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HELM'S DEEP GIMLI
with Axe-Throwing Action
Those that collected the Toy Biz Lord of the Rings figures in the early 2000’s, can remember two figures from the line that even the most seasoned collector could not find. The first, and by far the rarest is the infamous Red boxed Arwen and Asfaloth Deluxe Horse and Rider set, which was only released to the European market. The second was the Helm’s Deep Gimli in Red Half Moon packaging.
While HELM'S DEEP GIMLI with Axe-Throwing Action can also be found released in the Helm's Deep Battle Set Gift Pack, the two when compared do show distinct differences, as the one from the Gift Pack has gold painted armor at the shoulder links whereas the Red Half Moon version does not. In fact the Red Half Moon version resembles closely the version released in the UK Exclusive Freedom of Edoras. Like Boromir in Red Half Moon packaging, distribution would only be to the Australian market and limited to approximately 500 units.
During the distribution of LOTR, Australia recalled many of the figures due to safety regulations. It stated that no accessories could be strung, and this would impact the Toy Biz LOTR assortments, as some of the features would allow for bow firing actions. Funtastic, who was the exclusive distributor for Toy Biz in the Australian market had to address this issue while still supplying retails with stock as fast as possible.
The Helm’s Deep Gimli in Red Half Moon was only packaged on two separate days. These are identified by the date stamp impressions behind each production package. They were 139th day of 2003 and 146th day of 2003. No other date examples have been seen.
Certain factors forthcoming changed LOTR action figure history. The decision that followed is still a mystery, but an educated guess can suggest one of two things, either Funtastic was rushed to get figures back into the market, or a single large order was placed that needed to be fulfilled.
Funtastic would dump special cases to a small number of retail outlets. Reports from this day suggest that most of the case assortment that included Helm’s Deep Gimli, went to Australian retail outlet Big W. The release of this assortment to Big W would coincide with a mid-week toy clearance. The retailer was flooded with kids, and their moms, tearing into figures and getting them for discounted prices. There are stories of store employees dropping full cases on the sales floor for customers to open on their own. One can only imagine what it was like. This sale single handily left almost no Helm’s Deep Gimli’s in the hands of true collectors.
Like Arwen and Asfaloth in Red box, the Helm’s Deep Gimli is often the other packaged figure that eludes most collections. It is uncommon as it is scarce and will continue to remain a much sought-after collectible for years to come.