Grenadier's AD&D Solid Gold Line

Grenadier was one of the first miniatures producer, starting production in 1975. In 1976 they released their Wizzards & Warriors line, which consisted of a few boxed sets and many blisters. In 1980 upon acquiring the license to produce AD&D miniatures, Grenadier redid the box art for the Wizzards & Warriors line, changed a few miniatures and released them as official AD&D miniatures in golden/yellow packaging, calling the line "The Solid Gold Line" to infer that lead, in the form of their miniatures, had been made to have the worth of gold to the D&D gamer. ("Forget the gold pieces," whispered the thief to his apprentice, "grab those lead minis and lets get out of here!") In Addition to the repackaged boxed sets, Grenadier produced many more boxed sets and twenty blisters in the years 1980 through 1982. A few miniatures from the Wizzards & Warriors blisters were brought into their AD&D line, though most were left behind as their detail was inferior compared to the new standards of the 80's. Grenadier continued with the same packing strategy as they had successfully used in their Wizzards & Warriors line - the boxed sets had good artwork and foam padding that really did protect the miniatures. Many people used Grenadier miniatures in their campaign for the simple reason that the boxes were attractive and allowed for easy organization and sufficient protection for painted miniatures.  

The quality and charm of Grenadier's AD&D miniatures varied greatly. Many of the humans and demi-humans such as dwarfs looked all to much alike - different weapon, somewhat different clothes, same face..., not much fun to paint or game with, but they did the job. Many other figures, especially their monsters, were very well done. The Dwellers Below boxed set is perhaps the most favored set of monsters created by Grenadier and regularly fetches the highest prices of all their small, ten figure boxes being worth about 35.00. Large AD&D boxed sets can fetch 30.00-50.00 and small boxed sets 20.00-35.00 when in good condition. Miniatures in blisters can fetch up to 80.00, though most are worth 20.00-40.00. Out of blister, these miniatures are generally worth 2.00-5.00 each, though a few of the better ones, like the Xorn have sold for 15.00-30.00. Miniatures from the boxed sets are very common, while miniatures from the blisters are relatively rare and it can take a collector years to find all the blister miniatures as compared to only a few months to collect all the boxed sets.  

Grenadier AD&D miniatures are either stamped Grenadier 1980, 1981 or 1982 or they are not stamped at all. Once one gets the feel for the Grenadier line, unstamped models become apparent quite readily as most of the miniatures share a similar style.

After discontinuing the AD&D line, in 1983 Grenadier put new artwork on most of their AD&D boxes under the label of the Dragon Lord's line, which continued on to become their largest and finest line of miniatures. The AD&D blister miniatures were for the most part forgotten, though a few were bagged for the Fantasy Classics line.  

Grenadier AD&D Checklist

1982 was the last year that Grenadier produced an official D&D miniature, which is unfortunate for it is in the years after that their work dramatically increased in quality. The boxed AD&D sets were rebranded as Dragon Lords. A couple of the boxes contained completely different miniatures with different titles, though keeping the same model number on the box. The Dragon Lords line continued to expand until it included 34 new small boxed sets that were not found in the AD&D line and approximately 40 boxed dragons. Off the small boxed sets there were several "Encounter" boxes which consisted of a few monster and character figures along with several dungeon decor type figures such as fountains, banners, totems, tables, chests, etc. These were very rare and are worth 40.00-60.00 when in excellent condition. The most enjoyable sets in the Dragon Lords line, in my opinion, were the twelve Monster Manuscript boxes which contained about ten monsters in each box all arranged in alphabetical order. Monster Manuscript boxes are also rare and are worth 30.00-80.00. These 34 boxed sets along with the 24 boxed Dragons were a perfect continuation to their AD&D line, filling many gaps in needed monsters while supplying fun to use dungeon decor and so are perfect for the D&D game.

In addition to the Dragon Lords line, which was a continuation of their AD&D line, Grenadier produced a Fantasy Lords line, a Fantasy Classics line, a Fantasy Warriors, a Fantasy Personalities line plus many other smaller fantasy lines. Their first fantasy line was the Wizzards & Warriors line (wizzards purposefully misspelled with two z's instead of one). This line contained boxed sets and blisters, many of which were repackaged as their AD&D line in 1980. Many of Wizzards & Warriors figures are very rare and though being crudely sculpted, a few models, such as their huge purple worm and some dragons, can be worth 50.00-80.00. The minor and common figures, however, are not worth much at all, only 1.00-2.00 a piece, unless they are in still in the blister in which case they may fetch 15-20.00. Some of the larger monsters from the blisters can fetch 10.00-30.00 even when out of blisters. As can be seen, the the Wizzards & Warriors line is quite valuable which is largely due to its scarcity.

Grenadier was, no doubt, the largest producer of fantasy miniatures during its time and may well still hold the record for amount of fantasy miniatures produced. Grenadier begun producing Miniatures in 1975 and closed its doors twenty-one years later in 1996. The molds and masters were sold off and so many of Grenadier's miniatures are still being cast today.



Pictures of Minis

101-116 Blister Packs
2001-2013 Small Boxed Sets
5001-5004 Large Boxed Sets
8001-8004 Action Arts Sets