Saturday, December 09, 2006

My new toy

I don't have any interest in Wizards' new minis game Dreamblade, but dang are some of the figures cool. This particular figure had to be mine:

Ichabod Crane is toast.
In Dreamblade this dude is the Knight of the Autumn Gate. That's a pretty cool title but to me he's the Bugbear King. I know he doesn't look anything like a bugbear, but at one time bugbears looked like him! The first illustration of a bugbear appeared in OD&D Supplement I: Greyhawk. Dig it:

Bugbears and ghouls have friends?  Who knew?
Pretty much every subsequent appearance of the bugbear since then has depicted the giant goblinoids we all know and loathe. Turns out the creepy jack-o-lantern dude above was the result of a miscommunication. Gary Gygax once explained over at Dragonsfoot. "The pumpkin-headed bugbear was an artist taking literally my description of the monster as having a head like a pumpkin, i.e large, round flat oval."

The pumpkin-head version of the bugbear survived in Runequest under the name Jack-o-bear, so you can actually find a few lead minis of this throwback design. But a prepainted plastic figure was just too cool to pass up. Especially with that flaming sword, awesome armor, and wicked grin.