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D&D Minis – Angelfire: First look

July 22nd, 2005: Allan Sugarbaker says...
D&D Minis – Angelfire: First look

As both a roleplayer and a miniatures gamer, I was excited to receive some Angelfire figs to fiddle with. The selection assembled for the set seems to have a wide range of heroic individuals, menacing beasts, and staples of fantasy miniatures (kobolds and skeletons? Check). I even managed to get my hands on a 124 point CG commander, Ghaele Eladrin, who gives extra activations to followers that roll a 19 or 20 while attacking. As game mechanics go, the new set looks to push the game’s envelope in new directions. Thus far nothing jumps out at me as a figure with a broken, dominating ability.

Yet despite the collector’s instinct kicking in, I found myself underwhelmed by the paint jobs on most of the figures in the box. It’s as if WotC has stopped giving a pay bonus for good work at the factory; the majority of these figures look as though they just have the basic colors, applied semi-lazily. The figures of the previous set, Deathknell, still had paint jobs with a level of detail that gave a vivid illusion of life, best seen when springing the figs upon my unsuspecting D&D players. But with Angelfire, it seems that last pass to bring out the details has been skipped on most of the figures in my possession. Hopefully it’s just my booster, rushed out the door to be sent for review. Hopefully. [EDIT: It seems that, to some extent, it was a bum booster. Read the comments below for more info]

By the way, those of you prowling Ebay to grab a “Mina, Dark Cleric” promo figure from last year’s abbreviated Margaret Weiss book tour, save your money. A Mina fig is in the set, and I’m hearing it’s identical to the promo (but if my booster is any indication, it may not be painted as well).

5 Comments »

5 comments

  1. William G. says:

    So, would you say the paintjob quality is better or worse than the first D&D minis set (Harbinger)? ‘Cuz a lot of those were god awful.

  2. Chris says:

    Very very interesting thing to start paying attention to:

    The Chinese currency situation. I am borrowing this post from Michael Cox, President of one of the Gaming distributors. It’s super insightfull:

    “Yesterday, the Chinese government unpegged the Yuan (Chinese currency) from the artificial fixed exchange rate it has been set with the US Dollar. The price is now going to be set by “market forces” which means it will be more expensive to get products sourced from China. (The cost of a Yuan went up 2.1% yesterday in trading after the announcement, with some saying it needs to increase about 40%)

    According to the article I was reading, about 75% of the toy industries products now come from China. It will probably be one of the hardest hit industries. Just how this will shake out in the short term for companies in our industry will be interesting.

    Economists seem to feel this is a good move, but will probably drive up prices in certain industries (and in certain store chains, read Wal Mart), as well as cause an increase in interest rates here in the US (since China has bought so much of our debt keeping rates low).

    It may help balance the trade deficit some, depending on how it opens up Chinese markets to foreign goods. It may even mean that printing in Canada is once again affordable (which will be good for ship times to the US).”

    Something to think about….

  3. misuba says:

    Allan, are you sure you didn’t get preview figs that were actually sourced from before that last pass to bring out the details? Or were your figs from the same boxes that shipped to retail?

  4. Allan Sugarbaker says:

    Like I said, I’m not sure yet. Since the set just came out today, I’ll have to get down to a local store and look at some figs to see if what I have is representative of the entire set, or just review product that was rushed out the door too fast.

    William G: The figures I have in hand are only marginally better than those from Harbinger (the set that initially failed to lure me into the game). So if these figs are what we can expect from Angelfire, the paint jobs are, for the most part, a big step backwards in quality.

  5. Allan Sugarbaker says:

    Okay, I’ve had a look at another couple of Angelfire boxes, and I find my opinion of the figures has improved somewhat. I still find a few less-than-stellar paint jobs, but it does indeed look as though the first figures I received were a bum batch. So the set isn’t as low quality as it originally seemed, thankfully (but when even the rare from that first box is painted rather sloppy, what other conclusion could I have come to?).

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