LEGO Hobbit 79001 Escape from Mirkwood Spiders [Review]

I suggested yesterday that 79003 An Unexpected Gathering might be the best LEGO set of all time. I wasn’t kidding (it’s definitely my new favorite), but I don’t think all of the sets in the new Hobbit line are the stuff of legend.

79001 Escape from Mirkwood Spiders isn’t the worst set of all time, but I can’t really recommend it for anybody but completionists.

The Build Process

This set felt too much like many other “trees on bases” sets we’ve seen over the years. Worse, the spiders are basically scaled down versions of Shelob, and you spend about a third of your build time making two identical arachnids.

Unlike the brilliant window in Bag End, I didn’t encounter any ingenious building techniques, and the play features are what you’d expect — pull a pin and the tree falls down.


The minifigs are certainly the highlight of the set — an elf named Tauriel (not from Tolkien’s book), Legolas (who’s not in the original book), and the dwarves Fili & Kili. In a mostly black set, they bring about the only color, further emphasizing how much the spiders and trees feel like background for the four minifigs.

Legolas has his longer bow, while Fili & Kili have the older-style LEGO Castle bows. LEGO must have a surplus of time-traveling daggers left over in their warehouse from the Prince of Persia sets, because Tauriel gets two of them. They sort of work as elven weapons, but they’re a bit jarring if you know their LEGO origin…

79001 Escape from Mirkwood SpidersEdit: Fili & Kili have a hairpiece that might be the first long hair that allows the minifig to also wear a quiver for arrows underneath.

I’d break my self-imposed rule and post a picture of my own, but I’ve already packed this set away due to some flooding in my basement, so here’s a good photo from our friend Huw over at Brickset (who liked this set a lot more than I did, according to his review).


As you can see from the inventory pages, there’s a whole lot of black in this set. The two highlights are dark red leaves and printed tan mushrooms (2×2 radar dishes).

79001 Escape from Mirkwood Spiders (1) 79001 Escape from Mirkwood Spiders inventory (2)

Edit: I forgot to mention the two little cloth bags that the dwarves go in when they’re all wrapped up by spiders. I don’t build with capes, rubber bands, or ship’s sails, so I think I subconsciously dismissed them without a second thought. They’re new, and certainly add some play value to the completed set. But I still stand by my original assessment that this is an overpriced fig/battle pack.

The Finished Model

This official photo is a pretty good representation of what you get when you’re done building — four minifigs, two spiders, and two bases with trees on them.

79001 Escape from Mirkwood Spiders


For $30, you get 298 pieces and four minifigs. That works out to almost exactly 10 cents per part, I know, but that’s a whole lotta black! (I just don’t find black a particularly useful or interesting color.)


Pass. I suspect this set might be the only way you’ll be able to pick up Fili & Kili for the time being, but the build is repetitive, the elf minifigs are non-canon (though they are elf minifigs), and the part selection is lackluster.

If you want a complete dwarf crew, wait for this set to go on sale.

UPDATE: This set is now available from and

Read all of my reviews of the latest LEGO Hobbit sets here on The Brothers Brick:

14 comments on “LEGO Hobbit 79001 Escape from Mirkwood Spiders [Review]

  1. CatJuggling

    Without building my sets yet, this did seem to me like the one that stood out as a “minifig” set. Although are the nets/spider webs new?

  2. CatJuggling

    @Dano, neither does leaving non-constructive criticism. He included the pics of the inventory pages because others requested it. I would consider taking on suggestions from your audience improvement.

    While I understand the concerns over the last reviews lack of specifics on WHY he was loving the set so much, he does none of that here.

  3. Andrew Post author

    Dano, as much as I find your trolling of 13-year-olds entertaining on Flickr, it’s just silly here. You’re welcome to continue trolling elsewhere on the web, but not here.

  4. rushiosan

    I agree with Dano somehow. Reviews usually shows pictures of the building process, the small details, the new pieces, amount of piece bags, box contents…

    I’m sorry to say, but I’m also disappointed with this one. The first thing I consider before buying a set is watching carefully what comes inside, the piece assortment and, of course, lots of pictures that show me the detailed displaying and playability features. I’m waiting until Eurobricks or FBTB do something, but thanks for the “review” anyway.

  5. rushiosan

    And to be honest… a pair of spiders, four minifigures (two of them are elves – no matter who they are since these hairpieces are priceless), TWO daggers of time (okay, they’re not supposed to be), bows, quivers, small spiders, mushrooms, cloth nets, skulls and bones make a piece pack that nobody should miss. This isn’t a disposable set in any way. The only problem here is the price, it’s pretty expensive for a small set like that.

  6. Andrew Post author

    @rushiosan: That was specific, and thus incredibly helpful, thanks! :-) I personally do NOT like the all-revealing reviews that Eurobricks does, and so I never read them — and I know I’m not alone. I wrote the kind of review that I like to read, and I expect other contributors and people on other sites would write a different sort of review. As I said to Dano on another post, there isn’t just ONE way to do a LEGO set review, and thus there is no one RIGHT way to do a review. Everyone is free to read the reviews that they prefer, and I’m free to write one however I prefer. ;-)

    As for the set itself, you’re right that there are good minifigs and a handful of good parts in it, but it feels like a bulked up battle pack for the value. The extra black elements you get for the extra $15-20 you’re paying over the price of a battle pack isn’t worth it.

  7. Sarah

    What about these spider web net things? I didn’t see that in your review at all. For me $30 for the set is not bad when I consider I’ll want those mini figs and I probably won’t find them all on ebay for that price with the bonus of the mushrooms, plus other pieces. I’m looking at this from a collectors point of view and not a builder.

  8. Andrew Post author

    Great point about the web thingies. Thanks! I’ve updated my post with a mention of those, though I still stand by my original assessment.

  9. AK_brickster

    I actually like this kind of review. The only thing I’d suggest to improve it is a close-up picture of the minifigs. To me, they are really the entire draw of this set (and others, such as the Attack of the Wargs – along with the wargs, of course), so it would be nice to have a better look at them here.

    Thanks Andrew! Keep up the good work!

  10. Andrew Post author

    Thanks! Fair enough on the minifigs; I’ll see what I can do today — got the scanner working, but camera’s on the fritz. :-\

  11. Formendacil

    I’d like to chime in by saying that I prefer the Andrew-styled review to the Eurobricks-style. In the same way that I prefer to read movie reviews that give me a sense of the movie rather than a detailed recapitulation, I prefer a set review that gives me a sense of the set rather than a detailed examination of every piece and its placement.

    Which is not to say that Andrew’s way is the only way, but I feel it should be noted that his way *is* appreciated.

    And, for what it’s worth, one of Andrew’s cons with regard to the set isn’t a con in my books. Though black certainly makes for a dark-looking set (often less appealing) and is certainly a devil to photograph, the side of me that dabbles in Space building appreciates the colour and I certainly seem to have trouble keeping enough of it handy.

    In a similar manner, I agree that drawing attention to the Elven hairpieces is important in a set that is fig-heavy in its appeal and has two Elves, but as a builder who prefers to avoid fleshtones and a Tolkien fan who comes down on the “not-pointy-ears” side of the debate, I don’t find them a selling point.

    All of which is to say that I appreciate Andrew’s reviews and find them useful, despite a different buildagogy.

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