The Summer of Smaug is in full go, as we get closer to Comic-Con 2013. We have had the first teaser poster, first trailer, and the first of Sir Peter Jackson’s Vlogs for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Now, we get the first product for the second film capturing a key moment in the Traveling Party’s journey to Erebor. The moment captured in this mini-statue is one of the participants in the barrel escape. The first character to be done in this series of mini-barrel riders is our loveable Hobbit Bilbo Baggins. This statue is a pre-release before the movie and shows the awesomeness of the collectibles to come from what we will see in the second film.
The overall graphic for this mini-statue box is the same as we’ve seen from other statues for The Hobbit be it smaller than say a normal 1:6th statue box. Per the format we’ve come to know the front of the box gives you a great shot of Bilbo, the title of the movie (now saying though The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug), a special wax looking stamp saying it’s a preview collectible, and of course the Weta logo. As we’ve seen before you get a couple of shots of the statue on one side of the box. However, the other side gives you information about the statue and how it’s tied to the second film. While the back of the box gives you a look at a couple of items that you can buy from Weta.
Brigitte Wuest is a name many fans that have collected statues based on the characters of The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit should know quite well. Ms. Wuest is back with another amazing piece. Doing a statue of this size and its smaller than even some of the previous mini-statues you’ve seen reviewed here before is a challenge. Well, the job done to make this statue detailed and capture a likeness was a successful one. When you look at this piece you see Martin Freeman and at a full 1:6th scale that’s a great thing, but even more so when you look at the size of this statue. Ms. Wuest did a superb job of making sure that we are able to have a great likeness of Mr. Freeman as he plays Bilbo in this moment.
The outfit is also very well done and there is great amount of detail within what you do see with this statue. His jacket very much looks like its real cloth, as do his pants. His hair also has some great detail in it very much looking like the hair he has on his head as we see it on screen. The barrel Bilbo is holding on to is a very detailed piece with all the little bits and pieces we see in barrels here in the real world. You also get the rushing water of the river, which we will see all these barrels making their way through. There is quite a bit of detail here when you examine the statue seeing how it’s made to look as if the water is a treacherous ride for the company.
The skin tone on this piece is well done as usual by the folks at Weta Workshop. You look at Bilbo and you see someone who very much looks healthy and alive, which is something you want in your collectibles. Aiding the sculpting detail of the clothing is the paint job, which puts the final touches to create the cloth look we expect. The barrel as I said has a great sculpting job done to give it the proper details, but the job to put the cherry on top comes with the paint job. This allows for the barrel to look like its truly made of wood and something you would see in the real world. Of course you have the water, which is, has a great blue paint job creating the illusion of water. However, the coolest aspect of the paint job is the clear lacquer that’s been applied to this statue. In order to give it the proper wet look Weta applied a clear lacquer to the Bilbo, the barrel, and the water. Weta did a fantastic job of doing this so it has the proper wet look but not something that looked slimy.
Bilbo retails for $65, which is a fantastic price along with something most collectors can fit into a tight budget. The price will also make it much easier for collectors to get all the members of the Traveling Party. As I said the sculpt and paint on this statue is really well done and even more so when you factor in the size of the piece. I want to add that with every release in this line Weta is just continuing to show how great they with these statues.
Bilbo is the first in this series of mini-barrel rider statues. He is an open edition and can be purchased for just $65.