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Middle-Earth/Lord of the Rings Miniatures


Heisler
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So this came up in another thread but I didn't want to take that one to far off topic but I am interested in knowing the history of which companies actually manufactured officially licensed Lord of the Rings miniatures. Here is what I know, mostly because I had these in my hands at one time or another.

 

These are roughly in chronological order

 

Heritage - Licensed for the Bakshi animated film so probably through Tolkien Enterprises (Heritage and a few other companies produced Not-LoTR figures through the 70s).

 

Grenadier - I have never seen these, based on the titles of the box sets I'm wondering if this was a sub-license through ICE and hence back to Tolkien Enterprises (?)

 

Games Workshop - 1985 took over from Grenadier

 

Mithril - Took over the GW license in '87 I believe that this license is through the Tolkien Estate

 

RAFM? Only a post here in the forum plus one blog post mentions that RAFM may have had this license. This is news to me.

 

Ral Partha - to the best of my knowledge Ral Partha never had an LoTR license. However, at one time they were the official US distributor for Citadel miniatures and RAFM so there could be confusion here.

 

Black Tree/IKON/Harlequin - mid to late 90's or so. This license must have been through Tolkien Enterprises as they essentially lost it when the current films were released. (the license was not withdrawn but they couldn't produce miniatures for gaming purposes and they didn't have the sculpting quality to go head to head with Mithril for display miniatures).

 

Games Workshop - Movie release to present. License through Tolkien Enterprises

 

If you have pictures of some of these old lines to prove that they existed that would be cool.

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Mithril - Took over the GW license in '87 I believe that this license is through the Tolkien Estate

 

If you have pictures of some of these old lines to prove that they existed that would be cool.

I have Smaug. IIRC it was from the above company. I'll have to dig it up and see what i can do for a pic, no promises thou.

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I know for a fact that I saw LOTR miniatures (at least, minis that claimed to be LOTR) somewhere before the Bakshi movie came out. Couldn't tell you who made them, though.

 

Heritage was producing not-LoTR films in the mid 70's, in particular I remember the infamous Snaga orcs. Archive produced a pack of not-the fellowship about the same time. There may have been others as well.

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I know for a fact that I saw LOTR miniatures (at least, minis that claimed to be LOTR) somewhere before the Bakshi movie came out. Couldn't tell you who made them, though.

 

Heritage was producing not-LoTR films in the mid 70's, in particular I remember the infamous Snaga orcs. Archive produced a pack of not-the fellowship about the same time. There may have been others as well.

Don't know that I'd call them not-LOTR, as (IIRC), they claimed to be licensed LOTR figures (or at least had their own LOTR logo, distinct from that of the Bakshi film). Couldn't tell you if they were Heritage, but I don't think so -- they were really badly made. Wish to ghod I still had the blisters. I bought some of those orcs. Only figures I've ever bought where I couldn't tell what they looked like even AFTER they were painted...

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I know for a fact that I saw LOTR miniatures (at least, minis that claimed to be LOTR) somewhere before the Bakshi movie came out. Couldn't tell you who made them, though.

 

Heritage was producing not-LoTR films in the mid 70's, in particular I remember the infamous Snaga orcs. Archive produced a pack of not-the fellowship about the same time. There may have been others as well.

Don't know that I'd call them not-LOTR, as (IIRC), they claimed to be licensed LOTR figures (or at least had their own LOTR logo, distinct from that of the Bakshi film). Couldn't tell you if they were Heritage, but I don't think so -- they were really badly made. Wish to ghod I still had the blisters. I bought some of those orcs. Only figures I've ever bought where I couldn't tell what they looked like even AFTER they were painted...

The Heritage/Der Kriegspieler miniatures were definitely unlicensed, they were forced to change the names on the packaging.

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And there appears to be no evidence that RAFM produced a LoTR line at this point.

Seconded. When you initially posted that possibility, I sat staring blankly at the screen with a great big empty space in my brain. Pretty big RAFM guy here, and I had never heard that or seen anything. Maybe somebody got the Elric of Melnibone stuff mixed up with LOTR.

 

You know... both sagas, licensed properties and whatnot.

 

I do have a couple of Hobbit minis (not halflings), from the pre-new-films days, that are not GW. They were named after characters from the books. Very nice sculpts, and the quirk was they came pre-primered.

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Looks like Knight Models is workng on doing a series of LoTR figures, I dont know if they will be 30mm like their Star Wars series or if they will be 70mm like there Marvel Comics and Stars Wars lines (yes they have two Stars Lines). I will post more information as I find out more.

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