Uh - it sort of did. There was a line of AD&D toys, but other than Tiamat, I don’t think the characters on the show were the same a the toys.
I did LOVE the cartoon though. Totally up my alley when it came out.
Setting a lifelong pattern for rooting for the wrong person, I always liked Eric.
I thought Warduke was in it as a regular, but I guess it was just one episode:
…you can recreate the battle between “good” and “evil”.
Nice scare quotes.
That game at 5:32 wasn’t the Apple IIe, it was from the Intellivision and it was AWESOME. LOVED that game soooo much. Later they came out with Treasure of Tarmin which was just mind blowing at the time with a pseudo 3D maze to go around getting loot and killing monsters.
The episode they mention at 9:25 scared the living hell out of 6 year old me.
I was just thinking, for realism, the entire episode should be taken up with an argument about a saving throw.
The kids were all heroic — all but a semi-heroic member of their troupe named Eric. Eric was a whiner, a complainer, a guy who didn’t like to go along with whatever the others wanted to do. Usually, he would grudgingly agree to participate, and it would always turn out well, and Eric would be glad he joined in. He was the one thing I really didn’t like about the show.
So why, you may wonder, did I leave him in there? Answer: I had to.
As you may know, there are those out there who attempt to influence the content of childrens’ television. We call them “parents groups,” although many are not comprised of parents, or at least not of folks whose primary interest is as parents. Study them and you’ll find a wide array of agendum at work…and I suspect that, in some cases, their stated goals are far from their real goals.
Nevertheless, they all seek to make kidvid more enriching and redeeming, at least by their definitions, and at the time, they had enough clout to cause the networks to yield. Consultants were brought in and we, the folks who were writing cartoons, were ordered to include certain “pro-social” morals in our shows. At the time, the dominant “pro-social” moral was as follows: The group is always right…the complainer is always wrong.
My own personal anecdote is that my mother forbid from watching the show due to something vaguely about Satan. I’m sure I saw an episode at some point, and I’m probably not evil. Also, I love my mother.
I had most of these monsters, and I was only aware of Dungeons & Dragons as a cartoon.
The pilot was written by Mark Evanier; he certainly wasn’t the only guy responsible for the series’ quality, but he helped set the table.
Ironically, a lot of now-classic print D&D monsters (such as the owlbear and bulette) came from a bag of cheap, generic plastic critters.
That would be like the “Q5” that is blamed for the precipitous decline of The Real Ghostbusters, I suppose. (See for instance http://www.toonzone.net/2011/03/the-five-most-embarrassing-moments-the-real-ghostbusters/ .)
Are groups like that still around?
Uh… you mean didn’t have a toy tie-in besides the $20-a-pop books (with the cavalier, thief-acrobat and archer classes not even being found in the three core books, but the Unearthed Arcana supplement…), the figures, battle-mats, DM screens, modules, etc?
Debatable whether or not AD&D was a toy, but not debatable that the whole series was an extended marketing campaign for the game.
He’s one of the few writers whose mere name ensures that I will watch at least a pilot for a show (or read a comic book) and I’m usually rarely disappointed. Heck, he even made me like Garfield…
OMFG!!! My brother and I had most of those! Thanks for the memory!
From the OP:
“… It certainly showed how good writers, even those working on rather cynical projects, can do good work. …”
I own the DVD set!
Agreed. I don’t get how anyone can say this cartoon is any different than GI Joe or the Transformers at promoting product.
From what I recall, less heinous of an example, actually.