Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Dragon Magazine #70 Ads

Hail Greyhawkers! It's a lazy day off so I'm gonna have fun. My last post got me thinking more about old Dragon ads and how as a youth I enjoyed looking at those almost as much as the articles or comics. Nowadays gaming ads don't attract me. They're too well made. Boring! Some of these old school ads though were quite humorous in today's light. Okay fellow gamers, let's go back in time and riff through a randomly chosen issue, Dragon Magazine #70 from 1983:

The adventure is indeed mine! This first ad is a full page ad for Basic and ExperD&D (of course TSR will splurge in their own magazine). I love these games, I still own both boxed sets today. What I enjoy is the photo ads of the 80's. So, what they show here is five people (2 girls too, ahead of their time) playing around the tiniest round table ever. This would never fly in today's gamer culture with all our books, dice towers, tablets, cell phones and not to forget, snack and beverages! Also, hey scoot down guys...there's a whole other side of that table you can sit on! ;)

It's a book...

Yeah it sure is, but no thanks. If it's a game, it's one that 11 year-old me could never get into because Basic D&D rules was all the math I could handle. Or maybe I'm just not into sci-fi RPGs. Speaking of which...

1. I'm not a fan of Star Trek as an RPG. (Sorry fans) but hey who wouldn't want to own a starship?
2. The Correspondence Game? Oh man, this is 1983. There is no email, or message boards, or instant messengers. You had to command your space ship through SNAIL MAIL?
Shields up! *licks stamp, seals envelope, walks to mailbox*

 Bahaha, vorpal blade. Snicker-snack. Bandersnatch Leathers. Clever ad. Dice bags have been a hot commodity forever evidently. I also like that they have small and large sizes rated by how many dice they hold. I don't think I've ever seen that as a selling point before. Wait, 4 to 6 weeks for delivery? My dice are gonna be sad until then.

Who am I kidding, I've used zip-lock bags for dice before.
 I know yall have heard of Dragonbone. I never got one of these and I sort of wish I had. For you young bloods, this is the 1983 version of a dice app. I'm sure it works as accurate as a dice app too, which is to say I don't trust them!

At any rate, one year guarantee. Not bad! How many RPG accessories have you ever bought that have a warranty of some sort?

$24.95 ?! In 80's money that is *checks* that is $63.02 ! On second thought, I'm glad I didn't buy Dragonbone.

Oh no SCi-fi RPGs again! Actually, Space Opera ads ran in Dragon as far back as I can remember. Never bought this game, probably never will (though I bet it's more fun than ST or Traveller), but I always admired their sharp black and white ads at the bottom of pages. Very eye catching!
Fantasy Games Unlimited made this game as well as games like Bushido and Villains & Vigilantes.

One thing I have to pause and point out too. Dragon #70 was in the early years of published Greyhawk. 1983 is when the World of Greyhawk boxed set first came out. In the magazine, Gary Gygax and company were doing articles and columns to support the setting such as the Deities & Demigods of the World of Greyhawk. All I wanted to say though is look at that beautiful calligraphy. I can only assume it was done by Darlene herself though I can't find actual credit in the magazine. A shame.

And lastly, there is minis. Dragon Magazine was always stocked full of ads for minis from great companies like Grenadier, Ral Partha, Citadel, etc. I could show you those old models and you'd turn your nose up at their quality compared to today. So instead, I'm showing an ad for a game store called Hobby House that will send you a FREE lead mini for the cost of one catalog which is evidently $1.00 ($2.53 for you millennials)

Lead minis. Ah those were the days before we cared about lead poisoning. We painted our lead minis with lead paint while we drank water from lead lined plumbing. If you are also from this era and still reading my blog, then kudos gamer for surviving long enough to enjoy this retrospective with me!


Valkaun_Dain said...

I can verify that Mike used to use a ziplock bag for his dice. I'm sure he got it from one of us after we ate the sandwich that it contained. Decades he used this bag. We finally made him use an actual dice bag a few years ago.

Scott Anderson said...

More of these please!

casl Entertainment said...

I can verify that the calligraphy is Darlene’s. In fact, that particular piece was sold at auction a couple of years ago, through The Collector’s Trove (no, I didn’t win it).

Mike Bridges said...

wonderful confirmation carlos! Sucks that you didn't get it. It's a shame that particular masthead or others like it didn't see more use in Greyhawk books. I need to ask Darlene to calligraph something for me next time!

images2icons said...

Very nice page, my cousin would have enjoyed it. Thanks!

carlos a.s. lising said...

Who says we have to wait? Wouldn’t a Darlene-calligraphed ”Greyhawkery” logo look bad-ass as part of the masthead of your blog? 😊

Mike Bridges said...

images2icons: Thanks! Nostalgia is my jam.

carlos: DUDE! Yer the idea man!