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Why consider alternative or kid-focused minis in tabletop games?
You 100% can use your normal TTRPG minis for games with your kids as long as you are comfortable with it, but there can be a lot of reasons that you want your kids to have their own minis:
- You spent time painting your minis and want to protect them
- You may not think some minis are appropriate for your kids (maybe they are scary)
- Some minis may be too small or pointy for young children
- Small minis can be shifted/bumped too easily when kids knock the game board
- Minis aren’t available for the theme of your kid’s game
- You want a low cost option
- You want to allow your child to be part of the mini-making process
If any of these rings with you, I have some easy options below that you can use as alternatives for your games, all of which are either crafts using household items or that use low cost/standard kid toys as their basic components.
Also, in parallel to this article, I have released a DIY minis article if you are interested in going the low cost/crafty route! It includes lots of suggestions for making minis with your kids.
Custom Legos as tabletop game minis
There are actually quite a few people making custom Lego mini-figures, and they lend well to looking more kid-friendly and familiar. If your kid is old enough, they are probably already used to using Lego figures and should be able to connect well with having them as their character. Plus, now they have an extra Lego piece to add to their toy collection whent he game is done!
Here’s a couple stores on etsy that do custom Lego figures (updated Sept 2022):
Custom acrylic pixelart minis for tabletop games
I really liked the look and video game style artwork for the acrylic minis sold by Venture4thArt. They had a bit of a cartoony feel, so they didn’t look scary, and the pictures all look bright and colorful (so no worries about needing to paint them either). There’s even an option for sending reference pictures to have them customized, so they have a lot of flexibility with your games.
Wizkids Wardlings tabletop game miniatures
The Wizkids Wardlings collection came highly recommended from @ofdiceandminis on twitter, and I have to say, these do like pretty awesome. They are specifically designed for families and all-ages gamers and come pre-painted, so there’s no fuss about trying to get little details. I also love that they come with animal companions!
Skinny Minis for tabletop games
Another option that I thought would lend well to kids is Skinny Minis (I was super excited to get in on the kickstarter for these!). Although some sets do feature weapons or scary looking monsters, a lot of sets just have awesome, bright, eye-catching heroes. They also seem pretty durable and are really easy to store.
Hero Forge tabletop game minis
Hero Forge is nice because you get to customize your characters online, and they have a very wide appeal for their art style. I know a few people who also just let their kid make characters like playing dress up in the creator tool for fun, and they love it. I think it would be awesome to let your kid mess around to create their character and then surprise them with an actual mini for the campaign!
I hope these give you some options for finding some ready-made minis for your kids’ adventures! And if you are looking for something more DIY, please check out my minis crafts article for some more options!
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