollum" from Sideshow online shop at opening time. As you know, most of DVD collector are movie fan, LOTR fan as well, they loved "Smeagol" very much, why not buy "gollum"to make a family? To our surprise, all Gollum were sold out in a few hours even if its Limit edition is 7500, some guys who lost first round sales only can go to ebay to get some but price is a couple times more than original price.

    The Return of the King DVD continued with same way, "Minas Tirith" from light side came with DVD set easily with open version and "Minas Morgul" of dark side was limited purchase on the web. Almost same story occurred in few hours and market price was kept on 3, 4 times as well. As a summary, light side is always easy to collect, open version and dark side is harder, limited edition, higher market value!

    "SSW" which contains 54 Statues, 49 Busts (1 Bronze “Gandalf bronze, others are polystone) , 37 Helm (Usually 1 piece in 1 box but one thing particular is "4 Gondorian Helms in 1 box"), 16 Medallions, 12 Environments, 11 Weapons (9 Sets weapons suite), 4 Wall Plaques , 3 Art Work ( art painting), 5 misc. As Richard says, it is about 200 pieces in SSW line, most of them were release during year 2001~2003 by movie release. All are made by polystone except Gandalf Bronze and helms in metal. Some unreleased pieces like Lutz, skull orc bust, wizard in brown, you only can find in Weta Cave or historic EXPO pictures.

    In recent years, Weta has released some new LOTR environments, weapons and etc and Sideshow did some on LOTR diorama, legendary scale bust, premium figures but both are nothing to do with SSW.
    SSW has three release phases same as movie trilogy, the color of outer box identified difference accordingly. Fellowship of rings is in green, the two towers in red and return of the king in blue but there was some expectation that it has some White/Black box in weapon, medallion and helm line during early period. Inside package is always great foam protection with different sharp to fit with different. In the end, there is one white sticker always on the bottom of color box to identify Limited edition.

    Basically, Limited Edition “LE” goes around 500~10000 and Gandalf Bronze is a special case with LE 34, and open version does not mean that release quantity are large. For some earlier pieces like Sam and Bill the Pony, Aragorn, Son of Arathor, and Meriadoc systemic which released with open version but it market value are higher than some LE pieces, I have discussed this with some old collectors and estimation should be some thousands.
    It always has some regretful thing, some great sculpture like Ringwraith & Steed (5000), The Morgul Lord (9500) and Escape off the Road Wall Mount (10000) did not reflect right position in the market by large LE effect.

    There is another special version "Art Proof Edition", some unverified channel said:"AP version is not for public sale, product maker pick up some high quality pieces in the factory and make very careful painting & process in order to ensure that everything is perfect, then named it with AP version. Actually, it is very similar as later exclusive version by sideshow. These pieces will be used as a gift to anybody who is relevant to movie, collection, public relationship or some public donation auction, so AP value is higher than LE pieces. Another fairy is “faux bronze or gold” version, you can try to dig some out.

    There is 54 statues on this line and usually the scale of statues is 1/6, some big monster and horse riding are smaller like the Balrog, watcher in water and etc. Sculpture are very impressive especially for monster character, human character is good on likeness.

    There is a lot of “Grail” on this line, Grail is one common name that die hard collector called some rare and great sculpture pieces with (not only status), possibly it is from “Holy Grail” in movie “Indiana Jones Adventures “. These grails have some interested aliases like “Big Daddy” for Balrog.
    [IMG]http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy349/obrotherp/nEO_IMG_balrog_main_colorspecjpg_zpsd670c6b7.jpg[/IMG]


    Gandalf Bronze is very rare and my big pain, I do not know if I am enough luck to get it in my life, here is a picture in memory of it.

    Peter Jackson also acted as Corsair in the movie so that he owned a personal sculpture to reflect him honestly, big stomach was one icon for Peter but it is less happiness to see it gone now.



    Bust is ¼ scales usually. The most impressive is “Gandalf the Grey” bust which was made by “Mike Asquith” , I saw more information from DVD that he has taken several months to sculpt it and of course the detail and likeness are amazing, his dedicated attitude should be thanked by us. Frankly I always think that top level sculpture always needs more effort even if concept design is great.

    Another is Hooded Rohirrim Soldier bust, his armor was made by large number of small chain and wooden shield, and all look like real totally. By movie bonus, it is known that chain armor are handmade by two Weta workers who have made 600K chains finally during several years and lost figure print in the end, their dedication are admirable!

    In the meantime, it is great for some bigger bust like Gollum, Cave troll and treebeard, more big and more likeness and more live!



    Helm is 1/4 scales full metal made. This line is pretty unique, you can feel its heaviness when you hold it on the hands. Sometime you may feel it sharpness and it really looks like movie props. Sauron’s helm is the heavies and almost biggest, and some human helmet are very great details like Rohan Theoden, Royal Guard, Eomer and Eowyn, some collectors like to classify it as different nation or different kind then make one team picture for them.

    Beside helm, some beautiful king crown are made as well, Crown of the Witch-king is one of the rarest in the market, a lots of collectors needs that to complete whole helm set.

    The weapons line has 11 pieces in 1/6 scale, 9 is arm set under black base which can be hung up on the wall. The Arms of the Fellowship collection 1 is the most precious and it features the weaponry of Frodo (Sting and Sting in Scabbard), Gandalf the Grey (Staff and Glamdring) and Aragorn (The Shards of Narsil), everyone is detailed polystone weapons and captures the textures from the original weapons used in the films. And each piece has one printed certificate highlighting the weapon names. Another two piece are not Arm set, Cave Troll Hammer is pretty original without any base, Sauron,'s Mace can be light on like red fire in the movie.


    Environment is my favorite and includes 9 pieces, its scale is smaller due to large size, especially the Orthanc Tower and Stone Troll, I really love them and maybe will keep it forever. If I remember, Richard said that the collection is to “Capturing movie moments!”, accordingly it can say that the environment is" Capturing movie stories! ". If thinking about it, there is a lots of recalls like Grima’s murder to Saruman when watching orthanc’s top, Saruman’s call to warm his uruk-hai army when watching windows in the middle, Saruman’s death when watching ruined gear close to orthanc gate.


    The roof of Hall in Mine of Moria top only can be detected with flashlight.

    Detail is everywhere; stone crack and green moss appear clearly on body of Stone troll, I love brother 3 than other alive monster, they are more cute comparing to Hobbit verison




    There is something close to original art work like medallion, wall plaque and art print, it is strongly recommended if it displays at home. Medallion line includes 16 pieces, usually its LE is 1000 or 1000, and No 16 is “The Duel of Light and Fire” which describe fighting between Gandalf and Balrog very dynamic. Wall plaque includes 4 pieces, “Escape off the road” is the best and sculptor is Virginia Lee , Allan Lee's daughter, she also made Theoden bust and other works, all is great!

    Art print includes three pieces with high quality frame which have some beautiful movie film clips and signature from painter, Peter and Richard; it is very warm that one button was setup in the bottom to light up clip for clearer watching in the dark. Allan Lee has two painting “Gandalf on Gwaihir Giclee” and “Rivendell Lithograph”, both are elegant and look like real world of Middle earth, John Howe’s Barad-dur is more close to Art concept, very dynamic and fantasy. This is smart idea that two LOTR concept designer can show their wonderful work with this way.



    For other miscellaneous, it includes 5 pieces. Personally it is comfortable to put all bookend into this type like Argonath, Smeagol Minas Tirith because they release with expanded LOTR DVD Trilogy and not go through Sideshow Weta channel as early introduction. "No Admittance Except on Party Business" Bookends is one independent set and one version is come with one LOTR book, very awesome match. Last one is LOTR Trilogy Sideshow Weta Film Frame without any Limit edition, each one has three random films, this is luck game if you can find some character you love or find hobbit movie related

    In a summary, there is 183 pieces in Sideshow Weta line, 54 Statues, 49 Busts, 34 helms, 14 Medallions, 11 weapon sets, 9 environments, 4 Wall Plaques, 3 Art works, 5 misc. You Should NOT Pass! You Should NEVER Regret if you are luck to complete it, my friends!
    I appreciated Weta shop and Sideshow release very much to conduct this holy and amazing collection line which brings too much happiness and fun to movie collector and fan around the earth!!!

    In memory of ten year of WETA collection 2003~2013!
    Obrother from Shadow & Frame
    2013.12.19
    Inside story:
    1. To all respective collectors, welcome any revision comment to make it perfect!
    2. I made Chinese version in Nov, 2012 on my blog at http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_9f69b77d010172cn.html but struggle too long to make English version , thanks Marschen’s list which encourage me to restart it this week
    3. Merry Christmas to Tolkien, Peter, Richard, Weta shop staff! This is gift coming in year 2013


    Appendix: Sideshow Weta Series Catalog
    STATUES

    36 : Gandalf Bronze
    500 : Newborn Uruk-hai
    750 : Cave Troll
    750 : Stone Trolls
    750 : Watcher in the Water
    1000 : The Balrog
    1000 : The Witch-King of Angmar
    1000 : Bilbo

    2000 : Gimli
    2000 : Elrond
    2000 : Boromir
    2000 : Theoden
    2000 : Grima Wormtongue
    2000 : Ugluk
    2000 : Galadhrim Archer
    2000 : Easterling Soldier
    2000 : Pippin, Guard of the Citadel

    3000 : King Elessar
    3000 : Fell Beast & Morgul Lord
    3000 : Uruk-Hai Berserker
    3000 : Gandalf, The White Wizard
    3000 : Mumak of Harad
    3500 : Peter Jackson as Corsair
    4000 : Haradrim Soldier
    4500 : Gothmog on Warg
    5000 : Ringwraith & Steed
    5000 : Aragorn at the Black Gates
    5000 : Legolas and Gimli on Arod
    5000 : Shelob
    5000 : The Lady Galadriel
    5500 : Battle Troll of Mordor
    6500 : The King of the Dead
    7500 : Gollum as Gollum
    7500 : Eowyn, Dernhelm
    8500 : Gandalf on Shadowfax
    9500 : The Morgul Lord
    9500 : The Dark Lord Sauron

    Open : Aragorn, Son of Arathorn
    Open :Moria Orc Swordsman
    Open : Moria Orc Archer
    Open : Uruk-hai Scout Swordsman
    Open : Orc Brute
    Open : Orc Overseer
    Open : Orc Pitmaster
    Open : Orc Warrior
    Open : Saruman
    Open : Lurtz
    Open : Balrog - Flame of Udun
    Open : Sam and Bill the Pony
    Open : Frodo Baggins
    Open : Meriadoc
    Open : Gandalf the Grey
    Open : Legolas Greenleaf
    Open : Arwen Evenstar



    BUSTS

    1000 : Hooded Rohirrim Soldier
    1500 : Treebeard
    1500 : Gollum
    1500 : Wounded Orc
    2000 : Witch-King
    2000 : Uruk-hai Berserker
    2000 : Galadriel
    2000 : Eomer
    2000 : Theoden
    2000 : Uruk-hai Swordsman
    2000 : Galadhrim Soldier
    2000 : Grishnakh
    2000 : Grima Wormtongue
    2000 : Gandalf, The White

    3000 : Elrond, Herald of Gil-Galad
    3000 : Gil-Galad
    3000 : King Elendil
    3000 : Prince Isildur
    3000 : Legolas
    3000 : Saruman
    3000 : Attack Troll Maquette
    3000 : Grond Troll Maquette
    3000 : Catapult Troll Maquette
    3000 : Siege Tower Troll Maquette
    4000 : The Mouth of Sauron
    6000 : Smeagol
    10000 : Cave Troll

    Open : Gandalf, The Grey
    Open : Arwen Evenstar
    Open : Aragorn, Son of Arathorn
    Open : Boromir, Son of Denethor
    Open : Gimli, Son of Gloin
    Open : Frodo
    Open : Sam
    Open : Merry
    Open : Pippin
    Open : Bilbo
    Open : Numenorean Infantryman
    Open : High Elven Infantryman
    Open : Dwarven Lord
    Open : Lurtz
    Open : Uruk-hai Scout
    Open : Moria Orc Archer
    Open : Moria Orc Swordsman
    Open : Cleaved Orc
    Open : Orc Soldier
    Open : Orc Overseer
    Open : Ringwraith
    Open : Nazgul Steed


    HELMS

    500 : Crown of the Witch-king
    1000 : Gondorian Helm Collection

    2000 : Easterling
    2000 :Galadhrim Warhelm
    2000 :Rohan Royal Guard
    2000 :Theoden's
    2000 :Uruk-hai Berserker
    2000 :Uruk-hai Scout

    2500 : Orc Legion Helm
    2500 : Orc Muzzle Cage Helm
    2500 : Helm of a Battle Troll
    2500 : Frodo's Orc Helm
    2500 : Sam's Orc Helm
    2500 : Peregrin Took's CG Helm
    2500 : Rohirrim Helm of Merry
    3000 : Eomer's Helm
    3000 : Eowyn's Helm
    4000 : Crown of the King of the Dead
    4000 : Helm of the Mouth of Sauron
    4500 : War Mask of the Morgul Lord
    5000 : Sauron's Helm
    8500 : Crown of King Elessar

    Open : High Elven
    Open : Numenorean Infantry
    Open : Elendil's
    Open : Isildur's
    Open : Gimli's
    Open : Gandalf's Hat
    Open : Moria Orc's
    Open : Orc Iron Cap
    Open : Orc Crowface
    Open : Orc Squinter
    Open : Orc Trapjaw
    Open : Orc Hide


    ENVIRONMENTS

    750 : Orthanc
    1500 : Amon Hen
    2000 : Buckleberry Ferry
    3000 : Weathertop
    4000 : Helm's Deep
    4000 : The Golden Hall
    4000 : The Mines of Moria
    8500 : Minas Morgul



    WALL PLAQUES

    1000 : Flight from Isengard
    2000 : You Shall Not Pass!
    3000 : Meeting of Old Friends
    10000 : Escape off the Road


    WEAPONS SETS

    2500 : Fellowship 1
    2500 : Fellowship 2
    2500 : Aragorn
    2500 : Legolas
    2500 : Gimli
    2500 : Lurtz
    2500 : Nazgul
    2500 : Moria Orcs
    2500 : Hobbits
    3500 : Sauron's Mace
    2000: Cave Troll Hammer


    MEDALLIONS

    10000 : 1 The Orcs of Moria
    10000 : 2 The Nazgul
    10000 : 3 The Industry of Isengard
    10000 : 4 The Last Alliance
    10000 : 5 The Birth of the Uruk-hai
    10000 : 6 The Soldiers of White Hand
    10000 : 7 The Cave Troll
    10000 : 8 The Watcher in the Water

    1000 : 9 The Uruk-hai Berserkers
    1000 : 10The Amibtions of Grishnakh
    1000 : 11The Return of King Theoden
    1000 : 12The Warg Riders
    1000 : 13The Master of Fangorn
    1000 : 14The Dilemmas of Smeagol
    1000 : 15The Easterlings
    1000 : 16The Duel of Light and Fire


    ARTWORKS

    400 : Alan Lee Gandalf on Gwaihir Giclee
    500 : John Howe Barad-dur Giclee
    1000 :Alan Lee Rivendell Lithograph
    MISC
    Open: LOTR Film Flame
    Open : Argonath Bookends
    Open : Smeagol
    Open : Minas Tirith
    Open : "No Admittance Except on Party Business" Bookends
    Last edited by obrother; 29 October 2015, 16:14.

    #2
    Thanks for the great review. I found it very informative and helpful

    Comment


      #3
      Nice to see this posted again. It's a wonderful resource of information.

      Thanks Jervy!

      Comment


        #4
        Great work obrother. Excellent SSW database.

        Comment


          #5
          Very good job. I only have to say that the helms line is 1:4 and not 1:6...but very good job!!

          Comment


            #6
            May they live long ......................

            Comment


              #7
              ditto
              Why didn't Sam come home to Bag End?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Ballder View Post
                Very good job. I only have to say that the helms line is 1:4 and not 1:6...but very good job!!
                Thanks for correction. I used to correct it but too many version edited

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hi Obrother, just noticed a few things:
                  Weathertop is 3000, not 1000
                  Cave troll hammer is 2000

                  Love your whole review, was very helpful to me

                  Comment


                    #10
                    And in some cases, not all of the promised edition size were made. I remember when I did the registries on the old forum that not one Legolas and Gimli on Arod was registered with a number over 2,400 which leads me to believe that no more than half of the intended 5,000 were actually made. There were more examples, you can still look at the registries over at Sideshow Freaks, you'll see the same phenomenon.

                    EDIT: more examples, from the SSF registry:

                    PJ as Corsair, ES 3,500. Highest registered number: 1,714
                    Ugluk, ES 2,000. Highest registered number: 1,219
                    Éowyn, ES 7,500. Highest registered number: 4,279
                    Mumak, ES 3,000. Highest registered number: 1,035
                    Sauron, ES 9,500. Highest registered number: 7,545

                    There are even more examples. With even larger differences. See here: http://www.sideshowcollectors.com/fo...-register.html
                    Last edited by Olórin; 27 October 2015, 14:16.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have often wondered about this too. Some of those ES were really big and I couldn't believe that they all sold out. Not to mention how many "open edition" pieces were really produced.

                      Thanks for the info Olorin.
                      Last edited by Ithildin; 28 October 2015, 16:24.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by TheWhiteHand View Post
                        Hi Obrother, just noticed a few things:
                        Weathertop is 3000, not 1000
                        Cave troll hammer is 2000

                        Love your whole review, was very helpful to me
                        Thanks for your info, I just corrected it.

                        Originally posted by Olórin View Post
                        And in some cases, not all of the promised edition size were made. I remember when I did the registries on the old forum that not one Legolas and Gimli on Arod was registered with a number over 2,400 which leads me to believe that no more than half of the intended 5,000 were actually made. There were more examples, you can still look at the registries over at Sideshow Freaks, you'll see the same phenomenon.

                        EDIT: more examples, from the SSF registry:

                        PJ as Corsair, ES 3,500. Highest registered number: 1,714
                        Ugluk, ES 2,000. Highest registered number: 1,219
                        Éowyn, ES 7,500. Highest registered number: 4,279
                        Mumak, ES 3,000. Highest registered number: 1,035
                        Sauron, ES 9,500. Highest registered number: 7,545

                        There are even more examples. With even larger differences. See here: http://www.sideshowcollectors.com/fo...-register.html
                        Yes, Olorin, you are right. It is possible that Sideshow discontinued some in the middle when they see sales down.

                        The question is that their market value should be raised if actual LE is very low.

                        Let us review list. PJ, Ugluk and Mumak is about 1000~ but their market value is low for long time. Especially a lots of Mumak were broken by my memory due to package issue, why are they still too cheap.

                        You rule should be right some big LE like Eowyn or Sauron, but it should not cover all. right?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          This was very interesting to read! Thank you so much for sharing all this information!

                          One thing I saw was that the Argonath was missing in the Environments section ;)
                          My Gallery: http://flameofudun.net/forum/communi...ooms-creations

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Dr.Malcolm View Post
                            This was very interesting to read! Thank you so much for sharing all this information!

                            One thing I saw was that the Argonath was missing in the Environments section ;)
                            Thanks for your reading, it is years.

                            For Argonath, I defined it into MISC category because it comes with DVD and not full environment. Of cause, weta's version is not included here.

                            Open : Argonath Bookends

                            Comment


                              #15
                              You know I never knew why Sideshow Weta series used Aragorn on horseback "charging" at the Black Gates. But just noticed that it's straight out of the film when they return to the main host after the gate opens (or after beheading The Mouth in ext. edition).

                              Click image for larger version

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                              Instagram: randy_baggins

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by RandyBaggins View Post
                                You know I never knew why Sideshow Weta series used Aragorn on horseback "charging" at the Black Gates. But just noticed that it's straight out of the film when they return to the main host after the gate opens (or after beheading The Mouth in ext. edition).

                                Click image for larger version  Name:	The Return Of The King.mkv_20210530_124553.jpg Views:	79 Size:	195.8 KB ID:	223033
                                Thanks for digging such old thread

                                Yes, SSW passed too long time and it has more consideration which is going by time

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  I actually always wondered that! I was lucky enough to get this statue last November.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Very interesting. Long live Lord of the Rings, and the Hobbit!!!

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Olórin View Post
                                      And in some cases, not all of the promised edition size were made. I remember when I did the registries on the old forum that not one Legolas and Gimli on Arod was registered with a number over 2,400 which leads me to believe that no more than half of the intended 5,000 were actually made. There were more examples, you can still look at the registries over at Sideshow Freaks, you'll see the same phenomenon.

                                      EDIT: more examples, from the SSF registry:

                                      PJ as Corsair, ES 3,500. Highest registered number: 1,714
                                      Ugluk, ES 2,000. Highest registered number: 1,219
                                      Éowyn, ES 7,500. Highest registered number: 4,279
                                      Mumak, ES 3,000. Highest registered number: 1,035
                                      Sauron, ES 9,500. Highest registered number: 7,545

                                      There are even more examples. With even larger differences. See here: http://www.sideshowcollectors.com/fo...-register.html
                                      Wow no wonder SSW Sauron so rarely shows up for sale nowadays, there's roughly 2000 less of them made than we thought.

                                      "But this condition Ilúvatar made, or it is the necessity of their love, that their power should thenceforward be contained and bounded in the World, to be within it for ever, until it is complete, so that they are its life and it is theirs."
                                      ___________________
                                      ~ Ainulindalë


                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Valar View Post

                                        Wow no wonder SSW Sauron so rarely shows up for sale nowadays, there's roughly 2000 less of them made than we thought.
                                        Not necessarily, not everyone who owns one has been a forum member.

                                        Comment

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