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!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Phaerimm, the evil teleporting windsocks of Faerun

Session Recap 3/10/2012

 Winter has set in at Relkath’s Foot, and it shows on the faces of the inhabitants. Cloaks are drawn tighter, scarves cover faces up to the eyes, and gloves are on, all to ward off the frigid winds that blow in from Thay to the east. The guards and patrols are even more vigilant, because they know that some creatures will become more brazen and desperate in their search for food as the winter months drag on.

 The heightened state of vigilance seems to have overcome Nikola, as the patrol he set out with returned without him – it would seem that my ranger brother was either restless or on to something, because he insisted on staying out. The rest of the party heads back to Nikola’s last known camp, aided by the patrol members. We fan out and search, and eventually track him to a menhir ring. I cast analyze portal and determine that the portal has several properties: two-way, not creature-only, not password activated but instead elf-activated, and has two destinations. The most unusual property is detected by Callum when he employs his detect evil and discovers that the portal itself detects evil!

 Our efforts to activate the portal are for naught, and scrying fails as well. We return to Relkath’s Foot and seek counsel from my father, who in turn consults with the local portal magic scholar. The scholar returns with us to the menhir ring to see if he can help us activate it. Things seem to be going well when the portal scholar takes an arrow in the neck and one of the ½ elf rangers is killed! The now-familiar voice of T’see Larak is heard to ask “Where is my brother?” – is he talking about me [Garrity is ½ drow] or just messing with us? In any event, the wounded scholar activates the portal and we jump through. The surviving ½ elf ranger stays behind to care for the scholar.

 We land near a massive tower in Anauroch, across the Sea of Fallen Stars and well northwest of the Yuirwood. There is no visible entrance, so we head to the top of the tower via spells, potions, and the always-useful ebon fly. The top of the tower is the lair of a most unusual creature – so unusual, we can’t identify it or even attach a name to it – the thing has a head that resembles an octopus, a large beak, and several tentacles. Oh, and it seems to be able to summon lightning from the clouds above. We manage to defeat it, along with the three wights who were prowling around the corpse of a black dragon that the tower guardian was picking over. We descend into the tower and work our way down.

 Along the way our cleric and paladin get a chance to unleash their holy wrath on some undead who cross our path. Real wrath of the gods stuff, if you know what I mean. We eventually re-acquire Nikola (via scrying, I believe) and find that he has left the building. Fortunately, he is not far from the tower, and we track him to a smallish keep or outpost that is in disrepair. Unfortunately, Nikola is the captive of two phaerimm, who appear to be negotiating with some vampires and their undead minions – not good!

 With my brother in sight, we spring into action. The undead are tough, but we are tougher! Our blades and spells are able to vanquish them after a pitched battle. The phaerimm prove to be a bit more of a challenge, though. My disintegrate spell succeeds in vaporizing one of the phaerimm, but the other one teleports away with Nikola. In hindsight, we should have tried to grab Nikola during the melee, but we were so caught up in the action that we didn’t even think about that. Our redemption comes when we succeed in our scrying attempt, and we teleport into a tunnel the phaerimm is attempting to escape through. The lone phaerimm decides that discretion is the better part of valor, and flees once again – this time without Nikola.

 So we are once again a whole party, although the intrigue that seems to follow us around is even murkier and unsettling than ever. Hopefully Nikola has learned his lesson that heading off on his own, even in the relative safety of the Yuirwood, will never EVER be a good idea.

 On the lighter side of gaming, I really need to get myself a can of Unicorn Meat. When I attempted to read the description on the back of the can out loud, I failed. It was just too goddamned funny! Look, I love my pets and animals in general, and believe I will one day see them again across The Rainbow Bridge – but when I was reading about these poor unicorns and the DOUBLE Rainbow Bridge, I lost it. My stomach hurt from laughing, and I am always glad to provide some wheezing, laughing comic relief at our sessions. Best unintentional comedic line came from Dino who declared “I am going to eat the fuck out of that pizza!” – the poor pizza never stood a chance! I love my friends, and I know they love me. At least they treat me like the younger, dim-witted brother they are thankful they never had.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lead Market Report - March 2012

Well I finally managed to get the March LMR out the door, just in time to start work on April. When will I end my procrastinating ways? Probably when I end my lead-buying days. Not gonna happen!

BROADSWORD: I usually don't pass up vintage giants, but for some reason I didn't bid on these big fellas: the Stone Giant and Hill Giant, both for only $7.50 each. I've actually owned and sold these previously - what was I thinking, selling off giants?

CITADEL: As I previously mentioned, I finally bought my first Citadel AD&D monsters! The same seller had a Troll, Owlbear, and Gorgon for $20 each. I missed out on the Troll, but picked up the other two before they were snapped up. This Owlbear sold for just over $20 for comparison. Also on the block was the Ranger set ($19) and an Ogre ($24). The C28 giants also made a splash at $38 and $31.

DARK HORSE GAMES: I was too old to get caught up in the TMNT craze back in the day, but I didn't escape totally unscathed. I played my fair share of TMNT games when I worked at Nintendo, and now I find myself pondering the wisdom of collecting the four 75mm turtles...hmm. Like this Michaelangelo for $23 and this Raphael for $16. Or if I go all in, I should expect to pay prices like $47 for this lot.

DRAGONTOOTH: It's good to be king. Or it's good to be the seller of the Tomb of The Dwarf King for $336!!! Wow. For $215, you could have partied in Ye Blind Cyclops Inn. And for "only" $125, there was the Dwarf Armory.

FORGE WORLD: Here's one I haven't seen before! A large-scale (54mm) representation of Asmodai, Interrogator-Chaplain of the Dark Angels. A very cool sculpt, but $178 is a bit out of my range I'm afraid. You can see some pics of the other FW 54mm models on this thread.

GAMES WORKSHOP: This metal LOTR Cave Troll didn't last long at $15.

GRENADIER: This complete run of Grenadier's LOTR box sets was just too good to pass up at $32, so I bought it! I have to imagine that not using 'Grenadier' anywhere in the listing probably helped keep the price down. If you're looking for these, let me know - maybe we can hammer out a trade or offline sale. Isengard has already been claimed, but the other four are available. And I had not seen these Warrior newsletters before - always cool to see things I didn't know about! Issue 4 (July/August 1993) $8; Issue 5 (September/October 1993) $8; Issue 6 (November/December 1993) $8; Issue 7 (February/March 1994) $8; Issue 8 (April/May 1994) $13; Issue 9 (June/July 1994) $12; Issue 10 (August/September 1994) $8Issue 11 (November/December 1994) $14; Issue 12 (February/March 1995) $14; and Issue 13 (April/May 1995) $14. There were also two Grenadier catalogs that came and went, the Temporary Catalog Update for $15 and this green-cover catalog with both the US and UK addresses for sold for...wait for it...a buck! My kind of deal, if I had been the buyer.

I'm always on the lookout for the Giant's Club sets, and they continue to sell right around the $10-$20 range for the most part. I picked up the Fire Giant for $13, and the same seller also moved a Stone Giant for $11, a Dwarven Giant for $14, and a Forest Giant for $17. There was also this Dwarven Giant in shrink for $13. Moving on to other boxed sets, there was a Dungeon Raiders for $26, King Arthur in shrink for $27, Osric the Wise for $42 (haven't seen prices like that on this line recently, so perhaps Osric is uncommon/rare), Fantasy Warriors Juggernaut for $23, and the Battle Giant for $33. This unboxed Goblin War Giant tallied $60. The seller of this mail-in only Dragon Lord was asking $90, but ended up selling for $75. Looks like the original packaging and documentation, so it was probably worth it to some Grenadier completist.

The same seller who cashed in on three DragonTooth sets (listed above) also sold this lot for $55, which included the smiley-faced Have A Nice Day beholder among other minis (including the well-endowed version of the RP Balrog 01-003).

HERITAGE: A small batch of John Carter Warlord of Mars blisters hit the market and made a splash - the recent John Carter movie probably wishes it could have done as well, no doubt. Check out these prices: 1504 John Carter mounted on Thoat with Deja Thoris and Woola for $272; 1522 Orovars - Horz and Lotharians with Bowmen for $162; 1517 Black Pirates of Barsoom - the Firstborn for $84; and 1528 Plantmen of the Valley Dor for $65. On the bargain end of the spectrum, there was this lot of 8 Fantasy Fantastics plus 1 D&D blister for $37.

This complete-looking Caverns of Doom sold for $112, moving back up the price charts. And this Barsoomian Battle Manual still sold for $25 even though it was missing a chunk off the front cover.

LEADING EDGE GAMES: "Yeah man, but it's a dry heat!" Aliens - talk about a flick just chock-full of memorable quotes and snappy one-liners. And the minis just keep on selling, like these, uh, Xenomorphs (aka the Alien Warrior Boxed Set) for $66. If heavy equipment is more your thing, then you probably bid on this Power Loader Boxed Set (with 4 Sentry Guns) that sold for $46. The Alien Queen Boxed Set went for a respectable $36, while the Colonial Marines Set #1 ended up at $31. And I would have bought this $22 blister for the name alone: the "Game Over" Pack!

MINIFIGS: The VFW (Valley of the Four Winds) minis seem to be some of the more sought after minis produced by Minifigs, and one particular seller sold several lots as follows: VFW 42, the aptly-named Cart Full of Skulls & Bones, for $29; what looks like VFWM10 Wheel of Torture (Pat Sajak NOT included), a pair of demons, and 4 hellhounds for $72; VFWM6 Spiked Fire Wheel, the Spirit Monks set, and World of Greyhawk 55 (fire elemental) for $27; and VFW73 Wind Demon & Ornate Chariot for $46.

RAL PARTHA: As I mentioned in the last LMR, some BattleTech collector decided to Go Big (as in go big or go home). The winner of this particular auction spent a whopping $342 on this carded Phoenix Hawk LAM. I noticed the same seller is currently peddling two in the same auction for a $100 starting bid and a $370 BIN. We'll see where that one ends up. For loose Mechs, you could have picked up this Rifleman with a FREE display case (dice box) for $11. Or this one for $13. Or this one for $16. The Warhammer still commands attention and prices: $35, $15, and $21. BattleTech lots, as usual, do very well - 6 for $86; 10 for $73, 5 for $61; and 20 mechs and 9 tanks for $143.

This Limited Edition Dracolich is still on my want list, thanks in no small part to prices like $123. Great if you are selling, not so much if you are buying. If you want a great deal as a buyer, how about this Limited Edition Golden Dragon of Chaos for under $28? That has to be THE lowest price for a NIS LE boxed set I have ever seen. And this LE Great Red Dragon for $66 also qualifies as a bargain as far as I'm concerned. $41 for Huma's Silver Dragon is about average. This Griffin Chariot in its NIS glory sold for $41 (this seller and this seller should take note if they ever expect to move theirs).
$20 for the Elf Chariot is a good price, and $20 for Riding the Cold Wind is even better!

11-Series: The Driders usually go for decent prices, such as these 11-518 Male Driders for $24. Their drow masters also do well, especially the uncommon 11-517 Drow II set for $17. And as someone who is after the 11-Series Birthright minis, it's encouraging that the Personalities boxed set has dipped down to $34, and the blisters are right around $10-$15: $13, $12, and $11 respectively. And a mostly-complete (missing one) Powers of Law for $28 works for me, if you have the patience to track down the missing Gruumsh.

Finally, there was this Troll advertised as a possible alternate sculpt to 11-408. Joe was kind enough to post a pic of the hallmark, which is unlike any RP hallmark I've ever seen. Makes me wonder if this is instead a casting of prototype that wasn't released? Anyone else out there ever seen this troll kicking around?

UPDATE: Thanks to the sharp eye of cola55z, I now know this is NOT an 11-408 alternate sculpt, but rather a 15mm Battlesystem mini from 11-954 Trolls of The Claw Mercenary Company. The troll linked above is seen on the far right of the pic on the LMW.

This lot was an absolute steal at $46! The Grenadier boxed set can sell for that much alone, so it's like the 9 RP boxes were free! Why am I using so many exclamation points?!? And this doesn't look so much like a poster as opposed to some sort of printer's proof sheet (sorry if I cannot recall the correct term), but for less than $7, it's still an interesting piece of RP ephemera.

REAPER: The Gauth boxed set sells for $100 at the Reaper online store, so even with the free shipping they offer on purchases over $25, the buyer still got a great deal at $51.

STEVE JACKSON GAMES: This Ral Partha Mk. III OGRE sold for $38, just to demonstrate that vintage OGRE minis continue to hold their value and then some.

WEST END GAMES: It's fairly uncommon (if not downright rare) to pick up a near-complete run of the Grenadier boxed sets in one lot, but someone did for $250. At just over $20 a box, it wasn't a steal, but then again, it wasn't a bad price either, and the buyer did get a great collection in one fell swoop.

LOTS AND LOTS OF LOTS: 200+ minis for $200 (down from the asking price of $300) is still a good deal for the dedicated reseller and/or collector. This lot of boxes and blisters was $158 - LOTR blisters, Wizzards & Warriors large boxes - neat stuff. I wanted the Superior Swamp Demon in this $78 lot (top right), but the VFW crew quickly pushed it way out of my reach. This very much old-school Orcus helped push this small lot to $44. Who mixes giants and undead??? $41 took these big and dead guys home. This $44 lot was a great, great deal at just over $2 per mini. And this $123 lot was an eclectic mix of DragonTooth, Grenadier Dark Crystal, Minifigs, and others. Finally, this $153 lot was something old and something new. That is to say, the new stuff was some of the older Reaper DHL line.

ODDS-N-ENDS: If you are an AD&D completist or a paint kit afficionado, perhaps you saw this Polly S AD&D paint set, complete with a Grenadier wizard. It sold for $9.99, which is only $1.02 more than it sold for at Toys-R-Us. And this is a rather neat-looking dragon of unknown origin (it looks older, like Minifigs, Martian Metals, Asgard - something along those lines) that sold for $23.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Codex: Rogue Trader (For Retail Rogues)

Before my stint at WoTC, I managed a brick & mortar gaming store in Bellevue, WA - the now-defunct Games & Gizmos. I should note that Games & Gizmos still lives on down the road in Redmond, but I think the owners are not associated with the previous incarnations of G&G. In any event, it was a fun job with a neat little store and a good crew. It was also my introduction to Games Workshop and their products, as well as their approach to the hobby and the business.

One of the items that I still have from those days is the black folder pictured above - Codex Rogue Trader, otherwise known as "Games Workshop's Consummate Guide For Independent Retailers." It's a very slick, well-made binder with 23 double-sided pages (4 of which are glossy divider pages) packed with info on how to help your store sell GW product. There are also two laminated sheets that are for running quick and easy demo games of WHFB and 40K.

Immune to both Mt. Dew and Cheetos dust.

The binder is divided up into four sections: the Business Section, the Hobby Section, the How-To Section, and the RT Resources Section. Overall, it's an interesting look at how GW encouraged retailers to attract new players, keep existing ones, and yes, sell GW product. I won't go into a section-by-section breakdown of the binder, but I will say they put a lot of importance on the quality of store staffers. That, and store owners should (if practical) engage customers to help run events like Painting & Terrain Classes.

I have no idea if a current version of Codex Rogue Trader exists or not, but it would be interesting to compare the current version with mine and see how much or how little things have changed in the past decade plus since my binder was published. GW seems to be one of those love 'em or hate 'em companies, yet they have managed to endure for over 35 years now, so they must be doing something right.

Friday, April 13, 2012

In Praise of Trading & New Additions to the Lead Pile

Just wanted to give a belated word of thanks to Mike over at Swords & Dorkery for a recent minis trade. He sent me the two baddies pictured above - RP's Fzoul Chembryl (11-050) and Ogre with Club (11-481), and I sent him a Heritage Dragon. I do enjoy trading, and I really should do more trades. Might help if I update my "For Trade" folder, no? Mike got a neat dragon, and I got an NPC for use in our FR campaign as well as being two steps closer towards the long-range goal of completing my 11-Series collection.

Our deal actually took me back to my childhood, when the kids on our block collected baseball cards. Trading was frequent and often frenzied, with favorite players changing hands and missing cards added to collections. I even used to actually use the checklist cards by marking them up with a pen with each new card added (gasp!).

Of course, when you are trading face-to-face with friends and neighbors, it makes the deals a lot easier. Things are a bit different now, of course. I'm hesitant to swing a trade with someone unless I "know" them from eBay, the blogosphere, or some forum or another. Would I trade with someone I don't know at all? Sure, but only if you send to me first ;)

Along those same lines, I recently sent a box of Grenadier LOTR minis (7505 Isengard) to a fellow collector in the UK that was a PayPal transaction. I'm always happy to do that, as it puts more money in my pocket (no eBay fees), and the buyer gets a good deal.

Moving on to new additions, I added a pair of Grenadier fire giants to the lead pile!

That's the fire giant from 3501 (Giant's Club boxed set) and a Julie Guthrie fire giant (713). The Guthrie giant has always stood out as a dead ringer for the illustration in AD&D Monster Manual, except for the weapon. Upon closer inspection, I discovered his armor is a combination of plate and dragon hide. Sweet! Glad to have finally added him to the giant clan.

I bought my first two Citadel AD&D monsters - the Owlbear (ADD 81) and Gorgon (ADD 75). The same seller also had a Troll (ADD 59), but I was too slow and missed out on that one. At $20 each, they were at my top end spending-wise, but that's about how much they typically sell for, so it all works out in the end I suppose.

On the 40K front, I acquired the Limited Edition DA Company Master (from the 2007 DA boxed set). At only a $15 BIN, it was an easy purchase, considering he usually sells for $30-$40 or higher. Mine didn't come with the Iron Halo seen in this pic, but I can always use one of the many plastic bitz available if I really need to have a placeholder.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lead Market Report - February 2012

Sugar honey iced tea! It's April already? Time to post the February LMR so I can turn around and get the March LMR hammered out. My own fault for dragging my feet once again. Enjoy.

CITADEL: The AD&D Umber Hulks from this line are just awesome, and therefore command prices like $31. It makes this $14 Minotaur look like an absolute bargain and then some! There was also this run of six MOC AD&D blisters from the same seller: Duergar for $30; Norkers for $26; Hobgoblins for $25; the Illusionists for $23; Dwarf Villagers for $26; and the Elf Magic-Users for $27. Even a humble Shrieker still netted some seller $6.

The boxed version of the AD&D dragons can sometimes get pricey, but this loose Red Dragon sold for $25, so if you don't need the packaging and documentation, bargains are still out there, just waiting for you to come along and snap them up.

And here's a Ral Partha pin/badge that ended at $89, apparently done by Citadel. Here's a pic of it on the CCM Wiki.

DRAGONTOOTH: This GI-05 Horned Hill Giant had been sitting around for several months before someone finally pulled the trigger at $40. It's a lot higher than I would have paid, but not outrageous considering you don't see too many DT giants up for auction. And I picked up my first DT dragon - D76 for $21. Poor fella had his wings glued on backwards! No wonder the other dragons wouldn't let him join in any of the dragon games. This lot here that went for $178 wasn't exclusively a DT lot, but my guess is the DT minis were a big part of the deal. I can see what looks like a D80 Small Dragon, GI07 Old Horney the Hill Giant (can't tell if he's holding his club or not), and DE05 Winged Snake Demon to name at least three, along with all the other old school lead visible.

FASA: I had to look up the Northampton-class frigate. It never had a starring role in any movie or TV episode as far as I can tell, but don't tell that to gamers and collectors. This one sold for $39. This is apparently a RAFM-produced mini for FASA.

GRENADIER: I was very fortunate (damn lucky!) to pick up this Great Griffon, also known as Wizzards & Warriors Special #2 for the bargain price of $22.84!!! I say that because the last one that surfaced in December 2011 sold for $233.50, more than 10 times what I paid for mine.

Monster Manuscript collectors seem to go after these sets with a full-blown case of collecting fever. Volume 12 sold for $178, while this Volume 11 went for $118. And they weren't even in shrink! But they were complete and in really nice shape, so I guess that was good enough. Other MM sets that sold include this shrinked Volume 7 for $76 and this shrinked Volume 5 for $27. I wonder why such a huge difference in price? Were the higher numbered MM sets short printed or something like that?

The AD&D Gold Line boxes show no signs of going down in price. The Dwellers Below seems to be the most popular, like this one that sold for $51. Very clean and minty-looking. $37 for Dungeon Explorers seems a bit lower than in past months, but not by much. And then there was this Hirelings for $35. Do player characters still use hirelings??? A complete-looking Dragon's Lair was $18.

For the rest of Grenadier's various lines of boxed sets, take a gander at these: $19 for a complete & painted Giant's Club Frost Giants. A NIS LOTR Hillmen of the Trollshaws for a $32 BIN. $36 for Boris Vallejo's The Magic Goes Away (gotta love Boris!). For one dollar less ($35), how about the Special Edition Roc and War Rhino? The box looks like hell in a handbasket, but this Wizzards & Warriors Dungeon Explorers was only $16. NIS Encounter at the Red Dragon Inn? $56. NIS Encounter at Deephaven? $31. $21 for the Black Dragon II.

From the Great Buys file, how about Princess Achmiri for $5. Yes, $5! And for $9, someone picked up this great-looking Fire Giant. I've been chasing this particular giant for awhile now, but just haven't jumped in on any bidding yet. Maybe you have a spare one sitting around that you'll trade me???

And from the Son of The Great Buys file comes this Teronus the Ultimate Dragon for less than $7! Sure, it's assembled and painted, no box, no insert - but if you want a big old dragon (this guy is heavy!) for less than $10, this would have been your bargain.

One of my favorite eBay sellers to keep tabs on is cola55z. Great selection time and time again, like this Two-Headed Demon (oh come on, just call him Demogorgon already) that sold for $13. Be sure to swing by their new website too! You can buy offline from eBay, peruse upcoming minis about to hit the auction block, or help ID some unknown minis. Fun stuff.

The picture is way too fuzzy, but this seller claims this might be a Grenadier Grinch. And for only $3, why not take a chance on a fun mini, even if you don't know what it is? I almost did.

If you're into Grenadier printed matter, you might have seen this collection of the original newsletter-style Grenadier Bulletin that took in $114. Very cool stuff, if you happen to be into the history of collecting.

HERITAGE: Three Dungeon Dwellers boxed sets, all in shrink! Roaming Monsters Level One sold for $59, Roaming Monsters Level Two sold for $57, and Roaming Monsters Level Three sold for $53. And even when opened and sporting beat-up packaging, sets like Roaming Monsters Level One can still fetch prices like $53.

LEADING EDGE GAMES: "All we know is that there's still no contact with the colony, and that a xenomorph may be involved." These poor colonists never had a chance! But their Last Stand earned this seller $60. Or you could have picked up the exact same set still in shrink for just over $18. I would have picked the latter, but that's just me. Colonial Marines #2 sold for $57, pretty close to what it typically ends up selling for. Aliens sets I see a fair amount of, but Terminator 2 sets, those I don't see quite as often. I guess that helps explain the $84 price for the Future Soldiers.

MANZAKK PUBLISHING: This Mergatroid sold for $8, which is about par for the course when it comes to Manzakk's Finieous Phigures set.

MARTIAN METALS: I dont' think I've ever seen any of these 15mm Traveller minis up close, so I've always been curious as to their detail and quality. At $10 per blister, they seem downright affordable if you are actively searching for them.

RAL PARTHA: What is up with you BattleTech fanatics? $103 for a Marauder IIC? I really need to find myself an abandoned storage locker full of MOC BattleTech minis. Ka-ching!!! The funny thing is, next month's LMR will showcase an individual BattleTech model that topped $300. Wow - just wow.

If I'm going to drop several hundred on a lot, I'd go after one like this: 50+ mechs, a bunch of bases, and even a nice selection of books and supplements for $410. To me, that's getting a lot of bang for your BattleTech buck! And some lots, like this one for $61, are relative bargains in my estimation.

This batch of lots carried the Ral Partha tag, but were mis-labeled "Battlesystem" instead of BattleTech. That mistake cost the seller a chunk of change IMO, but some lucky buyer(s) picked up some bargains: Lot A $41; Lot B $42; Lot C $42; Lot D $46; Lot E $31; and Lot F (parts, bases, and bodies) also for $31. Great prices for collectors looking to fill in some holes, or for resellers looking to make a few bucks.

On the other end of the spectrum, here are some BT lots that seem to be more the norm these days: 27 for $203; and this lot of 60+ mechs and 40+ vehicles for $500 - looks like there are two unassembled Marauders in this bunch.

Only a couple of loose Mechs to note this month - a Warhammer for $16 and a Marauder for $43.

I love bargains, and I know you buyers out there do too! Some lucky dog picked up an Imperial Dragon for $25. Oh, and they also picked up 16 other dragons in the same lot. 17 dragons for $25 is what, about $1.45 per dragon???

On the AD&D end of things, boxes like the Great Red Dragon (new and shrinky) still make collectors say 'Thank you sir, may I have another?' to the tune of $110. This Red Dragon of Krynn sold for $36, and this T'Char went for $26, and the FR Heroes set took in $21.

If you feel like $270 for 45 blisters is a good deal, I'd agree with you! That's only $6 per blister, people. Sure, 10-12 are Ravenloft, and there's one from Harlequin mixed in there, but that's still a sweet deal in my book. And if you buy loose 11-series, you gotta love prices these days: a 11-505 Illithid (the much-cooler, fez-topped flayer) for $6.50; 11-491 Skeletal Giant for $6.51; and 11-057 Elminster for $10.

Lead, as in pencil - here's a $71 sheet of pencil sketches by Dennis Mize for the 01-506 Slave Auction box set.

SUPERIOR MODELS/PERTH PEWTER: Bidding is usually strong when it comes to Elfquest's Cutter and Leetah. Maybe if the seller had included "Elfquest" in the listing that might have helped their cause.

TSR: Here's a lot of with the four character class boxes that sold for $83. The boxes look to be in decent shape, and only one mini out of 48 was damaged. Not bad for TSR.

WOTC: Sometimes a mini looks like it crawled right off the pages of the Monster Manual. This 3E Umber Hulk is one of those as far as I'm concerned. And for a $20 BIN, someone snapped this guy up right quick. And this lot of Chainmail minis ended up at $282 - at a bit over $2 per mini, that's a nice deal if you are building up your factions for some serious battles.

THE X-FILES: I have no idea who made this interesting-looking dragon with six legs and curling horns, but maybe you do? In any event, someone added him to their collection for $10.

LOTS OF LOTS: OK, I see the Minifigs Demogorgon and the Heritage John Carter Green Martian, but who are the other fellas clutching spears? $41 took those uglies home. This $56 lot is full of demonic A-listers. This $90 lot has three different Grenadier Umber Hulk variants, among others. There are a variety of dragons and lizards in this $61 lot. And this lot of giants (oh yeah!) that sold for $42 has a nice mix of Superior, Grenader, Ral Partha, and Heritage - including both Heritage DD ogre variants. This big $171 lot featured a Grenadier gold-plated orc shaman and a bunch of Dungeon Dwellers, but $171 dollars worth? This $178 lot had more minis, just nothing gold-plated from what I can see. And some lucky Warhammer Fantasy collector picked up an $81 steal - terrain, siege equipment, ogres, and not one but TWO Citadel/Marauder giants. Score!