What does Star Wars have that Oz doesn’t have?
From Gifts and Dec
In my last blog posting I made the case for the world of Oz, created by L. Frank Baum, as being the first case of transmedia storytelling. As I stated in that posting, the author and his estate utilized virtually every format available at the time including film, books, comic strips, amusement parks, toys, games theatre and more.
Yet today, 110 years since the original Wizard of Oz appeared, the brand is barely a blip on the merchandising horizon. Go into Toys R Us and, unlike Star Wars, you will see no front end devoted to Oz, no end caps, no sales and no promotions.
To quote the Cowardly Lion out of context: "What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the ape in ape-ricot? What have they got that I ain't got?" I say the answer to that is not courage but a media company that recognizes and fully develops the intellectual property they possess.
Time Warner, the owner of the property, like Ted Turner and others before him, has been asleep at the switch for decades. Yes, the books are now in the public domain but there is nothing to stop Time Warner from executing a unique branding around the property and engage kids in high quality virtual worlds, video games and the other technological and non-technological elements that characterize the modern media experience.
It would be truly wonderful if Time Warner fully developed this classic of world literature.