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The History of PEZ

Updated on September 29, 2014
Early metal sign for PEZ advertising showing collectible baseball glove
Early metal sign for PEZ advertising showing collectible baseball glove | Source

The PEZ History is an interesting story of education, health, candy, dispensers, collecting, fun and more!

The History of PEZ goes back a long way and holds a very interesting story for those of us that love the candy, treasure the dispensers or are diehard collectors of all things PEZ.

After I wrote an article about Halloween PEZ candy, dispensers and PEZ clothing, I was intrigued to learn more about the history of this sweet treat myself so set out to do some research.

Here you'll find lots of great info I uncovered about the History of PEZ, what started it all, why dispensers are used, videos on PEZ museums and collectors favorites, which of the PEZ candy dispensers is the oldest, books on PEZ collecting, take our PEZ quiz, add to your own PEZ collection and much more.

Why not think about adding these fun collectibles and candy treats to your Halloween candy ideas for something different that all the kids are sure to love!

(image of PEZ framed art courtesy of amazon.com and featured below)

Older PEZ dispensers are more valuable, take our poll to see if you know what to collect!

Which of these PEZ dispensers do you think are the older and collectible ones to try to find?

See results

Take our PEZ Quiz to see how much you know!

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PEZ logo 1927
PEZ logo 1927 | Source

The Beginning of PEZ

Fun Facts about PEZ Candy!

PEZ was created in 1927 by Edward Haas in Vienna, Austria. His idea was to create a candy mint that would assist people to stop smoking. There was only one flavor back then, peppermint. The name of the mint came from the German word of Pfefferminz (translated to peppermint) and used the first, middle and last initials of that word. Pretty cool and fun fact!

PEZ was packaged in a small tin that would be easy to carry, similar to the many candy tins still used today. The idea to help others stop smoking wasn't readily accepted and the candy didn't sell very well in those early years.

Fortunately, the company didn't stop thinking of new ways to market these small square sweet blocks of candy and we have them still today!

(image credit to pez.com)

PEZ markets to Children

After an unsuccessful attempt to encourage adults to stop smoking using PEZ mints, the company in the 1950's decided to market the candies instead towards children with fruit flavored candies and dispensers.They created the full Santa, a robot and space gun as the very first PEZ dispensers according to pez.com.

Other early PEZ dispensers included Casper, Mickey Mouse, Popeye, Baseball Glove, Bozo the Clown and Bullwinkle. PEZ was searching for the current trends and creating dispensers to match what was happening with kids, toys, movies and other children's interests. It was also in the 1950's that PEZ established a US headquarters office and that first one was in New York City, New York but, it wouldn't stay there and eventually moved to the current location in Orange, CT in 1973 and is still highly successful after all these years.

Later, feet were added to the dispensers to allow them to stand upright more easily. At one point, PEZ offered rubber heads that were interchangeable - I wonder how many of those are still around. Batman was one of those interchangeable rubber heads that I think my brother had and I'm not sure he still does! Too bad because I'll bet that any of those rubber head dispensers must be very valuable to any PEZ collector and could gather a huge sum for someone. Think you or your parents or grandparents have one of those in the attic?

Take a Quick Factory Tour with PEZ!

Success came with the candy dispensers: Sales rose, PEZ continued to follow trends with children's interests and kept creating all sorts of interactive character designs to sell the candy. It worked and today, PEZ sells over 3 billion candies and dispensers per year worldwide.

Visit the Berlingame PEZ Museum Video!

There are over 1500 types of PEZ dispensers since the very first one was created! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pez)

Tell us about your PEZ dispensers!

Do you save your PEZ dispensers or toss them?

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Start a Fun Pez Collection of your own

Collector's Guide to Pez: Identification and Price Guide, 3rd Edition
Collector's Guide to Pez: Identification and Price Guide, 3rd Edition

Learn the Art of Collecting Pez Dispensers with a leading book that teaches you what to look for when collecting. - Know the value of your Pez collection.

 

The rarest PEZ dispenser and the hardest one to find is the 'Spiel' - similar to a Mr. Potato Head, it had small parts to create a face but, was removed from the market as a safety risk to children.

Nahui Ollin Candy PEZ Vintage Wristlet - More things PEZ: Recycled PEZ wrappers are used to create a unique and collectible bag!

I love the Nahui Ollin Wristlet on amazon made from PEZ wrappers and it reminds me of a gum wrapper chain I made while in High School from Adams gum - I was dating a guy with the last name of Adams at the time.. I had the right idea but, would have done better to make something from that chain of wrappers! I should have continued with that idea and made this super cute wristlet instead, like Nahui Ollin did! Any PEZ collector would love to add this simple yet functional bag to their collection of PEZ items so it's a perfect gift idea or for yourself.

Highest price for a PEZ dispenser:

The Highest recorded sale of a PEZ dispenser was an Astronaut Head that sold on eBay in 2006 for $32, 205!

Thanks for taking the time for your Comments about the History of PEZ!

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