Wizkids and Critical Role are back once again. Only shortly after their release of Wave 2 of their Critical Role Unpainted Miniatures they've now released the third wave of Critical Role Painted Miniatures. This collection of Critical Role miniatures includes the different guests that have appeared on Critical Role across the years, more friends of the Mighty Nein, and probably most incredibly to look at their foes. There are a total of six different boxes as part of Wave 3 so we're going to break down them all one by one and highlight some of the more impressive miniatures.
Wizkids Critical Role - NPCs of Wildemount
The NPCs of Wildemount box include with it a number of the Mighty Nein's greatest friends, and maybe also an enemy or two. There are some clear standouts among this grouping including a number of NPCs close to Jester Lavorre, played by Laura Bailey on the show. Jester's parents, Marion Lavorre (4/9) and The Gentleman (1/9), along with her Cleric deity of choice The Traveller (9/9). Jester's close friend Kiri (2/9) the Kenku is also a part of this collection. The detail on all of these miniatures is spot on to the personality of the characters they represent. Marion, the Ruby of the Sea, stands in her beautiful purple robe hand raised as she sings at The Lavish Chateau. Alternatively, The Gentleman stands hand on hip with his other outstretches as if to make an underhanded deal.
The other miniatures in this box are companions to the Mighty Nein Yussa Errenis (3/9), 'Hot Boi' Essek Thelyss (8/9), Orly Skiffback (7/9) the Tortle the Navigator on the Mighty Nein's ship, Sunbreaker Ulumon (5/9), and the odd man out Trent Ikithon (6/9) who is definitely not a friend of the Mighty Nein. There are some really incredible touches that are somewhat difficult to notice, but once you do you'll appreciate such as Essek slightly floating above his base in a similar manner to how he normally floats across the world, and Orly's set of pipes protruding from over his right shoulder.
Wizkids Critical Role - Guests of Critical Role
Since the beginning of Critical Role, it's not uncommon for guest characters to join Vox Machina or the Mighty Nein on their adventures. Sitting in for an episode or arc these characters become a well-beloved part of the fandom. This box from Wizkids Critical Role Painted Miniatures Wave 3 consists of ten of the guest characters that have joined in the adventure.
From Vox Machina the guests include Lionel (1/10), Tova (2/10), Thorbir (8/10), Kashaw Vesh (6/10), Zahra (7/10) and Garthok (9/10). Guests from the days of the Might Nein are Shakaste (5/10), Calianna (4/10), Keg (10/10), and Reani (3/10).
Each of these guest characters is standing ready for action. Plenty with spells charged, weapons are drawn, or in Zahra's case with a stance saying "Just try to come at me". The softer plastic used on these miniatures is simultaneously one of the nicest features of these minis allowing for fabrics on capes or characters' hair to not be entirely rigid, where the soft plastic doesn't help is when it comes to some of the weapons these characters wield. Long weapons like polearms or quarterstaffs do bend very easily so you'll need to pay close attention to how you leave your minis when not in use.
Wizkids Critical Role - NPCs of Tal'Dorei Set II
Continuing from the NPCs of Tal'Dorei Set I from Wave 2 the follow-up Set II is available now. This pack is the only one that focuses solely on the Vox Machina campaign, though some might be familiar if you've watched the first season of The Legends of Vox Machina. In this box, we'll meet members of the council of Tal'Dorei such as Allura Vysoren (5/12), Lady Kima of Vord (2/12), and Seeker Assum Emring (12/12). Jarett Howarth (3/12) of Emon is also in this pack. Important NPCs from Vasselheim such as Victor (4/12) the mining vendor, Earthbreaker Groon (6/12) a monk of Kord, and Crucible fighter Kern the Hammer (7/12). Once again the poses for the characters fit their personalities perfectly, my favorite of those mentioned so far is Kern's battle-ready pose as he brings both hands back as if jeering at his opponents. This kind of battle-ready pose can be seen in Groon as well and is beautifully juxtaposed against Allura Vysoren with her regal appearance. This box also features Senokir (8/12), the fire Genasi that Vox Machina met in the City of Brass, and J'mon Sa Ord (10/12) of Marquet.
The three standout miniatures in the NPCs of Tal'Dorei Set II are Kaylie Shorthalt (11/12) daughter of Scanlan Shorthalt, a member of Vox Machina who was played by Sam Reigel, Cassandra de Rolo (9/12) the brainwashed sister of Percival de Rolo, member of Vox Machina who was played by Taliesin Jaffe, and of course the owner and proprietor of Gilmore's Glorious Goods, Shaun Gilmore (1/12) himself. Adorned in fantastic purple robes, hand raised and welcoming, this Gilmore is a must-have for any campaign you think you might be running in Emon just to have him at the table while your characters shop around his store.
Wizkids Critical Role - Monsters of Exandria Set I
Moving away from the roleplay characters that have filled the world of Critical Role this section and the next show off some of the more dangerous foes that the party has taken on. First two monsters to look at are Osysa (1/8) and Kamaljiori (2/8) the two Sphinx that Vox Machina encounter underneath the Slayer' Take guildhall. There are also a number of NPCs that Vox Machina met in the Feywild such as Nahla (3/8) the Nymph, Ukurat (4/8), Mystic Iotha (5/8), and Artagan (6/8) the Archfey. Back in the Material Plane the miniatures of Horis (7/8), and Utugash (8/8) round out the collection.
There are a number of standout miniatures in this collection not only for their looks but also for their flexibility. The two Sphinx look like powerful creatures, each uniquely posed draws your eyes to them immediately, with wings outstretched Kamaljiori demonstrates just how large he is when put next to a normal-sized miniature. You could drop these two into any scenario requiring a Sphinx and it would be a campaign-defining moment whether they lead a party on with a series of riddles or pounce on their prey. Utugash the pit fiend is going to be something your players dread seeing hitting the table too.
It's also interesting to compare the miniatures of Artagan from the Monsters of Exandria Set 1 box with the Traveller of the NPCs of Exandria. The difference between his role as a large creature with flowing red locks as he demonstrated his powerful Archfey abilities and when he becomes a background character and minor deity to the party cleric surrounded by mystery. Having both almost makes the illusion complete between times he's keeping his identity hidden and when he decides to show himself.
Wizkids Critical Role - Monsters of Exandria Set II
While the monsters in the second set aren't as generic, and might only be able to be used in more specific scenarios for fans of Critical Role to see miniatures for so many incredible enemies to Vox Machina and the Might Nein are completely worth it.
From the first campaign the monsters in this set are Orthax (4/8) the demonic entity that Percy fed through his hit list, Sylas Briarwood (5/8) and Delilah Briarwood (6/8), the two responsible for the fall of the house of De Rolo and the murder of Percy's parents, and Dr Anna Ripley (7/9) a fellow inventor who takes on Orthax after Percy manages to separate himself from it. From this set the shadowy figure of Orthax is absolutely phenomenal. He towers over other minis and is pure darkness aside from his bird-like skull.
Of the foes that Vox Machina faced there is a miniature for Lorenzo (8/8) and a Magehunter Golen (3/8) included but he is immediately overshadowed by the presence of Obann (1/8) and The Laughing Hand (2/8). Obann and The Laughing Hand being such pivotal characters that the Mighty Nein faced, and suffered frequent losses to they're a fantastic addition to this collection. Details on the Laughing Hand such as the presence of multiple mouths over its body are a bit smudged to see up close, but on the table, he looks fantastic.
Wizkids Critical Role - Forge Guardian
The big monster of the Wizkids Critical Role Painted Miniatures Wave 3 is the Forge Guardian. The guardian looking over the Core Anvil this powerful being was faced by Vox Machina during the late game of Campaign One. This miniature stands well over any standard mini with a base size of a Huge creature. Broken Chains cascade off its back as sections of his armor glow orange. His sword alone is the height of a lot of standard miniatures. The orange paint on him does a fantastic job of making him look as if he's glowing, powered up and ready for combat. Even without knowledge of who it is, or what it does, his impressive stature and strong dark armor will allow him to assert his dominance in whatever scenario he's placed in.
What are our final thoughts on Wizkids Critical Role Painted Miniatures Wave 3 Review?
Once again Wizkids has released a fantastic set of high-quality painted miniatures that look like they were plucked straight off Matthew Mercer's table. There are miniatures in this box for almost every reason you might need them whether you're a collector that wants to obtain more play-ready Critical Role memorabilia, or if you're wanting to take a party through the world of Exandria and want to fill it with familiar characters. There are certain miniatures in here that I might find difficult to imagine a scenario where a miniature of them on the table would need to be present, such as Marion Lavorre which is why it's beneficial that they look so good. The Monsters are really the enticing part of this wave of miniatures giving you plenty of chances to wow your table as you ask them to roll initiative and place a Huge sized creature on the battle map.
Should I buy Wizkids Critical Role Painted Miniatures Wave 3 Review?
Whether you should buy these, or which ones you're interested in buying really comes down to what you're interested in using them for. If you're interested in having your own miniatures of your favorite Critical Role guests to look at on a shelf as you rewatch your favorite moments or want to include these characters in your own game it's worth a purchase. If you can't think of a reason why you'd need Kiri to be present in a battle though then you might not worry about the miniature.
Of the collection the most play use you'll get from this wave is in the Monsters of Exandria boxes, these contain such a wide variety of creatures that you could likely put one of them in front of your party in the next few months and be showered in praise for being an amazing DM. Then again these monsters can also hold their own sentimental value.
If you think you'd have a scenario to put these figures to use then definitely go for them, they're well worth it.
The Wizkids Critical Role Painted Miniatures Wave 3 used in the creation of this review were provided by Wizkids.