toy line from LJN in 1982. The first two figures I got were Warduke, the Evil Fighter and Strongheart, the Good Paladin. This toy line fired my imagination and made me want to play DnD. The closest I got was absorbing the Monster Manual at a local B. Dalton's.
Soon after, the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon began airing on CBS saturday mornings. DnD, Thundarr, and Herculoids are my "holy trinity" of cartoons. While I won't say that DnD or Herculoids stand the test of time (but Thundarr sure does), they are ingrained in how I think of fantasy and the fantastic. They form a foundation for what action and adventure mean to me. These cartoons are the root of my love for Science-Fantasy. My adventures should entertain and if I'm having a good session, not only get your brain working, but maybe let it work like it did when you were a kid for a few minutes.
The best part of all of this, is that I still have my Warduke figure. He's like a sacred talisman, and holding him let's me connect with my childhood. It helps me remember what DnD felt like before I played it and reminds me how it should assualt my player's senses. They should be able to see, smell, hear, taste, and touch my adventures. Warduke let's me remember how to make that happen. If your one of my players, blame his helmet.
I didn't actually play DnD for almost 10 years after my Mom bought me Warduke, but the first character I made was a Fighter. His name was Garamond and he never got that helmet.