For the robes/capes/etc., I can't help thinking that one or two historical/fantasy "townsfolk" sets that could be kit-bashed into heroes (or which, better still, include some sword, mace, and other weapon options) might not be a bad idea. I seem to recall that a "medieval civilian" option did well in last year's survey, too, so there seems to be some built-in market for this.
Similarly, a robed monk/cultist set did well in that survey, with the monks and priests being a request I'm sure I've seen more than once for addition to the Conquistadors set. This would seem to make for a great base from which to build fantasy spellcasters!
So, maybe there are ways to supply adventurer bodies indirectly through historical or historical/fantasy contexts, with interesting adventurer head and arm options to add to those bodies being the more important option to focus on here.
Some great sources for generic historical/quasi-historical bodies to use as the foundation of a fantasy adventurer project might include:
- a robed priest/cultist set (as seen in survey results)
- a medieval townfolk set (as seen in survey results)
- a generic, historical cuirass/trouser/boot footman set of some sort as suggested by Brian
- the existing/upcoming WGA Dark Age Irish and dark Age Gothic sets, late Romans, Persians, etc.
- existing and upcoming historical sets like the Afghans, conquistadors, Boxer Chinese, Egyptians, Warring States, etc.
- generic medieval armored knights, Saxons, Normans, Vikings, etc.
Really, historical model kits cover a great deal of generic male, human and human-sized elf fantasy adventurer ground - just add interesting heads, weapons and adventuring gear (backpacks, etc.) It's not as satisfying as an all-in-one-box solution, but for variety, the available, upcoming, and possible historical options are hard to beat, and are a wheel that doesn't really need much re-invention.
What's maybe much harder to come by in hard-plastic multi-part kits are things like...
- Female adventurer bodies of any sort (Frostgrave Soldiers II and Wizards II are the best options I know of, followed up by the occasional specialty female ranger or amazon kit I've seen here or there.)
- High concept, over-the-top, and exotic options are kind of tough to find, outside of dedicated RPG figures with little customization available. Not a lot of variety out there, once you get off the beaten path of Warhammer/Warcraft pseudo-Tolkien fare, and historicals! (I'd be looking at you, Cthulhu Dark Ages / Invictus investigators, if I could! Very little available for scholars, alchemists, noble dilletantes, masked vigilantes, cultists and witches, artists, visionaries, necromancers, explorers, monks, bards, etc.)
- There are a few classic muscle-bound barbarian archetype sets out there - Frostgrave Barbarians and Tribals are just a couple examples - but maybe a WGA boxed set of Schwarzneggeresque muscle-bound Cimmerian figures isn't a bad idea, to cover barvarians, cavemen, half-orcs, and the like.
- So far, even historical sources for robes and such for priests, spellcasters and the like are hard to come by. (Frostgrave Wizards I & II and Cultists are the closest things I can think of, without customizing some Reaper Bones figures.)
- Non-human options are limited:
- Few options for dwarf, gnome, halfling, and other "little guy" adventurers, along with giant, half-ogre, and othr large adventurers; dwarves and elves provide most of the limited options available, and those cover very specific "high elf", "mountain dwarf", and (rarely) "dark elf" and "chaos dwarf" territory. (If your character is Beardy McDwarfbeard of Axe-Clan Stone Mountain, and you're wearing chainmail, a norse-style helm, and an axe and round-shield, you're barely in luck, otherwise, it's slim pickings! Thank goodness WGA and now Mantic have added a few Halfling footman options! Northstar seems to be making some nice Oathmark light Dwarf and Elf infantry, too, who look a little different from the usual elf fare.)
- Cthulhu save us, there are very few options available for the increasingly popular Cyborg Ninja Pirate Furry fare that modern D&D seems to be running on. I don't mind the limited options, but a few cat-people, fox-people, wolf-people, and other such options for that animal-people audience might be a successful product. (I don't know how typical this is, but I think cat-people adventurers would sell better to women gamers I know, than human/elf/dwarf female adventurers would, so maybe any female fantasy miniature kit might benefit from a few cat-people, fox-people, or other non-human heads, with add-on tails?)
Character heads are, perhaps, worth a little conversation here, because those are a different animal from generic historical kit heads, and maybe need a different skill set to do well: historical figures are best designed, I expect, to blend into the background and not stand out too much in a mob of figures in the same uniform. in contast, player characters are often at their best when they stand out from the crowd a bit: a distinctive expression, eye patch or scar, broken nose, ear-rings, attractive or ugly face, eccentric hat or hair styel, etc. surely better serve a player character or distinctive NPC, than they do to a squad of town guards, mercenaries, army men, etc.!
And I think the gist of where I'm going is that the character bodies/costumes are going to be the point that most of the compromises of a build-afantasy-adventurer kit would need to revolve around! The more distinctive bodies you try to include, the fewer weapons, heads, and accessories you can include... and when choosing the bodies, do you go with something safe and popular that could be sourced from historical kits instead, or go with something a little harder-to-find, and risk alienating anyone looking for an all-in-one solution that includes more generic, easy-to-find options? I think maybe this sort of product might shine best when it focuses on distinctive, harder-to-find options like interesting faces and unusual costumes and gear, leaving the more generic stuff to historical kits. (IMHO!)
Anyway, sorry to muddy the waters, but maybe fantasy adventurer kits that focus on adventuring weapons and gear and interesting character heads that can be kitbashed onto your choice of historical figures, along with a few bodies in costumes that aren't easily sourced from historical products, might be a more successful way to approach the subject, than an all-in-one kit might be!