Let’s play!

When Parker Bros.’ Wonderful Game of Oz was described in the Wizard of Oz Collector’s Treasury as “one of the most visually satisfying Oz products ever published,” I nodded my agreement—vigorously. The game is really striking. Plus, it’s a game—and it’s a map of Oz covered with characters and places from the Oz books. It’s also lovely enough to frame. Who could ask for anything more?

I soon discovered there was far more to the game than I realized. There were variants to the way it was packaged, or example: at least four that I could spot. It was released in the US and Canada. The game markers, the rules, and the shakers all went through changes.

In the Spring 2018 Baum Bugle (arriving now in member mailboxes), Bill Thompson takes readers far beyond the superficial and delves into the details that define and distinguish the different copies of this game following its first appearance.  While I contributed some content to this issue of the Bugle myself, I think this great piece by Bill is one the collector in me will most remember from our Spring 2018 issue.

Spring 2018 Baum Bugle off to the press

The Spring 2018 Baum Bugle is on its way to Oz Club members with a new look that is a breath of fresh air for our Club.  If you’ve been a Club member in the past, you’ll likely notice the design changes first, but look for organizational changes, too, as our new editor-in-chief, Sarah Crotzer, updates departments to better reflect today’s world of Oz.

Feature stories include two Oz puppetry pieces I contributed, one about a particular show here in Kansas City, and another that reaches back into the earliest Oz puppet shows to tell you a bit about their history.  The historical piece will be continued in Autumn; even just selecting highlights, there is much to tell.

I’m so pleased with Bill Thompson’s feature about the Wonderful Game of Oz, it gets a blog all its own!  I also used this forum to share my trip to Philadelphia to see the Charles Santore retrospective at the Woodmere Art Museum. In this Spring issue, Dave Kelleher provides a much more thorough report from that gallery.

Through the years we’ve occasionally included in Club mailings content designed specifically for our younger members. That tradition has returned.  You’ll find Oz Gazette pages inside this issue provided by Nick Campbell, as well as a delightful finger puppet project designed for us by Dave “Krofty” Kelleher. If you are one of the Club’s Youth members and we don’t already have an email address for you, please send us one so Nick can help make The Oz Gazette your publication. TheOzGazette@gmail.com goes straight to him.

Reviews of performances, books and more round out the issue that ends with a fabulous first-person account of life as a witch. In this Adventures in Oz story, Kurt Raymond talks about how he came to perform the character as so memorably played by Margaret Hamilton.

My thanks to Sarah for the vision she brings to her editorship, and to our designer, Marcus Mebes, who managed the herculean work of redesigning the entire publication over just a few short weeks of production time. Sarah is committed to getting us back on track with the Spring, Autumn, and Winter issues delivered on schedule.  If all of them deliver as much as this issue, we’re in for a terrific year.