I've been wanting to do a rather detailed history of polyhedral Dice, and specifically the dice used for Dungeons and Dragons, but tonight won't be that night. But I do want to say a few things about the Holmes Dice set that came with the early TSR Dungeons and Dragons Basic Rules sets.
These were also known as Polyhedra Dice, and were pre inked. They were extremely low impact, so almost always when you find a set they are damaged. Always the four sided die is yellow, the six red, the eight green, the twelve blue, and the 20 white. There was no ten sided die included in this set. Also, the twenty sided die was only numbered 0-9 twice. Another die was used to complete the roll. These began being included in Basic Rules sets in 1977.
Sometime in 1978 TSR ran out of dice and started included a chit system for generating numbers in the sets. It wasn't until 1980 that TSR began including dice in the Basic Sets again.
For a whopping sum of $1.49 one could also purchase a separate set of Holmes Dice from TSR.
These are Game Science dice designed to be a clone of the original Holmes Dice set.
Later printings of the Basic Rules Set and Expert Set came with dice all of the same color. They also were low impact and poorly designed.
Now I watch Mannix.