I got really excited when I saw this ad in Silver Surfer #43 from 1990. Yes, part of the reason is because I had those first three books along the bottom. The first thing that jumped out at me was the armored guy fighting the lizard thing, but then I saw the covers and was taken down memory lane. I remember pouring over these books trying to figure out how to get a little further in one of the games I owned or was renting.
But, what’s more interesting and personal to me is that fact that my aunt Lynn actually worked at Hayden Books in Indiana and she gave me the books. I’m fairly certain that those were the first geeky things that I got for free from someone in the industry. It’s a thrilling feeling getting something like that. It’s cool knowing that the book or toy came directly from the people who made it and there’s of course the added bonus of either discovering something you never knew existed or getting something you really wanted without having to pay for it.
I still have these books somewhere, I think. It’s possible that I sold them off in a garage sale at one point, but I have a foggy memory of coming across one of them since college. I’d love to give them another look, that’d be a lot of fun. It should be noted that these books became a bit obsolete when the Game Genie finally came out.