Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Hobbit games!

I was happily surprised to see that these games all made it to the market in 1979. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bakshi's LOTR was probably the foundation for the subsequent popularity of Dungeons and Dragons. The cartoon got released in November 1978 and then just two years later with no real promotion outside of ads in comic books, store buyers were feeling confident enough to stock generous amounts of fantasy-themed merchandise. Montgomery Ward, 1981:

Sales were obviously very, very good because the next year chains like Sears were giving fantasy games almost as much page space as Star Wars, which is saying plenty back then. This is just the D&D page.

Fame had its price and catalogs like these contributed to the popular misconception of fantasy games being connected to the "occult". Two different store chains, two different graphic design companies, two different years, and both catalogs lumped the spiritual divination items on the same pages.

This wasn't always the case. During the mid 1970s when the occult was in fact a much larger part of pop culture, catalogs usually put the tarot decks, ouija boards, scrying pendulums etc. in the pages for general games or in home goods -typically next to the "head shop" items like water-pipes and black-light posters. Once D&D became popular, occult-themed games were always on the same pages and stayed that way until D&D was no longer stocked in the catalogs (roughly around 1984-6).

One positive outcome from all this was D&D's popularity meant it took the bullet for LOTR. All the occult conspiracy "experts" paid little to no attention to LOTR when they could have just as easily been denouncing the cartoon and harmless games like these as recruiting tools used by evil occultnik groups.


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