Over the following years, I graduated from that original D&D boxed set to the hardcover AD&D books. I also acquired my first set of polyhedral dice (while they were included in later versions of the boxed set, mine merely came with laminated “chits” which you had to cut out and select randomly).
I was loosely aware that there were other products made by TSR Hobbies, because of the ads in the back of some of my rulebooks. As I recall, “Boot Hill”, “Dawn Patrol”, & “Gamma World” were all featured. Despite living in a decent sized city (Rochester, NY), I had never come across any of these products in any of the few bookstores where I had been able to find gaming products.
I am not certain when it opened but at some point in the early 80s, my parents took me to visit “Campaign Headquarters”. It was an actual, dedicated gaming store and was quite eye-opening. I was like a kid in a candy-store, just filled with wonder. Thinking back, it was just a single, dimly-lit room but it was fascinating, nonetheless.
The walls were covered with blister packs of lead miniatures. Most of these were of the historical sort, though I believe there were some Grenadier fantasy miniatures as well. It was clear at that point that there were far more role-playing, and wargaming games than I had ever imagined.
While I certainly could have spent days in the store, my parents were ready to roll shortly after our arrival. I ended up using my allowance to purchase Dragon Magazine #55. It was the first time that I had seen the publication and it was very exciting to me at the time.