Early TSR/D&D advertisements & catalogs
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 6:36 pm 
 

jasonw1239 posted this in the Random Thoughts Thread, but it's in danger of being buried by the other posts, so I am re-posting it in a new thread:



jasonw1239 wrote:Is there any interest in preserving any of the early TSR marketing material?
As clearly as I recall, this was the first full page magazine advertisement that I ever encountered. It appeared in the first issue of the Asimov's SF Adventure Magazine (Fall 1978).

http://personal.nbnet.nb.ca/jwillia/Aca ... rly_Ad.jpg

I just discovered it in my collection of books and magazines when getting some items ready for eBay and thought it might be of interest to some.




Thanks for the picture! Nice scan - I just put it up as the background on my computer. I haven't seen it before & love the artwork. An overlooked TSR "dungeon".  :wink:



I looked through Dragon magazines from 77 and 78 and didn't see this ad. Although it appeared in a Fall 1978 magazine, it was probably created earlier than that, due to:

(1) Lizard Logo; July 1976 Dragon has Gamma World/Players Handbook ad with Lizard Logo; August 1976 has full-page PH ad with Wizard Logo

(2) "T.M. REG. APP. FOR"; according to the Acaeum listings, the 3rd print Basic set rulebook (May 1978) still had the Lizard Logo but was missing the 'TM applied for' notice. The next printing of the rulebook (2nd edition) in Nov 78 had Wizard Logo.



I assume the typical lead time for an illustrated SF magazine of that nature would be several months (as many as 6?).



Another point of interest is the "complete color catalog". Does anyone have a color catalog from 1978? I think the earliest I have seen is the 1980 version "Gateway to Adventure" catalog (with the "demon door") as pictured in this auction.



Edit: The link above is dead now, so here is the image:

Image


Last edited by Zenopus on Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 6:39 pm 
 

Here's another ad. Later (Wizard Logo) but much odder:

Image

I don't know where it was published. The image was hosted on a "vintage e-card" website several years ago.

Funny, I just saw the George Romero movie "Knightriders" (1981), which features jousting knights on motorcycles (led by a young Ed Harris, playing the "King Arthur" character).

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 6:58 pm 
 

zhowar wrote:1980 version "Gateway to Adventure" catalog (with the "demon door") as pictured in this auction.




Which reminds me (OT)...



Do any of you have the cardboard standup of that Gateway, used by retailers?

  

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 7:45 pm 
 

Thanks Zhowar,

I am relatively new to this forum and did not even think about starting this in a new thread.

The ad that you posted above is vaguely familiar but I cannot remember where I might have encountered it.

Franks question reminds me that over the years there must have been a ton of point-of-sale merchandising material that was used for various TSR promotions. Unless you were a  hobby store located in a major market you might have only received some of the materials.

As mentioned in my first posting, I don't have an idea of how much interest there might be in preserving the marketing material. (My quick disclaimer is that I never worked in a game/comic/hobby store or owned one so I never had access to any of those mechandising materials).

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 7:49 pm 
 

I have a bunch of full page flyers from early TSR.  I had scans up on my website but then took them down and recently put them back up but I think I took them down again.  

They came in the lot when I purchased all the strategic reviews and first six Dragon magazines.  The best I can gather is that they are from June 1976 since they advertise the first issue of The Dragon as now out but Little Wars as coming soon in July.  

The flyers included:  Dungeon Hobby Shop, Ancient Conquest, Don't Give Up the Ship, Eldritch Wizardry, 4 Fantasy Games Unlimited items, Fight in the Skies, Little Wars, and The Dragon.

There was also a note from TSR to the purchaser who was trying to buy SR but it had gone out of print so TSR was returning his cheque and suggesting that he might be interested in subscribing to Little Wars or The Dragon.

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 7:56 pm 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:Thanks Zhowar,

As mentioned in my first posting, I don't have an idea of how much interest there might be in preserving the marketing material. (My quick disclaimer is that I never worked in a game/comic/hobby store or owned one so I never had access to any of those mechandising materials).

JasonW


There is definitely some interest in the marketing material. The candy display sold for a little bit of coin.  I seem to recall a Monster Card display that did very well not too long ago as well.  But finding such displays for 1st edition or earlier is difficult to say the least - shipping is another problem.  I try and collect the TSR and Dungeon/Mail Order Hobby Shop catalogs and whatever other printed stuff like that I can find.  Some of them are quite rare - a 1983 TSR catalog sold for $35 a few months ago (crazy you may say but it only takes 2 to drive up the price).

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 8:34 pm 
 

I recently lost this catalog auction to Stormber (I bid $9.99, he won for $10.49). I hadn't seen this one before...it's the March 1981 "The DUNGEON!" catalog rather than the usual 1981 "Gateway" TSR Catalog:



Image



auction text wrote:
This auction is for a vg condition Dungeon hobby shop catalog/retail order blank from 1981. I consists of 12 attached pages with descriptions & prices for all sorts of vintage gaming items from 1981- games, modules, minis, dice and more. There are a few penmarks for checked off items and an address in the order blank from the vintage owner of the item. It will really bring back memories for old timers & graybeards. Ideal for the collector, these aren't easy to find.




Has the "The DUNGEON!" logo (adventurers in a cave w/ eyes/mouth)

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 9:34 pm 
 

ExTSR wrote:
Which reminds me (OT)...

Do any of you have the cardboard standup of that Gateway, used by retailers?


Oh, I wish... I remember that one from a local bookstore when I was young and I'm sure it got trashed when they closed up shop.  That display would be a really cool item to have.  I have a Monster cards display that I may put up for auction soon... still debating that one...

  


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Post Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 11:42 pm 
 

Here's a fairly uncool ad. Dig the denim overalls. Wizard logo. Must be 78-80ish.

Image

"WHO NEEDS TO HANG AROUND? I'VE GOT DUNGEONS & DRAGONS"

This single page, ripped out of magazine, is for sale by an "Ebay entrepreneur". I'm not even going to post the link. :roll:

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Post Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:02 am 
 

I'm not even going to post the link.


I admit it - I looked!! (wow only $7 I'm tempted  :lol: )


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Post Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:04 am 
 

Don't do it! The price is too high - probably more than you could buy the original magazine for. It'd be helpful if we could track down exact magazine issues with particular ads. For example, jasonw1239 included the issue with the ad he posted, and now anyone can track down that ad.

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Post Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:24 pm 
 

TSR color catalogs (pre-1990)
Here are the ones that I know about:

1980 Gateway to Adventure ("demon door"; color catalog; Wizard Logo; 8 pgs)
Image
-> In this 2004 post, darkseraphim provides a detailed description.
-> less common on Ebay than the 1981 catalog (but still fairly common; there are at least two right now); sometimes found in Basic Sets.

1981 Gateway to Adventure (color catalog; 14 pgs; Face Logo on back cover)
This website has been around a while with a HTML version of this catalog, though it seems to be missing some of the pages (the copy I have also has a Gencon Ad and T-shirts).
-> lists S4 as "DWELLERS OF THE FORBIDDEN CITY 9046"
-> Future Releases (pg 10) includes 4 Minigames: "GALACTIC ARENA", "ANTARES", "SAGA:AGE OF HEROES" and "VAMPYRE".
-> extremely common on Ebay, often found in Basic Sets.


1982 TSR Hobbies Games & Accessories (color catalog; 8pgs, Face Logo on front cover)
Image
-> seems to be successor to Gateway catalogs (similar format, different title but subtitle says "Your Gateway to Adventure")
-> lists X2 as "THE AMBER CASTLE"
-> Frank M. commented on this catalog here.

Pushes World of Greyhawk in folio form, not boxed (yet)... and also first time the RPGA was mentioned in a trade catalog, and the first appearance of the minigames, Fiend Folio, and DDG (with Cthulhu). (But with that wretched Morley the Wizard creation of Dave Dimery's on the cover.)


1988 TSR catalog
Image
Sold recently at auction for $13.63

1989 TSR catalog
Image
Also sold recently for $13.63 (same buyer, same seller)

Note: All images stolen from Ebay auctions!
If anyone has any others, please post.
I'll cover the Dungeon Hobby shop catalogs/order forms next.

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Post Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:51 pm 
 

I'll try and get some scans of some of the other catalogs up.  I have the following:

TSR: 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1988 UK, 1989, 1990 (green), 1990 (grey), 1991 UK, 1991, 1992 books, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 Catalog and sales kit, 1998 TSR, 1998 WotC, 1999 Q1, 1999 Q2Q3, 1999 Q4.  After this they are WotC catalogs.  I guess I have a bunch of seasonal half sized ones that came with products as well and the conspecti.

If anyone has 1984 I would be interested in seeing a scan or buying a copy.

I also have about 10 Dungeon/Mail Order Hobby Shop Catalogs but I would have to check exactly which years.

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Post Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:06 pm 
 

Here's a 1982 single page ad/checklist that I have. I believe it came as an insert in a box set, but I'm not sure which (Dawn Patrol ??). The front is an ad for the first four Endless Quest books (the early prints with the Face Logo) and Dungeon!, and the back is a checklist of TSR products, mostly RPGs. The checklist jams all of the Top Secret, Gamma World, etc modules in with the D&D modules in a list called "Modules". X2 is here listed as "Chateau D'amervilles" [sic]. "The Lost City" is missing its code (no B4); this may just be a typo (B2 is "Keep on the Borderland").

Image
Image

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Post Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:34 pm 
 

zhowar wrote:Here's a 1982 single page ad/checklist that I have....




If anyone is interested in obtaining this checklist, it looks there is one in this Basic Set auction.

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Post Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:05 pm 
 

Hello,

 I was the seller of the '88 and '89 catalogs that sold recently on ebay and are pictured above.  I do have more of each but I looked for them today and couldn't find them.   I did find a bunch of '90 catalogs.
 If anyone is interested let me know and we can work something out.

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 6:50 am 
 

Here are some ads featuring art I haven't seen anywhere else.
http://kevin-mayle.livejournal.com/18540.html

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Post Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:12 am 
 

I've been considering starting a website to highlight all the TSR ads since I have so many that appeared in the comic books and catalogs at the time, plus I have a bunch of the TSR Dealer catalogs (mainly from the 90's) and the RalPartha/RAFM/Grenadier catalogs. I'd love to see more of this stuff!


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:57 am 
 

I gave my sons 12+ boxes of comics last month from the 80's and I think they got more of a kick from the ton of D&D related ads in the books then the fact that they just got a small treasuretrove of cool books ( Xmen 98 & up and just about anything Marvel from 80 to 85 ) :?  . So if you need anything scanned just email me.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 9:26 am 
 

Some of those 1980's Marvel comics are worth a fair price.

Here is an example of the Uncanny X-Men #98

http://www.comicspriceguide.com/p-indiv ... leID=80534

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