Themed Chess Pieces

Themed chess pieces are ones designed with various aesthetic themes in mind, ranging from classical chess to historical figures to novelties such as pieces based on popular movies and television shows. Next to traditional pieces, they are some of the most popular types of chess pieces available today. Roman chess pieces, medieval chess pieces and other ones are treasured by collectors from around the world.

Showing all 7 results

Show sidebar
There are many different types of themed pieces that can be purchased as part of complete sets or individually without boards. If you want to know more about the history behind them, the most common types available as well as the best tips for buying your own, consider the following guide.  

History of the Chess Piece

The standardized chess pieces that most people recognize today are a relatively new invention. Throughout most of the long history of chess, pieces were individually made according to the personal tastes of the maker or the person who commissioned the chess set. The commissioner would often have chess pieces made to suit their personality, family or simply their personal tastes. In the mid 19th century, however, the development of the now-standardized Staunton chess set led to the industrialization of chess pieces as a whole. It became the status quo for chess sets to be made in identical or nearly identical styles to Staunton and other traditional chess sets, and personalized chess sets faded in popularity. However, in the 20th century, an increase in the popularity of the game as both a competitive and personal hobby led to an increased in themed chess pieces. In the later half of the 20th century, themed pieces became even more common as tie-ins for popular entertainment, such as film and television.

Common types of thematic chess pieces

There are two main types of themed chess pieces: the ancient / history theme and the novelty theme. Ancient / history-themed figures include chess pieces modeled after ancient Greece, ancient Rome, historical kings and queens, and so on. Novelty themed characters are any themed characters made from popular movies, TV shows, or other forms of entertainment. For example, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings and Star Wars have their own themed chess games. Today there are chess pieces for practically every topic. Egypt, old England, like King Arthur and Camelot, Italian chess pieces of the Renaissance, even Sherlock Holmes and various animals. The imagination knows no limits.

Tips for buying themed chess pieces

Buying a chess piece can be a personal decision, especially if you want to add medieval chess pieces, Roman chess pieces, or other themed pieces to your personal collection. If you are planning on purchasing themed figurines, consider the following tips to get you started:

Buy whole sets in favor of individual pieces to save money

You can often save money by buying an entire set of themes instead of buying individual chess pieces. So if you're looking to save money, consider buying the entire set of themed chess pieces at once.

Consider different materials for less expensive pieces

If you'd like to have a set of themed chess pieces but don't want to be extravagant, look for options made of plastic and similar inexpensive materials. These sets of chess pieces are less expensive to manufacture and cheaper to buy than pieces of metal or hand-carved wood.

But don't overlook quality either

While there is no upper price limit, thematic chess pieces come with the highest quality even for smaller prices. So take a look around, take your time, choose a theme that you like and remember, chess pieces are not just for Christmas, they are for life. And don't forget to look around and compare prices at different specialty chess game stores to make sure you get the best prices!