This blog is about the world of gaming miniatures, as seen from my perspective. I've been collecting and painting for over 30 years now, and while my primary focus is miniatures for D&D, I also enjoy many other games that use minis, so we'll be covering those as well. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Finieous Phigures

It's always fun when you complete a collection, isn't it? Back on Thanksgiving day, I won a small lot of older lead. The reason I was bidding on it was to FINALLY complete my set of Finieous Fingers miniatures. I had seven of the eight figures from the set, but that evil wizard Kask was proving to be a major pain in the butt to find. So now I'm the happy owner of one complete set, plus the almost-complete second set with a couple of duplicates for trade bait.

Finieous FingersFredCharly
Fin, Fred, and Charly

Back in the day, I saw an ad for the FF minis in The Dragon. While flipping through the November 1982 issue, I found the ad in question. The ad reads as follows (my kingdom for a scanner!):

Rephuge Required phor Phamous Phighting Phellowship
Special Collector's Item: "Finieous & Friends" Phigures Set
Top Quality Lead Miniatures (shown actual size) - Available
until Dec. 31, 1982 - $10.00 plus $1.25 p&h/set

Bored-Flak (front), A wizard with shades and a Thompson? Oh yes.Ranger Rupert (front), I have Kask in my sights...Mergatroid
Bored-Flak, Ranger Rupert, and Mergatroid

So for a mere $11.25, I could have bought my own set and saved myself a lot of searching through countless eBay listings! Heh. I wonder how long they were available for? I guess I'd have to scan through my Dragon Magazine Archives CDs to see if I can figure that out.

KaskGrond
Kask and Grond

And there are also a small number of gold-plated sets out there too. I'm pretty sure these were mentioned in a similar ad, so I have some research to do. And as long as I'm being bookish, I would like to determine who actually designed, sculpted, and produced these bad boys. Wikipedia says they are a Thunderbolt Mountain product, and that there were 10 gold-plated sets produced. I want to say I've also read that they were cast by Ral Partha. So were they designed and sculpted by Tom Meier and produced by Thunderbolt Mountain, or designed and sculpted by Tom Meier and produced by Ral Partha? Or some other scenario? According to Mr. Meier's bio, he left Ral Partha and started Thunderbolt Mountain in 1988, which makes me lean towards the "designed & sculpted by Tom Meir and produced by Ral Partha" theory. Hopefully my research turns up a definitive answer.

UPDATE: Thanks to Grodog, I have my answers! If you read Tim Kask's reply on this thread at Dragonsfoot, he pretty much spells it out in detail. Here's the Reader's Digest condensed version:

The character sketches were done by J.D. Webster, and the sculpting done by Tom Meier (who at the time was at Ral Partha). Tim Kask personally poured the lead for each and every miniature, using the Ral Partha equipment. The production costs were paid for by Manzakk Publishing (of Adventure Gaming magazine fame).

The minis were sent out in a small box that looks like this:


(Photo credit: eBay seller jfavretto)

The hallmark on the bottom of the bases should show two names: Finieous and Manzakk. It appears as though someone associated with Thunderbolt made a few unauthorized sets, so just keep that in mind if you come across any in Thunderbolt packaging.

Obligatory group photo
The Apple Dumpling Gang these guys are not!

Hope you enjoy the pics of the set! You can also see some pics of a set painted up by Ed "Egg of Coot" Jendek of PrimEvil Studios on the Tome of Treasures forums, as well as a second set here on Dragonsfoot (also by Egg).

5 comments:

grodog said...

There's some good discussion about the gold and non-gold editions on the Dragonsfoot boards, if you want to go digging.

Allan.

TopKat said...

Thanks Allan! That's exactly the information I was looking for. I've added an update to the original entry to reflect the new-found details :)

Tom

grodog said...

Happy to help.

When I get around to it, I'll pull out my sets since I'm pretty sure I have at least one of the unauthorized sets (which IIRC were 4 figures instead of the full 8 from the box set).

Allan.

Egg of Coot said...

Thanks for the shout out. Painting both sets for the Gen Con charity auctions on TK's behalf was a real honor. I also have a complete set of FF figs Tim gave me - which I may end up auctioning for charity as well.

Thri Keen said...

As if I didn't already have enough classic OOP 80's lead. Now that I know these exist, I need them.