Bandai America has announced the June release of Navia Drapt, an original collectible miniatures game which combines elements of chess with a fantasy backstory, and offers a multitude of strategic possibilities thanks to a unique flip-dial system, which attributes different strengths and values to incredibly detailed miniature pieces. The Navia Drapt CMG has been under development in Japan for the past three years, and the miniatures, some of which are 2.5 inches high, made quite an impression when Bandai previewed them at GenCon. Although there is no Navia Drapt anime series yet (the game will launch in Japan in the spring of 2004), the elaborate figures show a heavy anime influence, making Navia Drapt the first anime style collectible miniatures game.
Wiz Kids, which created the collectible miniatures category, also started out with an original fantasy-based game, Mage Knight, although the category-creating company has gone on to produce other CMGs based on well known properties such as comic characters, Battletech, and soon, Major League Baseball. The 'dial' on the base of Wiz Kids' Mage Knight figures is another point of similarity, though Bandai's flip-dial varies both physically and in terms of gameplay from Wiz Kid's patented combat dial. In the Navia Drapt game players earn currency by defeating opponents figures, and the currency can be used to flip the dials over exposing new powers and a new range of movement for the victorious miniature.
Bandai plans to follow the normal CMG format with its Navia Drapt releases, which means an initial offering of starter sets and booster packs with figures ranging from common to rare and ultra rare. Bandai, which has designed hundreds of figures for the Navia Drapt game, will release new booster sets every three months after the debut of Navia Drapt in June.