Lily (my daughter; she'll be five next month) was in my office today and asked about a miniature 1 that was in a little box on one of my bookshelves. I told her it was used for playing a game, and showed her some more of them. She was fascinated, and wanted to know if we could play the game. I said ok, and got out my battlemat. Without thinking too much about it, and influenced by the miniatures (typical AD&D miniatures) I drew out the entrance to a cave in the side of a cliff, and we played out exploring a typical mindless dungeon with several of the miniatures and drawing the dungeon on the battle mat. Lily really got into it, having her PCs go back to their house for supplies once and exploring and scaring away monsters and looking for treasure. She also really liked rolling dice.
In retrospective, she'd probably have had more fun if I'd run a Bunnies & Burrows game; I don't have any B&B miniatures, though. She's seen me play B&B (using the Fudge rules) with her cousins a couple of times, and has been a little bit interested, but given her greater interest in the miniatures this time I think she might really enjoy a B&B game now.
Watching Lily have fun moving the miniatures around and rolling dice reminds me of how much shear fun this was when I first starting gaming (playing D&D and AD&D). Part of the fascination was indeed just the miniatures and dice, and that's something that I've not really thought about in a long time. I've maintained in the past that part of the fun of games like Stormbringer is actually rolling all those funny shaped dice, and certainly there is something neat about a well-painted minature figure.
I'm not much of a miniatures person myself (I don't play any miniature games, for instance), and these miniatures were actually my brother Alan's from many years ago when we actually played AD&D, and some of them are actually official AD&D miniatures. I like being able to look at a fight scene on a battle map and see where the characters their opponents, however, and often use dice or 0.75 inch numbered wooden cube to represent characters during complicated fight scenes.