Once again, I step away from the intertubes, and stuff happens. I'm sure everyone knows by now that Wizards of the coast are issuing a limited print run of AD&D hard backs. The Dungeon Masters Guide, Player's Handbook, and Monster Manual.
They're showing them with a black and white cover illustration by Erol Otus currently. I don't know it that's the final art for the covers, or only place holder art.
I'm a game hoarder, so I've got multiple copies of all the TSR hard backs, and they're in good to excellent condition. I don't need fresh copies, but I'll be going to check the game stores for them in April when they come out.
They will be excellent as gifts for new gamers, and I've seen comments concerning donating copies to local libraries. A most worthy action.
And, as some uncertain portion of the proceeds will go towards the Gygax Memorial, I won't feel so bad about giving money to that card game company.
I'm sure that if this print run sells out quickly, WOTC, or their Hasbro Overlords, will seriously consider continuing, even expanding the reprints into a side line.
I'd love to get quality reproductions of all the OD&D booklets. I don't have originals of those.
When WOTC pulled the PDFs of previous editions, it was an example of faulty corporate thinking. Most likely they saw other editions as competing for gamer dollars that would otherwise be spent on new editions. In doing this, they didn't move their customer base on to the new product, they shrank it.
You don't attempt to manage your customers, you cater to them.
WOTC would be better served, and so would we, if they viewed their portfolio of older edition material as a book publisher would,and not as a game/toy manufacturer does.
They could establish an in-house Old School Game Division, turn over the management of all the material they inherited from TSR, and begin republishing old games and books. They could also build a stable of freelancers who actually understand the OSR ethos to provide new material congenial to the old books.
It would cost Wizards next to nothing to mine the trove of old material they own, and pick out choice gems for re-issue.
This would free up the rest of WOTC to pursue the Editon of the Day, card games, hackysacks, whatever.
I don't expect WOTC to ever understand the whys and wherefores of TSR era D&D. I'd rather they just didn't keep trying to convert the non-believers to the edition of the moment. It's counter productive for them, and irrelevant to us.