Gateway to Adventure - Black Cover edition
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:04 pm 
 

I was cleaning some parts shelves, and found a Black Cover version of the TSR Gateway to Adventure catalog.

I have an existing Gateway to Adventure catalog blog post, and I'm going to update it with photos of this black catalog, and...

...what do I say about it?

My web searching didn't come up with anything. I searched the forums here, but didn't see much, except it's rare.

It appears to be essentially a re-covered 1980 catalog. Interior looks identical as far as I can tell.

Curious if anybody knew more. Was it a special retailer-only version?

Images attached below.

Thanks,
-Wayne

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:22 pm 
 

Here is a little detail:

ZENOPUS ARCHIVES: Enter the Gateway to Adventure
"IIRC it predates the more common grey cover."

Tome of Treasures :: View topic - Gateway to Adventure catalog (1980?)
"seems to have shown up in some version of the Basic set"

Your note above (that contents appear identical to the gray-cover version) is perhaps the most specific info we have so far.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:33 pm 
 

Ah I always should check Zenopus Archives, missed that.

[Edit: I even had the ZA link already in my blog post!  *facepalm* ]

Thanks for the info and links!



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Post Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:40 pm 
 

Hi Wayne, great idea for a post. I still have my black-covered version, although I still have not scanned the cover.  8)

I just dug it out. I can't remember if I own the grey-covered version, but I do have a scan of one. They have the same number of pages and the same layout, but there are some differences:

-The cover art on the black-covered one is not just a colorless version; there are different details in the drawing. For example, the black-covered one has skulls to the left of the archway not found in the grey-covered artwork. The black-covered artwork is missing the DC Sutherland III signature found in the lower right of the grey-covered one.

-page 4 of the black-covered one mentions the M&T assortments, but has been replaced in the grey-covered one with the Rogues gallery.

-the text for Awful Green Things on page 6 is much longer in the grey-covered version.

-Black covered version, page 7, Knights of Camleot has no picture and says "Available in 1980"; grey-covered version has a picture in the same spot. I would say this definitively dates the Black-covered version as earlier.

-Black covered version lacks a TSR address on the back cover, grey-covered one has one. The text below this is different as well. In my copy of the black-covered version, the text here actually sounds directed a retailers: "...a retailer can expect a "tail" of additional sales...". My copy then actually has a game store address in the lower bottom righthand corner of the back cover: "Game Room. Woodridge Center. Woodridge, NJ..." whereas there is no address below this in the scan of the grey-covered one I have.

So I would suggest doing a close comparison of the text between the black-covered one and the grey-covered one. Although keep in mind there could even be more than one version of each of those.

Some points of interest that are in both versions:

-Page 5 refers to the G-series as the "Giant Foemen" and D-series as "Underworld of Evil Elves"

-The back cover has a "red stamp" over Metamorphosis Alpha that says "Look for the coming version of METAMORPHOSIS ALPHA, to be compatible with GAMMA WORLD" (which turned out to be vaporware).


Zenopus Archives website & blog: Exploring the Underworld of Holmes Basic D&D. Holmes Ref: Reference Sheets for Holmes Basic Referees, also compatible with OD&D plus the Greyhawk supplement

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:07 pm 
 

Great comparison work there.

Are you going to update your prior post or make a new one? I'll just point my readers toward that for the specifics.

My copy is stamped on the back:

GRAHAM'S BOOK & STATIONERY
460 SECOND STREET
LAKE OSWEGO, OR  97034



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Post Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:05 pm 
 

The Black Cover also has an earlier date does it not? I had always assumed that it was the prior year catalog.


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:48 pm 
 

Waynes_Books wrote in Gateway to Adventure - Black Cover edition:Great comparison work there.

Are you going to update your prior post or make a new one? I'll just point my readers toward that for the specifics.



I guess I'll make a new post, since I ended writing more here than I had planned.

stratochamp wrote in Gateway to Adventure - Black Cover edition:The Black Cover also has an earlier date does it not? I had always assumed that it was the prior year catalog.


I don't see a date anywhere in the black-covered version except for the "Coming in 1980", which as I wrote above makes me think it is earlier.


Zenopus Archives website & blog: Exploring the Underworld of Holmes Basic D&D. Holmes Ref: Reference Sheets for Holmes Basic Referees, also compatible with OD&D plus the Greyhawk supplement

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Post Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:46 pm 
 

So, interesting discovery... apparently there are two different versions of the black cover catalog. Flipping through mine, I noticed it was significantly different from the version that Wayne posted above. I did a quick side-by-side of my black cover vs. the regular gray cover.

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Aside from the fact that it's actually on better paper stock than the gray version, it's clearly an earlier, inferior version. Pictures are typically dark and murky or not present for some items and at least one product (C-series modules) isn't listed at all.

Also just noticed that my gray one still mentions M&T Assortments. Maybe two different gray versions as well?

So one (or two!) more catalogs to chase now... please let me know if yours goes up for sale, Wayne!


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:33 pm 
 

Very nice! Thanks for posting all that. Another print to chase. I’ll check mine when I get a chance.

Mike

  

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Post Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:49 am 
 

My copy of the black catalog also came with a bunch of order form blanks so I think it was intended more for dealers or shops.

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Post Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 1:57 am 
 

One of my copies is like that of blackdougal so as I posted I had just assumed that it was a prior year catalog. I assumed that TSR then used the same format for the next year and put color on it. I had not paid close attention to the thread so I had not noticed the mention that Wayne's copy was the same inside as the color cover version.


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Post Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:12 pm 
 

I should have figured there would be different printings of even the black catalog. How funny.



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Post Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2020 6:45 pm 
 

Finally getting back to my collection and looking thru some things.
My black cover gateway catalog matches the one Wayne posted.
My grey cover matches the one blackdougal posted.
I have 4 different versions of the brown cover gateway catalog.

Differences between the first and second prints that I have:

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Post Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2020 6:47 pm 
 

Differences between the second and third:

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Post Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2020 6:50 pm 
 

Differences between the third and fourth:

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Post Posted: Fri Sep 24, 2021 9:08 pm 
 

Side by side comparison of the two printings of the black cover gateway to adventure catalog.

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Post Posted: Fri Sep 24, 2021 9:12 pm 
 

Pics. Anyone have one with differences?

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