The MSH Advanced Set had one of the longer print runs I’ve seen in a TSR product. It was continuously in print – essentially unchanged – between 1986 and 1992. Here I’ll discuss what I’ve found about the printings, plus reference photos for those card sheets that were always cut-up.

MSH - Advanced 2nd box set 02 b

Marvel Super Heroes Advanced Set [BOX SET]

1986, 1992 … Jeff Grubb … TSR 6871 … ISBN 0880383682

CONTENTS: Players’ Book. Judge’s Book. Game Map. Stand-Up Figures: 80 Card-stock counters (4 sheets). Character Cards: 45 + 3 blanks (6 sheets). Also included a ruler for use with the map.

Marvel Super Heroes product line detailed at my classic RPG reference site

MSH Advanced at our sales site

All MSH available at our sales site

Check eBay


Part codes:
Players’ Book 6871XXX1901
Judge’s Book 6871XXX1902
Character Cards 6871XXX1501 (+ 1502 & 3?)
Stand-ups 6871XXX1401 & 6871XXX1402
Map 6871XXX0701

Even the Top (6871XXX9402) and Bottom (6871XXX9401) box lids have piece codes! I just noticed on revising this entry (Mar 2020).

Player’s Book. Cover art: Jeff Butler
Updated Universal Table
Judge’s Book
Map, Side 1
Map, Side 2
Character Cards
45 characters + 3 blanks
80 fold-up figures. I just noticed that Invisible Woman has a blank third panel.

Printing Data

TSR box sets sometimes have dates inside panels. MSH Advanced is one of those cases: I’ve seen lids with the TSR “block” logo dated 9/87 & 9/90.

I’ve also seen an undated box in the format used by early TSR: Brown paperboard with the graphics applied as a single glued sheet. The RPGA flyer insert has an expiration date of June 30, 1987. Using up some old box stock?

I’ve also seen a hybrid dated 12-91 inside the box lid; one of the books and the bottom lid were of the updated format (see next entry). This is not surprising, as TSR has previously used up box components left over in inventory from old print runs. Gamma World 1e comes to mind.

Comparison of 1986 and 1992 sets

Edit 12/13/2019

TSR gave the MSH Advanced set a slight facelift in 1992. Other than updating the TSR logo to its then-current “Gold Badge” style and a lasso around the title on the box lid, the company seemed mostly preoccupied with updating the copyright date throughout the set.

This is a bit strange, as TSR was typically indifferent about updating copyright and printing info through the years. I’m guessing that this new-found attention to detail had to do with maintaining their Marvel license in this case.

The 1992 sets are not as common as the earlier printings.

Following are some comparison photos.


Stand-Up Figures & Character Cards Photo Reference

Edit Sept 8 2020

Character Cards

45 + 3 blanks (6 sheets) of the characters detailed in the Judge’s Book. Also included a ruler for use with the map.

This is the only sheet with a TSR product code: 6871XXX1501. Thing, Iron Man, Thor, Spider-Man, Invisible Woman, She-Hulk, Human Torch, Mister Fantastic, Doctor Strange, Daredevil, Captain America, The Hulk, Black Knight, Hercules, Wasp, Captain Marvel.

Storm, Wolverine, Magneto, Sub-Mariner, Shadowcat, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Nick Fury, Angel, Iceman, Beast, Cyclops, Tigra, Mockingbird, Hawkeye, Marvel Girl.

Dagger, Cloak, Shaman, Wonder Man, Aurora, Puck, Northstar, Vindicator, Professor X, Phoenix, Silver Surfer, Box, Rogue, 3 blanks.

Stand-Up Figures

MSH - Advanced stand-ups

 80 Card-stock counters (2+2 sheets) that when folded into a triangle could “stand-up” and be used with the encounter map. Sheets are 6871XXX1401 & 6871XXX1402.

Following are the sheets as single pages.

MSH - Advanced stand-ups page 1
MSH - Advanced stand-ups page 2
MSH - Advanced stand-ups page 3
MSH - Advanced stand-ups page 4

See Also: 

Lands of Dr. Doom: Marvel Super Heroes Box Set

Webs: The Spider-Man Dossier (Marvel Super Heroes)