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The Hobbit Illustrated by the Author

8 hours ago - By zionius

The Hobbit Illustrated by the Author

US Trade Hardcover


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The Hobbit Illustrated by the Author (Tolkien Illustrated Editions)

William Morrow (2023-09-19)

$71.86 (Hardcover) - Availability: Preorderable

Publisher ‏ : ‎ William Morrow (September 19, 2023)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 432 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0063347533

For the first time ever, a special enhanced edition of the enchanting prelude to The Lord of the Rings, illustrated throughout with over 50 sketches, drawings, paintings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien himself and with the complete text printed in two colors.

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey ‘there and back again.’ They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon . . .

Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit was published on 21 September 1937. With a beautiful cover design, a handful of black & white drawings and two maps by the author himself, the book became an instant success and was reprinted shortly afterwards with five color plates.

Tolkien’s own selection of finished paintings and drawings have become inseparable from his text, adorning editions of The Hobbit for more than 85 years. But the published art has afforded only a glimpse of Tolkien’s creative process, and many additional sketches, colored drawings and maps – although exhibited and published elsewhere – have never appeared within the pages of The Hobbit.

In this unique enhanced edition of Tolkien’s enchanting classic tale, the full panoply of his art is reproduced for the first time, presenting more than 50 illustrations to accompany Bilbo Baggins on his adventure ‘there and back again.’
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The Facsimile Hobbit

13 hours ago - By Trotter

I noticed some posts on Reddit in about the Facsimile Hobbit and decided to get another copy, which is currently the 6th (stated) impression, though it should really be the 7th impression.
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The Hobbit (Facsimile 1st Edition) (2016)

HarperCollins (2016)

$26.62 Blackwell's (hardback) - Availability: Usually dispatched within 10 days
$27.12 Biblio (Hardback) - Availability: Click to check
$27.14 (Hardcover) - Availability: Now
£23.00 (Hardcover) - Availability: Now
£23.53 AbeBooks - Availability: Click to check
£16.00 eBay UK - Availability: Click to check

If you do not have a copy at all, then I recommend the Gift set edition, for the extras that come with this copy, including Tolkien's Essay on Dragons.
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The Hobbit (80th Anniversary Giftset) (2017)

HarperCollins (2018-05-31)

$45.00 Blackwell's (hardback) - Availability: Usually dispatched within 10 days
$43.59 Biblio (Hardcover) - Availability: Click to check
$49.37 (Hardcover) - Availability: Now
£38.85 (Hardcover) - Availability: Now
£37.89 AbeBooks - Availability: Click to check
£33.12 eBay UK - Availability: Click to check

I am showing four editions of The Hobbit in this article

(a) The Hobbit 1937, 1st edition, 1st impression, printed by Unwin Printers, Woking
(b) The Facsimile Hobbit 2016, 1st impression (first state), printed by Rotolitto Lombarda
(c) The Facsimile Hobbit Gift set 2017, 1st impression (second state), printed by RR Donnelley APS, China
(d) The Facsimile Hobbit 2016, 6th impression, printed by RR Donnelley APS, China


(a) at the top, (d) at the bottom

(a) (b)
(c) (d)




The 6th Impression

Is it worth getting a new impression, if you already have the facsimile Hobbit?

I think it is, the book fits very well into the slipcase and is very easy to take out and look at, the slip cased first impression is not. The book is also sewn, which is a nice improvement.

The binding, staining and paper, used in the facsimile will never be an exact match for the 1937 original, but I think these are very good, and I like the use of whiter paper for the end-maps in this impression.

I also prefer the green used for the binding, but I know that some people prefer the colour used for the 2016 release, I think you may have me to blame for it being changed if you preferred the original shade.

The blue on the dust-jacket is a bit lighter on this impression.

The only change that I would really like to see would be the dust-jacket flaps being reproduced photographically from the 1937 1st impression dust-jacket, but this is a minor point and does not spoil the experience of the book for me.
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Toybiz Action Figures Overview

18 Mar - By AndyBirdUK

The Lord of the Rings Peter Jackson movie Toybiz Action Figure figure range is one of the best Action Figure ranges there has been, which is fantastic for Tolkien collectors. The figures are high quality, a great size, great detail, very accurate and there is a large number of characters.

However, the range is quite hard to navigate, this article will look at some of the aspects to consider about the range. It is quite statistical not a full list of every item.

Please note that this article is looking at the main range of the Action Figures and will not be considering different language variants, and, although it does consider the different movie/colour packaging variations, it does not include any other types of variations such as same packaging differences (I might do a separate article on those).

The range consists of 240 items based around the 3 movies (Fellowship 85 items, Two Towers with 74 items, Return of King with 76 items and there are also 5 non specific General items).

There were different types of items released primarily based on the number of characters and size on the characters included with the item. These can be broken down as single figures packs, double figure packs, triple figure packs, horse/beast and rider packs, large figure packs, multi figure packs and promo items.

So firstly let’s look at the packaging for the items, the first thing to mention is that the items were released to correspond with the movie releases and the packaging of items related to the movie being released, which did not always correspond to the movie the item was for. The packing colour related to the movies promotional colour schemes, these being Fellowship Green, Two Towers Red, Return of the King Blue, Post movies Trilogy and Post movies General. Some movie items were released during a different movie release, which meant that some items packaging colour did not correspond to the items movie. The breakdown of this is as follows:
Fellowship items - Packaging: Green 59, Red 13, Blue 4, Trilogy 4, General 4
Two Towers items - Packaging: Red 59, Blue 8, Trilogy 5, General 2
Return of the King items - Packaging: Blue 63, Trilogy 5, General 7
General items - Packaging: Blue 3, General 2

These are some examples of Fellowship items in different film release colours:

The next aspect of packaging to look at is the style of packing. Of the different types of items, single figures were released in two phases, initially in “Half Moon” packaging and then on Card packaging, double and triple figure set packs were only released in “Half Moon” packaging. Large figures, Horse and Rider and Multi Figure set packs were all released in boxes (of various sizes and formats). The breakdown of items is, Half Moon 82 items, Carded 106 items, Sets 50 items (and there were also 2 promo items in plain box packaging).

The types of items breakdown is as follows:
170 single packs - 64 half moon packaging, 106 carded packaging
14 double packs - all half moon
4 triple packs - all half moon
15 horse/beast and rider packs
9 large figure packs
26 multi figure packs
2 Promo

These are examples of the different types of items:

Although there were 240 items released, a lot of these contained more than one actual figure (the Fellowship with Peter Jackson boxed set contains 10 figures). In fact there were a total of 393 individual figures within the whole range.


It should be pointed out that within these 393 figures there are quite a few different copies produced of the same characters. The characters can be split into 2 categories, the actual named characters (there are 43 of these) and general characters i.e. Orcs, Elves, Rohirrim, Ringwraith, Horses etc. (there are 13 of these). Of the total figures, 318 are named character and 75 general characters.

However, there are also different versions of a lot of the characters, for instance there are 10 versions of Aragorn. Some of the versions of characters are exclusive to a specific multi pack.

There are also multiple copies of each version of a character. These are a; re-issues of the same version in different packaging, and b; the same version included within multi character sets.

For instance there are actually a total of 37 Aragorn figures within the 10 different versions, these are:
Strider - 4 times
Strider at Weathertop - 1 time
Super Poseable Strider - 2 times
Aragorn - 11 times
Helms Deep Aragorn - 4 times
Battle Action Aragorn - 1 time
Council Aragorn - 1 time
Super Poseable Aragorn - 3 times
Pelennor Fields Aragorn - 6 times
Aragorn King of Gondor - 4 times

Here are examples of each of the different Aragorn versions:

Of the 43 named characters, there are 2 with 10 versions, Aragorn and Frodo, and there are 9 with just a single version. Overall there are a total of 135 different versions of the 43 named characters.

Of the total 318 named character figures, there are 11 named characters with 10 or more figures (Aragorn, Frodo, Legolas, Gandalf, Gimli, Gollum, Sam, Boromir, Pippin, Bilbo and Merry). There are 9 named characters with only 1 figure (Celeborn, Denethor, Gamling, Gorbag, Grima, Mouth of Sauron, Shagrat, Shaku and Theodred).

Of the 13 general characters there are 75 individual figures made up of 1 Army of the Dead, 1 Easterling, 4 Elves, 1 Fell Beast, 6 Gondorian, 4 Haradrim, 14 Horses, 11 Orcs, 14 Ringwraith, 3 Rohirrim, 5 Trolls, 10 Uruk-hai and 1 Warg.

Within the 13 general characters there are 39 different versions of the characters. The most versions are of the Orcs, with 8 versions, and there are 5 which only have 1 version (Army of the Dead, Easterling, Fell Beast, Rohirrim and Warg).

These are the Orc versions:
Orc Warrior
Orc Overseer
Moria Orc
Moria Orc Archer
Isengard Orc Captain
Mordor Orc Lieutenant (exclusive to Pelennor Fields multi figure pack)
Morannon Orc


There are a few other things worth mentioning, firstly that there were 26 exclusive items, featuring 58 figures. These items were only available in some countries (UK, Australia, Canada, Spain and Korea). They are made up of 2 Singles Half Moons, 6 Singles Carded, 7 Doubles, 4 Triples, 2 Large, 2 Horse and Rider and 3 Multi figure packs. Some of these are the rarest and most collectable of the whole range. These are exclusive items, all of the figures in them are available in other items.

As an example, these are the 6 Canadian exclusive carded Return of the King figures, note that these have dual language packaging:

Another interesting example is the Canadian Carry Case (classed as a multi pack) which came with 8 figures.


There were also 2 promo items. These were a mail-away from Burger King. The first was an exclusive Uruk-hai figure, however, after a time, they ran out of these and sent a standard Lutz figure replacement. These figures came in a plain white box.


The final thing to mention is the Balrog. Toybiz did not produce a Balrog figure as part of their range, however NECA did produce a one off Balrog action figure to the same scale and this is often referenced alongside the series. The Balrog was a limited edition and did not come in any themed packaging, just a plain cardboard box.

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Two Upcoming Auctions

11 Mar - By Trotter

24th March 2023

Lot 2253 - Two Folio Society sets, to include: The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, 3


Two Folio Society sets, to include: The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, 3 vols., published 1977, ed. 1466/1750, in original slipcase, with 'A Century of Conflict, 1848-1948, 5 vols., in original slipcase. (2)

Estimate 60 GBP - 100 GBP ... utm_content=lot-view-link

Lot 2255 - Folio Society volumes, to include: 'The Hobbit' by J. R. R. Tolkien, 'The Pursuit


Folio Society volumes, to include: 'The Hobbit' by J. R. R. Tolkien, 'The Pursuit of Love' by Nancy Mitford, a set of seven novels by Thomas Hardy, in addition to other miscellaneous, non-Folio Society editions. (2 boxes)

Estimate 40 GBP - 60 GBP ... 00-4188-a5e5-afc1012e06c2

30th March 2023
Forum Auctions

Lot 556 Tolkien (J.R.R.).- McIlwaine (Catherine) Tolkien. Maker Of Middle Earth, one of

Please note that you can buy one of these for $600(£500) from here ... -earth-collectors-edition


Tolkien (J.R..R.).- McIlwaine (Catherine) Tolkien. Maker Of Middle Earth, one of 675 copies signed by Priscilla Tolkien on loose limitation leaf, illustrations, original cloth with pictorial onlay, housed along with card folder of facsimiles and prospectus in original box, house in original numbered card packaging with numbered black tissue wrapping loosely inserted, 4to, Oxford, 2018.

Estimate 400GBP - 600GBP ... utm_content=lot-view-link
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Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics “Richard West” Binding 1977

7 Mar - By Mr. Underhill

A few weeks ago, I found an item which I knew next to nothing about, a library bind from 1977 of Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics appearing to be bound in maroon library buckram from sheets from the 1969 American edition, of which there is only a small entry on


The site states that the first of these 52-page booklets in stapled card wrappers appeared in 1969 from the Folcroft press but that the location of the print and the binding details and amount is unknown.


It does have however have a one-line entry for a Richard West binding from 1977, which matches the title page of the one that I bought. Some of you may have heard of Richard C. West who is a noted Tolkien scholar, most notably for his work with the journal Orcrist and for his book Tolkien Criticism: An Annotated Checklist. There seemed to be a connection between him and this binding. I asked Urulókë, Trotter, Bill Fliss of Marquette University and a few others and no one could tell me much about this volume. The price was very low, so I went ahead and bought it while containing my research.


I could find next to nothing online about this library at all, I did find a listing for a Folcroft library 1985 edition that was in a green binding, but the description turned out to be wildly inaccurate. I found a couple of entries on Beren’s site of volumes that he had sold, the Arden Library edition of 1980 and the Folcroft Library edition of 1985 in which the copyright pages states a limitation of 150 and 100 copies respectively. But nothing at all on this Richard West edition of 1977.

I finally got a hit when I reached out to Findegil for help. Surely, they knew of something that could aid in my research. Turns out they did. They were able to consult their own extensive library as well as notes compiled from The Bookseller in December 1979 and The Author in Spring 1980, and "The Pirates of Philadelphia" by David Machin. That the “Richard West” on the title page was not the Tolkien scholar Richard C. West but an imprint of one firm, established and run by the Weiman family, under three imprints in Pennsylvania, as were the Norwood and Folcroft bindings as well. In the 1970s and 1980s, the U.S. federal government gave libraries money to build their collections. Publishers like the Weiman’s then sprang up to create cheap photo-reprints of scholarly books for the libraries to buy and they appear to have not given any royalties back to the Tolkien Estate or other publishers. A Mr. Mark Weiman is quoted as saying that it was “unproductive for them to search out every author they reprinted to send a royalty, so they wouldn't.” Richard West (only by coincidence the name of the late Tolkien scholar), Norwood Editions, Folcroft Library Editions all appear to be the same publisher. Eventually the federal money ran out and these editions stopped being produced. It also appears that these editions may not have been as limited as first appears. Probably hundreds of copies in a print run and bound in whatever color was on hand for cost purposes. However, the reason they appear to be limited on the secondhand market is that they were library books, most having been discarded long ago.

All and all this is a neat volume to have and a great addition to my library. It’s a neat window into the history of Tolkien library binds in the U.S. market and what was available to readers of the time period. I still have yet to find another “Richard West” imprint listed anywhere so if any member here has one, please dig it out and show us here. Many thanks to Wayne and Christina for aiding me in my research.

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