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click for largerPlay Along Toys' LOTR:Armies of Middle Earth
Osgiliath Ruins with Fell Beast
by Mr. Stinkhead

21 inches, that's the wing span on this puppy. Twenty one inches from tip to tip. This playset stands about 15 inches tall, and around 24 inches long from head to tail. I mention the size first, because that's what you'll notice first. This thing is massive.

Expertly detailed, every little scale is sculpted into the skin of this thing, his muscles ripple as they grip onto the edges of the Osgiliath ruins, and every little spot on his wings is painted on. Next to the size and detail, I noticed something else cool when assembling him, the neck and tail are poseable... that's right, the soft rubber has a thin wire within that lets you pose the tail and neck in a range of positions. I'm most impressed that it would hold these poses pretty well, and the little "air holes" necessary were discreet and hard to notice.

click for largerFrodo comes with his standard Ah crap, the final exam is today!? face, and has some nice poseability in his arms and waist. The elbow joint allows a side to side pivot, and his shoulder still moves up and down. But honestly, the Ringwraith and Frodo are both pretty inconsequential compared to the size and presence of the Fell Beast.

click for largerThe Osigiliath Ruins are nice, and there's a sturdy construction. At first I was worried about the weight of the beast affecting the base, but it holds up firmly. I also like how the diorama looks nice from any angle, there are details in the nooks and crannies on all sides.

The directions for assembly are easy to follow, however I did have one or two problems getting a peg to fit in a particular hole. Frodo's base peg was just a little fat for his foot hole as well. But it really didn't take too long to undo the twisty ties and get the thing set up. And once everything was in place, it stayed there.

click for largerDue to licensing issues, there could only be an Armies of Middle Earth scale Fell Beast if it was part of a playset. The beast is pretty securely attached, and if you were so inclined, you could remove him from the castle walls, but it would not be a casual process.

I'm blown away, the sheer size and detail really make this thing look like it's straight from the celluloid [Ed note: be careful, you'll get e-mails from the digital folks]. I was completely surprised you could pose the neck and tail. Most AOME figures have limited articulation, to keep the detail and scale accurate, but when Play Along saw an opportunity, they took it, and executed it beautifully. Alright, on to the pics.

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Check out the rest of our exclusive Armies of Middle Earth coverage

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Article and photos copyright 2004

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