Tolkien family and Warner Bros. reach Lord of the Rings settlement

The family of Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien have settled a lawsuit with Warner Bros. over merchandising rights.

Warner Bros. has teamed up with the LEGO Group to produce the LEGO Lord of the Rings video game, which would be one of the licensed items that Tolkien’s family argue was not covered by the deal made in 1969.

Sky News reported the £62 million lawsuit.

Priscilla Tolkien, daughter of the famed British author, teamed up with her father’s publishers HarperCollins to sue the studio over abuse of merchandising rights.

They say Warner has overstepped the mark by producing video games and apps based on the books, when rights sold to them by the estate only covered goods such as figurines, stationary and clothing.

The sale was made in 1969, when only “tangible” merchandising was sold, ignoring any digital

Despite the lawsuit running for five years, the settlement was described as ‘amicable’. Sauron most recently appeared in The LEGO Batman Movie, when the Joker releases the character alongside other famous franchise villains.


Graham was the Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education. Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.

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