In 2022, D&D’s Icons of the Realms minis have upcoming sets for Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft, Fizban’s Dragon’s Treasure, and Critical Role.
The thumbnails were part of Dungeons & Dragons since the first campaigns. Figures representing heroes and monsters were used to dramatize combat and clarify the layout of a battlefield.
Toymaker WizKids currently holds the license for the official J&D minis, selling them under the Kingdoms Icons to print. The first one IoTR was released in 2014 in connection with the Tyranny of Dragons countryside, and since then the sets have become more and more detailed through twenty different base sets. Now 2022 looks to be the best year yet for fans of J&D miniatures, bringing some of the best monsters in the game to life and even introducing new sets for critical role.
Core Sets: Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft and the Dragons’ Treasure of Fizban
WizKids has announced the release of two IoTR sets this year, based on the two best sourcebooks of 2021. The first of the two sets, Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft, is based on the iconic horror setting of Shadowfell, introducing characters for the lycanthrope Werewolf, the twisted Starspawn Emissary, and the massive Zombie Clot, among others. Several classic NPCs are connected to the cursed setting of Ravenloft, including the infamous Witch-king Azalin Rex, who has been a part of the game for decades. While many past IoTR sets were sold in booster boxes each containing four random figures, VRGtR’Boosters can hold either four or five figures (with at least one larger figure included in boxes with fewer parts).
The other set announced for 2022 is Fizban’s Dragon Treasure, which is currently scheduled for March. Some of the figures that have been leaked include a Dragonblood Ooze, a Dragonbone Golem, and a variety of what appear to be both Dragonborn and Draconian figures. Additionally, the set will offer two massive premium miniatures sold separately that showcase two of the most popular monsters introduced in FToD: the Dracohydra and Elder Brain Dragon.
Compared to older kingdom icons
Early WizKids miniatures were unimpressive by modern standards. As the quality of the plastics, print and paint jobs improved, the new miniatures became much more detailed. This resulted in some stunning pieces that can make for truly memorable use in campaigns.
Unfortunately, some of the numbers from VRGtR seem more in line with the quality of the sets of a few years ago. While most of the monsters are pretty impressive, a handful have slick plastic features and disappointing paintwork. In contrast, last year’s undead-themed set Graveyard is arguably the best set for horror monsters. FToD won’t be released until March, but he teased the art depicting digital renditions of seventeen characters for the upcoming set, suggesting these may be the most detailed and colorful miniatures to date.
Classic monsters, important characters and critical role
In addition to random boosters, some WizKids minis are clearly labeled so shoppers know exactly what they’re getting. These feature fan-favorite characters and monsters and can contain multiple miniatures or a single signature piece. For example, the Sahuagin Warband released in January and the upcoming Grung Warband each include six individual pre-painted enemies that adventurers can fight. In contrast, a new miniature has been released for the classic villain Juiblex, the demon lord of Slime and Ooze, a twisted many-eyed horror that lives up to its name and retails for $69.99. Even more impressive, this month of September will see the release of the mythical Tarrasque. Measuring 15 inches tall and nearly a foot long, it will sell for $400, making it quite an expensive collectible.
Finally, critical role just released seven separate sets of pre-packaged minis, featuring the heroes and monsters from Matt Mercer’s beloved Exandria campaigns. There is even a figure of the legendary DM included in the Tal’dorei Characters together. 2022 is a big year for miniature fans.
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