Belt Buckle
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:19 am 

I recently came across this brass belt buckle in my goodies drawer. It has "copyright 1980 TSR Hobbies Inc All Rights Reserved" and "Manufactired by Bergamot Brass Works Darien Wisconsin" on the back. From what I have been able to find, it is 1 of 20 made. Any help on value?

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Post Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:35 am 

Surely not 1 of 20--I had the same buckle when I was younger.  Frank Mentzer would probably be the best person to ask.


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Post Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:42 am 

here's a blog post with various buckles

Cyclopeatron: Mentzer's TSR Belt Buckle Collection

I think Collectors Trove was selling some in past auctions that had the RPGA look (maybe more than five years ago?)

edit: yes, here it is

Auction Agent - August 2, 2009

"TSR's incredibly rare RPGA Blue Enamel Pewter Buckle (Only 6 Made Ever!)

The buckle is heavily worn especially over the RPGA d20 Globe logo and has a number of small nicks and scratches. The enamel is in god condition with only a few light scratches. The buckle is otherwise structurally sound.

This auction is for a pewter finished TSR RPGA belt buckle featuring the RPGA 20-Sided Die Globe Logo on a background of blue enamel. Only 6 of those were ever made! One was given to Bill Hoyer and another to Frank Mentzer.

Bill gives an account of the history of TSR belt buckles hereafter:

"During the late 1970's and early 1980's, TSR had belt buckles made using their Lizard Man logo as the basis for the buckle. The first buckle had 2 lizard men on it and it was finished in a brass finish. This version was very popular but it had one flaw—the catch for the belt holes was very weak and a bad habit of breaking off. I know because I had the initial buckle replaced and that lasted for about a year before the catch broke again. The next one I bought was only worn a few times before it was assigned to a box in my file cabinet.

The 2nd TSR [Wizard Face Logo] buckle was made by a different firm, Bergamont Brass, and it was very sturdy. I never heard of any of the catch's breaking off of these buckles. I bought one but never wore it.

The history of the RPGA belt buckles is a very interesting story in itself. As the Assistant Coordinator of the RPGA, it was my duty to research new product that only members of the RPGA could purchase. So it was inevitable that a RPGA belt buckle be one of those products. The casting was again assigned to Bergamont Brass, but this time there were different finishes chosen. The first finish was the platinum finish with a Red enamel background, only 3 of those were made and they given to Gary Gygax and Kevin and Brian Blume. The next finish was the platinum background but with a Blue enamel. Only 6 of those were made. I got one which I still wear to this day. The 2nd went to Frank Mentzer. The remaining 4 may have been given out, but I have no idea of who may have gotten them.

The 3rd finish was a copper finish and there were 20 of those made. They were to be awarded to RPGA AD&D tournament winners. Only 2 of the copper ones were awarded and the remaining 18 may have collected dust without ever being awarded and then disappeared.

The last finish was the regular pewter finish and it was this finish that was offered to RPGA members for sale. There were approximately 200 of these made and by the time I left employment with TSR/RPGA, over 60 were sold. Just what happened to the others is anybody's guess. You can look in early issues of the Polyhedron (the RPGA magazine) to see the original membership items to see the buckle.

The copyright date on the back of the rectangular buckles is incorrect; the buckles were all produced in 1983 and onward. But the artwork for the copyright was from a 1980 TSR product."

Wow! The rarest TSR belt buckle you will likely ever see at auction! Only 6 were ever made, and only 2 of those are accounted for! This EXTREMELY RARE 1983 buckle is a true crown jewel for your collection!"

so according to Hoyer, that's one of the 20 copper finish ones, and the ones we all saw in the advertisements for RPGA items were the regular pewter ones


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:21 pm 

I know mine was bronze, not pewter...I find it really hard to believe one of the 20 just happened to be on sale at the RPGA booth at Gen Con that year, though.  'Course, that was the same time I bought my rectangular RPGA logo zippered dice bag, which is also apparently extremely rare nowadays...


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:18 am 

Hi, just found the same bronze/copper buckle in my drawer, can't imagine that there really are only 20 of these, I think it was a gift from the TSR UK crew as I was a volunteer DM for the British Open tournaments.
Did the OP ever get a valuation for this?

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 1:52 pm 

fwiw: RIP Uncle Duke (ceremony Oct 20).

I know Duke had a unique enameled executive buckle, and I'm sure Annette will be selling it in the future.


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:20 pm 

ExTSR wrote in Belt Buckle:fwiw: RIP Uncle Duke (ceremony Oct 20).

Sad to hear. Never met him myself, but several people at GaryCon have told me he was a great guy.

Available now from Die Cast Games: Night of the Black Swords by Allen Hammack (Author of C2-The Ghost Tower of Inverness) with artwork by Jeff Easley and Diesel.

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