1st printing Holmes Basic set
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Post Posted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 6:25 pm 
 

I believe Blackmoor posted on this topic, or started a thread on it once, but I can't find the original discussion.

Was there a 1st print Holmes Basic set with the F-product codes, but a plain white box bottom and slightly different contents (notably, no dice)?  I've got one that fits that description, plus two others that fit the Acaeum description of a 1st print (with contents shown on the box bottom).  

Should the print sequence be revised to include this plain-bottomed printing?


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 6:53 pm 
 

bombadil wrote:I believe Blackmoor posted on this topic, or started a thread on it once, but I can't find the original discussion.

Was there a 1st print Holmes Basic set with the F-product codes, but a plain white box bottom and slightly different contents (notably, no dice)?  I've got one that fits that description, plus two others that fit the Acaeum description of a 1st print (with contents shown on the box bottom).  

Should the print sequence be revised to include this plain-bottomed printing?


yes that was me.  Plain box bottom. F-codes


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:44 pm 
 

*bump*

Resurrecting this thread to add in a comment from a post in a GenCon 2009 thread:

Blackmoor wrote:Not to much stuff to buy but a few notables.  
For one the Blume copy of Holmes basic set (in shrink) that strato won; it has a blank box bottom and the F116-R [sic, should be F115-R] lizard box top. This confirms that it is a bonafide printing and I know that I have one and so does Stephen (bombadil) so we can add a new printing to the Basic set descriptions on the Acaeum.

Elsewhere in the thread it was mentioned to have sold for $500.

As Blackmoor wrote, this shrinkwrapped set really confirms the existence of this print. The Acaeum Basic Set page has not been updated. Did anyone ever submit this to Foul?

If not, what's the best designation for this print? IIRC, TSR games with blank bottoms generally preceded the printed bottom sets? If so, would this set be most accurately described as a "First Alpha", to avoid changing the  established numbering of the nineteen Basic Set printings? Alternately, perhaps a few sets were given blank bottoms (if there was a overage of the box top), and we can't really say whether they were before the version with a printed box bottom. In this case it might be better to have the blank-bottom version noted as an alternate for the 1st print, the way the sixth print is noted as possibly having B1 or B2.

Anybody else have this printing?


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 21, 2011 4:41 pm 
 

The thing that puts ??? above my head is the lid designation of F116-R. Done to mesh it with the rulebook probably. Could these be copies rushed out for sale at GenCon (the bottom still unprinted at the time)? Dunno about the timing.

I'd put them after the listed 1st as a beta or '+' due to the change of product code, however you like. Certainly seems like a short run in any event.

  


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:54 pm 
 

SimperingToad wrote:The thing that puts ??? above my head is the lid designation of F116-R. Done to mesh it with the rulebook probably. Could these be copies rushed out for sale at GenCon (the bottom still unprinted at the time)? Dunno about the timing.

I'd put them after the listed 1st as a beta or '+' due to the change of product code, however you like. Certainly seems like a short run in any event.


Blackmoor wrote F116-R above, but I think he meant F115-R, which is why I added "[sic, should be F115-R]". It's easy to mix those codes up since the rulebook (F116-R) and box (F115-R) differ. Bombadil/tiro suggests the box top is the same for each version (which would be F115-R), just one has a blank box bottom. But someone who owns this will need to confirm this info.

The GenCon sales is a very interesting hypothesis. I've been trying to determine when these sets were first available. The first print ad for the set appears in Dragon #9, Sep 77. It would make sense if it debuted at GenCon that year, but I've got no firm data for this. Holmes was at GenCon 77, but was an honored guest at GenCon 78 (this could just mean he was honored after it proved successful). There's a 1980 Dungeoneer article where someone recalls buying it between Sep and Oct 77. Dragon #11 (Dec 77) suggests it for Xmas, so it was definitely available by then. Heroic Worlds also mentions it was available in time for Xmas.


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: Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:50 pm 
 

I asked Tim Kask on DF about the Gen Con hypothesis, but forgot to post it here. Here's his response:

kaskoid wrote:
Zenopus77 wrote:Tim, do you remember if the 1st Basic Set was available by Gen Con X (Aug '77, Playboy Resort)? The first ad in Dragon magazine is from Dragon #9, Sep 77.

A few copies of the 1st print have been spotted with a blank box bottom (instead of having a photo of the set on the box bottom), including a shrinkwrapped set owned by Brian Blume (auctioned at Gen Con in 2009 for $500). It was suggested at the Acaeum that perhaps these were early Gen Con releases. Any insight would be appreciated.


That's a very good possibility. We aimed the shipping dates of the magazine so that they would be on the shelves by the first of the month. It could well be that the blank-bottomed boxes were an initial sample run that was defective(incomplete). We probably made up quite a few for GC if we had the components; incomplete boxes would not have fazed us in achieving that end.

To be quite honest, that was 37 yrs ago and as I was the one that coordinated and scheduled that entire Con (by hand--we were pre-Commodore), all the while keeping both mags coming out on time, memories of little details like that are often quite sketchy. Sorry; I would support that hypothesis, but can provide no hard evidence.


So, no evidence, but a possibility. Of course, they could also be non-Gen Con copies with a blank bottom. TSR could have run out of bottoms at any point and subsituted blank bottoms. I'd hesitate to call these "True" 1st print without more evidence. More like a notable printing variation of the 1st print.

Regarding the first publication date of the Holmes Set, today I uncovered the copyright registration which lists a publication date of 7/10/77:

TSR Basic Set copyright registration


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:59 pm 
 

If you've got one of these white-bottom boxed set in shrinkwrap, how about gently shaking it to discern if there are dice inside?

I would be surprised if there were no dice in the earliest edition, because elsewhere the lack of dice in a Holmes Basic Set box indicates a later print, not earlier.


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:51 pm 
 

Would also be interesting to know if the geos and/or M&Ts differ (or if, perhaps, the mythical pre-production B1 found its way in there via a time machine or something ;) ).


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Post Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:17 am 
 

alas Allan, i will not take the Blume off er, the shrink off the Blume Holmes set with the blank box bottom. My dear wife still gives me grief about taking the shrink off an ob3 in 1982.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:57 am 
 

i was looking at my Holmes sets yesterday (my dear wife was mentioning that there we are rapidly running out of room on the shelves and gently suggested we might cull the herd of 12 Holmes boxes) and noticed that the Index for the Holmes set has been changed to list the F-115R with a blank box bottom (like the one I bought at Gencon from Brian Blume) as the "True" 1st Print. I further noticed that the description lists the set as having no dice. In fact there are dice inside there. I rattled all of my sets and it sounded just like the ones that had dice in them, as opposed to the ones that didn't (like the version with chits, and I further tested by removing the dice from a couple 1st prints to see how they sounded).

I would like to mention that I have no idea whether this Blume-owned Holmes Basic blank box-bottomed set is a "True" 1st print or not, I just thought I'd clear up the dice issue.


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:37 am 
 

grodog wrote in 1st printing Holmes Basic set:Would also be interesting to know if the geos and/or M&Ts differ


The claim has been made on the forum that some early copies did not include M&Ts. (No idea if this is true or not.)

  


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:26 pm 
 

See Bill, you do need an xray machine :D


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:11 pm 
 

Strato, thanks for confirming the dice in that set. Foul will update that if we get his attention.

I think the idea that the blank bottom boxes are the "True First" comes from two things:

1. Blank-bottom TSR boxed sets generally preceded illustrated-bottoms.

cf. Gamma World, which also came out in mid-77: Research - Gamma World 1E printing differences
"the very first printing did not have a back cover printed on the box but it was a seperate sheet that fit under the shrinkwrap"

Lankhmar (1976): Lankhmar Blue Box Printings - How many are there?

Empire of the Petal Throne (1975): Empire of the Petal Throne Box Sets - Printing data
"The Bottom of the 1st print box is entirely white underneath... with no sketch."

Dungeon!: 1st print basic boxset

2. Brian Blume may have grabbed one of the first copies for his collection.

* * * * *

As I wrote in the site update thread, we now have evidence from a convention report by Bill Seligman in the Wild Hunt (Aug 77) that the set was available at Origins III starting July 22, 1977. This is close to the copyright registration date (July 10). If the blank bottom boxes are indeed the first print they should be the ones available at Origins III.


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:28 pm 
 

as i just posted in the Lankhmar thread, i have tim kask's copy signed by fritz leiber 8/22/76. it's F105 with brown lettering and a blank white box bottom.


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:31 pm 
 

Zenopus wrote in 1st printing Holmes Basic set:Strato, thanks for confirming the dice in that set. Foul will update that if we get his attention.

Got it, thanks!

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:35 pm 
 

wouldn't it be great if congress worked like this!


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:43 pm 
 

Blank box bottoms?  I guess, dude.

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:36 am 
 

I was totally kidding above, btw.  :)

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:49 pm 
 

stratochamp wrote in 1st printing Holmes Basic set:i was looking at my Holmes sets yesterday (my dear wife was mentioning that there we are rapidly running out of room on the shelves and gently suggested we might cull the herd of 12 Holmes boxes)


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