Everybody’s Tolkien about: LEGO The Hobbit, out next year

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It’ll never quite be clear why Peter Jackson thought it wise to expand a book defined by its ambiguities and idiosyncrasies into a three-film visual codex for ‘stuff that happened before The Lord of the Rings’. But at least somebody can have a crack at editing it back down again.

Those somebodies are Traveller’s Tales, or TT Games as they insist everyone at school calls them. The longtime LEGO series custodians are piecing together a story based on the first two films in Jackson’s trilogy – An Unexpected Journey and This Holiday Season’s The Desolation of Smaug.

In time-honoured Lego fashion, we’ll play not only burglar Bilbo Baggins and fireworks manufacturer Gandalf, but every last one of the dwarves – Thorin, Fíli, Kíli, Óin, Glóin, Dwalin, Balin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori and Ori. They’ll each have a unique special ability, making them the veritable swiss knife of Misty Mountain travelling parties.

Familiar environments rendered in blocks include: Bag End, Hobbiton, the Mountains, Mirkwood, Rivendell, and the underground dwelling of the Goblins. Orcs and trolls must be navigated, doors puzzled open, and above all, studs studiously collected.

LEGO The Hobbit won’t be rushed out in time for the imminent movie, thankfully. It’ll instead be available next year at some stage, on every conceivable device, including this one.

Did you play LEGO LOTR? Perhaps in co-op, where it best fared?

Thanks, Polygon.