Weta kind of has things locked down when it comes to statues and other high end props based on the movies they work on, including Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, which was clearly the main focus of the WB Shop booth at NYCC.
It was certainly one of the more eye-catching exhibits at the show, with a life-sized Azog the orc menacing fans from above on one side, and the head of Smaug resting on the opposite corner. The massive Smaug was resting, but would occasionally open his eyes and scan the room before returning to his slumber. It was neat to see.
As for the collectibles on display, they were mostly broken into three categories– a figural statue series in roughly 11″ scale, a series of miniature landscapes from the various corners of Middle Earth, and a set of smaller scale diorama pieces. All of these items featured stunning sculpts, gorgeously rendered and perfectly painted. Even lesser characters like Tauriel and Lord of the Rings’ Faramir were impressive to behold, and the common scale really tied the entire six-movie series’ worth of characters together.
So many of these pieces were totally beautiful… but I couldn’t get over the mediocrity of the current source material. I’m sure the new Hobbit movies have their legitimate fans, but does it have enough that are willing to drop down about $150 per dwarf to complete the cast? For Weta’s sake, I hope so… and dubious source material non withstanding, it’s hard to deny these collectibles show the same thought and attention to detail as anything we witness from Weta on the big screen.