The box that held the Orange B3's
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 8:40 pm 
 

This will be fun.  I've been trying to collect more information on this, but have hit a road block and felt it time to proceed with our collective energy.

Some time ago Harry Quinn posted on the classifieds that he had an Orange B3 in shrink for sale.  Harry was a TSR atrist in the early 80s.

http://www.acaeum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2534

I took him up on the offer, and during our correspondances, it was learned that he also had "the box that it came in" and had been kept in for the last 20+ years.  :idea:  :!:  :!:   This of course was interesting and exciting to say the least...knowing the fabled legend of this module and how some of these met their salvation from the trash...


Harry Quinn wrote:Hi Jeff,

The box it has remained in for the last twenty something years is the original box from TSR days.  I took this box off the top of the dumpster shortly after they were placed there.

I was employed in the art department, at TSR, from the spring of 1981, to I think the spring of 1984.  Most of the artwork I did was the Black and White module drawings or manual drawings, and a few module covers.  I also did design work on the modules, and packaging.

Thanks,

Harry


Pictures of the legendary box for review:
Image

Image

Image


Now the interesting part....  The box has about 2.25 inches of module space, which would hold many fewer than the "one box of 72 copies" stated in the Acaeum information.  By my estimation, only 30-36 copies would fit in this box.  I've tried to contact Harry for more information, and have left him a voice mail to try to obtain more of his recollections on this but haven't been able to connect.

So, knowing what information we do, what do you think that means?  Perhaps there were 2 boxes of 36 saved?  Or perhaps only this one box?

Oh, the OB3 is in pristine flat mint SW shape with utterly no warping or corner stress FWIW.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:28 pm 
 

Oh, I suppose we could opine about the oB3 survival mythos. It strikes me a something that is very difficult to pinpoint. Foul might be able to help with the box of 72 statement. But we would surely see a bunch more coming from one source if this box did exist. and/or perhaps Quinn sold a few of ones that inhabited this box off to Aaron Leeder? Since he sold off a number of them a few years back.

Nice piece of history. These old employees must think we are nuts. Did you ask him to package up the box carefully?  :wink:


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Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:34 pm 
 

Jeff,
What are the height and width of the box?  Could it hold two stacks of 36 modules lying side by side?  Or does it have the dimensions of a single stack of 36 modules?

-Stephen

  


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Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:57 pm 
 

afoolandhis$ wrote:Jeff,
What are the height and width of the box? Could it hold two stacks of 36 modules lying side by side? Or does it have the dimensions of a single stack of 36 modules?

-Stephen


Definitely only one stack of ~36....the dimensions are slightly larger than 8.5x11.

Adam, I agree these TSR folks probably think we are insane! And yes, the box was sent in a box thusly protected.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 10:15 pm 
 

a2jeff wrote:
afoolandhis$ wrote:Jeff,
What are the height and width of the box? Could it hold two stacks of 36 modules lying side by side? Or does it have the dimensions of a single stack of 36 modules?

-Stephen


Definitely only one stack of ~36....the dimensions are slightly larger than 8.5x11.

Adam, I agree these TSR folks probably think we are insane! And yes, the box was sent in a box thusly protected.


First off that is freaking wicked cool. 8O

Secondly, I suspect that the story about the box of 72 may not infact be true. The story itself is almost too perfect to be true, and it is kind of folk tale-ish(is this even a word?). Additionally, when taken into context, if in fact that there was really only 1(or 2) boxes that survived the trashing, I seriously doubt that we would be finding them from so many differsified sources right now. For example, think about the one that sold back in the spring by toymom. Only ~24 years have past since its supposed dermise and yet we have seen OB3s come some from some very different and seperate sources. You would think that if Harry was the only one who was able to save the OB3s, taking in consideration the amount of time that has past, to me it would seem logival that a majority og the ones that we would be seeing would be primarily first or second hand from previous TSR employees and possibly thier family members. I have a suspicion that the story about the 1 surviving box may not in fact be entirely true. I am sure with further interogationing :twisted: , oops I meant questioning :wink: , former TSR employees we may be able to get a clearer picture of what really may have happened. A good place to start would be to probably ping both Frank Mentzer & Stephen Mrsh since they both visit here from time to time about what thier own recolections of the happenings of the OB3s. That in conjunction with following up with HArry himself may lead to some answers. If Paul & Alan can also touch base with EGG and RJK that may help as well. :)


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Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 11:14 pm 
 

I think someone should design a Clue game for TSR. Players struggle to discover which office personality rescued the Orange B3s and original artworks from the dumpsters behind the offices.  :lol:


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Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 11:58 pm 
 

i bought the first two ob3`s sold at gencon (for $46 and $71). the third one sold for $310. when the tsr staffers heard about this they went home that night to get their personal copies, and i suspect a number changed hands the next day via private sales. the next year (1984) they were rather plentiful ( i`d say i saw 10+ copies sold at auction and many more were being traded and sold in the auction hall). in 1985 the number was greatly reduced and in subsequeny years they hardly would turn up at all. i suspect that after people realized that the module was really pg-13 as opposed to x-rated the interested waned for the masses and they had settled in the arms of collectors. oh and that box is very cool by the way.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 6:18 am 
 

so do y'all think there might be more of the OB3's? if so what kinda figure are we looking at?

would 2 boxes of 36 sound sensible, with a smattering of personal copies too via the TSR employees?

Al



  


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Post Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:47 am 
 

killjoy32 wrote:so do y'all think there might be more of the OB3's? if so what kinda figure are we looking at?


From what I suspected yes. :)  From information that I was given last night it is almost certain now, and the figure that was indicated to me was a lot more than 72. :wink:


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Post Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 11:06 am 
 

What info is that?


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Post Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 3:51 pm 
 

Though I'm fully aware of how ridiculous a statement this is, I'm still compelled to say it:

That is, quite possibly, the coolest cardboard box on the planet.

:D

  


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Post Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:25 pm 
 

blackdougal wrote:Though I'm fully aware of how ridiculous a statement this is, I'm still compelled to say it:

That is, quite possibly, the coolest cardboard box on the planet.

:D


Yeah, I like how the font for the description of the contents ("Dungeon Module B3 Palace of the Silver Princess") is in the same font used for Basic/Expert products around that time (e.g. Moldvay Basic/Expet Set and X1-X3, I believe). That's one of my favorite TSR fonts. Anyone know what that font is called?

Did that press print many of TSR's products? Looks like they are still around in Rockford, Illinois:

http://www.johnsonpress.com/

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Post Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:38 pm 
 

zhowar1 wrote:
blackdougal wrote:Though I'm fully aware of how ridiculous a statement this is, I'm still compelled to say it:

That is, quite possibly, the coolest cardboard box on the planet.

:D


Yeah, I like how the font for the description of the contents ("Dungeon Module B3 Palace of the Silver Princess")


Yeah, and what's really cool is how understated it is.  Man, nobody had any idea what the contents of that little box would unleash.

  


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Post Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:59 pm 
 

Wasn't there a listing of all fonts used in TSR products somewhere?


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Post Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 6:35 pm 
 

Adam Shultz wrote:Wasn't there a listing of all fonts used in TSR products somewhere?


I just Googled (+TSR +fonts) and the first hit was the TSR & WOTC Font FAQ:

http://www.geocities.com/rgfdfaq/tsrfonts.html

Looks like the one above is:
*? Souvenir Demi, Light (Linotype, Adobe, etc.)
a.k.a. Soutane, Souvienne
(Confirmed as "Souvenir", but which version was not specified)

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Post Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 7:38 pm 
 

Here is a little tidbit of lore to add to the mix of thine precious OrB3.

Some years back I picked up my first OrB3 in auction from a guy in florida who was not a TSR employee. He said he was selling from someone who I suspected might be an employee but that is neither here nor there anymore.

this is the item I won....

Image

Notice the editorial office copy notation on the copy. This was clearly shown in the auction and part of the driving interest in the auction aside from the item itself.....given the notion that TSR editors completely fudged up the questionable art, etc.

Anyhow, I couldn't really confirm the veracity of the story given the anonymity of the true seller...until I saw this item up for bids by the Cooks. He had some great stuff up for auction at the same time but I really had to have this. I wanted to compare the handwriting from that copy to the supposed editorial copy I had.

Image

Supporting evidence sometimes in this hobby makes seemingly unrelated items much more significant as a connecting clue. It isn't a perfect match but so darn close.


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Post Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 7:48 pm 
 

I'd say that's a hell of a match.  Very cool.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:53 pm 
 

stratochamp wrote:i bought the first two ob3`s sold at gencon (for $46 and $71). the third one sold for $310. when the tsr staffers heard about this they went home that night to get their personal copies, and i suspect a number changed hands the next day via private sales. the next year (1984) they were rather plentiful ( i`d say i saw 10+ copies sold at auction and many more were being traded and sold in the auction hall). in 1985 the number was greatly reduced and in subsequeny years they hardly would turn up at all. i suspect that after people realized that the module was really pg-13 as opposed to x-rated the interested waned for the masses and they had settled in the arms of collectors. oh and that box is very cool by the way.


This the exact line of thinking I will follow, also. When that OB3 sold for $71 it created a huge stir. My group of guys were actively buying and reselling early dragon issues back then and we constantly watched the auction as well as using it as our meeting place. Anyway, that next year there all kinds of OB3s around the auction and convention. The next year, they were virtually gona again. If there was some case in a closet, they would have surfaced. Everyone, and I mean everyone at Gen Con, was talking about the auction price of that module.

Therefore, I am of the opinion that there are a scattered few copes spread out as a few hobby shops or distributors let some through. The remaining copies were TSR staff copies.

But that box is a very cool find! But in the long run, it could mean absolutely nothing. Who is to say it ever held anything. We just don't know.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 9:49 am 
 

bbarsh wrote:But that box is a very cool find! But in the long run, it could mean absolutely nothing. Who is to say it ever held anything. We just don't know.


Unless Harry is misrepresenting the truth, we know it certainly did hold OB3, based on his statement that he retrieved this from the dumpster.  What remains unknown is where there other copies in the box, were there other boxes, and who else might have been rummaging in the dumpster at that time.

  

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Post Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 10:51 am 
 

a2jeff wrote:
bbarsh wrote:But that box is a very cool find! But in the long run, it could mean absolutely nothing. Who is to say it ever held anything. We just don't know.


Unless Harry is misrepresenting the truth, we know it certainly did hold OB3, based on his statement that he retrieved this from the dumpster. What remains unknown is where there other copies in the box, were there other boxes, and who else might have been rummaging in the dumpster at that time.


I am sure they did hold OB3. They probably came directly from the printer that way. But I still do not see the point. So what.

Are we sure that box had all "36" copies inside when it was saved from the dumpster? Maybe it only had a few left, or possible only one. The rest might have been distributed throughout the office. Direct clarification is required.

And I am not sure what the shock of the box size is. I have seen loads of module boxes from that time frame and they are all the same. Now the quantity of exactly how many went into each box is variable.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

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