"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.
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?'"