The Rube’s Review: Lego’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ Shelob Attacks!
The Rube has had his share of pets… I’ve had mice, rats, hamsters, goldfish, lizards, dogs, ferrets, and a buttload of cats, but when I was a wee Rube I always wanted a pet tarantula. I know what most of you are thinking, “EEK! Why would anyone want a pet creepy-crawly?” Well, think about how cool a pet tarantula is… it’s a spider that’s as fuzzy as a apricot and crawls around using eight legs which gives it a unique walking pattern. Also, as a pure boyish ickiness factor, they have eight eyes, fangs, grow as big as softballs and shoot a web out of their butt! Why wouldn’t every boy want one as a pet?
Like most kids, though, my parents said “NO WAY!” citing that, even if just by chance, it would escape out of its cage and it could attack someone in the house. I never had a fear of spiders, but I did have a fear of getting bit by those long fangs. I could imagine myself after years of bonding with “Mr. Fuzzybutt” and then as a reflex of being bit, “accidentally” smashing the crap outta it until it was just chunky splotch of fur and green goo on the wall… NOOO! Years later I realize that my decision was for the best, but somewhere in the messy filing desk that I call my brain, I still have a desire to own an eight-legged fuzzy friend. I guess building one out of Legos is as close as I’ll get!
So let’s take a look at the Lord of the Rings Shelob Attacks set by LEGO. The obvious thing that I like about this set is that you get to build a GIANT FREAK’N SPIDER, which I immediately skipped through my instruction booklet to page 9 to assemble. I didn’t even bother with the first part of building Frodo, his BFF, the loin clothed freak with a ring fetish, or the stone hobble with flying catapult action. To be honest, I HATED ALL 3 LORD OF THE RINGS MOVIES. Yeah, I said it. Wow… 10+ hours of people walking, overused CGI, the expressionless ice queen performance of Liv Tyler… ok, that part where Gandalf stands there with his white Skeletor™ staff and says, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS” was pretty badass!
Anyways, for you real LOTR fans, the figures are really well done and I like that you have the choice of a basic Lego Smile or a “HOLY SHIT!” facial expression. Also, you get the usual 5-10 extra pieces, like an extra sword or in my case, 3 gold rings. The Spider itself it built in 3 major parts; the Head/Cephalothorax (front), the Legs (8), and the Abdomen with white web/thread and hook. You start with the front half, which is fun but feels like you’re assembling a Lego car engine. It sorta leaves you wondering if you’re doing it right.
Then you go on to the legs. Yeah, the first one is fun but after patting yourself on the back, you realize that you have 7 more to go and each are a 10 piece build… crap. After snapping the legs in place and finishing off the Cephalothorax with a head and fangs, you can stand back and take a look of how kickass this kit is. The next piece you get to assemble is the web-spinning Thorax, which I thought was most enjoyable build in the kit. It was a lot of fun putting together all the cogs, sprockets, and rods that make up the retractable web/thread mechanism. Then all you have left is to snap that final piece and *BAMM!* you have a pretty kickass spider to attack your Lego Monster Fighters figures or to scare your housecat.
The only two things that I didn’t like about this kit are 1) that the pieces didn’t come in numbered bags and 2) even though it’s SO COOL that the giant spider comes with thread, you don’t get a lot of it and should have been a thicker type. As with most Lego kits, you start your build in bagged sections. Not only does this save time hunting through hundreds of pieces for that one red brick but, since you only deal with one bag at a time, you’re not cluttering your table and not worrying about any missing pieces. In this set you do get multiple bags, but you need to open all of them and dump all the 227 pieces (by color/type) before assembly. I still feel very accomplished with my build, but I’ll probably go back, take it apart, and replace it with either a thicker longer thread such as Butcher’s String or even clear fishing line.
In closing, LEGO’s LOTR Shelob Attacks kit is a blast with a lot of pieces to assemble. You get to build a huge spider with poseable legs, fangs, head, and jointed thorax. What really puts this kit over the top is the retractable spider web that you can either wrap around your Lego figures, play-sets or have hanging off stair railing to scare the beejesus outa people. The best part about this set is that it’s only $20, which is pretty inexpensive for a movie-licensed LEGO set (most comparably licensed sets easily go for $25-$27).
Rube’s Rating: 9/10 Fuzzy Fangs