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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Sacrosanct

Legend
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
Supporter
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
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
Supporter
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
Supporter
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.
 

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