Got in a 1980 D&D Expert Set (“Moldvay” or “B/X” series)… in factory shrinkwrap!

Edit: Sold! (More D&D in stock in our online shop)

So the question I always ask myself: “Is it really the original TSR shrink?” More than a few times I’ve seen sellers (particularly on eBay) claim shrink is original, when it clearly is not. Anybody can use shrink film and a heat gun. I have them in my office.

The vast majority of these cases of impostor shrinkwrap are the seller making an honest mistake, not trying to scam buyers. They may have picked it up second-hand and sincerely believe the set has never been opened.

Determining original SW versus a re-shrink

Wear on the box that would be unlikely or impossible to have occurred with shrink still on it. If you see that, it’s probably been re-wrapped. Marks & stickers under the wrap are a giveaway.

Stickers on the outside of the wrap, on the other hand, from classic toy sellers (Kmart, Kay-Bee, Toys R Us, etc) are a sign you have the real deal. This particular set has an old Target sticker for $6.99 (wouldn’t that be nice?).

D&D Expert Set 1st SW Target sticker

TSR shrinkwrap from the 80s has a couple of distinctive characteristics:


A shrink seam on the back of module or box set. Must have been part of the process back then. TSR switched to a more modern(?) seamless style in the 90s. I dunno why the difference, but modern shrink rolls have no need of that back seam. I’m not a shrink film expert, so maybe somebody could comment if they have that info.

Vent Holes

In addition, TSR shrink would have repeated vent holes running in a line. The vent holes are to prevent the shrink from ballooning up when the heat gun is applied, due to the trapped air. When I’m re-shrinking a set for storage…

– very rare these days; I have a great selection of clear PVC bags that are much handier

…I have found one vent hole is plenty sufficient to release the air. TSR, for whatever reason, would have a whole row of round vent holes.

D&D Expert Set 1st SW bottom

Dungeons & Dragons items available in the shop

See also: