Questionable Collectibles: “Official” Lord of the Rings Art Prints

Disclaimer: SpaceStationWagon champions letting your geek flag fly in any way you choose, be it by creating fan-art (of any nature) or by displaying whatever (questionable) merchandise you collect. We are all dweebs here, so speak “Friend” and enter!

Lo, the nerdy side of the internet! A log of our congealed, seamy pop culture – a marketplace of poorly conceived products and a gallery of fetish fan-art. You can’t innocently google image search a fictional character without poorly drawn pictures of their feet appearing a few rows down; and beware when on a deep delve of Ebay. Your innocent Wagon Driver has been attempting to offload some action figures from the Lord of the Rings film trilogy on that much loved website, running searches to see what the demand is for these figurines and what prices they go for before listing (long story short: there is zero demand for LotR trilogy action figures). A price checking search earlier this evening turned up something more two-dimensional…and with a lot more hot hobbit bod on display:


I think this is meant to depict the scene in The Fellowship of the Ring when the hobbits and Gandalf enter a room where Frodo is recovering from a strenuous ordeal, either leaping into the bed or gazing wistfully at him (it could also be the scene from The Return of the King when the hobbits and Gandalf enter a room where Frodo is recovering from a strenuous ordeal and either leap into the bed or gaze wistfully at him, but I think the elven boats on the river Anduin and the 2002 date firmly indicate FotR). Note Frodo’s smoldering poise and “come-hither” gaze, Sam losing himself in Frodo’s eyes, and Gandalf’s stony leer from the corner of the room.

The the character likenesses and general quality of the art/presentation are collector plate level, and the fact that an artist is credited in the auction title made me think for a second that maybe, just maybe, this was some kind of officially licensed Lord of the Rings merchandise (available only in New Zealand?)…until I scrolled down a few more entries in the search results:


The smoking gun is that Sean Astin was never, ever that cut and hard-bodied during the Lord of the Rings phase of his career. I’m thinking these were probably not approved by the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien, Wagoners.

Because I’ve never known when to pull out of an awful rabbit hole (hobbit hole?) I googled the artist (Susan Lovett fan art), sure enough the first thing that came up was some Kirk/Spock action (and Starsky on Hutch). I cut my search off there but you are welcome to peruse on your own computer, or even bid on the prints themselves! As of this writing they are still for sale on Ebay for $6.99 + reasonable shipping.


In the interest of showing that the author is no better than those he mocks, check out this piece that has been a part of the SpaceStationWagon collection for many years:


The orc overseer has a lever on his back to crack the whip (“where there’s a whip, there’s a way!”), and you press a button on the “birthing sac” to make the loathsome Uruk-hai youth erupt from it (raising all sorts of questions about orc reproduction). It’s great. Fun for the whole family. What was Toy Biz thinking? What was middle school ME thinking?! If you want to own it for yourself (loose, but complete!) mine is currently for sale on Ebay right now.

I do like how the guy setting up the catalog photo (have I found my dream career?) went to fucking town on that diorama. Check out the slime!

Fare thee well, SpaceStationWagoners! Remember, not all who wander (the internet) are lost. But most are.

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