Saturday, September 10, 2011

My, What Big Dice You Have!

One of the great items to add to one's Oz  and Baum collection is a copy of the lovely and rare 1921 Parker Brothers Wonderful Game of Oz.

The game featured a beautifully lithographed game board, six wooden dice that spelled out WIZARD, and four pewter playing pieces in the shapes of Dorothy and her three famous friends.

Well, way back in 1991 when Eric Shanower and I hosted our first Winkie Con we made a copy of the game that could be played by conventioneers. It was created from color photocopies of my game board, we bought reproduction playing pieces, I made the dice, and on the whole it was a grand success. At the con we set up the reproduction game on these large wooden seating benches that are about eight feet square. I joked at the time that I thought it would be super neat if we had a HUGE version of the game that filled the entire eight foot square bench.

Twenty years later, I finally made one.

Click to Enlarge

Below you can see the world's largest Wonderful Game of Oz! I scanned my own game board at very high resolution and blew it up to seven-foot-six by seven-foot-six and had it printed out on weatherproof vinyl.

I ordered a set of the 4" tall pewter Oz figurines from The Soldier Factory. They were the perfect size! I had to make the six wooden WIZARD dice - they are about two inches square.

The original game came with only one rule booklet, but for ease of play I made several copies. Jane Albright kindly supplied me with scans of the original full-color rule booklet cover.

Oz Club President Carrie Hedges (seated) playing The Wonderful Game of Oz.

The game was a big hit! Conventioneers played it during the reception on Friday and during the day on Saturday when they wanted a break from the auction or came back from a swim or a beach side stroll. It will definitely be back next year. So if you'd like to play, start making plans to join us at the 2012 Winkie Con! For more information on attending Winkie Con 2012, you can click here or on the WINKIE CON tab above or subscribe to our Winkie newsletter or find us on Facebook.


James C. Wallace II said...

What a stunning idea!!! I wish you could bring it to Chittenango or Chesterton! It would be a huge hit!!!

Hungry Tiger Talk said...

Thanks, James. I don't think it's very airplane friendly. It rolls up better than it folds - but an eight foot roll doesn't fit too tidily under the seat in front of me :)

Kristi Smart Romantic Fantasy Coats and Clothing. said...

Looks like fun!

James C. Wallace II said...

Perhaps I could make a copy that I could transport in my van, since that's what I use for Oz stuff? I truly think this is one of the best Oz things, that the general public (especially kids) to come around in quite some time.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

The board is gorgeous. Thanks so much, David, for making this available.

Some alternate, Ozzier rules would be fun, too. The current totally random dice play gets old.

Hungry Tiger Talk said...

@Glenn - Indeed! I'm thinking of making a contest to write new rules for a more complex version.

Jared said...

I loved this so much, but am so sad I didn't get to play. So much at Winkies to do!

(And seeing any photo of Sam at Winkies makes me glad I commanded... er... suggested he attend.)

I love looking at the board at least. It has SO many bits from Baum's Oz books!

Bill Campbell said...

I love this idea and was very impressed when I saw it in the WinkieCon pics! I also agree that new rules or ideas for play wouldn't be a bad thing - it's a pretty dull game! : )

Hungry Tiger Talk said...

Well, Jared, there is always next year... And I'll def. announce some kind of contest for making up a new set of rules!

Sam A M said...

I liked seeing the game myself and am also disappointed that I didn't get to try a bit . . . but IF I return next year, I am DEFINITELY going to roll in my turn!

Anonymous said...

How much did this cost you? I'd like to do this to the newest version of the Oz map or do what you did with this board game.

The Voice said...

Does anyone have a URL where I can see the rule book. Also the figures are no longer available at the soldier factory. I want to make this for my daughter, so please do help