Friday, April 15, 2016

D&D Miniatures: Safari Animals (mostly)

Need some cheap animal miniatures? You've come to the right place!

While browsing for something unrelated on Amazon, I came across these little pretties - the 12 Piece Safari Animals for $6.49 (with free Prime shipping). After perusing some of the reviews and comments, these appeared to be the perfect size for tabletop RPGs, and they do not disappoint (mostly)!

(April must be miniatures month because yet another post about our little plastic friends is coming soon).

OK, so some of the scale on some of these furries is a little wonky, but overall, the group is still quite useful.

The package contains a lion, tiger, cheetah, giraffe, elephant, hippo, rhino, zebra, gorilla, camel, moose and polar bear. I'm not entirely certain what the moose and polar bear are doing on safari, but perhaps they needed a vacation from the cold.

Be aware that there are sellers that appear to have the same assortment for slightly cheaper, but those packages are missing the moose and camel. My package contained a yellow cheetah with spots, but it appears some have the same (or similar) big cat painted black like a panther (jaguar).

The big cats are all pretty good from a scale perspective. They are slightly too large for a "normal" sized lion or tiger as compared to a medium base miniature, but that may not matter for the purpose of play, They are slightly smaller than "dire" versions. From a game perspective, they could just be large versions of a normal big cat, or you could use them as the "dire" or giant version of the same creature. Their flexibility makes them very useful.

The zebra, polar bear and gorilla are perfect scale compared to "official" minatures. The polar bear could be a tiny bit larger, but not so much that it makes a difference. The camel and moose are obviously undersized, but on a large 2x2 base no one will care. The moose could substitute for a regular sized buck or reindeer. The gorilla is awesome. His red eyes seem to glow with menace and he is perfectly sized.

Now the rest of these guys are a bit on the wee side... But, they could just be a babies. With the hippo and rhino, you could probably hand-wave their size at the table as long as they are based appropriately. The giraffe would probably be a very young one, and the elephant is just way too small to be anything but a baby (or perhaps your game world has bred undersized riding or pack elephants).

Final Thoughts

Even despite the oddity of varying scales, this group of animals is a pretty good deal for under $7.  If you are looking for minis on the cheap you can get your 12 Piece Safari Animals at Amazon.  There are also several different farm animal sets, as well as critters from the rain forest.

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