Friday, February 06, 2009

Best of 2008 Pt. 1

As time passes Warner Brothers has been allowing more creative freedom with Oz collectible production. In the past few years, we’ve seen characters and scenes never before captured in the collectible medium and the familiar characters have undergone intriguing re-interpretations such as the witches of oz portrayed as fashion dolls and ballerinas. It’s becoming a bit of a challenge to highlight the best offerings and at this early stage, it looks like 2009 will be even more difficult. With the advent of new techniques and manufacturing ingenuity the sky’s the limit to what we could see coming to us from over the rainbow!

The Winged Monkey Carousel from San Francisco Music Box should be reproduced as a theme park ride! It plays ‘Optimistic Voices’ while the monkeys circle with a prize for their mistress.

The Wizard Revealed by Lenox illustrates Toto’s triumph as he exposes the inner sanctum of the mysterious man behind the curtain. This figurine stands at 9 ¾” tall and is one of the rarest pieces in the Lenox Oz collection.

Two classic games have been given a facelift with imagery from one of the most iconic classic films of all time. The Game of Life Wizard of Oz Collector’s Edition includes a game board decorated with ozzy locales, ruby slipper game pieces, a custom spinner, and buildings from the movie.

The Wizard of Oz edition of Uno was a pleasant surprise. Many outlets reported the cancellation of this game. Suddenly, they turned up online and at some Target stores. The game is attractively packaged in a crystal ball shaped tin and sadly it seems to have disappeared just as quickly as it appeared.

Hallmark’s Emerald City Style was plentiful after the holidays, but it sill makes my list for it’s originality. This is an example of a scene we don’t usually see in collectibles and the paint jobs on this year’s ornaments are much improved after many complaints last year. Who Rang That Bell was popular with Hallmark and Oz collectors. Production problems made this ornament difficult to find and it was sold out by October.

The first day of the 2008 Happy Meal promotion coincidentally coincided with the first day of the Indiana Wizard of Oz festival. New characters were introduced and old favorites were revamped. This promotion was easily as popular as last year’s though point of purchase materials seemed more difficult to get. And this year we finally got a happy meal box! WB had fun Oz features such as games, coloring pages, IM icons, and wall papers.

A very unique vision of Baum’s characters comes from Graham Rawle who richly illustrates his book with toys from yesteryear. It’s different yet oddly intriguing and attractive.

The Wizard of Oz Ultimate Charm Bracelet comes with 34 sterling silver 24K gold plated charms. The characters and icons of Oz are accented with Swarovski crystal accents and 14 charms are engraved with movie quotes. This exquisite bracelet is sure to draw a lot of admiring oohs and Oz.