The Endless Annoyance of "Current" D&D minis
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 1:27 am 
 

Does anyone know anything about current D&D minis? How come there are so many auctions for "Aberrations", "Angelfire", "Dragoneye", etc. What are these dealers doing - buying boxes in huge bulk and selling the minis individually?

It appears they are all plastic pre-painted and come with a stat card. Apparently there are Rares, Uncommons, Commons, etc. It seems that there must be some sort of little "beenie baby" craze going on for those who collect these things. "Oh man! I just gotta have that RARE Skeleton Warrior from the new Aberrations expansion pack! I'll pay $14.00 for it!"

How are these things sold "normally" (off ebay). Do you buy a pack and get "random" figures? That would seem to go hand in hand with there being rares, commons and so on . . .


I've seen boxes of these things sell for ungodly prices . . . it's just freakin' plastic after all . . . does anyone under 25 years old even know how to paint a mini themselves?  :?


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Post Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 2:33 am 
 

D&D Miniatures is kind of an interesting mix of a bunch of stuff: the rebirth of the failed Chainmail game, the desire to get in on WizKids' Mage Knight pre-painted craze, an attempt to appeal to non-RPG consumers, etc.

Those keywords you're seeing — Angelfire, Giants of Legend, etc. — are the names of the expansion sets. They are sold in individual booster packs for normal-type consumers and in bricks of 12 boxes for retailers, resellers, and other folks who have more money than I do (not that that proves much ... :)). And, yes, booster packs contain a mix of commons, uncommons, rares, etc. So what you're also seeing is eBay listings for single minis — Beholder, Large Blue Dragon, etc. — that are considered rare or super-cool.

The D&D Miniatures game itself is a strange hybrid: it can be played with "skirmish" rules that are basically just an excuse to bash the other guy, or the minis can be used in a d20/3e campaign. However, the campaign option makes no sense, as the randomness of the packaging makes it impossible to predict what figures you'll get: thus, the odds of a player finding the perfect mini for his character or a DM finding six skeletons to make up an encounter are not in the consumers' favor.

Personally, I have two thoughts with this product line: first, I would never attempt to use them as my exclusive source of minis (for the reason listed above); however, some of the individual figures are sort of neat. I've found four that represent my favorite adventuring party from the days of wine and roses, and they give me that good, tingly nostalgic feeling.

+++++

Aside: Auction Sieve can filter these results out of eBay searches quite easily. Just enter the following terms into the Trash Words section:

Harbinger
Archfiends
Dragoneye
Aberrations
Giants of Legend
Angelfire
Deathknell

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Post Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 3:17 am 
 

LOL, my boyfriend & I were just discussing this the other day. They seem to have absolutely flooded the market with minis & it's really narking me off when I do searches for stuff & come up with a 10 pages of minis.

Thanks for the tip on how to filter them out.

I can't paint minis (heh, I fall into the just under 25 category), but my boyfriend can (and yes, he falls into the over 25s). :D

Ral Partha I've noticed still do some nice stuff, but the fact that minis are now *everywhere* is annoying me.

I think by using names like "Angelfire" & "Aberations", Wizards/Hasbro are trying to get their MtG addicted players to look at getting into minis. They've also released a hardback book to go with it (see link below).

D&D Miniatures: What Are D&D Miniatures?

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Post Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 3:37 am 
 

Winterwords wrote:Thanks for the tip on how to filter them out.


My pleasure. A further tip: filter out the misspellings, too — i.e., Abberations, Deathnell, Harbringer, etc. It's a pain, but it has to be done, and at least Auction Sieve makes it pretty much a two-click process.

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Post Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 9:14 am 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:
Winterwords wrote:Thanks for the tip on how to filter them out.


My pleasure. A further tip: filter out the misspellings, too — i.e., Abberations, Deathnell, Harbringer, etc. It's a pain, but it has to be done, and at least Auction Sieve makes it pretty much a two-click process.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who's sick of this crap.  (The earlier minis don't bother me as much, but they really need their own section, far far away from D&D.)

If you aren't interested in minis as all, you'll also wanna filter out:
Ral (as in partha)
mini
minis (stupid lack of wildcards, eBay!)
miniatures
miniature
figure
figures
"giants of"
gol (short for Giants of Legend)

YMMV

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Post Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:01 am 
 

deimos3428 wrote:YMMV


what does that mean?



  


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Post Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 12:05 pm 
 

I'm definantly going to have to try the filter program.  I was just thinking to myself last night how annoying these are.  Page after Page of those!

  


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Post Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 12:30 pm 
 

killjoy32 wrote:
deimos3428 wrote:YMMV


what does that mean?


Your Mileage May Vary

A good chunk of the plastic miniatures are actually pretty nice, and have paint-jobs that are better than a lot of folks could do ;)  The newer sets are better looking than most of the older sets.

Check the WotC galleries:
D&D Miniatures Gallery

The order of release is: Harbinger, Dragoneye, Archfiends, Giants of Legend, Aberrations, Deathknell, Angelfire.

I know some of the "old-timers" ( :P ) won't like them, but they're a heckuva lot less expensive, both in time and cash, to buy and use for D&D. And best of all for the D&D game itself, they're profitable - which means WotC isn't in fear of tanking anytime soon :)

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Post Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 5:54 am 
 

What scale are these new plastic minis?


While on the subject, what scale were the older, metal minis?

  

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Post Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:01 am 
 

Doug Williams wrote:What scale are these new plastic minis?


While on the subject, what scale were the older, metal minis?


Before or after you microwave them? :D


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 12:09 pm 
 

Doug Williams wrote:What scale are these new plastic minis?


While on the subject, what scale were the older, metal minis?


They're a bit larger than 25mm.

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 4:36 am 
 

While I do buy the minis, I haver to admit I am also very upset with the ebaying of them.

It is virtually impossible to look up and non-miniature D&D accesroy withouit getting a page full of minis.

It puts you in keyword hell.

  


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 1:35 pm 
 

I can't think of any non-D&D-miniature search off-hand that would turn up a ton of miniature entries. What were you looking for that came up with so many?

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 1:36 pm 
 

Doug Williams wrote:What scale are these new plastic minis?


30mm

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Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:50 am 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:
Doug Williams wrote:What scale are these new plastic minis?


30mm


Ah, while my old Ral Partha minis are (if I remember correctly) about 28mm, so these new plastic ones should be a tad bigger.

I took a look at the galleries and a lot of them do look pretty nice. I would probably start buying them if not for the fact that they are randomly packaged, like MTG cards. If we could buy them individually (like other minis are marketed), at a price that reflects that they are indeed just plastic after all (say $1-$2 for a human sized figure) I would most likely buy a bunch of them, just for the convenience factor. However, since WoTC has chosen to distribute them like a trading card game, with commons, uncommons, and rares (with all the price gouging that goes along with this distribution method) I choose to stay away from these figures altogether and when I need minis, I will be buying from Reaper, Iron Wind Metals, etc.

  

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Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:34 am 
 

Many people say that these mini's are cheaper than metals.  Looked at the price of the harbinger releases lately $600+ for a set!  These mini's are being sold as collectable and have there own game.  I would get nervous about plaing with a mini that cost me $40.00 or more and does anybody actually play the Game?

Maybe I am just old fashioned, if I need 4 kobolds for an encounter I would like just to go to the store, buy a pack and set them on the gaming table, not have to buy 8 or 9 booster packs and take my chances.


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Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 1:03 pm 
 

Blackmoor> Ditto, except because of my age & when I got into the game, I generally use the cardboard figures they released in the early 90s.

I did however buy 140 mixed minis for general use for £15 recently, but they're probably going to end up at my boyfriend's house.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 4:01 pm 
 

Doug Williams wrote:If we could buy them individually (like other minis are marketed), at a price that reflects that they are indeed just plastic after all (say $1-$2 for a human sized figure) I would most likely buy a bunch of them, just for the convenience factor.


That's why I do such brisk business on eBay - you can get humans and critters for under $1 each. Not all of them, of course, but you can't often get new metal miniatures for under a few dollars each. And these are prepainted (albeit sometimes not well), so they're "ready for play" right away.

Blackmoor wrote:Many people say that these mini's are cheaper than metals.  Looked at the price of the harbinger releases lately $600+ for a set!  These mini's are being sold as collectable and have there own game.  I would get nervous about plaing with a mini that cost me $40.00 or more and does anybody actually play the Game?

Maybe I am just old fashioned, if I need 4 kobolds for an encounter I would like just to go to the store, buy a pack and set them on the gaming table, not have to buy 8 or 9 booster packs and take my chances.


You're using the oldest set to set prices, which isn't a good idea ;)  Do a search on 'Angelfire' - that's the newest set - and you'll find a crapload of cheap miniatures. The majority are quite a bit cheaper than metal, and they don't need to be painted.

If you grab 4 kobolds and plop 'em on the table, they're not painted. For around $0.75 each, you could grab 4 Kobold Soldiers (from Angelfire), and voila. Judging from my FLGS prices, it'd be about a buck cheaper than buying a blister of miniatures to boot.

The game itself is pretty popular, and that's why many of the figures are so much more expensive. And really, the miniatures are almost indestructible - they're plastic. No broken weapons, and if it gets bent, you just bend it back ;)  Personally, I enjoy painting miniatures (haven't done it for years though), but I way prefer the new miniatures for actual gaming. Soooo much easier ;)

Check my store link on the Classifieds board, and compare the prices to buying metal miniatures, and consider the time saved on painting stuff that doesn't need to look great.

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Post Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:55 pm 
 

A lot of people play the game. Most are crossover D&D players, but it has a pretty good following. The game is decent.

It is little annoying if you play with the Minis for your D&D game, because some figures, like the Beholder or Mind Flayer, which you need sometimes, are really expensive because they are super badass in the minis game.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:58 pm 
 

GraysonAC wrote:...compare the prices to buying metal miniatures, and consider the time saved on painting stuff that doesn't need to look great.


I agree.  I'm not going to pay any real money for a plastic figure, but, they do come in handy.  For example, I needed 10 dwarven zombies for an L3 game I'm DMing.  Try finding 10 metal dwarven zombie minis within a two week time frame for a reasonable price and then having enough time to paint them.  Forget it.  I found 10 dwarven skeletons (close enough for me) for .25 each plus $2 shipping on eBay.  Voila: I have what I need for under $5, in less than a week, with no painting time and effort required.  Ditto for the 9 elven archer NPCs that are accompanying the party to the Delve.

The ogre magi (I changed Enthar's race) was a different story, though.  He was important to the campaign, so I wanted a really nice figure.  I grabbed Reaper's awesome new OM figure, took a week to paint him and he looked fantastic.  Then the party went and killed him in 1 stinking round.  Maybe I shoulda grabbed a plastic one!

  
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