Palladium Books is releasing paper miniatures for the Palladium Fantasy RPG. You can download a free sample here. They're not half bad, if you ask me. In fact, I like them a lot. It's definitely worth downloading the free gladiators. I can't figure out, though, why I would want to purchase the actual product.
I see that Volume One is PC classes, and Volume Two is monsters. Volume Three and Volume Four will be more PC classes and undead respectively. There's even a great horned dragon coming soon. All that's cool and all, but...
There are approximately a billion competing fantasy miniatures on the market already, and any of them could be used for a Palladium Fantasy campaign. The Palladium Fantasy RPG is generic enough that miniatures from just about any other line of fantasy miniatures could be used instead. The only thing I can think of that might be difficult to emulate with another line would be the abundance of wolfen... but I'm sure there's a suitable replacement for them out there somewhere. In other words, while this is an interesting product, it isn't one that the world needs.
Will Rifts paper miniatures be following soon?
Rifts miniatures, on the other hand? Rifts imagery isn't so generic, the pewter Rifts miniatures are just okay, and Rifts characters aren't always easy to duplicate with miniatures from other lines. Trust me, I've tried. Palladium Books also tends to be pretty aggressive when it comes to protecting their intellectual property, so I doubt anyone could get away with doing anything too Rifts-like without receiving cease and desist letters from Palladium's legal folks. I'm not saying Palladium is wrong for protecting their IPs. I'm just highlighting the fact that they would seem to have the market cornered with Rifts miniatures but didn't go that direction. Fantasy, though...
I understand that there's an argument for focusing on fantasy because fantasy RPGs have a reputation for selling better than science fiction, but it seems like Rifts is the cash cow for Palladium, so why take the fantasy route and have to compete with an already flooded market? Hoping people who play other RPGs will use Palladium Fantasy miniatures in their D&D campaigns? I just don't get it.
Palladium Fantasy paper miniatures are an interesting idea... but let's see some dead boys, a glitter boy, and maybe some Splugorth slave races. Then I'll sink some money into Palladium paper miniatures.