Why are Lord of the Rings LEGO sets so expensive?

26th November 2021

Something I get asked a lot when discussing LEGO investing with friends and family who may not know that much about it is, "Why are Lord Of The Rings LEGO sets so expensive?"

It's a good question, and one that I'll try and answer in this article.


Although the Lord of the Rings films premiered over a two year span with The Fellowship of the Ring releasing in December 2001 and Return of the King in December 2003, it wasn't until 2012 that LEGO started producing sets based on the franchise.

It started with the first wave consisting of seven sets being released on 1st June 2012. They were Gandalf Arrives (9469), Shelob Attacks (9470), Uruk-Hai Army (9471), Attack On Weathertop (9472), The Mines of Moria (9473), The Battle of Helm's Deep (9474) and The Orc Forge (9476).

LEGO Uruk-Hai Army LEGO The Battle of Helm's Deep

A year later the second and final wave of set were released in June 2013, made up of The Wizard Battle (79005), The Council of Elrond (79006), Battle at the Black Gate (79007), Pirate Ship Ambush (79008) and the Tower of Orthanc (10237).

LEGO Battle at the Black Gate LEGO The Council of Elrond

We don't have sales performance figures for the LOTR theme but because these sets were released a long time after the films the hype around them had well and truly died down by that point they weren't as profitable as LEGO would have liked. The less sets that sold the scarcer they are which has led to high prices post retirement.

The Minifigures

Another reason why these sets are so expensive is the collectability of the minifigures. Combined there are 48 unique minifigures which is a lot considering there were only 12 sets and 3 promotional polybags. Whereas longer running series such as Star Wars and Harry Potter contain many variants of the same characters, with the Lord of the Rings set almost every minifigure depicts a different character.

If you're interested in finding out more about these minifigure we've written a separate article covering the Top 10 Most Expensive Lord of the Rings Minifigures.

Just how expensive are they?

A good comparison to make when looking at prices is how much a new sealed set costs now compared to it's RRP when it was released. The table below shows the price increases over time.

Set number Set name RRP Current price Increase %
79005 The Wizard Battle £11.99 £40.00 333%
9472 Attack on Weathertop £49.99 £115.00 230%
79007 Battle at the Black Gate £59.99 £160.00 266%
9469 Gandalf Arrives £11.99 £45.00 375%
79008 Pirate Ship Ambush £89.99 £170.00 188%
9470 Shelob Attacks £19.99 £60.00 300%
9471 Uruk-hai Army £29.99 £108.00 360%
9476 The Orc Forge £39.99 £102.00 255%
9474 The Battle of Helm's Deep £99.99 £300.00 300%
79006 The Council of Elrond £29.99 £65.00 216%
10237 The Tower of Orthanc £169.99 £310.00 182%
9473 The Mines of Moria £69.99 £175.00 250%

As you can see the majority of sets have increased over 250% in value, but remember that is based on the RRP at the time they were sold, chances are many were bought at 20-30% under that price.

Licensed themes normally have a higher price per piece because of the extra production costs, meaning sets like Attack on Weathertop had a PPP of 11.6p back in 2012 but by today's prices it's now nearly 27p per piece!

Will LEGO make more LOTR sets

Fear not fellow Tolkien fans, you may have already heard about the Amazon Prime TV series being released in September 2022 and with that comes the possibility of future Lord of the Rings Lego sets...

Posted by Chris on 26th November 2021

Chris has been playing with LEGO bricks for as long as he can remember. His favorite themes are Icons, Star Wars and Harry Potter