Nazgul Figurine

Imagine Games Network
August 2, 1999

Creepy Dark Lords Ready to Rock

Even without the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy starting in late 2000, for some reason, Middle Earth has suddenly become a very hot property. Everybody is hanging on official casting announcements, director Peter Jackson is suddenly a celebrity again, and people are wondering whether even the power of computer graphics can shrink down normal actors into squidgy, wide-faced hobbits.

But the true measure of success lies in the merchandising and the toys, and it looks like the Lord of the Rings is going to be big, big, big. Toy Vault, a noted action figure company (which has also produced figures based on Kurt Busiek's great comic series, Astro City) has been putting out Middle Earth action figures for the last year -- among those being Gollum, Gimli, Ugluk, Frodo, Gandalf, and Balrog -- and they've been hotter than Smaug's halitosis after garlic pizza. Of course, that means only one thing: more toys.

This November, Toy Vault is cashing in on J.R.R. Tolkien's legacy by releasing deluxe, 8-inch action figures, and man, they're nice. For $20 a pop, you can pick up three versions of the Lord of the Nazgul (one of the primary bad guys of the series) -- the standard Lord of the Nazgul, with sword and cloak, the Black Captain, with sword, mace, and glow-in-the-dark skeleton (available only through Diamond Previews and comic shops), and the Black Rider, with cloak and dagger (only available at Toy Vault's Toy Club. Unlike your standard action figure, these guys are super poseable, and have that cool glowing eye effect because the top of their head lets light in.

A couple more of these and we'll have to give up those Deluxe Darth Maul's we've been hoarding.