Friday, November 6, 2015

Mom, I Think I Hurt my Finger . . .

Me and Zeb circa 1967 in Albuquerque at Tingley Beach.

This is the tale of my first Oz collectible, before I had any books, or records, or anything else. I am pretty sure that when I was this young I had only seen the MGM film, once, on television. I had liked the movie and I have some memory of being in the pharmacy with my mom and seeing Oz band-aids, and then mom got them for me!

Curad's OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD "Oz" bandages (1967-'68).

What I most remember was that when we got home, I wanted to look at the actual bandages, and then I wanted to put one on my finger. I think mom let me have one. But then after it got wet, or came loose, I wanted another. Mom said they were too expensive to just "wear," that I needed to save them for when I actually hurt myself.  I waited. And waited. And then twenty minutes later I was playing outside and I came running in to show some vague impression on my hand that I was sure needed a band-aid. I don't recall if I got one or not.

I think I recall my dad later than night bellowing, "Christ, what a racket! That damn company only put pictures on their band-aids so kids would want to wear 'em, and we'd go through band-aids six times as fast!"  Dad was probably right.

Curiously, I remember the bandages as being in full-color. While I haven't seen one since 1968, my memory is vivid. I remember the Wicked Witch bandage as being bright green and black. I had not seen the box since 1968 either, not until an Oz friend sold me the one above last year. The price sticker on this box is from Longs Drugs and they cost 45 cents.

I have no memories of ever seeing Off to See the Wizard, back in the 1960s. The show was produced by Chuck Jones and broadcast on ABC in 1967-'68. The Oz segments were essentially just a framing device for an anthology series that showed films such as Flipper and Clarence the Cross-eyed Lion. But I do very much remember all of the merchandising! It feels like this show produced more Oz crap than anything before the 1989 boom of MGM material.

A black-and-white clip can be seen below. I am curious why no color material is up on YouTube. There were perhaps ten episodes in good color on the 1993 MGM "Ultimate Oz" laser-disc set. Why haven't these been included in later reissues or put up on YouTube? Still, check out this samples anyway!

The first clip has only the opening, but a much better picture; the second clip has an actual "episode," including the closing credits. So watch them both!

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