LEGO considered asking us to freeze elements for 10316 The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell

While designing 10316 The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell, the LEGO Group tossed around the idea of asking builders to freeze one of its new elements.

Figuring out the freezing point for LEGO bricks doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that would typically be part of a designer’s day job, but that’s apparently what went down during the development of 10316 The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell. Speaking exclusively to Brick Fanatics, designers Chris Perron and Mike Psiaki revealed that the process of creating new weapons for the set was a little… unorthodox.

“I think Sting was the sword that we knew we needed to include in some way,” Perron explained. “And because it’s been so many years since we had last done Lord of the Rings LEGO sets, we didn’t have the moulding equipment anymore for that one. So we knew we’d have to [create] a new mould to make that sword.

“And then we were discussing, ‘How are we going to do the Narsil blade which is broken on the statue?’ Because that’s a very iconic scene and a very important part of this entire model. So we were trying all sorts of weird things. How are we going to show a broken LEGO sword? I think Mike had a great idea of trying to show people how to freeze their plastic sword to the right temperature so they could drop it and break it.”

“Minus 75 celsius,” Psiaki chimed in. “Don’t try that at home. Dry ice is pretty close.”

Ultimately, the team decided not to burden builders with science homework for 10316 The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell, and so we ended up with a much more reasonable alternative: a moulded element for the broken shards of Narsil, found in the bag full of new weapons included in each copy of the set. Among those are new axes for Gimli, new Elven blades and a sword of Gondor for Boromir.

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“We had a few options, but the one that made the most sense was to just mould it out of plastic like a normal LEGO piece instead of doing a chemistry experiment,” Perron confirmed. It makes much more sense, but it’s still fun to know just how close we came to the LEGO Group asking us to break out the dry ice.

For more on 10316 The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell, check out our full interview with the designers over on our YouTube channel, or hit up our page dedicated to everything you need to know about the 6,167-piece set.

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Chris Wharfe

I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then. You can follow me on Twitter at @brfa_chris.

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