This review is going to be formatted a little differently. These figures don’t have articulation or accessories, and I don’t have a whole set, regardless.
The best way to explain Pathfinder is this: You know how Burger King has started making McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets, only they taste a little different and don’t feel right, but they are clearly just knockoffs? That’s Pathfinder. The folks at Paizo were unhappy with the fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, so they took the rules for Third Edition, altered them VERY LITTLE, and went with it. It’s even got copyright-friendly versions of classic D&D monsters.
Since Dungeons & Dragons miniatures are kind of gone now, Pathfinder has started producing their own, some of which are very Pathfinder-specific (they do SOME unique things), but most of which are really just palette-swapped D&D monsters. This isn’t a bad thing – more stuff is cool! And one nice feature is that the folks at Paizo have gone out of their way to miniaturize things that D&D never got around to.
Skull & Shackles is the name of one of Pathfinder’s big adventure paths. As the name suggests, it’s pirate-themed. D&D Miniatures never really released many aquatic creatures, so Paizo used this as an opportunity to fill the ranks with sharks and pirates! The figures vary in size from about half an inch to nearly three inches for the tallest, and you can see a full gallery HERE, but let’s get a little more in-depth about the ones I got!
The miniatures are sold blind-packed, four to a box – three medium or small, one large – for $14.99. D&D minis sold you more for less money, but that was a few years ago and plastic has seen serious inflation in the last two or three years. Still, it bugs me a bit. The miniatures to have differing rarity levels… but unlike other minis sets, there is no indication which is which in any pack. Sorry about that.
Anyway, I bought ten packs (BAHAHAHAHAHAHA), and got a pretty good variety of figures without many doubles – that’s kind of nice, though I suspect it’s the law of averages tipping in my favor for once. There are still plenty of figures I would like (Cannon Golem, The Whale, Daughter of Imerta, etc.), but let’s look at what I got!
First up are the human pirates and marines. Several of these guys are unique named characters from the adventure path, like the Shackles Pirate Council or the Chelish Marines. They’re really not bad – though I noticed that you have minis for every Pirate Council member except ONE. There is a D&D mini that matches up with the missing guy, but that’s just silly. The paint varies among humans – mine range from awesome (Kerdak Bonefist) to horrible (Admiral Thrune). Oh, well.
Here are some humanoid monsters. The green Sentinel Devil is clearly a D&D Barbed Devil, only it’s common and easy to find,whereas the Barbed Devil was Rare. Nice to see them, though they’re plain. I really love the undead pirate – Whalebone Pilk – who’s awesome, even though he’s half-submerged. Mine is actually really well-painted, better than the other humanoids! The Lady Ghoul is, of course, not a good date.
Look! A shark! And a catfish, apparently.
Here are some other little monsters – the Bloodbug is TINY… and it’s just a D&D Stirge, which makes it our third Stirge mini. The Rat Swarm is too lumpy… but I love the little Grindylow. Say, weren’t they in Harry Potter? And here’s what I mean – that panther, the Shimarae, is so much like a D&D Displacer Beast that I’m surprised there hasn’t been a lawsuit.
I love how these minis come in “sets” – the Sahuagin Sea Devils clearly go together, as do the two Sea Nagas. Those Sea Devils are amazing, though – they blow the D&D ones right out of the water… metaphorically speaking! Likewise, look at that Wereshark Pirate… and the large Captain Riptooth! Riptooth and the large Sea Devil are actually pretty small for their size category, but they look great, regardless.
The Drowning Devil, Sea Troll, and Seaweed Siren are just fantastic. It’s almost worth chewing through the whole set just for these three.
So, overall? if you like mini figures, RPGs, wargaming, or any combo of the above, these will be right up your alley. If not? Well hey, you might love some of them, anyway.