Loaded: A Message from the Editor top
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to Pezhead Monthly!
month's issue is another big one. The feature story is a
recap of my adventures at Pezamania 21, complete with lots
of pictures and even a quick video. It was another action-packed
year for sure. I thank John and Linda Gliha as always for
putting on another great convention, and look forward to
returning next year.
in this issue is a brief, and yet somehow epic, video celebrating
the newest addition to my Batman collection, found a couple
of weeks before Pezamania (although I did find a couple
of new Batman cards since this video at Pezamania). In addition,
there are a couple of questions for the University of Hawaii
Pez dispenser, some Pez Poetry, and the Pez Almost-Quote
of the Month. Lastly, there are a couple of odds and ends
which I am including in a new (and perhaps somewhat recurring?)
feature, Assorted Flavors.
month's issue is sure to include mention of my upcoming
trip to the Chicago
Comic Con, where I plan on meeting some celebrities
and, hopefully, getting some more Pez dispenser autographs!
as always for reading, and see you next month.
Editor, Pezhead Monthly
21: Splendor, Avengers, and an Eerie Spectre Dispenser top
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past month I had the extreme pleasure to return once again
to the sleepy little Cleveland suburb of Independence for
the biggest, baddest Pez convention of them all, Pezamania.
This year marked the 21st outing for the convention, as
well as the 11th straight year that I was able to attend.
There were a few hiccups this year- okay, one major hiccup-
but despite this, the bottom line is that Pezamania once
again proved to be the ultimate convention for Pezheads
around the world.
leaving this year, I took advantage of the new Songify iPhone
app to record an
abbreviated version of the 2002 song Leavin'
For The Pez Show. Look for that song to be hitting
the charts any day now.
note: If you want to skip the recap and just check out what
I scored this year, click here to
go right to that.)
on Thursday, a bit later than I was planning due to a drive
filled with lots of construction and general traffic woes.
But that didn't prevent me from getting right in on the
action. After checking into my room, I headed over to the
registration room to make it official. It was a pleasure
to again see Linda, one of the fantastic hosts of Pezamania.
In the registration packets, we once again got a t-shirt
and also a pretty neat beverage cooler. One thing I noticed
this year was that tote bags were not included, although
they were available separately for a modest price. Note
that this is NOT a complaint! To the contrary, I thought
it was a good idea. Over the years, I've gotten a lot of
tote bags from Pez conventions. While they are nice, they
add up after a while. It's much more preferable to bring
your own bag, and I hope this trend continues in coming
registration, I headed back to my room to begin setting
it up, although most of my stuff was still in the car for
the Pez swap party happening later that day. One of the
small joys that I've encountered since starting to sell
my extras out of my room at Pezamania is setting stuff up.
I know it's a lot of work for the dealers, who have an unbelievable
amount of stuff for sale, but for someone like me who has
relatively fewer things, it's not bad. Plus, it gives me
a chance to spotlight some of the features of this newsletter.
This year, outside the door I added a Pez haiku, a Pez song
parody, and a Pez Almost-Quote, all of which are readily
available from the archives.
irony of setting all of this up was that I wasn't actually
in my room that often for the convention, as there was plenty
of room hopping and other Pez activities to be done. So
for those of you who were looking for me, I am sorry that
I was not around that much. Hopefully we were able to meet
up at other times during the convention.
of the first really cool things I saw this year was thanks
to one very crafty Pezhead, who turned a CD rack into a
Pez Ferris Wheel. This very short video demonstrates how
awesome an effect this turned out to be.
The room hopping began in earnest shortly after seeing this
wonderful item. One of the first things I picked up was
the awesome new DC Heroes set- Superman, Green Lantern,
and Batman. To clarify, I had already found Batman earlier
in the month (as another feature in this month's issue shows),
but I got him on the new card at Pezamania. I really like
a few more scores and some dinner at Quaker Steak and Lube,
I headed down to the swap party. This is always a good time,
as it's the first real chance of the convention to meet
a bunch of fellow Pezheads, and maybe buy and sell a few
things too. This year I met a lot of old Pez friends, sold
a bunch of my extra Pez, and also gave away a few paper
copies of the 2011
Pez Poetry Slam.
the swap party was Pezamania Wars, the Pez-flavored variation
of the classic card game War that has been a tradition at
Pezamania for the past 6 years, ever since the Glihas came
on as hosts. I've had pretty good luck in the past couple
of years, advancing rounds and winning one type of prize
or another, perhaps at the expense of a young child's hopes
and dreams. This year, however, was not my year. I was eliminated
right in the first round, although one of my losses was
very close. Jack of Spades, you continue to haunt me.
honest, getting eliminated so quickly was a blessing in
disguise. I was rather tired from the drive in, and I appreciated
having a little extra time to room hop. So I added a few
more items, including some more NCAA and MLB dispensers,
and called it a night.
Friday, Friday, Gotta Get Down On Friday
plan on Fridays at Pezamania is usually to get some lunch
before room hopping, as many dealers are just setting their
stuff up, plus the hotel cleaning staff is hard at work
during the late morning/early afternoon hours. So I headed
out to my car, and was blown away at the sight before my
eyes: cars lined up like crazy. Hordes of people in business
suits heading to the hotel. Police directing traffic. What
the heck was going on?? I wasn't sure, but my instincts
told me to stay right where I was, as giving up my parking
spot might very well mean that I would not be able to find
another one when I returned.
back into the hotel and began to room hop among the few
dealer rooms that were open at that time. I was hunting
for Pez, sure, but I was also hunting for answers. I got
them in bits and pieces (the answers, not the Pez, thank
goodness). It turns out that the craziness outside the hotel
was due to a casting call for extras for the movie The
Avengers, which will partially be filming in Cleveland.
This was what was causing all of the madness. It was quite
a site to peer out of hotel windows and see a line of people
stretched out as far as the eye could see. People, it should
be noted, who were dressed up in business attire as per
the specifics of the casting call, waiting outside in the
sweltering July heat. I can be a big comic book movie geek,
but there was no way I'd put myself through that.
casting call caused me to miss lunch, true, but there were
also some pretty severe effects on the convention overall.
No one associated with Pezamania had known about this ahead
of time, and I sensed a lot of frustration in the hotel
halls. I also noticed significantly fewer people room hopping
this year than in years past. This was very likely due to
the traffic mess outside, which may have prevented some
convention attendees, and maybe even some dealers, from
getting to the hotel on Friday (I know from years past that
some people will arrive at the convention on Friday). I
felt really bad for the dealers, who I am sure must have
experienced lower sales than in previous years, and I also
felt bad for the Glihas, who as hosts I am sure were hearing
a lot about this too. It hurts everyone when the crowds
are diminished at a Pez convention- not only in terms of
sales, but also in terms of the camaraderie. Part of the
appeal of a convention is meeting old friends and making
new ones, and I am sure that the Avengers casting
call negatively impacted this.
the casting call drama, I did manage to pick up a few things
on Friday afternoon. My big score that day, and in fact
of the entire convention, came from a realization: it had
been a long while since I worked towards completing a vintage
set. I'm talking about the kind of set that you could only
grow gradually, maybe by just adding one new dispenser a
year. A few years back I did this for the Superhero
Softheads, and it was great fun not only to add the
pieces, but to see all five of them once I completed the
year, it occurred to me that it was time to start this again,
for a set that I've always thought was pretty cool: The
Eerie Spectres. Like the Superheroes, these dispensers have
soft heads. I also really dig the detail on them. And so
it was that I got my first Eerie Spectre this year. Meet
stopping by the local candy warehouse store called BA Sweetie
to admire their great
Pez display (all of which I already had), I had an early
dinner, what with the absence of lunch, and headed back
to the hotel for the big Diceamania game.
Diceamania, although Rick absolutely killed it as the MC
once again, it was for me another year filled with complete
and total defeat. I came close one time, but alas, it was
not to be. But, the night was not without its thrills. For
one, there was a giant,
custom-made pig dispenser up by the main table. I've
seen some giant custom dispensers in the past, but never
one this big. In fact it may have rivaled if not surpassed
the one I saw at the Burlingame
Museum of Pez Memorabilia a couple of years back.
were also some pretty great prizes this year, as well as
lots of door prizes and auctions. There were all kinds of
celebrity-signed Pez dispensers, and some of them went for
big money. The ones that fetched the big bucks included
a Captain Kirk dispenser signed by William Shatner, Luke
and Leia dispensers signed by Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher,
and the biggest of them all, a Cincinnati Reds dispenser
signed by Pete Rose. I could be wrong, but I believe that
one went for about $500. It should be noted that all of
the money went to a really great charity called Gliding
Stars. There were even some members of the charity there
to thank us, which was really nice.
not win any of those auctions, although I did place a bid
for a Giant Lost In Space Robot dispenser signed by Bill
Mumy. However, I did win one of the separate silent auctions:
My prize was a set of Pez magnets and a factory
error Batman on card, to add to my ever growing Batman
some final room hopping and selling a few more things out
of my room, I called it a night.
brought not only the big floor show, but also Day 2 of the
Avengers casting call. The traffic was once
again crazy and the line of hopeful actors was once again
very long. I again felt bad for the dealers, as this most
certainly impacted the number of people who could make it
to the floor show to browse and buy some great Pez stuff.
After all, at $5 for the floor show is quite a deal for
the locals who may not be as, shall we say, dedicated, as
those of us who register for the whole experience. But with
the traffic the way it was outside the hotel, I am sure
that not everyone who wanted to be there was actually able
to make it. And maybe it was because a few dealers and fellow
Pezheads from years past were not there this year, maybe
it was the economy or gas prices, or maybe it was the crazy
heat, but the floor show did feel a little lighter than
it had in years past. Don't get me wrong, there were still
lots of great deals to be had, and still a fair amount of
people, just not quite as much as in years past.
of this stopped me from picking up my last few Pez scores
of the convention, including the elusive Kuririn Hello Kitty
dispenser, a crystal Elephant, and a pretty cool head/stem
variation of Mr. Ugly.
I also saw a pretty cool bejeweled
Joker that was just a bit out of my price range, as
well as a suitcase
full of Pez, which was quite a site to see. I was going
to draw out one more $20 bill, but the ATM was out of money,
and this combined with the insane traffic situation brought
on by the Avengers casting call, seemed like
a sign that I had reached the end of my convention scores
this year. I said my goodbyes to the Glihas and some other
folks, and that was that.
Pezamania ended, I have received two letters related to
the convention. The first was a letter of apology from the
hotel, which I thought was a classy move. They clearly heard
about the frustrations we were experiencing, and they know
that we consistently provide them with good business year
in and year out. Reaching out to explain that they did not
anticipate how things turned out was a welcome gesture.
second letter was a nice handwritten note from the Glihas,
thanking me for attending and also for my winning bid in
the silent auction. This was also very much appreciated
and is one of those small things that go a long way.
back, I had a really great time at Pezamania 21. It was
my third- and definitely last- Pez convention of the year,
and I think I might hold off on any other ones until Pezamania
22 rolls around next year. I added some fantastic pieces
to my collection (as the picture below shows) and, although
some people were missed, I did see a lot of dealers and
Pezheads I have grown to appreciate over the years. It was
an experience that I wouldn't trade for anything, and I
look forward to returning again next year. And who knows,
maybe next year there will be another live Pez Poetry Slam?
Only time will tell!
Pezamania 21 Haul
below photo shows, I added a lot of Pez to my collection
at Pezamania 21. In addition to catching up on the many
MLB baseballs, NCAA footballs, and promotional haulers,
I found some neat steam variations and added a few more
cards to my Batman collection. Plus, I scored some nice
vintage pieces, including the Diabolic Eerie Spectre, Mr.
Ugly, and Donald Duck.
picture for a larger view)
items of note: the yellow regular finally replaces the one
I used when I made the custom
Seth Green Pez dispenser a couple of years ago, and
the Chewbacca dispenser will be coming with me to Chicago
Comic-Con next week, where it will (hopefully) be autographed
by the man who played Chewbacca, Peter Mayhew. Look for
details on that and much more in the next issue!
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