Wizards of the Coast has announced that it will discontinue its semi-random and collectible miniatures line with Lords of Madness being the last of its kind to be released under that distribution model.
In the January Ampersand article posted at the Wizards’ website, Bill Slavicsek said that Wizards has decided to ‘depart from prepainted plastic miniatures sets’ but would still continue to produce them for special sets (like the Beholders Collector’s Set) and D&D-related products like the Wrath of Ashardalon board game.
As a substitute, Slavicsek said that they would ‘explore more options’ for players and DMs to represent their characters and monsters, possibly with flat tokens instead of 3D models.
Wizards has been producing pre-painted plastic miniatures for its D&D line since 2003 that were released as a separate game but changed to a semi-random model with the release of 4th edition.
The article also mentioned that Wizards have removed three products (Class Compendium: Heroes of Sword and Spell, Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Emporium and Hero Builder’s Handbook) from their 2011 release schedule.
Heroes of Shadow which is due in March has been pushed back, to make way for a hardcover format release in April.