Well, ignoring the randomness... Are the D&D minis acceptable value for the money? I ask this because the resident grognard (in the original sense) complaining about the quality doesn't necessarily help.
Not that it really matters as I need Nazis and near future soldiers to pull minis into my SG-1 game or 18th century through Victorian figure for my Nephos game.
Well, I don't think so - and I am willing to pay substantially more for unpainted pewter and plastic minis. Even as figures to repaint the lack of detail would drive me crazy(er). The material used is also inferior - a low impact plastic akin to that used for the plastic army men that come in bags at the toy store - soft and flexible, and quite likely to flake paint at the points of flex.
On the other hand the fact that I actually like to paint and kitbash minis kind of skews the result. (I have also sculpted a few minis of my own. There is a reason that you do not hear me boasting about this - the results were mixed. Some were bad, the rest were horrible
The player in my game who wants me to rescue the, ummm, thing, paid more than $20 to get the box it was in, and considered himself lucky to get the figure he wanted on the first try (he was actually planning on trading for it). He is paying me another $20 on top of that to get a better looking figure out of it. He thinks that it is worth it.
On the other hand, the fact that he is paying more than $40 for the one figure he wanted kind of skews the result. If there is an active trading community then you might be able to trade for what you want, medieval fantasy wise. (Incidentally, he also paid me a considerable amount to super detail his Colossal Red Dragon - he is willing to pay well for better paint jobs than what Wizards supplies. The detailing included reworking the scales, horns, and spike for sharper detail, and adding terrain to the base.)
He was willing to let me have the rest of the figures from the box, and I told him to give them to some of the kids of the other players instead - I like minis, I like painting minis, and these are about the same quality as the Minifigs of the early seventies. Not very detailed, the detail rounded rather than sharp, and the scale is somewhat smaller than current trends - closer to true 25mm scale than to the 28mm that has become customary. So I can honestly say that I would not keep them even if they were offered to me for free.
For Victorian figures I have been happy with Blue Moon - in particular their Civilians box set. They also make a line of 18th century Americana figures.
The game that they are intended for is kind of fun too - sort of like a simplified Mordheim or Necromunda.
The Auld Grump, this story has no moral.
This story has no end.
This story only goes to show,
That there ain't no good in men....
*EDIT* The Blue Moon minis are unpainted, and not super detailed - quick fun figures for painting, not museum quality historic representations. And they are made from LEAD - not this mamby pamby modern day pewter. The kind of miniatures that made old school gamers what they are today! Sweet, easy to chew and brain damaging.
And we liked it that way!
(Sorry, having a grognard moment.