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Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 8:39 am 
 

Dungeons & Dragons Original Edition 1974! 3 Book Set

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 99753&rd=1

7 days with no reserve.  Current bid is $10.50.  White box (without the OCE starburst), BUT Men & Magic has the olderer warrior on horseback cover.



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Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 9:10 am 
 

muaddib5 wrote:Dungeons & Dragons Original Edition 1974! 3 Book Set

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 99753&rd=1

7 days with no reserve.  Current bid is $10.50.  White box (without the OCE starburst), BUT Men & Magic has the olderer warrior on horseback cover.


Was wondering how long that would take to spot...



Already have an enquiry in with the seller to try to figure out whether it's a 4th- (know someone who needs one) or an "interesting hybrid" (*points to the now familiar interesting difference in cardstock colors of the booklets*).

Any guesses beforehand, since its cover is blown??



(Oh, and what about that apparent bit of artistic coloration work by the former owner, too? ;) Hrmm....)

  


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 2:47 pm 
 

Howdy,





muaddib5 wrote:Dungeons & Dragons Original Edition 1974! 3 Book Set

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 99753&rd=1

7 days with no reserve.  Current bid is $10.50.  White box (without the OCE starburst), BUT Men & Magic has the olderer warrior on horseback cover.




This is the same set of books (except in a woodgrain box) that I bought for way too much money a while back. According to my direct communication with Mentzer, Gygax, and Sutherland in fall/winter of 1975 several sets of these were cobbled together by the Blumes in order to move them out of stock. They were mixed, matched, and the volume 3 books reprinted when they were short. Gary stated that the printers had run out of the cover paper stock (new-leather exterior/white interior) when reprinting the third volume of the set and a substitution was made (I assume the buff/buff color you see in the above auction and from my $2,300 set). At best I'd call these sets a 2nd+ print - the two books may be a first print but the box might not be, possibly a 2nd or later woodgrain or even a 4th print white box, and volume 3 is definitely not. I also own two other 2nd+ woodgrains with the reprinted buff/buff covered volume 3 (one being confirmed as being purchased in early December of 1975 by the original owner), and another owned by Christopher Smagghe on this forum.



According to the three worthies above, the Blumes used flawed and extra boxes left over from previous printings. This is where we get the hybrid sets such as the 3rd+ print I sold last year (listed on Acaeum), the 2nd+ print that I bought in April of this year for $2,300, and the one currently up on eBay. According to my research this mix-matching all occured in the fall/winter of 1975.



Anyhow, you should all know that I explained this to the seller of the set, forwarded Gary and Frank's emails to the seller and attempted several times to get a return of the $2,300 for the 2nd+ late 1975 print woodgrain without success. He simply cited the Acaeum as his reference and refused to accept a return twice by email and again when I sent the item by registered mail.





Futures Bright,



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Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 3:57 pm 
 

Hey Paul, did you ever see my message on this subject?  I'm rather convinced that you have a First print set.



The biggest kicker with these "hybrid" early sets are: does it have a printing number on the inside cover of the booklet in question?  The current eBay auction shows a white box.  I'd bet 50 cents the booklets are Third print, and were simply leftovers tossed in the first batch of white boxes.



Your booklets do not have printing numbers on the inside.  Coupled with the other factors I mentioned in the previous message, it's fairly clear that all three of your booklets are First prints, though your Book 3 may have been either first or last off the line (thus the different color interior cover).  The presses would not have been started back up to print off a dozen extra copies of Book 3, at any time -- the cost would have been way too high.



Lastly, because I keep hearing Gygax and Mentzer listed as authorities on things like this:  I have witnessed *many* instances where both individuals were flat-out wrong.  The chief problem I have with them is that rather than say "gee, I'm not sure about that, it was a long time ago and I don't remember", they weigh in on every issue that crosses their path, and everyone accepts it as canon.  Neither one wrote down anything as it occurred, and they're trying to recall events that happened 25-30 years ago.  No offense, but few of us (me included) can remember such details even 5 years later.  If someone on the street comes up to me and asks me to identify what printing their Basic Set is, I reference The Acaeum's listing -- because * I * can't remember all the printing nuances, and I'm the one who wrote it down initially!



And last time I checked, Frank Mentzer was not at TSR in the early to mid 1970's.  Amazing how he remembers what paper stock was on the press at the time.



Apologies for my rant, though I think it's long overdue.  A disservice is done to the collecting public when guesses and hypotheses are treated as fact -- they should be qualified as guesses and hypotheses, and proper respect should be paid to the realization that all of this was a very long time ago, no written records have survived whatsoever, and so our detective work must be very careful and meticulous indeed.



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Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 7:07 pm 
 

Howdy Scott,





FoulFoot wrote:Hey Paul, did you ever see my message on this subject? I'm rather convinced that you have a First print set.




Yes, thank you but I disagree with your assessment.



FoulFoot wrote:The biggest kicker with these "hybrid" early sets are: does it have a printing number on the inside cover of the booklet in question?  The current eBay auction shows a white box.  I'd bet 50 cents the booklets are Third print, and were simply leftovers tossed in the first batch of white boxes.




You owe me 50 cents. :P The seller just emailed me - no print date on any of the books. The third booklet cover is buff/buff. Seems to support my research.



FoulFoot wrote:Your booklets do not have printing numbers on the inside.  Coupled with the other factors I mentioned in the previous message, it's fairly clear that all three of your booklets are First prints, though your Book 3 may have been either first or last off the line (thus the different color interior cover).  The presses would not have been started back up to print off a dozen extra copies of Book 3, at any time -- the cost would have been way too high.




Did you not read my post? I bought a woodgrain set with the buff/buff covered 3 volume from a gamestore owner locally, who distinctly remembers buying it new in early December of 1975. There are at least 5 examples of this same 2nd+ woodgrain set, plus this whitebox one that came up on eBay, plus the 3rd+ woodgrain set. Hybrids exist. Their print dates, release dates, box prints vary, and they came from TSR that way. Evidence and anectdotes points to this November-December 1975 time period as the point wher many of these hybrids were created.



The information from Gygax, Sutherland, and Mentzer just happens to support this.



FoulFoot wrote:Lastly, because I keep hearing Gygax and Mentzer listed as authorities on things like this:  I have witnessed *many* instances where both individuals were flat-out wrong.  The chief problem I have with them is that rather than say "gee, I'm not sure about that, it was a long time ago and I don't remember", they weigh in on every issue that crosses their path, and everyone accepts it as canon.  Neither one wrote down anything as it occurred, and they're trying to recall events that happened 25-30 years ago.  No offense, but few of us (me included) can remember such details even 5 years later.  If someone on the street comes up to me and asks me to identify what printing their Basic Set is, I reference The Acaeum's listing -- because * I * can't remember all the printing nuances, and I'm the one who wrote it down initially!




Certainly they are not the end-all be-all authorities on this but you can't discredit their recollections, especially when it supports the empirical evidence toward hybrid-prints.



FoulFoot wrote:And last time I checked, Frank Mentzer was not at TSR in the early to mid 1970's.  Amazing how he remembers what paper stock was on the press at the time.




I did not attribute the paper quote to Mentzer it is from Gygax (please reread my post). Dave Sutherland also chimed in on this one and confirmed the EasterCon print too.



Regardless, Mentzer has handled plenty of all of these sets (more than you or I for sure) as an auctioneer at GenCon (he's been doing it and Origins for 20 years). Further, an examination of his pursuit for excellence collectables goes back way farther than us. He wrote a book regarding this and had another in authorship. Finally, he was much closer to the company, people, materials, than any of us (he started at TSR in '80 or so). Do you dispute his qualifications in that regard?



FoulFoot wrote:Apologies for my rant, though I think it's long overdue.  A disservice is done to the collecting public when guesses and hypotheses are treated as fact -- they should be qualified as guesses and hypotheses, and proper respect should be paid to the realization that all of this was a very long time ago, no written records have survived whatsoever, and so our detective work must be very careful and meticulous indeed.




Oh, Scott I can't believe you, of all people would say that! When you put up anything on the Acaeum site it becomes gospel through some sort of e-magic. I have seen too few disqualifiers for "We just don't know." items. You have entered many TRUE First prints without qualification or definitive knowledge.



You call something a first print and then you turn this notion on it's head a month later making it a second print: "A disservice is done to the collecting public when guesses and hypotheses are treated as fact". People have thrown hundreds and thousands of dollars away on the whims of the Acaeum.



I love this site, I owe you a great debt for your efforts, but I think you need to take a step back and looks what seeds you sow through your own works.





Futures Bright,



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Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 8:09 pm 
 

I split this topic off as to not clutter up the eBay thread.



stormber wrote:Yes, thank you but I disagree with your assessment.



You owe me 50 cents. :P The seller just emailed me - no print date on any of the books. The third booklet cover is buff/buff. Seems to support my research.




I've e-mailed the seller, and asked him what the printing imprint in the rear of each booklet shows.



stormber wrote:Did you not read my post? I bought a woodgrain set with the buff/buff covered 3 volume from a gamestore owner locally, who distinctly remembers buying it new in early December of 1975. There are at least 5 examples of this same 2nd+ woodgrain set, plus this whitebox one that came up on eBay, plus the 3rd+ woodgrain set. Hybrids exist. Their print dates, release dates, box prints vary, and they came from TSR that way. Evidence and anectdotes points to this November-December 1975 time period as the point wher many of these hybrids were created.



The information from Gygax, Sutherland, and Mentzer just happens to support this.




I did read your post.  I looked over it again, and I'm not sure we're all on the same page here.



You are saying you have several hybrid box sets.  Your woodgrain hybrid, which you bought for $2,300 some months ago, has a First print of Book 1 and Book 2, and a buff/buff Book 3.  The box may or may not be a First print box; we'll let that one lie, as I don't know what you've turned up regarding stickers/woodgrain.  Now, your Book 3: since you are positive that it was printed in Nov/Dec 1975, I imagine that if you look on the last page, you will see Beloit Press as the printer's mark.  Or even Heritage Models, if we assume it might have come from a couple months earlier.  You will not see Graphic Printing, the press that was only used for the First and Second printing.



Indeed, if you do see Beloit Press / Heritage Models, you owe me an apology back -- you originally said that your Book 3 was in no way different from a First print booklet, other than the interior cover and size.



stormber wrote:Certainly they are not the end-all be-all authorities on this but you can't discredit their recollections, especially when it supports the empirical evidence toward hybrid-prints.




I'm not sure that it does.  I don't argue that hybrid prints are out there; it's well within reason that leftover materials were tossed together in the time between printings.  What I -do- disagree with is that they reprinted a Book 3 (and not a Third print or later Book 3; they dug out the masters from the First printing to run it off) in order to clear a couple of boxes of overstock.  As I said earlier, printing presses are not photocopy machines; you don't run off 10 copies and call it a day.  1,000 copies was probably on the lower end of what a press will do as a minimum order.  You want 10 more copies, you're getting 1,000 more copies.



stormber wrote:Regardless, Mentzer has handled plenty of all of these sets (more than you or I for sure) as an auctioneer at GenCon. Do you dispute his qualifications in that regard?




I dispute any person who claims to be a human encyclopedia.  I'm well aware that he's handled many, many woodgrain sets over the years, and has seen a great deal more collectible D&D items than probably any other person has.  However, as I stated before, he's very often just plain wrong.  For instance (and this is just the latest instance I can think of off the top of my head):



In Aug 2002, a woodgrain set went up on eBay by a seller who wasn't sure what he had.  He posted the details about the set, and then sought out the advice of Gygax as to what print it was.  Gygax first told him that it was a First print set, but that he should ask Mentzer.  Mentzer told him it was definitely not a First print set, because only Second print and later booklets had the D&D Print Sets on the rear-page catalog.  Gygax then wrote the guy again and said Mentzer was right, and that he'd just remembered the same thing.



Needless to say, this piece of wisdom came right out of their nether regions.  Why did they say something so patently false?  I can only surmise here:



1) They really did believe that D&D Print Sets were only advertised in Second and later printings.  They fondly remembered looking over their First print booklets, and lamenting the fact that the D&D Print Sets were not advertised in them.



2) They wanted to make an opinion that was contrasting to what I was stating at the time (which was that he had a First print set).  By discrediting The Acaeum, Frank could once again state that he was the end-all be-all sage of D&D.



In the end, the seller ended up posting everyone's opinions on his auction, and letting it go.  The set sold for $1,700, which at the time was a record.  Unfortunately, since that time, Frank has only redoubled his efforts to make a contrasting opinion to anything I say here.



So, when you ask him if your Book 3 is a later reprint, he'll make up some bullshit as to why The Acaeum's listings are completely wrong, and why he's right.  The problem is, he can't back these claims up, and I at least try to.  It's not because I'm better, or "more knowledgeable", or have held more boxed sets in my hands, it's because I have hundreds of people helping me, and we sort these details out, and we write this stuff down, and we discuss it.



stormber wrote:Oh, Scott I can't believe you, of all people would say that! When you put up anything on the Acaeum site it becomes gospel through some sort of e-magic. I have seen too few disqualifiers for "We just don't know." items. You have entered many TRUE First prints without qualification or definitive knowledge.




I will admit that more qualifying statements are needed on the descriptions.  For the sake of argument, however, we don't know anything for a fact.  We simply collect information, sort it, and use some deductive reasoning to come up with our print listings.  They are all educated guesses -- educated, meaning that we have data to back it up.  We also happily revise the printings when new data becomes available.



Sure, we've often had instances where a "True First" print (or somesuch) becomes a Second print a month later.  But these aren't "whims", Paul -- it's progress.  And I don't think I've ever put something on the website and called it fact unless that item has actually appeared in the flesh somewhere -- otherwise, I do take pains to put "rumored", "unconfirmed", etc.



stormber wrote:People have thrown hundreds and thousands of dollars away on the whims of the Acaeum.




I don't disagree that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on what we've stated here.  But if you believe the conclusions we've reached on various items are erroneous, you owe it to everyone to state why they're erroneous, and to back up your conclusions logically.  "Frank said so" is a very weak argument, and so is "I just spent a lot of money on it, and so it better had be a First print".



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Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 8:43 pm 
 

stormber wrote:Howdy,





muaddib5 wrote:Dungeons & Dragons Original Edition 1974! 3 Book Set

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 99753&rd=1

7 days with no reserve.  Current bid is $10.50.  White box (without the OCE starburst), BUT Men & Magic has the olderer warrior on horseback cover.




This is the same set of books (except in a woodgrain box) that I bought for way too much money a while back. According to my direct communication with Mentzer, Gygax, and Sutherland in fall/winter of 1975 several sets of these were cobbled together by the Blumes in order to move them out of stock. They were mixed, matched, and the volume 3 books reprinted when they were short. Gary stated that the printers had run out of the cover paper stock (new-leather exterior/white interior) when reprinting the third volume of the set and a substitution was made (I assume the buff/buff color you see in the above auction and from my $2,300 set). At best I'd call these sets a 2nd+ print - the two books may be a first print but the box might not be, possibly a 2nd or later woodgrain or even a 4th print white box, and volume 3 is definitely not. I also own two other 2nd+ woodgrains with the reprinted buff/buff covered volume 3 (one being confirmed as being purchased in early December of 1975 by the original owner), and another owned by Christopher Smagghe on this forum.



According to the three worthies above, the Blumes used flawed and extra boxes left over from previous printings. This is where we get the hybrid sets such as the 3rd+ print I sold last year (listed on Acaeum), the 2nd+ print that I bought in April of this year for $2,300, and the one currently up on eBay. According to my research this mix-matching all occured in the fall/winter of 1975.



Anyhow, you should all know that I explained this to the seller of the set, forwarded Gary and Frank's emails to the seller and attempted several times to get a return of the $2,300 for the 2nd+ late 1975 print woodgrain without success. He simply cited the Acaeum as his reference and refused to accept a return twice by email and again when I sent the item by registered mail.





Futures Bright,



Paul




When I saw this one, I figured it was a hybrid.  Left over books thrown together with a newer box.



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Post Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 12:17 am 
 

FoulFoot wrote:"Frank said so" is a very weak argument, and so is "I just spent a lot of money on it, and so it better had be a First print".




Whoa, that is so uncool of you to characterize my whole argument that way.

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Post Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 2:28 am 
 

stormber wrote:He wrote a book regarding this and had another in authorship.




Are you referring to the "1985-1986 Game Buyer's Price Guide" or yet another book? Is it any good? Could you please tell us a little about its contents (only pricing lists or background info, too?).


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Post Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 4:53 am 
 

stormber wrote:
FoulFoot wrote:"Frank said so" is a very weak argument, and so is "I just spent a lot of money on it, and so it better had be a First print".




Whoa, that is so uncool of you to characterize my whole argument that way.




Not intended as such; I was generalizing as to the usual comments I hear when people are complaining about First prints becoming Second, etc.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:46 am 
 

Ralf Toth wrote:
stormber wrote:He wrote a book regarding this and had another in authorship.




Are you referring to the "1985-1986 Game Buyer's Price Guide" or yet another book? Is it any good? Could you please tell us a little about its contents (only pricing lists or background info, too?).




I'll second Ralf's question, Paul!  Fill us in on your secret sources of info please :D


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:42 am 
 

harami2000 wrote:Already have an enquiry in with the seller to try to figure out whether it's a 4th- (know someone who needs one) or an "interesting hybrid" (*points to the now familiar interesting difference in cardstock colors of the booklets*).


The next time I say something as stupid as 4th- in this context without checking the actual descriptions (I got the change in covers vs. change in fonts confused, mentally!), someone please shoot me.

Was just "3rd printings" from what I knew. No fancy 3+s or 4-s.... ^^



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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:53 am 
 

Kind of amusing that it turns out the seller of the "first printing" booklets just threw them in a white box. This is the reason I don't bother with "hybrid" stuff. All this debate about how the thing came to be and it turns out it was just the seller prettying it up. Wonder how close we were to having a "3rd/4th +/- printing" added to the long list.


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 3:08 am 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:Kind of amusing that it turns out the seller of the "first printing" booklets just threw them in a white box. This is the reason I don't bother with "hybrid" stuff. All this debate about how the thing came to be and it turns out it was just the seller prettying it up. Wonder how close we were to having a "3rd/4th +/- printing" added to the long list.


Hey, it's a nice white box: much better than the vandalised one I've got in front of me just now, anyhow. I leapt at that...



Warning about (possible) hybrids duely noted again, I'm sure, even though TSR were pretty good at the old mix-and-match themselves, it would seem.



Might not have found out that important information, myself, although I often ask a few follow-up questions once something's arrived OK, in order to get the "history"; and write that up, if it so merits.



All would have depended on whether I'd've asked the right question, I suppose (with Paul to help nudge me to do so, probably).

  

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:49 pm 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:Kind of amusing that it turns out the seller of the "first printing" booklets just threw them in a white box. This is the reason I don't bother with "hybrid" stuff. All this debate about how the thing came to be and it turns out it was just the seller prettying it up. Wonder how close we were to having a "3rd/4th +/- printing" added to the long list.




I usually don't get too excited about a possible hybrid until unless two (preferably more) copies show up with the same characteristic.  Otherwise, there's simply way too many other possible reasons why First print booklets would show up inside a Elmore Basic Set, other than the possibility that TSR made them that way.

  
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