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Wizkids mini reveals the truth about 1980s DnD character

A DnD mini from the upcoming 50th Anniversary Wizkids release reveals the identity of the Red Box warrior, a mysterious fighter from an iconic art piece.

Cover art of the 1983 Red BOx art

Wizkids is creating a miniature that reveals new information about one of the oldest DnD characters – though you might never even have thought of them as a character before. It’s the warrior from the front cover of the 1983 Red Box, only ever glimpsed from behind, seen facing off against a powerful red dragon. This is our first proper look at the character, and according to Wizkids’ interpretation, it’s a girl.

This DnD mini is one of a huge number of models found in Wizkids’ upcoming D&D Icons of the Realms: 50th anniversary booster boxes. Celebrating the tabletop RPG’s 50th birthday, the collection has a bunch of minis that celebrate classic art from the series, like a Paladin and Fiend from the AD&D front cover. It also has tons of both modern and classic interpretations of recognizable DnD monsters.

Dnd mini showing female barbarian

Since the character, who if we had to guess at their class, is probably a DnD Barbarian or 5e Fighter, has never been seen from the front before, their true identity has always been unknown. It’s likely most players in 1983 assumed they were a man, but, as our own Tim Linward puts it, “there’s nothing particularly gendered about long hair and tight calves”.

As you can see, from behind the model is a near perfect match for the original artwork by Larry Elmore. I’m put in mind of the original Metroid game (also from the 1980s), which revealed at the end that the badass protagonist had been a woman the entire time (gasp)!

Dnd mini showing female barbarian

Wizkids told Comicbook.com, who originally revealed the model, that it had made a clear and deliberate choice to present the ‘Red Box Warrior’ as female. The company might be expecting some controversy around this decision, given (for instance) the way certain corners of the internet recently kicked off about the possibility of female Adeptus Custodes. But even if we didn’t have that current example, it’s just the way the internet is (i.e. horrible), isn’t it?

However, I’m of the view that there probably isn’t going to be much of a ruckus here. At the end of the day, the identity of the nameless, faceless warrior on this old DnD book is probably not something many Dungeons and Dragons fans have given much thought to – at least not recently. So there are likely no preconceived notions that have been shattered, no gates here to keep, if you will.

Chud-upsetting or not, it’s a cool little easter egg, in a miniatures set absolutely stuffed full of easter eggs and references. The Wizkids Icons of the Realms 50th anniversary set is available to preorder from its store now, and expected to release in July 2024.

For more DnD content, check out our guide to all the DnD classes. And if you like tiny monsters and people, you might like to learn about painting miniatures.