Playing Oz: Family Game Night

Looking for an evening of Oz family fun? Check out these traditional Oz board games, all of which are “new” enough to be readily available:

  • Emerald City Opoly and Oz Monopoly
  • The Wizard of Oz: The Game (Fundex)
  • Wizard of Oz Uno
  • Wizard of Oz Game of Life
  • Masterpieces Wizard of Oz Matching Game

  • The Wizard of Oz Trivia Game 1999 Pressman
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Adventure Game
  • The Wizard of Oz: The Yellow Brick Road Game
  • The Wizard of Oz Scrabble
  • Wizard of Oz Memory Challenge

Yellow Brick Road game (by Cadaco) and the 100th Anniversary Wizard of Oz Family Board Game have been on the market longer, but are popular enough that they aren’t hard to find on the collector’s market. Don’t forget to look for Oz playing cards, too. And Oz chess sets are also available with a heftier price tag.

Can you recommend additional Oz games?  Please comment!

 

 

Old Friends, Old Books, New Media

Such fun to join Cindy Ragni and Bill Thompson in the Rare Book Cafe to discuss collecting Baum and Oz!  Our friend Sophia Bogle of saveyourbooks.com recruited us for this streaming event hosted by Ed Marklewicz. We agreed to show this audience of book collectors what our particular special interest is all about. The program aired live Saturday morning Feb. 13 and remains available through the Rare Book Cafe Facebook page. 

During a round of planning emails, we decided to divide and conquer. I would talk Oz and Baum, Bill would share Baum’s pseudonymous works, and Cindy would wrap up our 30 minutes with a look at related ephemera. While Bill and Cindy prepared to hold materials up to the camera for a true show-and-tell, I opted to use slides from a book collecting talk I once gave. We rehearsed with tech support and were ready to go. 

Those of you who’ve lived only in the internet age likely can’t imagine how marvelous this was to me. When I joined the Oz Club in 1971 the only way to learn about collecting Oz books was to attend a Club convention and listen to established collectors talk. In-person slide shows, panel discussions, and displays taught us what to look for. Bibliographia Oziana was the only resource book on the topic; it’s still terrific, but if the terms are unfamiliar to a novice collector—I was 17 years old when it came out in 1976—it could be a challenge. 

Today’s technology gives book collectors this whole new world of opportunities. Talks like ours show you what to look for whether you’re familiar with the terminology or not. Right there on-screen. Point at it. See?  With a camera on every device and devices in every life you can be right there at Bill’s desk as he holds up Babes in Birdland in a dust jacket (I’ve collected for 50 years and have never seen one before). Or have Cindy open a copy of Father Goose to show W.W. Denslow’s signature. These are the sort of treasures usually restricted to rare library displays; with my luck a library display halfway across the country that I can’t possibly go see. Today? It’s right here on my laptop big as life.

The event itself went well with only a short catch when my “screen sharing” of images didn’t go as planned. We recovered. Questions came in live from people watching. We did go longer than expected, and we were just part of a larger weekly gathering. If you plan to watch, expect other topics both before and after Oz. (I loved the collectible valentines’ segment and the regular “things found in books” feature.)

Websites, of course, but also streaming events, Zoom meetings, online interviews, podcasts, and webinars are available. Instagram sends Oz images to my phone. Today we can learn online, buy online, and celebrate our own discoveries using social media. We also have more books! Bill Thompson’s Bibliographia Baumiana was published by the Club in 2018 and The Book Collector’s Guide to L. Frank Baum and Oz by Paul Bienvenue is both colorful and comprehensive. I consider both books, as well as the original Bibliographia Oziana, to be indispensable.

Just as Amazon and Ebay have changed the way we can collect, technology is giving us new ways to learn. I hope Oz Club members will adapt to these changes and welcome the benefits they offer our hobby.

150 Bugles and Counting

I joined the Oz Club in 1971, making the winter 2020 Baum Bugle that just arrived my 150th. Every time, every issue I’m amazed at the ability of its editor, currently, Sarah Crotzer, to deliver one turning page after another of new Ozzy discoveries and insights. 

This issue, tied to the 100th publication anniversary of Glinda of Oz, offers readers an appreciation of that book by leading Baum scholar Michael Patrick Hearn, and a look at the book’s original advertising and reviews by Scott Cummings—who’s edited a dozen Bugle issues of his own 

Other features include Robert Luehrs’ essay “The Sorceress, the Goddess, and the Matriarchate.” Luehrs’ writing hasn’t been in the Bugle for ages; I attended a week-long Oz class he taught back in the 1970s; I’m pleased to see him return. Frequent Bugle contributor Dina Schiff Massachi introduces us to the legendary Lena Horne—who I personally consider the highlight of the 1978 film version of “The Wiz.” Angelica Shirley Carpenter writes about Maud Gage Baum from the perspective of wife-as-muse. There’s also a fascinating look by Peter Hanff at John R. Neill’s work to illustrate Glinda the Good referencing original artwork in the collection of the Oz Club. The tradition of strong women and Oz comes up to the present in an interview with Israeli Oz fan and Club member Gili Bar-Hillel Semo. I first “met” Gili when she was a teenaged contributor to The Oz Gazette. It’s a delight to read about her success bringing Oz to fans who, thanks to her, now find Baum’s books in Hebrew. 

Covers

The front covers of the issue share alternate cover designs created by Dick Martin. The back covers are the line art from Neill’s first color plate of Glinda with the colored version of that piece—a composite using, in part, surviving photo proof from LFB’s own scrapbook—to complete the picture. 

This issue also thanks those who support the Oz Club through their donation level memberships, profiles Virginia “Gina” Wickwar, recipient of the 2020 L. Frank Baum Memorial Award, and offers a heartfelt tribute to David Greene by his dear friend of many decades, Peter Hanff. News and reviews complete the issue. 

Have we ever had an editor who gives us a glimpse of what to expect in the next issue? I don’t think so….  Sarah’s risen to that challenge with a final page that serves up three glimpses into the future. We can expect to meet the wonderful wooden Woozy, a toy made to promote Baum’s 1913 film “The Patchwork Girl of Oz”. Nate Barlow is researching the marketing and promotion of this feature film. Atticus Gannaway, our current reviews editor and a past editor of the Bugle himself, has written a history of Buckethead Enterprises of Oz and the marvelous man behind its curtain, the late Chris Dulabone. Third, Bill Campbell remembers the 1981 Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis production of The Marvelous Land of Oz. Those of us who didn’t get to be in that audience can live vicariously through Bill. 

The Oz Gazette, compliments of editor Nick Campbell, keeps getting better! Mark Manley, whose artwork has given the Bugle and the Gazette a fresh new look under Sarah’s direction is profiled here for our kids. (You don’t have to be a kid to read it!) Creative, crafty, clever members will also be happy to take on our latest project by Krofty; your very own magical Skeropythrope modeled after that used by Glinda the Good herself!