In just about every fantasy setting, you have your basic run-of-the-mill characters. Next we move up to iconic characters, and then finally at the very top of the pecking order are the titans of their respective domains. In D&D/AD&D, the list of famous names is long and star-studded: Bigby. Vecna. Tenser. Mordenkainen. Otiluke. Cuthbert. And I've always been fond of Emirikol the Chaotic, because without Trampier's illustration, he would be just another faceless evil mage, even though he doesn't have the same depth of background as the ones listed before him.
In the Forgotten Realms, you could field a couple of all-star football (soccer) squads with names of the rich, famous, and powerful. But for sheer star power, you pretty much have to give it up to the dark elf with a heart of gold, Mr. Drizzt Do'Urden. Books featuring Drizzt have been on the New York Times Best Seller list pretty much every time, I think. He's been featured in numerous AD&D, 3/3.5E, and 4th Edition products. His plastic minis appear to command above-average prices (in particular the one from Archfiends).
Will the real Drizzt Do'Urden please stand up?
Ral Partha has produced three different versions in metal: Forgotten Realms Heroes 10-550, Forgotten Realms Drow Elves of Menzoberranzan 10-551, and blister 11-068. Out of those three, I would pick the one from 11-068 as the one that best captures Drizzt in both look and spirit. The 10-551 version captures the look and feel from the books (at least when he was in the Underdark). I like how the 10-550 version depicts him when he is doing his ranger thing on the surface of Faerun, but his face and pose don't do it for me.
Ral Partha 11-068
Ral Partha 10-551
Ral Partha 10-550
If I was going to paint up a Drizzt to make an appearance in our FR campaign, I would choose Reaper's 2681 Half Elf Thief. Yes, I know he's 28mm, and not everyone out there is cool with mixing and matching 25/28mm minis. Except for not looking more elven (maybe a thinner face and slighter frame), I think this guy is a great choice for a metal Drizzt mini.
Reaper DHL 2681
Who would you choose to be your Drizzt? One of the four minis listed above, or something else? If you have other options, please share.
I'll be profiling more FR characters and personalities in the coming year, now that I've kicked things off with Drizzt.