TSR NuTSR Sells Rebound 1E Core Rulebooks For $650 Each

Despite being embroiled in ongoing legal disputes with WotC regarding use of the TSR trademark (amongst other things), NuTSR has posted images of leather-bound compilations of AD&D 1E books they say are rebindings of old material, complete with the disputed logo. They're selling these books for $650 each.

The Deities & Demigods book (middle top in the image) has a typo on the front cover.


rebound1e.jpg


About these books, NuTSR says "Look what just came in. Sorry, we didn't have these in for TSR CON. (in the beginning, WotC said similar to what people below are saying. We said they are rebound of old material. Long story short, WotC said ok no problem, we have it in writing)"

As rebindings, these would be existing books simply being resold. However, the covers with the disputed logo are new.

In early March WotC launched a lawsuit -- (PDF attachment of filing) -- naming TSR, TSR CEO Justin LaNasa personally, and the Dungeon Hobby Shop museum. WotC seeks a judgement that TSR hand over all domains, take down all websites, pay treble damages and costs, hand over all stock and proceeds related to the trademarks, and more.

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
That’s true in one sense, but something like that wouldn’t commemorate the lawsuit, etc. That legal struggle is what would be the root of theie possible collectibility.

In the 1970s & 1980s, Japanese guitar makers were making versions of models by US maker Gibson that were very similar visually to, and- in some cases- better made than the originals. Gibson sued for infringement. The Japanese companies changed their visual aesthetics to avoid future legal issues.

Today, ”Lawsuit Era” guitars command prices higher than functionally identical or superior guitars by the same makers…sometimes even the Gibsons they mimicked. In addition, “lawsuit era” is a label applied to some guitars that weren’t even involved in the actual lawsuit, driving up their prices.

It’s not something that happens often in the collectibles realm. In fact, the opposite is most often true. As @Faolin pointed out, the size and scope of the controversy is a factor. But it happens often enough that the possibility should be dismissed out of hand.
True, but what I'm trying to say is that anyone can manufacture what LaNasa did. Just like a POD version will have no value. Their books will have no value if I can take my books and do the exact same thing as they did. Not everyone can manufacture Japanese Gibson look alikes. Everyone can find a book binder.
 

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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
True, but what I'm trying to say is that anyone can manufacture what LaNasa did. Just like a POD version will have no value. Their books will have no value if I can take my books and do the exact same thing as they did. Not everyone can manufacture Japanese Gibson look alikes. Everyone can find a book binder.
But the point is it’s not the quality that’s driving the value bump of lawsuit guitars, it’s the lawsuit.

I literally know luthiers who can make guitars better than the lawsuit knockoffs. They don’t sell for anything resembling their prices. There are modern production guitars made better than those lawsuit guitars. The new guitars sell for a fraction of their predecessor’ prices as well.

The value bump is in the commemoration of the lawsuit, not the functionality. It’s the context, not the inherent value of the item.
 

Shakeshift

Adventurer
I mean, let's just bring this out into the open; Justin Lanasa ISN'T using older 1st edition books with the covers torn off. I think it's pretty plain to see that he's going to be using PDF versions of all of the books mentioned that he bought off of Drive-Thru RPG or wherever, and then is slapping a fake leather cover on it with gold leaf, and charging $650 for PDF copies.

In any situation, Justin Lanasa can SAY that he's doing the legal thing, but I think we all know that he's too lazy and stupid to do anything other than the easiest thing to do, which is print off a laser copy of the books and then pay to get them bound. Nobody here believes for a moment that Justin won't do anything but the laziest possible thing and then lie about the results. THAT is his legacy so far, why change course so late in the game?

So, based on that, we just need to report him to Wizards and let them deal with this. That TSR copyright alone shows how half-assed he can be. It's huge, ugly, and frankly.... it was never really his company. Justin is a pretender and a liar. He owned nothing.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
But the point is it’s not the quality that’s driving the value bump of lawsuit guitars, it’s the lawsuit.

I literally know luthiers who can make guitars better than the lawsuit knockoffs. They don’t sell for anything resembling their prices. There are modern production guitars made better than those lawsuit guitars. The new guitars sell for a fraction of their predecessor’ prices as well.

The value bump is in the commemoration of the lawsuit, not the functionality. It’s the context, not the inherent value of the item.
Right. I'm not talking about quality either. I'm talking about reproducibility. A rebound book with a spelling error? I (and everyone else) can easily make another looking exactly like the one they did. Then say it was one of the controversial copies. Something that is easily reproducible without any validation that you've got a legit one or not isn't going to hold much collector value.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I mean, let's just bring this out into the open; Justin Lanasa ISN'T using older 1st edition books with the covers torn off. I think it's pretty plain to see that he's going to be using PDF versions of all of the books mentioned that he bought off of Drive-Thru RPG or wherever, and then is slapping a fake leather cover on it with gold leaf, and charging $650 for PDF copies.

In any situation, Justin Lanasa can SAY that he's doing the legal thing, but I think we all know that he's too lazy and stupid to do anything other than the easiest thing to do, which is print off a laser copy of the books and then pay to get them bound. Nobody here believes for a moment that Justin won't do anything but the laziest possible thing and then lie about the results. THAT is his legacy so far, why change course so late in the game?

So, based on that, we just need to report him to Wizards and let them deal with this. That TSR copyright alone shows how half-assed he can be. It's huge, ugly, and frankly.... it was never really his company. Justin is a pretender and a liar. He owned nothing.
What you know and what you can prove are 2 different things. WotC probably believes- as do many people- exactly what you say. But unless and until they can prove it, it won’t develop into anything.

If, OTOH, WotC wins big and gets their hands on LaNassa’s books and they show no acquisi of material to be rebound, or if the printers come forward and say they were print8ng from PDFs, etc,, THEN WotC has something they can work with.

Of course, by that point, La Nassa et alia may be “judgement proof.”
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I'm talking about reproducibility.
Reproducibility doesn’t matter when you’re talking memorabilia, which is what these books could (but probably won’t) become. Most memorabilia is EASILY reproducible, and copies DO flood the market. This is one of the reasons appraisers and collectors make a big deal out of provenance.

The value is all in the actual provable connection to the event, not whether it iis a copy physically indistinguishable from the original.
 

The value bump is in the commemoration of the lawsuit, not the functionality. It’s the context, not the inherent value of the item.

I'm familiar with the similar things happening in the video game collectors market, but its pretty rare. Most of the niche products like this end up with a selling price way lower than you would expect, because the interest/market for them is so small.

A related factor is that in order to be collectible, there have to be enough things in the world for people to collect. If there's only 4 of these ever, that's not a collectors market, that's a museum market. People can't compare their collections with others or grow them over time. Maybe if there was a large market of other NuTSR products that people hunted after, these would be the unicorns of the collections. But since NuTSR has so few products to even offer, it's unlikely that would happen either. In the end, it's the same problem; no market = no value.

And of course, part of the value in things like guitars, and video games, and RPG books is because there are some people that actually want to use them. There's no chance in that happening here.

At this point, I think the most collectible thing to come out of this fiasco will the the 57 copies of Star Frontiers: Not Genuine that people got from Lulu.com before it was removed. At least it's fun to read.
 

Of course, by that point, La Nassa et alia may be “judgement proof.”

Remember that WotC served the DHSM and LaNasa personally. At the very least, there's the real estate from the museum to lose. At most, there's Justin's personal assets. If it comes out in the bookkeeping that he's as bad at separating his businesses as he appears to be (remember, the online payments go through Port Kava, his coffee/vape shop), there may be more to go after than we would expect.
 


Orius

Hero
What you know and what you can prove are 2 different things. WotC probab believes- as do many people- exactly what you say. But unless and until they can prove it, it won’t develop into anything.

If, OTOH, WotC wins big and gets their hands on LaNassa’s books and they show no acquisi of material to be rebound, or if the printers come forward and say they were print8ng from PDFs, etc,, THEN WotC has something they can work with.

Of course, by that point, La Nassa et alia may be “judgement proof.”
Yeah, we don't know where he got these books in the first place. I wouldn't put it past Mr. Grits to print out a PDF because that's how trustworthy he is. Though the Deities and Demigods copy wouldn't be a legit PDF either, since I'm pretty sure the DriveThru ones don't have the Cthulhu and Elric material. However, I could see a huckster like LaNasa printing out pirated PDFs and then selling them. If it's a bad scan with crooked pages and such, it would match the cover with typos! Hell, he'd probably go so far as to use pirated PDFs as a point of pride since they're not "tainted" by content warnings.

My contempt for LaNasa grows. As much as I am not fond of the content warnings and such myself, he has nary a shred of my respect. He comes off as nothing but a two bit con artist. I don't trust him as far as I can throw him, and he's nothing but a stain on TSR's legacy.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
A related factor is that in order to be collectible, there have to be enough things in the world for people to collect. If there's only 4 of these ever, that's not a collectors market, that's a museum market.
It depends on how you define the market in question. Lots of collectibles fall into multiple collectible markets. Someone who collects RPG or litigation memorabilia will not be put off by only 4 copies existing- that rarity would be a selling point.
 

Will any original 1e books be valuable in 40 years after everyone who played it is dead?

Not sure if you're serious but the answer is: if the D&D brand retains value, the original items retain value. If the brand dies, the collector market dies.

Go on eBay and compare Roy Rogers toys to Star Wars toys. Roy Rogers was the most popular name around for decades, and there are things on there that are very old and very rare. But Star Wars toys that are just a little rare and not very old (comparably) will be more expensive because Star Wars is a household name and no one cares about Roy Rogers.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
... go so far as to use pirated PDFs as a point of pride since they're not "tainted" by content warnings.
Just a reminder, the Legacy Content disclaimer does not appear anywhere on the PDFs or the POD copies. It only appears on the product information page of the websites where those items are sold (such as on DriveThruRPG). As much as NuTSR and others would like to believe otherwise, these products themselves do not have any kind of content warning or disclaimer and never have, and WotC has never indicated they intend to add one.

The PODs and PDFs still have the old TSR logo and addresses on them, even.
 
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Yaarel

Mind Mage
So, off the main topic. Do you keep your books in anything to help preserve them, or just on the shelf? (The paper and cover in my DMG is starting to show its age, and we have an unfortunate number of silverfish in other parts of the house that periodically make it to the bookshelf...)
For mold on books: put it in a large ziplock bag with some baking soda to keep it dry. Then put the books in the freezer for a few days. It kills the mold and the books come out fresher. Remember to let the books reheat to room temperature before opening the sealed ziplock, so the air moisture doesnt condense on it.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Remember that WotC served the DHSM and LaNasa personally. At the very least, there's the real estate from the museum to lose. At most, there's Justin's personal assets. If it comes out in the bookkeeping that he's as bad at separating his businesses as he appears to be (remember, the online payments go through Port Kava, his coffee/vape shop), there may be more to go after than we would expect.
By “judgement proof”, it is usually meant that the party being sued is beyond any reasonable possibility for ever actually satisfying the judgement imposed. I know of parties whose annual income is less than the annual accrued interest & penalties on lawsuits they’ve lost.
 


Orius

Hero
Just a reminder, the Legacy Content disclaimer does not appear anywhere on the PDFs or the POD copies. It only appears on the product information page of the websites where those items are sold (such as on DriveThruRPG). As much as NuTSR and others would like to believe otherwise, these products themselves do not have any kind of content warning or disclaimer and never have, and WotC has never indicated they intend to add one.

The PODs and PDFs still have the old TSR logo and addresses on them, even.
That's not how the thinking likely goes though. It's the idea of spending money on a page with the warnings going to a company that issued the warnings that's the thing. Using pirated material here comes from the line of thinking of "sticking it to the Man" or some such nonsense.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
That's not how the thinking likely goes though. It's the idea of spending money on a page with the warnings going to a company that issued the warnings that's the thing. Using pirated material here comes from the line of thinking of "sticking it to the Man" or some such nonsense.
Yep, I know. Justin is relying on gullibility and misinformation among fans to garner their support (and eventually, their money). Get people riled up enough, they will believe anything you tell them without question. That con is as old as gossip itself...neither new nor original.

The best thing we can do is reveal the flaws and inconsistencies early, and often. Stepping in with clarification and sources will help more people stay focused on the truth, and keep misinformation from gaining momentum. Justin knows this, so he's deleting comments and blocking people who call him out.
 

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