After 13 Years, Dorothy's Stolen Slippers From 'Oz' Have Finally Been Found

FBI
FBI

In the hierarchy of movie memorabilia, one item has traditionally been prized above Darth Vader's masks or Christopher Reeve's Superman tights. The size five ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in 1939's The Wizard of Oz have long been revered as the "holy grail" of collecting, according to experts. Only five surviving pairs of the many used in the making of the film are known to exist, which made the theft of one pair in 2005 big news.

Those slippers have just been recovered, as The New York Times reports. But the question remains—who took them home?

On August 28, 2005, Garland's red-sequined shoes disappeared from under a smashed Plexiglass display case at the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Without security footage or fingerprints, local and federal law enforcement were left with a cold trail. The shoes didn't belong to the museum, either: They were on loan courtesy of collector Michael Shaw, who originally purchased them from an MGM employee named Kent Warner for $2000 in 1970. With little hope of recovery, Shaw accepted an $800,000 payout from the insurance company.

In a press release that accompanied a press conference held Tuesday, the FBI announced that the case gained momentum in summer 2017, when an unnamed individual approached the insurance company and stated he had information about the location of the slippers. Declaring it an extortion scheme, police in Grand Rapids consulted with federal agents to plan and execute an undercover operation that led to their recovery this past summer in Minneapolis. The slippers were delivered to the Smithsonian, which compared the shoes to a pair housed at the museum in Washington. Curators there declared them genuine. 

Both police and the museum were puzzled by the heist, as it would've been almost impossible to profit from the slippers without drawing attention and questions as to how they were acquired. One pair remains in the Smithsonian and will be back on display October 19 following restoration work; another pair was purchased by a group led by Leonardo DiCaprio for display in the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, due to open later in 2018; two others remain in the hands of private collectors.

The FBI says the investigation into the theft is ongoing and is urging anyone with tips or information about the crime to contact the agency at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).

[h/t The New York Times]

Pottery Barn Is Launching a Friends-Inspired Furniture Line That Includes Rachel’s Iconic Apothecary Table

To celebrate this fall’s 25th anniversary of the premiere of Friends in 1994, Pottery Barn is releasing a line of furniture inspired by the beloved NBC sitcom, Deadline reports.

The collection will feature accessories, furniture, and tabletop items, including Central Perk mugs. One highlight is a replica of the apothecary table that made a name for apothecary tables everywhere with its spotlight-stealing performance in the season 6 episode “The One with the Apothecary Table.” In it, Rachel purchases an apothecary table from Pottery Barn and, when she finds out Phoebe hates Pottery Barn, tells her the table is an antique from the “days of yore.” It gets more complicated (and hilarious) from there.

Pottery Barn's 'Friends' furniture collection
Pottery Barn

According to BuzzFeed, the episode was actually part of a product placement deal with Pottery Barn, and Entertainment Weekly even ranked it first on their “Best Product Placement” list for Friends.

You can shop the collection beginning on July 30, with prices starting at $12.50. If you’re a diehard Friends fanatic looking to celebrate its 25th anniversary in a way that Rachel Green would be proud of, you can also enter Pottery Barn’s sweepstakes for a chance to win a free trip for two to Los Angeles, complete with a $1000 shopping spree to Pottery Barn and a Warner Bros. Studio Deluxe Tour which includes, of course, a visit to the Central Perk set.

And, if you haven’t seen “The One with the Apothecary Table,” you can watch it on Netflix before Friends leaves for WarnerMedia’s new streaming service HBO Max in 2020.

[h/t Deadline]

Target Has Launched a Harry Potter Line of Clothing, Accessories, and Home Goods

Target
Target

No more blending in with the mediocre Muggles—now wizards can decorate and accessorize like the magical creatures they are with Target's brand-new line of Harry Potter clothing and home goods.

Target shoppers will feel like they’ve stepped through Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station as they wander the Harry Potter-stuffed aisles. Popsugar reports that Target will carry more than 500 Harry Potter-themed items, including socks, lanterns, pillows, dolls and much more.

You’ll be able to wake up in your Hogwarts sheets, have your morning coffee in a Slytherin mug, and take a ride on a foam Nimbus 2000 replica while rocking a Potter t-shirt. Not sure what house you’re in? No sweat! Target is even carrying a real-life sorting hat.

Whether you need a gift for the kiddos, or just want to treat your inner witch, Target is sure to have the perfect find in its Wizarding World line.

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