Value of D&D Miniatures?
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:05 am 
 

So,

I am a newbie when it comes to the value of D&D Miniatures.  Is there any basic advice the sages out there can give me?  What prompted this question is a "For Sale" ad that had this description:

"Dungeons & Dragons, 65 pewter cast pieces. Originally bought from ' 78 to ' 82."

It came with a blurry image of the figures, which I could try to link to (but I am not familiar on how to do this here).  It looks like most are bare metal with only a couple with some paint-none are in the packages, all loose.  Thanks in advance.


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:13 pm 
 

bspaul41 wrote:So,

I am a newbie when it comes to the value of D&D Miniatures.  Is there any basic advice the sages out there can give me?  What prompted this question is a "For Sale" ad that had this description:

"Dungeons & Dragons, 65 pewter cast pieces. Originally bought from ' 78 to ' 82."

It came with a blurry image of the figures, which I could try to link to (but I am not familiar on how to do this here).  It looks like most are bare metal with only a couple with some paint-none are in the packages, all loose.  Thanks in advance.


Loose minis in lots generally go for 50 cents to $1 each.  Some are quite valuable though!!


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:20 pm 
 

Blackmoor wrote:
Loose minis in lots generally go for 50 cents to $1 each.  Some are quite valuable though!!


So,

Is there some website, similar to The Acaeum, that would have more information on what is valuable and what is not?  This kind of info would help me make a respectable offer.  Or is it basically take total # for sale and divide by 2 to get offer price?

Plus I like researching things like this just to increase my own personal knowledge.  The amount of reading I have done here at this website since I have discovered it is pretty scary.  But it's all good stuff.


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:48 pm 
 

bspaul41 wrote:

"Dungeons & Dragons, 65 pewter cast pieces. Originally bought from ' 78 to ' 82."



If those dates are correct, they'll be a lead alloy, not pewter.  

Unfortunately, there is no miniatures equivalent of Acaeum.  You could use http://www.solegends.com to try to ID them, but it doesn't have details of values.

If you can post a pic here, or a link to a pic, we can probably help with a value estimate.


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:52 pm 
 

Time for me to learn how to post an image here.  Below is the only image that went with the For Sale ad.  As I am not a collector of D&D mini's, I would only contact the Ad poster if I could resell for a profit and/or see if they have some cool D&D material from the same timeframe to sell  :)

Image


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:08 pm 
 

bspaul41 wrote:Below is the only image that went with the For Sale ad.  As I am not a collector of D&D mini's, I would only contact the Ad poster if I could resell for a profit and/or see if they have some cool D&D material from the same timeframe to sell  :)

At first glance, a lot of them look like Custom Cast or Heritage Minis;  Custom Cast and Heritage have square bases.  Some of the square-based minis might be Heritage's licenses Lord of the Rings minis.

I think the slime is Heritage, too.

Heritage and Custom Cast minis can go for goodly sum.  If the pictures were better, then the seller could get more money.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:58 pm 
 

Most of the big monsters I can make out are (semi-)common Grenadier figs from the early '80's: there's a land-dragon & Cyclops top row center & a demon-ape 3rd row right, all from the "Fiends" box, IIRC; and the giant snake 2nd row comes from the AD&D Denizens of the Swamp box.

You might get $3-4 each for these in good condition if sold separately with good photography.  In their complete box sets they'd  sell for much more.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:59 pm 
 

Shit, I usually throw loose minis in a bag for the kid to paint. I should check through them. I know he's done a water elemental, a salamander, and a fire elemental.


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:07 pm 
 

Hey,

Thanks to all that have (so far) helped answer my question.  I think I'm going to contact the seller and see if these are still available.  If so, I'll probably pick them up.  That way I can take some better pics/scans of them and post them here.  You've got to love a mystery, and since I started this one, I'll try to end it.


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:41 pm 
 

I agree with stumbling tiger, most of the figures are standard/non-rare Grenadier figures, and I would expect that the original price estimate of $0.50 to $1 each is probably about right, especially if they're missing weapons/parts or are otherwise beat up a bit (as is often the case with loose minis)


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:40 pm 
 

I agree with what's been said so far.  The fact that they are not shiny means they likely contain lead, and thereby old, and thereby more valuable.   However, the condition of the minis is probably the major factor in their value.  If they are beat up and missing parts, their value declines quickly.  Unfortunately, the photo doesn't lend itself to scrutiny of this factor.  I would predict that a lot like this on E-Bay, with this picture and no further information would go for about $30.00 to $40.00.  Of course, not everyone bids logically on E-Bay. :o


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 1:04 am 
 

Whatever price you decide, I would just caution you that anything from this early era may or may not be affected by lead rot.  That is the tendency for the high lead metal to start disolving and flaking away all those fine little details on the mini.  IF you don't ask the buyer about this, factor throwing away 1/3 of the haul when figuring out your bottom line just to be safe.  So in your example maybe 40 would actually retain their original detail to be worth having.  This can even happen with early sealed sets from that era, like the Grenadier solid gold line.  If they actually have crappy paint jobs it's a little safer, as in most cases the paint will have preserved them from rot and you just need to spend the time stripping them.

Just do a google search on "lead rot" and "miniatures" and learn what to look for so you can ask.  otherwise you might be in for disappointment with your purchase(s).

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Post Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 1:11 am 
 

Not to mention they're not edible :(


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:34 am 
 

serleran wrote:Not to mention they're not edible :(


But in the unlikely event that they have lead rot, they will stink on ice.   :x



Seriously, wash your hands after handling lead miniatures.  And don't eat or drink near them, especially if you are filing or stripping them.



-----------------



Here's an example of a miniature overpriced by a hundred times a reasonable value.  $44.99 for a single, common Grenadier 25mm mini is insane . . .



. . .  
** expired eBay auction **




And here's an example of a lot with some uncommon Heritage minis (spiders and some other good-condition figures) priced about right at $21.50:



. . .  
** expired eBay auction **

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 8:31 am 
 

JohnGaunt wrote:Seriously, wash your hands after handling lead miniatures.  And don't eat or drink near them, especially if you are filing or stripping them.


Thanks for more information.  After the link to www.solegends.com was posted, I surfed on over there and did read the article on Lead Rot.  I was not aware of this particular characteristic of lead, but it all makes sense.

Regarding the saftey issue of lead, I am well aware of the dangers.  I'm actually a Biochemist/Scientist and have worked with all kinds of nasty chemicals and such.  So I take precautions naturally.  But the advice was not lost as someone else reading this thread may not have known about the dangers of lead.

So I have actually made a plan with the seller to meet face to face.  It's about a 2hr drive from me, but I was "going that way anyway".  Thus if they do not sell these out from under me in the meantime, I'll check them out first hand.  If most of them look decent, and the price is right, I'll pick them up.  Then I can post some pictures here so we can answer the mystery and add to the general knowledge base.


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:34 am 
 

This is for-sure a collection of Grenedier and Heritage Dungeon Dwellers.

The Grenedier stuff isn't worth a lot except nostalgia value, unless you have complete sets with boxes...then you might be getting $20 or so for a box if the figures are in good shape.

Dungeon Dwellers are pretty popular with a hard core following.  I've sold a beholder "Beholding Sphere" on ebay for over $20 by itself.

That being said, the Dungeon Dweller figures pictured are some of the more common stuff.....orcs, slimes, wights, harpies etc.  Not worth a great lot, but a good start on the addicting hobby of collecting Dungeon Dwellers!

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Post Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:24 am 
 

bspaul41 wrote:
Thanks for more information...   If most of them look decent, and the price is right, I'll pick them up.  Then I can post some pictures here so we can answer the mystery and add to the general knowledge base.


Well have fun with those if you do snag them, it looks like an interesting lot.  Also be aware that there are tons of these loose mini auctions on Ebay throughout the year where you can find lots of interesting bits and singles to complete your box sets, or have extras of your favourites.  Be patient and don't get obsessed with picking up one particular auction.

Myself I am just plain tired from the last time I bought a few of these in Dec.  All that filing and trimming, straightening swords and re-attaching spear heads.  I never want to see another loose lot mini auction till next year!

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Post Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:49 am 
 

Update, just to put closure on this issue.



I actually went and looked at these mini's in person this weekend.  I am not an expert on mini's, but these appeared to be "as guessed" above by previous posters.  None of them had any signs of lead rot.  Some had been bumped and had lost a little detail, but were otherwise ok.  I made a cash offer and got a rude response with a threat that they were going to be sold on ebay.  I walked out.  So I will end this thread with a caution.  If you see these mini's, or something like these posted on ebay from a Maine location, be careful.  The actual items are OK, but you might not be happy with the after the sale customer service department.


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Post Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:18 am 
 

bspaul41 wrote:Update, just to put closure on this issue.

8O

Comment from the peanut gallery:  the two of you should have agreed upon a price before you met.  The seller sounds like he had an attachment to the minis, the money, or both.  Too bad about how it all turned out.  The seller will eventually find a buyer, and you will find another seller if you try.

The minis in the picture really aren't worth much.  Heritage minis are uncommon, but those pictured aren't hard-to-find rarities.

Heritage collectors have a Yahoo group  ( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/disciplesofheritage/ ).  The message archive is a useful place to get a feel for things before jumping into eBay or trading.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:53 am 
 

Update just for the sake of completeness-and to confirm previous opinions that these mini's were/are common.

The original owner has continously posted the same lot of minis since my last post in August.  In fact, this week he's dropped his price.  His asking price is now right about what I originally offered months ago. :roll:

Guess that tells you a little about my local market for mini's here in Maine, and that The Acaeum members who commented were right.  Rock on members and thanks again for the advice.


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