Dungeons & Dragons has never been bigger, with 5th Edition going strong, D&D TTRPGS on Twitch, famous people “coming out” as fans, an endless series of great releases, and more. We have more tools for our games than ever before as well from the digital to the physical, and that’s where WizKids Games comes in with their fantastic line of Dungeons & Dragons Icons of the Realms miniatures. There have been blind box booster sets, single-figure packs, large figures, and more, with both pre-painted and pre-primed for you to paint yourself. This summer, as temperatures continue to rise outside, WizKids is bringing a bit of cold with the debut of the next full D&D miniatures expansion: Icons of the Realms Miniatures Snowbound. Today we’re going to look at some of the “coolest” figures from this set in addition to the accompanying Frost Giant & Mammoth Premium Figures plus the new Kobold Warband, Summoned Creatures Sets 1 and 2, and the Bugbears and Lizardfolk promo boxes!
I can’t imagine there’s anyone reading this who doesn’t know what Dungeons & Dragons is, but here’s a brief primer. The seminal fantasy role-playing game was created by a group of miniatures gamers way back in 1975, first published by the original TSR (be careful of what companies use that name currently). Over the years the popularity of D&D has waxed and waned, hitting low points with the Satanic panic, and gaining massive popularity through AD&D, 3.5, and the current 5th Edition. Most D&D is played with books and/or boxed modules, while the brand has expanded into films, cartoons, comic books, video games, toys, and more. On the tabletop, you experience the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons by playing humans, elves, dwarves, and the like as wizards, rogues, paladins, and more exploring and fighting in various fantasy settings.
Icons of the Realms: Snowbound
Snowbound takes your adventures to the frozen lands of whatever world your current game takes place in, with characters, creatures, monsters, and more. There are over 45 miniatures in this set, ranging from the miniscule to the gigantic and covering everything from objects to set pieces, constructs to herd animals, and of course some truly imposing challenges. The fact that the set isn’t tied to a specific world within the D&D umbrella is a bonus, and you’ll find creatures common to the baseline setting, Forgotten Realms, Eberron, and more. I love the inclusion of things like polar bears, Snow Golems, and Ice Trolls alongside such terrors as the Sea Hag, White Dragon Wyrmling, and epic Warforged Titan.
The Icons of the Realms Snowbound boosters ($16.99 MSRP) are randomized, each containing four figures. You’ll find one Large or Huge miniature along with three Medium or Small figures. Add this to the substantial range of figures in the different rarity levels, and it’ll be really interesting cracking open boosters. For this preview we were sent a specific selection of figures, so I can’t offer a look into booster pulls specifically. Your results will vary, but I’ll say with confidence that the figures are great and useful, and I haven’t seen any that I would’ve been disappointed to see in a booster.
Here’s a list of the models you’ll see in this review:
- 23 White Dragon Wyrmling
- 24 Quaggoth
- 26 Ice Troll
- 27 Spitting Mimic
- 28 Snow Golem
- 29 Polar Bear
- 30 Axe Beak
- 33 Stone Giant
- 34 Warforged Titan
- 35 Maud Chiselbone
- 36 Verbeeg
- 37 Spellix Romwod
- 38 Grandolpha
- 39 Sea Hag
- 40 Trex the Winged Kobold
- 41 Ravisin
- 42 Bullywug Royal
- 43 Veneranda
- 44 Myconid Sovereign
- 45 Awakened Tree
Those are pretty rad, and that’s only a selection of the miniatures in the Snowbound set! I’ve seen some other previews and there are other very cool characters, monsters, and more. In our selection, we’ve got two Small and eight Medium sized figures. Most of these are humanoid, though that doesn’t include the young but still dangerous White Dragon Wyrmling and hulking bear-like Quaggoth. Named characters (which you can certainly play as themselves or PCs or NPCs) include the diminutive Trex the Winged Kobold and Spellix Romwod, the magnificent gnome in goblin disguise, as well as the duergar Grandolpha, lake hag Maud Chiselbone, and the frost druid Ravisin. Threatening your party in the frozen north are also a Sea Hag, Bullywug Royal, and towering Verbeeg. Lastly, while it’s not a creature, the tiny Cauldron is a super cool bit of flair for your game setting.
Our Large figures cover a wide range of bases, from a helpful animal companion in the equipment-laden Axe Beak to vicious monsters like the shaggy Ice Troll. Most wintry are the fearsome Polar Bear and somewhat comical looking Snow Golem, while the Spitting Mimic is nightmare fuel for any dungeon. The Myconid Sovereign is here to lead his mushroom people, while the insane brain in a suit of armor is the evil wizard Veneranda!
Go big or go home with the Huge miniatures, definitely an oxymoron. First up is a tree, but not just an ordinary one. This is an Awakened Tree with sentience and mobility so it can get up and walk around! The Stone Giant is a D&D icon, and this new version gives the classic monster some welcome panache. Last, but certainly not least, is an update on the old school Warforged Titan, a massive robotic fantasy construct!
Sculpts across the board in Snowbound are really great, and that extends from the smallest figures all the way to the largest ones. These Icons of the Realms set have such a nice variety of characters and creatures that you can see all sorts of armor, fur and rocky textures, different kinds of flesh, and much more. Among the figures here you’ll see the sleek Sea Hag alongside the furry Quaggoth and the scaly White Dragon Wyrmling, while characters like Grandolpha, Maud, and Ravisin wear layered and complex clothing. You can even see tons of details on Spellix’s fur-lined outfit! Heavier materials show up in the armor on the Verbeeg and Veneranda with all sorts of unique accents, and of course the massive Warforged Titan. The Large figures have all sorts of neat textures from the Polar Bear’s fur to the Snow Golem’s puffy body, and the rocky surface of the Spitting Mimic. The Huge miniatures have even more surface area for details and variety, and so you can see all sorts of neat things like scratches and rivets on the Titan, intricate wood grain on the Awakened Tree, and soft clothing and a knotty wooden club on the Stone Giant.
Likewise, I was quite impressed by the quality AND the variation of paint applications and especially color in this set. I have to admit, when I heard this was a “snow” themed expansion I assumed we’d see a lot of cool blues and harsh whites, but there’s so much more. Of course, there are white cold weather-adapted creatures like the Polar Bear, Axe Beak, and White Dragon Wyrmling (plus the Snow Golem), though even those have a good variety of hues, colors used in shading, and accents.
Then there are the blues and greens with the Quaggoth, Sea Hag, Bullywug Royal, and Stone Giant, again each with different color hues and patterns from the bright green of the Bullywug to the mottled Quaggoth and dark blue giant. Figures like the Myconid Sovereign and Axe Beak mix together a bunch of colors, the former in swathes of organic shades across his body and the latter in all of the varied equipment strapped to its back. There are even cool effects like Ravisin’s translucent blades and the steam coming up from the Cauldron, as well as the metallic paint seen on weapons and armor and used liberally on the Warforged Titan.
In the midst of all these cool creatures, a few did stand out for me in particular. On the smaller end there’s Spellix Romwod, just a fantastic and fully realized character. As tiny as he is, even at first glance you can tell that there’s something odd about him, and when you look up close it really does look like he’s wearing some kind of a face as a mask! I love the colors with the yellow of his “skin” really contrasting from his brown and white outfit, and of course his bright red nose. Then there’s the Ice Troll. Full disclosure, I’m a sucker for “alternate” versions of trolls, and this one is super cool. Great pose, lots of detail, and it has really well painted eyes! The Awakened Tree is also really neat, and can be used for a variety of things. The miniature that caught my eye first and foremost, though, was Veneranda. Its armor is incredibly detailed with faces, chain mail, decorations, spikes, and more. The sword, too, is stunning, and it’s all topped off by a brain in a translucent case!
WizKids is continuing the feature of offering a special, limited edition larger-scale figure alongside their expansions, and with Snowbound you can add to your collection the Frost Giant & Mammoth Premium Figures ($79.99 MSRP). This thing is HUGE! I have the very old version of this creature from the D&D miniatures line; you gotta see the comparison photos to see the difference. This epic Frost Giant is really cool, a blue-skinned humanoid dressed in leather, furs, and armor parts, most notably a stylish horned helmet. While he’s clearly a warrior, he’s also a hunter, and carries a net filled with… some sort of tentacled creature. He also has an improvised spear-type weapon that appears to be made from ship masts. There are different colors to match the different parts of the giant’s outfit along with distinct textures for the various skins and such. There are even great little details like the hair braids extending down from under the giant’s helmet and the skulls on his shoulders.
And then there’s the Mammoth, and that’s a perfect descriptor for it. it’s massive and massively heavy, and it’s highly detailed with a shaggy fur texture with the fur flowing and waving off of it. Its enormous, aged and cracked horns are decorated with thick ropes, and its beady eyes stare out wildly from its wide face. Strapped to its back via ropes and fabric is a large saddle/pad, essentially a brown leather rectangle on top of a mound of purple padding. The mammoth itself has brown fur with a generous dusting of white on its front and feet. The coolest thing, of course, is that this set comes with alternate parts! You can remove the empty saddle from the mammoth’s back and plug in a seated lower body, then separate the giant and attach his upper body. Voila, you’ve got a frost giant riding a mammoth! The parts fit really well, and the overall look is fantastic. This giant is definitely going to be the star of your frozen north adventures, whether he’s a caravan guardian, pathfinder over the tundra, tribal leader, or big bad.
Icons of the Realms: Summoned Creatures
But Snowbound is not the only new hotness for your Dungeons & Dragons games this summer, oh no. There are also the Summoned Creatures Sets ($39.99 MSRP each), two boxed sets of some common creatures your spellcasters might call or your PCs might encounter. Even if you’re not playing a summoner, these miniatures are fantastic for setting scenes and building out your world. Both come packaged in really nice window boxes so you can see all of the minis inside and read their names on the back. Let’s take a closer look.
Summoned Creatures Set 1 gives you several animals that can be used for domestic purposes or riding, including a trusty Warhorse, charging Auroch, and leaping Giant Goat. Things get a little more magical with the majestic Pegasus, complete with glorious feathered wings. Rounding out the set is a Needle Blight, a humanoid, sentient awakened plant. The furred and feathered animals all have really well-defined textures, and a range of colors except for white on both the pegasus and goat. The minis here don’t necessarily have a ton of extra paint details, though everything is rendered quite well. The notable exception is the warhorse that’s decked out with barding, blanket, saddle, and more in various colors.
While the first set may be more down to earth, the Summoned Creatures Set 2 really brings the magic. There are two intelligent humanoids in the frolicking Satyr playing his pipes and scheming old Green Hag ready to grab unwary adventurers, while the Couatl is a beautifully rendered rainbow winged snake. Then there are elementals, everyone’s favorites! This set contains three: an Air Elemental, Earth Elemental, and Fire Elemental. Each of those has a unique texture, look, and coloration, with the Air and Fire featuring translucent plastic. All three of them also have accented eyes which is pretty cool. All of the miniatures in this set are super iconic creatures and recreate them with great poses and tons of great details. And again, the elementals will come in handy for your summoners or NPCs, everyone loves encounters with satyrs and hags, and the couatl is just rad.
Icons of the Realms: Kobold Warband
Earlier this year, WizKids debuted a new type of Dungeons & Dragons Icons of the Realms product type, the Warband Monster Pack. The first one featured Goblins and brought you a full pack of the creatures giving you instant access to a big encounter or enough monsters to fill out an entire dungeon. The next monster pack is here, and it features a fan-favorite D&D monster: the Kobold Warband! The pack ($44.99 MSRP) contains eight unique Kobolds of various kinds, giving you rogue adventurers, minions, dungeon dwellers, or just innocent bystanders. The set includes two different Commoners, a “standard” Kobold, Dragonshield, Inventor, Scale Sorcerer, Underling, and Winged Kobold.
While all of these Kobolds are diminutive red reptilian humanoids, they vary quite a bit with regards to the weapons they wield and their fun poses. You’ve got everything from spears and daggers to a pick, staff, crossbow, and even nunchaku! The more dynamic attackers in the set also feature clear plastic effects for their swinging weapons, and also the flame blast of the Sorcerer (among probably the two most exciting miniatures here with the Winged Kobold. Most D&D veterans have encountered Kobolds multiple times throughout their careers, and they often end up with oversized personalities and memorable traits. This pack will be a huge boon to Dungeon Masters as well as those intrepid players who like to play as Kobolds!
WizKids does a lot for the fans and communities of their games, and you can see that in things like the new D&D Icons of the Realms Promo Boxes. There are two new ones arriving this summer, and they’re really interesting. Both are sleek little black boxes clearly marked “Promo” and featuring 3D renders of the included miniatures. Each one focuses on a specific monstrous humanoid race, with a unique “leader” type and two identical standard minis that you can use as a specific boss encounter or as members of larger tribes or armies.
The Bugbear Promo is exclusive to brick and mortar stores, and it is up to the discretion of the venues how they will be distributed (not for sale). The boss Bugbear has yellowish fur and wears pretty fancy armor, yelling as he charges forward with his spiked mace brandished in one hand. Meanwhile, his troops are darker brown with just kilts and shoulder armor, wielding spiked clubs two-handed.
If you like your monsters a bit more scaly than furry then check out the Lizardfolk Promo, available only on dndmini.com with orders for Snowbound products. Here the two identical warriors are verdant green with almost flame-like crests and blue head stripes, going into battle with their mouths open and carrying clubs and spiked tortoiseshell shields. Their leader is a Lizardfolk Shaman with magical capabilities. He also has a yellow and red crest but with more yellow around his torso. He wears adventuring equipment and wields an arcane energy whip and bone-tipped staff.
Dungeons & Dragons players and miniatures collectors of all kinds are going to love these summer releases, whether you’re excited for Snowbound and the prospect of cold weather adventures, you want to include an army of kobolds in your game with the Warband, or you’ve got a use for the mundane and magical characters in the Summoned Creatures sets. As always, these miniatures are highly detailed with respect to both sculpt and paint applications, with a tremendous amount of character and life that makes them shine in storytelling situations. Shop for D&D minis at www.dndmini.com and get more information on all of these and more at https://shop.wizkids.com.
Review and photos by Scott Rubin.
Review samples courtesy of WizKids Games.
Warband – Kobold