no I mean the first print of the second edition books that fell apart after being opened 15 or 20 times. my first Unearthed arcana split in half 6 months after I bought it. One of my monster manuals did the same thing. The absolute cake though were the Monster Manuals for 2nd edition that were 3 ring binders and you had to pull out the printed sheets that had 3 hole punched paper and put them in the binder yourself. If you used them often the holes broke and the pages started falling out. THOSE are the books I'm talking about. Of course the ones you still have are great. All the lousy ones I'm talking about are freaking hard to find because the quality was naughty word.You mean the ones that are still holding together great decades later? Seems the quality is there.
Did many/any of the kids playing D&D in the early '80s care? I had zero knowledge of TSR as a company beyond the fact that their logo was plastered on the books I loved. I couldn't care less about anything beyond the game as we played it.
The mainstream/global internet (web 1.0) wasn't a thing until '89-'90. That's a bit later than the Satanic Panic.
the problem in the south was Clubs couldn't find places to play. Most of our biggest clubs in the DFW metroplex just faded away between 1984 and 1986. The southern baptist convention was dead set on shutting down every Arcade and every D&D player in the south. I've stated in another post ages ago that I had players just show up and drop off all thier books because they were tired of dealing with thier family who thought they were becoming Satanists. Yeah the kids that lived in areas that weren't religious probably didn't notice. But it was bad enough the only place you saw D&D stuff or ads of any sort was in the shrinking number of game stores. do a little research tell us how many Con's and big gaming conventions were held in the southern united states from 1984 to 1990.
And no not mainstream internet. TSR started attacking people on BBC's and at College Libraries where everything was copied and shared in those days. Think about that thier legal department was trolling electronic bulletin boards and sending cease and desist letters to people, because the TSR staff thought thier falling game sales were being significantly impacted by BBC's and photocopiers at the library.
I remember it well it well. If they'd been trying to destroy their brand they couldn't have done it much better.