Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tonner Dolls 2009

After dazzling doll and Oz collectors with his wonderful witches, Tonner brings Dorothy to the forefront for 2009 with a beautiful Judy Garland sculpt. Photos courtesy of Peachy Keen Kristin.

Dorothy Gale Open Edition

2009 Basic Dorothy Edition of 1000 $89.99

This Side of the Rainbow Edition of 150 $124.99 This doll can only be ordered online from Tonner Direct.

Lady Emerald Edition of 150 $199.99

Munchkinland Reception outfit Edition of 300 $79.99

Emerald City Princess outfit Edition of 300 $79.99

Merry Ol' Land of Oz outfit Edition of 300 $79.99

To see the dolls on the Tonner Doll Company website please click here:
Karen Owens at Storyland Collectables is accepting pre-orders on the 2009 collection. If you are missing any of the Tonner dolls she may have those in stock as well.

Goodreau Dolls Presents Upside Down Oz

Goodreau Dolls Upside Down Oz collection are ball jointed vinyl and stand at 17 inches. They retail for $160. Toto is exclusive to Bearzabout. I hope to have more information about these lovely dolls from the artist soon. Photos courtesy of Peachy Keen Kristin.

Wilde Imagination

Wilde Imagination brings us their fantastic versions of Dorothy, Glinda, and the Wicked Witch. Wilde Imagination dolls are only sold online and at FAO Schwarz stores in New York City and Las Vegas. Keep watching the Curiozity Corner for more info. Photos courtesy of Peachy Keen Kristin. Thanks Kristin for sharing all of your wonderful photos from IDEX.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Salute to '39: Introduction

By the time the Wizard of Oz was released in August of 1939, the beloved characters from the Land of Oz had been travelling the yellow brick road for almost 40 years. With that in mind, and the astronomical sum put into promotion, one would think MGM's parent company Loew's would have considered merchandising much sooner. A royalty department was created especially to handle licensing accounts for MGM's 3 million dollar technicolor spectacle, but contracts weren't finalized until late spring. The fact this was a fledgling venture may have hindered negotiations between L. Frank Baum's widow and prospective licensees.

Despite their inexperience, Loew's was hoping to enjoy the same merchandising success of Disney's animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. However, many companies had misgivings about a live production when cartoons were already proven. As a result, very few licensees brought Oz merchandise to fruition. Stock needed to be on shelves quickly for the limited run of the movie and the upcoming holiday season. Oz tie-ins were cheap with short production runs and suffered a minimal shelf life.

The little product that did end up in the hands of consumers was certainly not meant to be collectible. Posters and lobby cards were hung to advertise short film engagements and promptly discarded. Dolls and toys were temporary diversions and oftentimes abandoned as children grew out of playthings. Over time, things wore out, broke, or were simply disposed of due to lack of interest.

Luckily for us, some individuals had the foresight to preserve Oz memorabilia for posterity and despite it's uncertain beginnings as a marketable property, the Wizard of Oz has persevered and become one of the most collectible films of all time parallelled only by the other phenom of 1939, Gone With the Wind.

Shown below is a St. Louis Department Store Window with Oz characters furnished by W.L. Stensgaard and Associates, Inc. The Oz displays were made up of a variety of figures and exclusive to one department store per city. W.L. Stensgaard's character concepts would show up on assorted collectibles as well.

Please keep checking back for other curiozities from 1939.

Sources :
The Oz Scrapbook - David L. Greene & Dick Martin
100 Years of Oz: A Century of Classic Images from the Wizard of Oz Collection of Willard Carroll - John Fricke
The Wizard of Oz Collector's Treasury - William Stillman & Jay Scarfone
The Baum Bugle Autumn 1989 "The Merchandising of MGM's Oz: The 1939 Licensees and their Products" - William Stillman
The Baum Bugle Autumn 1997 "Oz Oddity"

Madame Alexander 2009

Yet another stellar collection from the Alexander Doll Company especially if you love Dorothy! Once again Alexander shows why they are a leader in the doll industry with their imaginative re-designs of our favorite girl from Kansas. We also have the Emerald City Gatekeeper, a flower munchkin, a limited edition Cowardly Lion and additions to the Wicked line.

Dorothy and her Ruby Slippers 10"

Christmas Dorothy

Wizard of Oz Rocks Zip Bin Dorothy is 9" doll and wearing a t-shirt with a photo of Toto on it that reads 'And You're Little Dog Too' Mat folds up into a carrying case

Wizard of Oz Lissy Trunk Set Doll stands at 12"

Flower Munchkin

King Lion edition of 750

Madame Morrible 10"
First Day at Shiz Elphaba 8"
First Day at Shiz Glinda 8"

Watch Storyland Collectables for pricing and release dates.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Precious Moments Wizard of Oz Village

My goodness! Are we going to have room for all of this stuff???! Very cute village with all different Precious Moments figurines. Check out the little silver shoes under Dorothy's house!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fairies of Oz Collection

These are adorable and much cuter than I ever imagined!! The figurines are based on the popular art by Jasmine Becket-Griffith. And her Toto has got to be one of the cutest I've ever seen. Please visit her website to see the beautiful figurines and to print your order form.

Thanks to Jim Whitcomb for keeping an eye on these. They've been in development for some time and he's been very vigilant with updates.

Wizard of Oz Illuminated Christmas Village

FINALLY!!! I've seen Disney Christmas villages and I've admired the Dept. 56 villages for some time and I've wanted to see an Oz one and here it is! And it looks beautiful. How can you not love the Wicked Witch in the sleigh pulled by Winged Monkeys??

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hallmark Greeting Card Additions

New 2009 Husband Valentine. Thanks to Paula Johnson for the initial heads up and thanks to Eugene DeMarco for the photos.

Late 2008 Granddaughter Birthday Card. Costs $2.69. This card might be regional and hard to find. I've looked high and low and I've not seen any sign of it in the Northwest.

Oversized Valentine for 2009. Measures 13" x 19" and costs $6.99