Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pretty in Pink

When I was twelve or thirteen I was just starting to get serious about my Oz collecting. However, I had not yet joined the Oz Club, and rare Baum and Oz books were few and far between in Albuquerque in the mid-late 1970s. So I kept my eyes out for anything new and Ozzy that I could find: new picture books, coloring books, puzzles, toys, etc.

But one day I walked into a Walgreens and hit the Ozzy jackpot! There on an island display was a vast array of Wizard of Oz beauty products for little girls!  My heart leapt up! My pulse throbbed with Ozziness! I clasped my little hands together in Ozsome joy! And then it hit me!

How am I, as a twelve-year-old boy, ever going to be able to buy all of these delightful (but horrifically embarrassing) little girl's beauty products? Damn!

Well, I went home and told my Mom I'd found something I had to have. I needed an advance on my allowance. Then I invoked the "tried and true" cry that all Oz kids use on their parents: "Someday these will be so rare and valuable! It's an investment!"

I think I actually feared that there would be a "run" on little girl Oz bubble bath and explained that we had to hurry back to Walgreens. You see, I wanted my Mom to do the actual purchasing as I was far too mortified to purchase such dainty Oz collectibles myself.

We went back and I picked out one of each (plus a couple duplicates) and put them in our shopping cart. My little sister, who had accompanied us, gave me some very strange looks. Trust me - there is nothing in the world so embarrassing as having your little sister watch you buy little girl Ozzy cosmetics when you're just turning thirteen!

Well, I suffered through my humiliation, took my treasures home, and set up a display shelf in my bedroom. As you can see, the various products are really well made, and the designer put a lot of work into Ozzing them up. Each product has an Ozzy label, the sponge is shaped like the Wizard's balloon, the bars of soap have Kansas sunflowers on them. There's an atomizer cap for the Dorothy cologne. The "compact set" came with more Dorothy cologne, a little compact with Judy Garland on it, and a lip gloss!

The Ozzy Foaming Bath Beads gift set was a personal favorite. It came in a box that looked like a strip of film and the packets of bubble bath were presented as film frames. In the ensuing decades, the pink bubble bath powder has bled through the envelopes and discolored the pictures.

Interestingly, I have never seen any of these sets in anyone else's collection, at Oz con auctions, or even on eBay. Maybe most were bought by little girls who used them instead of little gay-boys who saved and protected them for future generations.

They were produced by the Ansehl Company of Saint Louis and each has a copyright to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for 1976. The back of each box describes the contents in an Ozzy way. Here's an example: 

"The favorite bath set of everyone in the Land of Oz. Here are bath delights to make any day extra special, especially for someone you like very much. Be sure to save the beautiful, authentic motion picture scene from The Wizard of Oz. Suitable for framing."

Sigh . . . I guess if I can blog about this, I can blog about anything!


Jay said...

*CLAP* *CLAP* *CLAP* You get an applause for blogging about this! Definitely a smile-inducer.

Tim Tucker said...

Kudos to whoever designed these. They are beautiful.

Colin Ayres British Fan Of Oz said...

Lol great blog!
I think my Mum had given up on me by the time I was eight!
After nicking my sisters old summer dress and parading around the house as Dorothy forcing my brother to play Tik-Tok or any other character down the garden path (A.k.a. the Yellow Brick road) poor lad he's straight and probably scarred for life.

Judy said...

Hilarious! Great story. Thanks for sharing.

Ozmahime said...

Haha, awesome. This is such a cute story... I think I'd actually use that Judy Garland compact if I have it... it's so sweet.

Crzy4oz said...

I actually have the bath beads set which you are talking about.The clear package is torn somewhat slightly..and yes some bleeding through it.! However One of my most prized possessions in my collection..Except my Soundtrack of The movie by Disneyland . I too have collected avidly since 89.. And of course somewhat as a child too.Thanks for sharing your love of Oz.🌈👠💓

Crzy4oz said...

I have the Bath Bead set. It is in original pkg.All is in good condition except clear plastic slightly torn and some pink bleeding. I too have seriously collected since 1989. In addition to my childhood gifts! I also still have my Disney Soundtrack of Oz Music Album. Thanks for sharing your love of Oz!������