…Ok maybe it’s time to admit we have a bit of an addiction to pre-painted plastic D&D miniatures. We’ve been collecting these for years and have many boxes of these miniatures designed for use in D&D RPG sessions. With the recent release of the newest edition of Dungeons and Dragons rules, we’re glad to see WizKids/NECA are now taking up the reigns in producing these minis, with their first set titled Icons of the Realms: Tyranny of Dragons. Join us as we open up some boosters and have a look through the set.
Here you can see the 14 D&D Icons of the Realms: Tyranny of Dragons boosters we ordered. These are generally priced around £12 each in the UK and seem to be around $15 in the USA. These booster boxes will be familiar to anyone who has picked up models from the any of the Pathfinder Miniatures sets, as they are also made by WizKids/NECA and work in the same way.
Each of these Tyranny of Dragons booster boxes contain 4 randomly selected pre-painted miniatures from the set of 44 miniatures which have been inspired by the Tyranny of Dragons Storyline. This is the first set in the Icons of the Realms miniatures, with set 2 due later this year. Of the 4 miniatures in each booster, you will get one random large creature (or possibly 2 in some cases!) with the rest being medium or small creatures.
The sides and back of each Tyranny of Dragons booster box give you and idea of some of the minis we can expect to find in this set, plenty of iconic creatures such as dragons, elves and orcs to use in our D&D games.
So let’s bust open our first Tyranny of Dragons booster box!
Here you can see what was inside our first booster; our large creature is a Green Dragon supported by plastic packaging and held in place with some cable ties, 3 smaller miniatures wrapped in bubble wrap, plus a small bag containing the base for the Green Dragon.
After removing all packaging and placing the Green Dragon on it’s stand, here’s what we’ve got. Left to right on the smaller miniatures is the Sun Elf Guard, a Stoutheart Halfling Female Bard, and a Green Hag. For anyone who has any of the older D&D miniatures, these do not feel like the same rubbery plastic as the old ones, these are firmer like Pathfinder miniatures.
These miniatures only have basic paint jobs but they do the job on the table top. In our experience, it seems the rarer miniatures in this set get more detailed paint jobs with extra washes or layers, while the more common miniatures (like these) are more basic. We’re big fans of using miniatures to represent the characters, NPCs and monsters in our RPGs, and can imagine each of these minis fitting into multiple roles in our adventures.
The Green Dragon has received a more detailed paint job, and comes with his own flight stand. This is exciting for us as none of the dragons we own from previous D&D miniatures sets are in flight. It’s a nice sculpt which we’re really happy to own. The second photo shows the text on the bottom of the flight stand, the eagle-eyed among you might notice that this is number 31/45 even though there are 44 miniatures in the range available from booster boxes. This is because there is an additional promotional miniature which is available separately …a huge Brass Dragon.
After excitedly opening the rest of the Tyranny of Dragons boosters, here is the range of minis we ended up with, check out all those dragons! This photo does not include any duplicates we found, of which there are quite a few. Often you’ll want more than one copy of a mini for use in game though, and any that we don’t think we’ll need more than one of can be traded with friends to try and complete the set.
We’ve ended up with lots of cool miniatures, here are just a few of the small sized ones that we liked. We’ve got the Rock Gnome Female Wizard that could work well as a range of characters and NPCs, also the Mane Demon which a gross little blobby creature, and a Goblin Fighter with his topknot and huge knife.
Moving onto medium size creatures we have the Wood Elf Druid, Human Paladin, and a very heavily built Orc Fighter. Decent sculpts on all of these, they’ll be instantly recognisable on the table top.
One of our favourite minis in the set is the Human Red Wizard with the transparent plastic affect representing a burning hands or similar spell – so cool! We’ve also got a great looking Movanic Deva Angel, a Guard Drake, and even a Ballista.
Moving onto large size creatures we have an intimidating Frost Giant (this could almost be a huge size creature), plus a Pegasus on it’s flight stand.
And lets not forget the dragons, there are a bunch of good looking dragon miniatures in this set. First up is the Black Shadow Dragon making great use of more transparent plastic, then we have the Gold Dragon which has a very interesting Asian style, and also the brutal looking Blue Dragon.
Another interesting part of this set is the inclusion of 8 transparent miniatures which can be used to represent characters that are invisible. Each of the invisible models uses the same sculpt and number as another Tyranny of Dragons miniature, the one we were lucky enough to find is the Stoutheart Halfling Female Bard as shown below.
Update: After letting WizKids know we were doing this review, they kindly sent us a few more of the miniatures from the set which you can see below. Some very cool stuff here, thanks WizKids!
We just had to highlight the Orog Orc Fighter, shown here next to the Orc Fighter from earlier. This guy is absolutely massive and really pushes the boundary of what can be called a medium sized creature. …Probably best not to get this orc angry
This is the Ogre Mage, he’s pretty small for a large sized creature, but is a great model nonetheless.
Another of our real favourites is the iconic Mind Flayer, subtle use of transparency on the gem in his staff along with a great sculpt make this a mini we’re very happy to have.
…and wow, all 8 of the invisible models from the set! 2 of these are invisible versions of models from these boosters, and the remaining 6 are invisible versions of the 6 hero miniatures which come in the Icons of the Realms Starter Set. The minis in this Starter Set are actually numbered to fall after the 45 Tyranny of Dragons minis bringing it from 45 to 51.
We’ve created a quick checklist for this set so that we could check off each model and see which ones we were missing. We’re attaching it here as a PDF in case it’s useful to you guys too.
D&D Miniatures Tyrany of Dragons Checklist
Well that was a blast! We had great fun opening all these boosters and adding these great looking miniatures to our D&D Miniatures collection. The inclusion of minis on flight stands in this set adds some nice variation for people who have minis from the older D&D minis sets. We’ve heard that some people have found the flight stands to be too loose and keep falling out, but all of ours fitted snuggly so we don’t foresee any problems there.
The paint jobs for the common models are very basic, but are still instantly recognisable as what they represent on the table top, with and larger/rarer minis getting a bit more love. The invisible models are exciting pieces and should be fun to use in our games as invisible characters or even ghosts. Overall this feels like a great reboot to the D&D Miniatures, we’ll get great use out of the models we have so far and look forward to seeing what happens with future sets.