Oz toys, games, dolls, and other merchandise
What Ozzy toys, dolls, and games have been made over the years?
In a word, lots! Even before The Movie, there were many toys, games, dolls, and other Ozzy products. This FAQ would be much, much too long if all of them were listed here, and more are coming out all the time. Here are a few of the more important or well-known ones:
- Baum's son, Frank J. Baum, manufactured and tried to market a series of stuffed Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, Jack Pumpkinhead, and Patchwork Girl dolls in 1924. He was unable to make a go of it, however, and eventually sold his stocks to Reilly and Lee, who gave them away as premiums with some of the Oz books.
- Among the many toys that came out in 1939, in conjunction with the release of The Movie, was a Judy Garland as Dorothy doll (in several sizes), which is sought after not only by Oz collectors, but doll collectors and Garland fans as well; a Scarecrow doll which, while claiming to look like Ray Bolger, looked more like Fred Stone, the Scarecrow in the 1902 stage play; and a plush stuffed Cowardly Lion.
- In 1975, Mego issued a line of Oz dolls, based on the characters in The Movie, with accompanying playsets.
- In recent years, Susan Effenbee, Madame Alexander, World Doll, Ideal, the Franklin Mint, Presents of California, Mattel, and Robert Tonner, among other doll makers, have all come out with collectible Oz dolls.
- Multi Toys became one of the first to produce tie-ins for the fiftieth anniversary of The Movie, with a dozen different dolls coming out in 1988, as well as Oz clothes and costumes for other dolls.
- Mattel has issued collector's editions of Barbie dressed as Dorothy and Glinda, and Ken dressed as the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion. They've also introduced another line designed more for play, including an Emerald City playset and Kelly and Tommy dressed as Munchkins.
- Warner Bros. has issued many products and sold them through their now closed chain of Warner Bros. Studio Stores, their online store (http://www.wbshop.com/Wizard-of-Oz/wiz,default,sc.html), QVC, and other outlets. Among the Warner Bros. products have been bean bag dolls, a Movie-themed version of Monopoly, a trivia game, clothes and costumes, prints, figurines, pins, doormats, cookie jars... (Many of these products are still available from other retailers.)
- Parker Brothers put out The Wogglebug Game of Conundrums, a game of riddles (none having to do with Oz), in 1905.
- The Wonderful Game of Oz, with a board showing a map of Oz and many characters from the Baum books, was first issued by Parker Brothers in 1921 (with pewter figurines of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Lion as markers), and reissued a number of times up until 1939.
- Tie-in games have been produced for Off to See the Wizard and Return to Oz, as well as games based on The Movie.
- The Wizard of Oz Waddle Book was issued in 1934. This was the book, with punch-out cardboard figures bound in that could be assembled into dolls that waddled down a ramp. This was reprinted by Applewood Books in 1994.
There have also been numerous puppets, arts and crafts projects and patterns, cards and stickers, etc. If anyone has ever put a character's face on something, chances are there was a version with an Oz character.
What Ozzy comic books have been printed over the years?
Oz seems to be popular with comic book writers. Baum himself wrote one of the earliest newspapers comics, "Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz" (see the question What other Oz stories did Baum write?) and his collaborator, W. W. Denslow, issued a competing comic, "Denslow's Scarecrow and Tinman" (see the question What other Oz projects did Denslow work on?). Here is a partial checklist of published Oz comic books:
- The Wonderland of Oz. Adapted and drawn by Walt Spouse in 1932 and 1933, these newspaper comic strip adaptations of The Land of Oz, Ozma of Oz, The Emerald City of Oz, The Patchwork Girl of Oz, and Tik-Tok of Oz were later reprinted in The Funnies (Dell) from 1938-1940. More recently, the annual Oz-Story anthology from Hungry Tiger Press reprinted some of the Spouse strips (along with some of the Denslow comic stories and other Oz-related comics, both old and new). Hungry Tiger Press has also put out collected editions of The Land of Oz, Ozma of Oz, and The Emerald City of Oz.
- Both Dell Junior Treasury #5 and Classics Illustrated Junior #535 were adaptations of The Wizard of Oz. The Classics Illustrated Junior edition was most recently reprinted in 2005.
- Tales of the Wizard of Oz — a one-issue tie-in with the TV series, part of the Four Color comic series from Dell.
- MGM's Marvelous Wizard of Oz — an oversized comic book adaptation of the MGM movie, and the first ever collaboration between Marvel and DC.
- Marvel Treasury of Oz #1 — another oversize adaptation, this time without DC's involvement, and adapting the book instead of The Movie, in this case The Marvelous Land of Oz. Marvel had planned a series of adaptations of the Oz books — the back of this issue advertised Ozma of Oz — but copyright problems and poor sales put a stop to those plans.
- The Oz-Wonderland War Trilogy. DC put their own Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew in the middle of a war between Oz and Lewis Carroll's Wonderland, with the Nome King stirring things up for good measure.
- Eric Shanower has written and illustrated five Oz graphic novels: The Enchanted Apples of Oz, The Secret Island of Oz, The Ice King of Oz, and The Forgotten Forest of Oz were all published by First Comics (now available from IWOC). The Blue Witch of Oz, in preparation when First went out of business, was later published by Dark Horse. All will be reissued in a one volume omnibus entitled Adventures in Oz, with many extras, by IDW in 2006. They are now also available in two Little Adventures in Oz digest editions, also from IDW.
- Mad magazine has spoofed The Movie in issues 128, 300, and 505 — and lots of Oz references have popped up elsewhere in the magazine, of course.
- Patchwork Press published Oz Squad, which was rather untraditional, and not well received among Oz fans. Dorothy is all grown up and a secret agent working both in Oz and on Earth. It contains graphic violence and swearing. There was even a Little Oz Squad special, detailing some of the events of the Oz Squad characters as children. The regular series ended with issue #10.
- Oz from Caliber Comics. While it is a more grown-up comic than most of the others on this list (some issues contain violence or adult language), it is more traditional than Oz Squad, in that the characters are more in keeping with their counterparts in the books. The series details the adventures of three friends from our world and their dog who are transported to Oz, where they come to the aid of freedom fighters trying to overthrow the Nome King, who has conquered Oz and taken Ozma prisoner. In addition to the regular series, there have been a number of one-off specials and two three-issue mini-series, and some of the earliest issues have been reissued in graphic novels (Mayhem in Munchkinland collects the first five issues, while A Gathering of Heroes features the sixth through tenth issues). The creators of Oz left Caliber and took their ideas to a new publisher, Arrow Comics. They wrapped up the Caliber series with a Dark Oz mini-series, then relaunched the series with a new title, Land of Oz. This series was eventually canceled due to outrageous demands from the distributors. You can get both Caliber and Arrow Oz comics at the Arrow Comics website's marketplace, http://www.arrowcomics.com/marketplace/marketplace_index.php.
- From 1995 to 2000, Hungry Tiger Press published an annual Oz-Story collection that would include comics, both reprints of older material and new stories.
- Hand of Doom Publications put out four books in the Peter Pan and the Warlords of Oz series by Robert Hand, in which Peter Pan emigrates to Oz and has adventures there. Although not nearly as violent as the early issues of Oz Squad, these are also not traditionally pleasant books. You can contact Hand via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Online, you can read and download issues of Cheshire Crossing, an Oz/Wonderland/Neverland crossover with Dorothy, Alice, and Wendy being raised in an unusual orpahanage — and then things get interesting. The website is http://www.cheshirecrossing.net/.
- The Simpsons went to Oz in a story by Stan Sakai in the annual Halloween-themed Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror book. Entitled "I'm Not in Springfield Anymore," it appeared in issue #7, and was also reprinted in the collection The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Fun-Filled Frightfest.
- The Oz/Wonderland Chronicles from BuyMeToys (http://www.buymetoys.com/catalog/) relates the adventures of college roommates Dorothy Gale and Alice Liddell, who have forgotten all of their adventures in faraway lands. But both are needed to save Oz and Wonderland.
- Dorothy, published by Illusive Arts, is a series retelling The Wizard of Oz with a modern-day teenaged Goth Dorothy. Instead of drawings, the story is told through photos manipulated as a special effects scene in a movie might be. Although very good, it's not recommended for children.
- Oz F5: Gale Force, a one-shot from Alias, features a no-holds barred Dorothy who brings a water pistol with her to Oz. This one is played for laughs.
- Lullaby, also from Alias, is an ongoing series where many of the citizens of various fairy lands (Little Red Riding Hood, the Pied Piper, Pinocchio, etc.) have been driven from their homes, and are on their way to the Emerald City to find out why.
- Fables, an ongoing series from DC Comics's Vertigo line, is about famous storybook characters now trying to live in New York City. Ozma is a major character in one recent storyline. It has also produced a spin-off title, Jack of Fables, and some associated miniseries and specials.
- Oz: The Manga, from Antarctic Press, is a straightforward adaptation by David Hutchison of the original novel. This miniseries is drawn as if it were Japanese manga. Hutchison followed it up with The Land of Oz: The Manga.
- Dorothy Gale: Journey to Oz by Shane Kirshenblatt, published by Freefall Comics, is a modern-day retelling of the story with some unusual twists.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Graphic Novel by Richard Maurizio and Puffin Graphics: The Wizard of Oz by Michael Cavallaro are both one volume adaptations of The Wizard of Oz in comic book format. A similar book, Le Magicien d'Oz, has come out in France, which has been translated into English and published by Image Comics.
- Marvel Comics has started adapting the Oz books. Written by Eric Shanower and illustrated by Skottie Young, so far they have issued The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Marvelous Land of Oz as both eight-issue miniseries and collected hardcover editions (the first book has now also been issued in paperback), and Ozma of Oz starts in late 2010.
- Another web-based Oz comic out there now is Woe Is Oz, which you can read at http://www.woeisoz.com/issues.html.
- Into the Dust sees farmgirl Judy whisked away from Dust Bowl-era Kansas to 1960s Hollywood. She gets a car and heads back to Kansas, and picks up some interesting hitchhikers along the way.
- Dorothy of Oz by Son Hee-Joon, published by Udon, is the English translation of a Korean manhwa series, in which Mara Shin loses her dog while walking home from school in Seoul, and finds a yellow brick road that leads to a strange land where everyone insists on calling her Dorothy. The English version lasted only four issues, but it has continued in Korea.
- In a similar vein, the Japanese manga series Toto! The Wonderful Adventure by Yuko Osada tells how Kakashi (the Japanese word for scarecrow) wants to leave his island home and seek adventure, which he manages to do with the help of a bracelet that becomes a large dog. The story has many allusions to The Wizard of Oz (and also Alice in Wonderland). The English version, from Del Rey Manga, only lasted five issues, but the story has continued in Japan.
- Although not specifically about Oz, Delusionary State is a webcomic in which a group of young scientists travel to different fantasy realms — Oz being one of them, of course. You can read the whole story at http://delusionarystate.com/.
- The Royal Historian of Oz by Tommy Kovac and Andy Hirsch, published by SLC, chronicles the saga of Jasper Fizzle, who wants to become the next Royal Historian of Oz, and he doesn't let rejection by the Official Oz Society stop him. When he finds the silver shoes, he goes to Oz and brings back some of its inhabitants, so he can write authentic Oz stories. But Ozma sends a squad to stop him...
For more information on Oz comics, see http://sentient39.comicgenesis.com/ozcomics.html.
What other Ozzy stuff is out there?
Lots and lots. There have been at least six sets of collector plates and some single plates. Advertising gimmicks and flyers, coloring and activity books, pop-up books, buttons, music boxes, stamps (including a 1990 United States commemorative for The Movie), costumes and masks, sheets and pillowcases, party goods, clocks, watches, calendars, pens and pencils, notepads, soap, magnets, jigsaw puzzles, glasses, cups, mugs, valentines, posters, Christmas ornaments, figurines, maps, jewelry, POGs, T-shirts, sunglasses, and rubber ducks are just some of the items over the decades to have featured Oz characters or logos. The vast majority have featured characters from The Movie, but there have also been some based on the books (although often with new character designs), and some with tie-ins to other movies, television shows, and even the NBC radio series.
Gee, there must be a lot of stuff! Is there any way I can get more details?
Indeed there is! Two of the leading authorities on Oz collectibles, Jay Scarfone and William Stillman, have compiled a book, The Wizard of Oz Collector's Treasury, with hundreds of color photographs of Oz items, descriptions, a history of Oz collectibles, and other useful information. It was published in 1992 by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. If your bookstore can't order it for you, it can be ordered from the publisher by sending $59.95 plus $2.95 for postage to Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 1469 Morstein Road, West Chester, PA 19380, or online right here. It can also be ordered online through most WWW-based bookshops. Scarfone and Stillman also write a semi-regular column in The Baum Bugle on Oz collectibles, which mostly covers new items.
How can I get my hands on some of this Oz stuff?
There are lots of places to find Oz items. First, check your local mall or other shopping center, as many specialty shops carry Oz items. Also check mail order catalogs, as there are often Oz items there. But if you're looking for more unusual, older, or rare items, here are a few suggested places to write to and, in parentheses, what they carry. "Miscellaneoz" is used in this list as an abbreviation for "miscellaneous Oz collectibles." (Please note that the author of this FAQ provides this list for informational purposes only, and does not necessarily endorse or vouch for any of these merchants.)
- Beyond the Rainbow (Miscellaneoz), PO Box 31672, St. Louis, MO 63131-0672, fax 314-909-6617, e-mail this e-mail address, http://www.beyondtherainbow2oz.com
- Books of Wonder (Oz books and Miscellaneoz), 16 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011, 1-800-207-6968, http://www.booksofwonder.com/ — also a regular store
- Collectibles Today, an online consortium of several stores, http://www.collectiblestoday.com/ct/
- Crystal River Gems (Oz ornaments and collectibles), Station Square, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 412-391-5310, http://crystalrivergems.com/
- Diane Steele (Oz lithograph), 323 E. Matilija St. PMB 169, Ojai, CA 93023, 805-646-5702, http://www.dianesteele.com/pages/product_pages/alice_oz/oz_prod.html
- Follow the Yellow Brick Road Doll and Toy Museum (Miscellaneoz), 34 S. Main St., Mullica Hill, NJ 08062, 1-856-478-6137
- FuntoCollect.com (Miscellaneoz), 1-888-732-9949, http://www.funtocollect.com/wizardofoz.html
- Gasoline Alley Antiques (Vintage Miscellaneoz), 6501 20th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98115, 1-206-524-1606, http://www.gasolinealleyantiques.com/ — also regular store
- Hallmark Card Shops (Calendars, greeting cards, stickers, puzzles, ornaments), just about everywhere, including online at http://www.hallmark.com/
- Just Kids Nostalgia (Vintage Miscellaneoz), 310 New York Avenue, Huntington, NY 11743, 631-423-8449, http://www.justkidsnostalgia.com/
- The Lighter Side (Miscellaneoz), 1-800-664-4030, http://www.lighterside.com
- The Music Stand (Miscellaneoz), 2921 Peak Avenue, Longmont, CO 80504-6221, 1-877-275-0965, http://www.themusicstand.com/
- The Oz Bazaar (Miscellaneoz), http://www.icollectoz.com/id129.htm
- Oz Central (Miscellaneoz), 888-TOTO-TOO, http://www.oz-central.com/
- Puppet Artists (Oz puppets), 6930 Nez Perce Road, Darby, MT 59829, 1-888-746-2438, http://www.puppetartists.com/StorybookSets/tabid/435/Default.aspx/sectionFilter=Storybook%20Sets
- Rick's Movie Graphics (movie posters, lobby cards), PO Box 23709, Gainseville, FL 32602-3709, 1-800-252-0425, http://www.ricksmovie.com/
- The Soldier Factory (pewter collectibles), PO Box 1809, Atascadero, California, 93423, 1-800-549-1428, http://www.etsy.com/listing/23016416/tin-man-from-the-wizard-of-oz-series
- Warner Bros. Shop, online at http://www.wbshop.com/Wizard-of-Oz/wiz,default,sc.html
- Wyatt Collectibles at Martin & Co. Antiques (Miscellaneoz), PO Box 883, Marina, CA 93933, 831-632-0100
- The Yellow Brick Road (Miscellaneoz), 109 E 950 N, Chesterton, IN 46304, 219-926-7048 — also regular store
There are also a large number of Oz stores on the WWW, and many of them are listed (TMOHH) on the WWOOW links page, http://thewizardofoz.info/links.html. There is a whole section of the links list devoted to commercial sites with items that you can buy. You might also want to check out the Oz Collectors' Society links to Oz shops and products, at http://icollectoz.com/id58.htm.
Also highly recommended for Oz collectors is eBay (http://www.ebay.com/) and other WWW-based online auction sites, where individuals can post items of all sort for sale, and conduct their own online auctions. There are usually many Oz items available on these sites. Another auction site that might be of interest is Hakes Americana, at http://www.hakes.com/. They often have a number of Oz items in their auctions. Finally, keep an eye on Just for Kids Nostalgia (http://www.justkidsnostalgia.com/catalog/index.php), another auction house that often has Oz items.
Is there any sort of organization for people who collect Oz things?
Why, yes, there is. The Oz Collector's Society is a free, online community for those interested in collecting Oz memorabilia. To find out more, go to http://icollectoz.com/. You may also want to take a look at the sites on the Wizard of Oz Collectibles webring, at http://hub.webring.org/hub/ozcentral.
I have some old Oz stuff. How much is it worth?
As with old Oz books (see the question I have some old Oz books. How much are they worth?), it all depends on what items you have, when they were made, what condition they're in, and how much someone else is willing to pay for them. You might have much better luck finding someone who specializes in whatever type of item you have, rather than trying to ask only Oz fans, as doll collectors have a much better idea of what the doll market is like, comic collectors the comic book market, and so forth. If you can, find several people who can help you and get more than one value estimation. (Please do not e-mail me to ask, as I do not consider myself to be an expert in this sort of area, and couldn't even begin to tell you how much items are worth.)
If you're looking to sell your Oz stuff, bear in mind that most dealers will try to buy from you for a lower price so they can sell it to someone else at a price closer to its market value. Selling straight to collectors, on the other hand, may give you a price more in line with its actual worth. You may want to consider selling it yourself through eBay or another online auction site, or through IWOC (see the question Where can I sell my old Oz books?).
I remember a poster called "Everything I Ever Need to Know I Learned from The Wizard of Oz." What did it say?
- Imagination can take you anywhere — even over the rainbow.
- Sometimes you have to leave home to find it.
- Follow the Yellow Brick Road, but always be ready for a detour.
- Faith, hope and love can work wonders, but ruby slippers couldn't hurt either.
- When friends stick together, they can work miracles.
- Having the courage to ask for what you want is half the battle.
- Hearts will never be practical until they are made unbreakable.
- The grass is always greener on the other side of the rainbow.
- All you need is right there inside you.
- Keep home in your heart and you can always return to it.
- When you go out into the world, remember stand up for yourself, but always be kind to the little guys.