Welcome to our second Middle Earth Monday about Weta Cave (see week one here). This week we visit the shop/museum, and then I will describe ‘Behind the Scenes Tour’ in words as you can’t take pictures. Ohh I wish that we could! I have placed the Tour Report on a separate page here.
OK follow me as we go in through the front door. We see there is a mini museum area through an arch and, on our right – the wonderful treasures of the Weta Cave shop. Everything is beautifully presented, check out the map cabinet below, there are lots of samples you can handle too, including weapons from District 9.
The substantial glass cabinet in the picture below divides the large room in two, and there is a lot of glowing old fashioned wood with wall space for dramatic weaponry; plus there are miniatures and books. Films such as Tintin, District 9, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit all had major contributions from Weta and all are represented here.
At the far end of the cabinet are two figures – a massive Lurtz and a smaller Gandalf. They are ‘scale models’ so we know Sir Ian McKellan is not much taller than mum! The work in the two figures is superb, you must visit if you are ever in Wellington to see the quality of Weta workmanship. Both were popular and plenty of people wanted a picture of themselves being scared by Lurtz!
The staff are helpful and informed, dealing efficiently with a customer turns up and their phone is the only proof they booked on a Window into Weta Tour (this takes even longer to process in than a paper form!). The staff remain calm despite an amazing goblin leaping out above their heads which is just so cool. It’s easy to get used to the craggy drama of the walls then suddenly you are at the shop checkouy to buy your dwarf gold and AAGGHH!
The Weta space caters for the fans from super budget to super rich. You can have a genuine Hobbit sword handmade by Weta – sharpened to perfection and ready to slay goblins, or buy a piece of dwarf gold! The coins are heavy and very large and you could not run fast from from Smaug’s lair with a pocket full of those!
The only downside to Weta Cave shop is that we believe it’s too small for the crowds that visit – it is full of magic and wonderful things, such as the superb costume of ‘armour’ with faux chainmaille, signed copies of books, and models. Unfortunately, as the growing crowd waits for each Window on the Workshop Tour they take up a heap of space in the shop – this place begs for more space for its treasures to be enjoyed.
The outside of the shop is a bit of a show stopper as we saw last week and you trace your way back out of the door to the Window on Weta Workshop Tour.