Monday, September 22, 2014

Icons of the Realms Minis

I finally picked up ten boxes of the Icons of the Realms minis sets, and if you've been on the fence about whether these are worth your time, here's some opinions from a "mid level" minis collector....someone who doesn't expect to devote a princely sum to securing a complete set, but does want a nice range of interesting minis to use at the game table when the time comes for it. Although I'd prefer to never use minis, many of my players like them and it can be useful at times. So....some comments:

First, the paint job in the Icons of the Realms starter set wasn't nearly as nice as the actual regular boosters. The six iconic heroes were fine, but the effort clearly went into the regular boosters.

There are 44 unique minis, and a range of exotic rares, including clear plastic "invisible" figures. Each box includes four figures, one of which will be a large figure. In my boxes I managed to get a pretty decent range of figures, and a couple rares. I snagged one invisible figure (invisible Drizzt) which my cohort at the gaming table (who IS a "gotta have it all" minis collector) did not have.

Because these sets include 4 figures per pack it is much harder than in the old days to get large numbers of the the idea of amassing large numbers of orcs, goblins, kobolds and others for which lots of commons are handy is simply not feasible from buying the boosters, or at least not as easy and definitely more costly.

The paint jobs on the figures are very nice. The sets often include separate stands, clear tubes for the flying figures, and these require a bit of perseverence to properly mount. Glue might be handy to have.

I felt like I got a decent range of figures out of ten boxes. Of the ten boxes, two had errors: one came with five figures (nice) but one was missing a clear stand tube, so the wyvern it came with was grounded.

Will I get more? Maybe. Hard to say, honestly....after a discount from the FLGS I still spent close to $150 on the ten boxes which worked out to about $3-4 per figure. You might be better suited to perusing Ebay if you just want to collect singles, and if you want hordes of certain commons. I might pick up a couple more boxes at random just to see what I get, but I have to say, I think they should put more medium and large figures in these boxes, and stay are from the very large figures, maybe reserve those for special non-collectible sets. Six to eight normal figures feels like a more useful investment for my game table, sort of how the older sets (i.e. Harbinger) did it. But...this is Wizkids doing it under license for WotC, and Wizkids knows what they are doing, I suppose. They might have the volume:value formula down right for their primary audience, and honestly, I'm a bit cheap when it comes to buying minis.

For the paint jobs and range of figures over ten boxes I give this a solid A. for the dollar value and the likelihood you can get a complete set without spending a lot of money? Definitely a C-.

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