The First Wizard of Oz–Themed Board Game, Sold to 1920s Superfans
Slate Pictured below are the game board, tokens and dice, and box top of the first Wizard of Oz board game, sold by Parker Bros. in 1921. L. Frank Baum published 14 Oz books between 1900 and 1920. Well before the classic 1939 movie came out, the books spawned many theatrical adaptations, as well as saga-themed objects like dolls, figurines, and this board game. The story’s popularity was such that this wasn’t even the first Parker Bros. Oz game. That was the Wogglebug Game of Conundrums, a card game published in 1905 and based on a character from Baum’s second Oz book, the sequel to Wizard. (You can see Wogglebug in the bottom right-hand quadrant of this gameboard.) Many of the characters and places scattered around the 1921 board will be unfamiliar to people who know the Oz story from the 1939 movie or the original book (by far the most famous of the series). The presence of Woot and Ugu shows how familiar the whole Oz series would have been to the game’s audience.
Follow the yellow brick road to Fisherville With a click of ruby slippers, the Emerald City has made a home in the Fishersville Library. To honor 75 years of munchkins and wicked witches, the library will display vintage Wizard of Oz memorabilia until the end of this week. The collection features Wizard of Oz books dating back to the beginning of the 20th century, memorabilia from the movie starring Judy Garland, and items from Wicked, the 2003 Broadway show based on L. Frank Baum’s beloved characters. The collection includes “some of the original books that started in 1900 and came out once a year for the past 50 years,” said Rebecca Lamb, public relations coordinator for the library.