The first D&D product I ever bought was the blue box basic set with rules up to 3rd level. I never bought the white box set as we had the opinion that it was “old” and not the same thing.
This was before the AD&D Player’s Handbook came out, the first of the three main rulebooks. We had the idea that “advanced” was better. I think a lot of that was judging a book by it’s cover.
I got the Player’s Handbook for Christmas the year it came out, then it was wait and wait for the Monster Manual to come out and go plunk down twelve dollars. Then wait and wait for the Dungeon Master’s Guide to come out and it was the expensive price of $15.00. When you made $10.00 for an hour or more of mowing one lawn in the hot and humid Missouri summer, that was a lot of money. What I remember was that there was never a huge line for the release of these books and they were always available when you went to buy them.
I don’t remember when I did it, but I gave my blue box set to my brother, Kent. He may still have it. I did keep the dice that came with it, see tomorrow for that story.
I still have my original Player’s Handbook, but it is worn from use. My ex is anti-D&D so I left my stuff boxed up most of our marriage. It was boxed up when we lived in an apartment in Kansas City, Missouri. There was a small water leak that we did not discover until it had damaged a lot of my gaming stuff. My DM Guide, Monster Manual, and Dieties & Demigods with the Melnibone mythos, Unearthed Arcana, Monster Manual II, Fiend Folio, one of the two DM Screens (The one with the combat tables and the fighter and the dragon.), World of Greyhawk Gazetteer and map, and some other game materials for other games, like Metamorphosis Alpha. The information on my characters and ideas for my own games were undamaged.
Thankfully I have managed to rebuild my books with both hardcover and PDF copies from before Wizards of the Coast stopped the PDFs. I have updated the PDFs as Wizard has updated them since they resumed allowing them. eBay has also helped in rebuilding my collection.