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July 23, 2007 - September 30, 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

'The History of the Hobbit' Released - Xoanon @ 13:12 PST

The History of the Hobbit

Order 'The History of the Hobbit' (Hardcover) on Amazon.com today!

Book Description

A beautiful boxed set: the definitive examination of how Tolkien came to write his original masterpiece, including the complete unpublished draft and little-known illustrations and unpublished maps, along with a new edition of the classic work itself.

First published in 1938, The Hobbit is a story that "grew in the telling," and many characters and events in the published book are completely different from what Tolkien first wrote to read aloud to his young sons as part of their "fireside reads." For the first time, The History of the Hobbit reproduces the original version of one of literature's most famous stories, and includes many little-known illustrations and previously unpublished maps for The Hobbit created by Tolkien himself. Also featured are extensive annotations and commentaries on the date of composition, how Tolkien's professional and early mythological writings influenced the story, the imaginary geography he created, and how he came to revise the book in the years after publication to accommodate events in The Lord of the Rings.

These two volumes are boxed together with a new edition of The Hobbit with a short introduction by Christopher Tolkien, a reset text incorporating the most up-to-date corrections, and all of Tolkien's own drawings and color illustrations, including the rare "Mirkwood" piece.

About the Author

John D. Rateliff is a writer, editor, and independent scholar. For many years, he worked with the Tolkien manuscripts at Marquette University and has written extensively on Tolkien and the Inklings. He lives in Seattle with his family.

Order 'The History of the Hobbit' (Hardcover) on Amazon.com today!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Kids’ book illustrated by Weta Workshop to be launched - Xoanon @ 17:48 PST

Kids’ book illustrated by Weta Workshop to be launched

The first children’s picture book to be illustrated by artists from the award-winning Weta Workshop is due to be launched in September, New Zealand Book Month.

Featuring a little rescue helicopter, Champ the Chopper is the first book in a series written by local author Rebekah Palmer with the illustrations done by artists from Weta Workshop, Daniel Falconer and Chris Guise.

The picture book will be launched by Weta Workshop managing director Richard Taylor at the Life Flight Trust Air Rescue hangar in Wellington on Saturday, September 15 at 2pm. Entry is by gold coin donation.

Champ is part of Kids Rescue, an organization run by kids. In each book Champ and the kids go on daring missions to rescue children in trouble. The stories have been edited by best-selling author Joy Cowley. She believes the series will be a great favourite with children.

“These stories are great,” says Joy. “Children will love them – especially little boys. What a gift they will be to schools and libraries. I think you’re on to a real winner with this series.”

Publisher West Egg Books is donating $1 from every book sold to real rescue helicopter operations, including Life Flight Trust.

The books are aimed at encouraging reading, especially for young boys. Education Ministry figures show a large gap in the performance between boys and girls in reading. Boys make up more than 60% of the bottom quarter performers in reading literacy.

“It’s vital we encourage more young boys to read,” says Weta Workshop managing director Richard Taylor. “This series of books generates excitement through real-life situations and strong characters and it empowers kids. We think Champ the Chopper will help get kids reading.”

Books will be available for $16.99 at all good booksellers or through the website www.champthechopper.com.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

WETA Newsletter: September - Xoanon @ 11:24 PST

G'day from New Zealand, Weta supporters!

Before you get into the August edition of Weta Enews, a bit of housekeeping: Because of new legislation about to come into effect here in New Zealand (the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007) we have to ask you to confirm that you would like to continue to receive our email updates. If you wish to keep receiving the Rayguns VIP Newsletter, please confirm your subscription by visiting this page.

Also, a quick note to Weta Limited customers: We're having a few problems with contacting some email addresses - please make sure you check your SPAM folders in your email inbox and add our domain as a contact in your address book to make sure our mail gets to you.

A big shout to all the Weta supporters who came and said hey at the San Diego Comic Con last month. It was a blast and we can't wait for next years' event! Check out our Image Gallery for Weta Bug's pix of the event – plenty to see!

Upcoming Conventions

Its convention season in Australasia and we're looking forward to showing at the following events and catching up with our local supporters and friends:
Armageddon, Melbourne Exhibition Centre, 13–14 October
Supanova, Sydney , Olympic Park Dome 12-14 October
Armageddon, Auckland Aotea Centre, 20-22 October

Hellgate: London Beta Keys

Orders have been flooding in for Hellgate: London statues, as we revealed our Beta Test Key promotion earlier this month. If you purchase a Weta Collectible from the Hellgate: London range, you will automatically receive a Beta Test Key for the game! But hurry – this offer closes on NZ 31 Aug!

Attn Halo Fans!

Weta Workshop are working on the series of Halo3 short films directed by Neil Blomkamp, and we have revealed new images of the much coveted four wheel drive Warthog vehicle.

LOTR Frances Richardson

Head of Make Up Effects Frances Richardson had a blast over in Spain, where she demonstrated how characters from LOTR came to life, in a recent Lord Of The Rings exhibition. Check out these photos from the cool exhibit.

Kong exhibition still open!

Wellington gallery, TheNewDowse, has just had its 100,000th visit, and they're saying it's largely in thanks to the King Kong exhibition! There's still time to see it, as it closes on NZ 18 November.

That's it from the team here at Weta. If you have any feedback or suggestions, please feel free to contact our friendly Customer Services team on info@wetanz.co.nz and drop us a line.

Weta Limited . Po Box 15-208 . Miramar . Wellington . New Zealand
Email: info@wetanz.co.nz . Website: www.wetanz.com
Click below to buy from one of our ranges of exclusive collectibles:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Weta Press Update - Xoanon @ 20:39 PST
From the folks at WETA:

Weta Designer to attend LOTR Convention in Germany

LOTR makeup artist returns from Spain exhibition

Entries open for Body Art Awards

Weta reveals plans to attend Australian Convention

TheNewDowse celebrates 100,000 visitor

Hellgate: London hype continues for upcoming game - Link 2

New testimonial from wacky world of Dr Grordbort

New Middle-earth Boardgame Announced - Xoanon @ 20:26 PST
TORN Staffer Ostadan writes: Fantasy Flight Games, who pretty much own all the licenses for Tolkien-themed boardgames in the U.S., have announced a new game to be released in late 2008, "Middle-Earth Quest". The press release doesn't give a hint as to what _kind_ of boardgame it will be, nor who the designer is, but indicates that players will be represented by individual character types, during the years prior to the main action of Lord of the Rings:

Thematically, Middle Earth Quest will take place approximately ten years after Bilbo Baggins leaves the Shire, and several years before Frodo leaves Bag End on his journey leading to the destruction of the One Ring. Thus, Middle Earth Quest will take place in a time of growing darkness. "Players will meet and interact with characters from the saga, but not be constrained by having to follow a major character's path," explained Petersen. Rather than taking the role of a major character, whose destiny will be tied up in ring saga, players will take control of characters such as, for example, a rare adventurous Hobbit, a Gondorian Captain, a Rider from the Westfold, or numerous other character types. Not only will characters be able to experience new adventure in Middle Earth, but we will carefully seek to tie in the experience with the massive amounts of lore and story that takes place around the edges of the central THE LORD OF THE RINGS storyline.

This may suggest a map-based game of magical combat similar to FFG's 'Runebound' boardgame - or something else entirely! Note that none of FFG's games have been based on movie licenses (using images from the films, etc) and have all featured original artwork and graphics design.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Weta Collectibles Announcement - Exclusive Hellgate: London Offer! - Xoanon @ 11:57 PST
Hellgate: LondonWeta Collectibles


Flagship Studios is offering fans of the highly anticipated PC game, Hellgate: London, the chance to participate in the closed beta test of the game!

The Cabalist, one of the Hellgate: London Collectibles from Weta CollectiblesAnyone who purchases a Hellgate: London statue from Weta Collectibles between 15 – 31 August, will be offered a key to the closed beta test for Hellgate: London.   The closed beta is only available to a select group of video game industry insiders, and you only have a short time to join their ranks.

To take advantage of this special offer, log onto www.wetanz.com and select any piece from the Hellgate: London statue range, which features The Hunter, The Cabalist, The Male Templar, and The Female Templar statues. Purchasers will then be asked via email to confirm whether they would like to take part in Hellgate closed beta testing.

This opportunity is only available for a short time so fans keen to get a sneak preview of the game are advised to get in quick.

This offer is open only to customers who order via www.wetanz.com, so get ordering!


Email: info@wetanz.co.nz Website: www.wetanz.com
Click below to buy from one of our ranges of exclusive collectibles:

Monday, August 06, 2007

NEW BOOK: The Frodo Franchise: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood (Hardcover) - Xoanon @ 19:49 PST

Get 'The Frodo Franchise: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood', first because it is a fascinating book, second, because TORN is in it! Learn about the early days of 'TheOneRing.net', and all other manner of geeky goodness!

Book Description

"Once in a lifetime." The phrase comes up over and over from the people who worked on Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings. The film's seventeen Oscars, record-setting earnings, huge fan base, and hundreds of ancillary products attest to its importance and to the fact that Rings is far more than a film. Its makers seized a crucial moment in Hollywood--the special effects digital revolution plus the rise of "infotainment" and the Internet--to satisfy the trilogy's fans while fostering a huge new international audience. The resulting franchise of franchises has earned billions of dollars to date with no end in sight. Kristin Thompson interviewed seventy-six people to examine the movie's scripting and design and the new technologies deployed to produce the films, video games, and DVDs. She demonstrates the impact Rings had on the companies that made it, on the fantasy genre, on New Zealand, and on independent cinema. In fast-paced, compulsively readable prose, she affirms Jackson's Rings as one the most important films ever made.

From the Inside Flap

"This is the best all-around view of the Tolkien phenomenon. Thompson understands the books, she understands the movies--she also understands the money and the franchising. Best of all, she understands the people. Thompson offers cultural criticism of the highest order, examining one of the most significant shifts in contemporary popular media."--Tom Shippey, author of The Road to Middle-earth

"Reading these chapters has been an absolute pleasure. It's all so complex but so succinct. Thompson has managed to do what so many others have failed to do . . . in chapter one, she has explained how all the rights to LOTR bounced around, and were finally sorted so Peter Jackson could make the movie. I've never understood the complexities of how that worked until now!"--Judy Alley, Merchandising Coordinator, The Lord of the Rings

"I must say that Thompson has written the definitive study of Peter Jackson's work in creating this remarkable production entity."--Alex Funke, ASC, Oscar-winning Visual Effects Director of Photography, miniatures unit, The Lord of the Rings

"I had a wonderful time reading those chapters! There's so much I don't know about what went on--I am in awe of all the research Thompson has done. It is an extremely interesting read! There's so much there that I'd forgotten and I always wished there was a permanent record of many things that happened. Thompson's account of TORN's beginnings and how it functioned gets it absolutely right--more than that, Thompson captures how it felt to us at the time. Nobody else has managed to get enough of an understanding to do that."--Erica Challis ("Tehanu"), co-founder of TheOneRing.net


Monday, July 23, 2007

Limited Edition John Howe Designed Pendant - Xoanon @ 20:48 PST

Internationally acclaimed artist and LOTR guru John Howe writes: It would be wonderful if you could put up a link to this. It's a limited pendant I created especially for the SAINT-URSANNE LA FANTASTIQUE FESTIVAL. I'm really pleased with the pendant. There's an initial 100 copy run, engraved with "johnhowe07" on the back. This one is limited to 100 copies.

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