Monday, February 16, 2015

Reutter Porcelain Tea Sets

Longtime Oz collectors will remember the highly sought after porcelain tea set Reutter's made for The Smithsonian some years ago.  Now Reutter's has three new tea sets available!!  

Large tea set in case
SRP: $169.99 plus shipping

Medium tea set in case
SRP: $99.99 plus shipping

Large tea set in box
SRP: $99.99 plus shipping

Photos courtesy Reutter Porcelain and Dave Woodicus

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lux Playing Cards Kickstarter Campaign

Lux Playing Cards collaborates with artists the world over to create beautiful, collectible playing cards.  They're next endeavor is based on L. Frank Baum's Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Artist Suzanne van Pelt has created some really unique versions of the Oz characters including some of the scariest flying monkeys I've ever seen!   There are 21 days left in the Kickstarter campaign.  

Bicycle Wizard of Oz Playing Card Deck Features: 

Printed by The United States Playing Card Company Bicycle playing card stock 

Inspired by L. Frank Baum’s novel, The Wizard of Oz.

 Illustrated by renowned artist Suzanne van Pelt. 

100% completely custom designed playing cards, including art, pips, royalty, backs, jokers, tuck cases, and everything else that you can put into a card deck. 

Custom Tuck Cases, including embossing in order to further enhance the designs. Foil accents on the tuck case, as well as printing on the inside of the tuck case. 

56 cards including a full 52 card deck, plus 2 Jokers, a card outlining the characters, and a double backed card.

 Standard sized poker deck of playing cards, 2.5" by 3.5" 
Linen Finish, also known as Air-Cushion Finish.

 Diptych Jokers which tell the story of a scene between Dorothy and the Wicked Witch when placed together, side by side.

Wizard of Oz Emerald City Edition - Playing Card Deck Features:

Printed by MPC with new embossing technology to accentuate the art on the card back.

 First playing cards in history with this raised technology on the card backs.

 Inspired by L. Frank Baum’s novel, The Wizard of Oz.

 Illustrated by renowned artist Suzanne van Pelt. 

Emerald green backgrounds and borders to differentiate from the other deck 

100% completely custom designed playing cards, including art, pips, royalty, backs, jokers, tuck cases, and everything else that you can put into a card deck. 

Custom Tuck Cases, including embossing in order to further enhance the designs. 

54 cards including a full 52 card deck, plus 2 Jokers. 

Standard sized poker deck of playing cards, 2.5" by 3.5"
 Linen Finish, also known as Air-Cushion Finish. 

Wraparound art on the tuck case

 Diptych Jokers which tell the story of a scene between Dorothy and the Wicked Witch when placed together, side by side.

Projected release date is June 2015.  Visit the Kickstarter page for more information and to see the various donating levels. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Yellow Brick Road

I do apologize for the lack of updates to this blog.  I have to admit I was disheartened in a BIG way over the failure of Legends of Oz.  I thought it was utterly precious and adorable.  I blame the investment scandal more than anything.  I think the wrong people got ticked off and were willing to lose a few bucks to see this sweet little movie tank and tank it did.  What a disservice they've done. Shame on them!  Anyway, for awhile I didn't even want to look at this blog.  But Oz will always persevere and Oz fans. being the intrepid little creatures we are, always believe hope springs eternal.  It is a new year with new days so we'll see what lies ahead. And in the spirit of L. Frank Baum, a new adventure awaits.  But they need your help!

A campaign is underway right now on Indiegogo is a crowdfunding website similar to Kickstarter.  

"In Yellow Brick Road, the adult Dorothy Gale teams up with Oscar Diggs, the former Wizard of Oz, to face the mysterious Betsy Bobbin, who is tearing apart every corner of the land in search of the Silver Slippers. Our heroes will have to work with General Jinjur, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Lion, and the Good Witches in order to uncover Betsy's motives and ultimately defeat her."

This film will be directed by Leigh Scott who should be familiar to Oz fans for the imaginative Witches of Oz and was written by Angelo Thomas who is a lifelong Oz fan/collector. So this is an endeavor by an Oz fan for Oz fans.  

Any amount is greatly appreciated and there are several donation levels with benefits such as exclusive emails, posters, soundtrack, books, even tickets to the premiere.  

Also join the Yellow Brick Road Facebook page for news and updates.

Best of luck to Angelo and everyone involved with Yellow Brick Road!!  

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Legends of Oz Review

Goodness, where do I start?  In all honesty, I didn't know what to expect.   I only know what I had hoped for.  Legends of Oz exceeded my expectations.  I absolutely loved it.  

The opening credits were really cool with the debris swirling through the tornado displaying the names of cast and crew.   The 3D was enjoyable but it didn't seem to make or break the movie.  Given the choice, I was happy to see it in 3D but I would have enjoyed it nonetheless.   Legends is beautifully animated. When the World, Even Then, and One Day are really good songs and the score is wonderful!!!

Legends picks up where The Wizard of Oz left off.  Dorothy is overwhelmed by the damage caused by the tornado.  It seem impossible to start over and anyway Dorothy & the townsfolk are forced from their homes by an unscrupulous character (harkening back to Elmira Gulch).   Nice MGM nod there. Dorothy's dilemma is very relatable to children.  How many children have wished to save their homes from whatever catastrophe has beset them?  Natural disaster, divorce, whatever.  Moving can be a very scary prospect for children.  

Meanwhile the land of Oz is overtaken by an evil Jester and the situation has turned dire enough for Dorothy to be summoned back by her old friends.  Dorothy & Toto's journey via Rainbow Mover was another neat sequence.  

There are some scenes of intense peril and I found the Jester to be more vicious than his predecessor, the Wicked Witch of the West.   Though, cinematically, I don't think he's as scary as the Witch.  Maybe because he's animated.  

It's always nice to be reunited with old friends, but the new ones are very welcome additions.  Hugh Dancy was very endearing as the honorable, unexpectedly love struck Marshall Mallow. The romance between Marshall and the China Princess is very sweet.  Which brings me to Megan Hilty.  Megan is just a delight in anything she does and she just glows onscreen.  Her effervescence comes through in her voice.  Always.  Patrick Stewart again is someone who is awesome in anything he does. It really touched me that after all his work in the Sci-Fi genre, he made his first trip to Comic Con for Oz.   I was afraid Jim Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Kelsey Grammer, Oliver Platt, and Martin Short would be too hammy.  They were fabulous!! Martin Short and Oliver Platt had more freedom playing original characters.   They were just right.  Belushi, Aykroyd, and Grammer made the characters their own without attempting to be caricatures of Bert Lahr, Ray Bolger, and Jack Haley.  I think, along with the rest of the cast, they paid homage.  I really feel everyone involved with Legends of Oz handled it with love and reverence.  Lea Michele had the most daunting job of all and bless her  heart she pulls it off with panache.  She came across as kind, sincere, and plucky. She was able to embody everything Dorothy should be and she sings beautifully.  

And Toto..............this little guy is a JOY!!!  Instead of making him an accessory to Dorothy, the filmmakers infused him with SO much personality.  Being a huge Toto fan, I'm very happy with this portrayal.  

I loved the field mice and the wooden sawhorse.  I was waiting for Dorothy to address the hen at the beginng of the movie as Billina.  It never happenend!  That was a tiny letdown.  For those that don't know, the field  mice, wooden sawhorse,  and Billina were characters from L. Frank Baum's books.  

Big kudos for keeping the movie family friendly.  I think this is a perfect introduction to Oz for people that think The Wizard of Oz or Oz the Great and Powerful may be too frightening for their little ones.  Best of all, there's no lame pop culture references that will be meaningless in 2 years, no swearing, no sexual innuendo, not even a whiff of flatulence. 

Legends of Oz SHOULD NOT be compared to the MGM movie. The Wizard of Oz is in a class by itself.  There will never be another one, nor should there be.  There's nothing wrong with the old Oz, but a new Oz is okay too if expanded in a positive way.  The world of Oz is so vast and Legends of Oz touched on some of it beautifully.  People are really doing themselves (and Oz!!) a diservice by not embracing different interpreations with an open mind.  There's a great deal of wonder and magic left in Oz, if you'll let yourself feel it.  

Variety's scathing review mentions we've seen the Candy Country in Wreck-It-Ralph.  Where exactly did Disney get the idea from? Roger Baum's book Dorothy of Oz featured the Candy Country in 1989.  His great-grandfather wrote of a candy country in Dot & Tot of Merryland published in 1901. Characters from that book appeared in The Road to Oz in 1910. Wreck-It-Ralph came out in 2012.  You do the math.  (Thanks Jay Davis!) 

It's been a long and winding road for Legends of Oz from page to screen, but I found it to be totally worth the wait.   And it's definately worth seeing in theaters, but I can't wait for Legends of Oz to come to DVD so I can watch it again and again.  

L. Frank Baum didn't live to see the glorious MGM movie brought to the screen.  It's fortunate that his great-grandson Roger Baum saw his charming book brought to life.  In my opinion, as something created by a Baum,  Legends of Oz should be supported on that merit alone though the movie has many wonderful qualities unto itself.  The world owes a debt of gratitude to L. Frank Baum, the least we can do is support his legacy.   We should all be grateful to Roger Baum, everyone involved with Legends of Oz, and anyone who is willing to carry on that legacy despite the criticisms they know they'll face. 


And I want to say a big hearty THANK YOU to Keepsakes of Oz, Madame Alexander, and Bandai for hanging in there through all the setbacks and producing some of the most darling merchandise.   The jewelry, collectibles, dolls and plush are all so very, very cute!!  It's sheer happiness to have momentos from such a lovely film. 

And thank you Ryan Jay for the use of your ad!!!  
Please see his review and cast interviews below!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Legends of Oz Soundtrack

When The World - Lea Michele

Candy Candy - Martin Short

China Princess - Megan Hilty

Jester - Martin Short

Work With Me - Lea Michele

Even Then - Lea Michele / Megan Hilty & Hugh Dancy

When The World Finale - Lea Michele

One Day - Lea Michele

Overture - Hollywood Symphony Orchestra

Under The Jester's Spell - Hollywood Symphony Orchestra

The Spell Is Broken - Hollywood Symphony Orchestra

Escape From Emerald City - Hollywood Symphony Orchestra

Dorothy Wakes - Hollywood Symphony Orchestra

Available May 6
SRP: $14.98

Monday, April 7, 2014

Legends of Oz at Toys R Us

When I first heard about this movie (the earliest I found in my records is an article from 2006), I was excited for many reasons.  At the time it was called Dorothy of Oz, Dorothy and Toto are my favorite characters so HOORAY!!!   Even better it was to be based on a book of the same title by the great-grandson of L. Frank Baum, Roger Baum.  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is in public domain so anyone can pen an Oz book based on those characters, but it especially gladdens my heart that a family member chose to carry on the tradition. Who better????  It's been a long time since I've read the book, but I remember being utterly charmed by it.  Furthering my excitement was learning that it was to be released in theaters and not straight to video. And being a long time Oz collector, some of my very first thoughts were about merchandising, most especially dolls.  Oh please, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease let there be cute dolls.  Here we are in 2014, we are almost a month away from the May 9th release date and lo and behold...............some of my fondest wishes come true!!!!!!!

I can not being to put into words the exhilaration of walking into Toys R Us and seeing Oz toys on the shelves.  That doesn't happen nearly often enough.  And being the emotional person I am, yes, I did tear up right there in the store.  

These particular toys are by Bandai.  You can see my Toy Fair coverage if you keep scrolling through. Cute, cute, cute does not begin to describe!  The Dorothy dolls have the loveliest faces and beautiful auburn hair.  She has the familiar blue gingham on her dresses.  My only real gripe is that she was given blue eyes when I would have preferred brown.  But A.) I'm biased and B.) that would be the fault of the film makers not Bandai. Bandai did an incredible job with this line. And one of my particular joys is the Toto with sounds.  For years, I've wanted a barking Toto and now I have one!!  Toys R Us didn't get very many Totos and I was lucky enough to get in there quick. Speaking of Toto, I do have one more gripe.  All of the dolls except the basic fashion doll should have come with a Toto. Dorothy ALWAYS needs Toto.  But that said, all of the toys are super precious and I think kids will love them.  

15" Large Dorothy

Dorothy Basic Fashion Doll

Dorothy & Toto Fashion Doll

Dorothy Singing Fashion Doll
She sings snippets of Work With Me and One Day

Dorothy and Classic Friends Figures 

Plush Toto with Sound
Toto pants, licks, and barks

These toys and more available at Toys R Us stores nationwide and 

Bandai toys will also be available at Target and Kmart. 

See the movie in theaters May 9

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bandai Legends of Oz at Toy Fair

Basic Dorothy

Fashion Dolls

Singing Dorothy Fashion Doll

15"  Large Dolls

Collectible Figures  5 packs

8" Plush

Plushes with Sound

Photos Courtesy of Bandai and Kroffty McKroffterson