Retail Distractions

Today, I visited two different shops on errands. These were a bit of a way from my house, but I managed to make the journey on secondary roads.  It was rather peaceful.


First I went to the Pacific Mall to find some stationery goods. Luckily I came upon the Japanese Dollar store (where everything that would be 100 yen in Japan was 2 dollars in Canada.  Not exactly a fair deal, but not horrible either.  It was in the sub basement of the mall and I wouldn’t have found it if not for the urging of one of the saleswomen on the main floor.  I had seen the store while I was looking for the washroom (restroom for my US readers WC for others) but didn’t realize that it had a basement.  I thought I was already in the basement.

So, below, illuminated by fluorescent lights, they had all those things you would find at a Japanese 100 yen store. I felt so cool that I could read some of the product descriptions.  I didn’t think I was back in Japan or anything–it was a little too disorganized for that–but it was a nice way to while away some time.

The second visit was to a hobby store. This one had rocket kits, model kits (cars, military, and gundam) RC planes, RC cars, and even RC boats.  The store was a bit cramped, but I vaguely remember being there years before when the store occupied two units.  I am pretty sure they had to work hard getting everything back into one unit.

I wandered the three or four aisles they had thinking about my hobbies and my hobby aspirations. If you’ve read my other blog, you’ll know that I am involved in a whole host of money devouring hobbies and pastimes.  It was fun to think how I could blow more money.

In the end, I did not spend a lot. I was happy for the distraction.


About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
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5 Responses to Retail Distractions

  1. John says:

    When I was a child I had toy soldiers. Mostly I liked American Civil War or US cavalry. I don’t suppose I ever had more than 50 soldiers but they garrisoned a western fort that I had. They were effectively “time travellers”…Robin Hood figures, WW2 figues etc. I think I gave them all away to a younger cousin when I was about 14. When I saw how he treated them, ……toy soldiers are not subject to the Geneva Convention, I regretted my decision.
    Some 20 or more years later…September 1986 and my older son had just turned 3….and that’s a magical age which means a child and more importantly his father can graduate beyond nursery toys.
    To my surprise, everything was Dungeons and Dragons but the toy store had some Britains Toy Soldiers and I bought him a mounted cowboy. Of course he enjoyed the detachable saddle and figure too much and I had to hide it every night.
    My wife who is very astute said “are you buying these for yourself or Seán”.
    It started me on a journey. I discovered it was possible to buy 1/32 Airfix figures and they were unpainted and I started buying unpainted figures and painting them. I actually got pretty good at it but never really quick at it.
    So Airfix (Napoleonic, WW2, Cowboys, “Indians”) and other brands Timpo, Charbens, Cherilea , Marx, Armies in Plastic. From 1987 to about 2007, I must have attended several shows in London. Look up “Plastic Warrior”.
    Now….I guess I have about 3,000 1/32 figures. The last figures I bought were Alamo Mexicans and Texans and AWI British and American in a store beside the Alamo itself in San Antonio.
    Some five years later, I still haven’t painted them all. Put simply I got bored and transferred my prime affection back to Stamps, Postcards etc.
    I have I must admit staged the Battle of Gettysburg in my garden….and I can put about 110 Jacobites and camp followers in the field (er garden) for Culloden.
    Primarily I prefer plastic but I have some metal figures.

    • Anthony says:

      That is quite the collection of soldiers. I should explain that painting is not my forte. I like the idea of soldiers, but I don’t think I could do a good job painting them. My friend, who is an excellent painter, took several moths to finish even one warcraft or warhammer (I don’t know which) figure.

  2. John says:

    You might like this cycling related diorama.
    I think a world in miniature …1:32 scale intrigues me more than the narrowness of “toy soldiers”.
    THe 60 cyclists in the video are actually ten packs of six figues in six basic colours. About ten years ago, I discovered that cycling games using model figures are popular in France and Belgium. A large board replicates the course in the Tour de France, Giro etc. It is possible to buy figures in national colours and team colours.
    I did not buy the “game” but I just bought 60 figures from Belgium thru ebay.

    • Anthony says:

      Sadly, I was unable to watch this. It didn’t come through as a link, and when I pasted it into the box, it didn’t work.
      Usually I remove the s from https to make this work, Also, is it on the same channel as the other video (the soldiers)? If so, I will just go there.
      I have seen bicycle figures (probably in Amelie, or on the GCN show) and thought they were cool.
      Someday, I will create a train layout with some fantastic buildings–just not sure when that will happen.

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