It’s Hobbit Time

What a couple of weeks. The Hobbit was on. The light was green and we rejoiced. Then there were a few anxious moments when we thought we’d celebrated too soon, but it all came right and we are absolutely thrilled with the final result, that the films will start shooting in New Zealand this summer. (That’s what the northern hemisphere calls winter, by the way).


We are pumped (or stoked as the New Zealand expression goes) and we can’t help but devote this entire newsletter to Middle-earth.

To get in the mood – why not start by having a look at a YouTube video of support to the New Zealand film industry!

And then some street scenes from New Zealand over the last week, showing the NZ film making community rising as one in support of our precious industry:

Click for larger images. Photos courtesy of Helen Williamsson


On behalf of all our friends and colleagues at Weta Workshop, we send our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of the people from around New Zealand and the world who have sent us their messages of support.

Everyone here has tried to stay optimistic for a positive outcome but in the darkest days of the past week it has been the amazing support from the fans of LOTR and our family and friends which has given us the resolve to stay cheerful and positive about the outcome for these films.

It is a fantastic result and we are grateful for the support of our Government in recognising the challenges our film industry was facing.

We are also very pleased that Warner Bros are happy to continue to see these films made in New Zealand – and thank them for their efforts.

Most importantly our thanks go out to Peter, Fran and Philippa, for their unrelenting efforts to see these films made in our country.  We are very lucky to work with such passionate film makers.

All our best and cheers to you all

Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger

A message from Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh

When it was announced that The Hobbit would be filming in New Zealand in February, we received a message from Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh.

Read it here!

Show us a Hobbit and be in to win a book signed by John Howe.

We’d like to celebrate the great news by helping the world become a bit more Hobbit-like. And then revel in it for a while!

We’d like to offer you a chance to get your very own Hobbit Ears (Sam’s or Frodo’s) at a discount if you buy them before 8 Nov. And then we’d like to see what you look like. As a Hobbit! Send us your photos!

There is also a part 2 to the competition: Tell us what Lord Of The Rings location in New Zealand you would like to visit and why. To help you out with this task, we are also slashing the price of our gorgeous NZ Map of Middle-earth. Offer valid until 8 Nov.

Send your photos and answers before 5 Sunday Dec 2010 to:

The winner of the competition will get a signed copy of There And Back Again – The Map of Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Signed by none other than John Howe, who illustrated the map, won an Oscar for The Lord Of The Rings and has been working hard on designing The Hobbit movie.

Sunday 31 October: Weta Cave Book Signing with John Howe
– The Map of Tolkien’s The Hobbit

Our good friend John Howe will be visiting the Weta Cave on Sunday 31 October 1-3 pm for a book signing. John has illustrated a beautiful map from The Hobbit. And you can get your copy signed by John on Sunday.

Check out all the details on Facebook!


New Miniature Shield from The Lord Of The Rings – and a gorgeous poster!

The Rohirrim Royal Guard’s Miniature Shield has been shown in the “flesh” at San Diego Comic-Con and Auckland Armageddon and now it’s available to pre-order from our website!

To celebrate the launch, we have also produced a poster with photos of the original props on which our miniature shields are based. There is no shortage of ideas for future products, and our four existing shields (Numenorean | Easterling | Gil-galad | Rohirrim Royal Guard) are of course featured.


Rivendell – first look

Senior Model Maker David Tremont and Designer Daniel Falconer have requested the original miniature of Elrond’s Rivendell from The Lord Of TheRings back into the workshop and are studying it with a very particular purpose.

To make a collectible environment!

We will follow the process closely and bring you updates on the progress.

This promises to be a SPECTACULAR piece! Just look at it…

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