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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Moichandising, moichandising, moichandising!
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Sep 27 2012, 2:41am

Post #1 of 45 (1840 views)
Moichandising, moichandising, moichandising! Can't Post

With reference to "Yoghurt" in Spaceballs, all of this "moichandising" infesting the front page of TORN (Lego games, apps, board games, toys etc) is making me more and more empathetic to Christopher Tolkien and the Estate's position.

Perhaps I'm just getting old and crotchety.


(This post was edited by sharku on Sep 27 2012, 2:42am)


Sep 27 2012, 3:14am

Post #2 of 45 (769 views)
I don't like it either [In reply to] Can't Post

Didn't like it back then, don't like it now. What all this crap really does is taint and bastardize the work of Tolkien.

And even if I would love to see films based on The Silmarillion (more so than The Hobbit), I too fully understand Christopher Tolkien and the Estate's stance on things and why they wouldn't want to give up those rights. Perhaps, someday, there are deals and agreements that can be made to best avoid the sins of the past. But that's probably just wishful thinking.


Sep 27 2012, 4:50am

Post #3 of 45 (721 views)
Children enjoying toys based on books and movies they love? [In reply to] Can't Post

Sounds like Orc mischief to me!

The Grey Pilgrim, they once called me. Three hundred lives of men I walked this earth, and now I have no time...


Sep 27 2012, 5:14am

Post #4 of 45 (704 views)
Boxes and sticks [In reply to] Can't Post

Are better than little plastic Thorins, IMO. Smile

Tol Eressea

Sep 27 2012, 5:19am

Post #5 of 45 (680 views)
Until people quit buying it [In reply to] Can't Post

it's not going away.

King Arthur: You know much that is hidden oh Tim.

Tim: Quite.


Sep 27 2012, 5:24am

Post #6 of 45 (681 views)
A shame, IMO [In reply to] Can't Post

These sorts of toys remind me of Denethor's lines in ROTK.

Imagination: "And with these toys you would seek to supplant me???"


Sep 27 2012, 6:00am

Post #7 of 45 (659 views)
TORN's tagline [In reply to] Can't Post

The very tagline of this very website is "Forged by and for fans of JRR Tolkien".

I am not convinced that fans of Tolkien as a person and author, as distinct from the movies his books have spawned (accepting that there is large cross over) need quite the plethora of merchandise announcements on this website.

Yes, I am aware that I am well entitled to go and set my own website up if I would scorn the content of TORN, and I freely admit to frequenting this website for movie gossip and tidbits as much as the next punter. However as more a fan of JRR and his works than the consequent paraphenalia issued as a result, I do slightly despair at the sheer amount of - let's face it - adolescent tat which deluges us.

"Forged by and for fans of JRR Tolkien AND derived subsequent works and sundry"

Edit: Now I am sounding positively curmudgeonly!

(This post was edited by sharku on Sep 27 2012, 6:04am)


Sep 27 2012, 6:44am

Post #8 of 45 (646 views)
Well where do you draw the Line? [In reply to] Can't Post

At 62
I love my Arkenstone Replica
My Gollum sweeze toy that speaks.
My map of MiddleEarth.
My commenative Display plates.

Even back in the Late 1960's I collected Tolkien Tie-ins.
I have no money to buy Sword replicas but very many
Here do.

Why do you Think December release dates.
....was that an accident?

Kangi Ska

Sep 27 2012, 8:51am

Post #9 of 45 (623 views)
I will only say one thing about merchandising. [In reply to] Can't Post


Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
Life is an adventure, not a contest.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.


Sep 27 2012, 9:04am

Post #10 of 45 (588 views)
I'd rather spend my money on something that I enjoyed [In reply to] Can't Post

Than throwing it at the tax man.

Want Hobbit Movie News? Hobbit Headlines of the Week!


Sep 27 2012, 9:31am

Post #11 of 45 (578 views)
Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

When you create something that becomes immensely popular, and stirs the imagination of millions, it stops belonging to you alone. There is nothing wrong (IMO) with merchandising and toys that tie into the movie. Sure, companies make money off of it, but that certainly isn't what it's all about. I guess that's why I don't understand the Tolkien Estates stance on things like this. Maybe the movies aren't exactly what Tolkien would make himself, but they've renewed interest in his writings and have captured the imaginations of old fans and new fans. Certainly not a bad thing.

Crunchable Birdses

Sep 27 2012, 10:14am

Post #12 of 45 (631 views)
Any sympathy I had for Chris Tolkien [In reply to] Can't Post

vanished when I read this:

Seriously, it's just toys. For kids. I remember the sheer joy I got from my Star Wars figures as a kid.

Perspective, people, perspective.

* crunch *


Sep 27 2012, 10:33am

Post #13 of 45 (586 views)
Perspective [In reply to] Can't Post

Sympathy != empathy.

I too have no sympathy for Christopher Tolkien. He has lived a long and rich life in what has obviously been a rewarding vocation to him.

I do however have empathy - an understanding of what I perceive to be his beef with the marketing and merchandising Juggernaut of what were originally stories told by their father to he and his siblings.

As the poster who is 62 years old suggests, the guff is not just for kids (!=young at heart!). Or, looking from the other end of the telescope, all ephemera and entertainment - including the original works of Tolkien - could also be said to be for kids. I mean, let's face it, Tolkien was never an Orwell, Dostoyevsky, Huxley or Russell writing essays and treatises for the enlightenment and emancipation of mankind.

So in that sense, yes I agree - it depends on one's perspective!

(This post was edited by sharku on Sep 27 2012, 10:40am)


Sep 27 2012, 11:12am

Post #14 of 45 (551 views)
Jeez [In reply to] Can't Post

So let me get this straight. Basically some of you think there should be no merchandise for anything related to middle-earth? I collect some of this stuff myself (as some of you know from my column) and it ONLY adds to the world that I love. It's a way to show off and explain how awesome the world created by Tolkien is and how awesome a job Jackson has done with the world. Sure some of the things out there are silly, but I think any I dislike for the statues, books, and even action figures come from certain fans I cannot understand. Also, it has nothing to do with age one of my closest friends is 62 and she has an awesome collection of statues by Sideshow and Weta. Basically if you want I be a purist that's fine but don't judge us who love Tolkien and Jackson both.

Tol Eressea

Sep 27 2012, 11:15am

Post #15 of 45 (498 views)
Well put. :) // [In reply to] Can't Post



Sep 27 2012, 11:44am

Post #16 of 45 (532 views)
Okay how about Alan Lee & John Howe..& [In reply to] Can't Post

All the illustrators who have a Career selling Artwork of MiddleEarth.
Do you consider Them Explotators?

How about Karen's book "Atlas of MiddleEarth?"
How about songwriter's..like Led Zeppelin
or current singers who release versions of Howard's songs?
Or Air New Zealand promoting the Whole
country as as a Tolkien Tie-In?

I'll say it again..Where do YOU draw the line?
Face it
MiddleEarth has broad applications.

The greatest gift I ever got at any Christmas was the 4 Books
in1967. Even now..I've never made a dime off them
but thousands have.


Sep 27 2012, 11:50am

Post #17 of 45 (587 views)
Pre-Jackson-era Tolkien Merch [In reply to] Can't Post

Kristin Thompson has a wonderful chapter dedicated to this in her book "The Frodo Franchise" (buy it NOW if you haven't read it--I can't recommend it enough.) Complete with pics of the items. From the 1960's on, there were LOTR toys, board games, puzzles, calendars, and yes, action figures, put out by a smattering of companies. Plus other wacky stuff I can't remember at the moment.

But I see where you're getting at. Kristen also wrote about the long learning experience New Line had adapting the level of LOTr merch to fans' "tasteful" standards, and I hope WB will adere to those standards. NL, like so many others, intially thought Tolkien's main audience was teenage boys, and the initial merch was juvenile and aimed at that demographic. We fans had to teach them that Tolkien fans did not merit the derogatory terms "fanboy" or "nerd."
So far WB has surprised me. They're not doing too bad. If they announce a fast-food chain tie-in, however, I will reverse my opinion. There was a memorable paragraph in the book about the attempted, and finally abandoned, Burger King "Lord of the Onion Rings" tie-in..dear Lord.

But sadly, merch is a fact of modern franchise life. It began with "Doctor Dolittle", Lucas perfected it, and since then it defines any film franchise in varying levels. Like it or not, this is a FRANCHISE. Not just a Tolkien adaptation.
I just hope the Academy doesn't see it that way....

(and I notice that The Tolkien Estate hasn't tried to protest any of this, not a decade ago, and not now.They didn' protest old-school merch. I daresay they're making a handsome proft out out of whatever royalities they are guraunteed from FRANCHISE sales...not just the books!
Correct me if I'm wrong, if someone knows otherwise!)

(This post was edited by Sunflower on Sep 27 2012, 11:58am)


Sep 27 2012, 1:18pm

Post #18 of 45 (474 views)
Good post Sunflower [In reply to] Can't Post

I too recommend Kristin Thompsonís fascinating book to anyone interested in the LotR trilogyís place in the history of the movie business or even just in how that business has changed since the rise of the internet and other modern phenomena.

If I remember correctly from that book, the LotR movies are actually categorized as independent films because they were largely financed by deals New Line made with distributors and merchandisers. New Line never had 300 million dollars so no merchandise, no films. I donít remember if the Tolkien estate made anything out of sales of ephemera or if it all went to New Line and its partners.

Kristin mentions that the first publicity material for FotR was aimed at teenage boys and when Peter Jackson and his team saw it in its preliminary stages, they were appalled. They provided actual designs from the movies and that was what was used from then on.

Iím not a collector, except for a few of the books and the occasional calendar, and mostly I just skip over the stories about the merchandise. But once Tolkien sold the rights to LotR, he (and his heirs) lost the right to complain about what was done with it, as long as the contractual obligations were met. People, adults and children both, get a lot of fun out this stuff. People have jobs making and selling the stuff. We, especially those of us who are older, have to accept that the world has changed, for better or for worse, or else sit in a corner gnawing old bones of discontent.

I too remember that there has been Tolkien merchandise for sale since the 1960ís. Alan Lee, John Howe, Ted Naismith and the Hildebrandt Brothers made careers out of Tolkien and there was other stuff available as well.

Nothing, no movies, no amount of merchandise, can cheapen the books, except in the minds of people who wouldnít respect them anyway.

(This post was edited by Noria on Sep 27 2012, 1:19pm)


Sep 27 2012, 3:02pm

Post #19 of 45 (427 views)
ok the way I see it [In reply to] Can't Post

its a matter of quality over quantity. I ask myself would I buy a book with Lee/Howe illustrations, answer, yes I jolly well would. Would I buy a silver/crystal replica of Arwens jool, er yep I did. Blush would I buy a Happy Meal with a plastic Bilbo, no I jolly well wouldnt. so there you have it, I like quality moichandising, and I hate and despise plastic tat that uses and abuses the Tolkien name. I love it when people make their own stuff at home, it shows their love and creative talents, but I understand why children and adults would love to collect quality figurines, but not why they would pay for most of the garbage out there.

(This post was edited by Elenorflower on Sep 27 2012, 3:05pm)


Sep 27 2012, 3:31pm

Post #20 of 45 (410 views)
I want a Sting-shaped - [In reply to] Can't Post

- letter-opener....

Arwen's daughter

Sep 27 2012, 3:37pm

Post #21 of 45 (401 views)
If you don't mind the LOTR Sting [In reply to] Can't Post

Noble Collection already made one for you! http://www.noblecollection.com/...=NN5522&catid=17

My Costuming Site
TORn's Costume Discussions Archive


Sep 27 2012, 3:39pm

Post #22 of 45 (431 views)
I agree somewhat, ElenorFlower... [In reply to] Can't Post

...but then again, I was one of those kids whose parents didn't have the money for high quality toys. The upside of this was that I relied heavily on the local library for entertainment, which made me an avid reader from quite a young age. But when I did get my hands on some toys, they were cheap ones, including happy meal toys.

Since I was a child, I don't think books would have come alive for me as much as they did were it not for these cheap toys, which I was able to use as imaginative props...


Sep 27 2012, 3:59pm

Post #23 of 45 (376 views)
I have to get - [In reply to] Can't Post

Noble Collection already made one for you!

- one of those!


Sep 27 2012, 4:09pm

Post #24 of 45 (384 views)
oh I do understand you Mandel, [In reply to] Can't Post

I didnt have many toys as a kid, just books which I loved more. I mainly played outside and made things myself out of anything I found lying around. I didnt envy the other kids who had a ton of stuff, it didnt bring them happiness from what I saw. I remember pleasure from making a tree house and pretending I was in a flet, and using a cardboard box as a sledge down a hill. I was talking more from an adult perspective before.

(This post was edited by Elenorflower on Sep 27 2012, 4:10pm)


Sep 27 2012, 4:11pm

Post #25 of 45 (363 views)
I agree.. CB...Sounds like My way or the highway.../// [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
vanished when I read this:

Seriously, it's just toys. For kids. I remember the sheer joy I got from my Star Wars figures as a kid.

Perspective, people, perspective.

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