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An Iowa Man Spent 3 Years Building The Mythical City From 'Lord Of The Rings' Out Of Matchst

• Paige Cooperstein

"Number one is I've been a JRR Tolkien fan since I was a kid," Acton told Business Insider. "The movies reignited my interest in 'Lord of the Rings' and I wanted to build something iconic from the story."
The model includes hundreds of city buildings, the Citadel, the Tree of Gondor, and the White Tower of Ecthelion, all of which should excite LOTR fans.
Acton has built matchstick models for the past 23 years as a hobby, but after retirement he took on a three-year contract to construct models full time with Ripley's Believe It Or Not. He has about a year and a half left on that arrangement now."I used to buy all the matchsticks the grocery store had and cut the tips off myself," Acton said. "I was just interested in the pure wood. But it's time consuming to cut the tips. After about 10 years, my wife said, 'Why don't you contact the match makers and ask to buy them without the tips?'"

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