I’m Your Biggest Fan: Wizard Of Oz superfan owns original costumes worn in 1939 film and replica ruby red slippers

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All of us wish to care about issues, however the superfan goes to lengths that far surpass the common fan.

For eons we’ve worshipped on the altars of sports activities stars, pop stars, actors, fictional characters, collectibles, artwork, vehicles, and absolutely anything else we will relate to, that we will purchase, that we will love and share with others.

Also referred to as a ‘fanatic’ (however, let’s face it, ‘fan’ is rather more horny), these superfans have travelled the globe to help their chosen love, spent a whole bunch of 1000’s on merchandise, altered their physique in dramatic methods, some have even modified their names – and we’ve tracked down essentially the most die-hard and devoted to inform their story.

Every week we’ll deliver you the story of 1 eager punter who has devoted their life and time (and cash, so.a lot.cash) to supporting somebody or one thing – just because it brings them immeasurable pleasure.

And that’s what life’s about, proper?

Say hello to Metro.co.uk’s tremendous enjoyable superfan weekly collection, I’m Your Largest Fan.

This week we meet Walter Krueger, 33, who has devoted his life to all issues Wizard Of Oz.

Someplace over the rainbow the Chicago native was blown away watching the basic Judy Garland movie as a three-year-old in 1989.

Now an influencer and historian advisor for the Land Of Ouncestheme Park and supervisor of The Land Of Ouncestheme parks OuncesMuseum, he’s spent a whole bunch of 1000’s on merch, runs one of many greatest fan teams on this planet and has a greater data of all issues Dorothy than in all probability Judy herself.

So, Walter, what bought you curious about the Wizard Of Ouncesso younger?

Through the movies 50th Anniversary! My first publicity was with a colouring guide primarily based on the unique story written by L Frank Baum, that my grandmother gave me to preoccupy me whereas sitting within the ready room at a physician’s workplace. The pictures of Dorothy and her journey over the rainbow captivated imply proper then and there!

When did it cross over into one thing extra critical, and also you started amassing?

My love with Ouncesand amassing all of the merchandise that it needed to supply got here very early on across the age of 4 or 5.

It began with the merchandise that was out there within the shops on the time to have a good time the 50th anniversary similar to dolls, lunchboxes, toy play units, and limitless copies of the Ouncesbooks! It was a really enjoyable time to be amassing.

How a lot do you suppose you’ve spent through the years?

At this level I’ve misplaced monitor. I’d say sufficient to fill an OuncesMuseum someday.

The gathering homes over 10,000 objects from all eras and interpretations of Ouncesand its historical past. My assortment is housed in my dwelling at present, with plans to be moved right into a future museum.

I’ve been instructed I’ve what is taken into account one of the full Ouncescollections of merchandise associated to the story and the movie, and presumably could possibly be the third-largest publicly recognized collector on this planet.

Would you rely your self the most important fan of the film?

I might say I’m up there, many say I’m very die-hard however the Ouncescommunity of followers is sort of massive!  I imagine everyone seems to be a fan in a roundabout way, wouldn’t you say? It’s the most-viewed movie in historical past.

Inform me concerning the group you run with different followers…

The Wizard of OuncesCollectors United! was based in 2009 it’s a group that brings individuals collectively from everywhere in the world on frequent floor that all of us love the Wizard of Oz.

We’re shut to eight,000 members robust and now we have members so far as the Philippines and Australia.

Some members are simply viewers of the movie and love the books, however a really massive variety of these persons are Ouncescollectors and want to discover details about the collectibles they possess and the place to purchase extra.

What’s your prized possession?

My most prized possession can be a screen-used guards coat and pants that was truly used within the MGM 1939 movie together with a couple of different display screen used objects I personal from that movie and different Ouncesfilms.

What’s the most costly merchandise you’ve purchased?

I’ve a Wizard Of Ouncespinball machine that was about $10,000 (£eight,000)! And the display screen used costume items don’t run low-cost, at public sale a screen-used Emerald Metropolis guard’s coat can simply deliver $20,000-$30,000 (£16,000-£24,000).

What do your pals make of your assortment?

My buddies have at all times been extraordinarily supportive and have at all times discovered what I accumulate and do to be extraordinarily distinctive and particular.

If I collected sports activities memorabilia or racecar memorabilia I might be like all people else and no one would actually care since you see that on a regular basis, however my buddies see that this truly holds that means in my coronary heart and for the longer term dreamers that dare to dream.

In terms of companions, I discover passionate nerds and followers make nice companions! It’s good to seek out somebody that has related curiosity or can look deeper than the floor of society and social normal expectation. Somebody that’s not a sheep in a flock. It’s fairly refreshing.

Have you ever met anybody from the movie?

I grew up understanding lots of the unique munchkins from the movie! Jerry Maren who was the movie’s ‘lollipop’ munchkin and Margaret Pellegrini who was a ‘flower pot’ munchkin and ‘sleepyhead’ munchkin. They’d do autograph signings and I might attend conventions with different Ouncesfans and we at all times would find yourself taking the munchkins out to dinner after!

I spent many hours sitting at a restaurant with a bunch of Ouncesindividuals and the munchkins studying about how the movie was made and listening to private tales shared by them first hand.

How has that love for the franchise modified through the years?

Rising up I began to understand the story with extra than simply merchandise or collectibles. It was a narrative that had robust morals and captivated the world when it was initially written in 1900; its classes have by no means grown previous or out of vogue and has resonated with lots of people and all people has a narrative to inform associated to their reminiscences of the Wizard of Oz!

I’m Your Largest Fan is a weekly collection that deep dives into the world of fandoms, through the individuals who worship the toughest. Examine again in subsequent Thursday to take a look at the newest aficionado.



Need to become involved in I am Your Largest Fan?

In case you’ve bought a quite sensible obsession – from Recreation of Thrones to My Little Pony – and wish to share the the reason why, get in contact!

Lined in tattoos of your favorite soapie star? Maybe you bought the home to fulfill your obsession with Christmas.

No matter it’s, we’d like to know your story.

E-mail us celebtips@metro.co.uk, name zero20 3615 2145 or go to our Submit Stuff web page with a bit about what you have carried out, with some footage to again it up. You will must be ready to be interviewed and deep dive into the fandom – however that is the enjoyable half, proper?

MORE: I’m Your Largest Fan: Simon Cowell impersonator may have you doing a double take

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