Back in the day when I was seeing LOTR before my eyes, I just had to have everything - stupid huh? But so works the mind of a collector. Since coming down out of the clouds I've made attempts to get rid of the excess but I look back at what fueled this collecting frenzy and it was easy. Since reading The Hobbit for the first time back in '71 (or '72?) I was hooked. After reading the Lord of The Rings Trilogy right afterward I would make annual pilgrimages to Middle Earth for many years to come, having read all four books again about four/five years ago.
The various cartoons which came out in the '70s just fueled the fires but they were rather weak, wispy visions of what LOTR could have, should have been. Peter Jackson's seminal trilogy (2001-2003) was the icing on the cake. Yes, there were flaws, but even with flaws it was awesome. When Play Along Toys came out with their Armies of Middle Earth series of toys and playset's (which were licensed tie-ins to the movies) man-oh-man I was caught hook, line, and sinker!! It wasn't much of a stretch for the collecting bug to branch outward to other things and so we have today's LOTR offering, a beautifully sculpted Ian McKellen as Gandalf The Gray from Hallmark in 2005. Hallmark's Gandalf stand 4 3/4" (12.06cm) H and has a small ring sticking out of his cap. This is an ornament after all so it was designed to be hung up, but taking out the the little ring would just leave a small, barely noticeable hole in his hat. Anywho, I left him as is. There will more LOTR paraphernalia featured here in the months ahead so - Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina