Monday, May 10, 2010

You Drive Me Ape, You Big Gorilla

Remember how I was just wishing that there was a source of outré miniatures available for cheap? Well, shame on me for missing the obvious: the WotC range of pre-painted plastic D&D minis. I hadn’t really forgotten them—I do own enough of them from a few years back when I’d buy the occasional booster box. However, the randomness factor eventually proved to be too much of a hassle for me and I finally stopped purchasing them.

But we now live in a wondrous age where retailers sell individual miniatures from these sets directly to the customer, thereby eliminating the randomness factor completely. Unfortunately, you still have to contend with the financial factor, as some rare plastic miniatures fetch an ungodly sum. That is unless your taste runs to the bizarre, which, in collectible plastic miniature land, actually seems to be to your wallet’s benefit.

After the other day’s grumbling, I spent some time looking over the selection of minis available from Miniature Market, an online retailer I used once before when I decided that my miniatures box really needed some cheap robots for an encounter I thought up (more on that at another time). After going through their listing of D&D miniatures, I found that the prices for what I’d consider standard “off-beat” old school monsters are quite reasonable. I assume this is because most of the kids nowadays are paying top dollar for drow figures and the like. But look at these numbers:

Aboleth Slime Mage: $1.25
Cave bear: $1.50
Clay Golem: $2.75
Enormous Carrion Crawler: $2.50
Galeb duhr: $0.50
Giant Frog: $1.50
Iron Cobra: $2.25
Ochre Jelly: $1.00
Rat Swarm: $1.50
Vargouille: $2.00
War Ape: $1.00

Those are pretty reasonable if you’re looking to add a few oddball monsters to your miniature collection or are getting ready to build a really memorable fight that requires something like, oh, howzabout a whole bunch of apes of various types?

I doubt I'll ever be found lacking for an albino carnivorous ape encounter or Barsoomian four-armed ape ambush again.

I can vouch for Miniature Market when it comes to service, too. I ordered the minis pictured above on Friday and they had the order shipped that day. It was in my mailbox this afternoon.

I'll probably regret posting about this the next time I need something strange and find that their cheap old school monsters have been cleaned out, but I'll consider this a community service for cash-strapped referees such as myself.


Blair said...

Completely unrelated, but I used The Fane of St. Toad for my Algol game last night and we all had a blast, it's a great dungeon...and the party was too terrified to even open the verdigris encrusted locked door to the heart of the Fane!

You should do a sequel. :)

Jim said...

I too love Mini Market. I'm ashamed to say how much money I've spent there. Since I have no need for the cards or to complete my skirmisher/controller/brute team, I just buy the cheap ones that I like. Occasionally, I'll buy a big one that I just had to have (like a beholder!)

Jim said...

Also, sometimes it's hard to know how big a given mini is in comparison to other minis. Here's a link to the Wizard's Mini Gallery. Very helpful.

Michael Curtis said...

I used The Fane of St. Toad for my Algol game last night and we all had a blast, it's a great dungeon

Thanks, Blair. I'm a big fan of Planet Algol so I'm glad my little scribblings found a place in your very cool campaign.

As for a sequel, that's always a possibility. There's probably the the seeds to one in the Temple of the Black Goat, which I've been subjecting my players to as of late. After I get out of my crushing debt of promised work, we'll have to see...

Clovis Cithog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clovis Cithog said...

I have found


to be a reliable source of after market plastic minis. They also carry the star wars line.

Rick said...

Curse you Michael Curtis! My wallet is lighter by some $30 thanks to this post! I, too, had a burning need for albino apes (and bullywugs) Nice tip, and many thanks.