Wednesday, September 9, 2020

RPGA Gift Catalog (1982)

I've posted before about the presence of roleplaying games in the pages of Christmas catalogs, but what I'd like to write about today is the gift catalog found at the back of issue #8 (October 1982) of the Polyhedron newsletter (the first I ever owned). 

Take a look at the items on offer above. Most of them are directly related to playing Dungeons & Dragons or any other roleplaying games. There are the three Frank Mentzer RPGA modules, To the Aid of Falx, The Investigation of Hydell, and The Egg of the Phoenix. There's the TSR UK-produced AD&D Fighting Wheel, an item I've regretted never having bought ever since. There's also, I suppose, the "alignment generators," which are a pair of six-sided dice, one of which relates to the moral axis and the other to the ethical axis of AD&D's alignment system. I don't see much point to dice like this (now or even then), but the argument could certainly be made that they're a potentially useful game aid.

The same cannot be said for, say, the RPGA baseball cap or the RPGa mini-tote bag. My favorites, though, are the belt buckles. Even taking into account the strange fad for novelty belt buckles during the 1970s and early '80s, I find it hard to imagine that anyone would want a RPGA or TSR belt buckle. I was an unrepentant TSR fanboy at the time – and still am in many ways – but even I wouldn't have bought a TSR belt buckle. I wonder if anyone bought these. In hindsight, this appears to be an early instance of the phenomenon of "lifestyle gaming" that is become much more common (and indeed the source of a great deal of profit for large corporations). 

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I did! I bought the one with the d20. I still have it somewhere. I was in college and loved cool belt buckles, but then a person had to like belts, too . . .