Warduke and Grimsword are modern updates of classic D&D action figures. Both characters were part of LJN’s line of D&D figures in the early ’80s. Warduke made his debut in the figure line in 1983. That same year, he and the other characters from the figure line were introduced to the game in the accessory The Shady Dragon Inn. That established Warduke as the opposite number to heroic knight Strongheart.
Warduke would go on to appear in 1984’s XL-1: Quest for the Heartstone. Beyond the game’s lore, Warduke also made an appearance in the ’80s D&D animated series, where he kidnapped the Dungeon Master. Aside from his action figures, Warduke has also been recreated as a pre-painted War Drums miniature and an upcoming GameStop exclusive Funko Pop! Vinyl.
Grimsword doesn’t have Warduke’s presence in the wider D&D mythos, likely owing to the fact that he didn’t appear in the animated series. His action figure backstory establishes him as a powerful fighter with ambitions to rule. Despite his many allies, or “evil friends,” Grimsword isn’t a trustworthy fellow. He’s willing to betray anyone for more power. Like G.I. Joe’s Serpentor, he makes him more intimidating by integrating a snake into his armor.
NECA took the LJN character models for Warduke and Grimsword and updated them to modern action figure standards.
Both characters stand at 18 cm tall. While the LJN Dungeons & Dragons figures were detailed for their day, NECA has used all of the nearly 40 years of advancement in the field to create highly detailed figures.
That includes digital and hand sculpting and more than 20 points of articulation.
NECA’s Ultimate Figures also come with “photoreal” face printing.
That seems like a superfluous detail for two characters known for wearing helmets, unless fans get to see what’s under them.