In honor of the upcoming release of The Hobbit movie adaptation, Middle Earth…errr, I mean New Zealand is releasing coins and stamps featuring characters from the movie. These coins, while primarily aimed at collectors, will be legal tender for Kiwis(NZ currency). Despite carry a monetary value they’re going to retail for a lot more. Supposedly the NZ$10 coin is made from an ounce of pure-gold and will cost over $3000. On the cheaper side they’re also going to be featuring Hobbit themed stamps in case you want to send letters from the Shire. Gandalf himself, portrayed by Sir Ian McKellan, loves the idea proclaiming “To put Gandalf on these splendiferous coins is a wizard idea.”
Peter Jackson’s LOTR trilogy put New Zealand on the map and it saw a significant increase in tourism back in 2001 -2003 following each release. New Zealand seems to be on a quest to officially become Middle Earth at this point, even branding its advertisements as 100% Middle Earth, %100 Pure New Zealand. I’ve always wanted to go to New Zealand, so if I ever make it I’m putting Orc spotting on my list of to-see on my journey there and back again.
The Hobbit, coming to theaters December 14th, stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins. Freeman is best know for his role as John Watson in BBC’s Sherlock. A modern adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyles classic detective series, Sherlock also stars Benedict Cumberbatch as lead Sherlock Holmes, who will also make an appearance (sort of) in The Hobbit as the voice of the Necromancer.