The cool people over at Wizkids have been producing various figures for multiple role-playing games over the years and we’ve really come to respect the designs they’re able to crank out for games like Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder. Recently, the company sent us a big ‘ol box of fun with several different figures and series. Today, we’re going to focus on the set of figures they sent us for D&D‘s Icons Of The Realms: Monster Menagerie III, and see just how well these figures look and hold up.
First thing’s first, we had no idea what was in each box. These are sealed and unlabeled mystery boxes which basically contain one giant figure and three smaller figures. All of them are wrapped up in a plastic mold for the giants ones while the smaller ones are sealed in bubble wrap. Every figure stands on their own base, and underneath on the bottom it tells you exactly what kind of monster it is and what number figure it is in the set. There are 45 in total to collect, and many of them have variations. A good example of this is the Cyclops, which you’ll see below, is 26A/45, meaning there’s at least a secondary design of the same creature most likely with another weapon or different attire.
Now while the boxes are a mystery, I do applaud them for giving every monster their name so that you can easily look them up in the Monster Manual, Volo’s Guide To Monsters, or whatever guide or adventure they may have come from. D&D Beyond was a great help as well as all I had to do was type in the name and it was easy to locate. But not everything in here is a full monster as some of the creatures are actual character choices you can make, like an Aasimar Paladin we happened to get, or a Gnome Wizard that appeared in one of the sets.
These are some exquisite choices that Wizards of the Coast and Wizkids have decided to create for this set. Everything is so finely detailed that it makes for looking at these creatures on the table feel much more menacing than if they were simply placed there with a stand-up marker. The added sense of realism to them throws in an elevated sense of danger to anyone who becomes enthralled with whatever the current adventure is. While the giants are impressive, it’s the smaller creatures that really sell these sets as the attention to details were astonishing. These were created with great care to make the figures match up what you would encounter in any adventure and find in the books, which is a testament to the work they put into making these authentic to the game.
I also have to give Wizkids credit for making the variations feel like different versions. We got two Frost Giants in our packages, which normally would make a lot of players mad. However, one version we received was wearing more brown colors and wielding an axe, while the other was wearing lighter colors and wielding a sword. Some would look at that as lazy planning, but a skilled DM would take those as two different giants who have different skills and rankings among their kind and would play into the differences.
As far as playing them goes, you have your standard array of space requirements as they all either take up one, four, or nine squares on a standard board, depending on how you decide the scale model works in your particular game. Like most figures, they’re stationary and cannot be posed in any way, but that’s not really a concern of most players. While the figures are detailed, you could, if you wanted to, take these off to be reprimed and pain them however you see fit. We prefer them in the fully-painted form since the company basically did half the work for us. And as mentioned before, every greature made can be located in the books or on D&D Beyond, making it easy to get their stats and incorporate them into whatever story you wish.
I really dug this set of figures from Wizkids as they managed to capture the sense of danger every single one of these creatures possesses. If you’re looking to hype up your game with monsters worthy of beaing feared, this is a good set to go to. The only drawback is that you never know what you’re getting, which depending on what kind of consumer you are, can either be part of the fun or a waste of money. But this is one of the few sets where we would say the risk is worth the reward.