The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Chess Set
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This is nothing but a toy. Someone is trying to capatalize on this item by buying it and trying to sell it as rare making a huge profit. It plainly states the games is for those 8 and up. Don`t waste your money buying online. It may be alright for a puppet show but it is not fit for playing chess.
The set is pretty decent. As a LotR geek, it definately appeals to me. I don't know what the deal with the other people is--the squares are easily discernable, and it's not like it's a huge hassle to check the base of the pieces to see which piece represents what. And it doesn't take too much effort to remember which character is which type of piece, either. The only thing bad about it is, as someone else said, the size of the troll piece playing on the dark side--it's bulkiness borders on being annoying and unusable, but you can still play with it.
This is another example of someone trying to capitalize on the success of the corresponding movie. If you are buying this to play with the pieces, go for it! The characters are nice -- there's goblins and orcs and lots of nasty characters on the darker side and all your favorite good guys on the other. However, as a chess set, it is completely unusable!!! The board has the ghost of a map of Middle Earth imprinted over it, making it difficicult to discern the dark squares from the light squares. But the worst part is the pieces. The only way to tell what is what is to look at the little symbol on the front of the base of the piece. The knight on the dark side is one of those huge ugly bald things that stuck Frodo with the spear when they were in the mines. It is so big that the rook barely fits in his square. The bishop on the lighter colored side is Frodo. He is smaller than both the rook and the knight! I am not a chess fanatic and I prefer sets with some sort of theme, but this is ridiculous! A set based on classic cars would be better! I'm sending this back and I hope to save you the shipping costs of sending yours back. Don't buy this unless you plan to use the pieces to put on a puppet show or something.