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"My Rushed Trip to The Emperor's Headquarters" Topic

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Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP25 Apr 2019 2:56 a.m. PST

The story is in the post, but once I got 5 minutes to look around in the North American mecca of Napoleonic everything. [Warning: 90's clothes and hair in full embrace!]



Lucius25 Apr 2019 3:36 a.m. PST

Thanks for that. I did the same pilgrimage, in about the same year(although I spent an hour, and bought some of the then-new Thoroughbred ironclads).

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP25 Apr 2019 3:47 a.m. PST

How absolutely brilliant yet heartbreaking. Online shopping killed off anything with rows and rows of figures on sale. Our own fault and now we are doing it to most high street retail shops.

My 6 months in Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1983, the locals were still very anti-war, so I learnt to keep very quiet…

Great posting. Wish we could see nostalgia trips. Folk must have many treasured images like this.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Apr 2019 5:44 a.m. PST

I remember taking a trip there when I first moved to Chicago. If you were not a member of the inner circle you definitely got a weird "you don't belong here" vibe. I went back once and then never visited again.

Meanwhile Games Plus is a cheery welcoming place and still going strong, and it has rows and rows of figures on sale. And more than the normal Warmachine, 40K stuff.

We are in a transition period now. I think shops will be back. But they need to be more than a distribution point: Amazon has proven people don't really care about that. Apple stores are always busy, even on a Tuesday morning. And I can get their products online too.

oldnorthstate25 Apr 2019 6:14 a.m. PST

I only went there once during a visit back to Chicago for a family funeral. I think this was the only Cold Wars I ever missed, so I needed a miniatures fix. I got the same vibe the Extra Crispy got, although it was midweek, no gaming going on and I was the only one in the except for three staff…they all ignored me, which was fine, but while I was wandering around a voice came over the intercom that they had a call on line one…no one moved. Two minutes go by and the voice comes back, saying mail order call on line one…no one moved. After observing that behavior I pronounced the store doomed and left without buying anything.

jdpintex25 Apr 2019 6:17 a.m. PST

I remember doing the same thing on a work trip to Chicago. Although I walked through little Poland from the nearest train station.

It was years later that I learned there were other reasons to visit Chicago other than going to EHQ.

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP25 Apr 2019 6:19 a.m. PST

Nice post. I was there twice and enjoyed it.

By the way, Scenic Effects as a company is defunct, but many of their buildings are being produced today by Monday Knight Productions. That company bought the molds.


Tom Reed Supporting Member of TMP25 Apr 2019 6:21 a.m. PST

EHQ did have the most lovely, extravagant bathroom I have ever seen in a store…any store. I mean, gold plated fixtures and real towels!

Perris070725 Apr 2019 7:17 a.m. PST

Ah the bathroom! I remember that as well. Lavish. I made the 6-hour drive from northern Wisconsin to revel in the glory that was EHQ. It was like finding Camelot to me. Being able to actually see the figures in person was amazing. My first time there I spent 4 hours looking at everything. The only other experience that was better for me as a wargamer was my first Historicon trip in 1994. The dealer's area was glorious.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian25 Apr 2019 7:52 a.m. PST

I did that and came home with a suitcase full of lead. They were clearing stock that had been bought back from a store. Got a better discount as I took it all (still have some unpainted)

Sometime @ 2000

Whitewolf36 Supporting Member of TMP25 Apr 2019 8:52 a.m. PST

I was a frequent customer and new to Historical miniatures. I agree with the outsider vibe. No one working there was particularly welcoming or even friendly. I remember trying to ask questions but no one was interested in helping a youngster. Even Todd. Overall it seemed Todd just wanted to create a place to play with his friends that happened to be a retail store.

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP25 Apr 2019 9:41 a.m. PST

I thought it went out of business years ago. I guess not.

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP25 Apr 2019 10:02 a.m. PST

It closed in 2000?

brave face25 Apr 2019 10:44 a.m. PST

I made it there one time, summer '97. I too felt the unfortunate vibe. Being mainly a fantasy wargamer didn't help I'm sure.

I spent a little over an hour there and didn't make it to the restroom…

Personal logo Tommy20 Supporting Member of TMP25 Apr 2019 11:17 a.m. PST

I shopped there fairly regularly for several years, and had the same "outsider" experience every time. The only time an employee engaged me in conversation was to try and talk me out of a purchase.

The only time I ever played a game in the back room, my buddy and I were unfamiliar with the rules and the regulars took advantage of the opportunity to stomp the newbies.

And I couldn't agree more with Extra Crispy, Games Plus is the gold standard when it comes to a FLGS.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP25 Apr 2019 11:59 a.m. PST

Funny how many folk remember the bog, of all things, in this place.

Why, in the name of God, is it called a rest room? What is the one thing that no gentleman will do in such an establishment…….. Mind you, same thing I guess with "excuse me, where is the bathroom?" I am in a bar on 5th in NY, the last thing I need is a shower…so why would I ask for a….

But even in England. The "toilet" is posh (ER II would say that), the "lavatory" is nouveau riche, the "bog" is intellectual and expensively educated…(I was not)

Nine pound round25 Apr 2019 1:42 p.m. PST

I once fell asleep in one. But I had just come in from a 72 hour readiness test, and had been awake the whole time.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Apr 2019 4:06 p.m. PST

I lived about 20-30 minutes from EHQ and they were often open until midnight. I took many a last minute sprint drive to the store to get an impulse purchase fix.

I never experienced any unfriendly or diffident behavior by the staff.

The game room in the back of the store was amazing, large enough for me to,host a couple of Wargame Holiday Center style games. I also fondly remember the Attack on the Tuileries Palace game.

Henry Martini25 Apr 2019 5:52 p.m. PST

Here in Oz, too, everyone has apparently become hyper hygiene-conscious in recent years, Deadhead. Whereas for most of my life, if nature called when one was out and about it was a public toilet or just toilet one sought, bizarrely these days even many people of my vintage, whose vocabulary you'd expect to have solidified long ago, enquire after the 'bathroom' when they have the need; yet another sad indicator of the obsequious herd rush to Americanese, and the death of any distinctive Aussie linguistic culture. It's all the stranger because traditionally Aussie speech has never been marked by the coyness that generated such euphemisms (colourful expressions such as 'point Percy at the porcelain' were invented by Barry Humphries in the early seventies).

As for 'dunny'… you'd need to take a trip beyond the black stump and find some old codger to hear that bit of vernacular being used outside a theatrical context.

Chuckaroobob25 Apr 2019 8:07 p.m. PST

Shopped at hew a couple times while my bro was living in Chicago. Was too shy to speak to anyone. And I call the bathroom "the can." It's a Clint Eastwood quote.

Darrell B D Day26 Apr 2019 2:30 a.m. PST

You can call it what you like (toilet for me) EXCEPT please not "the loo" which is toe-curlingly Pooter-esque.


FatherOfAllLogic26 Apr 2019 6:30 a.m. PST

Went there once on a Sunday when they were closed but a guy let me in to spend my money because "you look desperate".

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP26 Apr 2019 7:35 a.m. PST

A good anachronism is a "Convenience"… in Public Convenience….an oxymoron is ever there was one.

Always reminds me of the French "Maison de Tolerance". Marvellous turn of phrase….

Again, such a shame that on-line shopping has almost killed off such wonderful resources as E's HQ

Marc the plastics fan28 Apr 2019 2:20 a.m. PST

Ahhh, how complicated life is. I thought loo was preferred to toilet. Guess I need to revise my thoughts once more…

Henry Martini28 Apr 2019 7:39 p.m. PST

'Loo' still has some currency with people of my generation; especially, but not exclusively, those born in the old country.

For the first time ever outside the realm of cinema/TV, I recently heard the word 'jon' being used in its colloquial sense by a septuagenarian American associate of my mine.

14Bore29 Apr 2019 2:13 a.m. PST

Bigger than any war game store but miss going to a box store for minis. Lots more impulse in person, my Bavarians were bought that way.

dibble29 Apr 2019 9:28 p.m. PST

Sorry to let you know Henry, but 'Pointing Percy to Porcelain' was around way before Barry, at least in my East End family it was. We also used 'Pie and Mash' for taking a slash, 'jimmy riddle' for piddle, and 'Pony and Trap for C**p. We went to the 'Lav' 'Karzey' 'bog' 'loo' and others that I will not spell out.

Paul :)

4th Cuirassier30 Apr 2019 1:21 a.m. PST

I thought Orstralians called it the Bleeped text?

Henry Martini01 May 2019 3:52 a.m. PST

All the online sources credit Humphries with the invention of the term, dibble. The user of the phrase, Humphries' grotesque creation, the character Barry McKenzie, first appeared in a cartoon in the London-published magazine 'Private Eye' in 1964, whence it would have entered British slang so I can understand why you might be confused about its origins.

Dashetal01 May 2019 11:26 a.m. PST

s far as I know I am the only one who uses the "urination station"?

WKeyser01 May 2019 11:57 p.m. PST

Had a photo assignment in Mobile AL. Convinced my boss that the cheapest way from NY to AL was via Chicago, and of course scheduled an 8 hour layover in Chicago to visit Tod and his toy store! Loved the place but much perfer the vast amount of goodies one can get on the Web. But the gaming space was amazing.

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP02 May 2019 1:13 p.m. PST

I used to go there when we visited my parents in Chicago. There was no such thing as a "quick" visit. My Ex knew this, and would go grade papers in the back room while I was busy spending too much money.

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