1981 TSR ‘Gateway to Adventure’ Catalog

TSR Catalog 1981

TSR Catalog 1981-2

TSR Catalog 1981-3

TSR Catalog 1981-4

TSR Catalog 1981-5

You can thumb through a PDF of the whole catalog at Recycled Thoughts from a Retro Gamer. You can also see the complete catalog at Mikey Walters’ Flickr. The images above are from eBay, where you can usually find a copy for $5 – $10.

The shirts are very cool, but apparently not very well-made. Here they are, courtesy of Grognardia.

D&D Shirts 1981

The D&D Basic Set advertised in the catalog is the just released 1981 edition, written by Tom Moldvay with cover art by Erol Otus. The images on the t-shirts on the top left are from Sutherland’s cover to the original Basic Set—written by M.D. and fantasy writer-promoter John Eric Holmesfrom 1977.

I found the Grognardia post via the Original D&D Discussion forums. Zenopus, who writes a terrific blog “exploring the underworld of Holmes Basic,” posted a number of different photos showing the famous Sutherland red dragon, including this beauty:

It’s from the magazine Games Merchandising (a retailer magazine), and shows the TSR booth at the Hobby Industry of America (HIA) 1981 trade show. Dig the red Face logo chairs!

TSR Booth 1981

11 Responses to “1981 TSR ‘Gateway to Adventure’ Catalog”


  1. 1 Zenopus Archives September 3, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Thanks for the kind words. There are several other versions of the Gateway to Adventure catalog, some can be seen in this thread on the Acaeum:

    Early TSR/D&D advertisements & catalogs

  2. 7 Zenopus Archives September 3, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    And Wizards is currently selling a nifty new version of the Holmes Basic t-shirt. I have one and it’s nice quality.

    Red Dragon Cover Tee

  3. 9 Jeffery Lovegrove September 4, 2013 at 1:19 am

    I wish I could have had one of those AD&D Player’s Guide T-Shirts (the one with the devil) when I was a kid. That would have made my parents flip out! 🙂


  1. 1 1983 Games Workshop `Catalogue of Adventure’ | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on January 22, 2014 at 3:51 pm

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