The Basic, Expert, Companion, Master and Immortals boxsets were very special to me; the red box Basic was my very first foray into roleplaying games and I held it in very high regard. The art, the layout, the fact that it was so different from anything I had ever played before, and that it was giving me a chance to expand on my love of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks that I had been playing for the previous year.
The first three boxes especially guided me through my first months and years of roleplaying games. I never got to use the Master and Immortal boxes, but it didn't matter as the damage had been done and I was on my path to playing, running, writing and collecting games.
I had a huge RPG collection. I had more than 30 different games and systems of varying quality and some of them had a huge slew of supplements and adventures. WFRP, the WEG Star Wars RPG and Call of Cthulhu especially had dozens of books taking up space on my shelf, and the collection took up a lot of room - and time.
When my son was on his way I made a very simple choice - I had to sell off my collection. I had neither the time or the room to hang on to this 20+ year collection, so I hit Ebay and started the cull.
Some of my games I sold for peanuts, others sold for incredibly high amounts; my original MERP modules and Call of Cthulhu books raked in a lot of cash. In the end, I made enough money to pretty much pay for everything my son needed and the first year or so of his life. The collection turned out to be an investment, and it paid off.
I never intended to sell my BECMI set, but as I was putting a lot of stuff up I got a lot of questions about what else I had and a recurring question was about Basic D&D. So, I checked out some prices.
They were worth a lot. A complete set, two boxes still in shrinkwrap, with all the dice and the wax crayon... I tentatively put it all up for sale. I won't say how much it went for, but I will say that I was stunned.
And that was it. I hung on to some of my books as I honestly couldn't part with them (and I was still using them, to be frank) but my BECMI set was a sale that made me a lot of money, and I miss them a hell of a lot. Just to have them to hand, to read and to enjoy, and to step back in time to the sunrise of my gaming hobby.
I got a copy of the Rules Cyclopedia a few years ago and it's amazing, but it can't replace my BECMI set. That was, and always will be, something special to me.