THE HARDY BOYS SERIES (59 vols. complete w/Hardy Boys Detective Handbook)
Dixon, Franklin W., THE HARDY BOYS SERIES, New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1980's +. Blue cloth/paper hardcovers w/decorative pictorial titling, (59 vols. complete w/Hardy Boys Detective Handbook), 12mo (7.375 x 4.750"), approx. 10,000+ pp. Spines of the older volumes rubbed at head and tail as well as the corners, all books are tight, all hinges solid. They appear to be 1980's-1990's reprints although all have not been checked. As one may see all numbers are present with the Detective Handbook and one extra vol. 44, apparently replaced by a newer volume. The newer paper covered hardcovers are part of the "Flashlight" revised versions.
The Hardy Boys, Frank and Joe Hardy, are fictional characters who appear in several mystery series for children and teens. The series revolves around the teenagers acting as amateur sleuths, solving cases that stumped their adult counterparts. The characters were created by American writer Edward Stratemeyer, the founder of book-packaging firm Stratemeyer Syndicate. The books themselves were written by several ghostwriters under the collective pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon. The Hardy Boys have evolved since their debut in 1927. Beginning in 1959, the books were extensively revised, partially to eliminate racial stereotypes. The books were also written in a simpler style to compete with television. Some critics argue that the Hardy Boys changed in the process, becoming affluent and law-respecting "agents of the adult ruling class". Most lamented the loss of the richer pre-war descriptive style but saw the updates as an attempt to modernize the stories. Similar complaints were made about the updates to Nancy Drew, the female counterpart of the series.
Through all these changes, the characters have remained popular; the books sell more than a million copies annually, several new volumes are published each year, and the adventures have been translated into more than 25 languages. The boys have been featured in five television shows and several video games and have helped promote merchandise such as lunchboxes and jeans.