So what’s left at the end of our White Dwarf adverts feature? Well we’ve gone through as many different London role playing games stores and themes as we can and there’s just two unclassified adverts left to look at, let’s take a look at them below:
Labyrinthe – Live Action Role Playing
White Dwarf 76 April 1986
I don’t have any real insight into this apart from that it’s an early appearance of LAPRing, Live Action Role Playing, in London. I wonder where they did this in London, using the word Underground hints at possible using an tube station, or maybe not, but that artwork is great either way!
White Dwarf 25 – June / July 1981
We have to step outside of our London remit for this final entry, it’s a D&D Holiday advert that appeared one time only in the magazine, the title makes it sound interesting, but once you read it through there’s not really much there, at least to me. It’s just a regular B&B on the Isle Of Wight, where you can play Dungeons & Dragons if you want it, it’s not a dedicated event, it’s just a room to play D&D in if you just happen to want it. Maybe I’ve got it wrong but it just seems like an odd angle to pitch a holiday around, it could really be the same advert for any hobby or interest. I wonder if anyone ever took them up on a D&D holiday?
Hope you’ve all enjoyed our look at Role Playing Games stores in London, coming up next we’ll be look for London film & comic shops in the pages of Starburst magazine!
One of the unfortunate things about looking at all these vintage shop adverts in White Dwarf is that nearly all of these stores are sadly long gone, meaning we can’t pay them a visit. Now I say nearly, because there’s actually two that still exist, which is quite a testament to what they must be doing.
Firstly Leisure Games in Finchley London is still there, I paid them a visit and it’s a great shop, still stocking role playing games, board games, card games and anything else gaming related.
Leisure Games – Originally at 91 Ballards Lane, Finchley, London, N3. Now at 100 Ballards Lane.
White Dwarf 69 September 1985
White Dwarf 74 December 1985
And if you’re in the West End of London then Orcs Nest is such a part of the fabric of Cambridge Circus that it’s impossible to think of it not being there. I must have walked past this store, hundreds, if not thousands of times since the 1980s. It’s packed to the roof with all sorts of games, it’s so great that it’s still there, do pay them a visit if you’re in the area.
Orcs Nest – 6 Earlham Street, West End, London WC2H 9RY
White Dwarf 89 May 1987
One unexpected series of adverts that appeared in White Dwarf was the crossover of RPG games into the mainstream high street stores, surely a sign of how big the games were at the time, here’s the three adverts that appeared back in the 1980s.
Games Workshop / Top Man featured in White Dwarf 16 December / January 1979 / 1980
Selfridges featured in White Dwarf 81 September 1986
Debenhams featured in White Dwarf 83 November 1986
Next up in our trip through the White Dwarf shop adverts we take a look at the few comic book shop ads that we came across in the first 100 issues.
Dark They Were And Golden Eyed – 9-12 St. Anne’s Court, London, W1
White Dwarf 2 – August / September 1977 – Back Cover
First up is this one off advert for London’s first comic book store: Dark They Were And Golden Eyed, which appeared on the back cover of the second issue of White Dwarf back in 1977. This is a much more trippy and 1970s style design than their later adverts would evolve into, it’s on a real one off and I’ve never seen this one before. The list of what they stock is also much wider, making it sound more like a counter culture store, which it probably was at the time. I never got to visit this store, but I’ve always been fascinated by it as it was the first of it’s kind in London.
Forbidden Planet – 23 Denmark Street, London, WC2H 8NA
White Dwarf 52, April 1984
This sleek and simplistic advert for Forbidden Planet appear for a few issues in 1984 and highlighted the stores range of role playing games at the time, as well as comics, books, film merchandise and more.
White Dwarf 21 October November 1980
This earlier Forbidden Planet advert from 1980 highlighted one of the problems with the adverts, so many of them were just huge block of tiny text, I guess the idea was to let people know what each store actually had available, but it makes for an almost impenetrable to look at. This one for the store only appeared in the magazine once.
Coming up tomorrow Role Playing Games go mainstream!