Thinking Outside The Dispenser Since 2001
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Hello and happy November from Pezhead Monthly!
This month of Thanksgiving, I have a heck of a lot to be thankful for. For starters, I am thankful for the memories made from not 1 but 2 Pez events in October: another fantastic Virtual Pez Convention and the 3rd annual IN Crowd Pez gathering. In this issue, I recap my experiences at both of these Pez events. I am also thankful for the Indiana Jones movies, which gave me the inspiration for the swag photos I put together for the IN Crowd gathering. I explain all about these photos in another feature in this month's issue (and, in related news, check out all of Pezhead Monthly's Indiana-related Pez photos on the Indiana Wants Me page). The IN Crowd also inspired 2 of this month's Pez poems, with the third being a refresh of a poem I wrote 10 years ago about this wonderful season of autumn (updated to make mention of a couple of this year's releases)!
I am also thankful for my Pez pal Topher Yarrison. In last month's issue, I shared a picture and video of over 35 painted dispensers I scored from Topher over the last few months. In October, I picked up 15 more, including 4 new Batmans. Topher always outdoes himself and I am very grateful that he is a part of the Pez community and chooses to share his artistry with us all. Later in this letter I show a picture of all of my October scores, including the pieces I got from Topher. Later in this issue, I also provide an update on my Batcave Pez display, where the newest Batmans from Topher now call home.
Gracias, as well, to the latest James Bond movie, "No Time To Die", which served as the inspiration for this month's cover image. There are a few things to note about this photo. First, when putting it together I was surprised to learn that the font for the movie poster was the same as for the 1970/80s TV show "The Love Boat"! (And by the way, in 2009 I wrote a Pez parody of the "Love Boat" theme song) Also, I learned that the original Pez candy shooter (gun) from the 1960s was styled after the Walther PPK, a model made famous by wait for it James Bond. Lastly, you will see that James is holding a Pez dispenser at the bottom of the image. That Pez dispenser is of WWE superstar (and now big-time action movie star) Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and this was deliberate. You see, "The Rock" was also the title of a 1996 movie starring Nicolas Cage and the best James Bond ever, Sean Connery. There is even a theory out there that "The Rock" is actually a secret James Bond film! Like that shoe salesman once told me, it all ties together!
I am also thankful for the PIGPIGPIG and its awesome host, Josh Bales! This is a Pez convention that will be held in March that I look forward to attending. In October I registered for the convention and booked my hotel room. I am very excited. I had a celebration video almost ready to roll for this month's issue, but I need to put a few more touches on it so it will have to wait until next month.
The thanks just keep on rolling, and in fact the Pezhead Monthly Thanksgiving page assembles all of the Thanksgiving pieces featured in this publication to date. Gobble up all of the tasty goodness, and remember that if you get too full you can take some leftovers home. (Somewhere along the line that analogy fell apart, but oh well.)
And lastly, I am thankful for my October scores. There were plenty of them for sure! In last month's issue, I covered the many scores I picked up in August and September. October definitely kept the score train rolling on.
Starting out with what I picked up from Facebook, including from friends and purchases, I got the 2 European red Money Heist dispensers, one with a solid hood and one with a crystal hood. It's hard to tell the difference unless you look at them up close. These dispensers come with neat gold paper-wrapped Pez candy. There's also a limited edition black dispenser that has 12 variations with different city names on each. I don't have any of these yet but hope to get one soon. For those in the US, I hear that we may be getting our own versions of these dispensers but I cannot say for sure. I also received a very cool Halloween card from Sue and Steve Heraly, from whom I purchased a 2021 calendar (and a 2022 one, coming later this year). The card is featured in the photo below but here is a GIF of the front and back of it.
Also from Facebook and as mentioned above, I picked up some more of Topher's mad creations. These included 3 painted Marilyn Monroes, in green, yellow, and red, that give off a Warhol vibe, and also bring back memories of my March 2020 video Candy Loaded In. I love them! Topher also sent a Marilyn cutout as a bonus. I also scored a Bert and Ernie as Frankenstein and Dracula, FIVE painted Groots that really pop. The standouts from Topher this month were 4 custom Batmans, a gold Mascot, and a Pilgrim. The Pilgrim, a revamped Groom, is reminiscent of the Leprechaun that came out earlier this year. I can see Pez releasing something like this, but Topher beat them to it with this very well-made piece.
From Blurb.com, I received the 2021 Pez Yearbook, a project put together by Aaron Lamay. Aaron put a call out across the Pez community for bios and pictures, and diligently kept the project moving along for months. The end result was this great yearbook that features many pages all bout many Pez collectors (including Yours Truly). Hats off to Aaron for his hard work in putting this together. In addition to being a comprehensive chronicling of many Pezheads currently in the hobby, this yearbook is also a good way for Pezheads to meet and get to know each other in person. I can see many of us taking it to Pez conventions and getting autographs from people featured in the book.
From Pez.com, I picked up the new Game of Thrones tin, the new blank red truck, and the Pez.com exclusive crystal vampire. I'm not a big Game of Thrones fan but this is a pretty cool set and the tin is well designed. The red truck is an update to the previous blue truck and comes with stickers to personalize the truck. As for the exclusive vampire, it's just a very neat piece that is an update to the standard vampire that was the only new Halloween dispenser this year. Pez seemed to have a fair number of these in stock compared to some of their other recent exclusives so hopefully a lot of people had a chance to get their hands on them.
From the VPC, I picked up the charity dispenser, which is a puck with the charity logo on it in gold. It has a really neat 3D effect that pictures do not do justice to. A very well done piece for sure!
From the IN Crowd, I picked up the gathering dispenser, which was a pumpkin with "3rd Annual IN Crowd Gathering 2021" on its stem, along with the 2 Disney Parks Monorails for holding Pez dispensers (Disney or otherwise), and the new full body Santa ornament dispenser. The Santa dispenser is great and is a nice update to the vintage full body Santa (check out a comparison picture here. For those of you in the US, these full body Santas are starting to show up at Michael's craft stores. From my Pez Pal Rory I picked up a custom C3PO as Michael Myers from Halloween and also a handmade "Joker" style Batman. There was also some other great swag, including a cool milkshake ornament. The IN Crowd recap in this month's issue goes into some more details and includes more pictures of my scores from this gathering.
And lastly, in the wild I picked up the new green elf from Hobby Lobby as well as a factory error Minion on a Space Jam card from a GetGo gas station. I also picked up the new Nutcracker tube at Staples, of all places. I will always remember the day that I picked up the Nutcracker Pez, October 18, 2021. Up until that point, the day was a real pain in the butt! But once I found that Pez dispenser, things started to turn around. Granted, the Five Guys lunch after this score also played a big part in the day getting better.
Here is a picture of all of my October Pez scores.
Did you miss last month's issue, where I covered the many scores I picked up in August and September? 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.
Thanks as always for reading Pezhead Monthly. Take care and see you next month!
It was the best of times, and then one week later it was also the best of times. This is because both the Virtual PEZ Convention and the IN Crowd Pez Gathering took place in October 2021. Heck yeah!
October 9 was the date of the VPC 2021 Fall Fest and Charity Auction. I've written on a couple of occasions about the great times that I've had at the VPC so far, and this was another fun occasion. There were a number of mini tours, along with the featured tour of Karen Pachowicz's room. Having seen this simply breathtaking room in person for the IN Crowd 2020 Pez gathering, I was very excited to see Karen walk through her collection in more detail. As it turns out, Karen was also the Pez Featured Fan the day before the VPC. Well deserved to be sure!
The VPC also featured a presentation from an insurance agent on the topic of insuring a Pez collection. It was a well-organized and informative presentation and produced a lot of great questions and discussion amongst the attendees. Insuring a Pez collection is one of those things that we may not think about all of the time, but when natural disaster, fire, or theft happens, you'll be very glad you have it.
During the event, it was announced that a special charity dispenser was for sale on the VPC website. There were only 100 of these made and I am so glad to have been able to have scooped one up. The logo on the dispenser has a neat 3D effect. Here is a picture, although it does not do justice to how cool it looks in person. (As a reminder, you can click on this and all images in this issue for a larger view.)
The VPC event wrapped up with a fun charity auction of lots of different types of Pez art done by members of the community. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the creativity of this community never fails to impress. All proceeds from the auction went to the VPC's charity, the VPC Community Involvement Scholarship, created to help students succeed in college. The big auction was a set of items made from the Pez t-shirts of our dear Pez friend Kathleen Eovino, who passed away in January. The items were an ornament, a pillow, and a blanket. The bidding was fast and furious and the winner walked away with it for a whopping $900! The money went toward a special scholarship named in her honor. How awesome is that?
Speaking of awesome, just hours ago I learned that not only did the VPC meet its 2021 fundraising goal of $6000, but in fact blew way past it. Thanks to the generosity of the Pez community, the VPC raised more than $11000 this year. Incredible! On top of this, applications are now open for this scholarship. Visit the VPC Community Involvement Scholarship page to learn more and to see how to apply.
On a final note, I had the distinct honor of being a part of the agenda. I had asked the VPC hosts, Landon and Morgan, if I could read one of my Halloween Pez poems at the VPC. They kindly gave me the go-ahead and I thank them very much again for having me as part of the VPC. My "Pez Poetry Break" had the unenviable task of following Karen's Pez room tour, but I had a lot of fun. I read my poem "A Pezhead's Fear" and, because it was mere weeks away from Halloween, I dressed up as one of my personal idols, Mr. "Weird Al" Yankovic.
As of the time of this writing, video is not available of this poetry reading. If it is available for the next issue, I may share it then. In the meantime, here is a picture of me as Weird Al, with a special appearance by my cat Tigger.
Also, just to clarify, this was a Pez poetry break, not a Pez pottery break.
Thanks to Morgan and Landon for another fantastic VPC and for allowing me to read some Pez poetry at the event. I can't wait for the next VPC, whenever it may be!
One week after the VPC event was the 3rd IN Crowd Pez Gathering on October 16. After previous gatherings held in southeast Indianapolis and Lowell, this year's IN Crowd event was in New Palestine, just east of Indianapolis.
This year was extra special because my lovely wife Jessi came with me. It was not her first Pez event, but it was her first one in a while. She previous joined me at the MN PezCon 17 Saturday floor show in 2012 and Pezamania 24 in 2014 (and I guess, technically speaking, our wedding could also be considered a Pez event), but usually I travel to Pez conventions and gatherings on my own. But the proximity of the IN Crowd Gathering, combined with perhaps a bit of cabin fever, led Jes to join me and I am very glad that she did!
The event was held at a house and was hosted by Pez collector Paige Sanning and her husband David. We arrived to a street that was already quite packed with cars. I recognized some of them, and of course when I saw the car with the Ohio plate that said PEZHEAD, I knew that these were my people.
welcomed us when we arrived and we made our way around to see everyone.
I had recently seen many of these fine folks at Pezamania 30 in July,
but I had not seen some of them since the IN Crowd 2020 gathering or
earlier. There may have also been a few people there that I met for
the first time (and definitely more than a few that Jessi met for the
first time). All told there were about 40 people who made it out to
New Pal on that pleasant Autumn day.
This may come as a shock, but this being a Pez gathering, there was some Pez. First off, there was a special Pumpkin dispenser and custom candy wrappers from Paige that was made exclusively for this gathering, along with a sticker. People also had their stuff set up on tables on 2 separate floors and there was a lot of great things for sale, both vintage and new. I picked up the new Santa Christmas ornament, which is a remake of the vintage full body Santa. Here is a comparison picture!
I picked up the 2 Disney monorails that hold Pez dispensers. They are ideal for holding the Disney Parks dispensers, a set that I completed in September. And last but not least, I was gifted a fantasy "Joker Batman" Pez by my Pez Pal Rory, along with an extra face piece for good measure!
Jes even picked up something at the gathering: a pair of earrings made out of Pez candies!
In addition, I received some really cool swag items, including a neat Pez milkshake Christmas ornament and some stickers and other stuff. The best swag I received came from Rory, who never fails to outdo himself with his swag. Being a huge Star Wars fan, Rory transformed a C3PO Pez into the iconic horror movie villain Michael Myers from the "Halloween" series, complete with a card titled "IN Crowd III: Season of the Swag". It is incredibly cool! Here is a look.
I also handed out some swag that I made, which included a complete set of INDIANA PEZ trading cards, an INDIANA PEZ sticker, and a poem called "Spring-Filled Autumn." In a separate feature in this issue, I go into some more detail about this swag.
There was also a raffle at the gathering with some great prizes, including some of the recent Pez.com exclusives, a vintage Batman with cape, and even a homemade wreath made by Paige. This is a picture of it in its near-final form. Amazing work, Paige!
In addition to the Pez, there was plenty of great food, including a taco bar and all kinds of yummy desserts. Tables were set up inside and outside and it was a nice, mild autumn day, albeit a little windy. There may have even been a few dastardly tortilla chips that used the wind to their advantage in making their grand escape off of a plate and onto Jessi's lap! But thankfully, no salsa or queso was involved.
The event also had a Jenga tournament. There were 4 separate games to start, and after most folks were eliminated, it all came down to a game with GIANT Jenga blocks between two Pezheads who, as it turns out, were both named Jeff. You could hear a pin drop as the tension built with each turn. Here is a picture of the tower late in the game.
It concluded, of course, with an epic collapse of the giant tower. And lo, in the Battle of the Jeffs, Jeff emerged triumphant! Congratulations to Jeff on his hard-fought victory. Also, condolences to Jeff on his heartbreaking loss.
In closing, thanks so much to Paige and David for hosting and setting everything up, and also to Paige's father Joe for all that he did. You all did a great job and I am sure you worked very hard to make everything turn out so well (even if those last 48 hours may have been a little bumpy). Your house was really nice and your kids were adorable.
Jes and I had a fantastic time at this gathering. Thanks to everyone for the conversations, the laughs, the food, and the Pez. You all rock! Here is a picture of everyone from the IN Crowd 2021 Pez Gathering.
In a separate feature in this month's issue, I recapped my adventures at the IN Crowd 2021 Pez gathering. In preparation for this gathering, as I did for the first two IN Crowd gatherings and also Pezamania 30, I made some swag items. Here are some details on what this swag was and how it came to be.
This year, when it was once again all about Indiana and Pez, I got to thinking about Indiana Jones. Back when those 3 classic movies came out (there was allegedly a fourth Indiana Jones movie, but I can't quite recall), there were also trading cards with scenes from the movie that were sold at corner convenience stores. Chances are if you go to a comic book store today you still may find some, although they may not be as cheap as they were back when they were first released (you know, kind of like Pez dispensers!).
So with this in mind, I made a set of 6 INDIANA PEZ trading cards, with Pezzified takes on scenes from the movies.
First up is "Indiana Pez and the Barrage of the Ball Mold," which is based on the boulder chase scene at the beginning of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Over the years, some Pezheads have caught on to the fact that Pez tends to get a lot of mileage out of this ball mold. It started innocently enough with the baseball Pez in early 2000s. Since then it's been featured on many other dispensers like Funky Faces, emojis, and most recently some Pez.com excusive holiday dispensers. This card pokes playful fun at what some consider a bit of an overuse of the ball mold.
Next up is "Indiana Pez and the Menace of the Melt Mark," which takes its cue from the horrific melting scene at the end of "Raiders of the Lost Ark," when the ark is opened and bad stuff happens. When it comes to Pez dispensers, it does not take the opening of the ark to cause some melting. As noted on this helpful page, a melt mark happens when certain types of plastic or rubber compounds come in contact with the plastic on the dispenser and start to fuse or "melt" the plastic. Granted, the melt marks on the dispenser on this trading card may be a bit beyond repair, but never say never!
Then there is "Indiana Pez and the Fate of the Monkey Sailor." Maybe you remember the dinner scene in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" when Indy, Short Round, and Willie Scott are treated to an extravagant meal at a palace. The grand finale of the meal was chilled monkey brains. In this card, the monkey is replaced with the vintage Monkey Sailor Pez dispenser from the 1960s. This may be the most unsettling Pezzification I have ever done. I know it's not real but man do I feel bad for that Monkey Sailor!
The fourth card is "Indiana Pez and Why Did It Have To Be Snakes?" Indiana Jones is well known for his fear of snakes. In "Raiders of the Lost Ark," he finds himself in a well filled with the slithery creatures. This card is a play on that scene, with a special appearance by the Kaa dispenser from the 2003 Jungle Book set.
The fifth card is "Indiana Jones and the Error of the Best Freinds." This was another disturbing Pez picture to make for sure! Its inspiration is the scene in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" where Mola Ram gets a wild hair and decided to tear out a dude's heart before dunking him into lava as a sacrifice, as you do. I thought I would try to lighten the mood a little, so I had Mola Ram hold the Valentine's Day Heart Pez that is well known in the Pez community for having a spelling error: it reads "Best Freinds" instead of "Best Friends". Now it just looks like Mola Ram was very enthusiastic about finding a unique Pez item!
And last but not least, the final card is "Indiana Jones and the Swap of the Golden Idols." This image comes courtesy of Bret Christopher, who contributed many great photos to Pezhead Monthly last year (for example, these Pez mashups of "Say Anything" and "E.T."). In this picture, Bret switches up the idol swap scene at the start of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" to a bit more of an even trade: a Golden SpongeBob Pez, a very rare and highly sought after Pez item, for the golden idol in that cave. Is Indy trading his prized Golden Spongebob for the fertility idol? Or maybe the fertility idol is his ticket to Golden SpongeBob? I guess we'll never know. In any event, big thanks to Bret Christopher for this awesome image!
On the back of each of the cards is a list of all of the card titles and a Pez haiku about what you may find in Indiana in addition to corn. (his Pez haiku is also included in this month's Pez Poetry section.)
I gave these trading cards to everyone at IN Crowd 2021 and also to a few people who were planning on going but were not able to make it. I also gave a set of the cards to Bret to thank him for his contribution of the Swap of the Golden Idols picture. I may donate some more complete sets to raffles or auctions, but otherwise I plan to either sell complete sets or else give them away individually at conventions, gatherings, or other interactions with Pezheads.
In addition to the trading card, I included a sticker in my swag that reads "Indiana Pez and the Gathering of the IN Crowd 2021." I also included a poem called "Spring-Filled Autumn." I originally wrote this poem back in 2011. This time around, I updated it with mention of some of this autumn's new releases. Who knows, maybe in autumn of 2031 I'll update it again!
Except for a few printer cartridge replacements and some minimal paper cutting, my IN Crowd swag was not that difficult to put together. And I learned a few new Photoshop skills along the way, which was a bonus. I hope that my IN Crowd 2021 swag put a smile on the face of everyone who received it and I look forward to making some more swag down the road.
Editor's Note: You can see these and all of the Indiana-related photos I've done for IN Crowd swag on the Indiana Wants Me page.
Last December, my Pez room made its big debut in this publication. A centerpiece of my Pez room was, and continues to be, my Batman display. This consists of a wall of Batman cards and other items, along with a display cabinet inside a closet that I have affectionately named The Batcave.
As you can imagine, my Batman Pez collection has grown over the last year. This is particularly true for the 2 top shelves of the Batcave, which display my official and fantasy loose Batman Pez dispensers. In the past year, I've added a bunch of new painted pieces from my Pez pal Topher, a couple of very nice stands courtesy of my Pez pal Larry, and an assortment of other pieces I have either picked up from others or have made myself. Here are pictures of these 2 shelves, followed by a picture of the entire Batcave, as of October 2021. You can click each picture for a larger view.
I definitely expect that the Batcave, as well as my overall Batman display, will continue to grow. There are a few things in development now that I am particularly excited about, but they are still a while away from being completed. I'll provide more updates in a future issue.
Driving down to
'Twas there I found
a few pals,
And I am telling
This troop of tried
and true pals,
So here's some breaking
There's more than
Cooler temps and
Find a pumpkin,
pet a spider.
And best of all,
this harvest feast
The season calls,
yes, you are summoned:
Enjoy Pez, but please do so responsibly.