Early TSR/D&D advertisements & catalogs
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 1:01 pm 
 

Alexander1968 wrote:
Uh... I understand that companies must strive to get our (i.e. retailers) attention but this is... ahem... an interesting way to focus mind on TSR products  8O (pretty girl, horrific shoes!). I remember seeing a couple of ads for Steve Jackson Games featuring a Pocket Game in a a jeans' pocket worn by a woman with a lovely pair of buttocks  :D  8O  :!:
.


Remember, 1978 was the midst of the platform-shoe craze; but I agree--she should be wearing black over-the knee or "pirate" boots! :)  :)  :!:  :idea:

  


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:07 pm 
 

Not as salacious (or even as interesting :D) as some of the stuff that has been posted here... but this ad is (afaik) the first time I ever saw D&D mentioned anywhere.  It's from the back page of the June 1980 issue of Fantastic Film.  According to the cover, it's "Collector's Edition #8", but I just bought it because it had lots of articles on The Empire Strikes Back (R2-D2 and C-3PO are on the front).  I didn't really know what the ad was about, but for some reason I kept the magazine - still in good nick after all these years!

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Post Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:26 pm 
 

Mars wrote:
I have the logo on some old Dungeon Hobby Shop flyers:

http://www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/~mdtpetri/fl ... yshop1.jpg


Thanks for that tremendous scan! That's exactly what I wanted.

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Post Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:59 pm 
 

kevin mayle wrote:
Thanks for that tremendous scan! That's exactly what I wanted.


Yes - very nice, very high resolution scans. I just put the Hobby Shop one as the background on my computer. Thanks, Mars.

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:12 am 
 

I posted these a while back but maybe its worth posting again.  When I bought my copies of Strategic Review and Dragon 1-6 there was also this bundle of flyers and a note from TSR.  It seems the flyers are from the time during the transition between Strategic Review and The Dragon.  Here's a link to flyers I have:

http://www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/~mdtpetri/flyers/flyers.html

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 5:04 am 
 

sleepyCO wrote:
Remember, 1978 was the midst of the platform-shoe craze; but I agree--she should be wearing black over-the knee or "pirate" boots! :)  :)  :!:  :idea:

Well, in 1978 I was ten years old so I wasn't that sensitive about pretty girls' shoes. And I was in Italy, not in the US: we Italians have a very good taste about shoes, you know  :P  :wink: I hope my mother never used shoes like those  8O

  


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:14 pm 
 

Well...I thought this one might go under the radar, but my $40+ bid didn't even register



http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0092484674



Although, the box and contents look fairly minty, I'm guessing the reason for the price is that very interesting Gateway To Adventure.  I've never seen it, and I couldn't locate any record of it on the site here. Has anyone here seen it or know anything about it? Hopefully the winning bidder will tell us about it. He is a member here I think?


Last edited by seeyouinescrow on Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:26 pm 
 

Mars wrote:I posted these a while back but maybe its worth posting again.  When I bought my copies of Strategic Review and Dragon 1-6 there was also this bundle of flyers and a note from TSR.  It seems the flyers are from the time during the transition between Strategic Review and The Dragon.  Here's a link to flyers I have:

http://www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/~mdtpetri/flyers/flyers.html


Och ya bastard - they look great!  8O

Very jealous. :cry:


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 7:17 pm 
 

seeyouinescrow wrote:Well...I thought this one might go under the radar, but my $40+ bid didn't even register


** expired eBay auction **


Although, the box and contents look fairly minty, I'm guessing the reason for the price is that very interesting Gateway To Adventure.  I've never seen it, and I couldn't locate any record of it on the site here. Has anyone here seen it or know anything about it? Hopefully the winning bidder will tell us about it. He is a member here I think?




I have only seen the Black Gateway catalog once before but really don't know anything about it.  From the description it sounds a bit like more of a dealer catalog since it comes with the order forms.  As far as I know, eyeofvecna doesn't post here.

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Post Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:21 pm 
 

seeyouinescrow wrote:Well...I thought this one might go under the radar, but my $40+ bid didn't even register


** expired eBay auction **


Although, the box and contents look fairly minty, I'm guessing the reason for the price is that very interesting Gateway To Adventure.  I've never seen it, and I couldn't locate any record of it on the site here. Has anyone here seen it or know anything about it?




Thanks for posting that. I didn't see the auction, nor have I seen that black cover Gateway before. Very interesting. For posterity, here is the picture from the auction:



Image

Seller's description: "We are also including "Gateways to Adventure" which are 1980 retail order forms and 6 page color catelogue."

Included in auction with a 4th+ Print Basic Set



It looks fairly thick, so there must be a large number of the order forms if the catalog is only 6 pages long.

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Post Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 12:19 am 
 

Cool find! :D


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:46 am 
 

zhowar wrote:It looks fairly thick, so there must be a large number of the order forms if the catalog is only 6 pages long.

Yes, that's very interesting!  :D

  


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:43 am 
 

Looking at the pic a little more closely, it appears from the sides of the pages that there are two groupings of pages there---perhaps there's a standard catalog within the black folder, and the sheaf of order forms are below it??


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Post Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:30 pm 
 

Found two more in some items I just listed on eBay.
The small digest sized Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine second and third issues from 1977.

30 year old magazines on newsprint have discolored somewhat, but other than that are in pretty good shape (handling and shelf wear).

The Metamorphosis ad appears in the Summer issue and the Lankhmar appears in the fall.

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:38 pm 
 

Nice find!

I saw that MA ad the other day in an early Dragon & just looked it up. It's in issue 5, pg 31 (Mar 1977). Looks identical, including the prices.

While I was looking it up, I came across the Lankhmar ad in Dragon issue 2, page 2 (Oct 1976).

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:43 pm 
 

The thing that stands out for me is the price. Just $5 including postage. I am not talking about the "investment" value, but the opposite.

What were they making off MA? Maybe a buck. Lank wouldn't be much more considering the increased production cost of a boxed set. No, TSR was a young company that wanted to make and sell games.

We all like the classic stuff for different reasons. I like them because it seems to me there is more "inspiration" in them. They simply are not products but products of people who truly enjoyed producing these games. Another reason I think 1e, and specifically the early stuff, will never be matched.


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

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:07 pm 
 

Not to mention $9 (postage included) for 6 issues of the Dragon in 1977!
Oh if we only knew then what we know now!  :P


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:08 pm 
 

I dunno, simply by inflation alone, that $5 Ma would retail today for no less than $17.95... $5 went a lot further back in '77 than it does in '07. Or it would, if the price of games followed inflation, which in general, it didn't, even though cost of goods went up sufficiently.

That 64-page booklet probably cost TSR $0.50 to print, or less even, meaning they still cleaned up BIG on direct sales. Today, a 64-pager of the same quality (color cover, B&W interior) would cost ~$3.00 to print per unit. Sell them direct to consumer at $15.00, postpaid (media mail on that would cost all of $2 media mail, even Priority would only be ~4), and you are still making $10 gross margin, which is $4 more than you would make by selling it to a distributor and through the retail chain...

This is one of the reason that the direct to consumer market has grown; it is tremendously profitable, as compared to going through the three tiers. Of course, in the long run it spells the death of the larger market, but as distributors aren't stocking product anyway unless your company name includes "Wiz" or "Up" in the first word, it is the only way to do business for far too many companies... :(

The main reason I'm gong through the B&M stores with AGP (when things finally get going) is because I want there to be stores and a hobby in the future... secondarily, I'd rather ship to a handful of distributors than hundreds of consumers direct. Of course, as I've not yet gotten into distribution, we shall see if that is a road I will have to take...


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:51 pm 
 

James: the Met Alpha rulebook is actually only 32 pages long (16 double sided sheets), so it may have been even cheaper for TSR than 50 cents to print!

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:24 pm 
 

zhowar wrote:James: the Met Alpha rulebook is actually only 32 pages long (16 double sided sheets), so it may have been even cheaper for TSR than 50 cents to print!


That only works because you are using today's printing technology as your basis for cost. Back then printing was radically different than how things are done today.

It was much more costly to print anything back then. The four-color process alone was expensive. You also have to assume they did not print a run of 100,000 copies which would have reduced the cost. Remember, that book had to be typeset - which would take many hours and you had to pay the typesetter.

No, that book probably cost them anywhere from $1.50 - 2.00 per unit based on a number of prints in the low 1000s, if it was even that high. Then you have other costs including mailing and processing. All that stuff adds up fast.

They also had pay for artwork, the actual writing, layout and design, blah, blah, blah...


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

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

Everything Pacesetter at http://pacesettergames.blog.com/

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