Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

An Ideal Dorothy

This past week has marked the 77th anniversary of the release of the classic MGM film The Wizard of Oz. The film had several sneak previews during August 1939, but the 25th of August was the official release date, and the rest is history!

A wide variety of merchandise was produced at the time, to tie in with the movie. Among the many items was the Judy Garland as Dorothy doll, from the Ideal Novelty & Toy Co. The doll was made of composition and the face was sculpted to portray Judy Garland in her memorable role. This was produced in three sizes, 14", 16", and 18".

I haven't focused on collecting movie items, but I couldn't resist this when it turned up some time ago. This is an example of the 18" size, in lovely condition, although her clothing has been replaced. Ideal also produced a soft doll of Ray Bolger as the Strawman - something else I wouldn't mind having!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Olive and Yellow

A week or so ago, I came across a copy of Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz  that I added to my collection. The interesting aspect of this copy was the endpapers, an inventive design that was later adapted into the second cover design for The Emerald City of Oz.

This copy of the book is a first state in the primary binding, but with pale olive endpapers rather than the bright yellow usually seen in this book. The difference is shown in the photo, with the olive version above the standard yellow. I've run across this before, but associated the olive endpapers with copies bearing the secondary spine imprint - interesting to see them used in a primary binding!

A similar color change occurs in Snowbound, one of the poetry books illustrated by John R. Neill and also published by Reilly & Britton. The first state used yellow as a secondary color in the illustrations, while a later state has the same olive green seen here. Just another example of the many variants to be found!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Witchcraft of Mary-Marie

The Witchcraft of Mary-Marie is one of three short stories that were added to Baum's American Fairy Tales, the 1908 revised edition of American Fairy Tales. In July of 1951, Children's Digest chose to feature a condensed version of this tale as its cover story. This was the ninth issue of the magazine, which started in November of 1950 and which had already featured writing by L. Frank Baum in at least one earlier issue.

The story was illustrated by Art Seiden, but the drawing used on the cover was by Mary Blair. Blair was a well known artist and a famous Disney designer, who drew concept art for a number of films as well as the Small World ride at Disneyland. This cover was drawn during the height of her years at Disney Studios.