Today we are taking a look at LEGO set 9473, the LOTR The Mines of Moria. At $79.99, it hits the “mid-range” of the Lord of the Rings sets LEGO is now offering. 776 pieces and 6 minifigs, plus the huge troll and 2 skeletons (which I don’t consider minifigs.)
Overall, I am very impressed with the set largely due to the level of detail LEGO put into the construction. At every step, this thing is over-built compared to some of the more kid-friendly sets. You layer piece on top of piece, or use many smaller pieces to make up a section that, in the past, LEGO would have just used a large molded piece for.
Okay, let’s walk through this…
The completed set, with box.
Two instruction booklets:
I have heard people complain in the forums that the set should have been 4 times bigger. I don’t really understand that reaction, the key elements of the scene are well represented here. If you have the money, buy 2 sets and combine them… you will have a really nice set that way!
The cave troll. I’m never usually a fan of these large molded figures, but the printing is so nice, I have to say, this is a great figure.
Such a decorative back for such an ugly dude:
If I were a minifig, I would not want to get this guy’s attention:
The two orcs. Not sure if you can tell, but both faces are represented here. Scary and slightly scarier? I love he green color:
Back printing, hair and ears:
The head pieces came loose with all the other pieces, signifying that these weren’t made in China then packed in at the factory. They are hard plastic and have a nice feel to them, unlike many of the Chinese made Collectible minifig accessories:
Logolas and Boromir, both exclusive to this set:
Pippin and Gimli:
Even though it is covered by his beard, LEGO still gave his torso nice printing:
More incredible detail on the helmet:
The doorway. Just look at how many pieces it took to create the door. In the past, LEGO would just have two basic plates act as the door, but here we add all different tiles to give it texture. Same with the archway around it:
The back side:
The side wall:
The play feature allows you to hit two switches and have the columns fall down:
Again, the detail impressed me. Here I removed two pieces to show that they layered on small pieces to get just the right look:
Stacking lots of small pieces where a molded piece would have gotten the job done:
The hidden treasure chest:
Just look how much detail is in the column, all those different textures and pieces:
The back side:
The tomb (or coffin?):
Extra pieces I didn’t use:
This was a nice bonus pack of extra weapons:
The stickers. People complained too about this… how many stickers were included. The funny thing is, this set is so detailed, it doesn’t need ANY stickers. I looked at this as a complete bonus. If you like stickers, use them. If you don’t, like me, ditch them. It should also be noted that these are some pretty cool stickers, useful for a variety of themes and scenarios:
Overall, a really nice set!