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  1.  (1389.1)
    Either really good or disappointing news. Only time will tell.

    At Comic Book Resources
    At my blog
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2008
     (1389.2)
    I think your blog sums things up nicely.

    TSR -- that now-defunct game company -- paid a wad for the game and fiction rights about twenty years back. I'm not sure what spin they put on it. (Oh. Well thanks to the magic of Google, I do: http://www.buck-rogers.com/tsr/ And they did comics, too!)

    Nowadays, whenever I imagine people thrust into an exciting new future, I keep thinking of that Transmetropolitan story about revived 20th century corpsicles suffering soul-killing future shock.
  2.  (1389.3)
    I really only know the TSR game from its listings at Ebay, but it seems to have been based pretty closely on the 1930s comics.

    That Transmet story is definitely a contemporary view of the oh-my-gosh-I'm-in-the-future idea, and I like it a lot (It was my first exposure to Transmetropolitan). Anyone who tries to revive these older stories is going to have a scary fine line to walk, like I said in the post.

    I do want to catch up on this new Dan Dare, too. Dare's background is fairly bizarre in itself (the comics were backed by a church group?!) but as a 50s series I think it's a better candidate for revision, since its more closely tied to our own experience of the late twentieth.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2008
     (1389.4)
    The link I put up above is for a page listing all the licensed products TSR put out. Quite a pile of stuff! The titles and descriptions will give you an idea of the changes.
    • CommentAuthorCaBil
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2008
     (1389.5)
    Actually, TSR didn't buy it, the Dille Family Trust, who still own the Buck Rogers rights, also owned TSR for a period of time. Though I have no factual firsthand knowledge, among the people I knew at the edge of the gaming industry at that time operated under the impression that TSR was directed by Dille Family to put out Buck Rogers material, in an effort to keep the IP in the public eye.
  3.  (1389.6)
    @CaBil

    Yeah, Lorraine WIlliams, who ran TSR back in the day, was an owner of the Buck Rogers rights and more or less rammed it down the developers' collective throat. She also didn't exactly hold gaming in high regard (and odd position for an owner of a major game company); I knew a bunch of those guys at the time, and it was a dark, dark period for TSR.

    From Wikipedia: "Through Williams' direction, TSR solidified its expansion into other fields, such as magazines, paperback fiction, and comic books. Through her family, Williams personally held the rights to the Buck Rogers license and encouraged TSR to produce Buck Rogers games and novels. TSR would end up publishing a board game and a role-playing game, the latter based on the AD&D 2nd Edition rules.[4]"

    -E
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2008
     (1389.7)
    Fascinating! That puts a whole new spin on things.

    I have a box full of the plastic pieces for the Buck Rogers board game. American Science and Surplus was (probably still is) selling them cheap. I thought I'd use them to make my own game, but got un-inspired.

    Sigh . . . I remember going to the NYC Toy Fair one year. TSR was heavily corporate by this time. Their display suite was a intimidating, cold, evil-MBA place; there were a few games in sealed display cases with spotlights over them. No touching, no gabbing; the only people present were sales people who only wanted to talk to chain store buyers.
    • CommentAuthordkostis
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2008
     (1389.8)
    TSR's Buck Rogers rpg was also aimed at younger gamers.This was at a time when players were growing increasingly older as potential new players were getting drawn into computer games.

    Even without the electronic competition you have to wonder what they were thinking marketing a game to an audience that probably had never heard of the character. Most "older" gamers at the time were only vaguely aware of the character.