REVIEW: Wizards of the Coast D&D Dragon Collector's Set

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Fredericksburg, VA

    Wizards of the Coast D&D Dragon Collector's Set

    Taste the rainbow of ruin and destruction...

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    If you’ve ever played Dungeons & Dragons (or indeed any other fantasy-based role-playing game), you’ll know that dragons are fearsome creatures not to be underestimated. Frequently appearing as “boss” monsters or even the masterminds behind entire campaigns, dragons in one form or another have captivated the minds of men since the beginning of time through legends and folklore. In the universe of Dungeons & Dragons the eponymous creatures have been given a prominent place and a wealth of rules and back-story describing an array of different dragons, how they age, and what their abilities are. And as any adventuring party worth its salt can tell you, the most important thing to notice when coming upon a dragon in the wild is of course its color...

    Dungeons & Dragons used to have a sprawling miniatures line that has unfortunately gone by the wayside. Instead, Wizards of the Coast releases annual “Collector’s Sets” of non-randomized monsters that started with the Beholder set last year. While that one included four re-paints of previously released Beholder variant miniatures, the latest set goes one big step further and offers some all-new sculpts! For miniature collectors, RPG gamers, and dragon collectors this is a huge boon. Available now wherever D&D products are sold is the Dragon Collector’s Set bringing you the full range of the original evil dragons: the Chromatics black, blue, green, red, and white! “Chromatic” dragons have been the bane of heroes and adventuring parties since the beginning of D&D, and it all started with the basic five.

    Like the Beholders before them, the Chromatic dragons are packaged in a very sophisticated and display-worthy box. 11 ½ inches wide by 9 inches tall, the front panel features a menacing black dragon staring out at you from behind the Dungeons & Dragons logo at the top and the Dragon Collector’s Set title at the bottom. The back of the box has a brief description of the Chromatic dragons at the top and photos of each miniature (with various translations of the text at the bottom). Slice the protective tape and unfold the box to reveal the inner panels. On the left side is a cool image of a fighter in plate mail and armed with a two-handed sword battling a black dragon over a pile of treasure. The right-hand panel holds the five dragons in a protective plastic tray, each one encased in its own bubble.

    The first of the repacked figures is the Young Black Dragon who first appeared as the “Black Dragon Lurker” in 2008’s Demonweb expansion. A stealthy beast, the miniature is approximately 1.5 inches tall, 3 ¾ long, and 2 ¾ wide. Slowly padding forward to surprise those who have encroached upon its territory the dragon raises its right foreleg and stares straight ahead. The miniature reflects the iconic black dragon elements from the skeletal face to the twin forward-jutting horns, pebbly skin texture, and long trailing wing tips. Almost completely black, the figure has brown on its underbelly, whitish horns, and blood red eyes.

    The Young Blue Dragon brings back a classic and fan-favorite miniature that’s still sought after, the Large Blue Dragon from 2005’s Deathknell set. This evil menace perches on a rocky outcrop to survey its lair, its wings held above it to provide flight at a moment’s notice. 3 inches tall, 2 ¾ long, and 2 ½ wide, the young blue has a muscled body, huge overlapping plates on its tail, thickly ribbed wings, and a craggy face with both horns and chin protrusions. A bright blue with some metallic shading, the beast features quite a bit of yellow on its wings and underbelly along with white teeth, tan horns, and red eyes.

    The first of the two all-new sculpts is the Young Green Dragon. 3 ½ inches long, 2 tall, and 2 ¾ wide, the green crouches just above the ground on all four legs, its wings cocked as though in motion to propel it forward. Relatively recently updated in D&D, the green dragon has a unique look with a short tail, long neck, varying skin texture in plates and scales, and a head embellished with backward-facing spines, a jutting nose spike, and a curved smile full of sharp teeth. Most of this creature’s body is dark green, but a yellow mixture blends for nice shades on the underbelly and wings.

    Way back in the second ever set of Dungeons & Dragons miniatures (2003’s Dragoneye) was the Large Red Dragon, a figure that’s already seen re-release through the Heroscape game because of its popularity and quality. It returns again here as the Young Red Dragon, an imposing creature at 3 ½ inches tall, 2 ½ wide, and 1 ¾ long. While the sculpt may be close to a decade old it still looks great with intricately textured scales and a savage head. The dragon’s coloring is interesting with a deep red on the bulk of its body and the upper sections of its wings. Meanwhile, a narrow stripe of off-white runs down the red’s chest, the bottom if its wings are black, its eyes are a baleful yellow, and white shows up on its horns and claws.

    The other new sculpt in this set is the Young White Dragon, and it’s a knockout. 3 inches long, 2 ¾ tall, and 4 ¼ wide, the white leaps forward off of a rock spire, its wings outstretched and right foreleg extended. Even more so than the other dragons, this one has a really detailed sculpt with different patterns and textures on different parts of its body. Its back has large spikes, its underbelly striations and wattles, its wings pronounced bones, and its head the typical white dragon emaciated skull appearance. Even the rocky base has a detailed texture. While it excels in the sculpt department, this dragon has the least interesting paint scheme, but appropriately so. White dragons tend toward overall solid color, and this one is no different with a snowy white complexion that’s broken up only by its blue eyes.

    At a suggested retail price of about $45, the Dragon Collector’s Set breaks down to about $9 per miniature, frankly a great deal considering you know what you’re getting (unlike in the usual blind boxed miniature boosters) and the quality of these dragons. Anyone with a love of dragons is going to get a huge kick out of this set, and DMs everywhere will appreciate the additions to their armies of monsters and dungeon denizens. Even if you have most or all of the original versions of the black, blue, and red, these look great and the new green and white are awesome. Pick up the Dragon Collector’s Set at game and hobby stores.

    Review and Photos by Scott Rubin

    Review Sample Courtesy of Wizards of the Coast

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2021

    Re: Wizards of the Coast D&D Dragon Collector's Set

    Cool! any adventuring party worth its salt can tell you, the most important thing to notice when coming upon a dragon in the wild is of course its color.

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