Thinking Outside The Dispenser Since 2001
Hello and welcome to Pezhead Monthly! This is a special double issue covering April and May 2022. It's chock full of Pez goodness for your information and enjoyment.
March was such a very busy month in my Pez world in which I attended 2 Pez conventions, the third Pez Informational Gathering (The PIGPIGPIG) and the March 2022 Virtual Pez Convention (VPC). There's a lot to talk about and show from both of these conventions, which is the reason why I decided to make a special April/May double issue.
April has also been a big month, if only for the fact that a few days ago I registered for my first ever Michigan Pez Convention! This will be the 5th Michigan Pez Convention, which was put on hold for the past couple of years due to the pandemic. It will take place in June and I am very excited to be going. Unlike most other in-person conventions I've attended in the past few years, I am considering to go simply as a buyer (and of course as a Pezhead) rather than bringing stuff to sell out of my room. I hear it's a really fun convention, so I'd like to take as much of it in as I can. I may or may not make some swag for the convention, we'll see. One thing's for sure though: I'm very much looking forward to seeing hosts Jim and Jody Blaine and many of my other Pez pals, and hopefully some new folks too!
As you can imagine, over the course of 2 months, I added a lot of new scores to my collection. In the past, I've walked through these in this opening letter. But in this issue, and likely going forward, I am moving these out to their own feature, called "Scores!" Says He, a title that is both descriptive of its contents and an homage to one of my favorite directors, Martin Scorsese. In the debut for this feature, I Pezzified a picture from the set of Scorsese's 1976 movie "Taxi Driver." Also in this double issue are recaps of 2 conventions I attended in March: The PIGPIGPIG and the March 2022 Virtual Pez Convention. Oh, and what's that, you say you want some Pez Poetry? I hear you, buddy. In fact, in this issue I am serving up a grande (some might say vente) SIX Pez poems, all relating in some way to The PIGPIGPIG or other aspects of its host city, Cincinnati, Ohio. And finally, lest we forget, there is a Pez ode to The Slap Heard Round The World.
Oh, and one more thing. We can't let May go by without acknowledging the very special day known as May The Fourth, where we celebrate all things Star Wars. Be sure to visit Pezhead Monthly's May The Fourth page, containing a variety of Star Wars features from the archives along with some pictures of (most of) my Star Wars Pez collection.
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.
Thanks as always for reading Pezhead Monthly. Take care and see you next month!
Welcome to the debut of a new feature of Pezhead Monthly, called "Scores!" Says He. In the past, I've talked about my scores from the previous month in the Spring Loaded letter from the editor that kicks off the issue. But sometimes there are a lot of scores, and/or there may be a lot to say about some of those scores. So I thought I'd move these to a dedicated feature. As a bonus, the title of the feature is a play on the last name of one of my favorite directors, Martin Scorsese. You talkin' to me? If so, good day to you!
Let's start with my March scores, which I added from a variety of different places. From Pez.com, I picked up the limited-edition leprechaun with crystal hat. This will display nicely next to the original limited leprechaun from last year, which prompted my song "The Limited Leprechaun". From my Pez Pal Topher, I picked up a variety of different custom painted dispensers, including some Spikes, a Smurf, a Girl, a Mascot, Darth Vader, and of course some Batmans! Topher recently added a snazzy new paint style to his repertoire and it looks incredible. All of these dispensers are in the picture below and here is a closer picture of the Batmans. From the gifted artist Steve White, I received 2 fantasy pieces: a Pez girl dispenser and a Roswell, New Mexico dispenser, complete with a UFO and other stuff. From another well-known Steve in the community, Steve Glew, I received 2 more of his fantasy Pez Outlaw dispensers: Misfit and Invisible Man. And from Jungle Jim's, believe it or not, I found a Pez belt!
What's more, all of this stuff is not even counting the scores I picked up at The PIGPIGPIG For starters, I picked up the 2021 WaWa truck, a vintage stand to hold 6 non-footed Pez dispensers, and a custom dispenser that hold cards (or Pez candy packs). I also made another Batman fantasy Pez, swapping his head onto a Fuzzy Friends body. In addition, I picked up many unique pieces of swag, some of which are shown in the picture below. Standouts here include another great custom Pez from Rory that combines C3PO with pro wrestling, some bottle openers, and a tiny elephant. From the prize table, I picked up a number of things, including another Pez Outlaw dispenser (orange hat), a neat psychedelic Pez watch, a glow in the dark mug that comes with a shot glass. I also picked up a t-shirt from Pezylvania 5 that includes a mini comic featuring Batman Pez! I will eventually frame and add this to my Batman display. The big score that I am happy to share here is the MAKE-A-PIG dispenser/playset. This was made by Larry Mason, a real treasure that the Pez community is lucky to have. The dispenser can be customized with eyes, ears, tails, and more. More details and a picture are provided elsewhere in this issue in the PIGPIGPIG recap.
Here's a picture of most of my March scores. You can click on it for a larger view.
As for my April scores, the bulk of these came from a certain website of a certain candy company that also happens to sell dispensers for said candies. I'm speaking, of course, about Pez.com. On April 1, no fooling, Pez dropped a number of new items, some of which were exclusives, after just recently having added a few other new items. So I am guessing that my entire order may be similar to that of other Pezheads. Let's break it down. The headline here was clearly the new Batman 2-pack box. This is a new mold but with 2 different paint jobs: one is black and gray and the other is a retro light blue and gray, complete with a logo that clearly evokes the 1966 Batman TV show. Of course, I got an extra set to open. They are shown below in the overall April score picture, and here is a closer picture of the unopened set, the loose dispensers, and the empty box. Note the Bat signal inside the box, which is not easily visible until you take the dispensers out of the box. Between these, the customs I got from Topher in March, and some more custom Batmans I got later in April, my Batman display continues to grow by leaps and bounds. I hope to share a new picture in an issue in the near future.
Also from Pez.com, I picked up the 2022 Easter egg dispenser that is exclusive to Pez.com. In addition, I picked up Doctor Strange, the new Hello Kitty with pink bow, and the new Sonic the Hedgehog set (Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles). I rounded out my Pez.com order with four more 2-pack boxes: The 2 Sonic sets (Sonic and Tails/Sonic and Knuckles) and the 2 Care Bears sets (Grumpy and Share/Funshine and Cheer). All told, this was one of the biggest purchases I've made in a single Pez.com order. It goes without saying that I hit the $39 threshold for free shipping!
Later in April, I picked up the Pez.com exclusive dispensers Mama Bear and Papa Bear. Although it's not explicitly noted, these dispensers seem to commemorate Mother's Day and Father's Day in the upcoming months. Despite being limited to Pez.com, and having a generous limit of 3 per household, both of these have been available for 5 days (as of this writing). A similar situation happened a couple of months ago for the Starstruck Valentine's Pez dispenser. I really can't complain about the availability here- the more people who can get their hands on these Pez, the better- but I will say that Pez has trained us collectors to have an itchy trigger finger when it comes to exclusives, so I try to get these as soon as I can. Most of their Mascots have sold out very quickly, as do others like the Leprechaun. It's hard to tell which dispensers will be blink-and-you'll-miss-it ones and which will be available for a longer time. Whatever the case, the Pez Facebook groups continue to be a valuable source not only for alerting of these releases, but for picking them up at a decent price from other collectors who bought extras, in the event that you may have missed when they were available on the website.
From the VPC, I picked up the 2022 VPC dispenser, which is a baseball cap custom painted with the VPC logo. This came with some patches and a pin; the dispenser is included in the below picture and here is a picture of the full set.
From eBay, I picked up a Batman on a Philippine card. This is another welcome addition to my carded Batman collection for sure.
From Mike Herz, who has made many wonderful fantasy Pez in the past, I picked up a custom Howard the Duck Pez. And as a complete surprise, Mike also sent a fantasy Peeps Bunny dispenser! These are both so awesome. They are in the below picture and here is a closer look. Thanks so much, Mike!
From the Pez Auction page on Facebook, I picked up pair of custom Batman dispensers, with painted body parts and even custom capes. I got these from Jeff Rosenberg, but I am not sure who originally made these. So if you are out there reading this and you made these custom pieces, thank you! They will be displayed in the Batcave alongside another custom Batman that I made (also in the picture below), which is basically a regular Batman dispenser with an added cape from an old Batman toy. It looks decent for a basic custom job, although I might try to add a logo to the stem down the road.
And lastly, from a return visit to Jungle Jim's with my lovely wife (only 1 month since my last visit, may I add), I found a factory error chick that I like to call "Tippy Chick" because the head is crooked. Here are closer looks at it. Somehow, the inner sleeve of the dispenser pushed through the bottom of the outer sleeve, causing the feet to crack in one place. This is the first error of its kind that I have found and I think it is quite interesting.
Here's a picture of my April scores. You can click on it for a larger view.
Coming in May: A groovy dispenser from an overseas gathering, a new set that is getting a lot of Buzz, and more!
West Chester, Ohio was once again the place to be in March 2022. This fine Cincinnati suburb served as the setting for the third Pez Informational Gathering (P.I.G) convention, officially known as The PIGPIGPIG.
As I mentioned in my recap of the PIG TOO convention in March 2020, the P.I.G. prides itself on being "the unconventional convention". Its unique feel is thanks to the singular creative vision of its host, Josh Bales, whose infectious enthusiasm and joy for the Pez hobby carries over to everyone. Yes, this convention features room hopping and seminars like many other Pez conventions do. But these reliable standbys are mixed with some fun twists along the way. Whether he somehow finds a way to make an entire room win a game of bingo at once, or whether he invites people up to share their little corner of the hobby with everyone else, Josh's dedication to getting #handsonpez makes for a Pez convention experience that, in many ways, you won't be able to find anywhere else.
I am pleased to
report that Josh once again outdid himself with The PIGPIGPIG! What
follows is a rough recap of my adventures at this Pez convention. Check
out the "Scores!" Says He feature
in tis issue to see many of the great scores I added to my collection
from this convention.
Before I get to the actual events of the convention, I wanted to share something special that I put together for the big event. This was none other than a special print edition of Pezhead Monthly, exclusively for attendees of The PIGPIGPIG! Pezhead Monthly is typically an online-only publication, but for occasions like this it's fun to put a little something extra together on paper. I most recently did this for Pezamania 30. For the PIGPIGPIG print edition, I combined some stuff from the archives, like an interview with the Muppet Pez set and a Jungle Jim's poem, with some photo parodies and a number of new poems about Pez, pigs, and/or Cincinnati. The cover image from the print edition, "The Piggy Bunch" is included above, and another picture appears at the very end of this recap. As for the new poems, these are all included in this issue's Pez Poetry section.
I arrived on Wednesday, and was once again greeted by the sight many Pez dispensers placed around the lobby. It was such a cool sight to see and, like I mentioned for the PIG TOO, set the tone for a fun and welcoming event. After getting my room, I was soon out the door for the margarita happy hour at the nearby Mexican restaurant El Trompo. It was there where I met up with some Pez friends that I had not seen in a while, along with some new folks who were attending their first Pez convention! It was great to just hang out and talk about some of my favorite topics, including Seinfeld, Tarantino movies, Batman, and of course Pez. The food and service tried its best but alas could not match the quality of the company. When it was all over, I drove some folks back who had walked to the restaurant from the hotel. I am still not sure how Rusty was able to fit in my Jetta!
Back at the hotel I got my room set up for room hopping. I did not bring a lot to sell/trade this year, but nonetheless I think I did pretty well. In particular I was touched and honored by the fact that a number of people were interested in (and bought) the Springsteen CD parody "Orange in the USA" that I first debuted at Pezamania 30. Some very kind words were said and I can't overstate how appreciative I am for all of them.
Also this year, I thought up some new creative ways to set the room up, and will definitely be doing them again for other conventions where I am selling out of my room. These included some new signs, but most notably, I used my mini projector to project the Pezhead Monthly logo onto the wall. Here is a picture of how it looked.
Room hopping went on throughout the week. I spent a fair amount of time selling out of my own room but I also ventured out to other rooms to meet up with my Pez friends old and new. I also had a chance to see what everyone was selling. I picked up some really good stuff at the PIGPIGPIG for sure- some of it from room hopping and some stuff was won as prizes, as I mention a bit later in the recap.
On Friday afternoon, Josh led a seminar all about Donald Duck, which I think is safe to say is his favorite Pez dispenser. He laid out his collection for everyone to see and talked through all of the many, many, many variations that he had, including variations in spring types, hats, cards, and many more. There were factory errors. There were die cuts. All told, Josh informed and entertained us about Donald Duck Pez for 2 hours! It was quite a grand time.
Later on Friday, there was an event called "Speed Meeting" in the hotel lobby. This was a quick way for convention attendees to get to know one another, with questions like favorite cars, vacation spots, and more. One set of attendees remained seated and the other set rotated for each question. The event was hosted someone who I am told is an acquaintance of Josh's, professional wrestler The Royal Battler. I admit it was a little surreal to be sitting in a hotel lobby with The Royal Battler shouting things like ASK EACH OTHER ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE FOODS! But it was also hilarious. And definitely better than being on the receiving end of a piledriver, that's for sure!
Towards the end of the event my Pez Pal Rory showed up and handed out his latest custom Pez creation, in honor of The Royal Battler. Rory always does such great work, and has a gift for taking a typical Star Wars dispenser and making it something unique and awesome. This was certainly the case for his IN Crowd 2021 dispenser. Here is what he came up with for PIGPIGPIG! I dare you to not read his description in the voice of Randy "Macho Man" Savage.
Even though I am
pretty shy in these types of settings, I had a great time at this event.
But wait! The good
times on Friday kept on rolling. We all made our way into the ballroom
and were handed a package of custom Pez shoes by the Tiptons (thanks
Bob and Faye!). Josh, who was oddly absent from the speed meeting event
(I guess he had to set things up in the ballroom?), kicked things off
with a game of Bingo. As he explained, we would only be playing one
game and it was going to be a cover-all. I was a little surprised that
we were playing bingo. On an earlier occasion, Josh had mentioned that
he was not that big a fan of the game. But I figured hey, maybe he came
around on it.
Number after number was called, and as we kept going and many of us were getting closer and closer to victory, it got at times quiet and at times not so quiet. It wasn't until towards the very end that I began to catch on. Looking back on it, I think some other people figured it out before I did.
One number was called and the next and the next and then finally the ubiquitous "O 69" was called (sadly, Russ was not in attendance), and the room just erupted in cheers. That's right, EVERYONE in that room won the game at the same time! It was such a crazy twist on the game and I loved it. It really brought home one of Josh's PIG proclamations, "Everybody wins". In that moment, we all felt great, like we reached that goal together. We were all winners and nothing could stop us! Sure, I may be a bit overdramatic here, but I just thought it was a cool surprise. Somewhere, there is video of the big moment. Unfortunately I can't find it as of this writing, but maybe in a future issue.
The evening continued with many giveaways from the very large prize table. A couple of highlights come to mind. One was when my Pez Pal Randy won, and Josh surprised him with a special limited edition prize from Pez.com. (I regret to say that I can't remember what the prize was, but it was pretty cool, that's for sure.) Randy was apparently one of the first people to arrive and helped Josh set things up, including those many Pez dispensers in the lobby that I mentioned earlier. Another memorable moment was when my Pez Pal Dru won his choice of prize. He scanned over the table and passed over many rare and exclusive items. Being a big Star Wars fan, he decided on a simple, common Chewbacca in bag. I wondered what was going on there, but looking back on it, Josh mentioned something in passing earlier that prompted Dru's choice. That Chewbacca was to be traded in for what can only be described as a masterpiece by the very gifted Pez artist Angelo Canale: A custom, full-body, fully functional Pez dispenser in the shape of Gizmo from the movie "Gremlins." And he's even holding a mini pig Pez dispenser. How cool!
Saturday morning marked the next PIG event. At this point for most other Pez conventions, the ballroom would open up to attendees and the general public, and the dealers would be set up in there as people would walk around to shop, take photos, and just hang out. Attendees such as myself would say goodbye to their last few dollars for 1 or 2 more scores for the road.
But, as the PIG event is the "unconventional convention", Saturday's event is unique and is, to my mind, the true heart of the whole convention. Simply titled "The PEZ Informational Gathering Event", this involves 2 main things. The first is the grand unveiling of the special Pez dispenser made for the convention. Now, a lot can be said about convention dispensers, which are now considered an essential piece in a Pez convention goodie bag. They range from well-done homemade creations to those officially made by Pez Candy Inc., including some very nice colors, crystals, and cards that you can't find anywhere else. But you can always count on the PIG convention to go in some fun and new directions for the convention dispenser. For the first outing (which I did not attend, but registered as absentee), the dispenser was a panda that was very convincingly customized and painted to look like a pig. For PIG TOO, Josh enlisted the help of an extremely talented artist named Alma to make a miniature (and I do mean miniature!) pig Pez dispenser. Here is a picture of this item from my PIG TOO recap in 2020, with a standard Mickey Mouse dispenser for scale.
With much excitement, Josh unveiled the exclusive dispenser for The PIGPIGPIG: The MAKE-A-PIG PLAYSET!
Inspired by one of the holy grail Pez dispensers, the Make-A-Face, and designed by the very talented Larry Mason, the MAKE-A-PIG PLAYSET contains a dispenser along with a variety of customizable faces, eyes, snouts, ear, and even tails to make your dispenser truly unique. Here is a picture of the contents of the box, and below is an animated GIF of the MAKE-A-PIG I put together! Incredible work by Larry. Thanks again to Larry and Josh for this truly remarkable dispenser.
In addition to the special convention dispenser, the other thing about the Saturday morning PIG event is that it offers a chance for Pez collectors to share their knowledge and enthusiasm about whatever part of the hobby that interests them. Or maybe someone has a question about a particular dispenser or set that others in the room can answer. The thing I like about this event is it is very low pressure, casual, and friendly, and at the same time such a unique experience to share and to listen to our fellow collectors. You don't need to be a veteran or the hobby or have an encyclopedia of knowledge about a given Pez topic to present. There's no sign-up sheet, unless you count the entry field about what you might want to share when you register online.
As with the line-up at PIG TOO in 2020, the line-up for PIGPIGPIG for this event featured a broad array of presenters and topics. Kevin shared the easy-to-miss differences between dark blue and black when it comes to vintage dispensers. Michael walked us through his extensive collection of Japanese minis. Rusty shared lots of different pieces from his custom Pez collection that came from many talented artists in the Pez community. Another Rusty (no relation) shared his Swarovski crystal Pez. Steven shared his knowledge of the many, many Kooky Zoo Lions variations and passed out a handy checklist for us to keep track of them all. Becky shared some neat green variations in stems. Ryan shared some cool crocodile vintage Pez variations. Fever shared a neat variation of the vintage Roar the Lion on a red stem. All of these were great, and can be seen on the PIG Event video page (this is a Facebook link, but it is a public group so everyone should have access even if they do not have a Facebook account). Big thanks to Barry Boltinloaf for handling all of the videos.
There was one more presenter at this event to close things out. I don't recall his name, but he's that weird guy who has a website where he shares Pez recaps, poems and other stuff on (somewhat of) a monthly basis. Who is that guy again? Man, his name is on the tip of my tongue
Spoiler alert: he is me, Joe Durrant. As I did 2 years ago at PIG TOO, I shared a couple of my poems. The first was one that I wrote in April 2020 called "Me and My Eleven Buds." Before the poem, I explained how it ties in to the start of these very strange last 2 years, and where we are today. Then I performed a poem that involved some crowd participation. It was called "The Battle Hymn of the Pezhead", with the chorus "Pez keeps on keepin' on." This was a poem that I wrote way back in 2007, but updated with a new verse to reflect the anxiety that a certain website sometimes causes, and another new verse to share my joy of being at that very convention, the spectacular PIGPIGPIG. Both of these videos are available on this public Facebook post. Thanks again to Barry Boltinloaf for the videos and pictures!
This was all such a fun time and it was great to get everyone involved. Start to end, the PIG event was a blast. I will say, though, that I was so beside myself that I when I left the room, I actually forgot a few of my Pez items (including the MAKE-A-PIG!!). I eventually was able to get everything back but there were a few brief moments of tension for sure.
The final events of The PIGPIGPIG were on Saturday night and were the PIG Toast and PIG TIME Rasslin'. For the PIG Toast, Josh partnered with local brewery The Common Beer Company to open a tap. All of us who were of legal age were given our own bottles of a special brew called The PIG Toast and a bottle opener, and a keg was even tapped. Josh made a toast to all who donated prizes and presented at the PIG event, and to all attendees. A toast was of course also made to Larry Mason for his work on the MAKE-A-PIG playset. And last but not least a toast was made from the crowd to Josh, for all of his time and hard work to make The PIGPIGPIG such a great time.
As for PIG Time Rasslin', Josh had already thrown so many surprises at us that I honestly had no idea what to expect at this event. Perhaps a pro wrestling ring was going to be set up right there in the ballroom? Perhaps The Royal Battler was going to make another appearance? Perhaps The Iron Sheik would show up and make somebody humble by putting them in the Camel Clutch?
It turned out to be another fun opportunity for prizes. But not just any kind of prizes! As Fever Blister exclaimed many times, so often that it became the quote of the night, if not the entire convention FABULOUS PRIZES!
Four lucky attendees had their name called and prizes were awarded in heavyweight, lightweight, and tag team title categories. I would like to point out that Rusty, the tallest man at the convention, was one of the winners and opted for the lightweight title. You gotta love that.
After hanging out in the ballroom afterwards for a bit, it was off to the room floors again for some more mingling and last-minute room hopping.
And thus ended The PIGPIGPIG. I cannot thank Josh Bales enough for all that he did for this convention and for bringing us all together. For the laughter, the camaraderie, the knowledge sharing, the BINGO, the MAKE-A-PIG, the Fabulous Prizes- all of it. I am so proud of all that he did. He's a guy with big visions and an eagerness to share his love of the hobby and The PIGPIGPIG was the perfect place for it. I am already looking forward to the next PIG, whenever that may be!
The last PIG convention, PIG TOO, took place in March 2020, literally a week or so before COVID-19 changed the world. We got together and laughed and celebrated, having no idea of what chaos, isolation, and tragedy was coming just around the corner. Sometimes I think back to that time and wish I could go back there for a very long while. But if I did that, then I could not have made all of the new Pez memories since then. I could not have been to 2 Indiana gatherings and the most epic Pezamania ever. There would not have been the numerous Virtual Pez Conventions to attend and enjoy. And most of all I could not have made it back to Cincinnati, Ohio for the PIGPIGPIG!
It may have taken a little longer than expected, but we met again at The PIGPIGPIG. And I know we'll meet again, one sunny day!
There once was a
Pezhead named Porky
P ack your
bags and make a mad spree,
P ez is on
the grand agenda
toys and candy bricks
This little piggy
The first little
pig bought candy straws
The second little
pig bought candy sticks
The third little
pig bought candy bricks,
So woeful and so sad,
So he tilted back his toy and shared
The candy bricks he had.
Their frowns turned
Three little pigs
are friends today,
There once was a
Pezhead named Billy
Mine eyes have seen
the glory of a vintage Pez display,
Pez keeps on keepin'
I have seen a vintage
Mickey and an Annie mint on card,
Pez keeps on keepin'
I have seen so many
Pez Pals like the Pirate and the Nurse,
Pez keeps on keepin'
I have visited the
website that is known as Pez Dot Com
Pez keeps on keepin'
So now I'm off to
Cincinnati and the P.I.G.
Pez keeps on keepin' on!
They say that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. For Pezheads in March 2022, the first part of that saying was true- March indeed came in like a lion (or a wrecking ball, as Miley Cyrus would say) with The PIGPIGPIG, which I discussed elsewhere in this issue. But it also went OUT like a lion, with the latest installment of the Virtual Pez Convention (VPC) that took place on March 26, hosted as always by Landon Proctor and Morgan Rhinehart. The VPC started during the pandemic and it keeps on rollin'. It is a unique convention because it can be attended by anyone all over the world from the comfort of their homes, and it offers an inside glimpse into the rooms and worlds of Pezheads who share their Pez collections.
The March VPC continued the tradition of having a little bit of everything, including room tours, giveaways, and, as its grand finale, a quartet of bingo games and a social hour to wrap things up.
The VPC's charity is the VPC Community Involvement Scholarship, which awards scholarships to students who demonstrate involvement in and service to their communities. It's a great charity and Pezheads have generously donated to it. One great way to donate to the charity is by getting the 2022 VPC dispenser. This year's dispenser is a custom baseball hat with the VPC logo on it. It also comes with three patches and a postcard. I've ordered one and I really like it. Using the baseball cap is a neat and different approach. As of this writing they are still available for a total of $35 shipped. Get yours here!
As for the VPC's room tours, these were great as always. It is always enlightening to see the way someone displays their Pez collection. Not only are you almost sure to see things that you've never seen before, since each Pezhead's collection is unique, but you may also get some ideas that you can bring over to your Pez room too. It is in fact my hope to have my Pez room in good enough shape to do a room tour at the next VPC, set to take place in the fall of this year. Fingers crossed because I think I have a lot of work ahead of me!
The first couple of room tours for this VPC were for hosts of Pez gatherings coming later this year. First up was Katie Chrzanowski, host of the Maryland Pez Gathering, taking place on May 21, 2022. Katie's room had a little bit of everything, and it all added up to a lot! I really liked the way she had displayed everything from signed Pez to Funko Pops to ninja turtles. I would love to go to the Maryland Pez gathering one day, but alas it will not be this year. I will however be going to a "Weird Al" Yankovic concert on that day, so I can't complain! You can check out Katie's room tour here.
Next up on the room tour front was Joe Gaydos, who is the host of the IN Crowd 2022 gathering. This will actually take place at the house of his daughter, Paige Sanning, where IN Crowd 2021 was also held. I liked Joe's display cabinets, especially the ones for his trucks. The dark wood on the cabinets looked really nice. His collection was pretty big and varied and it was fun to watch him walk us through it. In particular, I liked Joe's idea of rotating out holiday dispensers on a given shelf or two. As our collections continue to grow, we Pezheads need to find creative ways to display everything while trying our best no to overcrowd the display. It's an ongoing process for sure! I look forward to seeing Joe, Paige, and more of my Pez pals later this year at IN Crowd 2022! You can check out Joe's room tour here.
Following Joe was another
Joe, but we'll get to that later.
Next up for the featured tour was Sandy and Cheryl Gardner-Ghionzoli, hosts of Pez On The River (POTR). The next POTR takes place on September 8-10, 2022, in Winona, MN, and while I would love to attend, I don't know if I'll be able to make it this year. Sandy and Cheryl have a really impressive Pez collection, but unfortunately there were some technical issues with the Zoom call. I also briefly stepped out during this tour due to a loudly growling stomach that demanded a pizza sacrifice. But I was able to enjoy Sandy and Cheryl's Pez artwork and vintage pieces and also was impressed with their huge variety of convention dispensers. There is a lot more to see here, so I encourage you to check out the whole tour here.
Following Sandy and Cheryl was a first for the VPC: a tour of an enabler's collection! An enabler, for those unfamiliar, is a friend or family member who encourages their beloved Pezhead (or any other kind of collector) in the passion of their hobby. As it turns out, enablers sometimes have pretty cool collections too! This was definitely the case for Jeff Sheetz, husband of Pezhead Jennifer Sheetz. Jeff showed off his extensive collection of music memorabilia, including signed albums, awards, and other materials by everybody from Michael Buble to Dave Matthews to Etta James and more. Jeff had a guitar signed by 80s band The Stray Cats that I thought was very cool. As Landon said at one point, music speaks to everyone, and there was certainly a lot of interest in this tour. I look forward to other enablers showing off their collections in VPCs down the road. Jeff did a great job and you can check out his tour here.
Rounding out the room tours was one for Matt Makuch and Sara Adams. Matt and Sara have both been collecting Pez since 1997 and are engaged to be married in July 2022. This way, their honeymoon can coincide with Pezamania, which I think is pretty cool! A few things stood out to me in their room tour. First off, their truck display was creative. They used cassette tape holders and removed every other shelf, and the trucks fit perfectly and display nicely. I may need to keep this in mind for future updates to my truck display. Also, I was blown away by their army of boys and girls, including their army of bridges and grooms. Many official and fantasy pieces are in these armies and they just look awesome. Matt and Sara also had an amazing blacklight display of Pez girl POPs/POP+Pez. There were some great neon colors that really popped, no pun intended. You can check out their entire room tour here.
After the room tours there were some giveaways, open to all convention attendees who were present, and then 4 bingo games to round out the event. Lots of great stuff was donated by members of the Pez community and there were of course some big winners. Congratulations to all!
Oh yeah, about that other Joe. That would be me! I was quite honored to be asked back by the VPC to read some more of my poetry. I had a lot of fun at the previous VPC in October 2021, where I dressed up as "Weird Al" Yankovic for Halloween and read a spooky poem called "A Pezhead's Fear." For the March VPC, I read the poem "Bring the Spring," a poem I wrote 12 years ago. But before that poem, I thought I would try something a little different that I put together just the night before. Wearing a bunny nose and ears, I started out with some pretty awful pun work and then moved into a Pezzified version of the first verse of Sugarland Gang's "Rapper's Delight", which I like to think of as "Pezzer's Delight." There were also a few Pez dispensers who made an appearance alongside some of the updated lyrics. As for the performance, let's just say that I won't be challenging Eminem to a rap-off (or whatever the kids are calling it these days) anytime soon. Let's also just say that things really started going off the rails halfway through "Pezzer's Delight" when the bunny ears fell off. But it was a fun time and hopefully brought a smile and/or a chuckle to someone's face! Here is a video that contains both "Pezzer's Delight" and "Bring the Spring" (along with a cameo by some of my Batman display in the background).
I had a great time at the March VPC. It was nice to see everyone virtually again and also to see all of the room tours and the unique ways that each Pez collector sets up their display. The enabler tour was a welcome new touch and I hope that continues in future VPCs. There were plenty of "wow" moments for sure in each of the room tours! Thanks again to Morgan and Landon for being great hosts and also for having me on the program. I really enjoyed it all and I am already looking forward to the next VPC down the road.
The below picture appeared on Pezhead Monthly for most of April 2022, but it was technically not included in an issue. So here for posterity's sake is a Pezzified version of the infamous Will Smith slap of Chris Rock at the Oscars. The greatest tragedy is all of the Pez candy that was spilled that day.
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