The Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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Good evening, everyone.

Thanks to Derek Smith, the best blade dealer I know (and ever knew), my
new sword arrived six days ago, which was surprisingly fast considering
the time of purchase. Unfortunately, it came just when I had to run to work
(which is out of town), and it wasn't before today I finally came back to
open the package.

Keeping in mind harsh criticism this sword received on account of it's promo
sheet, and remembering not very safe methods of United Cutlery's
packaging of smaller blades, I had some fears mingled with excitement of
adding another piece to my growing collection.

Here's how everything turned out.

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The Sword of Samwise - LE Museum Collection (UC2614MC)
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Chapter One: Package

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As speculated in another thread, United Cutlery decided to cut e xp enses by
skipping the process of additional package design'n'print. Just as we had
Witchking's Dagger and Isildur's Sword artwork with stylish poctures of
named characters, here's Samwise in action (holding Sting, mind you). And
it's the pocture of standard edition, while round yellow sticker on face of
the sleeve and little rectangular one on outer cardboard box (duct taped
over by Spain's customs - muchas gracias, señores) are all the evidence
that the edition ordered is the same one as received. Since my box will be
archived far away from displayed sword, I can't say I have a problem with
that.


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Just as with some other smaller blades (Uruk-Hai Scimitar and Witchking
Dagger come to my mind first), the sword and accessories are placed in a
two-piece cardboard box with middle partition where sword is attached by
two plastic threads. This usually proves to be quite unsafe for shipping,
compared to styro molds for bigger swords, but this time, luckily, the blade
remained in place, wreaking zero havoc.

Unlike the display plaque, the certificate of authenticity wasn't too satisfied
with accommodation. Itself is a bit wider than the box, yet - luckily again -
it didn't get folded or teared, it only bent a bit, which will be more than
easy to fix. Thumb up for post-bankruptcy UC - they started using plastic
sleeves for coa's, a touch I really missed back in the old days.


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Both cardboard blade protector and plastic sleeve are numbered.

Here you can see the only reason why the sword remained in place after a
bumpy flight over Atlantic. The thread that holds it in place doesn't touch
blade's edge - it rather goes over guard and handle - another thumb up for
another intelligent move. (But please, UC, if you guys are reading this,
don't be cheap on styro molds, nothing beats those. Whenever a blade sets
itself free during international shipping, it punctures the package from the
inside, making it extremely dangerous to handle, not to mention it suffers
damage itself.)

Re: Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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Chapter Two: Appearance

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After darkened-only and pitted-only aged and battle-worn blades, UC finally
combined the two. Result is the best weathered effect to date, which now
forces me to desire the three Nazgul swords re-issued (plus the still missing
fourth), with these exact processes applied. And another thumb up for that
- I guess they paid attention to some of our lamentations about shiny
Witchking Dagger after all.

[It was a cloudy November day here, so I was forced to take these photos
in my room, under the poor lighting. Therefore, much of the surface feel is
lost; it looks shiny, while it's much darker (but not too dark) in reality.]


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Even the handle wrap, which is genuine leather this time around, looks well
worn.

Guard and pommel are pitted and darkened just like the blade. Only the
brass handle spacers and round insertion in pommel didn't receive that
treatment, but they are still dark enough not to ruin the ancient feel, plus
they will undoubtedly gather some nice patina over time.

Re: Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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Chapter Three: Handling Characteristics

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Here you can see where the point of balance is. The poctures cannot
exactly give you the feel how thin and small (hobbit-sized indeed) the
handle is - you just have to try that grip for yourself. When wielding the
sword, one definitely gets the feel that the blade is too heavy, definitely
not comfortable for an adult to use as short sword. It might be the maker's
fault (we're not talking about Albion here), but if you think about it, it's
truer to the story this way: unlike the Sting, this one feels like it's actually
a sword made for a hobbit or a dwarf - not a dagger created by and for an
elf.


Chapter Four: Blade Etching

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Oh boy. This is how serial number and logotype are "visible". Whether the
etching is burned before or after the aging process, you have to look very
hard to find it at all. This horrible photo is what I got after some tough
Photoshopping. Can you read the number? I doubt you can, considering the
poor fourth digit that ended in the black pit. Finally some thumbs down for
UC:

First, this looks like somebody decided to modify the sword afterward and
destroyed the original etching by doing so. How was UC supposed to make
it clearer? Beats me, but that's not my business anyway. My duty is to
purchase the collectible, enjoy it for years to come and write mediocre
reviews on public forums.

Second, what's with the font? I don't have photos of the last two swords
at hand to prove it - I might get them if you insist - and I'm not sure what
do I exactly see in this one, but each new piece has different writing style.
Of course, all of them differ from the "old" UC (which hasn't been perfect in
this field either). Please, get some consistency here.

Third and final: why four digits in MC run? There are only 600 of these, so
the number should be xxx/600, not xxxx/600.


Chapter Five: Accessories (Certificate and Display Plaque)

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The certificate of authenticity tells the story of this edition best. (Better
than I do, in any case.) Just look at it: it has all the style and outlay of
former Museum Collection coa's, but it is printed on regular, yellow paper.
Exactly like the sword itself: it is named MC, while it's just an ordinary,
regular sword from LotR line.

Thumb up: They spelled Peter Lyon's name correct (he was "Lyons" couple
of times in the past).

Thumb down: They forgot to hand write the number on mine. Shame,
shame, shame. Such a nice low number...


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The display plaque is another reminder (like we needed more) that there's
nothing classic MC in the package. Itself is very nice, and will make a
beautiful companion to unlimited Sting's. My apologies for the pocture -
horrible angle makes it look too big.

Re: Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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Chapter Six: Conclusion

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The Sword of Samwise is definitely a worthy addition to any LotR fan's
collection. It is amazingly close to original and well made - especially if we
consider that UC did not actually receive the film prop to copy (they had
nothing but production photos to work from).

Would I recommend this edition, opposed to standard? Definitely, even
though I've never seen the other one in real life. Yes, the other one will
have it's serial number quite visible, but in my mind, this is the finished
sword, distressed and weathered: just as if Aragorn kept it long hidden for
a good reason in some forgotten ditch in the wilderness. And like the
ancient Nazgul blades and badly maintained Uruk Hai scimitars, these hobbit
swords need to show us how old, used and non-attractive they are. How
real they are.

Were there other, more important pieces to be made before this one? Of
course there were. Many; I can think of 10-15 at least. But that's definitely
not the reason for disappointment. Here we have another movie replica,
and it's a sign more will come soon. I bet we shall see Guthwine and
Faramir's Sword in near future, among numerous other desired.

I might be wrong, I usually am, but...

...fingers crossed!
:cheers:

Re: Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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Wow Ed that was some review. When I was talking to you when u were writing it, i thought you were writing the next lord of the rings. xD.

Nice pictures of the sword. But i fear that by the time I get enough money this version will be gone. But i like the reugalr edition to. Anyways amazing review.

Oh and a quick question. Is that wood underneath the leather?
"All those moments will be lost, in time... like tears, in the rain..."

Re: Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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[quote=""Elvenguard13""]Wow Ed that was some review. When I was talking to you when u were writing it, i thought you were writing the next lord of the rings. xD.[/quote]

Nah, I'll do that later.

Thanks!

[quote=""Elvenguard13""]Oh and a quick question. Is that wood underneath the leather?[/quote]

Nope, that's leather too. Different though; the katana-like wrap around it
seems to be much thinner and less smooth.

Re: The Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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Nice review, Ed. :)

Funny how you can sometimes have your mind deadset against something, but then after reading a good, objective review, you can change your opinion, however slightly. Like our own Samwise here, I likely won't get this due to its low priority level for me, but if I have the extra money to blow at some point, I would actually consider getting it for completion's sake, than to outright deny its existence as before. ;)
This Space for Rent

Re: The Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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HaHa. As funny as it can be, some of my students, well lets just say i'm surprised they made it to high school. The English Department Head issued a memo stating that we are to include the heading ie. Your Name, The Date, Teacher's Name etc. as a question in the test. Meaning if they spell their name right as well as mine and know what day it is they get a few points. That's sad. This is my first year and I'm already starting to give up hope. Although I did offer Extra Credit to anyone who did a "book report" on any Tolkien, Stephen King, F. Paul Wilson, or Jim Butcher books. But this is getting way off topic so....

I think I've decided on getting the MC version just because I'm not sure that the 600 will sell, but if they do the price on the regular Samwise isn't ridiculous and if the MC runs out, the price is only gonna go up.

Re: The Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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Greetings folks, first post!

It seems I'm one of the very few who actually want Sam's sword over Guthwine or others. Yes, the normal version looks incredibly crappy, so I'm guessing I'll be going for the MC version, but I have a few questions:

Anyone know if this is up for order anywhere in the UK yet? I only know of Blades-UK and BattleOrders, neither of which have it up yet. Just looking for an idea about how much each version will cost here. Whilst I would prefer the MC version, $120 seems to be a bit much just get a bit of weathering done :|
I'm not one for caring about higher grade metals or whatever, so I had no interest in the MC Sting and Glamdring at all, the only thing that matters for me is the distressing of the Sam sword.

Out of interest, what was the rrp of the MC Sting?

Re: The Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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Excellent review, and fantastic "poctures". I especially like the comparison shots with MC Sting. It's a shame about it being a bit of a 'diet' Museum Collection piece in terms of the display, but I guess the lower price is a somewhat tolerable trade-off. It certainly doesn't seem as if the quality of the sword itself has suffered from this decision, which is a definite plus.

I'm with Valkrist on this one. I had zero interest before, but when I finally get around to completing this collection I started so long ago (it seems that way now), then I will look at this one with a much more open mind than before. And that is down solely to your review/pics, so thanks. And give yourself more credit!


Congrats on your sword!

Re: The Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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[quote=""The Flame of the West""]Excellent review, and fantastic "poctures". I especially like the comparison shots with MC Sting. It's a shame about it being a bit of a 'diet' Museum Collection piece in terms of the display, but I guess the lower price is a somewhat tolerable trade-off. It certainly doesn't seem as if the quality of the sword itself has suffered from this decision, which is a definite plus.[/quote]

Thank you, pal. :thumbs_up

Well, I'm glad I saved some money not having to pay another big display
cabinet plus shipping; after all, I'm gonna make custom displays for all of
them eventually, with more than one blade per frame (Nazgul/Gondolin
/Rohan etc).
[quote=""The Flame of the West""]I'm with Valkrist on this one. I had zero interest before, but when I finally get around to completing this collection I started so long ago (it seems that way now), then I will look at this one with a much more open mind than before. And that is down solely to your review/pics, so thanks. And give yourself more credit![/quote]

I'm glad I made some difference, and looking forward to your collecting
revival! You believe you can get every LotR piece UC made? I shall be
cheering for you.

Credit for what? :|

Re: The Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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I meant give yourself more credit when it comes to your reviewing skills. You've helped change the perception of a least two people, so you can't be all that bad at it :P

And yes, I believe I can get every UC LotR piece ever made. I'm just about half way done with university now, so when I finally finish, completing what I started over 6 years ago now will become one of my top priorities. I always considered myself pretty fortunate to have amassed what I have so far, since I started buying this stuff at the age of 15. I'll be 24 when I'm finally done with school, and the only trouble I'll have getting what I want will depend on how hard it is tracking down some of the scarcer items. I'll hunt for the best deal I can get of course, but ultimately, money will not be an object for me in this pursuit.

Re: The Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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[quote=""ed209""]It's not near Orchid's league, but I might be getting another folded Hanwei soon, very soon. So be afraid, be very afraid.[/quote]
Hhhmmmmm - the Fuku-Riu????

[quote=""The Flame of the West""]
And yes, I believe I can get every UC LotR piece ever made. I'll hunt for the best deal I can get of course, but ultimately, money will not be an object for me in this pursuit.[/quote]
Now that's what i like to hear! Good for you Flame! Glad to see you have your priorities in order! :thumbs_up
"Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum!"

Re: The Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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[quote=""The Flame of the West""]I meant give yourself more credit when it comes to your reviewing skills. You've helped change the perception of a least two people, so you can't be all that bad at it :P [/quote]

Not that bad, true. But without false modesty, this review is rushed and
pox should have been made outside, not under piss-yellow light bulb. I
promise I'll try better next time and hopefully help UC sell more stuff. Not
because I'm altruistic (which, of course, I am), but because I want them to
produce LotR swords as long as possible.
[quote=""The Flame of the West""]And yes, I believe I can get every UC LotR piece ever made. I'm just about half way done with university now, so when I finally finish, completing what I started over 6 years ago now will become one of my top priorities. I always considered myself pretty fortunate to have amassed what I have so far, since I started buying this stuff at the age of 15. I'll be 24 when I'm finally done with school, and the only trouble I'll have getting what I want will depend on how hard it is tracking down some of the scarcer items. I'll hunt for the best deal I can get of course, but ultimately, money will not be an object for me in this pursuit.[/quote]

An amazing attitude I can relate to. I hope this means you will waste more
time here with us; contributor of such caliber (dedication + brains) is of
great value to community. But be aware: the more you acquire, the more I
will despise you. Ask Jash.

And don't worry about tracking retired items on eBay. Today I'm able to
find some UC Hibbens from early 90's, brand new in box. There will always
be LotR's too - thousands released of almost every design, and one of
each is all you need.

[quote=""Jash""]Hhhmmmmm - the Fuku-Riu????[/quote]

:) Depending on shipping, I might have it by the end of December. And this
line is supposed to be a journey of it's own - again - now getting first of
NINE
. Long ways to go yet!

Cheers everyone. :cheers:

Re: The Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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Huh, say what?!? :huh:

I think this guy is pulling your leg. I never heard of any MC Stings (or any other UC item, for that matter) that were sold without the COA or display case, bankruptcy or not. For that to happen it would mean that UC produced a last batch of Stings without the remainder of the items and then still packaged and sold them? Extremely unlikely, not to mention illogical. More like this person lost or damaged his and just wants to get rid of the sword.

Someone please correct me here if they know otherwise, but I seriously doubt this one.
This Space for Rent

Re: The Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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aegornid,

I agree with everyone else. I've never heard of any of the original MC's being released without the case or COA. It was one of the critical elements that set them apart from the standard editions. I would almost bet a months pay you'ld get ripped off!

I just picked up #351 MC Samwise sword. I am pleased. However, I do agree with others that the new MC's have definately steppped down from the original formats. The case would have added so much.....to the price as well, I'm sure.
For no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts. Only steel can you trust.

Re: The Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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Little hostile there, ed...

Really, aegnorid, it depends on if you'd be satisfied with just having the sword. His reason that bankrupt UC stopped producing the cases seems a bit strange. Who knows where he got them from.

In my e xp erience "fake" swords are very obviously fake. Any even slightly reputable dealer will not pass off a sword as being UC when it's not. They may say it's a Lord of the Rings sword, but saying that it's United Cutlery when it's not is unlikely. In reality it has more to do with the cost of accurately replicating a sword to the money to earn when selling it. Making accurate bootleg swords is really cost ineffective. So unless it's really, really cheap looking, it's probably legitimate.

I know somewhere on here is a thread that has folks listing off serial numbers of swords. If you're really worried, you can flip through there to see if anyone's listed that number.

Personally, I'd say that a lack of display COA would lower the value significantly. Unless it's a really great deal, I don't think that I personally would go for it. But again, it's all about your comfort level with the deal.

And welcome to forums.

Re: The Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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[quote=""GuardianWolf""]Little hostile there, ed...[/quote]

Ah, finally someone to agree that this was one rushed review! :)

(Or were talking about something completely off topic?)


[quote=""GuardianWolf""]I know somewhere on here is a thread that has folks listing off serial numbers of swords. If you're really worried, you can flip through there to see if anyone's listed that number.[/quote]

Great idea! :thumbs_up I'm gonna help you with that, here's the link:

showthread.php?t=2621

Since only 18 members reported their numbers, chances you will find what
you're looking for are 0.6%, but you have to start somewhere.

Re: The Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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While I didn't mean to waste anybodys time, I was looking to see if anybody had encountered this situation before.

To me, I don't mind if I don't have the case or the COA, in my opinion the COA doesn't mean anything because they can easily be replicated. But the quality of this sword (as any e xp erienced sword collector would know a fake from the real deal in their hand) is very high quality. I can tell it's spring steel opposed to the carbon steel that UC typically makes their swords. I also own the UC non-MC sting and compared the two. Even the laser etching is a dead ringer for MC sting. I'm attaching a few pictures here for you guys to give your opinion.

I've compared it to other photos I've found and the fact the guy let me personally inspect seems to legitimize his claims. I wish the case were being sold with it but the sword is the overall important item.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Re: The Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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Well, the sword itself *looks* legit, but I still think the guy is unwilling to admit that he lost or accidentally destroyed the case and COA so as to not lose the sale. As a collector, I personally wouldn't buy it because I would consider the item incomplete, and thus its value as a collectible is considerably decreased..

Anyway, like GW said, in the end it's all about how you feel. :)
This Space for Rent

Re: The Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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Well the strange thing is he has about 20 of them. He says he bought them from soneone else who claimed they had no cases or CoAs. They all have different etching numbers (mostly from 1900-2300) so I don't know if this batch was produced without cases for some odd reason or not, but they look so incredibly legit. I just chose the #2000 for the even number. I don't think without the case it will be considerably decreased, heck I could even have a cabinent maker reproduce the case if I really was inclined to do so and nobody would know the difference, but reproducing the sword is a whole other issue.

Re: The Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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If there are that great a number of them lying around, then it is indeed possible that these swords fell through the cracks during the turmoil of UC's bankruptcy. Without knowing the final numbers on the MC Stings that were shipped to retailers, it would be difficult to ascertain if UC managed to prepare and box all of the entire production run for final sale. If the answer is no, then they could potentially have a few swords left over that never made it out the door to be sold to customers. Since the swords would not be made by the same manufacturers as the people that crafted the cases and printed the CoAs, then UC likely ordered issued a stop-work order on the latter components because it could no longer operate as a business. I would be interested in knowing how this guy got a hold of all those swords. He must know someone on the inside who made a tidy profit 'cleaning out' UC's closet of unshipped stock. :huh:
This Space for Rent

Re: The Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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20 MC Stings that he just got his hands on? Is there a new black market for LOTR collectibles? I would be very warry. I mean, who knows? Allot of wierd stuff happened during the transition period as the old UC went bankrupt and the new owners took over and moved everything. I had heard that there was quite a bit of stock produced by UC's China vendors that sat on the docks for quite some time and was not released to UC as they were in bankruptcy. I had even heard that one or more other buyers had bought up some of that stock. Perhaps the swords were produced in China and the cases and COAs in the US. Maybe someone bought a final batch of those MC Stings before they were matched with cases and COAs. Just a theory.
For no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts. Only steel can you trust.

Re: The Sword of Samwise (Museum Collection) Review and Photos

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wel aegonid.seems like i get loked of when im to slow to write .
so i meke it short.
i did had an isue whit my mc glammy ,but it was when it came out into produktion,i belive i made a tread on this ones ,years ago.

i maby the one of two who actuly own a mc glammy in this country thoug.


the isue was a missing coa ,and a brokeing hatch.while the sword never been open before me.
i contactet (old) united cutlery by mail,great and fast service.they send me a coa a new hatch ,and belivie it my bad spelling and grama gave me some benifits ,a new lock and key,fore the display case ,whits i did not ask fore.

great and fast sevice at old uc comperny ,whot habbent :huh:
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