It feels like Spelljammer: Adventures in Space has only just hit DMs' hands, and just when you might be looking through Boo's Astral Menagerie and the Light of Xaryxis adventure, Wizkids is ready with a new collection in their line of Icons of the Realms. Wizkids sent us a copy of the upcoming Spelljammer Adventures In Space Collector's Edition Miniatures Box so that we could take a look at the Minis that can be found inside.
Before we get into the minis themselves I'd like to take a short moment to talk about the packaging here. The box features a gorgeous glossy finish giving the Eye Monger and Nautilus Ship a gorgeous shine doubling down into the astral theme. Within the box there are two layers of plastic enclosures, the top featuring a lot of the regular-sized miniatures, with the underlayer serving as a home for the larger creatures in the collection. In the Spelljammer Collector's Edition the corners have been cut out of the top layer making removing these layers easier, and also preserves the integrity of the box and mini enclosure. Now that we've got that out of the way, on to the minis!
Wizkids' Spelljammer Minis - Player Races
Included in Spelljammer were six new player races, those included in the image above are the Hadozee, Auto-Gnomes, Thri-Kreen, and Plasmoid. The Hadozee fighter and Mister Flinch, a character from the Light of Xaryxis show powerful action poses with weapons drawn and ready. The semi-transparent plastic used to shape the plasmoid, D&D 5e's first Ooze player race, does well to immediately distinguish them not just as an Ooze but a placer race with a travelers pack strapped to his back.
The mini that I most enjoy from this collection is the Thri-Kreen and the story that he tells in just his miniature. Standing tall above the rest of the minis his position is relaxed but ready, one of the unique features of the Thri-Kreen is their set of small hands. You can see one of those hands behind the shield, but the other is not present. Instead in its place is a bandaged stump. These small unique flares to the Wizkids minis are such incredible small touches, sure you could just let that be a Thri-Kreen that appears to the party but this kind of change can lead to inform you of something unique to that character.
The Giff are a returning race from Spelljammer in Advanced Dungeons and Dragons that have a penchant for using firearms. Each of these Giff absolutely exude personality, if you were to see a Giff in Safari Tans and be told his name was Warwyck Blastimoff his mannerisms and voice can immediately appear in your mind. The best part of these variable Giff is that they can be applied to any kind of situation. Whether as an Oceans-esc group each with their own speciality, or as a one of character it would be difficult to find a place that one of these characters wouldn't fit into with ease.
The deep blacks of the Giff of the furthest left is such a stark difference to the rest, including his neon green vials strapped to his chest. While there are some finer areas where paint has overflowed, like on that same bandoleer, once the mini is sitting a table distance away from you it will become unrecognizable. The other sore thumb of this group is the Shock Trooper taking his cue from medieval combat as opposed to hunting with firearms. This use of extra protection and weaponry immediately makes him stand out as a formidable enemy.
Astral Elf galore! Not only are there standard elves for filling your world but there's high brow elves, and the Astral Elves of royalty that are crucial to the campaign. Focusing on the Royalty to the right almost everything about them is perfect. The intricate designs on the torso's, bright and rich colors, and the intricacy mixing traditional flowing elf garb with what comes across as an almost steampunk aesthetic. Their beautiful outfits is what makes it a massive shame that the glass for their helmets is impossible to see through. Earlier I commented about the semi-transperancy of the Plasmoid being the perfect choice, here it obscures character faces with an ugly faded look or distorts them entirely making the sometimes cross eyed minis look malformed. I always praise Wizkids for being so dedicated to representing exactly how characters look in their official art but this is just one situation that I wish they'd opted for a removable glass or just removed the elves helmets all together.
All in all this collection of player character races and story characters of those races is fantastic. Something that I've thoroughly enjoyed looking through these minis is not just how a player character might be able to develop a story from the characters shown, but as a DM having multiple Hadozee, or a whole team of Giff gives you chances to get them involved in combat as a team and not just a single entity.
Wizkids' Spelljammer Minis - Humanoid Creatures
For your humanoid creatures (Flapjack the Flumph is here too) you get a copy of each of the main characters you'll encounter along the campaign like Hastain and Topolah. A lot of these minis have great action poses to them such as the Space Clown's readying their weapons, Captain Fel preparing for combat, and Captain Elaina Sartell brandishing her sword. The movement displayed in Hastain's pose and flowing cloak and hair is second to none though.
The missing link between a Mind Flayer and an Elder Brain the Ulitharid is what happens when a mind flayer is born with more potency. This larger Mind Flayer will have six tentacles on its face and be revered by others of its kind. It's clear to see from the headpiece alone that this is an important character that you likely don't want to cross paths with. The unnatural writing moment captured in the tentacles is terrifying and I can't wait to put one of these at my table.
One of the merchants of magical items, the Mercane this mini shows the 12-foot alien standing with magical item in hand. While their primary purpose is the selling of magical items and technology it doesn't mean they'll be a pushover in a fight.
Wizkids' Spelljammer Minis - Tiny Creatures
Starting in the smallest end the Chwings and the Chwinga riding a Space Guppy show off some of the small denizens of the great outer space. Described as a 6-inch-tall animated doll with strange masks, spindly limbs, and wild hair both of these minis do an... ok job of representing them.
One downside of minis this small is from a distance they're not very legible. The Chwings on the left even moreso where after seeing what they're meant to look like in the book makes sense, but without that reference the dark body, folded in arms, and lack of differentiation between body, mask, and hair (which looks like fire) all blend together far too much. The Chwinga on the Space Guppy does look better defined, and the Space Guppy even better than that.
These minis for the Dohwah and a Space Swine manage to all hit their mark perfectly. Space penguins of a variety of color accompanied by another strange beast. For the Dohwah background, where they always work in groups of two or more having this many is perfect especially when it comes to potential combat. This is another great group of minis from Wizkids that you're not just getting one of something but you can utilize them better in combat and roleplay.
Wizkids' Spelljammer Minis - Medium Monstrocities
These minis are some of the regular sized things that will go bumb in the night for your game. The range here for the astral sea is amazing, from things you'll encounter in the vastness of space like a Murder Comet, to the Astral Blight that will invage planets. As you move into more and more of the scary creatures with different textures, and patterns to them there's a lot that can be seen when taking in the details.
The belts and leather flesh of the Ssurran Rogue show incredible detail down the the notches on his hands. Unfortunately for me this mini was also a case of caution as the tail that he was meant to have was too thin to survive being shipped arriving in multiple pieces. A bit of glue did fix him up but when there are small parts these minis, even where flexible, have a chance to break with too much manhandling.
The Astral Sea is home to all kind of strange creatures and what we have here and three perfect examples. The Aartuk themselves are plant creatures and survivors of a world destroyed by Beholders. On this Aartuk Elder you can see its head extending from a central stalk. From its strange five eyes, to its creepily coarse spines there is nothing about this mini that is normal. Next to him the nightmare-inducing (literally) Feyr is seen slinking across the ground. For a creature that is meant to canonically slink through the shadows of Spelljammer ships waiting to psychically attack the sleeping crew this prone position fits it perfectly. The slight rubberyness of the tentacles that it can send out are also a fun touch. Lastly the Umber Hulk is one of many insectoid creatures that is present through Spelljammer, just as scary as a bug of that size on earth is in space you don't want to cross this hulking mass.
It wouldn't be a Spelljammer collection of miniatures if you didn't get a chance to have your very own Spelljammer Helm, the magical chair that gives a ship its ability to fly through Wildspace and the Astral Sea. The inclusion of this is the one "non-creature" mini in this box but it's a well needed one. The chair itself is well detailed, but pretty non-offensive to anyone sensibilities. There might be some in the party that wish it looked one way or another but it's a standard and classy look for what will become such an important part (and target) of your Spelljammer ship.
Wizkids' Spelljammer Minis - Large Monsters
While the Aartuk Elder might be an unknown quantity to many 5e players these two minis are the classic case of a monster that everyone knows and an astral twist on them. The Beholder is a terrifying being looking down at its prey with all eye stalks pointed towards them. As the minis get larger and details are clearer an incredible amount of work has been put into the color and detailing of these minis. The browns slowly becoming a ruddy purple as it extends up the stalks. While the pupils on the eyes themselves might look a bit odd the detail on the central eye gives the mini a lot of personality.
The Eye Monger asks us, what is a Beholder was an asteriod and it manages to completely nail the assignment. There's something more chaotic, or unnerving about not only the size of this eye but the way that it is bulging out of its body. The rocky craters around its body show an incredible level of care.
Wizkids' Spelljammer Minis - Giant Miniatures
As we get to the bottom of this box these minis keep getting larger and larger. Here we start to see the big setpieces that you'll want to craft your large battles around. Whether it be a Neh-Thalggu on the hunt for more brains in it's collection, or a Void Scavver out flying through the sky in the Astral Sea they're worth creating an event worth bringing these minis out. As stated previously with larger sized creatures more and more detail is accessible. The Giant Space Hamster's backpack shows off all manner of chest, crate, ropework and otherwise.
The Giant Space Hamster is another instance where Wizkids have done an incredible job ensuring that the image of the Giant Space Hamster is as close to it's official artwork, this does somewhat cause an issue for the halfling that's sitting on the base. I'm sure more often than not when you encounter a Giant Space Hamster it will not have a halfling with it, which makes their purpose more for art than function as a mini to drop into any D&D game.
The Young Lunar Dragon is an exceptional a mini as you'd hope for. While somewhat monochromatic the steely blue that it's coated in from top to tail does an incredible job showing the depth of the dragon's scales alternating from the light tips to the deep and darkened recesses. With so many deep veins along the wings and jagged spines formed down its back it almost looks like a skeletal dragon that still has it's flesh and bones. As he proudly rests on the ground his head is arched to the left as if to listen to its prey, all around this mini is an incredible specimen to behold.
The final two minis of the box are the proud Young and Adult Solar Dragons. Each mini comes with detachable semi-transparent wings for easier storage, as you can tell by the rider and Princess Xedalli they're extremely large minis even before protruding wings. The vibrant and deep purples that shimmer and shift into a deep blue along their scales ensure that these dragons are incredibly eye-catching. Both dragon is posed in such a way that you could likely swap out one for another depending on the circumstances, conversation vs battle, but the added piece to the Adult Solar Dragon is that you can remove a spine in its back to reveal a seat to place Prince Xeleth within.
There's not too much more I can say for these incredible dragons that they don't do for themselves when you see them. An added wish might have been for the wings to be more poseable, or interchangeable between them to allow for at least two different poses but what you get is more than enough.
What are our final thoughts on the Spelljammer Adventures In Space Collector's Edition Miniatures Box from Wizkids?
There's a lot of excellent minis in this set. From more mundane adventures against Astral Elves or the Dohwah there's plenty to enjoy but the big setpiece monsters, which is likely why you're looking at this collection, the quality they show is undeniable. The large dragons and astral creatures all command attention when placed on the table, especially at the scale they are.
That all being said though there are certainly a few missed opportunities within this collection where it comes to matching the artwork too closely to its source material, or that sometimes parts are just too thin and are potentially going to break. I love the artwork for the Astral Elves, I think it's a neat idea for their culture and looks very 'at home' in this new world, but taking a look at the effect that it has on the minis there was an opportunity to take these designs a step back to preserve the look.
The copy of Spelljammer Adventures In Space Collector's Edition Miniatures Box used in this review was provided by the publisher.