To celebrate the 80th anniversary of MGM’s Wizard of Oz, merchandise tied to the film’s original release is now on display at the Oz Museum in Wamego, Kansas, complements of the Oz Club. Twice a year I switch the Oz Club’s display drawing primarily from material in my own collection. Although some 1939 merchandise is on display at the museum all the time — and the screen-used props are the real museum treasures — the 80th anniversary seemed a great opportunity to share more of the merchandise fans could find back when the film was new
If you’ve been to the museum, you’ve likely seen the Sealtest cottage cheese glasses, Swift’s peanut butter spread cans, Kerk Guild’s figural soaps, and other vintage pieces in the museum’s permanent displays. Now you can add to that list the Ideal Dorothy and Scarecrow dolls, Bissel adult-sized sweeper, classroom valentines, record albums, rubber Tin Woodman, Whitman board and Castell card games, “movie edition” books from the US and England, Paint Book, coloring, book, and linen picture book.
Selecting items for this display was challenged by my need to keep in reserve enough material for a different display I’ll be supporting this summer in Kansas City. Vintage pieces like these are what turned my head back in the 1980s. Until then I was strictly an Oz book collector. But once I saw that sweet composition doll, I had to have her!
Be watching the Museum’s website for updates. They have some exciting acquisitions and loans that should make it to your Oz new feeds anytime now. One bit of news I can share is that another phase of the facade has been completed. Dorothy and friends can now be spotted peering out of the second floor windows. A local artist was commissioned to create the original character designs. They were then printed on UV filtering material to help cut down the damaging rays in the second-story administrative areas.