Prop Replica Lord Of The Rings Swords

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thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hey

I've always been a fan of replica swords from the Lord of the Rings movies. I've been subscribed to Noble Collection for awhile.

What's the deal with the replicas - I hear they're all rat tail tang construction, how weak is that really? Not for "battling" sake, but in general

And how do the fancier noble collection replicas compare with the cheaper versions you can get from knife places?
This is all new to me, and there is a lack of info usually about the actual product in store or online.
 

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SmilingOtter

Master Member
What's the deal with the replicas - I hear they're all rat tail tang construction, how weak is that really? Not for "battling" sake, but in general

As long as you don't hit anything with it, it should be fine... :lol

A friend of mine has a knockoff Glamdring. He hit something with it, and part of the pommel threading cracked off. It couldn't "grab" enough of the tang's thread to hold, so i sawed about half an inch of the grip (aluminum or maybe pot metal) for him, and it's a tad bit shorter, but is pretty solid again.

I have the UC Uruk-hai scimitar. I don't know how well it was tempered, but the thing's SOLID. And HEAVY.
 

Husker75

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
There are really four types of replicas out there that I know of.

There is Noble Collection, who did only a few items, and their quality is.. well.. not considered the best. There are also some issues with scale if I remember correctly, however I can't say, because due to all the negative comments from other collectors that I read back in the day, I didn't even bother with the noble collection weapon replicas. I liked the appearance of the axes, swords, and other items much better when it came to United Cutlery. HOWEVER, noble did some great replicas of the other props. I love their jewelry and have the ring of barahir, the evenstar, the crown of king elessar, the elven brooch, etc. Love them all. But yeah, I would be weary of the swords from noble. Price wise, they are also crazy. Sting from them is 300 plus shipping.. which is about what I paid for my MUSEUM COLLECTION sting from UC. Which is.. amazing. And it looks to me like on their site right now, only sting and the axe are on there still. So the other items are probably even more expensive to track down.

Knockoffs. You can find knockoffs for anywhere from 25 bucks to 100 bucks and up. Be careful if you want to avoid these. People try to trick you. You have to make sure if you want a UC sword that it says UC and they should mention certificates, or should show the boxes, the etchings on the blades, etc. Fake knockoffs are not all horrible. I've seen some good ones for decent prices. But there are also a lot that are atrocious. It's a toss up. Most of them tend to be held together with some super glue, plastic threads, cheap crap like that when you break them open. This does not bode well for how they will hold up. The difference that really bothers me is the VERY bright shine to the metal most knockoffs use. It is blinding. UC swords are shiny, but they have a wonderful stainless steel look. Most knockoffs are like mirrors, and you can see yourself in them pretty clearly from my experience.

Then you have what most of us collect. The UC items. United Cutlery produced a HUGE amount of the swords, shields, helmets, etc. They are usually pretty faithful to the props, and decently priced for what you get. Some of the rare items like the shards of narsil, LE anduril, museum sting, and museum glamdring are very hard to track down, but can still be found for a high price.
Most of the UC items have rat tail tangs. Which is common for wall hangers. These swords are not to be swung, or battled with. They are purely for display. It wont hurt to usually wave it around gently outside for a bit of enjoyment. But slashing, hacking, or fast movements, even in mid-air, are going to be bad for these. They can loosen, they can break the thread inside the pommel or wherever it happens to be attached, and fly off and kill you or a loved one or fido. So don't do it! I take mine out every once and a while and play around. I have been known to hold Anduril in the moonlight of the full moon just to gaze upon the ruins and the light shining from the blade. A few soft "swoosh swoosh"'s and i'm all done. I wont risk it! So if you want something to swing around, and/or use for a fanfilm, the knockoffs are great, as long as you are aware that they will break pretty easily and becoming whirling shrapnel!
There are a few items from UC that are not rat-tails. Legolas's knives I think are full tang.. sting maybe.. the uruk blade obviously is just one hung of metal.
Then you have the museum collection UC swords. The newest was Sam's museum collection sword from weathertop. Don't. Not a true museum item. It's made of the stainless steel the other swords are made of, and is unworthy of the title. The only TRUE museum collection swords they did were Glamdring, and Sting. Both came with big glass display cases, nice COA's, made of carbon steel, full tang i think, and very top notch quality for a replica. They are also weathered a bit. I only have the sting MC, but I love it. Very nice item.

Then there are the weta swords, that are like 10 per run, and cost 10,000+ most of the time. A few people have those on here. And I want to punch them. Because they are lucky, and i'm jealous, and wants the precious too..

So there you are. a short history of what is out there, as far as I know.

What did I miss everyone? lol
 

Aragorn

Member
Noble Collection's weapon line aren't very good considering the fact that you can get a United Cutlery LOTR sword for less and i personally think they look much better. Noble Collection's gandalf staff and rings and necklaces are really nice though, but if you want swords and axes i suggest going for UC.

Most of the UC LOTR swords are of rat tail tang construction and they vary in terms of the quality of the construction. From memory, striders sword which also has a rat tail is much more sturdy than the other rat tails (based on some hilt pics collectors have taken when they stripped their sword down).

You can certainly get away with light Non-contact swinging but anything more and you risk getting something loosened overtime and rattling inside the hilt. But so long as you don't hack at something, the blade won't fly out of the hilt.

Whatever you do, stay away from those cheap knock offs. They are just a waste of space and money. The price may be attractive now, but sooner or later you'll buy your first UC and you won't know what to do with that junk; you can't exactly throw it away cuz you paid $50 for it, but on the other hand it looks so crap next to the UC.
 

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thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Yea, holy crap! This was very very helpful thank you! I'm surprised the extent that quality can go, both ends. I remember getting a Sting letter opener from noble collection, and it was great, but the blade on it was not as pictured (I know, it's a letter opener) but I was excited, i thought there would be a peak down the middle of the blade and everything. Nope. Haha, looking back I guess that was stupid, and that letter openers really are just flat and stamped, but still, the picture was different. I figured the oddness transferred up to larger replicas
 

Mara Jade's Father

Master Member
When the UC and NC sowrds were released, we bought the Stings and scabbards from both. The reason is that the Sting represented the size the actor would hold so that when they were shrunk down to hobbit size, the sword would look smaller. The UC was the size it would be if a human pictued it up in Middle Earth. I think years later UC came out with a collectors version this size, not sure about that. It a nice display piece the blade look very nice (not speaking here of any other qualities, simply cosmetics). The hilt is metal and the silver pattern is actually the raised portion of the hilt. The brown of the handle is not wood, it is enamel. The vine pattern on the NC is bolder and the pattern on hte UC is finer. Oddly enough, I have seen both Weta's replicas of the ones they made for filming (on display at 2002 SDCC) and they had both scales and there was a visual difference in the hilt similar to the difference between the NC and UC.
 

Dom Inoh

New Member
I know this is an old thread - I hope that isn't a problem.

I have a Noble Collection Sting replica (the $295 one) that I bought immediately after the first movie came out. I don't know if the United Cutlery version even existed at this point - but I digress. It seems strange that both companies are the "exclusive" makers of these swords, since the DVDs come with a Noble Collection catalogue inside. I have also noticed that the design has changed slightly over the years for the NC versions.

I am curious as to why the quality is an issue for the NC version, as it is claimed to be made in Toledo, Spain, of high-quality spring steel.

I come here because I was actually trying to sell this sword and was constantly being told I was too pricey, and I see where NC Sting swords sell for only around $100 on eBay, so I am guilty of asking too much, it seems. For what I paid and what I can get out of it, I am likely to just hold on to the sword as it stands. I am just looking for a little more info and/or clarity about this product - and yes, I did see the long write-up by user Husker75 in the third post of this thread.

Thanks for reading, I hope I am not wasting anyone's time.
 

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thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Not at all - Noble collection quality (to me) is always iffy. I've bought letter openers from them and returned a few because of a sloppy paint job, bent blades, product not as pictured, etc. their stuff is like idealized jewelery from a factory - shiny, just for show and prone to inconsistencies.
 

Dom Inoh

New Member
Thanks for the answer! Maybe the quality slipped later on? My sword is very nice - everything is straight, nothing loose, it seems to be a nicely made piece, for a display-only sword. That's why I am curious about these accusations of poor quality. Also, is the steel not as they claim?

Can anyone else out there comment on this?

Again, thank you very much, thd9791!
 
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Dom Inoh

New Member
So, looking around the site, I found a thread that tells that the same place that makes the Sting sword for NC made the high-end UC version as well. Someone in the thread mentions that the Glamdring sword didn't get the same quality treatment, but the Sting sword did. So I ask again, how is quality lower for the NC than it is for the UC version?

It seems funny (to me, and not "ha-ha") that because overall, the NC swords are inferior to the UC versions except in this case, and yet the NC Sting swords are worth less on the after market. If not all NC swords suffer from the same quality issues, why are they universally accepted as inferior? To me, being a comic-book person, that is like saying "this comic is in 6.0 condition and only worth $100 - since you have the same comic, even though it is in 9.4 condition, it is still only worth $100."

That does not make sense.

Anyway, my Sting is back up under my bed, to gather dust until I have somewhere to display it.
 

Kelsohighlander

Active Member
I just picked up the Noble Collection Hadhafang on Craigslist for 50 bucks. It looks different than the UC version and the movie version, which has a darker handle. But the blade is really nice steel, and I actually like the raised leaf motif that the NC version has. At least I know it's not going to wear off if I hold it. I guess if you can find something that you like the look of for a decent price... I'm all for it.
image.jpg
 

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Onkelpsycho

Sr Member
Very nice... I picked up a knockoff some time ago... I'm pretty happy with it... The blade is not shiny, but it doesn't have a central place in the room, so I think it is forgivable...

Never had a Noble sword, but I don't ike the wall plaques of the new swords, so I stay with UC for the next swords (strider, glamdring, orcrist and sting).

I have the noble gimli axe, it is a cool replica, but it has not the quality you would expect from it...
 

J EM

Well-Known Member
So, looking around the site, I found a thread that tells that the same place that makes the Sting sword for NC made the high-end UC version as well. Someone in the thread mentions that the Glamdring sword didn't get the same quality treatment, but the Sting sword did. So I ask again, how is quality lower for the NC than it is for the UC version?

It seems funny (to me, and not "ha-ha") that because overall, the NC swords are inferior to the UC versions except in this case, and yet the NC Sting swords are worth less on the after market. If not all NC swords suffer from the same quality issues, why are they universally accepted as inferior? To me, being a comic-book person, that is like saying "this comic is in 6.0 condition and only worth $100 - since you have the same comic, even though it is in 9.4 condition, it is still only worth $100."

That does not make sense.

Anyway, my Sting is back up under my bed, to gather dust until I have somewhere to display it.
Hi. I looked around a while back through multiple LotR and sword forums to learn if there were any differences in quality between NC and UC and came up with the conclusion that its all down to personal preference. Its quite unfair to call NC props low quality, "crap", etc., because really, if certain people will call NC crap, then those replicas are the nicest pieces of crap I've seen. I've looked closely at knockoffs and its quite an insult to NC that people say they're low quality crap, which is what 95% of knockoffs are.

The only different thing I DID notice between NC and UC is that UC replicas are more accurate to the screen used weapons. NC replicas have the slightest of inaccuracies in a few places. With Sting, it was the raised vines on the handle and the human/actor scale size. People complained about NC's Sting over that which is funny because a decade or so later, Sting now has those raised vines on the handle as Peter Lyon originally intended to have...well, at least the MSC edition. And people accepted that NC used a human/actor scale sword. UC used a "hobbit"(scale double) size sword.

Its little inaccuracies in NC that people are able to point out that for some reason makes some people think NC is low quality. In some NC replicas, I've noticed that the handle taper, blade profile, pommel roundness, etc. are not as accurate to the screen used props like UC is. They're small, almost insignificant inaccuracies you'd have to really care about to see. As for what the replicas are made of, UC are 420 stainless steel if its not the MC version whereas NC are carbon steel. Carbon steel is supposed to be better than stainless steel in terms of functional use but some people are just under the impression that UC swords are battle ready swords. As far as I'm aware, both NC and normal UC have rat tail tangs and are definitely not battle ready. Both are wall hangers.

Such people I can't believe. Those kinds of people, who buy replica swords hoping to whack things with and hope they never break or chip, are also the same people who purchased Master Replica's polycarbonate Sting (same blade material as their lightsaber replicas) and got angry because it was plastic! To think there are people in this world who expected a metal sword that actually glows. lol. Master Replicas delivered a great looking glowing Sting and people trashed it. Noble made a glowing Sting sword 90% similar to MR's glowing Sting and delivered an inferior product.

Imo, NC sword replicas don't look as nice as UC replicas do, NC LotR Sting being the only exception. You should keep your sword because iirc, Noble first sold their Sting at $300. You won't get anywhere close that anymore, I'm afraid. And c'mon. Its Noble's nicest sword. Their current Hobbit Sting isn't as nice. Maybe get a nicer plaque, because the oval one that came with NC Sting is kinda ugly.



I just picked up the Noble Collection Hadhafang on Craigslist for 50 bucks. It looks different than the UC version and the movie version, which has a darker handle. But the blade is really nice steel, and I actually like the raised leaf motif that the NC version has. At least I know it's not going to wear off if I hold it. I guess if you can find something that you like the look of for a decent price... I'm all for it.
That's not a bad price at all for something that originally cost twice the price of UC. I, too, like the raised vines on Noble's Sting. None of the swords in LotR had raised vines, due to tech limitations Peter Lyon had. I believe he said something about it in a Making Sting video that streamed on Weta's site once, but it seems Noble's Sting always had that. All of the elven swords that appear in the Hobbit, that have a vine on the handle, now have raised vines or deep engravings as opposed to being vinyl transferred like they were in LotR.
 
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Onkelpsycho

Sr Member
Anyone purchased something from the shop "Dragon Reborn" in UK? Looks like they overworked their offer on LOTR swords and made videos for every sowrd... Some looks nice but some also looks aweful...

So, just want to know if anyone have experience with this shop or can say something about the quality of the swords? Thanks...
 

Lunaman

Sr Member
There's a give and take with any of the licensed replicas (other than the super-expensive WETA master swordsmith collection pieces) that comes down to what you prioritize in your replica prop. The UC or Noble swords aren't objectively "better" pieces in either direction, they just prioritized different things in the builds.

I had to go outside of the licensed replicas [to find what I was looking for](http://www.therpf.com/f9/quest-ultimate-ranger-sword-lotr-168232/), which was to prioritize real function for target cutting and nimble handling. It was a long process.
 

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