Big Box of Old Lead Miniatures
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Post Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:40 pm 
 

I have a box of old lead miniatures (a couple of hundred) that's been gathering dust at the bottom of a storage closet. These are loose, painted and mostly unpainted mini's from the 70's and early 80's for the most part. Are there any from this era worth trying to search for or do these old mini's all have about the same bulk value? There are a handful of empire of the petal throne, and a mix from the old AD&D sets as well.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:38 pm 
 

You never know what you have until you look.  There's a good chance a few are worth considerably more than others, but finding those takes considerable knowledge that I don't even have.

Two easy ways to pull out those that are more likely to be of high value is to first, pull out all those with square bases.  Those are more likely to be manufactured by Heritage or other companies who produced rarer pieces.  The second thing to look for is monsters.  Things with wings like demons and dragons usually sell better than most, for example.

The main things that ruin the value of minis are damage (duh) and lead rot.  Lead rot is to minis like rust is to iron.  Rust is reddish and lead rot is grey (which means there little color difference).  It kind of looks like a flaky coating on the mini.

Finally, make sure you wash your hands after handling them, and don't let young kids near them. 8)


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:49 pm 
 

Hey Jason---

If you want, when I'm back in NJ over the summer, we could finally get together and I could help you ID the minis? :D


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:51 pm 
 

benjoshua wrote:Two easy ways to pull out those that are more likely to be of high value is to first, pull out all those with square bases.  Those are more likely to be manufactured by Heritage or other companies who produced rarer pieces.  The second thing to look for is monsters.  Things with wings like demons and dragons usually sell better than most, for example.

Square-based minis marked "(c) 1978 ELAN MERCH" are official Heritage Lord of the Rings miniatures.  Custom Cast made some unofficial LotR minis that have orcs with standards and such.

HM (Heritage Models) and Dragontooth are two manufacturers whose minis are worth more than most other manufacturers.  I consider Grenadier and Ral Partha to have "average" value or less.

Characters are "average" value.  Monsters are worth more; beholders are worth quite a bit.

Digression: Some Ral Partha Imports are intentionally humorous (Pinhead the Barbarian, Dwarf with Inferiority Complex, etc.) but aren't worth that much.  If you see a base with some empty footprints, that is the Invisible Stalker from Grenadier's Comedy Lords boxed set.  If you see a gold-painted mini, then it may actually be a gold-plated mini.

The main things that ruin the value of minis are damage (duh) and lead rot.  Lead rot is to minis like rust is to iron.  Rust is reddish and lead rot is grey (which means there little color difference).  It kind of looks like a flaky coating on the mini.

Damage is obvious.  Lead rot can be obvious . . . lead rot stinks and causes the miniature to, well, rot.  Toss those minis unless you think that they are very rare.  The lead rot can be cut away, and the mini can be cleaned, but I have never bothered to do that.
Finally, make sure you wash your hands after handling them, and don't let young kids near them. 8)

Yes.  Your hands will be covered in grey lead dust after you pore over the minis.  Touch your nose, eat some food, touch a computer keyboard . . . things will turn grey.  :(

  

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Post Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:25 pm 
 

JohnGaunt wrote:Custom Cast made some unofficial LotR minis that have orcs with standards and such.


Yes, I'll be selling one of those next week.  :)


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Post Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:28 am 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:Are there any from this era worth trying to search for or do these old mini's all have about the same bulk value?

If you have the patience, you can list the minis on eBay individually, and people WILL notice that you have dozens upon dozens of minis and look over them. I remember about two or three years ago someone put up close to 1000 miniatures individually, and some of them surprisingly (to me anyways) went upwards of $50. The bulk of them went in the 1-3 dollar range.

This assumes that you have nothing to do but try and get good photos of a ton of minis and take the time to list them. ;)

...and of course giving a generous combined shipping will encourage bidding, but that goes without saying.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:35 pm 
 

I've started looking through the box and there are a number that say heritage with square or rectangular bases and a number of monsters.  A beholder that says grenadier, a roper, an invisible stalker, a rust monster, an oytugh, one that I think is a carrion crawler, seven so far that I believe are empire of the petal throne, one that is either a badly crafted wolf or hairy pig that says HM 77 1356 on the bottom... pictures available for anyyone interested but I can't figure out how to put them up here.

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Post Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:06 pm 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:I've started looking through the box and there are a number that say heritage with square or rectangular bases and a number of monsters.  A beholder that says grenadier, a roper, an invisible stalker, a rust monster, an oytugh, one that I think is a carrion crawler, seven so far that I believe are empire of the petal throne, one that is either a badly crafted wolf or hairy pig that says HM 77 1356 on the bottom... pictures available for anyyone interested but I can't figure out how to put them up here.


HM 77 1356 = Heritage, 1977, figure number 1356.

Stuff of Legends has some Heritage figures listed:
. . . http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~tpope/sol/heritage/index.html

The 1200 series are Dungeon Dwellers.  Pictures of that series are here:
. . . http://www.dungeon-dwellers.info/index.html

This Yahoo! Group is for Heritage minis.  Various files and spreadsheets are available at the group page.  Join the group if you want to download them:
. . . http://groups.yahoo.com/group/disciplesofheritage/

[Edit: According to a spreadsheet at the Yahoo! Group, 1356 is "Wildwolves"]

  
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