Well the box arrived, and I have to say that I have mixed feeling about this year content.
First, this box contained only 38 figures. Also, according to the comment on Mantic page, it seems that content is not at all random as promised, but that all boxes have the same miniatures.
On the other hand, good thing is that only one sprue is repeated from last year box, while all other models are from ranges published in 2013.
So lets star from the oldest models. These are Mantic elf bowmen sprue containing 10 elf archers (links are leading to Mantic page with figures)
Unfortunately, these are the worst designed models Mantic ever did. All elves are molded with shield in left hand and bow in the right, and therefore all are completely unable to fire their weapons. Worst still, shields are mostly molded as part of the body, so no matter how good you are with the tools, you will not be able to convert them to anything logical. Totally useless figures that are going directly to local auction site with starting price below 1 euro.
So, 10 gone, 28 more to hope for.
human men at arms. And here comes another disappointment, since box contains not one but TWO identical sprues, with 5 men each. All soldier san be assembled with swords or spears, all left hands hold shields. So ten men at arms? BOOOOOORING. I could accept one sprue with five soldiers, but two? Who needs that? More items to be resold as soon as possible.
So only 18 models left.
To finish with the fantasy range, there are 3 ogres that can be assembled with one-hand or two-hand weapons that can be swords or axes. Set comes with extra arms and heads, so lots of useful bits. Once I paint one of these ogres, I will compare it with the one GW model I have, but this will be separate post. Any way, I am finally starting to think that Mantic crazy box can be a useful investment, at least partially.
20 to 3
Still partially in the fantasy range is a king figure from the earth fraction from Mantic chess variation called Loka. While quite nice looking model, it very obviously looks like a chess peace, and is not very useful for wargaming or RPG. I am still thinking if I am going to sell it or paint it like granite and use it as a statue/part of the scenery.
First comes the Big Mech. Mantic describes him as a ball player adjusted from combat walker. Well, I will have to adjust it back. Some cutting and green stuff will be required to move it from running into moving pose, and then with addition of some SF weapons it may turn into OK mini.
Anne-Marie Helder is a really interested miniature. She is sculpted as ancient Madonna of fertility, with dominating pregnant-like belly and big breasts, and that leaves an impression. Properly painted to avoid SF features, it can find it's place within any Blood Bowl pitch as human Blitzer.
First, there is a set of 5 space dwarf veterans, consisting of one officer, 2 dwarfs with machine guns and 2 with flamers. SF dwarves are rarely produced, so this is a good catch.
infantry command sprue (NCO and heavy weapon), raptor (note: it seems that not all boxes contain Raptor! Why mine had it while some don't is a mystery to me) and two models from Deadzone starter that is still in pre-order (commando and goblin sniper). Ork riding a heavy bike is not your first choice within skirmish warband, and may not be everybody's cup of tea, but it is not something I am going to complain about.
Deadzone rebellion starter: one goat-like and one lion-like alien. One can never have enough weird aliens for space skirmishers, so thumbs up to Mantic for including these.
Is it worth 20 GBP? I don't know. Decide for yourself :)