Selecting miniatures to carry in a retail stores is a process that requires an eye for aesthetics.  Although beauty is often in the Eye of the Beholder, there are times where a sculpt of a miniature is so undeniably cool that it will almost certainly be whisked away from its place on the rack by a happy customer.  At ICv2, we see hundreds of sculpts of miniatures on a yearly basis, and here are the Best sculpts we've seen so far in 2022.

Beer Boars from Blood Bowl Second Season Edition: Norse Team (just announced by Games Workshop at Adepticon).  These miniatures are reminiscent of the St. Bernard dogs that often carried casks of brandy to down-and-out characters in old Warner Bros. cartoons; except it’s pigs carrying kegs of beer to Vikings!  That is a conceptual grand slam on its own, but the fact that a GW designer had the forethought to armor one of the boars with a Nordic helmet was enough to seal the deal as this figure being one of ICv2 Best Sculpts of the Year.

Xanathar from D&D Icons of the Realms: Waterdeep - Dragonheist Box Set 1 (WizKids, June 2022; MSRP $49.99).  There have been plenty of beholders produced by WizKids, but their sculpts are often fairly straightforward.  This render has one of the most infamous beholders in D&D turning its gaze on a simple fish in an ornate bowl. The perspective on this sculpt inspires both thought and wonder.

Balor the Evil Eye from Slaine Miniatures Game (coming later in 2022 from Warlord).  First of all, let it be noted that the notion that there is a Slaine minis game headed to market is both gruesome and awesome.  This miniature sculpt can also be described as gruesome and awesome, as it depicts Balor on his war elk, ready for battle.

D&D Frameworks: Night Hag (WizKids, out now; MSRP $24.99).  This sculpt is awesome because it makes an otherwise horrific hag into a whimsical miniature.  The idea of gingerbread man popping out of a cauldron and beating down an unsuspecting adventurer with a lollipop is pure magic.

Skullbreaker from Skullbreaker Champion Expansion (Steamforged Games, out now; MSRP $29.95).  The sculpt on this fantasy miniature is highly-detailed and well done.  The best part of this mini is the dragon-jawbone club that the character wields, which is quite imaginative.

Conquest Apex Predator (coming later 2022 from Para Bellum for Conquest).  Not really too much to explain here.  It's an ork riding a dinosaur, which is inherently cool and wonderful.

Auric Runefather on Magmadroth for Warhammer Age of Sigmar (out now from Games Workshop; MSRP $110).  This model was selected because of its unique balance between fantasy and steampunk-ish Dwarven technology.  The rider is clearly high-tech, but his mount is a primitive, fiery beast.  Interesting dichotomy.

Lich Empress from Epic Encounters: Tower of the Lich Empress (out now; MSRP $42.95).  A lich is cool on its own, but when placed on a throne above a bevy of green Flameskulls, it gets even better.  This piece has excellent composition.

Dungeons & Lasers: Dragon of Schmargonrog (out now from Archon; MSRP $29.00).  We see a lot of dragons, but this one seemed to uniquely portray a volcanic dragon in his home element.  His pose is menacing as he stands on a lava spout, striking terror into the hearts of oncoming heroes.  This is a proper dragon model.

Conquest: Hellbringer Drake (Para Bellum; March 2022).  This model falls under the 'T-Rex with Machine Gun Arms' clause of coolness established in the Axe Cop animated series.  What's better than a T-Rex with Machine Gun Arms?  A dragon with two cannons strapped to its back is clearly the correct answer.

Click Gallery below for full-size images!