The 1939 MGM movie inspired a few special reprints of Oz titles, simple attempts to cash in on the publicity generated by the film. Bobbs Merrill produced a new edition of The Wizard of Oz with sepia toned endpapers featuring several stills and character portraits from the movie.
The dust jacket proudly proclaims it to be "the only edition containing the complete original text..." Unfortunately, by this point many of the Denslow illustrations had been dropped. Only a third of the original color plates were being used, and these are no longer in full color, appearing washed out and dull. The ingenious use of color throughout the book had already been dropped long ago.
Reilly & Lee produced three new "popular editions", selecting The Land of Oz, The Scarecrow of Oz, and The Tin Woodman of Oz. They obviously felt that these titles would have the most appeal to someone who had seen the movie - regardless of where the stories fell in the sequence of publication. These books were larger than the standard Oz titles, and had new covers and dust jackets.
The Land of Oz is particularly interesting, since Dorothy and the Wizard are prominently placed on the cover of the book, when they do not appear in the story!
I mentioned in an earlier post that Reilly & Lee produced a new edition of Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz for Sears, Roebuck at this time. This volume is smaller than the standard Oz book.
All of these books feature new, colorful artwork on the covers by uncredited artists - Dorothy and the Wizard is based on a John R. Neill colorplate that was no longer in use, and The Wizard is based on a Denslow drawing . They are certainly eye catching, but I prefer the original artwork of the books.