Dungeons and Dragons has had such a rich and fascinating history in Western culture that I only thought it fair to briefly summarize it as best as I could before delving into this article. According to Wikipedia (an uncertain source at times, but faithful and handy when needed), the game was created by Gary Gygax and David Arneson and was first published by Tactical Studies Rules INC. in 1974. After the game took off, it quickly garnered a large amount of negative attention during the moral panic of the late 20th century.
Many suburban mothers with far too much time on their hands decided that the games magical nature meant it had ties to the dark arts and tried to have it banned. Popular culture labeled it as a game for “geekburgers” only and it quickly went underground. However, thanks to shows like The Big Bang Theory, the rise of comic con and superhero films, and the rising popularity of geek culture, Dungeons and Dragons has shed its negative connotations and become one of the most well known and played games of its kind.
Though it can be played in several different and unique formats, the game is traditionally played with a Dungeon master, a rulebook, character sheets, a storybook, and several miniatures. And believe me when I say that these miniatures do not always come cheap. The rarer miniatures have become collector's items amongst fans and you may be surprised to see how much these little guys go for.
Note: All prices (USD) are approximate as they were averaged out from collector sites as well as online retailers and bidding platforms. Some sites claim that certain miniatures are rare while others label them as uncommon and the rarity of these miniatures changes constantly. This article contains the average prices and rarity of these miniatures as of August 5th, 2018.
25 Eye Of Gruumsh: $11.99
Are you ready for a true prestige class, double ax-wielding, brutal orc for an affordable price? If that sounds up your alley, then look no further than the Eye of Gruumsh. At first, there was nothing. And then there was a battle of absolute epic proportions. Sadly, Gruumsh’s left eye did not make it out alive. And he was not happy with that. Gruumsh unleashed his woe and rage in a battle cry so moving that it prompted several loyal followers to silently remove their right eyes (to balance out Gruumsh) and to serve by his noble side.
24 Displacer Beast: $12.00
For such an affordable price, it may surprise you to learn that this creature (when not in miniature form) can reach up to nine feet long and weigh close to 500lbs. These magical beasts have the insane ability to literally bend light around them in order to confuse their enemies and trick their eyes into believing that they are in a different location than where they truly are. Though these creatures tend to prefer a solitary existence, many villainous humanoids tend to take them on as guards or even pets.
23 Dire Boar: $13.00
For the exceptionally low price of thirteen American dollars, you can own a miniature version of the Dire Boar. Ah, the dire boar. It is like a regular boar, except dire. These creatures are considered exceptionally aggressive and favour direct and brutal strategies over evasive techniques. The dire boars favourite fighting technique involves their tusks and their enemies innards. A typical goring is anything but boring. For such a creatively brutal creature, I would say that the price is perfectly reasonable.
22 Large Monstrous Spider: $14.00
Are you looking for a noble and trustworthy steed that also has the added benefit of completely spooking your enemies when you ride it into battle? Then look no further than the large monstrous spider. For the surprisingly reasonable price of fourteen dollars, you can own this absolute unit and mount it whenever you see fit. Though the spider will never be fully loyal to you as they are all eternally bound to the Goddess Lolth, it is important to note that their neutral alignment will prevent them from turning on you down the line.
21 Invisible Phase Spider: $15.00
When considering which spider miniature to purchase and call your own, it is important to note that the phase variety of spiders are different than the other species of spiders that exist within the D&D universe. Did you know that these creatures have something referred to as the Ethereal Jaunt feature? For those of you who don’t know, that these high strength, unexpectedly clever, brute fighters can literally bounce back and forth between the ethereal and the material plane. That is incredibly OP for $15.
20 Huge Fire Elemental: $24.50
As one would expect, fire elementals have the specialized ability to set all things that are unfortunate enough to wind up in their gasp ablaze. I don’t know about you, but I think the ability to start spontaneous fires is worth $24.50 USD. If that isn’t enough to convince you of how awesome this elemental being is, then I believe that informing you that this creature has an immunity to critical hits, disease, mind-affecting paralysis, poison, and sneak attacks. I’m sorry, but that is an incredibly fair price for such a wicked being.
19 Vadania The Half-Elf Druid: $25.00
I have to pause the article for a moment to state that a creature who is Half-Elf druid is the most insanely cool combination of things a D&D player can be that I can think of. Think about it. You would maintain all of the Half-Elf powers and abilities: including (but no limited to) enhanced adaptability, innate charm, and increased durability. But they also possess the spellcasting abilities, knowledge of the Druidic language and Druidic secrets, and the classic enhanced proficiency at skills involving communication with animals, survival, or medicine/healing.
18 Drow Cleric Of Lolth: $30.99
Okay, so we need to break down this miniatures moniker because there is a lot to unpack here. Drow Cleric of Lolth is a character who is essentially a battle priest that serves the Goddess of Spiders herself. This character (who is always female) has the ability to access the spider domain directly. If one dedicates themselves to Lolth, the gain the ability to learn spells like Blade Ward, Reincarnate, Dissonant Whispers, Flame Strike, and several others as the character advances through the different Cleric levels.
17 Shambling Mound: $33.00
I have to admit that this creature looks much cooler than its name would make one assume it would. These creatures are a hodgepodge of intriguing personality traits. The shambling mounds are solitary creatures (though they can be summoned directly by a character with certain magical abilities) who find themselves in the neutral section of the alignment chart. They are incredibly intelligent as well as carnivorous and weigh nearly four thousand pounds, though it is important to note that they are able to move through water with ease.
16 Skeletal Minotaur: $38.00
Skeletons are a special breed of creature for it is not a race nor class of its own. Rather, it is simply a state that any creature can find itself in, regardless of who or what they were in their lives. Skeletons are, at their very core, animated fallen versions of normal creatures that are held and supported via necromantic energy. It is important to note that these creatures are immune to spells that directly affect the mind as well as weapons that are traditionally used in a piercing or stabbing matter.
15 Mialee The Elf Wizard: $40.00
Now, it is important to note that Mialee is a bit of a controversial miniature. Though she was originally considered a rare figurine, she has arguably become more popular as time has progressed and though she is not totally common, she is relatively more popular than she originally was. She is now considered one of the iconic characters and is one of the preferred female wizard characters within the community. Several collector sites continue to list her as a moderately rare figurine while others claim her as to comparably common to count. As of the time that this article was written, the debate remains up in the air.
14 Bronze Wyrmling: $44.00
Alas, we have finally reached the last figurine on this list whose priced at under fifty dollars. If you are out in the wild and see a dragon of a beautiful bronze colour, fear not because these lovely creatures are defined by their good nature and their ability to transform into any creature or humanoid being in order to make those around them more at ease or to aid them without suspicion/detection. Don’t worry, the dragon won’t use their form altering abilities to sneak attack you as the bronze creature prefers traditional melee forms of combat.
13 Illithid Raiding Party: $50.00
Now, I am no expert at what things should cost. However, I firmly believe that fifty dollars is a perfectly reasonable price for an entire party's worth of figurines. Especially for a party filled with such wild and powerful (or so they think) band of characters. The members of this party prefer to spend their time manipulating and feasting on the minds of those around them while they plot the ways in which they can finally achieve their goal of world domination.
12 Raistlin Majere (Promo Repaint): $50.00
Raistlin Majere is a fascinating character who can either be seen as a tragic hero or something akin to what one might refer to as the archetypal anti hero. It is important to know that Raistlin is marked by his slightly debilitating superiority complex, ability to hold a grudge, and inability to perform true loyalty. His turn to the dark side came as no surprise; however it is important to note that he does possess a secret soft side for creatures who are weak due to factors outside of their own control. What a great price for such a complex and uniquely expandable character.
11 Huge Gold Dragon: $65.00
Are you ready to meet what Wiki has referred to as the apex of the draconic race? My apologies to all of the other dragons on this list. The gold dragon is described as being of the lawful good alignment as well as strong, majestic, graceful, and wise. These dragons like to assign themselves with quests of good deeds in order to obtain their sole desire: victory over bad. But don’t expect them to tear you a new one. These beautiful beasts will do everything they can to ensure that fighting is the only option before continuing.
10 Archfiends Dreadguard: $80.00
Once again we must break down this moniker because that is a lot to unwrap at first glance. First we have the word “archfiend.” The Forgotten Realm wiki describes these creatures as incredibly powerful and brutal creatures who usually have either a full fiendish army or an entire fiendish plane at their disposal to command and use whenever they deem necessary. And then we are left with the term “dreadguard.” That is a loaded term in and of itself. This being has the ability to guard and command fiendish armies to enact their dreaded and dastardly plots. And all for the low, low price of $80.
9 Spiked Nog War Devil: $100.00
This magnificent beast of a creature was part of a limited 2008 Holiday release and the price reflects that. This absolute unit of a monster is the first item on our list which has been priced at/over $100 and I have to say that I genuinely think that he is worth it. This creature is the spiked holiday themed version of the war devil which is known for its bad alignment and influence by the real world religious figure that exists in several branches of Christianity and Catholicism.
8 Drizz't (Original Run): $125.00
Ah, Drizz’t. A relatable perfectionist who is known for holding himself to incomparably high ideals but allowing his thoughtful and sensitive nature to prevent him from holding those around him to the same standards. He also experiences immense stress over the danger that his presence may or may not bring to those around him. I honestly have not met a more relatable character. He also dedicates a large amount of his time to repressing and attempting to overcome the more animalistic hunter tendencies that linger within him. $125 is not too bad of a price to ask for one of the most relatable creatures in the entire D&D universe.
7 Snow Angel: $125.00
Can we just take a moment to appreciate how peacefully beautiful this miniature is? The amount of effort put forth into the pricier pieces justifies the price as these figurines are relative pieces of art to me. The Snow Angel D&D Miniature is considered one of the rarer figurines as it was part of a limited edition 2009 Holiday season run. This character possesses one of the coolest abilities in the entire D&D lexicon. It has this uncanny ability to disguise itself as a literal snow angel that one would see in the ground during the winter season. This allows them to “sneak” up on their victims without them suspecting a single thing.
6 Tiamat: $128.00
There are few things as purely awesome as a dragon with several heads. Tiamat is one awesome creature as she is the goddess of the draconic race. She has been referred to both as one of the most incomparably villainous, greedy, vain, and arrogant villains in the entire D&D lexicon as well as being unanimously named the most fearsome dragon in the history of the game. Not only that, but she also has a cult dedicated to worshipping her mere existence. Now that is impressive. Tiamat is one of the priciest standard miniatures on this list.
5 Winter Umber Hulk: $190.00
Like several of the other especially rare miniatures on this list, the Winter Umber Hulk was part of a limited Holiday release (this time it was for the 2010 release.) The Umber Hulk is a special creature who spends their time feasting on small creatures and destroying any adventurer that is unfortunate enough to happen across their path. Though it is unclear whether or not the adventurers are ingested as well, one could only assume that even if it’s not done for nutritional value, the creature may just devour its victims for no other reason other than securing its own amusement.
4 Orcus, Prince Of Undeath: $250.00
We have reached the point of the article in which the miniatures have reached a price so high that it is only justifiable (in my opinion) if someone has decided to commit themselves to this hobby. Casual players just don’t drop this kind of money on miniatures. Orcus is simultaneously one of the first and one of the most popular demon lords who has ruled over the abyss throughout the history of the D&D games. Though his story is both lengthy and in depth, the best summary I could provide for it is to state that he is one of the most powerful and death-defying characters in the entire series.
3 Snowball The Beholder: $350.00
I know that Snowball the beholder is a fearsome and brutal creature, but Snowball is such a fun name that I cannot take him seriously. Snowball was another limited edition Holiday release miniature (explaining his incredibly high price). As a beholder, Snowball is categorized as lawful bad and are considered one of the biggest threats to the fictional world. Their numerous eyes make them immune to all forms of ambush attacks as well as drastically increasing their perception skill. And they also have the ability to fly for no reason other than because they can.
2 Gargantuan Black Dragon: $525.00
Black dragons (regardless of size) are known for their incredibly slender figures and foul odors. These dragons fall into the chaotic bad classification and prefer aggressive styles of fighting such as ambushes. They also have the ability to just shoot acid at their enemies (or should I say victims) because why not? They are considered one of the most bad and cruel forms of dragon so it’s no wonder that a miniature depicting such a foul beast would fetch such a high price tag.
1 The Colossal Red Dragon: $649.00
At last we have made it to the final miniature on our list. The Colossal Red Dragon comes in at a whopping total of $649. To put some perspective on that price, I will have you know that that is only $100 lesser than my monthly rent for my one bedroom apartment. Red dragons are known for their selfish, vain, cruel, and confident personalities. Their abilities include being able to breathe a literal cone of fire and they take pride in anything that will end in ruin. Red dragons rarely put thought into their decisions, fall into the “chaotic bad” alignment, and see themselves as the purest form of dragon. That sounds pretty impressive, all in all, but does it warrant such a steep price tag?