2016-12-30 18:48:54 UTC
the Random House Publishing Company for the distribution of their
products to bookstores throughout the United States. This had the dual
benefit of not only getting D&D onto bookshelves across the country,
but was financially beneficial to TSR too. Random House basically gave
them a stipend for every book they printed. The book didn't have to be
sold - or even shipped to bookstores! - just printed (Random House did
this both to ensure they - and their partners - would always have
stock, but also because tax laws made it beneficial for them to have
Needless to say, TSR saw this as an excuse to print as many books as
they could, regardless of whether or not sales would support such
sizeable print runs (it wasn't exactly free money since the stipend
didn't /quite/ cover the cost of printing, but TSR figured they were
probably going to sell those books eventually anyway so why not go
nuts with the print orders?). Ultimately, this practice would bite TSR
in the ass in the late '90s when Random House stopped offering that
stipends; TSR - having planned on that income to help offset the cost
of printing their newer books - basically collapsed into bankruptcy at
that point (Random House changed their policy because the tax-laws
were changed and they started getting billed on unsold books in
warehouses). But until then, TSR had huge back-logs of books because
they always over-printed everything.
But even before they went insolvent, TSR had a problem with too many
copies of older books. So let's imagine TSR in 1984, with a huge
number of extra Basic D&D modules. Even though they had already
received the Random House stipend, these books were just collecting
dust in the warehouse and - given their age - it was becoming
increasingly unlikely they would sell. How to get rid of them all?
Well, one method was to just slap a bunch of them into a faux-leather
slip-case and call it the "10th Anniversary Dungeons & Dragons
Collector's Edition", which is exactly what they did. Apparently only
1000 of these Collector Editions were "printed"; how many actually
were sold is unknown.
Note that this product was different from their later "Silver
Anniversary Collector's Edition" in that this product used /existing/
books pulled from their warehouse (the Silver Anniversary collector's
edition was a brand new printing). Except for the rather
cheesy-looking slip-case (with a gold-embossed D&D logo on it), these
books were identical to what had already been sold... because they
were literally the same books.
Anyway, that's the why and wherefore of the thing. What's it actually
The "TSR 1099 10th Anniversary Dungeons & Dragons Collector's Edition"
included 12 books; the Player's Manual and Dungeon Master's Rulebook
from the Basic Edition rules, the Expert Rules Rulebook, the Player's
Companion and Dungeon Master Companion books from the Companion Rules
box-set, adventure modules B1 In Search of the Unknown, B2 Keep on the
Borderlands, X1 The Isle of Dread, MSOLO1/M1 Blizzard Pass, AC2 Combat
Shield, AC3 3-D Dragon Tiles, and the D&D Player Character Record
Sheets. It also came with the usual assortment of cheap TSR dice (with
a crayon to fill in the numbers) and two "invisible ink" pens for the
MSOLO adventure module. And did I mention the awful fake-leather
slip-case? I don't think I can stress enough how terrible that was.
"Obama is a damned narcissistic idiot who has just made the world a
much more dangerous place. Your children will curse his name."