Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Alchemy of Oz

Occasionally I come close to hitting the target of what I intended. Sometimes I have to go the long way around. This was one of those times.

One of the Oz books most coveted by collectors is The Wizard of Oz Waddle Book. I'm not sure that it draws quite the astonishing sale prices of its insanely valuable cousin, The Mickey Mouse Waddle Book, but these things are rare. If you do find one, chances are it doesn't have its waddles. If it does have its waddles, most likely they have been punched out and used. If you're lucky enough to own an unused Wizard of Oz Waddle Book, then hold out for your price -- you can get it.

The Waddle Book was an otherwise very ordinary edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz that came with color inserts, printed on cardboard, which could be punched out and assembled into paper toys that would march down a tilted incline (or the Yellow Brick Road ramp  also included) -- with a little coaxing. It was a Great Thing. Books of Wonder (I believe) reprinted it a while back, and I dare say that edition could be worth something someday, too. I have two Waddle Books: The original, sans waddles of any kind, and the reprint with waddles intact.

As shown on the book's wraparound paper cover, the Scarecrow and Tin Man have gotten their hands on a copy and are obviously enjoying it thoroughly. How cool must it be, to have a moving paper toy of yourself?

I've cast the whole thing in a metaphysical context. Hope you like it.

-- Freder