Having, as I do, more minis than I can really finish painting in the foreseeable future (especially at my current rate of zero per month), it’s pretty stupid that I still think wistfully, once in a while, of the minis I’ve lost, traded away, or had stolen over the years. (All pictures from the interwebs, obviously. Re-posted after much crap from WordPress, which prefers to merge all the pictures for some reason)
Lost: This was the largest loss, although it must have been a good dozen, maybe 14 years ago! We were playing a GURPS campaign set in Norman England, which was a fairly long and involved game. We usually played at a friend’s house as my brother & I were living in a crummy apartment. I knew a large battle was imminent, so I brought a large number of Vikings and knights (mostly Ral Partha, Grenadier, and Citadel mins, several Mithril LotR figures, plus some plastics from HeroQuest and a Battlemasters set) as well the minis we’d been using for the PCs. We used them to play out a skirmish-sized portion of the larger battle, and another battle next time seemed likely, so I put them back into a pair of tackle boxes and then into the paper grocery bag I’d brought them in. The ‘gaming room’ was a finished attic our friend used mostly for gaming, and which was usually undisturbed from one game night to the next. Not this time. The best I can guess, another player had placed some garbage from the game (pretzel bags, etc.) in the same bag, on top of my minis boxes, and then he or the homeowner’s wife threw the lot out in the trash. I was really bummed by the fact that the minis I’d brought had been carefully selected to represent some of my better paint jobs and also by the lack of remorse on the part of the player and his wife. Even a simple “I’m sorry about that” would have been nice. I know now I shouldn’t leave stuff at other people’s houses, but I think they can’t possibly have realized how much work went into those forty or so minis.
The Mithril figures were from their first Middle Earth line, and I can’t even find good pictures of them now online. There was “Woodman” and a Beorn for sure, and maybe a few others.
Another smaller loss occurred when I was carrying a box of minis home from a game at my brother’s house a few years later, and dropped them on the sidewalk in front of my apartment. They were mostly giants and trolls and several broke into pieces. It was dark and I figured I’d find the remaining loose bits and pieces in the morning. But it snowed that morning (a good several inches) and there was off and on snow for several weeks before I saw the pavement again, and who knows what got shoveled away then.
Thirdly there are a number of individual minis I remember owning but just can’t find anywhere. Maybe they broke at some point and I tossed them, or perhaps a few were melted down in my brief frenzy of home-casting with Prince August molds? A Heritage Black pudding, several Grenadier skeletons, and a few TSR fighters fall into this category. (I’m sure I didn’t melt down any monsters though… but I do remember melting down some of the TSR minis.)
Traded: I feel much less bad about giving up some of my minis in trades with friends, way back in the mid-1980s when I was still a kid. I know I traded away a Grenadier beholder, but that is the only one that really stands out. I know I reasoned at the time that I wouldn’t encounter one in D&D and whatever I traded it for must have been cool!
Stolen: These are the ones that really hurt, and actually happened way back in 1982 or 3, before I was even painting and when I had only begun collecting minis. Some of my brother’s friends had come over and looked over my figures — I am sure we didn’t actually play D&D that day — and several figures were mysteriously gone. The one I missed the most was a lich blowing a ram’s horn from the Grenadier “Monsters” box. Man, that one was awesome.