Xconomy Auction for Charity—Autographed Collector’s Edition of Turbine’s Lord of the Rings: Mines of Moria

11/10/09Follow @wroush

Do you love fantasy role-playing games? Do you enjoy collecting one-of-a-kind autographed artifacts? Do you like supporting good causes? Then this is your lucky week. Through the generosity of the good folks at Turbine, the Westwood, MA-based publisher of online fantasy games, Xconomy has obtained an amazing Collector’s Edition boxed set of Turbine’s most popular game ever, Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria. This version of the award-winning massively multiplayer game world—based, of course, on the famous J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy—is signed by the actual developers who created the game. And we’re auctioning it off on eBay, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting two of our favorite local non-profit groups.

Click here to see the auction listing at eBay. The auction begins today and will conclude at noon Eastern time on Tuesday, November 17. We hope this unique item brings a good price—because we’re going to donate half of the proceeds to Cambridge, MA-based Science Club for Girls and the other half to Boston-based Technology Underwriting Greater Good.

Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria Collector's EditionHere’s the back story about this remarkable item. I visited Turbine’s massive headquarters facility back in July, and shortly afterward wrote a big feature article about the company’s decision to make one of its other online properties, Dungeons & Dragons Online, free to play. As a memento of my visit, the team at Turbine offered me the aforementioned autographed boxed set. I explained that as journalists, we can’t accept gifts from sources—but that we’d love to take the set and sell it for charity. Turbine enthusiastically agreed. (But the game has been sitting around my office ever since; I guess, like Gollum, I couldn’t bear to part with “my precious.”)

Aside from the program discs for Lord of the Rings Online (which spare you a lengthy download), the Collector’s Edition contains a variety of extras guaranteed to appeal to any fan of the genre. What makes this copy special, of course, is that the box cover has been signed in metallic-silver magic marker by about 20 of the developers involved in creating the game (see the photo below). But the stuff inside the box is pretty cool too.

The neatest item, to my mind, is the CD with the soundtrack music from the game. But Tolkien fans will also appreciate items such as the gold-plated reproduction of the One Ring, complete with Black Speech inscription, which, as everyone knows, reads “One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.” (I tried it on, and for better or worse, I did not become invisible, see a fiery eye in the sky, or have delusions of ultimate power.)

Here’s the full rundown of the loot inside the Collector’s Edition:

  • Two Windows program discs
  • Music & Art Collection bound volume including “The Music of Mines of Moria” Soundtrack CD
  • The aforementioned replica of the One Ring in velvet pouch
  • Premium cloth map of the game world
  • Middle Earth poster
  • Collector’s Edition Starter Guide manual
  • Product Key and three free 14-day Buddy Keys
  • Quick Reference Card

Note that LOTRO is playable only from Windows PCs with broadband Internet connections, and that the game itself requires a subscription of $14.99 per month, separate from the cost of this Collector’s Edition.

A word about the two non-profit groups that will benefit from the auction: Science Club for Girls, founded in 1994, offers free after-school science literacy programs to K-12 girls in several cities around Massachusetts. Technology Underwriting Greater Good, founded this year by Jeff Fagnan and Dana Samuels of Atlas Venture and Hemant Taneja of General Catalyst Partners, promotes entrepreneurship and innovation programs for young people in New England. Bob profiled the organization last month.

They’re both great groups—so go and bid on the LOTRO Collector’s Edition now. You’ve only got until next Tuesday!

Here are a few photos of the Collector’s Edition. You can click on each photo to see a larger version.

Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria---Collector's Edition
Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria---Collector's Edition
Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria---Collector's Edition

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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  • JAm

    What did the box sell for?