Thinking Outside The Dispenser Since 2001
Spring Loaded: A Message from the Editor | top
Greetings and salutations, and Happy November from Pezhead Monthly!
October was one heck of a month, let me tell you. Let's forget about world events for just a little bit and, as the kids say on Facebook, Let's Talk Pez. In addition to having a great time at 2 different Pez events (while missing a third one, Pezylvania, which I still hope to make one day), the scores kept rolling in. In fact, I got new Pez on 13 of the 31 days in October. I'm not sure if that's a personal record, but it's got to be close.
I also spent a bit of time in October updating my Pez room. Most of my efforts involved updating my collector box and tin display. I put together some new shelves (the "Room Essentials" shoe racks from Target perfectly fit the 2-pack boxes) and finally made use of some acrylic risers that had been in the closet. Then I moved the collector tins and boxes that had been displayed elsewhere to the new display (except for the Disney 100 tins I got last month and the Batman-containing tins and boxes that are currently in the Batcave). The end result is shown in the picture below. It's a lot, and it's already pretty much at capacity! This is what finally might convince me to stop collecting those 2-packs and sell many of the ones I already have. That would in turn free up room for some cool foreign collector boxes and tins that I might choose to pick up down the road.
I have some other grand plans for the Pez room but I am not sure when I'll get to them. Now that convention season is over, I might have more time to dedicate to it. When I do, I'll be sure to provide updates right here on the pages of Pezhead Monthly.
Also in October, Pez was up for induction into the Toy Hall of Fame as one of the "Forgotten Five" toys that had not made it into the HOF in previous years. The Toy Hall of Fame is overseen by The Strong National Museum of Play, a great museum in my hometown of Rochester, NY that I visited way back in 2010 and hope to return to one day. Pezheads were allowed to vote every day that voting was open, much like in presidential elections (just kidding, Mr. FBI dude). Having said that, we still remembered all too well what happened in 2017, when Pez was first up for the HOF and lost out to the board game Clue (okay, that's fair), the Wiffle Ball (um, excuse me?), and paper airplanes (what the what??). Hopefully this time around Pez will have better luck. We'll know for sure when the winner is announced in November. I'll be sure to provide an update in next month's issue.
other big news in October was that hotel reservations and registration
opened for Pezamania
33, which will take place as always in Independence, Ohio in July.
I was pleased to reserve my room and register for this convention. I
highly encourage Pezheads to attend this convention and to book their
rooms and get registered as soon as they can. Pezamania 33's theme will
be the Olympics and it is sure to be a good time.
Oh, and there was also a Pez-related incident involving Melba toast, which is mentioned in 3 separate features in this month's issue. Well, I guess 4 features, counting the updated logo at the top of this page? And uh make that 5 features, counting the one you are currently reading! That's what the kids these days call "oversaturation." But hey, it's not every day when Melba toast and Pez cross paths, so we might as well roll with it!
As for this month's
issue, to quote the great Christopher Walken, "Wow." Or alternately,
to quote the great Owen Wilson, "Wow." For starters, this
month's cover image is a Pezzified version of the "Seinfeld"
moment where Newman imagines Kramer as a turkey. Just in time for Thanksgiving!
I then proceed to cover my cornucopia of October
scores. Then I recap my adventures at 2 separate Pez events,
IN Crowd 2023 and the Fall
VPC. Rounding out the issue is some Pez
poetry and a Pezhead Monthly wish for a Happy
Thanks as always for reading Pezhead Monthly. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. Take care and see you soon!
P.S. Did you miss last month's issue? You can still read it here. To search the full Pezhead Monthly archives, hop on over to the archive page, where you can browse by feature, Pez Poetry Slam, or issue. There's also a Google search bar to help you search the content across the site. And hey, maybe you would like to submit some words, photos, artwork, or videos to Pezhead Monthly to be featured in an upcoming issue? That would be great! Check out the submission details here.
I've been on a hot streak of Pez scores lately. My September scores were plentiful and the party kept on rockin' into October.
The month started off with a delivery from Pez.com, which included the online exclusive Trick or Sweet Care Bear and the Crystal Ghost, both of which have since been retired from sale. Along with these, I picked up the new blank truck model. I have the previous models too and maybe at some point I will make some custom Pez either for my own collection or for swag down the road.
Also this past month, I picked up a total of 7 new POP+Pez dispensers. I checked my records and the last time I scored this many POP+Pez in a single month was way back in March 2020, which as you may recall was quite the interesting month in other respects. In October, I picked up the 4 new holiday Five Nights at Freddy's dispensers (Freddy, Foxy, Chica, Bonnie) from BigBadToyStore.com as well as the 3 new holiday Office dispensers (Michael Scott/Classy Santa, Dwight Schrute/Belsnickel, Dwight Schrute/Elf) from Funko.com.
From the Pez Outlaw himself, Steve Glew, I scored 2 new custom dispensers, which were blue and red pieces known as the Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Outlaws.
From Mike Herz, I picked up the 8th in his series of custom classic monster pieces. This one was the Phantom of the Opera and as with all of his others, it looks truly spectacular.
I scored some more Pez from various other places online, including some nice painted Batmans and a crystal Chick In Egg from Facebook and some more chromes (including Batman chromes, although not quite as many as last month) from eBay. Also from eBay, I picked up a Peter Pez with "RICO" on his hat, which is a hard to find variation that's been on my wish list for a while.
From Sue and Steven
Heraly, I received another nice Pez Halloween card featuring the vintage
dispensers Mr. Ugly, Octopus, and One-Eyed Monster.
I also picked up a bunch of stuff from the 2 Pez events I attended this month, both of which I talk more about elsewhere in this issue. From IN Crowd 2023, I scored the outstanding IN Crowd gathering dispenser (as well as a candy pack, pin, and sticker); the Giant Yoda, Palpatine, and General Grievous dispensers (which rounded out my giant Star Wars set); porcelain hinged box (PHB) Policeman and Doctor (to go with my first PHB, the Fireman, which I scored back in August); a Kermit to commemorate Sandy and Cheryl Gardner-Ghionzoli's 2019 Pezhead of the Year award, and a lip balm w/ladybug head (which I won as a door prize). A special shoutout goes to THE DANG for a whole lotta Batmans. My big score was a vintage Peter Pan, which may have very well been my last vintage addition of the year, or at least my last-in-person vintage purchase of the year. Now that I have Peter Pan and Captain Hook, I just need Tinkerbell to complete the set. I'll look for her down the road, even if she approaches Egg Baby-level of creepiness.
From the other Pez event I attended, the Virtual Pez Convention (VPC), I picked up the convention/scholarship dispenser, which was a gold Ladybug with some custom printing on the stem, and a black Ladybug Thank You dispenser for presenting at the VPC. And, from one of the event's giveaways, I scored a Starstruck Valentine's dispenser on a European card, from none other than my Pez pal Judy, a.k.a. The Pez Bunny Lady. Judy also kindly sent me her Pezylvania 2023 ornament and, in the second instance in October, another bevy of Batmans! I'll tell you what, my Pez pals are the best.
Out in the wild,
I found a few fun items. At Marshall's, I found the Pez Trick or Treat
socks, which is a set of 2 pairs of socks (blue and yellow) that adds
to my ever-growing Pez sock collection (right on the heels of the orange
socks I found at Dollar Tree in September!). And at World Market, I
found the new reindeer dispenser, which is one of 3 new Christmas dispensers
this year, along with the full-body Snowman (which I picked up in September)
and the new Christmas tree with colorful lights, which is only available
in a tube this year and I hope to find soon. Also at World Market, I
found the Mickey and Minnie Disney 100 2-pack, which features the recent
retro-style variations dressed up in chrome, similar to the Disney,
Star Wars, and Marvel sets I recently picked up. This 2-pack sold out
pretty quickly on Pez.com when it first debuted, but Market District
came through for me. It's easily the coolest 2-pack that Pez has released
in a while, even if it's not nearly as cool as the custom
Batman chrome 2-pack that my Pez pal Cam Art made for me recently.
And finally, my attempt at scoring the set of 3 new Hanukkah Dreidel Pez (maybe more accurately called the Dreidel Emoji Pez?) had a bit of a crispy start. These were initially found (and as of this writing, can still be found) on the website OnlyKosher.com. But, they were soon also spotted on Amazon.com (via OnlyKosher's Amazon store). Looking to save a few bucks and take advantage of my Amazon Prime free shipping, that's where I purchased the set from. Within a few days the package arrived. I enthusiastically opened the package only to find that the 3-pack was not Pez dispensers but, I kid you not, Melba toast. I posted about it on Facebook, and as it turns out I was not the only one who experienced this mix-up. But on the advice of others, I reached out to OnlyKosher.com to explain the situation. They replied back quickly and a couple of days later, shipped out the dispensers to me, free of charge. And, I got to keep the Melba toast too! That is above-and-beyond customer service, no doubt. Anyway, this whole saga is retold elsewhere in this issue in poem form, and I also performed the poem live at VPC. I will share a video of this performance in a later issue.
Here is a picture of my October scores. As always, you can click on it for a larger view.
Lowell, Indiana was the place to be on November 7 for the 5th Indiana Pez collector's gathering, better known as IN Crowd. IN Crowd 2023 brought us back to Karen and Ronnie Pachowicz's home. Karen and Ronnie had previously hosted IN Crowd 2020, and have been friends of mine in the Pez world for quite a long time, and it was great to be back with them and many other Pezheads for another fun time.
As with all conventions and gatherings, I kept myself busy ahead of time with some prep work. First, knowing that I would be selling some stuff at IN Crowd, I did a test run of setting up my stuff on the small table that I would be bringing with me. I am glad that I did this because it made me realize how much stuff I could realistically fit on the table, and in which place it would go. When I finished the test run, I took a picture to refer to when I finally did get it set up at the gathering.
If you're curious, here's the picture!
I also continued the tradition of making swag, which I began getting involved with a few years ago. For IN Crowd, due to its smaller size, I always make enough to give away to everyone. This year my swag consisted of 3 things:
Here is a picture of the magnets plus the sticker.
Even though I live just a few hours away, I'm not really a morning person so I opted to stay at a nearby hotel the night before, instead of making the drive in the AM, so that I could get to Karen's house early to set up. I do not regret that decision at all!
I was one of the first to arrive and was greeted by Karen and Ronnie. I had recently seen them at Pezamania in July and it was good to see them again. I was given the attendee bag, which included a sticker, pin, and the crowning piece, a gathering dispenser with candy. This wonderful dispenser had a 3D-printed head in the shape of Indiana- and as an added bonus, the number "5" to mark the location of Lowell, the town in the state where this IN Crowd was held. It was the best IN Crowd dispenser to date, and one of the best custom dispensers ever made for a gathering or convention (although I don't think anything will top the Make-A-Pig from the PIGPIGPIG convention). I am so excited to have it as part of my collection and as a memento of IN Crowd 2023. Check it out!
Other Pezheads and their families and friends (aka enablers) started coming in to set up their tables up or just to come and hang out. Many of the attendees were IN Crowd veterans, including former hosts Paige and her father Joe. But we also had some notable first-timers this time around. For starters, we had our first international attendee, Becky from Ontario, Canada. There was also Sandy and Cheryl, hosts of the Pez on the River convention (which just wrapped its 10th outing in September of this year). There was Tim, a new collector who lives fairly close to Karen, who came with his fiancée Rebecca. And then there was Paul and Gelola, who I always enjoy talking with and buying from at Pez conventions. They did not set up a table at IN Crowd, but their daughter (or maybe granddaughter?) Sevyn did a great job as Karen's helper during the games.
Sadly, some were unable to attend, such as Karen, Chris and Mary, Mike, Chris Jordan, and others. But I know I will see all of these fine folks at another Pez convention or gathering down the road.
Once again, the sale tables were set up in Karen's garage. As this was a smaller gathering there were only 8 or 9 tables set up. But there was lots of good stuff, including some nice vintage pieces from Carl and Mindy, Ben, and of course The Dang. Sandy and Cheryl had some good stuff from Pez on the River. Really, there was something good at every table, because every table had a fellow Pezhead!
After a couple of hours of buying and selling, the group made its way into Karen's house for some delicious pizza and desserts and of course some conversation. I enjoyed sitting next to Don and chatting with him, as well as Lindsay and Gabe and Sandy and Cheryl, and later Becky.
The activities started out with a few awards. First, the award for the first international attendee went to Becky, the Icee Queen, who received a really neat print of an Icee Bear Pez. Then, the award for the farthest traveled went to Eric, who came in all the way from North Dakota! Eric won a pig collectible with an IN Crowd 2023 sticker on it (Eric, if you are reading this I am very sorry I drew a blank at what the official name for the pig collectible is! I just know that your collection of said pig collectibles is amazing!)
After the awards, it was time for games. We started out with a rather difficult multiple choice game of trivia about candy. You'd think we'd be experts, being Pezheads and all, but you'd be wrong! Out of 25 total questions, I came close to winning with 13 correct, but the winner was Mindy with 15 correct answers. Congrats Mindy! I'll always have my memories of IN Crowd 2020, when I won the trivia game about Indiana!
Following the trivia game we played some bingo, during which The Dang was denied the grand prize due to him forgetting that the game we were playing was a cover-all. That's just not right!
There were also some raffles and door prizes. The 2 raffle prizes were pretty cool. One was a "river dragon" made for Pez on the River by the talented Sue Davis (congrats to Holly for winning that) and the other was a gold version of the IN Crowd Indiana dispenser. Eric won that and it was in my opinion the coolest prize of the day! As for the door prizes, there were several of these. I won of the later ones, scoring a strawberry Pez lip balm with the ladybug head. I am grateful for any prizes I win at these Pez events!
And of course, Karen's Pez room was a highlight of the event. New attendees are asked to sign her guest book and even receive a Pez dispenser as a souvenir for attending! It's truly incredible and I could go on and on about it, but instead I'll just link here to my recap of IN Crowd 2020, a gathering that was also held at Karen's house. This recap has a bunch of pictures of her Pez room that you do not want to miss! Of course, her collection has only grown since 3 years ago.
As for my scores, I picked up some great ones at IN Crowd 2023, including my first vintage piece since Pezamania (and maybe my last vintage of the year), Peter Pan. I talk more about these scores in the "Scores!" Say He feature in this issue.
Here is a group photo of everyone who attended IN Crowd 2023 (minus maybe a few who may have left earlier).
Thanks again to Karen and Ronnie for your hospitality, and thanks to everyone who made the day such a successful and fun time. It is always a pleasure to spend time with fellow Pezheads and I really appreciate having had the chance to do so at IN Crowd 2023. For those who made it, as well as for those who did not, I'll see you at another Pez event down the road for sure!
For the room tours, this time around we had 4 of them, along with a check-in with a previous tour presenter (and current Guiness World Record holder).
Kicking things off was Lisa Levine, who had lots of fun stuff in her collection. What stood out to me was her cool collection of Australia floor shippers, tins, and collector boxes. This included a special Australia Batman collector box! If I see one of these for sale at a Pez convention or the Facebook groups, you best believe I will be interested in adding it to my Batman Pez collection. Matthew Tibbits also joined the party to show his collection. We all ooh'd and aah'd at Matthew's awesome collection of vintage display boxes, and they doubled as a nice way to display some of his loose Pez. Later on, Michael Watson showed off his Pez room. I noted a couple of great things about his collection: first, he had a unique way to display his collector boxes: on tiered displays. Displaying this way allows you to see the character heads while also being able to maximize your space. I may have to try this out. As noted elsewhere in this issue, I recently reorganized my collector box/tin display, but I'm already running out of room for it! Michael also made use of drawers to display some things that can be shown flat, such as cards or other paper items.
The featured room tour was by Corey Stephens, a cool and chill dude who I've had the fortune to sit with at a few Pezamania game nights. Corey's room tour was pre-recorded; as the owner and operator of a haunted house in Wisconsin, you can imagine that he was a wee bit busy this close to Halloween! Right off the bat he showed "some of" his vending machines, and as someone who doubts I'll ever have a vending machine in my collection, this was just incredible. He also had a large (I think 5 foot?) wood carving of the Muselix dispenser from the vintage Asterix set, and its head even tilted back! His main loose display was well lit and the recently applied coat of white paint really made his display stand out. There were so many other great things about Corey's collection. His vintage pieces were out of this world. And I was just impressed overall with how it was laid out. Everything just seemed to perfectly fit where it was and, with the room right near his front door, it was a great way to welcome guests.
This leads me to Mr. Brian Trauman, whose presentation was titled "Can There Be 100 Grails?". As I mentioned a couple of issues ago, Brian is the current Guiness Book record holder for largest Pez collection (5548 unique dispensers and growing), and his YouTube channel is a must-subscribe for any Pezhead. He also happens to be a previous winner of Pezhead of the Year. He is a great presenter in his videos and a joy to hang out with at Pez conventions, and this carried over to his VPC presentation, which was both interesting and often quite funny. It was also interactive, as he responded to questions and comments in the Zoom chat in real time. It made for a very lively, enjoyable time.
Brian started out by showing his Guiness world record plaque and explaining the criteria for the record. What makes his record even more impressive is that it does not count variations in country or patent number. Each of the dispensers that contributed to his record was completely visually unique from any other one. As for the question posed in the title, if there are not 100 grails, then Brian's collection definitely comes close. He walked us through his huge display, and instead of going through every row, he picked a few dispensers here and there and explained why they were in grail status. Whether it was a political donkey, an ultra-rare Mimic the Monkey, a unique painted Hulk, a regular with some unusual lettering on it, or any number of other items, it was just one hit after another and a real treat to take in. Unfortunately, I had to miss the last part of his presentation as I had some prep work to do for something else, which I'll get to a bit later.
I can't wait to see Brian's full presentation, and all of the other presentations from the event, when these are uploaded to the VPC page later. I'll post links to the presentations in a future issue of Pezhead Monthly.
In between the room tours, and throughout the event, there were some great giveaways. I was thrilled to win one myself: a Starstruck crystal heart Pez dispenser, which was donated by the Pez Bunny Lady herself, Judy Mesler. I didn't realize until it arrived in my mailbox that it was actually on a European card. Thanks so much, Judy!
There was also a
convention dispenser announced to benefit the VPC charity, the VPC scholarship,
which you can read more about here.
I picked one of these up and in fact it just arrived on the day of this
And finally, thanks to the kindness and graciousness of Morgan and Landon, I was able to once again return to the VPC with my recurring segment, Joe's Poetry Corner. In this segment, I read a poem from the Pezhead Monthly archives or, for the past couple of segments, a new poem that I debuted for the first time at the VPC. Oh, and I also wear a goofy costume and/or sometimes appear in front of a green screen. You can see all of my previous VPC segments here.
The poem I read this time around was "Proposing a Toast," which you can read in the Pez Poetry feature elsewhere in this issue. The poem tells the tale of a recent shipping mix-up from Amazon, where instead of receiving the new Pez set of Dreidel dispensers, I received 3 boxes of Melba toast. Don't worry, it has a happy ending. Well, really two happy endings, as I got the Pez and also got to keep the Melba toast.
My costume this time around was a slice of bread with jelly on it. Oh, and there was also a mullet and mustache. Don't ask me about the connection, because I have no idea what it is. All I know is I had a lot of fun in the costume, which allowed me the chance to roll off a number of puns. I also had fun reading the poem. Again, I can't thank Morgan and Landon enough for continuing to invite me back and consider myself very fortunate to be a part of the VPC. I hope I am able to put a smile on a face or two, or if nothing else, at least provide a suitable restroom break in between other VPC segments!
I'll post the video of my poetry segment in a future issue once it is online. In the meantime, here is a picture of me in costume. Party on, dude!
As a post note,
the craziest part about the bread + jelly costume was that I picked
it up before the Melba toast incident even happened. I was just thinking
when I saw it in Spirit Halloween that it would be a fun costume, and
when 2 or 3 puns instantly popped into my head, I knew I had to get
it. (The costume was actually part of a couple's costume and came with
a matching bread + peanut butter costume). So it was really just a happy
accident that, just a few days later, that 3-pack of Melba toast arrived!
As for the mullet and 'stache, as I mention above, there's not really
a connection to the bread + jelly costume, but it did give me the opportunity
for yet another pun, and plus it just felt right. I'll have to keep
it handy for the next time I get my driver's license picture taken.
The next VPC has already been announced for April 2024 and you know I'll be there. Hopefully I'll see you there too!
Proposing a Toast
I don't mean to
brag, I don't mean to boast
With their fun design
I was so engrossed,
The package arrived,
delivered by pros,
Was this just a
joke? An internet roast?
But then on advice
of those more composed,
Now these new dispensers
my Pez room does host
I'll never win the
And finally, did you know that Pezhead Monthly has a Thanksgiving archive page? It's true! On this single page are all of the Thanksgiving features from Pezhead Monthly over the years, including poetry, a song parody, pictures, and more. In fact, the latest addition is the cover photo/GIF from this month's issue.
Check out the Pezhead Monthly Thanksgiving page here, and have a great Thanksgiving!
Pezhead Monthly on Facebook
| Twitter | E-mail
If you would like to contribute to Pezhead Monthly, click here for the submission policy.
Copyright © 2001-2023 JoePez Publications
"Pezhead Monthly" is in no way affiliated with Pez Candy, Inc.
PEZ is a registered trademark of PEZ Candy Company Inc., Orange, Connecticut.
Enjoy Pez, but please do so responsibly.