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The D&D movie’s first bit of merch is kinda weird, but we’re here for it

Have a 20-sided not-Transformer

A cursed owlbear trapped inside a 20-sided die. He looks like he is in pain. Photo: Hasbro
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Watching Hasbro, once a multi-billion dollar toy company, come to the realization that it is in fact a multi-billion dollar games and media company is entertaining. Dungeons & Dragons is now clearly both a profit center and a cultural force, which is great for everyone — including investors, I reckon. But you can also see gears turning as the Rhode Island-based company begins an awkward period of experimentation to bring its past into alignment with its future. That’s how we got to now: Meet the Dicelings, transforming 20-sided dice that turn into miniature monsters. The $13.99 toys will arrive in the spring, hitting store shelves at the same time as Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.

An orange 20-sided die with a big metal hinge.
A beholder trapped inside a d20. He looks angry, and I think his mouth moves. Photo: Hasbro
A Black Dragon leaning to the left, pantomiming anger. His misshapen wings must cause him great pain.
A 20-sided Pokeball containing one (1) black dragon. Photo: Hasbro

“We heard the kids like dice,” you can hear someone say in a board room. Likely the same board room where the world’s most horrid version of Monopoly was first pitched. But while these are not so offensive that Target will need to issue a public statement about them, they do seem a little off to me. Why aren’t they co-branded with Transformers? Why aren’t they quite the correct scale for using on the table with the rest of your miniature collection?

“PLAY OR DISPLAY IN EITHER FORM,” reads the product description. “Just don’t use this d20 for your tabletop game!”


Also, why do I find them so endearing? Where’d my fidget spinner go...

The grey owlbear trapped inside a polyhedral.
An owlbear skitching, I guess, one wing tapping the ground like a GT motocross racer as it pivots on a highly reflective surface.
Red dragon, showing off the underside of its purple wings. It’s sad little tail drags on the ground, not quite looking like a line but a painful collection of hinges ... something. Photo: Hasbro
A red dragon trapped inside a 20-sided die. A gold ampersand glints in the studio lighting. Photo: Hasbro

Folks got jazzed at the recent movie trailer in no small part because it embraced what makes D&D unique — weird monsters, powerful spells, a dash of heroism, and a heaping helping of good goofs. Someone in the toy division seems to understand that, but it will be interesting to see if the world embraces these little buggers. Otherwise, you’ll be seeing them on that clearance endcap sooner rather than later.

Pre-orders are open now, with product set to release in the spring.