Lego An Unexpected Gathering – 79003 Hobbit Set Review + Giveaway!

I was going to review the Lego Hobbit set, An Unexpected Gathering (79003) much earlier than this but as the reviews started rolling in from various Lego blogs, all praising its virtues and declaring it one of the best sets ever made, I realised there was not too much I could add.

Quite simply, this set is perfect (You could win one – see below!)

Furthermore, if you are remotely interested in The Lord Of the Rings or The Hobbit you need to have at least one this set, and possibly more in order to make Lego dioramas of The Shire.

Lego An Unexpected Gathering – Review

Lego 79003 SetI could go through every design-gem this set contains (and there are a number!) but I feel most of it has already been covered by Brickset, The Brothers Brick and just about every other Lego Blog.

Instead, let me point out a few things that I noticed once the set was assembled and staring at me in all its glorious detail:

  • The organic merging of hill + house works perfectly despite the fact the set is made out of square bricks
  • The set is surprisingly sturdy, given the size and piece count.
  • The figures are glorious (Bombour has girth!)
  • The palette of colours is beautiful
  • The front garden is planned perfectly – so much is included given the small area
  • I could go on…

In fact the only way this set could have been improved is by doing away with the stickers. I’m sure, with the amount of new figures in the set, financial corners had to be cut somewhere but it just detracts from the set to have to affix stickers, knowing they will deteriorate sooner than printed pieces.

Still, that minor irk aside, An Unexpected Gathering (79003) gets my vote for one of the Best Lego sets ever.

Well done Lego!

Update! Competition is Closed and Winners have been Notified.
Lego has offerred us two of these sets to giveaway to The Brick Life readers – See below for more details! The giveaway competition closes 6pm AEDT Friday the 15th of February.

An Unexpected Gathering

Lego Set Number: 79003
Pieces: 652
Minifigures: 6  – Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo Baggins in his Shire outfit,Balin the Dwarf, Dwalin the Dwarf, Bombur the Dwarf and Bofur the Dwarf
Price: EU £59.99 / US $69.99 / AUS$119.99
Ages: 9-14
Released: January 2013
Theme: The Hobbit
Instructions in PDF: Book One a | Book One b | Book Two a | Book Two b
Best Prices: Amazon I   Amazon UK I  Fishpond AUS

An Unexpected Gathering – Description

Visit Bilbo Baggins in his Hobbit home!

Gandalf the Grey has invited the Dwarves to Bag End the Hobbit home of Bilbo Baggins. Uncover the Hobbit hole to entertain the Dwarves with food and drink accessories! Then invite Bilbo Baggins on a great journey to The Lonely Mountain and begin the epic LEGO The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey adventure.

Includes Gandalf the Grey and 5 exclusive minifigures featured only in this set: Bilbo Baggins in his Shire outfit, Balin the DwarfDwalin the Dwarf,Bombur the Dwarf and Bofur the Dwarf, all with assorted weapons.

  • Accessories include 3 Middle-earth maps, flowers, fence, goblets, plates, chicken, bread, carrots, sausage, bottles, shovel and apples
  • House features a fence with gate, barrel, bench, removable roof, tree and leaf exterior, round windows and door, a table with stools and shelves
  • Includes 7 weapons: 2 swords, 2 knives, club, pick axe and a staff
  • Collect 5 exclusive minifigures featured only in this set: Bilbo Baggins in his Shire outfit,Balin the Dwarf, Dwalin the Dwarf, Bombur the Dwarf and Bofur the Dwarf!
  • Uncover the Hobbit hole to play inside!
  • Feed the hungry Dwarves with tons of food and drink accessories!
  • Open the doors, gate and windows!
  • House measures over 6” (16cm) high, 11” (28cm) wide and 6” (17cm) deep

An Unexpected Gathering (79003) – Brick Life Rating

Lego Review Ratings 5/5

Value For Money:  Good figure and piece count value for a licensed set
Play Experience: Wonderful as a playset or display diorama
Pieces & Minifigures: Stickers (bummer) aside, the set comes with highly detailed and exclusive figures and a model that will inspire kids to create their own natural environments with Lego.
Value For Kids:  Great for fans of all ages.

Lego An Unexpected Gathering Image Gallery

Win One Of Two Lego The Hobbit “An Unexpected Gathering” Sets!

Update! Competition is Closed and Winners have been Notified.

A big thank-you to everyone who entered the competition, there were about 80 in total!

The two winners were selected using tools over at RandomPicker and have been contacted by email.

Please remember to subscribe to my newsletter so I can let you know of future Lego competitions and giveaways.

Thanks again for taking the time to enter and thanks again to Lego for offering the sets, 

Inger 🙂

Lego 79003 BoxA Lego Giveaway!

Lego has graciously offerred two Lego the Hobbit An Unexpected Gathering Sets to Australian readers of The Brick Life.

All you have to do is:

  • Just leave a comment below this post.
  • Remember to include your email.
  • Only Australian entrants will be considered.
  • Entries closes 6pm AEDT Friday the 15th of February.

How to Enter

All you have to do is make a comment in the appropriate box below this post.

If you are stuck for something to say, try answering these questions:

  • What is your (or your child’s) favorite Lego theme?
  • Has your child seen/read The Lord Of the Rings or The Hobbit and are they interested in the sets?
  • What books/films would you like to see Lego make sets of?
  • Is there anything you would like to see more of on The Brick Life site?

Remember these questions are just ideas and have no bearing on the draw…

The giveaway competition closes 6pm AEDT Friday the 15th of February.

More Details

One entry per person.

Two entrants will be drawn at random and will each receive one of the Lego 79003 sets, sent out to them by Lego.

Remember to leave your email address in the appropriate space above the comment box so I can contact you.

The giveaway competition closes 6pm AEDT Friday the 15th of February.

Winners will be contacted soon after.

Please contact your friends and let them know so they have a chance to win one of these great sets too!

Thanks again to Lego and One Green Bean for offerring the sets to our readers!


  1. yodaman5556 says:

    Could you please consider doing this set giveaway for New Zealand as well? I live in NZ (very close to Australia) and have always wanted to get the Unexpected Gathering set every since it was first announced. Please… 🙂

    • Inger says:

      Hi Yodaman5556
      I’ll get back to you on that 🙂
      It’s not my decision unfortunately but I’ll check with Lego and let you know.

    • Matthew Curtis says:

      I really like the review, the pictures that you have look great and hopefully we see many more great sets from both the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit over the next 2 years.

      Great looking website.

  2. Theo says:

    Great review!

    I’m personally a big fan of the recently discontinued Dino sets. I feel that is the greatest dinosaur-themed LEGO in the brand’s history. Great attention to detail and a big hit around the home.

    Thanks for the opportunity to add some LEGO Hobbit fun to my shelves. 🙂

  3. Cath says:

    We’re HUGE friends fans with older girls in teh house, but the younger boys coming through love my husband’s old space lego and their small mining sets. I’m waiting for hobbit obsession to take over the children before letting them know there’s more lego themes out there!

    Great work on your email updates Inger, I love the Australian perspective.


  4. Andrew says:

    My son LOVES Ninjago, but with that drying up (he has most of the 2013 sets already), he is now showing interest in Chima. Not to mention the cool Star Wars and Monster Fighters stuff, and of course all the City themed stuff too.

    Lego – you are sending me broke

  5. Skippy says:

    My favorite theme is definitely Legends of Chima. Not sure why everyone leaves out the “Legends of” part though, but whatever. I also love Agents, Alien Conquest, Atlantis, Bionicle, Cars 2, City, Creator, Dino, Dino Attack, Galaxy Squad, Harry Potter, Hero Factory, Indiana Jones, Kingdoms, Legends of Chima, Lord of the Rings, Minifigures, Monster Fighters, Ninjago, Pirates of the Caribbean, Prince of Persia, Star Wars, Super Heroes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Hobbit. I hope I win!

  6. Letecia says:

    Our boys are growing up with Lego and our eldest is now into a lot of the Technic. He would love to see Lego develop a Back to the Future set.

    • Daniel says:

      I thought you might like to know that Lego has announced that they will be producing a Back to the Future set via Cuusoo. I hope your son enjoys it!

  7. Rowena says:

    My 10 year old boy is Lord Of The Rings and Lego mad! What an awesome combination – a match made in heaven! He would be so excited to win ‘An Unexpected Gathering’ set, it just looks awesome 🙂

  8. Selina Chin says:

    Our family is absolutely mad about Lego. Our obsession only started about 2 years back but there is no turning back. We love the Hobbit, City, Friends, Atlantis, Superheroes and Ninjago at the moment. Thank you for all you do.

  9. Scott says:

    I am 10 and love reading about the new lego coming out. I enjoy building the city theme set and am now starting to collect the star wars sets and Lord of the Ring Sets. I love lego and Minecraft!

  10. Paul says:

    LEGO is an absolutely amazing product. I’ve recently come out of my Dark ages and can’t get enough of the stuff.
    Monster Fighters is a theme that i’m disappointed that has only been produced for 2012. A fabulous theme that is worthy of more.

    Keep up the good work Inger. Great website and LEGO resource

  11. Rose Lowry says:

    My little boy lives and breathes lego. He loves lord of the rings so this set would make his day. He would do anything to get a box of lego. Every Saturday is a ritual to go to the toy shop and just sit in front of all the lego boxes!!! The store owners know us now so they just let us sit there for an hour!

  12. Juergen says:

    Love the Hobbit! Thanks for the detailed review – as always a job very well done! I wish LEGO would finally open a LEGO shop like the ones in Europe and USA. I mean, there is Legoland in Malaysia, so why not introducing a LEGO shop to the Asian-Pacific Region, as well. Oh, and of course….please open the 1st one in Melbourne 😉

  13. Josh says:

    Love Lego and love Lord of the Rings. While the Hobbit movie didn’t completely live up to my grand expectations, the one scene that I loved was the scene at Bag End. This would be a perfect set to own to go with my LotR sets. I would spend hours and hours recreating the Unexpected Gathering.

  14. Lego-Man says:

    I have been reading Lord of the rings and the Hobbit since I was Eight
    So to see Tolkien’s world in Lego I really Great!
    My favorite Lego Theme is deffinantly Lord of the Rings especially since
    there are brand new sets Coming out soon.

    Thanks Inger for such a great site!

  15. herecomesthenutcase says:

    A-W-E-S-O-M-E set…for me it was love at first sight. 😉
    Thanks to The Brick Life for bringing us this awesome review! 😉

  16. Linden says:

    As a boy I grew up with Lego Space (now vintage) and the original 12V train kits… now as a father I enjoy Lego even more as my 2 boys dive into their Lego pile, which includes some of mine that I kept from the 70/80s, to create new creations and exciting scenes. I am a bit traditional and like Lego for what it is, not what theme is the current trend. Any kits where you can build real to life creations, build towns, cities, truck, bulldozers and trains is great. Please keep the City and the Technic kits coming… My eldest likes Technic and using lego for stop motion… my youngest likes to create scenes (latest was Monster Fighters)

  17. Karen says:

    My kids are too young to watch the M rated Lord of the Rings or Hobbit movies, but when they saw the Lego Unexpected Gathering set they were very exicited.
    The image on the box with all its detail and the bottle which they have decided is a magic potion is why they want it.
    Sets with unique parts they can relate to or some sort mechanism like an escape pod which releases really draws them in, hence the reason why they would also love to have the Lego Chima Craggers Command Ship.

  18. Catherine says:

    Love your site! I am keen to introduce my daughters to The Hobbit, my oldest is 9 so this set seems like it would be the perfect start! Fingers crossed! Catherine

  19. Caroline says:

    I am reading The Hobbit to my three daughters at the moment. They would love the Lego set, it sounds fantastic.

  20. Magdalena says:

    What a fantastic set! I’m loving it that Lego got into sets based on movies and xbox games and all kinds of accessories. My son is a big fan, it would be nice addition to his Legos – so far overwhelmed by StarWars sets 🙂 When I asked him what books would he like to see Lego make sets of – he answered – Boy vs Beasts (as that’s one of his favourite book series at the moment). But no matter what they make next we will still keep buying – as you are never too old to play with Lego and as my son says – he can break his sets and make them again and make new stuff out of them 🙂

  21. Chris says:

    Having kids brought me out of my dark ages. Wasn’t so taken with the LOTR sets mainly due to price particularly in OZ, but love the look of all the Hobbit seys and this is the best of the bunch. Hoping to build our collection and get into making MOCs. Thanks for the chance to win this great set.

  22. I first started out with lego two years ago, starting with Harry Potter. Since then I have been collecting Harry Potter, Star Wars, City, Chima, and World Racers Lego. I have seen all three Lord of the Rings movies and would like to see the Hobbit. In my spare time I love to build Lego and I really like the look of the Hobbit Lego. I would love to see Lego make Dr Seuss Lego.

  23. Steven says:

    During those dark years I looked at the shelves of Lego and resisted the urge to take them home. Wish I could go back and tell myself that the Millenium Falcon UCS wouldn’t be a waste of money but an investment! Kids have solved that, now I can happily indulge my hobby with my girls. Starwars, City, Friends and now LOTR, so much to choose from, and at least in my house, they all happily play alongside my older vintage space and city sets from when I grew up.

    The hobbit set looks brilliant and I love the reviews…keep up the good work.

  24. James says:

    I have quite a few Castle/pirate sets from the mid80’s, recently given back to me by my parents when i had kids…. Ive been collecting other pirate/castle/Lotr/Monster sets for my son(and prolly me) who is too young still.. almost 3 but he plays with his sister(5) friends/ninjago and duplo sets.. our house is practically a Lego convention… “move lego set table” eat put lego back…..My wife likes the Hobbit set but the price tag here in oz was a bit high so we went for the Spider & warg ones out of the new sets instead. But it is a nice set. And picked up several friends sets for my 5yo Girl. I cant wait for the mid/late year releases of Lotr/hobbit and castle sets. Thats going to burn a whole in my wallet for sure:)

  25. Leah says:

    How wonderful! My son (just turned 9) loves this set and really wants to get it. He admires it every time he sees it. We are huge Hobbit and LOTR fans in this house, as well as huge Lego fans, so these sets are high on our list of lego wants!

    Love the Aussie Lego blog, thanks for giving us something home grown to follow.

  26. Fili-Fan says:

    This is the cutest lego set I’ve seen yet, 😀 great review.
    I just love the Dwalin and Bofur minifigs. 😉

  27. Brett McLeod says:

    As a AFOL I have been thrilled to introduce my kids to Lego. My 10yr boy loves Ninjago and Star Wars. My daughter loves the Creator houses. I thank the Bricklife for informing me of the great deals to be had from Amazon France. I have ordered 4 times now in last 18 months and saved heaps since I buy 6 plus large sets each order,plus a box of mini figures. My 3 kids love the mini figures, even if the 2 yr old is too young. He’ll get them when he is older.
    For now he is a duplo boy.
    I haven’t bought any hobbit sets. Would love to try one.
    Thanks for the chance to win a hobbit set.

  28. Vilma Apilo says:

    Hi I’m 12. I Love Lego friends. For a good school report last year July my Dad bought me Olivia’s house. It’s great
    Lego is awesome.
    At Xmas time I made the big VW camper van with my Dad. We built it in one day.
    I would love to win the hobbit set because I liked the movie and don’t have any Hobbit sets.

  29. John Smith says:

    Hi i’m 10.I like Star Wars but the Hobbit sounds cool.
    The reason why i like Lego is it’s creative and very fun.
    I built the ninjago Fire Temple all by myself and the Darth maul sith Infiltrator and alot of smaller sets.

  30. Dale says:

    I love playing Lego. I first played Lego in kinda and loved it.
    My first set was a big brick bucket. Me and my Dad play Lego all the time when I was little.
    Now I’m 10 and I like Star Wars and Creator.
    I would like to win the hobbit sets because it looks really good and is a big set.

  31. Keeley says:

    I love Lego and I love building Lego especially Friends, Harry Potter and Star Wars. Once I made a Lego set that was meant to be 14 years of age and I was only 11. I would love to win this set and make a new Lego set to add to my collection.

  32. Keith says:

    As a father of two young boys can I say what a great toy Lego is. Brilliant.
    Can be expensive, but for me it’s great to see the boys building something with their hands and following the great instructions makes things easy for dad when I’m asked to help.
    Bricklife. Great site. Wonderful reviews and tips about sales. Much appreciated.
    My boys would be so thrilled to win this set.


  33. Carmen says:

    Lego. What a wonderful toy.
    As grandparents we love watching the grandchildren play with their Lego.
    The kids always bring a set or two to build when they come to stay.
    Lego wasn’t around in our childhood but playing Lego with the grand kids is great fun in our 70’s.
    The Hobbit set would be a wonderful surprise for the grand kids when they next stay over for a few days on school holidays.

  34. Peter Curby says:

    It is a very nice set. LEGO has done the the story proud and the larger scale one that the LEGO builders did is a dream.

  35. Evan Jones says:


    Awesome review of a great set. Look forward to adding this to my City-centric layout.



  36. Michael says:

    I run a Lego club at the library where I work and this would be a great addition to our collection for the 50+ kids I have come in for it. Yes, I’m using the guilt card 😉

  37. Vincent Fowler says:

    I recently came out of my dark ages at the tender age of 20. These last few years i have spent a large portion of my income on lego. I like most of the themes, like city, train, Ninjago, castle, pirates etc. I also enjoy a good game of BRIKWARS which is super fun 🙂

  38. Brian says:

    My son loves the city sets… a hobbit house would fit right in on the residential street between the hilltop house and the haunted mansion… they’d make great neighbours 😉

  39. Trevor says:

    This set is simply beautiful with lovely colors and packed full of awesome Mini Figs.
    As A Toy LEGO is by Far the Superior to any other toy out there .
    We build LEGO as a family and have a night each week where I, my wife , son and daughter build a set weather its a large set or a small set, and every week the excitement and cheers screams from my kids of a LEGO set coming out to be built never dulls it only gets louder i think. This set would be fantastic night for us to build, LEGO Lovers for life!!

  40. Russell says:

    I gave my granddaughters Tolkien’s book ‘The Hobbit’ for Christmas.
    They also received some books about he film.
    One day I took them on “An Unexpected Journey” and we ended up at the Picture Theatre watching the movie. There were 3 very happy girls who were waiting to see the next 2 movies; luckily they have the book to find out what happens.
    They love their LEGO and they think that a Hobbit House would look great in Heartlake city; vivid imaginations.

  41. David C says:

    Haven’t managed to see the Hobbit movie yet (having a baby in the house keeps us mostly at home these days!), but I think the LotR Lego range is looking awesome already (and looks like some cool new sets coming this year too). I’ve been collecting Lego since the mid-70s (apart from a few years of dark ages in the teens), and it still amazes me how versatile it can be.

  42. Aidan says:

    This is an amazing set, right up there with some of the greats. Everywhere near me has it sold out, it shows how popular the set is, I still have yet to acquire it.

  43. AlastairK says:

    My favourite Lego themes are Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. I have waited many years for them to do Lego Lord of the Rings and am looking forward to future sets they do (hopefully one for the Pelennor Fields, Nazgul on the flying beast and Amon Hen!).

    Thanks =D

  44. Brett Kirton says:

    My daughter loves the castles by Lego. We have the lord of the rings castle and a few from different series like kingdoms.
    This is like an underground castle building and would look great in her setup.

  45. Adam Fenerty says:

    As somebody who has recently become a father and returned to the world of Lego, both for myself and my son, I would love to include this awesome set. I am rereading the Tolkien books now after a long departure and just seeing the Hobbit in 3D, loved the Movies, Love Lego and Love this set.

    also love this site 🙂

  46. Shri says:

    Great review for what seems to be a great set! Loved all the movies and the new Hobbit movie was really well made in my opinon.

  47. Rikki Truscott says:

    The Hobbit sets look very cool. I have held off getting any so far, mainly due to the price and other commitments. However, soon I will be adding the whole lot to my Middle-Earth collection 😀

  48. T Jarman says:

    Awesome review! We all love the LOTR theme. My Son spends hours playing with his LEGO alongside the movies. Keep up the good work!

  49. Chris says:

    Trying to convince my girlfriend that this would make a great purchase. It’s a fantastic looking set. She loves the LOTR and The Hobbit films, but I’m having trouble converting her to become a Lego fan!

    • Inger says:

      Hi Chris
      You could always tell her it is an inve$tment.
      In ten years this set might be worth so much it will fund the purchase of a new car!

  50. Kay.L says:

    AAAhhh… i still have this unopened… just too busy at the moment. Can’t wait to build it though! (time permitting) 😀

  51. Mary D says:

    Our 3 boys are Lego Mad!! They can’t get enough of it! Their favourite themes are Star Wars, Ninjago and Lord of The Rings. They are so hoping I win this for them – it would be like Christmas – probably better than Christmas actually!!

  52. Gavin says:

    As a long time LEGO castle fan I’ve found the Lord of the Rings and Hobbits sets a nice addition to the genre.

    With the end of the Kingdoms line I was worried that non-licensed castle was going to take a break for a couple of years. Thankfully this isn’t the case with the Castle theme making a comeback later this year. Now I just have to save some money to buy it as well as the LOTR and Hobbit sets 🙂

  53. Jijin says:

    @Inger – You call it a perfect set huh? Well, you’ve certainly gotten my interest. I will have to see how right you are.
    I think that like you, I also do not like to put stickers on my sets – they just attract dust, cannot be re-used and eventually peel off.
    Great idea for a contest!

  54. Riley Scott says:

    My friends and I have been tragic fans of lord of the rings ever since the we first read the hobbit, I used to dream about lord of the rings Lego and I couldn’t wait for the hobbit to be released! Now it has all come out I realise I don’t have any money to spend :(. I would love to have this set but I just can’t scrape enough money together, well I guess I can always wait for my birthday if I have to!

  55. Alex says:

    Hmmm… Interesting set indeed! Great to know Lego is going “all guns” to bring all these epic movie characters into “lego life” !!! I’m getting a set for sure for my nephew!! 😉

  56. Mark says:

    I’ve always loved LOTR
    watched the extended ones just last weekend.
    I hadnt planed on getting these sets
    as i was saving up for the new TMNT sets coming out,
    but after reading it (and the other awesome reviews)
    I may have to get it after all…

  57. Peter says:

    Thank you for a great review.

    Ever since I saw this set, from the SDCC preview, the designer preview, to the large-scale model, and then finding it in Myer, I have marveled at it’s great looks. This is a must buy!

  58. Naomi says:

    My son is a LEGO Star Wars nut. Loves it all and knows all the characters and ships names! He pours over the LEGO catalogue for hours dreaming of what he wants. This looks like a wonderful set that he and my husband would love to build together.

  59. Kathleen Howe says:

    There is a lego addiction in our house, father and son are lost without it, they come out for fresh air and food. Now Lego has created the ultimate set- An unexpected gathering, and they want it – how can you do this to me. Thanks Lego you keep there creative juices flowing.

Comments are closed.