Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hallmark Easter 2009

Found this card for $2.29. The Glinda and Wizard cards from last year are available this year as well. You can see those cards here: I hope we see more animated character cards. I think the Scarecrow ones are really cute and it would be wonderful to have other characters.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Dakota Collectibles Embroidery - Update

21 beautiful MGM Wizard of Oz embroidery designs. What a year for crafters!!! Gorgeous fabric from Quilting Treasures, and paper goods from Paperhouse Productions and now this wonderful set!! You can see the rest of the designs here:
The Wizard of Oz Embroidery Collection can only be ordered from Dakota Collectibles.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Salute to '39: Valentines

The American Colortype Company issued a set of 12 Valentines exclusively for Montgomery Wards in February 1940. Despite being licensed by Loew's for the MGM film, the card images alternated between W.W. Denslow styled characters and illustrations modeled after the MGM film personalities. Each card featured easel tabs for display. Though like the rest of the original Oz merchandising, the Valentines are scarce, they turn up frequently enough to convince me they must have sold rather well.

Not Shown: Tin Man & Scarecrow Valentine and Scarecrow with apple tree Valentine
Source: The Wizard of Oz Collector's Treasury by William Stillman & Jay Scarfone

Best of 2008: Tonner Passes the Barre

When you envision the ballet, the immediate imagery is most likely that of Clara with her beloved nutcracker or Princess Aurora, not the Wicked Witch of the West. However, the story and music of the Wizard of Oz easily molds into any genre. Creative forces have taken advantage of this adaptability giving Oz lovers new and inventive ways to enjoy their favorite classic over and over. Wizard of Oz interpretations through dance are becoming very popular using classical music and/or the 1939 MGM film score. Last year the Wilde Coward Company performed “One Wicked Dance Show” inspired by the Wicked Broadway Musical.

The Tonner Doll Company is well known for dolls of distinction and pushing the boundaries of character ideals. For the 2008 Fall Collection, Tonner has melded two of his best selling doll lines together creating a uniquely ravishing trio of enchantresses. Glinda En Pointe is the epitome of benevolent grace while the contrasting Dance of the Witch personifies dark elegance. Chasse’ Down the Yellow Brick Road portrays Dorothy’s innocence as she glides effortlessly with her ruby red pointes. As of this writing, these magical ballerinas are almost sold out.

The tragically beautiful face of the Wicked Witch of the East is a brand new sculpt and she wears a wickedly chic ensemble of blue taffeta. She is 16" tall and is, of course, wearing the coveted ruby slippers. She is one of the most alluring designs in the Oz collection.

A 22" beautifully tragic Wicked Witch of the West with the American Model face sculpt was a Halloween convention exclusive, but a limited supply are still available for purchase.

Goodness and Gossamer is a striking Grecian goddess with a breathtakingly ethereal face and cascading gold ringlets. The gorgeous blue and silver gown is a perfect compliment to Glinda's blonde fairness.
Goodness and Gossamer photos courtesy of Alison Rasmussen. Please see her blog The Fashion Doll Review to see other gorgeous fashion dolls.

For MGM traditionalists, a new Dorothy featuring a portrait sculpt of the lovely Judy Garland debuted at FAO Schwarz for the 2008 holiday season. She has been re-introduced into the 2009 mainline as an open edition.

Whether you prefer to remain within the MGM realm or are more daring in your choice of dolls, the creations of the Tonner Doll Company will take center stage in any collection.
Every year I think the previous year will be hard to top or even equal and yet it keeps happening. Oz collectibles continue to improve in quality and originality. With the 70th anniversary underway, it's already apparent 2009 will not disappoint.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Best of 2008 Quilting Treasures Fabric

Cranston has created a marvelous line of fabric for Quilting Treasures. Dorothy’s adventures are detailed with photo realistic designs in a dazzling display of color. This fabric has to be seen in person to be believed. Photos do not do it justice. Fourth in the series. The Great and Powerful Oz is arriving in stores now with the Wicked Witch’s Castle following in the spring. To see the entire series including the fifth in the collection and to order please see:

Best of 2008 Pt. 2

Wicked’s 5th anniversary was celebrated by fans all over the country. Barnes and Noble Booksellers, far from the glare of Broadway marquees, carried a nice selection of merchandise. The tote bags, calendars, and cookies were especially popular. Tote bags of a different design (shown below) were given to store managers.

The Wicked Around the World in One Short Day souvenir program is packed with photos from Broadway, the North American Tour, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Stuttgart, and Melbourne. Also included are costume designs, quotes from Wicked’s design team, and a letter from Stephen Schwartz.

For Good is the last of the Wicked glitter globes. Since so many people connected with this moving song, the globe would make a spectacular gift for that special person who has changed you for good.

Defying Gravity: The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz from Godspell to Wicked
by Carol de Giere is as the title suggests a retrospective of Stephen Schwartz’s professional life with heavy emphasis on Wicked and gives invaluable insight into the creative process. After all the struggle and strife it took to bring Wicked to the stage, I can appreciate the show ten times more and it’s always wonderful to see hard work so richly rewarded. This book is a must read for creative people especially.

And lastly, the perfume expected before Christmas, is now ready to order in the Ozdust Boutique. After all, no one likes a stinky witch. (I know the Wicked die hards will get that!)

I’ll Get You My Pretty captures the Wicked Witch of the West striking a fiendish pose over her crystal ball as Dorothy and friends cower below. Bradford Exchange’s first piece in the Journey to Oz Collection stands at 14” tall.

L. Frank Baum’s endearing characters are portrayed by the equally endearing Charming Tails critters. The Squashville base very cleverly represents the Emerald City complete with corn kernel yellow brick road. Who can resist adorable, furry forest creatures?

“If this yellow brick road goes on much further we’ll never get anywhere near that Piggin’ rainbow, never mind over it!”
The Wizard of Oz Piggin makes me smile every time I look at it. That much amusement deserves to be on a best of list.

Tarina Tarantino’s anime inspired Wizard of Oz creations will accessorize your Oz wardrobe with pizzazz and girlish elegance. This jewelry was only available for the 2008 holiday season. Many of the pieces are hard to find in boutiques and have sold out rather quickly.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz comic series from Marvel received lots of press and comic fans are very familiar with the work of Skottie Young and Eric Shanower so early buzz was very positive. To tantalize fans even more, Marvel issued free sketchbooks.

Issue 1 was given multiple covers by Skottie Young, Eric Shanower, and J. Scott Campbell. The Skottie Young cover was also sold as a 24 x 36 poster.

The first print run has sold out and the first issue will be released with yet another cover on February 11. Issue 2 has sold out as well and will have an alternate cover with its second print run.

This adaptation is garnering rave reviews and serves as an excellent introduction for those unfamiliar with Baum’s original story. Reviewer Doug Zawisza of Comic Book Resources said it best when he referred to these comics as “a love letter to Baum.”

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.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Mattel Barbie 2009

Mattel acknowledges two milestones this year. The 50th anniversary of Barbie and the 70th anniversary of the Wizard of Oz. The 2007 Barbies have been repackaged with sound clips from the movie. The packaging is beautiful and you can enjoy the clips without ruining the box, but I am very disappointed they chose to use the same dolls. They have wonderful sculptors at Mattel and I would have preferred vinyl likenesses of the movie characters. They are at select WalMarts right now for around $37.00 and should be hitting other retailers in the next month. That said, a big surprise was in my email box this morning. Coming Fall 2009: Barbie as the Wicked Witch of the East. This doll is going to be snatched up by the Oz, witch, Barbie, and Halloween collectors. Thanks to Jim Whitcomb for this amazing tidbit!!