TSR’s The Strategic Review (April, 1976)

Strategic Review April 76

Strategic Review April 76-7

Strategic Review April 76-8

Strategic Review April 76-6

Strategic Review April 76-3

Strategic Review April 76-9

Strategic Review April 76-4

Strategic Review April 76-5

Strategic Review April 76-2-2

Several pages from the last issue of TSR’s first magazine, including a brilliant two-page photo spread announcing the grand opening of the now famous Dungeon Hobby Shop. The Strategic Review would become Dragon magazine in June of ’76 (see the announcement on the top left of the second photo).

Huscarl gives a pretty comprehensive history of The Dungeon Hobby Shop (Ernie Gygax ran the place) at Wizards of the Coast. He talks about the “three-level dungeon built by Dave Sutherland,” showing “the same group of adventurers in nine vignettes as they fought their way down […] They slowly got whittled down along the way until, in the final chamber, just three of them confronted the demon lord of the dungeon.”

Dungeon Hendryx

Mary Hendryx with Sutherland’s dungeon. (Photo: Kevin Hendryx)

And below is a view of the shop counter. Behind Mary and Linda we’ve got

[…] a full range of Metagaming’s microgames, which were enormously popular around 1980; Advanced Wizard and Advanced Melee, two of the three rulebooks for Metagaming’s RPG The Fantasy Trip; a few bags of Snits! miniatures for Tom Wham’s Snit Smashing and Snits’ Revenge boardgames; and copies of the 1981 editions of D&D Basic and Expert (still my favorites). There’s also a fishbowl of `High Impact Dice’!
Dungeon Hendryx Simpson

Mary Hendryx and Linda Simpson. (Photo: Kevin Hendryx)

Beneath the Basic and Expert sets (Otus covers), you’ll see a “Gateway to Adventure” banner poster.

D&D Poster 1979

The photo links at the Huscarl post are down, unfortunately, but Al at Beyond the Black Gate has them on view here, along with some other spectacular shots, ads, and a beautifully illustrated Dungeon mailing envelope. (Another mailer and some order forms are at Tome of Treasures. Thanks to Zenopus for the heads up in this Grognardia post.)

(Strategic Review images via pikelett/eBay)

6 Responses to “TSR’s <em>The Strategic Review</em> (April, 1976)”

  1. 1 Jason November 21, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    I had the good fortune to play in an OD&D campaign last summer, DMed by none other than Tim Kask. (http://yottaquest.com/index.php/itemlist/category/30-tales.html) It eventually fizzled due to a) friction between we old-school and a couple new-school gamers, and b) peoples’ convention-season schedules. I’ve managed to get into a Dungeon Crawl Classics campaign since then, with different folks.

    • 2 2W2N November 21, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      I’d really like to get into a regular OD&D game, but friend J. and I don’t have anyone to play with, and we’re too misanthropic to look. I used to play D&D Online (DDO), and I still think it would be fun to get a group together and see what happens.

  2. 3 Zenopus November 21, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Great post. Love that shot of Gygax at work on his office. I imagine him at that same desk sometime in the following year reviewing Holmes’ manuscript for the Basic Set rulebook.

    Ernie Gygax is currently working on releasing the “Hobby Shop Dungeon”, a dungeon he used to run out of the shop in the ’70s.
    See here for more historical info:

    • 4 2W2N November 21, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      Gygax kind of looks like a high priest, doesn’t he? I just love that spread.

      Thanks for the link, and congrats on nabbing the Holmes manuscript. Maybe I can interview you about it and OD&D next year…

  1. 1 The Dungeon Hobby Shop Ads (1976, 1979) | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on September 2, 2014 at 6:03 pm
  2. 2 Dungeons & Dragons/TSR T-Shirt, Circa 1978 | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on January 14, 2015 at 3:52 pm

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