|Sting Sword Review Capsule|
|One of Frodo's arms in the Lord of the Rings saga was the Sting Sword, an enchanted Elvish blade that glows blue at the sign of the likes of orcs and goblins. Master Replicas, following their FX Lightsaber line, has brought the weapon into a glowing collectible form, giving LOTR fans with extra cash something else to buy. It's slick, and expected to be around $119. (Note: advance sample reviewed.)|
Sting is not just a man that's less interesting than the band he once fronted, it's also the name of Frodo Baggins' sword from Lord of the Rings. Master Replicas produced the Sting Sword Collectible in a style very similar to its Star Wars Lightsabers line of collectibles in that it lights up and produces a variety of sounds. It's a novel way to create something more exciting than a prop replica that, oddly enough, is often cheaper. (For the record, as of this review, the United Cutlery version of the weapon is $200 and does not light up.)
At first glance, the fact that it's a plastic blade is masked by the unusual materials employed in this weapon's creation.
Rather than being clear with a white core like the lightsabers, this has a silver/grey core with clear plastic around it and silver paint on the edges, which helps maintain the illusion of it being an actual sword. Up close, you can see the lettering in the plastic clearly, and then it's a little more obvious you aren't dealing with metal, but from a respectable distance it's totally convincing.
The handle looks like a knife or sword handle might, with (we assume) faux wood for the grip and silver detailing that matches the cap at the end, which is where you put the batteries. With the power source, it has a very nice, heavy feel that is a little more realistic than the large, light version released by Toy Biz.
As this is a Master Replicas piece with a switch on it, one would have to assume there are electronics, and there are. There's a switch that has three modes, "Off," "On," and "Orcs Coming." While switched off, there are no lights or sounds, but when switched on the sword will make "clang" sounds, one of two, and these are randomly played. When the switch is all the way on, the blade progressivelylights up in blue and makes a humming sound, just like in the movie. The "clanging" sounds still play and the light stays on until you switch it to the "On" or "Off" modes, at which point the blade will slowly stop glowing and the noises will stop playing.
The blade lights up in a bright-- surprisingly bright-- blue, and can illuminate a darkened room nicely. It could be slightly better at doing this, but as it stands, if it were any brighter it would probably be overkill. The blue light doesn't flicker or fluctuate, but it does remain constant and apparently can remain switched on and glowing for several hours with the two nonstandard batteries which are supposedly not included, but ours did come with them.
One of the neater features about this piece is that if you have it go from its glowing state to the "off" mode, the sounds and lights will all work, including the "clanging" sounds, until the light finally fades away. Nice touch.
While it isn't exactly the highlight of the set, the stand holds up the sword admirably and can be placed on a shelf or mounted on a wall. Options in display are always welcome at the 16bit.com offices.
The base is easily mounted, and the brackets are removable so you can switch the way you display it quickly and easily. It features a simple pattern with no text or Elvish script or anything special, and as such, if you have a better, existing display for such a weapon you might as well use it. It's nice to have a display system included for such an item, otherwise we would probably have to store ours in the box instead of where it can be seen.
Our sample was mailed in a brown mailer box, a package with graphics was not sent our way. As such, we assume that either it isn't ready yet or Master Replicas has not created one for this release.
Master Replicas, Entertainment Earth, and countless other stores are taking preorders on this item for a summer release. It is not a limited edition, so it should be around for quite some time.
It's a little expensive, topping $100 and all, but if you like your collectibles in the high-end arena you'll probably want one of these. It looks really great, and the blue glow is totally convincing. It doesn't seem like there could have been a better way to pull off this effect, and as such I'd say it's a fantastic item for your collectible or convention-going needs.
Reviewed and photographed by Adam Pawlus
Sample received on May 17, 2004
Reviewed on June 15, 2004.