It is with a certain amount of pride that we at TSR bring you this second part of the new DUNGEONS & DRAGONS releases, the long-awaited MONSTER MANUAL for ADVANCED D & D. We are doubly proud of the format of this book -- i.e., its special hard cover, a "first" in the gaming world and another step in our continuing quest for top quality products.It's remarkable to remember that, not only were the AD&D rulebooks, starting with the Monster Manual, the first hardcover gaming products I ever saw, they were, for a very long time, the only hardcover gaming products I ever saw. Nearly every other RPG product I bought either came in a box or were softcovers -- including other D&D products. In fact, I'm honestly not sure what the first non-AD&D hardcover RPG book I ever saw was. The Traveller Book perhaps?
Carr goes on in his foreword to take a few shots at other RPGs.
The success of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS has spawned a considerable number of imitations and spin-off products, perhaps inevitably. Some of these have merit; many, however, do not -- and although we may concede their right to exist (however dependent they may be on D & D's audience), we caution the prospective buyer to consider their true value and not to be confused with those items which bear the DUNGEOND & DRAGONS or ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS name and constitute the official D & D family of products. As for value, let the others be measured against the standard of quality we have striven for -- a hardbound encyclopedia of monsters, for instance, as opposed to a low quality collection which is poorly assembled and bound.Now, I can't say there's anything surprising in the paragraph above. It's boilerplate TSR denigration of its competition, but what is surprising is that it wasn't Gary Gygax who was writing this and that it occurred so early in the hobby's history. People more knowledgeable in the early days of the hobby than I will no doubt be able to provide some context for Carr's comments. Was this around the time of the disputes with Dave Hargrave over his "vacuous grimoire?" Or was there some other controversy that spurred this on?