Toy Review: LOTR Gandalf and Uruk-hai Orc by Diamond Select

Now that the first The Lord of the Rings build-a-figure is complete, Diamond Select continues the line with figures who come with larger accessories. The first wave without Sauron parts includes one major character and one army-builder: Gandalf and Uruk-hai Orc.

Gandalf comes in his classic Grey look, with hat, staff, and sword with sheath. Multilayered robes hinder the articulation some, but it’s not like Ian McKellen pulled off Jean-Claude Van Damme moves onscreen. The first thing to noticeis that the hat balances on his head. To ensure proper display, some museum putty or other adhesive inside it might prove advisable. Otherwise, it will fall off with a nudge.

He includes open hands as well as accessory-holding hands, but it’s not clear why you’d want the former. Gandalf nearly always holds something. Sometimes it seems like extra hands are just a cheap and easy addition to make a price hike feel justified. That’s just a hunch, not a fact. But still: most figures come with way more hands than necessary. As with some previous figures in the line (coughNazgulcough) the big sleeves can hinder the holding a bit, so adjust the wrists carefully before attempting a holding pose. The hinge part of the disc and pin joint proves crucial.

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The McKellen likeness is excellent, but the real highlight of this line once again proves to be the textures. Even though everything on the figure is the same plastic, careful surface details really fool the eye from a distance, making the outifts look like cloth, or armor.

The Uruk-hai has a lot more motion: unlike Gandalf, he includes double-hinge elbows and knees. Two heads can inter-change, though consider this fair warning that they take some strength to pop off. The unmasked one features a dynamic hair sculpt for action-oriented poses. The masked one features many-layered detail. He doesn’t quite tower over Gandalf, being about the same height. As he is next to other 7-inch figures.

The Orc also comes with two sets of hands, though the holding hands are loose around the spear. They’re good on the sword, though. As for the shield, it helps to pop off whichever hand first, put it around the grip, then slide it back on the arm. After first removing his wrist armor piece, which comes off easily. (The removable wrist armors allow for more customization in an army build.)

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Even the underside of the shield spares no detail.

But it’s the deco that excels, and probably where the money saved from the build-a-figure piece really went. The swirls of black and wine in the skin, the different textures of armor with different washes…this is some of the nicest paint work on any Diamond figure, ever. If they made a PVC statue that looked like this it would cost twice as much.

Both figures come in the mostly collector friendly packaging, sandwiched between two plastic trays. The only thing that keeps it from getting there entirely is, once again, the plastic shirt tags on Gandalf’s accessories. The Urk-hai does not have them. Once again, we miss twisty tie wires. Who knew?

With all the price raises everywhere, it’s refreshing to see that these figures remain at $24.99 apiece, which now puts them on the same tier as Star Wars Black Series basic figures. It’s a no-brainer to say they’re better value. (Entertainment Earth is an affiliate partner with Superhero Hype, which may earn fees from purchases made through site links.) And even if youre not that into The Lord of the Rings, they’re pretty great wizard and monster figures even without context.

Take a look through the gallery below for more images. Then tell us what you think in comments.

Recommended Reading: J.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings

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