“Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”
―Gandalf the White, Return of the King
There may well be many tears shed by collectors of the sixth-scale Lord of the Rings figures produced by Asmus Collectibles, but they will likely be tears of joy – for their journey to complete the members of Fellowship of the Ring has at long last come to an end.
With the release of the dwarven warrior, Gimli, the Fellowship is now complete after several years of as many highs and lows as can be found in the Misty Mountains themselves. With this final and fan-favorite member has Asmus successfully scaled the heights of Caradhras to bring us a Gimli worthy of your display? Let’s find out…
- Gimli with rooted hair dressed in movie accurate clothing
- Fellowship cape with Lothlorien pin
- Five axes
- Three Pairs of hands; two gripping, two fists, two open
- LOTR branded stand
Asmus’ LOTR sculpts have ranged from good to very good, with the recent expansion pack Frodo sculpt being the among the best, in my opinion. I would say this one rivals that sculpt and maybe surpasses it due to the unbelievable rooted hair application.
Without a doubt, this is the greatest achievement in rooted hair on a mass-produced figure ever. Asmus has pushed the limits apparently farther than they thought they could just months ago! After hearing feedback from collectors and reviewers on the Legolas figure wondering why rooted hair wasn’t an option as it had been for Aragorn and Gandalf (and later, Boromir) Asmus responded that they just didn’t have the means to recreate the small braids that run through the elf’s hair on a large scale production. And yet, here they are, making up the mustache that’s woven into the larger braids of Gimli’s beard. It’s a fantastic effect which would not have worked well at all as a sculpted piece. I’m eternally grateful to Asmus for leaving Gimli for last if the time it took helped with this result. (Now we need an expansion rooted Legolas sculpt!)
Beneath all that glorious hair, lies a very good likeness as well. The paint app is adequate, if not quite Hot Toys level (but Hot Toys, wasn’t Hot Toys level 6-7 years ago). The eyes are set in an upward looking angle, which I was a little disappointed in at first, but I’ve gotten used to and it works for the character for the most part.
He has a full head of hair as well, pulled back in a ponytail and contained by three “metal” rings. One note; the head sits just a bit high on the shoulders, not to a distracting point and it does look better with the cloak on.
Usually the stand-out section of any Asmus LOTR review – the clothing – while really nice here, still takes a back seat to the sculpt this time.
The detail that’s applied throughout the materials and pieces has to be admired. Aside from one section, which I’ll get to in a second, the clothes are incredibly accurate. From the pattern of the shoulder armor and gauntlets to the detail and subtle differences in paint finishes on the helmet – almost everything looks great. The one issue I have is with the material chosen for the chainmail. The mail Gimli wore was kind of intricate, almost tiny pieces of metal linked together between each piece. Maybe an impossible armor to accurately replicate, but what was used is further away than some other materials may have been. The chainmail material used for ThreeZero’s Sandor Clegane figure, for example, might have been a better choice. It’s not just the look, the material is also fairly stiff and I’m afraid that it will crack on the elbow areas over time, but we’ll see.
On the accessory front, Gimli doesn’t come with some of the little pieces and parts that other LOTR figures have come with. Included is the ubiquitous Fellowship cloak and pin, the helmet mentioned above, three pairs of hands and the LOTR branded stand. I would have liked his pipe, but what he lacks in little parts he more than makes up for with some awesome weapons! Gimli is equipped with all five axes he carried (at various times) in the films.
Not only are these axes die-cast, but the detail in the handles is absolutely stunning. The metal blades have some weathering to them and the handles have the look of well-used leather. Gimli carried all of these with him at one point and there is a place for all of them. The one issue is that the two small throwing axes don’t fit well in the space allotted for them on the belt. Some people have gotten them both in – carefully – but this is a little bit of an oversight.
One other small note is that the “crotch-grabber” part of the included stand is a bit too tall for Gimli – it just doesn’t work. It could probably be cut down a bit, which is what I’ll probably do.
The Dwarves of Middle-Earth were most certainly built for battle, not ballet. Thier strong, stocky nature makes them a formidable force on the field, but they’re not exactly gymnasts. With that in mind and considering the amount of clothing here, you have to temper your expectations of dynamic movement.
Asmus created a custom body for Gimli which by itself, seems to have a pretty good range of motion. But cover it with all those layers of clothing and armor, coupled with his short limbs, and some joint movement is just going to be hindered. Knees still move well (not double jointed) with the light material used for the breeches, but while the shoulders are free enough to simulate throwing the smaller axes, and the elbows can be moved into positions to hold the double-handed axes, it’s that stiff chainmail material that keeps the elbows range of motion down. It is flexible, but again, I’m afraid of the effect that bending it will have over time.
Other than that though, and accounting for his size/shape and amount of layers, you can get him into some fun poses. His boots are two-piece, which I prefer (Legolas has them, Aragorn and Boromir don’t) and the wider width of his feet coupled with his low center of gravity make it easy to balance him in some dynamic poses.
The $200 tag for Gimli is right in the pocket of pricing for most of the recent full-version LOTR figures from Asmus and lower than the average Hot Toys figures now. And for almost all of that line, it’s been a very fair price considering all you get.
For this particular figure, the rooting and hair treatment alone is worth the price. Couple it with five beautiful die-cast weapons and great likeness and it’s nearly a bargain.
What can I say, except that I believe this is the best LOTR figure that Asmus has yet to put out and is a good contender for 1/6th figure of the year. With few exceptions, this is an amazing likeness top to bottom. The clothing is mostly on par with their excellent previous work and the weapons are also among the best they’ve created. Overall, a must-buy for any LOTR fan.
The great thing about Asmus is that they really try to be better with every release. The good and bad is that they often are and then you want the older figures to be revised. Luckily, unlike most other manufacturers, they go back and do that – giving you the opportunity to buy separate, upgraded sculpts. I have a good feeling we’ll see this hair/beard treatment for Gandalf and Legolas very soon.
Thanks to Asmus Collectibles for providing this figure for review.
Trevor is a New York-based Creative Director and owner of The Brand Counselors. He has a growing collection of 150ish 1:6th scale stock and custom figures (and more and more Lego sets). Toy photography melds his childhood dreams of comic book illustration and film directing with his design talents and – in his mind – justifies the ridiculous money he spends on these things. When he’s not shooting, he enjoys kayaking, catching up on good TV and building seemingly endless custom figures.
Last modified: August 10, 2018