Indiana University Bloomington

GAMES ABOUT OZ

The Wonderful Game of Oz
The Wonderful Game of Oz. Salem: Parker Brothers, 1921.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum, illustrated by W. W. Denslow. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Chicago: George M. Hill Co., 1900.




























The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the result of a collaboration by Baum and Denslow, is known as the Great American Fairy Tale.

Denslow's integration of the illustrations with the text was revolutionary in the world of children's picture books.

The story became such an enormous success, that the author and illustrator adapted the story for a musical in 1902, which was also immensely popular.


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The beautiful graphics of the box cover and game board make The Wonderful Game of Oz one of the most desirable Ozian artifacts. The game was originally produced in 1921 with four pewter playing pieces representing Dorothy, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow. Following the enormous success of the 1939 film, Parker Brothers re–issued a less elaborate version, without the colorful box cover, and replacing the pewter pieces with wooden ones.

While The Wonderful Game of Oz and The Wogglebug Game of Conundrums (below) are the two most famous games about Oz, many others have been produced over the years, including a British card game with images from the 1939 film, as well as an Oz Monopoly and a Trivial Pursuit version.



Marvelous Land of Oz
L. Frank Baum, illustrated by John R. Neill.
The Marvelous Land of Oz. Chicago: Reilly and Lee Co., 1904.
The Wogglebug Game of Conundrums
The Wogglebug Game of Conundrums. Salem: Parker Brothers, 1905.

Highly Magnified and Thoroughly Educated, Professor H.M. Woggle–Bug, T.E., made his first appearance in Baum's second Oz story The Marvelous Land of Oz.

The Woggle–Bug was an eccentric character that the author used as a promotion for his new book, as well as another stage production. Baum created a comic serial entitled Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz. The segment included a contest inquiring, "What Did the Woggle–Bug Say?" which gave eager readers opportunities to win up to $500 in monthly prizes.

Following a split from his partnership with Denslow, Baum forged an alliance with illustrator John Rea Neill that would last throughout Baum's lifetime and virtually all of the subsequent books in the Oz canon.

Baum attempted to make a second successful musical to match the widely popular 1902 Broadway hit, The Wizard of Oz. Entitled The Woggle–Bug Show, the 1905 musical was short–lived despite the immense popularity of the characters. Promotional memorabilia for the Woggle Bug comic and musical, such as buttons, postcards and newspaper advertisements, could be found in households throughout 1905. Parker Brothers quickly produced their own tie–in for the hype, introducing The Wogglebug Game of Conundrums the same year. This unauthorized novelty was only in production for a short time, and is the oldest Oz toy to be found.

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