WizKids is quickly re-establishing themselves as the premier Dungeons & Dragons figures, as evidenced by their upcoming "Fangs and Talons" line. WizKids has been in the D&D/TTRPG miniatures business for a long time, but the company has drastically upped its game over the past few years. After vastly expanding its unpainted miniatures line to provide players with the opportunity to customize their player characters, the company has released several sets of great D&D miniatures and figures in 2019 and 2020. WizKids' most recent set - Fangs and Talons - features some of their most impressive figures yet, including a terrifying Purple Worm that redefines the monster on the tabletop.
For those unfamiliar with WizKids' line of D&D miniatures, the company produces several sets of miniatures a year that are sold in booster boxes, each of which contain a random collection of four pre-painted miniatures. Each box comes with one large or huge miniature and three medium or small miniatures. The miniatures in each set also come in three rarity levels - common, uncommon, and rare. You don't know what you'll get before opening the box, so it's up to WizKids to release sets that have enough cool miniatures to justify you spending $17 on random miniatures that you may or may not use at the table.
WizKids provided over 20 different miniatures from the upcoming Fangs and Talons set for review, along with the Purple Worm figure, which is available as a separate premium figure. As we've noted in previous reviews and previews, WizKids has really increased the quality of its miniatures, both in terms of the sculpts and the actual paintwork. WizKids has made a few other innovations to its miniature line - using clear bases instead of black bases along with making bigger sculpts with their grid size depicted with an opaque circle on the base. For instance, the Young Blue Dragon that appears in this set is significantly larger than what we've seen from "large" dragons in the past. The larger sculpt gives WizKids more room to add more details that can be properly accentuated with paint. It's a big improvement and makes these monsters look a lot more threatening in comparison to standard medium sized miniatures without compromising the actual nuances of grid combat.
The Fangs and Talons set contains a hodgepodge of creatures that haven't appeared in past miniatures sets. Personally, I liked the focus on less iconic monsters. The Nightwalker, a rare huge figure in this set, looks extremely terrifying and should inspire any DM to toss one into their campaign. Other great miniatures include the disgusting Dire Troll, the goofy Flail Snail, and the majestic Ki-Rin. Some much overdue monsters also appear in this set, such as the banshee, incubus, and Yuan-Ti Anathema, all of which look wonderfully dangerous.
The Purple Worm, one of Dungeons & Dragons' most iconic monsters, is also included in Fangs and Talons as a premium figure available to purchase on its own. WizKids previously made a Purple Worm as part of its "Classic Creatures" boxed set back in 2017, but this one looks so much more visually impressive and terrifying. While the worm is still shown emerging from the ground, its head is much lower to the ground with an open mouth showing off rows of teeth. The spikes and tough hide make this monster look like a real threat to players instead of a strange holdover from past editions.
I think the biggest compliment that I can give the upcoming Fangs and Talons line is that the figures makes you want to use the depicted monsters in your campaign. WizKids continues to raise the bar for Dungeons & Dragons miniatures, which could make for a golden era for miniatures collectors over the next couple of years.
Individual Booster Boxes of the D&D Icons of the Realm: Fangs and Talons set, as well as the Purple Worm Premium Figure go on sale on November 11th.