MPC AD&D Action Scenes

My brother & I got these as kids one Christmas, probably 1981 or 1982.

This is an ad from Dragon magazine, issue 67. One thing that is really odd is that while the sets came with the vacuum-formed bases (one a siege of a very small castle, the other a cavernous dungeon consisting of a few rooms), the miniatures that came in the sets are not pictured. Instead, lead Grenadier AD&D miniatures are shown. This is especially odd in light of the fact thatthe figures that MPC produced were very obviously based on the Grenadier line, with some differences.

The MPC figures were made of hard styrene, and generally were assembled in two halves (front & back) although a few were much more complex — the dragon was several pieces, for obvious reasons, and I remember the orc had articulated arms, so you could potentially pose him a number of ways. A few were single-pieces, too, like the skeleton-man. Being familiar with the Grenadier line we could easily identify most of the figures with what they were based on, either from the few figures we owned or the others we’d seen in magazines and catalogs.

Unfortunately I considered these figures to be the absolute lowest caste, and I didn’t try very hard to preserve them as I did my lead figures. I did paint a few, and some were cut up to provide spare parts for other figures and dioramas. Below is the Grenadier lead dragon, and the corresponding MPC dragon. (The MPC dragon had some very small bat-wings which I have lost; I made larger replacement wings out of wire and paper much later. He is also based on a large wargaming base rather than his treasure pile.)

You’ll notice the treasure piles are almost identical (even down to the unidentifiable white object in front of the chest near the shield! I think that thing is a sword or some sort but you really can’t tell. I think it is hilarious that whoever made the copy for MPC decided to copy that too). They are about the same size, although the plastic dragon is about 1/2 the size of his lead twin.

I have almost none of the other MPC figures, and also the scenery bases are long gone. But here is a more mismatched pair of werewolves, lead on the left and plastic on right.

These two are much less obviously related. Many of the MPC figures, as I recall them, exaggerated some details and omitted others (the gargoyle omitted the wings but was in the same pose as it’s lead alter ego, for example). These two don’t look much alike at all. The plastic werewolf looks a bit like a teddy bear to me.

So, along with the Dragonriders of Styx sets, I’ll be watching for any MPC AD&D sets. It is amazing how heavily the D&D brand was marketed in all manner of products back in the early 1980s. I have a couple of school folders, and remember other kids having stickers and rub-off transfers; more recently I saw a wood-burning kit on another blog.


Update: Someone over at the Collecting Grenadier Models yahoo group just scored both of the above sets on eBay and has promised to scan the contents for the Lost Minis Wiki. Sweet.

Also, on further reflection I realize at least some of the figures were not particularly based on Grenadier designs. For example the dungeon set had a Carrion Crawler and I don’t think Grenadier ever did one of those in their AD&D line.

Lead Poisoned has some pics here.

Published in: on January 11, 2010 at 2:54 am  Comments (11)  
Tags: , , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I loved that Grenadier dragon.

    • Sure. I had that dragon for years before I was willing to risk painting it. Come to think of it I had a lot of trouble assembling it as a kid too. I got my dad to solder it together, that didn’t last long, and I also tried a number of glues. Much later after I’d learned about drilling and pinning big models it was a snap. Now I even have mine on a metal pin so she is hovering over the treasure pile. I meant to build a second “black” base too (not treasure, for use in gaming) but I can’t stand the thought of it getting dropped, mishandled, etc. in play.

  2. Mike, can I use some of your text in the Lost Minis Wiki?

    • Yes, of course.

  3. Just need pictures of components now.

    • Yeah, I hope Brady can get some good pics. That picture in the “Stunties” folder over at the Collecting Grenadier group is the halfling. I think most were just front/back pieces but it has been so long! I forgot all about the shrieker. That is a nice conversion of it. you can still see how closely it resembles the Grenadier shrieker, of course.

  4. Mike,

    It’s been years since I remembered these. Awesome!

    I remember going nuts when I got this…

  5. A friend of mine pointed me this way when I was musing about a toy I had that I couldn’t remember much about. Turns out it was the Orc War set. Alas, I was very young and didn’t paint anything. Heck, I didn’t even know what D&D was back then.

    Thanks for this!

  6. So…it’s November, 2010 and no MPC listing on the “Lost Minis” wiki. What’s up?

  7. i have both these sets still in the shrink wrap….actually have 3 sets of the dungeon invaders boxes. i bought them a few years back as i too had them as a kid. if you want any info let me knpw

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Wayne's Books

Game Gallery ~ Photo Blog

Ann's Immaterium

Writing, gaming, miniature painting, physical culture, and other dark procrastinations.


Collecting, modelling, painting and wargaming in 28mm

Dragons Never Forget

What were we talking about again?

This Stuff is REALLY Cool

Young scholars enthusiastic to tell you about COOL RESEARCH STUFF

Fail Squad Games

Tabletop games and adventures

Chuck Wendig: Terribleminds

Hey Did You Know I Write Books

Save Vs. Dragon

"We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different."--Kurt Vonnegut


Old School Roleplaying and related musings

Hobgoblin Orange

My return to the world of miniature figure painting and RPGs

The Book Reviews You Can Trust!

Dawn of the Lead

Miniature wargaming and the occasional zombie News

The latest news on and the WordPress community.


Miniature Motivation

Take On Rules

Jeremy Friesen - a poor soul consumed by gaming.

Age of Dusk

Roleplaying, reviews and associated paraphernalia.

Roll to Disbelieve

"We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different."--Kurt Vonnegut

A Book of Creatures

A Complete Guide to Entities of Myth, Legend, and Folklore

Making the Past

Diary of an apprentice swordsmith

Ancient & Medieval Wargaming

Using De Bellis Antiquitatis, with the odd diversion...

Riffing Religion

Prophets should be mocked. I'm doing my part.


Magazine of Thrilling Adventure and Daring Suspense

2 Warps to Neptune

Surveying the Gen X landscape and the origins of geek

Dagger and Brush

Miniature painting, wargaming terrain tutorials, reviews, interviews and painting guides


A lair for gaming, sci-fi, comics, and other geekish pursuits.

I bought these adventure and review them so you don't have to.

9th Key Press

Maps, supplements, and inspiration for roleplaying games.

The Rambling Roleplayer Archives

This site is no longer being updated. Check out the new site at

The History Blog

History fetish? What history fetish?

Sheppard's Crook

The occasional blog of a closet would -be wargamer and modeller


A catch all of books, games, and sundry other interests

The Weekly Sift

making sense of the news one week at a time


Just another site

%d bloggers like this: