Sunday Star Times
February 16, 2001

Rings Collection Up for Grabs
Barry Clarke

A former Lord of The Rings security guard who stole $213,000 worth of costumes and props from the movie set is now selling his own memorabilia of the Tolkien classic.

Central Otago-based Blue McLennan is advertising books autographed by the movie's stars, framed paintings, T-shirts and personalised number plates.

McLennan said the items were legitimately acquired. He believed it was unfair to bring up his conviction which was now in the past.

Last year, McLennan admitted stealing from the film site in the Wellington area. He lost his job and was sentenced to 200 hours' community service.

He had worked as a security guard and an extra.

During the court case, his lawyer said McLennan was obsessed with Lord of the Rings and had intended using the clothing and props to set up a shrine. He had Lord of The Rings tattooed on his body.

Many of the cast's big names had autographed The Lord of the Rings books for crew. Jackets, T-shirts and caps which people working on the set were able to purchase would also be sold.

McLennan also bought two number plates - Rohan 1 and Urukhi, the name of a soldier group in the movie - which were advertised last year for $20,000.

The Lord of the Rings production company would not specifically comment on McLennan's sale.

Spokesman Barrie Osborne said it was believed McLennan was not selling any of its property.