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How to Start a Pez Dispenser Collection

Updated on September 7, 2014

Which Pez dispensers should I collect?

Ever since the US branch of the Austrian candy maker PEZ had the brilliant marketing idea of turning their dispensers into novelty items in the 1950s, adults and children alike have collected them with a passion. Over six decades later the Pez dispenser is still going strong and has featured a huge variety of designs over the years: licensed cartoon characters from Disney and Looney Tunes; Marvel and DC Comics super-heroes; figures from iconic movies like Star Wars; or even real life people, such as the legendary Elvis Presley.

Whilst the most expensive vintage Pez dispenser - a Mickey Mouse softhead - allegedly sold for $7,000 USD, there are still hundreds of Pez types for the vintage collector with a more modest budget! If you are daunted about how to begin an affordable vintage or modern Pez dispenser collection, this lens is designed to help you decide where your interests lie and on which variety of Pez items you might like to focus. In next to no time you'll be a Pez Head!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pez Photo © PEZ Visitors Center - Orange, Connecticut by Dougtone, on Flickr

Feet vs. No Feet!

In 1987 feet were added to Pez dispensers to make them more stable when displaying. This is an easy way of dating Pez dispensers into “modern” or “vintage”, but beware of unscrupulous sellers who snap off feet to fake an older dispenser!

Mr Potato Head PEZ Dispenser - A rare example

Mr Potato Head Pez by Ingrid Taylar
Mr Potato Head Pez by Ingrid Taylar

This Pez dispenser was withdrawn from sale because of its dangerous small parts. Note the base of the stem - there are no feet!

Rare Pez Dispenser by ingridtaylar, on Flickr

Holiday PEZ dispensers - Christmas, Easter and Halloween

Holiday Pez by Deborah Swain
Holiday Pez by Deborah Swain

A fun area to collect is to concentrate on the holidays - Santa, the Easter Bunny, and numerous Halloween Pez designs will give you lots to look for when starting out. The Easter Bunny, for example, first appeared in the 1950s and has seen several changes over the years - with feet, without feet, fat ears, skinny ears, and a variety of different coloured stems.

Photo © by Deborah Swain

Disney PEZ dispensers

Disney Pez by Deborah Swain
Disney Pez by Deborah Swain

Pez started licensing Disney characters early on in its history, with the first Mickey Mouse dispensers appearing in the early 1960s. The very rare softhead version will set you back a cool $4,000 USD - best start with a modern Mickey which you can pick up for a few dollars! There are lots of figures to track down - Pluto, Goofy, Snow White, Captain Hook, Donald Duck - so go get Pez hunting!

Photo © by Deborah Swain

A Selection of PEZ Guides - Read more about your hobby

Star Wars PEZ dispensers - From a galaxy far, far away...

Darth Vader Pez by Deborah Swain
Darth Vader Pez by Deborah Swain

The most popular licensed Pez series ever! There have been several series of Star Wars Pez dispensers, including an exclusive mail order limited edition set, and even a glow-in-the-dark Emperor Palpatine.

A must-have Pez series for Pez Heads and Star Wars movie fans alike. Why not start off with the first set from 1997 featuring C3PO, Darth Vader (pictured above), a Storm Trooper, Yoda, and Chewbacca.

Photo © by Deborah Swain

Star Wars Limited Edition PEZ Collector's Set

9 Star Wars PEZ Dispensers including the amazingly cool Death Star Pez. This was a limited edition Wal-Mart product which is becoming increasingly hard-to-find.

Star Wars becomes...PEZ Wars! - I love this fun video

Super-heroes PEZ dispensers - Na na na na na na... BATMAN!

Batman Pez by Deborah Swain
Batman Pez by Deborah Swain

Batman, Spider-Man, Superman, Wonder Woman and the Incredible Hulk have all been honoured with Pez dispensers. The DC Comics hero Batman here, has been in production since the 1960s and is still found today. His very first edition included a cape – be very careful if you find one of these, however, as they are extremely rare, and unfortunately, have been faked. The original cape should be slightly translucent.

Tracking down the varieties of blue mask, black mask, pointed and rounded ears should keep a new collector busy!

Photo © by Deborah Swain

Meet Other PEZ Collectors!

Attending a PEZ convention is a great way to meet other collectors, learn about your hobby and buy rarer items!

Museum of Pez Memorabilia, Burlingame, California

Muppets PEZ dispensers

Muppets Pez by Deborah Swain
Muppets Pez by Deborah Swain

Characters from the hugely popular TV show, along with fellow Jim Henson creatures on Sesame Street, first became PEZ dispensers in 1991. Look out for two different Kermit the Frog designs – one with a bow tie, and one without – and three Miss Piggy varieties, including a hard-to-find version with eyelashes. And don't forget Fozzie the Bear, and the wonderful Gonzo too.

Photo © by Deborah Swain

Garfield PEZ Dispensers - Never trust a smiling cat!

Garfield and Odie Pez by Deborah Swain
Garfield and Odie Pez by Deborah Swain

First released in the early 1990s and again at the end of that decade, Garfield Pez dispensers have since been retired, but remain a firm favourite with collectors.

Track down Garfield with wide open eyes and his Cheshire Cat grin, Garfield with half closed eyes, and Garfield with a sun visor, and from the second series Garfield in a variety of different guises such as a chef, aviator, and looking sleepy wearing a night cap. His girlfriend Arlene, nephew Nermal and of course, Odie the beagle were also released.

Photo © by Deborah Swain

Ready to become a Pez Head? - Please leave a comment before you go!

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    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Nice designs for PEZ dispensers!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      these dispensers really looks great! all are amazing..

      www.webcrafter.co.in

    • James1978 profile image

      James1978 4 years ago

      I don't think we have these in the UK, although I have heard of them because I think there is a famous Seinfeld episode that featured a Pez Dispenser.

    • profile image

      jessicavenne 4 years ago

      I will start collecting for the Christmas :)

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 4 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      This would be my next collection, if I needed another collection. I love the candy, too. I'd munch on bags and bags of PEZ candy while admiring my delightful collection.

    • profile image

      JayRockins 4 years ago

      How to start a pez collection?

      Step 1. Acquire Pez.

      Step 2. Profit.

      :D

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      I recently tried Pez again for the first time as an adult, and gosh, that taste brought back the summer of third grade so vividly for a moment... Love the Darth Vader pez dispenser.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      I recently tried Pez again for the first time as an adult, and gosh, that taste brought back the summer of third grade so vividly for a moment... Love the Darth Vader pez dispenser.

    • EmmaBrown1 profile image

      EmmaBrown1 4 years ago

      My daughter used to have a couple of these, but I can't remember what head they had. I should try to dig them out of the closet :)

    • bradmaven lm profile image

      bradmaven lm 4 years ago

      You have inspired me to start my own collection, thanks for this great read!

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 4 years ago

      I collect the contemporary Halloween PEZ dispensers; I also have a Giant Snoopy head one that dispenses refill packs of PEZ.

    • TyGatti LM profile image

      TyGatti LM 4 years ago

      Nice collection!! I use to collect Pez dispensers when I was younger. One of the biggest regrets I have is throwing them all away.

    • profile image

      Hannah Writes 4 years ago

      Lots of great dispensers here! Blessed.

    • profile image

      john9229 4 years ago

      Creative and cute! I like this lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      im collecting this stuffs when i was a kid. now they all are gone. lol. nice guide btw

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 4 years ago from US

      I swear, I'm in my 40's and I still LOVE that pez candy. It's just about my favorite kind of candy. The pez dispensers are adorable. It's amazing how far they've come in styles and characters. #blessed

    • profile image

      DebW07 4 years ago

      Soooooo cute! I loved Pez candies as a kid and I'd forgotten how fun they were, thanks!

    • Holly22 profile image

      Christine and Peter Broster 4 years ago from Tywyn Wales UK

      I have never collected Pez but I love and support all hobbies and very much enjoyed your article. I always remember the Pez episode on Seinfeld where I first learned that they were collectible. All hobbies are great so well done.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Enjoyable article.

      Thank you,

      Ken

      I will post a link to it on our PEZ Fan Site on Face Book

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 4 years ago

      I like this Pez Dispenser Collection