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Pezhead Monthly
November 2001

Cover and Table of Contents | Page 2 | Page 3

Spring Loaded: A Message from the Editor top of page | cover page

We're four issues into Pezhead Monthly, and it's safe to say I'm having a blast.

Last month's Halloween issue was a particular delight to put together. It was the impetus for me to order the officially licensed Pez dispenser costume, which I plan on wearing on Halloween for some high quality trick-or-treating. At the time of this writing, said costume is in transit and should arrive in three to four days. I am still trying to decide whether or not to wear the clown mask with the costume. On the one hand, Peter Pez is truly an icon in the Pez world. On the other hand, clowns tend to scare the crap out of me.

This month's issue is also a great one. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I offer up three reasons why I am thankful that Pez is on this green earth. There's also an appropriately patriotic Pez Almost-Quote this month, along with my most prolific Pez Poetry offering yet, which, at 3 poems, is not saying much (however, the first and definitely not the last Pez limerick- "Forty-Three More"- does make its debut this month). Add to that some rather quick questions for the Pez Clock and a hypothetical scenario of how Elvis Presley would have been as a Pez dispenser, and you've got another Pez-packed edition of Pezhead Monthly.

The latest PDOJ (Pez dance of joy) to report is my recent acquisition of the entire set of Pokemon dispensers from Europe. Even though I can't stand Pokemon, I welcome Pikachu and the rest of the gang into my Pez family, where there are no black sheep, only black dispensers. I expect my next PDOJ to occur in a matter of days, when that Pez costume arrives at my door. Why, that deserves a PDOJ right now, as a matter of fact.

I hope you have a great month and a Happy Thanksgiving, and that you have a chance to enjoy the many beautiful colors of autumn. And, of course, the many beautiful colors of Pez.

Joe Durrant
Editor, Pezhead Monthly
joe@pezheadmonthly.com

 

An Attitude of Gratitude:
Three Reasons Why I'm Thankful for Pez top of page | cover page

I am thankful for a lot of things in this world. Health, happiness, freedom, love, family, clean air, and weekends are definitely on the top of that list. But I would be remiss if I failed to mention my appreciation for Pez. In this, the month of Thanksgiving, I would like to offer three reasons why I'm thankful for Pez.

1. Pez is fun.

It's been my experience that talking about Pez never fails to bring about a smile on someone's face.

For one thing, Pez is fun for collectors. It's always a thrill to go to a store and to see the newest shipment of Pez come in, and even more of a thrill when a new dispenser can be added to a collection. Similarly, winning an auction on eBay or finding a vintage dispenser at a garage sale or a flea market is a rush for any Pez collector, especially since nowadays it seems so rare to find Pez at these places. That's why the various Pez conventions are the ultimate thrill for Pezheads, because it gives them the chance to come together to see, talk about, purchase, and breathe Pez.  
A complete set of Pez Rocket Pens. Thank you, Pez, for moments like this.

But you don't have to be a collector to enjoy Pez. Children love to play with their favorite characters like Bart Simpson or Donald Duck, and of course, they love the candy that comes with the dispensers. The legendary "Seinfeld" episode where Jerry put a Tweety Pez on Elaine's knee and caused her to burst out in laughter made for one of that show's more memorable moments, proving that adults can enjoy Pez just as much as kids do.

2. Pez looks great on a shelf.

After a long day at work, I find it a big thrill to come home and see my curio cabinet full of Pez, standing tall and filled with dispensers, as if to say, "Welcome home, Joe." It's so uniform and orderly, yet the dispensers are so colorful and unique.

I don't think it's inaccurate to say that there's nothing quite like a display case or shelf of Pez dispensers. On one hand, seeing ten or twenty or fifty dispensers in rows gives you the feeling of equality, symmetry, and balance. It's almost the same feeling you get when you see a brigade of service men standing at attention. Each dispenser stands at about 4 inches, with a long, thin stem and a character head on top. The uniform shapes and sizes are visually appealing, and they make it apparent that each dispenser belongs to the collection as a whole.

On the other hand, no two dispensers are completely alike, and this variety also makes for a great display. Some "sets" of dispensers, such as the FAO Schwarz Bears and the Wal-Mart Smiley faces, have identical or similar heads, but a variety of stem colors. Counting all the head and stem variations, there are 56 different Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pez dispensers. Then there are the many other sets, like Garfield, Looney Tunes, and Disney, who share a common medium but whose dispensers each have their own individual style. This variation in stem colors and character heads gives a distinct plurality to the Pez display.

3. Pez is retro and eternally hip.

As I've mentioned before, as long as there is pop culture, there will be Pez to celebrate it.

Countless other items in the history of pop culture have gone the way of the dinosaur. This long list includes, among other things, pet rocks, Cabbage Patch Kids, Furbies, and sea monkeys. Yet, along with a few other notable exceptions, Pez has managed to survive decades of social and cultural change and still be considered a major collectible. One reason for this is the sheer magnitude of dispensers. There are hundreds of unique character heads out there, and that's not counting variations of stem color, factory errors, and several other factors.

But I think that a much better reason why Pez has survived and will continue to flourish for many years to come is that it's so intertwined with other aspects of popular culture. Are you a Star Wars fan? There's a Pez dispenser especially for you; in fact, there are nine of them. Are you an American history buff? Why, you simply can't go without an Uncle Sam or Betsy Ross dispenser! Do you like Christmas? I've got four words for you: Santa Claus Pez dispenser. Want to save money, know what time it is, or make a fashion statement? That's why there are Pez banks, clocks, and ties. And with the recently released European Pokemon dispensers, and new dispensers always on the horizon, pop culture always has a reliable representative in Pez.

For all of these reasons and many more, it truly is a Pez Thanksgiving for me.

 

If Elvis Were a Pez Dispenser top of page | cover page

True, Elvis Presley was made into a fantasy Pez dispenser for the movie "The Client," and true, the Elvis Pezley is probably the most requested fantasy dispenser to date, but one has to wonder: what if the real Elvis were a Pez dispenser? Herewith, history as it might have happened.


A hunka hunka burnin' Pez.
 

1956
Elvis's first gold record, "Heartbreak Hotel," begins with the lines:

Well since my baby bought me, she didn't put me on the shelf,
She left me in the package here at Heartbreak Hotel.

1957
Elvis moves in to his Memphis mansion, which he appropriately names Pezland.

1963
Elvis stars in "Viva Pez Vegas," a campy romp about a man who paints the town red after betting his entire life fortune on a solid gold Pez dispenser and then winning it.

1967
In a private ceremony, Elvis marries Priscilla Beaulieu. To show his undying love for her, he tilts his head back and gives her a grape-flavored Pez candy. There is not a dry eye in the house.

1972
Elvis and Priscilla separate. It is widely believed that she only liked orange-flavored Pez candy and that it was all downhill from the wedding day.

1973
Elvis makes pop culture history with his "Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite" show, telecast around the world. Although the show is a hugely popular success, tragedy is just barely averted when Elvis's 4-inch plastic frame almost trips over his cape and falls headfirst into the audience.

1977
Elvis goes to that Big Pezland in the Sky. But remember: superstar Pez dispensers never die, they just get discontinued.


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