Saturday, December 3, 2016

Gaming as an Ex-Pat Part 2 Addendum

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

I 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, Yaman
ashi, I was able to amass a sizeable miniature collection in interesting ways.

As 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.

First of 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.

If 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 collection.

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!

Oh, 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.

So 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.


  1. I'm surprised you didn't mention "replays", which I've heard about from other people visiting Japanese game stores; maybe they hadn't really taken off at the time you were there?

    1. They were popular with Japanese gamers, but I didn't find out about them until after I left.

      And to be honest, I might not have bothered with them if I had. I post summaries of my game sessions here not because I think people want to read about my games, but because they are a reference for me and my group (and the DMs give bonus XP).