The new super-deluxe (spare no expense) editions of Gary Gygax's Advanced Dungeons and Dragons core rule books ( DMG, PH, and MM at once ! ) looked pretty impressive on the store's bookshelf the other day... From what I can tell from the outside. It's a shame. The plastic wrap is a nice layer of protection for the book, but it'd be helpful to flip through a store copy or something - given the price of the books. Each book features a framed portion of the iconic pictures from the originals, like a piece from a fondly remembered puzzle. When the price of the book sank in, my wallet made the decision. They may look like magic spell books, but this wizard needs food. I, regrettably, will have to pass.
Now, if you'll indulge me while I begin thinking beyond my means, get up on my high horse, and offer some harmless suggestions to the folks at Wizards of the Coast.
There's no question that these books were made using high quality printing tools and techniques, but a give-away contest may help move them off the selves with a positive word of mouth. Some kind of coupon download to help curb the cost wouldn't be out of line, since the economy feels like the 1970's meets the 1930's. There's always the "less fabulous paperback edition for half price" route. And finally, the dreaded download option..."The books are yours in three hours !" I'd shy away from making a You Tube video, presenting the interior of the book (in all of it's graphs, charts, and fantasy art glory) and what not- it might feel too much like "rule-lawyer" porn ( it's like cake porn, but with typeface instead of frosting ). But, then again...You'd get some hits.
Yes, they are well crafted volumes and yes, a chunk of the profit goes into the Gygax Memorial, and yes, there are only so many printed and they will sale. So, why bother taking any of my suggestions? Well, some of us old timey D+D fans believe Hasbro could just buy a statue of Gary Gygax since, ya'know, they made a ga-zillion dollars on the Transformer movies (worldwide and all). Wizard of the Coast, by association, tends to get thrown into a similar light (ala vast sums of cash lying around in off-shore bank accounts). It's probably through no fault of theirs, since Hasbro decides where the money ends up...But hey, it is what it is.* If Hasbro wanted a Gygax statue, there would be a statue.
So, think of this as a fan-based high five on the down low. Since WotC 'rescued' D+D all those years ago, I'm hoping they'll pay homage to TSR's roots in the Independent Press and help spread the word, not just the wealth.
But, yes, I understand there is a G.I. Joe movie sequel set to roll out next summer, so it may take a while to pull that off. I'm naively optimistic.
* I suspect the pitch for the Gygax Memorial fund wasn't as flashy as the pitch for Battleship: The Movie, when it came time for Hasbro to divide up the money. I figure it went something like:
Place: Interior: Hasbro Board Meeting
"What do you got ?"
"There's a request for so much money to help fund a statue of a guy with a strange last name, who inspired a generation of gamers."
"Un Huh...What do you got ?"
"Rhianna in a low-cut, aboard an aircraft carrier, shooting down flying aliens with a giant gun turret. And Liam Neeson."
"Oh Yeah...People have got to see THAT ! Funnel our money to that project immediately ! Meeting Adjourned ! "