In 1997, a broken and bankrupt TSR was sold to Wizards of the Coast. WoTC's collectible card game juggernaut Magic the Gathering led the mid 90's ccg assault that crippled the role playing game industry. It was somewhat ironic that WoTC swore off role playing games within its product lines earlier in its history. It is a great testament to the Dungeons and Dragons brand that WoTC would want to risk its success in the profitability of CCG to be involved with reinventing the Dungeons and Dragons name.
TSR had a small handful of designers working on a third edition prior to the sale to WoTC. Once the offices had moved and merged with WoTC the creation of the third edition was given a high priority. The principle redesign team was led by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook and Skip Williams with assistance from WoTC owner Peter Adkinson and Rich Baker. After two years of development it was officially released at Gen Con 2000.
The gap between the D&D and AD&D was scrapped in favor of a single game system focus. Multiple product lines were subdued by a smaller number of higher quality releases. An open gaming licensing system called d20 was adopted to allow the higher risk products to be developed by smaller/hungrier companies. Most of the d20 products are modular adventures and ancillary rules supplements to support WoTC's 3e rules systems.
The D&D brand name also experienced yet another change of ownership late in 1999 when Hasbro, Inc. purchased WoTC. Hasbro, Inc. is better known for its board games having already owned both Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers as well as another well known war game/fantasy game company Avalon Hill.
This department will attempt to shed some light on possible developing collectibles within the 3e era. Time is the best recipe to ascertaining what the most collectible items. As such, this will be a work in progress for the purposes of keeping a watchful eye on these products.
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