WizKids has recently released the D&D Icons of the Realms Miniatures Snowbound set in the UK. Bringing monsters of all shapes and sizes, from an ooze to “cute” bullywugs, Snowbound is full of things that can be thrown at adventurers. Coming in blind booster boxes the main part of the set is a range of 46 miniatures, with the premium set “Frost Giant On Mammoth” sold separately. We have got hands on a brick of the Snowbound booster boxes and the mammoth riding giant! However, is this (snow)bound to be a great purchase? Let’s find out!
There are three ways to purchase the Icons of the Realms Snowbound booster boxes: individual boxes, as a brick or as a case. These might not make much sense to those new to buying D&D miniatures, so let’s break down what these mean. Individual booster boxes include 4 miniatures – 1 being large or above in creature size. While the set contains 46 miniatures, what is included in the boxes is randomised – within limits. It is considered a blind booster box as without opening it there is no way to see what 4 miniatures you will be getting.
A booster brick is 8 of these individual boxes and this is what we opened for this review. Above this, a case is 4 of these bricks put together. Why these sets are sold in this style is due to the randomised contents of the individual boxes. Purchasing as a brick, or a case, is supposed to reduce the duplicates found when unboxing. This is thanks to being put together in the factory – though WizKids note this is not a guarantee. Note, that a case is needed to actually have a chance of getting every miniature in the set.
Sitting down with a brick of boxes to open is certainly a thrill. Pulling miniatures out of each box you can hope for specific miniatures of the set, whilst constantly getting your hands on some top quality miniatures. The Snowbound set features some awesome miniatures and going into the unboxing there were some, like the Axe Beak, Awakened Tree and Goblin Battle Wagon, we really wanted to pull from the boxes. While we didn’t get the battle wagon a lot of the others we hoped for were included.
Unlike some of the recent sets, the Snowbound set seems more about solid and usable miniatures, rather than flashy T-Rexs or Bone Whelks – which are only going to get sporadic usage. The Axe Beak for instance is something that could be on the table countless times in an Icewind Dale campaign. The Awakened Tree can be used as just scatter terrain to unnerve adventurers. Even the Coldlight Walker, actually an animated corpse, could be used as a mysterious figure in the back of a tavern; that could be who the party needs to barter information from time and time again, before his identity is finally revealed.
As with the other recent Icons of the Realms miniature sets the miniatures come pre-painted straight out of the box. There’s no need to get out your paintbrush, nor for it to join that long queue of unpainted minis, they can hit the table (and the adventurers) straight away. The quality of the paint jobs is also incredibly high, only elevated by the dynamic poses and detailed sculpts. Unfortunately, a couple of the miniatures in the boxes we opened were somewhat bent out of shape, though thankfully nothing was broken. This means they look somewhat drunk and leaning, and from posts online it seems to have also occurred to others when it comes to the in lore deformed Fomorian.
Alongside the blind booster boxes is the premium set of a Frost Giant on Mammoth. This name somewhat does this set a disservice. Yes, this is a set that includes a frost giant riding a mammoth. However, it also includes the parts to switch so that you have a frost giant on it’s own two feet and a mammoth without a rider. Note that the first time you look to detach the harness from the mammoth to add the rider it took a tremendous amount of effort to pull it free. Thankfully, this has seemed to ease fairly quickly, and thanks to it being on top of the mammoth, or the legs section, this being looser is no problem at all.
Having that flexibility of using the frost giant or the mammoth on their own, or combined, certainly elevates this premium set. It’s much easier to work one or the other into a story a second time rather than combined. Adventurers in Icewind Dale, for instance, could sneak past a mammoth in one session, to later find it being ridden towards them by the frost giant.
Like the rest of the Snowbound set the mammoth and frost giant come pre-painted. The frost giant sturdily posed and is ready to swing a 20 foot wooden beam, or catch adventurers in an equipped fishing net. One oddity between the set and the premium figure is that the Frost Giant has the same blue skin as the Stone Giant. Typically frost giants are depicted in lighter frozen blue colours. They are different heights though this is correct in the lore, with frost giants often being a good 3 foot taller – not all giants are as giant as others!
The mammoth is a very special miniature, and is exactly what you would expect and want from a miniature depicting such an epic beast. The fur of the mammoth is thick and brown, much like that of the Critical Role Udaak “miniature” we reviewed previously. It’s large tusks look like they could punch a hole in any building let alone impale an adventurer. To top it all off, it will dwarf most other miniatures on the table, including the frost giant for which it is akin to a horse for humans in size.
The D&D Icons of the Realms Miniatures Snowbound set isn’t as snowy themed as many would expect from the name. Still, it does include a number of miniatures that will be useful in a Rime of the Frostmaiden playthrough. The majority of the miniatures aren’t restricted to a snowy setting, though it might be a tad odd to see a polar bear in many other locations. As a result, the majority of the minis should be a decent amount of use from dungeon masters over the years. Topping off the set with the stunning mammoth, with the optional giant rider, completes what is an awesome – and useful – set of minis to own!
(Editor’s Note: The Icons of the Realms Snowbound brick and Frost Giant on Mammoth were provided to us by Asmodee for the review. They are currently available from local board game stores! Find your local store here.)