Confess! You are either humming the Prince tune or you are trying very, very hard not to. It's ok, you can admit it.
Now for the half of you that haven't yet closed your browser window, I'll quickly move on to the true inspiration of this post. And no, it's not Morris Day and the Time, either. It's none other than that periwinkle wriggler himself, the Purple Worm.
Ok, remember this heart-warming little scene, by one of the (sadly late) greats, Mr. David Sutherland, from the back cover of the 1977 1st Edition AD&D Monster Manual?:
Of course you do.
Well as I seemingly can't stop dorking around with these things, here's another very simplified remake of an old masterpiece of the vintage D&D/AD&D era. This time we watch the scene unfold as our fuchsia fiend moves in on some (apparently completely) unsuspecting dorks... err... orcs:
These little green men are Reaper's orcs, from their Legendary Encounter pre-painted series. As noted before, and seen in a few different prior posts here, I really like these Reaper minis. I have been using them for two current tabletop characters of mine, an Elf Ranger (archery style) and a Human Cleric of Kord. I feel that in most cases they have better sculpts and paint jobs than comparable current offerings from WotC. I still have tons of the WotC figs, and I will keep buying them, but I really like these Reaper minis.
Now for a direct comparison of Reaper vs WotC, in regards to worms of the violet variety, here's a shot of the WotC version appearing ready to chow down on the Reaper version:
Sorry for the difference in lighting there, but different days, different shadows, etc. I just take these pics on the kitchen table (it just seems to fit the "back in '81" theme, ya'know?...ha!), and whatever light I get, I just deal with it.
Anyway, I actually really like the WotC worm too. I think it has a completely different vibe to it. IMO, it looks more Alien than D&D. The size difference could be a deciding factor, but I choose not to go down the "my purple worm is bigger than your purple worm" road. Just not gonna do it. Aw man, I just did, didn't I?
Either way, I like them both and would happily use either one of them on the tabletop, if the adventure called for it. However, for the representation of the old MM back-cover shot, I figured I'd go with the worm that gives me more of an old-school feel, and that would have to be the Reaper mini.
Speaking of old-school feel with new minis, Otherworld Miniatures has (or had) an amazing Purple Worm mini, along with all of the rest of their very cool line of figs. Jeff Reints of Jeff's Gameblog posted on that mini a while back, with this pic along the same lines of that MM back-cover (I hope it's ok to re-post that pic here, Jeff - it's a copy, not a link to your site, so hope that avoids any bandwidth issues):
That shot really reminds me more of the entry on the Purple Worm inside the pages of the old MM. Maybe it's a tail thing...dunno. Check it out:
I do like the fact that Otherworld's worm has the tail included, but IMO the graphic of the work busting out of the ground in the Reaper and WotC versions is even more cool. Diana, Hank, Eric and Presto seem to be diggin' it too:
Reaper does have an unpainted metal version that seems to cover the best of both worlds in those regards. Here is a shot of that:
However at $27.49 for that bad boy (according to that link), I think I'd have to pass on that, as cool as it does look.
And finally for the real penny-pinchers out there, there's always this option: