Saturday, 11 June 2016

The European Range? An Oddity From Dragon Magazine 1988

Hello retro fans. As regular readers will know I have spent the last few days investigating the possibility of 'missing' McDeath models and by missing I don't mean the couple of models not yet secure in my collection. You see my research led me towards an interesting speculative place - perhaps the models released and those originally intended to represent the characters were different?

In some cases we can tally the original figure with the cardboard counter artwork! As I have said for many years, you can research '80s Citadel and Games Workshop miniature ranges and publications for many, many years and still find new intriguing mysteries to explore. And quite by accident, which is usually how these mysteries arise, I discovered another one this week.

The mystery of the 'European Range'. Yes, I haven't heard of it before either, nor have I even seen a blister pack in the style advertised.

Searching for Raybees on an internet search engine brought this image up. You can spot him in the first rank centre stage. Of course, it wasn't long until that Combat Card dwarf wizard caught my eye, now there is a rare figure and I have only ever seen a single example of him - in Bryan's collection in Newark. And by the way, that was exactly the same figure as you can see in this advert.

There are several other very notable figures exhibited here too. Cast your eye around and you can spot the limited edition 'Warlock' figure at the back of the display, not far from the original Lichemaster figure. If you look closer you will also spot a high number of other desirable figures that are part of a number of popular ranges grognards collect to this day. By and large, we have been lead to believe that most of these figures (Warlock and Lichemaster in particular) were super limited editions only and this rarity supports the high prices that collectors demand and pay regularly.

But if we interpret this advert literally, could the models shown in this advert represent the contents of the ADVENTURERS RANGE as it was (if, of course, it ever WAS launched) released in the US. Could they still be out there? Some years ago I was approached by an individual who claimed to have a Lichemaster figure (the original from the '80s he assured me) in a blister pack. I never saw the model in question but I was informed in no uncertain terms by another collector that finding Kemmler in the original packaging was an impossibility.

But was it?


  1. Excellent find - what a strange ad. Also odd to see a number of duplicates in here. Would make sense if there wasn't many figures in the range but the ad is chocker block full of different figures so why have duplicate figures in there? Really strange.

  2. Hm. Looks like the talisman figures to me

  3. How Fascinating! Great post! I wonder where (if?) this European Range sold. Growing up in Canada, I don't ever remember seeing this when I was a snotling.
    Do you know what issues of Dragon Magazine this ran in? Going through old backissues of Dragon, I'm often intrigued by the odd perspectives it casts on Games Workshop -- reviews of 1st edition Warhammer (not favourable) or adverts for Citadel Miniatures made by RAFM (a Canadian company).
    Anyway, I hope that during one of your interviews with the grandees of Citadel, you're able to throw a little light on the mystery of this range.

  4. How European is the Native American piece in front of the Warlock? 😮😀

  5. I only have 24 of them :(

  6. I assume the European range is as opposed to or possibly superseded by the Collectors range 'designed for the American market'. The fact the unreleased Dwarf wizard appears suggests this just an image of studio paint-jobs rather than an indication of the exact offering.

  7. I remember seeing some of these miniatures in the collections of the older gamers at my local independent store when I began gaming in about 1995 (the halfling at front and a few of the wizards), but not the advert.

  8. I have some Dragon Magazine issues with the ad, I recall that it was Citadel's way of getting into the American market, and European Range sounded cool. It was cool to see their full color ads when many of the miniature ads from RAFM and Ral Partha were black and white.

  9. very interesting post :)
    the many different base decorations seems to enforce the idea of the image being more a declaration of intent made picking stuff from here and there than an indication of the actual range.

    about the combat card dwarf wizard, Blue in his blog showed another example some time ago ( unfortunately he didn't give details about where he got it from.

  10. hmm, wasn't the purple robed warlocky chap top left an illustration within one of the 2nd ed. books??