LOTR: The Hype Begins

It is surreal to see the books I’ve enjoyed for 30 years, the films I’ve anticipated for 3 years, about to hit the screen. Seeing an trailer by surprise (meaning, not an “event”, like the Angel commercial, nor something sought out on the Internet) was startling.

But what really rocked my world was when my son came home with the Burger King action figures.

Seeing the book characters translated to the screen was easy, compared to this. And I’m not surprised, nor even upset. But having a bag full of burgers & fries covered with “help Frodo find his way to Hobbiton” puzzles & games just blew me away. And the trademark insignia ™ on Sam’s name…I’m in a perpetual state of bemusement.

And you expected different?


What I find somewhat amusing is the folks who are figure FOTR to be the more “serious” of the movies between it and Harry Potter, yet FOTR has a happy meal promotion while Harry Potter does not.

BTW, I am not knocking either movie. I liked HP and I am very much looking forward to FOTR.

It’s exactly what I expected, but I apparently still wasn’t prepared, mentally. (This is begining to get waaaaay too deep. :slight_smile: )

Well, yeah, but that doesn’t reflect on what’s in the books…or the movies. (It is funny though.)

Speaking of FotR and HP – I think the whole media/fannish competition thing is silly. I loved HP, I think I’ll love LotR even more, and I hope they both make piles of money… :smiley:

The Burger King tie-ins are pretty embarrassing. I’d hoped the studio would have been above that, but I guess since they’re risking the $300 million that’s a bit too much to ask.

Pity Tolkien’s not around to control such things, as Rowling is with the Harry Potter stuff.

I’ve read that Tolkien’s children are dreading the release of the movie, and that Christopher Tolkien has relocated to France until it all blows over.

The thing that I find most regrettable about this whole thing is that there really is no need for this kind of hype anyway.

After all, LotR has got to be one of the most anticipated movies ever. I find it hard to believe that these cheesy promotional gimmicks are going to help sell more tickets. It cheapens the film for no good reason (although it might help Burger King sell a few hundred thousand more Whoppers).

A similar phenomenon accompanied the release of The Phantom Menace. Although a sizable majority (myself included) feel that the movie turned out to be a disappointment on its own (lack of) merits, IMO the release itself was soured by the unrelenting hype heaped upon us starting well before it hit the theaters.

I don’t know if it’s necessarily a bad thing, I love to collect movie toys. I think getting merchandise is half the fun. In fact, when I was little, getting Star Wars figures was more fun than seeing this movies.

Yes, I will be going to Burger King tomorrow!

Rowling ISN’T controlling the merchandising. Word is that she hates most of it… but, unfortunately, sold off a lot of the merchandising rights before the 1st book got published (or something).

Burger King I could live with. The LOTR Divination kit (with map, cards and ring) I saw and Barnes and Noble the other day made me sick. Can you imagene meeting someone who offered to tell your future with their LOTR cards? How did this happen?

One wonders if BK had sponsored The Big Sleep.
“Help Marlowe shoot Canino six times in the gut.”

“Get your collectable ‘Brave Little Man Drinks Cyanide’ glasses at Burger Kng!”

I remember reading that all three of the movies were filmed at the same time, to be released, one at a time, over the next three holiday seasons. The studio has put the majority of its eggs into Tolkien’s basket. A flop on the first one could spell t-r-o-u-b-l-e, big time.

Granted, I think the over-merchandising is slightly nauseating. However, if some BK doo-dad gets a kid interested in seeing the movie and maybe even :gasp: reading the book—I’m all for it. The movie will either rock or suck–Frodo’s face on a do-it-yourself ear wax remover kit won’t change that.


The problem I have with the BK merchandising isn’t the tie-ins so much (those are expected), but the truly terrible voice-over in the commercial. They show clips from the movies of the characters struggling through a mountain pass with the announcer saying some false epic stuff in a style that’s just totally inconsistent with the theme of the movie but which is totally consistent with what you’d that an ad agency idiot would think that the theme of the movie is. Sort of a Disney’ish mock heroic tone. Something like “See Frodo and his brave comrades fight Evil!” Sounds more like an ad for a WWF match than the LOTR movie.

Just think what people who haven’t read the book will imagine when they hear this. They’ll imagine Aragorn as a tall man in a dark green uniform and hat, reminding us to make sure our campfires are fully extinguished, and to take our trash with us!

Or a black mask, a la Bored of the Rings

I’d have loved to be on the planning meeting where they decided that the Burger King “Lord of the Rings Collector Cups” weren’t tacky enough – so lets stick a red lightbulb in them!

Maybe while we’re at it we can get the guy who does the commercials for the Reniassance Pleasure Faire to do the voice-over! Huzzah!