Ratings and Reviews for 10237-1: Tower of Orthanc

10237-1: Tower of Orthanc

Overall Score

7.90
View Price Guide Review this Set
  • First Impression Does the set "WOW" you? 10
  • Unique Parts/Minifigures Unique parts? Increase resale? 6.00
  • Playability/Build Experience Is this a "FUN" set to build? 8.00
  • Value for money (NEW) "Bang for your buck"? 6.00
  • Theme Popularity Will theme help with resale? 7.00
  • Exclusivity Unique production aspects? 9.00
  • Packaging Does this set stand out? 8.00
  • Growth Potential Possibility of revenue growth? 10
  • Display Attributes Does this set stand out? 8.00
  • Conclusion Your final analysis.. 7.00
Review from: denosya
Reviewed on: Aug 14, 2013
Avatar for: denosya
Join Date: 12/01/2012
# of Reviews: 3

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FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 10

I really wanted to get this set. I love buildings, I love the LOTR license, I love big sets. In addition, this one really looked impressive, being completely black. 

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 6

The minifigs are definitely not the best part of the set. Gandalf, the orc and the uruk'hai are really common. Sarouman is quite common too (see 79005 The Wizard Battle), even if you have a new "robe" brick. On the other hand, Griman Wormtongue is quite nice. 

When you have the tower built, 5 minifigs is really insuffisant. I guess a number between 8 and 10 would have been way better.

Anyway, I have put a 6 instead, because of the eagle. Even if it has bad press. I love it. I find it really nice. 

There is also the Ent which is really cool, but I don't consider him as a minifig.

Nothing really special regarding the bricks, excepted the light brick which is always a nice addition. And I hope you love black :) 

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 8

The build is an incredible experience. I usaually love the huge sets, but I am not that much into the "technical" part when assembling structures with shafts and very little pieces. I find it tedious and boring, because it seems nothing is happening. On the opposite, this build is fun from the first brick to the last one. The tower is always going up each time you add a brick. 

Regarding the playability, well. There is very little room inside the tower. There only 5 minifigs. And there are not a ton of playability features (stairway entrance, retractable ladder, a cauldron, a trapdoor to the dongeon, and the light-powered palantir). The Ent is very beautiful, big, and colorful, but... he's kind of lost in the middle of nowhere. It's a cool addition, but I guess it would have been better in a separate set, so you can buy a few more (or none). 

I'll have an 8 for the build experience.

 

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 6

In France, this set costs 200€ (260+ US$). It is a lot of money. However, the playability is not worth it in my opinion. We are paying for the LOTR license, we are paying for the Ent (that shouldn't be here in my opinion). What if you have to choose between a modular (that you can get for 100-110€) and a Tower of Orthanc at 200€? There are many points in favor of the TOO, but I cannot see how it would justify twice the price. 

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 7

I know there are tons of LOTR fans across the world. Unfortunately, in France, you cannot find the LOTR in supermarkets. And the number of LOTR LEGO transactions on eBay France seems very limited. I have massively invested in LOTR/Hobbit, but I am considering quitting the theme because of UK and Germany competition. 

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 9

LEGO shop exclusivity, and I hope it won't change, because it is the first time I pay the retail price. 

PACKAGING | Score: 8

Dawn, the box is big ! The art is ok. It looks good, it looks dark, it looks LOTR. What else?

The 3 instruction books are packed together separately. The bricks are packed in 17 separate bags. 1 bag = 15mn of build time

 

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 10

Well. If you are a fan, you simply CANNOT resist buying this set. Once retired, I quickly expect this set to sell at 500$. The main problem will be: buying this set and DO NOT OPENING IT !!

Like you see, I have failed. I'll have to find another one before it is out of stock. Silly me. Anyway, I shouldn't lose any money selling my used set a couple of years after EOL. 

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 8

I don't display my sets. However, this one looks really great. Even if you have to be prepared to display a big black thing in your house. I guess it is far less cheerful than the colorful modulars.

You also have to know one of the sides of the tower is opened for making room for the playability features. It can be disappointing for some of you. There is a strong contrast between the dark aspect of the tower, and the tiny playability features. I guess LEGO has tried to mix both, with little success in my opinion. 

- 9 if you are a LOTR buff, a gothic/metal geek

- 6 if you are someone else 

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 7

PROS:

  • Very attractive set, that you cannot resist buying, because of its look and its iconic aspect.
  • A wonderful build experience
  • A sure investment value (depending on the popularity of the theme in your country)

CONS:

  • The balance between a playable set and a display set hasn't been found
  • A little expensive because of the Ent and the quite useless minifigs (we should get more or none)
  • You have to like the "darkness" of the thing when displaying it