Collecting PEZ Dispensers
The name PEZ is from the German "pfefferminz" aka "peppermint"
PEZ was originally a German mint made for adults in the 1930s. Reinvented with colorful character heads atop candy dispensers in the 1950s they were reflavored and marketed to kids, going on to become one of the strangest and most collected pop culture obsessions of the 20th and 21st centuries.
The fanciful collection you see in the photo on the left here was found in a cafe in the Roosevelt neighborhood of Seattle. It belongs to the cafe owner. What is really interesting is not just the diversity of the collection, but the special rack that holds them all.
My PEZ Collection
According to my latest count, my PEZ collection has now topped 300 pieces. I see one here, two or three there, and suddenly there are three or four dozen that don't have entries in my records. Friends are given PEZ as gifts, and they pass them along to me.
My own favorite collecting variation is to find things that aren't the conventional PEZ dispensers. I like to collect the non-dispenser candy toys, I guess you could say...
It went from shoe box to drawer to a bigger box and now my collection probably takes up the equivalent of three office storage boxes plus a bit more. At least they are a lightweight thing to collect. And move.
PEZ Research - Here are the main guides to PEZ dispensers
Having some PEZ history on hand along with a few references is always a good idea when it comes time for online shopping. Or maybe you've got a PEZ dispenser collection already and you're trying to figure out just what the heck you really have. In either case, if you're just getting started in PEZ collecting, you need to hit the books a bit to get up to speed.
What's what in the world of PEZ
There are a lot of online resources for PEZ. If you're just getting started, it helps to know what all the arcane descriptions means.
* Characters - This is the name given to the dispensers themselves. It refers to the different characters depicted.
* Head - The part of the PEZ that tips back. It is variations of this part that matter the most to collectors.
* Stem - This is the name given to the main body of the PEZ dispenser. The cander resides inside this chamber in a loaded dispenser. Most often these vary in color and have the IMC (injection mold coding) on them.
* Feet - NF or WF? That is the question. No Feet is much more desirable than With Feet, as it means the PEZ dispenser is pre-1978.
* MIB, MIP, MOC - Mint In Bag, Mint In Package, and Mint On Card are more valuable than "Loose."
* Bodies - In Europe, they make plastic body parts for PEZ dispensers, that assemble and fit around the stem to give a torso and arms to the character. There are a variety of character bodies.
* Misfits - These are PEZ dispensers with errors in manufacturing. They might have molding errors and be one-off misfits, or they might be whole production runs made with strange color combinations. PEZ sells many of the larger runs of misfits on their web site just for collectors.
* Fantasy - These are unofficial PEZ dispensers made by fans depicting characters that don't actually exist as real PEZ dispensers. The KISS band dispensers are some of the most elaborate and most common fantasy dispensers.
Hunting the Wild PEZ - The latest PEZ trades from eBay
Did you know eBay wouldn't exist if it wasn't for PEZ? The story goes that the humble beginnings of the biggest internet auction site in the world was a guy just trying to help his girlfriend sell and swap PEZ dispensers.
As it turns out, the wife of the guy who founded eBay does like PEZ dispensers, but the rest turns out to be just a clever marketing gimmick that continues to be perpetuated by PEZ fans everywhere.
The highest price paid for a single PEZ dispenser sold on eBay is over $1,200 US so remember, expensive is all a point of perspective.
PEZ Resources - The best the web has to offer on PEZ dispensers
- PEZ Candy Inc
PEZ Candy Inc, official web site of the company that makes PEZ candy and PEZ dispensers.
- Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia
If you are traveling to the San Francisco Bay Area, we invite you to visit the Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia.
- PEZ Central
Pez Central - The Pez collecting site for everyone from the experienced collector to those who are just beginning.
- PEZ Collector's News
Pez Collector's News is filled with important information about PEZ collecting.
- Collecting PEZ Dispensers
PEZ candy dispensers have been part of pop culture since the 1950s. These colorful character figures are collected by kids and adults alike. You can also see new, rare, vintage and European PEZ dispeners for sale.
- ReLaCHE Presents PEZ
PEZ photo galleries, especially highlighting non-dispenser PEZ.
PEZ Information and Message Board
- PEZ FAQ v4.0
This FAQ is an attempt to provide general information and answer some of the more frequently asked questions about PEZ Candy and PEZ Candy Dispensers.
- Urban Legends Reference Pages: History (PEZ Who?)
Is Betsy Ross the only real person ever featured on a PEZ dispenser?
Pez. Available in Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Chlorophyll flavors!
- Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia - Museum Podcast Tours
You can download a podcast museum tour (49 min) which you can then play if you go to the Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia in Burlingame, CA. If you download the audio tour and bring it with you on an MP3 player to the museum, showing it will get
"Misfits" are strange color production runs or heads with some sort of mistake to how they were made. Sometimes the larger runs are sold direct from the company themselves to collectors and other times they are singular errs found and traded by fans.
PEZ At The Moment - The last happenings in the world of PEZ
- NPR : Pez Convention
Daniel speaks with Richard Belyski (Beh-LISS-ski) a 41-year old cop from Long Island who ORGANIZED a convention in Orange, Connecticut dedicated to trading PEZ dispensers. From 1999
- Inventor turns Pez dispenser into MP3 player
MP3 gadget maker signs a deal with the candy icon to make music players that look like the famous treat dispensers.
- PEZ MP3
See the actual PEZ MP3 Players.
DIY at home
- Nikon Forum: Wackiest hot-shoe attachement
Tired of being unable to take good photos of your friends / kids? Here's my tutorial on how to create the cheapest and wackiest hot-shoe attachement for your camera.
- PEZ Theater
Check out Steve White and his amazing, traveling PEZ Theater. Images and videos.
- Mr. T and Me | The Worst Fantasy Pez Ever
The Mr. T collection of Mike Essl and Greg Rivera
- Antiques Roadshow/Your Stories: Pez Perception
Getting off the ferry for a weekend home from college, I decided to browse the small downtown shopping district. My never-ending quest for "The best Pez find of all time" led me to a quaint antique store.....
- Fallen Rapper Pez Prototypes
The Fallen Rapper Pez Prototypes were sent to Pez Candy Inc. president; Mr. Scott Mc Whinnie with the following letter:....
- Ask the Pope: My Pope Pez
Iâm going to have the following slogan on every PEZ dispenser package: âEat a PEZ, and Save a Soul from Purgatory.â
- The Pez Rack
With the current popularity of PEZ dispenser collecting, there are actually several commercial solutions to this problem that you can buy. Back in 1997, I developed my own solution that I could construct in my home, with no special tools, for not muc
Fantasy PEZ - the homemade, handmade specialties
A "fantasy" PEZ dispenser is one that isn't made by the PEZ company, and is assembled by fans. For example, Wonder Woman characters have been handpainted by fans for years to become PEZ dispensers for the band KISS.