So, I happened into my Friendly Local Gaming Shop (the wonderful Static Games in Glasgow), hunting for bargains and weird and wonderful books (their second hand/ding stock is always plentiful, with some fabulous discounts), when something caught my eye.
Gale Force Nine have produced a new set of D&D Miniatures - the Dungeons and Dragons Collector's Series, to be precise. All new sculpts, themed (and finally non-random) sets (the Drow and Illithid Raiding Parties), and big single models (the Eye Tyrant and Purple Worm). The first thing that caught me was the quality of the sculpts - they look pretty fantastic. The Purple Worm is ludicrously nice, the Eye Tyrant looks very well-proportioned, and the Drow and Illithids are well in keeping with the 3rd/4th edition art style. Fair enough, I'm not a massive fan of that particular art style, but it is invoked pretty well.
This sounds like a pretty positive review so far, right?
Well, I took a closer look...
First thing that jumped out at me - the price. £40.00. For five miniatures. Now, I know that they're limited edition. I know there's only one store in Scotland stocking these (though, weirdly, eight in England!). And I know geeks just love to throw their money away. But come on - even Games Workshop has better prices than that.
Not only just 5 minis - 5 snap-fit miniatures! There's next to no customisation to do here, unless you want to do extensive remodelling. But, as these look to be resin-plastic models, and incredibly detailed and fiddly, I say good fucking luck. Cutting into one of these would just wreck the whole thing! Too many details, too few pieces to really allow you to mod them up as you need. So you'd better like the poses and weapons they come with, otherwise tough shit.
Some could attempt to justify the price - after all, they're limited edition, high quality figures. But seriously - £40. It just pushes some button deep inside me that knows that that is wrong.
But, you can now get official Beholder and Mind Flayer minis without sifting through booster packs, or having to put up with shitty pre-paint jobs!
I'd hold off on the Drow, however - there are a million companies selling Dark Elf minis out there, and unless you want to run a word entirely based off the artwork of Wayne Reynolds, you'd be better going elsewhere.