Friday 8 December 2023

Bigby Presents Glory of the Giants Limited Models

Alongside the usual Wizkids pre-painted blind boxes, they also released two "limited edition" monster sets that consisted of alternative paint schemes. One was a Death Giant Necromancer, the other a box of five miniatures. The "should you buy these" really comes down to whether you like the sculpts and paint jobs. Both the recent Phandelver and Planescape limited boxes have models I actively dislike in, so I gave those a miss, but these ones had some models I liked, so I got them.

Here they all are. The big giants are nearly action figure sized, but are to scale with the intended size of them by the D&D rules. I've been quite annoyed by the incorrectly sized minis in this range, so "actually the right size" is a low bar I'm pleased to see they're hitting.

One box was the "Death Giant Necromancer", which matches the art of the Death Giant Shrouded One. I suspect the miniatures were ordered before the book was finalised, and some names changed before final publication.

This is a really lovely miniature that will work well as a boss encounter, whether end boss or mid adventure mini boss. At a very chonky challenge rating of 15, this is a high level campaign antagonist. The spooky ghosts floating around her and fancy scythe are really nicely done.

The profile is an interesting one that probably needs some reading by the DM before running the encounter. I don't want to give it away, but it has some nice mobility, and a bit of self-synergy with one thing that causes the Frightened condition and an attack that gains a benefit if the target is Frightened.

I feel like some low level flunkies who can cause the Frightened condition would significantly add to the tactical choices of an encounter with a Death Giant Shrouded One, but you'd need to be careful about how much better that makes the Shrouded One.

The two normal sized models in the set are a Goliath "chef" armed with a giant fork, and a giant lynx. The Goliath is a bit of a niche model, but would work well as an NPC in a giant focused adventure, or a quirky PC.

The other model is a giant lynx. Its lore is that it is an intelligent fey, which sometimes works with some types of giants. That's plenty of flexibility for encounters - whether a wilderness fey encounter, a 'pet' of a giant that holds a secret, or an intelligent ally to some other creature.

A Fire Hellion is a fire giant that has entered into a pact with a devil for additional martial prowess, and has ended up becoming a fiend themselves. It's a hefty mid level brawler who can be a real threat to a party. In particular, it's ability to instantly kill any humanoid or giant it reduces to zero hit points rather than have them begin to make death saving throws something that can be a major threat to PCs.

The Stone Giant of Elemental Evil miniature is a bit cartoony for my liking. I've never quite clicked with the "Elemental Evil" antagonist group. They're quite a simplistic villain, without much explanation as to why anyone would join or be interested in their goals. I've yet to see a good idea for how to adapt them to something interesting.

The stat block itself is a nice brawler profile that's a bit tougher than a typical stone giant. It's nothing special, but perfectly serviceable. It's got an interesting look. Perhaps the elemental evil cults see someone doing something destructive unwittingly or for their own reasons, and offer them support and muscle to meet mutual goals? Otherwise, I'm a bit unsure when I'd get any use out of him.

The Frostmourn is an undead Frost Giant. The weird posing of the right hand is due to the original artwork the miniature is based on having used AI in the artist's early posing process. It's a pretty shoddy, disappointing pose and look, and the replacement hand painted art is such a step up from the AI. While Wizards didn't deliberately use AI, the problem artwork was all relatively shoddy. It's a bad sign for Wizards' quality control, and very disappointing.

Again, the undead giant profile is fine. It's nothing you couldn't homebrew, but is a solid profile. Vengeful undead ice giant is a niche but viable idea. I think I'd be most tempted to use it in a ruin of an ancient giant empire.

All in all, I think the set is OKish. The Necromancer / Shrouded One came separately and is, I think, the far better purchase than the wider set. The five model set is "fine, I guess", but I'm not as keen on it as the Death Giant piece. In many ways, the comparison between the two reinforces the difference in quality of both sculpts and paint jobs in the Wizkids pre-painted lines, and reinforces my decision to be more selective about what I pick up.


  1. The fire hellion is amazing but the rest from that set are not great. I'd like to find a good sculpt of a fire hellion to paint up.

    1. Finding good D&D specific sculpts since Gale Force Nine stopped working with Wizards is very hard.