It’s that time of the year again! The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug will be hitting theaters this December, and with that will be the new merchandise to go along with the movie. The Bridge Direct came out swinging last year with a large variety of both 6″ and 3 3/4″ scale action figures based on the film. This year the line appears to be more focused in the early months leading into the movie’s release. The first wave of six-inch figures include a much-needed Azog and Radagast the Brown. Legolas comes back again because he appears to have a lengthy role in the second and third films.
Azog, better known as “The Pale Orc,” was a sort-of made up character for the movie. I’m assuming in adjusting the book into three films they needed to add additional motivation to Thorin’s story, and this is why they literally inserted Azog into the film. The Azog role was originally done by two guys in suits who later because the background characters Bolg and Yazneg (both who have figures from Bridge Direct by-the-by!). During editing they didn’t like how any of those scenes played out so they digitally made a completely new Orc who became Azog. The one advantage the digital Azog has over his real-life partners is he can get in some wicked evil-looking facial expressions.
So to make things clear, Azog is “sort-of” made up because his name is mentioned once by Gandalf in the book. The real story behind Azog is that he did in fact exist in the battle for Moria between the goblins and the dwarves where he beheaded Thror. This is where the movie and the literature parts ways. Azog does not die (or lose an arm) in this battle, but instead is killed during the battle of Azanulbizar by Dain, son of Nain. We will more than likely see Dain in the movies as he was involved in the Battle of Five armies. I’m going to assume that Bolg (Azog’s son) will be there as well.
Will Azog make it to the big battle? He’s definitely back in the Desolation of Smaug, so it makes sense that Bridge Direct’s first Hobbit wave has his figure. We previously got a version of him with both his arms in tact and Thror’s head, that was the SDCC exclusive this year. This Azog is the lean mean killing machine we’ve come to know and love with his missing arm.
The first thing I noticed with these new Hobbit figures is the Desolation of Smaug packaging. Where last year’s series had a very gold card this one is half-gold and half-blue with a nice skyline shot. I’m much more impressed with this year’s packaging, the change is a welcome one.
Azog towers over any current six-inch figure in the Bridge Direct’s line. He’s a menacing looking figure, and he should be since he’s based on a menacing character in the film. They were able to nail all of the details of the patterns carved into his skin. The interesting thing is that I was not aware his loincloth was made of dwarf faces, that was something I learned from the figure. The skirt is a slight bit restrictive, but there are some strong sculpted lines I may try to cut along and free up the legs a bit. I’ll have to post an update as to how that works out.
Azog and the rest of the six-inch scale gang will cost you about $14.99 each and they are a Toys “R” Us exclusive currently. It’s good to see that Bridge Direct was able to keep the cost about the same from last year. This is also the typical non-exclusive Marvel Legend price so you are getting a very fair deal. If you are just getting into the line now you can also check out the six-inch Legolas review we did last year as the current one is the same with different packaging.
If you want to grab the current crop of The Hobbit figures from Bridge Direct then head over to Toys “R” Us or just check their online store. You can also grab quite a few of last year’s figures off Amazon so I suggest you check there as well! Also don’t forget the movie is out in a little over a month, December will be here in no time so lock in these new Hobbit figures!