Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Krone Limited Edition Wizard of Oz Pen Set

Krone just introduced it's five piece rollerball Wizard of Oz boxed set.  Each pen is crafted from Italian resin and modeled after Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Wicked Witch of the West.  The clip resembles the Emerald City and the band on the cap boasts The Wizard of Oz logo.  There are only 88 sets issued worldwide.  

Big thank you to Mike Lykins!!  

Monday, October 12, 2015

2016 Hallmark Itty Bittys with Storybook

No pricing info as yet, but the Itty Bittys are usually $6.95 so I'm guessing these sets will be in the $20 or so range.  

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Missouri and Maryland Lottery Scratch Its

Two new scratch it lottery games have started during the past week.  I'm not sure if it's state or federal law but lottery tickets can not be sold out of the issuing state.  Time to get the Oz network rolling!!!  Good luck to the residents of these two states. Click on the names to visit the official lottery websites to learn more. 


Friday, September 11, 2015

Walgreens Debuts Wizard of Oz Line

For the past 3 or 4 years Walgreens has carried an exclusive, very successful Nightmare Before Christmas gift line for Halloween.  This year, they've followed it up with the Wizard of Oz.  Right now there are 6 items, but hopefully the line will grow.  

Wicked Witch Travel Cup  - $7.99
Flying Monkey Travel Cup - $7.99
Wicked Witch, Dorothy, Flying Monkey ceramic latte cup - $9.99
Dorothy Wicked Witch ceramic latte cup - $9.99
Dorothy Wicked Witch Musical Snowglobe - $14.99
Wicked Witch Trick or Treat Bucket  - $2.99

The ceramic latte cups are really nice!!  One has a handle of the legs of the WWE and the other has a handle of a Flying Monkey tail.  Cute!!!!!!  And clever.  

The snowglobe is cute for the price.  It's a good size at about 6 inches tall and 4 inches wide.  It plays 'Funeral March of a Marionette' aka The Alfred Hitchcock theme.  Appropriate for Halloween! The music box might stick and appear to get stuck, but if you wind it up and then work it gently with your fingers it'll play just fine.  

The Trick or Treat bucket is a cardboard box type thing. Best used as decor as it doesn't seem sturdy enough for serious trick or treaters. If you want to use it for it's intended purpose you might want to reinforce it a bit.  For some reason, this is the rarest item of all.  Stores seem to be getting only 1 or 2 and they are mixed in with other character buckets so they don't immediately stick out.  There is 1 four sided bucket with a different photo on each side. 

It looks like most Walgreens are getting these items in.  Oz should be coming with the general Halloween items. I was horrified to learn however that a store that had taken my number to notify me upon arrival of the new items said yesterday that all stores may not be getting Oz. Some Walgreens are smaller than others and get very minimal stock. I'm glad I called to check up! I'd been waiting a week to hear something.  So go to walgreens.com and use the store locator to call around. 

Also, and I'm treating this as a rumor until I hear otherwise, the store clerk was under the impression that this is only the beginning for Oz at Walgreens. She seemed to think they'd get 3 or 4 shelves of items.  So if it's convenient, keep a sharp eye on your local Walgreens. 

Thanks to Walter Krueger for sharing this on his Wizard of Oz Collector's United Facebook page. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Collector's Story

Many collectors can recall their first introduction to The Wizard of Oz with perfect clarity.  I have no such memory.  It's just always seemed to be a part of me and my family life like birthdays and Christmas.  At that time, The Wizard of Oz was shown on television only once a year, but our parents made sure Oz wasn't any farther than our fingertips.  The books and records that survived my older brothers were handed down to me.  
Reilly and Lee hardcover white editions circa 1964 - 1965

I'm not sure if these came down from my brothers but they do pre-date me.  Walt Disney Records 1969 and  Original Soundtrack Recording 1970
Family Christmas 1969. The younger of my two older brothers with his Remco Tin Man Robot.  Unfortunately, I didn't get my hands on it.  It was only fairly recently I realized what was in these photos.  

Remco Tin Man Robot 1969
Photo Courtesy theoldrobots.com
Throughout my childhood, I was given toys and books which I had meant to keep forever regardless of how tattered and torn they became. Until one day some misguided adult tossed my beloved memorabilia into the trash.
This is an old eBay photo. These I've yet to replace but these were the beauty sets I had.  Maybe the bath beads as well.  I thought the art work on these kits was so beautiful.  I still think these are some of the  most nicely packaged items.  Ansehl Company of St. Louis 1976
My most beloved Oz books.  Thank goodness these are not terribly hard to find.  

Craft House 1979
Souvenirs from the Land of Oz theme park in North Carolina  1970 - 1980.  My brothers went in 1971 and I'd go 8 years later.  Miraculously, these were spared the fate of my Oz books and toys. 
Some of my very favorite dolls and a BIG favorite among Oz collectors.  Mego 1975, but they were sold into the 1980s.  I went through two sets and an Emerald City.
Here's another really gorgeously illustrated Oz item.  Cadaco board game 1974 - 1989

Then the ultimate horror............I was just out of high school and I thought maybe I should let go of Oz.  Time to be an adult. I didn't discard the precious few items I had left, but I didn't seek to add more.  That hiatus was about two years. I didn't realize what a void there was until I started collecting.

My epiphany came via a stranger wearing a Looney Tunes tie. Yes. A grown man wearing a Looney Tunes tie.  I was slogging through another day of working fast food and there he was. Something in that tie struck me.  I couldn't say what it was, but in that moment I knew it was okay.  Bugs Bunny is okay. Mickey Mouse is okay. THE WIZARD OF OZ IS OKAY!!!! I was flooded with such relief and joy.  There are many roads in life. Why should I not pave one with yellow brick?

But where to start? A 1989 issue of Hollywood Studio Magazine nudged me in the right direction.  There were ads for newsletters and The International Wizard of Oz Club. Then came the publication of The Wizard of Oz Collector's Treasury by Jay Scarfone and William Stillman.  In it's pages I saw many of my former playthings and thus was given a definitive answer. I would start by replacing what I'd lost. 

I went to my first doll show in search of  The Wizard of Oz Mego dolls. I came out with the newly released Judy Bearland by North American Bear.  However, I did make a contact and was able to acquire the Mego dolls and Emerald City playset later. 

Judy Bearland by North American Bear 1993
I decided early on I wanted to be a very engaged collector rather than a passive one.  There's so much more to collecting than putting an item on a shelf.  I looked everywhere for Oz. Antique malls, gift shops, and flea markets.  I studied every doll, toy, and collectible book and magazine I could get my hands on.  I wanted to learn about not only the collectibles, but the companies that made them.  With the advent of the internet, it was easier to be interactive.  First with other collectors in various forums, eBay, specialty online retailers, and eventually with my blogs.  

I have a keen interest in everything Wizard of Oz and I showcase as much as possible on my blogs, but it's Dorothy and Toto I cherish above all.  High value and rarity, though sometimes nice, aren't that important to me. I like anything that makes my heart melt so I'll collect whatever catches  my fancy.  I can't pick any one piece as a stand out, but dolls are a definite focus for me.  I currently have 139 Dorothys alone. I also have two Thomas Kinkade framed canvases that are a great source of pride. 

Some of my older items:

I don't know much about her, but I'm just fascinated with actress Anna Laughlin, the first real live Dorothy. This is a 1904 magazine clipping.
First Edition Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum    1909

1939 magazine

Some of my newer additions:

Madame Alexander Dorothy Arrives in Munchkinland   2014

Jim Shore releases June 2015    

Hallmark Itty Bittys  2015

Couple of shelves from my Oz room:

Madame Alexander Cissy  Edition of 500   2003,  Franklin Mint Dorothy 2000,  and Franklin Mint  1987 - 1990s.  My picture does not do these dolls justice. 

Some of my Tonners and Wilde Imaginations
Some of my Madame Alexanders
My Dorothy shelf
My Toto shelf

Wizard of Oz collecting ebbs and flows like everything else. Interest in collecting in general has waned some, but all things do come around and everything old will be new again.  The Wizard of Oz is so ingrained in our culture it never really goes out of style.  There's Oz characters on the hit television show Once Upon a Time,  a forthcoming live telecast of The Wiz, rumors of an L. Frank Baum biopic starring an Oscar winning actor.  Before we know it, the 80th anniversary of the most beloved film of all time will be upon us.  Oz awareness will peak as never before and the collector's market will take notice. Even during a lull, no one really strays too far from Emerald City.  I know I won't ever again.  

Thank you to 
for suggesting this blog entry. Invaluable hosts the world's premiere auctions. Many Wizard of Oz auctions featured right now in their memorabilia section including an original script and pressbook!!

Thank you to my Dad for sending me family photos across the country!!! 

Thank you to Mathew Wallis for making my photos presentable.

Thank you to Scarfone and Stillman.  Oz collectors would be lost without you! 

Links to collectibles featured in this blog entry:

And this book is a must, must, MUST for anyone interested in Wizard of Oz collecting:

I love, love, LOVE to research for my blog.  Here are some of my favorite blog entries:

Ruby Slippers at the Smithsonian and collecting Ruby Slippers:

Tarina Tarantino:

McDonald's Happy Meal Toys:

Thomas Kinkade:

Dylan's Candy Bar:

Ugly Doll: