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Build Review of LEGO 10333 Lord Of The Rings: Barad-dur

SAURON HAS HIS EYE ON YOU

picture of LEGO 10333 Barad-dur

We finally got around to the building of LEGO 10333 Barad-dur and wow, what an amazing experience. In total, we spent roughly 16 hours on this build, and we think it was time well spent. The online images don't truly capture the grandeur of this set – it's a substantial, solid, and beautifully evil-looking tower.

The box is rather large and heavy, which is no surprise as there are 40 paper bags, 1 sticker sheet, 10 LEGO Minifigures and 3 large instruction books. The first instruction book is for building the base that has 440 steps to get through. Book 2 comprises 200 steps to construct the middle section and finally, 363 steps in the last book for the construction of the iconic tower and eye. That totals over 1,000 steps to build this 83cm tall centrepiece!

BUILDING THE BARAD-DUR BASE

pictures of various sections of the base of LEGO 10333 Barad-dur

The first instruction manual, by far the largest one, starts us off building the little side island for Sam and Frodo to take refuge on whilst you build the main creation. The base build starts with forming the middle section, the left side next, and finally we add the right side. There are a lot of 1x1 pieces involved in this part of the build process. The translucent pieces for the lava create an amazing aesthetic against the harsh black walls, and it’s very striking. Having created the front of the base, we have a large rectangular space behind the curved walls, and this is filled with the mechanism required for the movements of the door and the Orc cage.

pictures of the forge and the doors of LEGO Barad-dur 10333

The doors look magnificent and quite imposing. It also enables us to provide support for the next level. The forge contains a new shield design as well as the new helmets. Also, a hidden compartment above Gollum’s little cave pulls out to secrete small treasures within (or arachnids!). We also get three more LEGO Minifigures, two Orcs and Gollum, and the new helmet selection pack. This means that Sam and Frodo have options for their disguises. This section uses 19 of the 40 bags. The only bit we didn’t really enjoy was building the pillars, as they are somewhat tedious. They come in separate bags so you can’t get them all out of the way simultaneously. 

MIDSECTION MADNESS

pictures of the inside of the Orc's dining room in LEGO 10333

Moving on to instruction book 2; constructing the middle section and building upwards. The walls are a bit monotonous as they are all the same and, as before, are in separate bags. The Orc dining room has a table with food, seats, a keg, and barrels to the side. There’s a neat kitchen section with a pan over a fire and several kitchen utensils. However, it’s somewhat awkward as a support beam is constructed across the room's width before putting in the furniture. Hands of a 5-year-old are recommended for moving the furniture into place!

picture of LEGO blueprint for the one ring and sticker of a porkchop

There is a sticker of a pork chop on a chalkboard, which is a nod to the Two Towers when meat is back on the menu. One of the walls conceals a hidden compartment containing the blueprint for the ring. Once completed, this section slides easily onto the base and clips into place.

SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST

inside LEGO Barad-dur Sauron's Throne

The third and final book is our favourite part of the build. We now get to construct the throne room which is the best build of the structure, with mechanisms hidden away, we can pull the throne out to reveal the hidden Palantir Stone and map of Middle Earth. This section is a straightforward build and thoroughly enjoyable as it is now coming together and starting to take shape. Within the Mouth of Saron’s office is a little Easter egg, a sticker relating to Mithril regarding Frodo’s armour he received from the elves. There are quite a few stickers in this inside section that can be awkward to apply to the curved surfaces.

picture of LEGO Eye of Sauron and some minifigures

Having completed the tower, the only thing left to build is the Eye Of Sauron. This is created using translucent yellow and orange bricks, black bricks to form the eye slit, and then yellow pieces hold it in place on the pivot system (look out for innovative use of wheel arches). The eye can be tilted up and down, and there's a little movement to each side, but only one position allows you to illuminate the whole eye with the light brick resting at the back of the tower. Sauron and Mouth of Sauron have been released from their bags; the new rubberised headpieces are outstanding and make these figures pop. This section can now be slotted onto the mid-section.

various LEGO Minifigures from LEGO 10333

FINAL THOUGHT

Overall, this was a fun build, and we enjoyed it 98% of the time. After having built LEGO 21348 Dungeons & Dragons: Red Dragon's Tale, which was not a very sturdy build, we were a little concerned about the structural integrity of LEGO 10333 Barad-dur, but our fears were unfounded. This is a strong and sturdy build that you can move quite safely in one piece, providing support for the bottom middle section and keeping the tower upright. LEGO 10333 comprises three sections so it can be broken down a little for ease of movement. This is an outstanding build to look at, absolutely fantastic; it has even won over some of us who weren’t that keen initially. It uses SNOT building techniques several times, which is a neat way of attaching sections together.

If you are unsure whether to take the plunge, we advocate you do, as you will not be disappointed. If you do decide to go for it, have you considered an acrylic display case to keep that troublesome dust away from the nooks and crannies? iDisplayit will soon be offering a case for LEGO 10333 Barad-dur. Sign up to be notified when it’s available.

OUR SCORE: 9.5/10


LEGO Rivendell in an acrylic display case

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