I originally was going to post both this and the main "part 2" post together, then decided not to. Somehow, I just saw, Blogger posted the draft backdated. So if you've already read this, apologies.
Gaming in Japan Addendum: Miniatures
forgot to mention this part, which was one of the cool things about
living in Japan. I mentioned that in my first location, there weren't a
lot of places to get gaming material. In the second place I lived, Yamanashi, I was able to amass a sizeable miniature collection in interesting ways.
I mentioned, Yellow Submarine in Tokyo had Reaper Minis, so I did buy a
small number of minis there. But Japan has so many other ways to get
fantasy/sci-fi minis that work for gaming.
all, there are random collectible miniatures that you can buy in many
stores, including most convenience stores. In the years I was there,
they had several series of mythological creatures, both Western and
Eastern. So I have rubberized plastic minis of dragons, griffons,
chimera, unicorns, pegasi, and Greek/Norse gods that work well for
giants from the Western mythology series, and bakemono, tengu, oni, and
so on from the Eastern series.
There are also series
of figures based on games like Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy and
Pokemon, comics like Devilman, and things like that that I picked up
over the years. You can find them here in Busan, in limited numbers, at
places like Art Box.
Then, there are the cola
promotion figures. Every now and then, there are promotions to sell Coke
or Pepsi, where they have a randomized figure in an opaque cellophane
package around the neck of 500ml bottles of soda. Back when the Star
Wars prequels were coming out, I collected lots of Star Wars bottle
toppers. The ones in the stores were from the Prequels, of course, but
if you collected enough of the inserts and payed a small fee, you could
send away for sets from the original trilogy (which I did, although I
wasn't able to get all of those sets). In other years, there were Final
Fantasy VII and VIII figures, Lupin the Third figures, Dragonball
characters, and even Lego minifigs. I collected many.
that weren't enough, in my town there was this resale shop. They'd buy
just about anything for pennies and then sell it for dollars. Clothes,
books, CDs, sports equipment, toys, games, and of course they had a
section devoted to all of these sorts of little collectible minis I've
been describing. I'd go there fairly often and add to my gaming
I also got into HeroClix, and would buy
lots when I was home on vacations, so if I ever want to run a Marvel or
DC supers game, I've got the figures for it!
and one more thing! Daiso (those of you in Busan are familiar with the
chain, it's from Japan) in Japan sells (or sold, at least) little green
army men, and also similar sets of pirates, knights, cowboys &
Indians, ninja, construction workers, police/fire/rescue figures. Have
sets of all of them, as well. They work great as NPC figures.
while I don't feel like minis are a necessity for RPGs, I do enjoy
using them, and Japan was a great place for collecting a variety of
minis for gaming.