Saturday, August 7, 2010

TSR T-Shirts

Todd A. Gibson also sent along a copy of the 1981 TSR catalog that came inside the envelope he scanned. I have a copy of this somewhere too, but it's packed away and I hadn't thought to look for it till Todd reminded me of it. Amidst all the other interesting things found in its pages are these T-shirts, depicting the book and box covers of a number of TSR games of the time.

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't mind having a Holmes Blue Book shirt or one with Tramp's demon idol PHB cover on it.

24 comments:

  1. I'd spring for a Divine Right shirt, too.

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  2. I think I might've had a Holmes red shirt, but worn out sometime last millenium.

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  3. Are the models Gygax children?

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  4. What's sad is that a few of these games (Divine Right, Fight in the Skies) are not currently in print.

    You'd think they'd be "evergreens", akin to a Parker Bros. or er...Hasbro game.

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  5. jinx.com had "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" shirts for a while, with the original font, although they had the 3rd edition D&D font on the reverse. I picked up a few when they were available, as they were the closest thing to the real deal. Alas, they were pulled about the time the .pdfs were withdrawn from circulation.

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  6. You'd think they'd be "evergreens", akin to a Parker Bros. or er...Hasbro game.

    I don't know who currently holds the copyrights to many of these games. I suspect Hasbro has many of them, which is a pity, because it likely means they will never resurface ever again.

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  7. "What's your game." Is World of Warcraft's current marketing catch phrase used in their commericals and online banners. Interesting...

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  8. Oh man, how I want one of those Snit's Revenge! T-shirts so badly.

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  9. Forgot to add: At one point, I was considering a campaign project using nothing but material available in the "Gateway to Adventure" (I think) catalog that came with my Moldvay Basic set. I don't have the catalog to hand, but I think that would have given me either B/X or AD&D 1e + Fiend Folio as a ruleset; World of Greyhawk or Minaria as a setting; and the mono and several B/X modules as potential adventures. More than enough to throw together a pretty awesome "classics" campaign.

    I also think "Dwellers in the Forbidden City" was listed as an upcoming module in the S series.

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  10. The Divine Right shirt is a beaut. I might have to make one.

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  11. Just back after a short hiatus. Well done on the blog design.

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  12. Yep, that DR cover is beautiful and evoking. I have that catalog - after getting the basic D&D box set - and I what everything in that booklet. A Gamma World (1st Ed box cover) shirt would be really awesome!!!

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  13. The bottom-left red "Dungeon!" design comes from the board game TSR put out in 1975. Lots of fond memories of that game. It was the first step for many friends towards going tabletop.

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  14. Actually, in most cases the original authors have retained the original rights. If you look at Wikipedia for Divine Right, it's obviously owned by Glenn A. Rahman (and I think I remember copyrights being indicated somebody other than TSR when rules were published in Dragon).

    Tom Wham had Awful Green things published by Steve Jackson Games, so I think he may still hold rights to that and Snits.

    Dunno about Fight in The Skies/Dawn Patrol.

    Still, its kind of sad nobody's picked up the legacy TSR board games, and kept them in print.

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  15. Divine Right was published as 25th anv. set in 2000, by Right Stuff Ent. It was a larger set, with a lot more counters and optional rules. It also came with a CD full really cool stuff (like the Minarian Legends, and scrapes of the game's unpublished prototype). And their are rumors of a 3 volume set, with the 6th edition rules, the Scarlet Empire, and the Minarian Legends. The fanship is still strong!

    Fight in The Skies/Dawn Patrol is still owned by Mike Carr, and nothing new has been publish in awhile. I think there is an online game of it somewhere.

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  16. Awful Green Things... WANT!!

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  17. I ordered one with the Basic Set art. First time I washed it, the transfer disintegrated. I thought maybe it was a problem with that particular shirt, so I bought another one. Same thing happened. Generic cotton T-shirt with remarkably cheap iron-on transfer. Disappointment.

    They did look remarkably cool, though.

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  18. I had the black "Player's Handbook" T-shirt and wore it proudly for many years. :)

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  19. heh... brings back memories. I had the red shirt with the Sutherland Basic cover art

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  20. Tom wrote:
    "I ordered one with the Basic Set art. First time I washed it, the transfer disintegrated. I thought maybe it was a problem with that particular shirt, so I bought another one. Same thing happened. Generic cotton T-shirt with remarkably cheap iron-on transfer. Disappointment."

    Thanks for mentioning this. I've wondered why these shirts don't show up on Ebay more often. Possibly because so few were sold, but more probably because so few have survived.

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  21. Tom Wham should have a lot more gamer cred than he gets from that time period. Later on he made his Magnum Opus that was Mertwig's Maze and it was a great way to kill some time with my gamer friends in between campaigns. Why hasn't someone tapped into his talent and created some computer games based on his ideas?!?! I would kill for some XBLA games based on Tom Wham designs and concepts.

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  22. I love seeing old art and ads like this. I've been posting some old ads at www.gmoracle.com but I'd never noticed these t-shirt designs before. 1981 is too early for me to have been gaming, but I bet a 9-year old me would have killed for that Dungeon game cover shirt.

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  23. Tom Wham should have a lot more gamer cred than he gets from that time period.

    I agree. Tom Wham is definitely an underappreciated designer -- and artist -- from the old days.

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