Fighting Fantasy 3D polystyrene dungeon


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Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:41 pm

Post Thu Sep 15, 2016 2:17 pm

Fighting Fantasy 3D polystyrene dungeon

A few years ago, Jonathan Green wrote a book called You Are the Hero about the history of Fighting Fantasy. The book covered related gaming products including the FF board game and mentioned in passing that it was originally going to be released in a polystyrene box that would double as a dungeon. The book explained that while the game was released the polystyrene dungeon wasn't part of it. A few of the dungeons were made however and sold/given away at Games Workshop stores in the mid-'80s.

I have had a polystyrene dungeon (pictured below) since then that I got from the Games Workshop on Dalling Road, Hammersmith. Until I saw the reference in Jonathan's book, I hadn't known what my dungeon was or might be. I thought it was a display piece. I showed pictures of it to Jonathan and to Steve Jackson, but neither could confirm that it was the polystyrene dungeon intended for the FF board game. While I suspected it probably was, I wasn't sure... until today when I came across this blog: http://rogueheresy.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/fighting-fantasy-3d-polystyrene-dungeon.html. And there it was: the same dungeon as mine!

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I found a price guide online indicating that my polystyrene dungeon might be among the more valuable pieces of FF memorabilia but I have no intention of selling it.

Posts: 1997

Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:19 pm

Post Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:40 pm

Re: Fighting Fantasy 3D polystyrene dungeon

Very nice condition!

So what is your plan... are you going to paint up one of the rarest and most peculiar pieces of GW/FF polystyrene in the world, or keep it in its archival, pristine, museum quality state?

It is a bit odd that Steve didn't recognise it. Maybe it was just a long time ago and so much else going on, a bit of grey dungeon didn't stick in the mind. BTW I think Jamie was having a bit of a guess in the FF price guide - I'm not sure that one has ever actually changed hands on the open market.

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Post Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:01 pm

Re: Fighting Fantasy 3D polystyrene dungeon

it's very pretty. i'd love a few of them.

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Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:41 pm

Post Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:55 pm

Re: Fighting Fantasy 3D polystyrene dungeon

Zhu Bajie wrote:Very nice condition!

So what is your plan... are you going to paint up one of the rarest and most peculiar pieces of GW/FF polystyrene in the world, or keep it in its archival, pristine, museum quality state?


I used it for some dioramas early on but have never used it for gaming. Since then, it's always been kept out of the way. And each time I've moved home, I've protected it in bubble wrap and moved it myself, not left it to movers. So it's in the same condition today as the day I got it. Polystyrene doesn't break down chemically in a human - or dwarven! - lifetime which is good for gaming accessories (but bad for the environment).

I have no particular plans for it. I don't see myself painting it and will almost certainly keep it the way it is.

Zhu Bajie wrote:It is a bit odd that Steve didn't recognise it. Maybe it was just a long time ago and so much else going on, a bit of grey dungeon didn't stick in the mind.

He said he couldn't remember one way or the other. In fairness to him, it was at a convention and the pictures were on my mobile which has a very small screen. Maybe if it had been on a larger screen and he had had time to think about it, it might have jogged his memory.

Zhu Bajie wrote:BTW I think Jamie was having a bit of a guess in the FF price guide - I'm not sure that one has ever actually changed hands on the open market.

When I was making enquiries as to what it was, someone (not Jonathan or Steve!) offered me a three figure number for it just on the basis of the pictures above. I suspect the prospective buyer knew what it was but didn't want to say. I'm not going to say how much I was offered, but it was higher than Jamie's figure. I have no intention of selling it but am curious how he came up with the £200 price.

If there was ever a museum exhibition dedicated to tabletop gaming with secure glass cabinets, I might consider lending it. The idea of a museum having an exhibition related to tabletop gaming may seem fanciful, but the British Library had a temporary exhibition many years ago called the Mythical Quest http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/features/mythical/mythical.html and one of its displays was a fantasy board game, possibly HeroQuest though I can't recall precisely.

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Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:21 pm

Post Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:45 pm

Re: Fighting Fantasy 3D polystyrene dungeon

OMG ... what an absolute treasure.

I want one. :twisted:

Posts: 1997

Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:19 pm

Post Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:14 am

Re: Fighting Fantasy 3D polystyrene dungeon

Zander wrote:If there was ever a museum exhibition dedicated to tabletop gaming with secure glass cabinets, I might consider lending it. The idea of a museum having an exhibition related to tabletop gaming may seem fanciful, but the British Library had a temporary exhibition many years ago called the Mythical Quest http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/features/mythical/mythical.html and one of its displays was a fantasy board game, possibly HeroQuest though I can't recall precisely.


Oh, that's interesting. There's the V&A Museum of Childhood - the V&A had a touring exhibition of War Games, which is kind of related http://www.vam.ac.uk/moc/war-games/war-games-exhibition/. The Strong Museum of Play in the US has loads of old RPG and Tabletop materials http://www.museumofplay.org/online-collections/3/68. Might be of minor interest for the Warhammer World guys, but I doubt they'd want to support the FF brand these days. Maybe Bryan Ansell at Foundry - actually he might have some insight into the manufacture - somebody at GW / Citadel must have been involved in its creation or design. Dave Andrews did a lot of the 'Arcane Architecture' back in the day and still does (i think) a lot of the buildings and whatnot for GW.

Jamie has his email address in the price-guide, I'm sure he'd be happy to have an idea of the price you were offered. The latest guide is here: https://issuu.com/jamiefry/docs/fightin ... 0362e65e/1

Oh, and there is a brief mention of it in Warlock #5, but no photo:

Fighting Fantasy Battlegame Towards the end of the year, Citadel Miniatures should be releasing their Fighting Fantasy Battlegame. The box to the game is actually a large, three-dimensional dungeon in polystyrene, with movable walls to allow players to design their own dungeon layouts. Included in the box are a selection of 60mm plastic figures with different weapons, dice and special FF rules so that players can conduct their own FF dungeon adventures with up to six players.


Does make one wonder why the full product never got released.

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