Review: [The Hobbit] 79003 An Unexpected Gathering

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Post by cityfan on Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:33 pm

Just completed building the Unexpected Gathering set this week and here's a review of the set from the first wave of the hobbit!

Name: 79003 An Unexpected Gathering
Theme: Hobbit
Year: 2012
Pieces: 652
Minifigs: 6
Price: USD $69.99, £59.99, €79.99, S$159.90


As with any licensed set, this is slightly more expensive than sets of comparable sizes, but thanks to Amazon's pre-order sales and to Chongcheng, I managed to get this for slightly more than S$90, which amounts to more than 40% off retail.

Box art

As we have come to expect, the design of the box is absolutely beautiful and interesting to look at. The centrepiece in this set is the Bag End, or Bilbo's home which is featured both in this movie and from the earlier LOTR The Fellowship of the Ring. This scene depicts Gandalf's visit to the Bag End to invite Bilbo to join the company of 13 dwarves on an adventure.

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Contents

The parts of the set are split up into 4 bags, with 2 instruction booklets, 3 16x8 plates and a sticker sheet.

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The new printing in the first page of the instruction booklet also feature new cartoon strip of how one should build the set by bag numbers, and the new orange brick separator included in the set. The next page gives a breakdown of what each bag builds.

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While there are stickers used in this set, they are quite small and easy to apply. Mainly for the wood prints on the logs, maps, and Bilbo’s diary.

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Minfigures

There are a total of 6 minifigures in this set. With the exception of Gandalf, all the other minifigs are new ones, and Bilbo in his 'home clothes' is exclusive to this set. We also get 4 of the 13 dwarves (Balin, Dwalin, Bofur, Bombur). One big reason why I wanted to collect this series is the superb design of the dwarves, and their close resemblence to their movie counterparts.

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I really like the headpieces that Bombur has which gives him a beardy, slightly bald look.

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Dwalin is the only dwarf in this set with single-faced printing, though there is back printing on his head (in the movie, the printing is actually on top of his head)

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Building

Bags 1 and 2 build the Bag End and its interior, while 3 adds details such as the dining table and treasure maps, and 4 builds the top of the building.

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There are also various interesting parts, like the big green door where Gandalf made a mark for the dwarves to know it was Bilbo's house. And also the orange-tan round bricks which form the window frames of the house.

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Continuing with Bag 2..

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The stove/fireplace starting to form and the places where the door goes.

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The window design for this set showcases interesting building techniques.

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How the set looks like with bags 1 and 2 built:

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79003: Completed

Missed out some photos from building the last 2 bags, but the final product looks really detailed and gorgeous:

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Bilbo's diary:

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Gandalf knocking on Bilbo's door:

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Also, a few more photos of the 13 dwarves whom have gathered at the Bag End to begin their adventure!

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Summary

Playability: 7/10 (This is pretty much like a playset although there are not too many playable functions. More suitable as a display piece)
Design: 9/10 (The Bag End is a very beautiful display piece with alot of green and brown bricks which I like. Alot of details around the house, such as the flowers, carrots growing out from the soil, windows, dining area, etc.)
Price: 8.5/10 (At S$93 this is a very good-value-for-money set, and definitely the must buy for something below $100. At its original retail price, I'll suggest waiting for at least 20% discount.)
Overall: 8/10


Given the space constraint from collecting more Lego than my room can hold, I have run into the problem of not being able to build many sets at the moment. But this was one set I knew I had to build for sure as I really liked it from pictures, and it certainly did not disappoint. This is without a doubt a must-get for all Hobbit/LOTR fans.
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Post by kiddocoo on Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:04 pm

Thanks for the reviews Smile

I've also build up mine and it's really nice with all the green bricks Smile

Btw, you building your Lego on a Mahjong Table?
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Post by Mortal on Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:09 pm

Thanks for the wonderful review. Smile
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Post by ermac79 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:11 pm

I also have a set of this, it is very nice and I also like it very much

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Post by jwong on Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:35 pm

just got mine, and I can't wait to build it..thanks for the review!

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Post by reve on Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:26 pm

nice review n photos!! Very Happy

the dwarves collection is super cool with the set as background!!

n S$93 is definitely a good deal... how did i missed it huh No
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Post by CastleDefender on Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:58 pm

Nice review!
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Post by zenelim on Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:13 am

Hey thanks for the review, really got me all pumped up with the hobbit sets.

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Post by squarecube on Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:41 am

Good Review. Smile
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Post by blurming on Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:23 pm

Awesome review, now i'm tempted to get this set...
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Post by train17 on Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:44 pm

Only 8/10, your standard is pretty high Surprised

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Post by playtime on Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:11 am

great job on the review! It's the only set I've gotten/getting for LOTR+Hobbit to keep actually Smile Bag End is definitely a beautifully designed piece!
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