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August 2022
Thinking Outside The Dispenser Since 2001

Spring Loaded: A Message From the Editor
"Scores!" Says He: July 2022
Pezamania 31: 'Twas Flippin' Fun
Pez Poetry

Spring Loaded: A Message from the Editor | top

Hello and welcome to Pezhead Monthly! Sit for a spell, why don't you.

The biggest event in July for the Pez world was, without question, Pezamania 31, the World's Largest Gathering of Pez Collectors, which took place as always in Cleveland, Ohio. This Pez convention is always an epic, tremendous time, and bee tee dubs, it was also a huge factor in the creation of Pezhead Monthly, so it holds a special place in my heart. This year did not disappoint in the least and I was so glad to attend.

This month's issue of Pezhead Monthly is pretty much all about Pezamania. The centerpiece is a recap of my Pezamania adventures, complete with a luchadore, a guillotine, references to Three Amigos and Bill and Ted, alohas and alohas, and perhaps a mention or two of Batman. I will also say, in the spirit of this year's Pezamania theme of superheroes and the occasional movies that are made about them, you'll definitely want to stick around after the recap credits start rolling, as there may or may not be at least one bonus scene. Heck, even this month's cover image and Pez Poetry tie in to Pezamania's superhero theme. Pretty much the only things in this issue that are not related to Pezamania are a rundown of my non-Pezamania July scores and (some of) the rest of this letter!

Looking back on the year so far, it's a little hard to believe that I've attended 3 in-person Pez conventions. I can't remember the last time that happened in a single year! Factoring in the Virtual Pez Convention (VPC) from earlier this year, and the VPC and IN Crowd gathering that I'll be attending later this year, and that's a very busy Pez calendar! A fun-filled one, no doubt, but also quite busy.

And I have to tell you, especially after putting so much time and energy into this current issue and the last one, I could really use a breather. So with this in mind, I'll soon be taking a road trip with my lovely wife, and I'll also be skipping the September issue of Pezhead Monthly. I will return with new content in October. I may post a quick "Hello there" and my August scores in September, but that will be it.

Thanks as always for reading Pezhead Monthly. Take care and see you soon!

Joe Durrant
Editor, Pezhead Monthly

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.

"Scores!" Says He: July 2022 | top

July was a big month for Pez scores for me. Most of these were found at Pezamania 31. A rundown and pictures of my Pezamania scores can be found here.

However, I did get a bunch of other scores in July that were not from Pezamania. From Pez.com, I got 2 separate packages. The first one was the new box set of E.T. mini Pez dispensers, released to commemorate 40 years since the classic movie was released. E.T. was also released on standard sized Pez dispenser stems in 2002, perhaps to commemorate 20 years since the movie's release. So.. maybe in another 20 years we'll get giant E.T. Pez? (I also feel inclined here to call back to Bret Christopher's Pezzification of a scene from E.T. that graced the pages of the May 2020 issue of Pezhead Monthly). In this same packages, I also picked up the box set of Buzz and Socks from the recent Lightyear movie.

Also from Pez.com, I picked up another in their recent line of Mascots. It had been about 5 months since the last mascot drop on Pez.com (Raspberry Mascot), and these are always big events that tend to be sold out very quickly. This time around it was the Watermelon Sourz Mascot, which is distinguished from most of its predecessors by kooky eyes and a stem imprint with "Sours" and a watermelon slice that, my Pez pal Becky pointed out, looks a lot like a pizza slice. Interestingly enough, the Watermelon Sourz came on a card with 3 other Mascot colors. So perhaps there are other Sours Mascots on their way? (Spoiler alert, there's at least one more, which I will reveal in an upcoming issue!)

From the Pez Outlaw himself, Mr. Steve Glew (with more than a little help from Mr. Larry Mason), came three more fantasy Pez Outlaw dispensers affectionately known as "McHookers." Their distinguishing feature, in addition to a sweet ponytail on the head, is an outline of a truck carved into the stem, which is a callback to the trucks mentioned in the "Pez Outlaw" documentary. These look great!

From my Pez pal Topher, I picked up another fantasy Batman for my Batcave. This one has a green stem and a bronze head and I really dig it.

Out in the wild, I picked up something old and something new. The "something new" was another card variation of the black 2022 Batman. This one is on a card from Walmart that has double the candy. The "something old" was a rare occurrence indeed: a vintage Pez found in an antique store! For the low cost of $7, I picked up a 3.9 no foot Mickey Mouse on a yellow Hong Kong stem. This is actually the third vintage Mickey on a no foot yellow stem in my collection, and they are all unique. Here is a picture of all 3 of them, with my newest July score on the left.

My final non-Pezamania July score is not technically a new score, but still a fun discovery. In last month's (non-convention) score rundown, I noted that I picked up a new variation of the Less Than Jake CD "Pezcore." Along these same lines, I recently realized that the other Less Than Jake CD in my collection, "The Pez Collection," is still in its plastic wrapping. Rather than opening it, I decided to grab another copy off of eBay in hopes of more Pez goodness in the insert. I was not disappointed! On the back of the insert is pictured the Kooky Zoo set and a close-up of the Clown Whistle, underneath the CD is a close-up of the Pez Pal Boy, and on the inside of the insert is a picture of many of the whistles (often referred to in the Pez world as "Merry Music Makers") that came out in the 1980s and 1990s.

Here is a picture of all of my non-Pezamania July scores. You can click it for a larger view.

Pezamania 31: 'Twas Flippin' Fun | top

It was my pleasure to return again to Independence, Ohio for the world's biggest Pez convention, Pezamania. This year's convention, Pezamania 31, hosted for one last time by Rick and Sue Marlowe, did not disappoint in the least. First off, its theme was Superheroes, which, I mean, heck yeah. As always, it gave a chance for Pezheads from around the world to gather and have fun, and it provided an unmatched amount of Pez to buy, sell, and trade in a single event. This year there was also a fond farewell and news of some exciting changes ahead. I also brought some swag to the convention and exchanged it for some fine swag items, and of course picked up some nice scores. Read on for all of this and more!

Independence Day(s)

I arrived at that Holiday Inn on Wednesday evening with a dollar and a dream. In retrospect, I should have brought more money.

Okay, let's start again. As a convention attendee veteran, I knew how important it was to be prepared, especially for Pezamania. Yes, cash (and a functioning ATM card for more cash) is important. But I was also armed with my wish list and photos of my collection to see what new pieces or variations I may be missing.

Once at the hotel, I immediately picked up my registration packet, which included 2 convention dispensers, a very nice t-shirt, and a bunch of other goodies. Soon thereafter I realized that this may have been the first time I arrived at the convention on an empty stomach. For the record, I don't recommend this! Fortunately, dinner across the street at my favorite local place, Winking Lizard, really hit the spot.

Then it was not long at all before I was out and about room hopping for Pez and meeting my Pez pals, armed with a plastic bin containing my swag for swapping with others (more on this later). This was mixed here and there with returning to my room, where I dropped off my scores and set out for sale the stuff that I brought with me.

I continued to split my time between room hopping and hanging out in my room on Thursday, along with other stuff. For one, I headed out to lunch at another of my favorite local places, The Hot Dog Diner in Parma. The hot dogs were just as delicious as ever, even though they were only available in the drive-thru and I ended up eating in my car (the outdoor benches were near some construction and it was a bit windy too). From there, I made my way to the nearby Sweetie's candy warehouse, a must-stop for any Pezamania attendee. I stop there every year, and as a bonus last year I swung by again in September 2021, when I found some new Pez. This time the Pez selection was pretty picked over- but then again, a Pez convention is in town so that should be expected! I did not walk away with anything except for a few rolls of Necco chocolate wafers, but it's always a good time to visit Sweetie's.

Later on Thursday, after a return visit to a very nice nearby barbeque place called Mission BBQ, I attended the Trade Night event in the ballroom. In years past I would arrive early and set up a table (with some paper copies of Pezhead Monthly, back when that was a thing), but this year I thought I would take a different approach and just walked around with my plastic bin of swag. I enjoyed doing this because I got to see more tables and talk to more people, and it was a great chance to swap swag with others.

I did some more room hopping after the Trade Night event, and when I got back to my room and did some calculations, I had gone through almost all of my budget! But then I came upon a great solution: get a bigger budget. This is something I will have to keep in mind for future Pezamanias, because at this convention especially holes tend to form in pockets. That's the only answer I have for how quickly money goes away! That's okay, I didn't need that extra kidney anyway.

Friday brought the welcome return of the Pez seminar, with a variety of Pez experts and dealers including John Devlin, Joe Paravati, John LaSpina, and Chris Jordan. There was also an empty chair in remembrance of another giant of the Pez community who passed away earlier this year, Mike Chadwick. The panelists told some stories of their greatest scores and lots of other fun and interesting information about Pez. The Pez community is lucky to have people like this and a forum like Pezamania for them to share their expertise and stories. I really enjoyed what I saw of the seminar, even if I had to duck out a bit early.

The Pez Outlaw himself, Steve Glew returned to Pezamania shortly after the seminar. Rick and others tried their absolute best to set up a screening of his movie, "The Pez Outlaw," but logistically it could not work out. I can only imagine how much would have had to go into that with such a large convention. But having Steve there was a treasure on its own. It was good to see him again and I picked up a different version of his movie poster than the one I scored last month in Michigan (more on that later…).

I continued to hang out in my room for a few sales here and there, and did my best to stretch my remaining dollars with some room hopping. While some of the larger priced items were beginning to get out of my price range, I still found a few small gems here and there. This included some Batmans with some interesting colors.

One notable stop was in a room that measured how tall you are in Pez candies. I was very curious so I had to give it a go. According to the scale, I am 344 Pez candies tall! This is very important information, although as of this writing I am not sure exactly why. But it is! Here is a picture of the magic scale in question.

After a trip to the Land Down Under, or more specifically the Outback Steakhouse a few steps away from the hotel, I boomeranged back to the hotel ballroom for Family Fun Night. As long as I've attended Pezamania, or at least as long as I can remember, this has always been the centerpiece of the convention. It's the one event that brings together pretty much everyone at the convention at once (this year my understanding is that was about 400 attendees!). There are games, auctions, and raffles throughout the night. There are hundreds, nay, thousands of dollars bid on great items for a wonderful charity know as Gliding Stars. There is the announcement of who will receive the great honor of Pezhead of the Year. There is tension waiting for that next number or card to be called. There is laughter and goofiness and camaraderie, and so much more.

This year was carried an extra weight as it was convention hosts Rick and Sue Marlowe's last year as hosting Pezamania. They had hosted for several years, and before that worked closely with the previous hosts, John and Linda Gliha. I honestly can't remember when Rick was not the emcee of the Friday night event. He's left an indelible mark on the convention and on the Pez community as a whole.

Given all of this, and also given that this year's theme was Superheroes, I felt it was time to bust out a costume for the first time ever at a Pez convention. Astute readers of Pezhead Monthly may have learned over the years that I am somewhat of a Batman Pez fan. So, thanks to a hot tip from my Pez pal Jim Dubberly, I walked into the room wearing a Batman Funko mask, which I paired with a "You're not famous until your head is on a Pez dispenser" shirt to complete the Batman Pop Pez look. Here is a picture!

Photo credit: Pamela Roland

I greeted Rick and other Pezheads, and everything was fine and dandy until I realized that my peripheral vision was pretty much non-existent and that this, combined with my already lacking sense of coordination, meant that I bumped into pretty much every chair in the room and almost fell flat on my face a couple of times. All of that being said, this worked out much better than my first experience with a Batman Pez costume, where my homemade cardboard creation ended up blowing across the campus of Niagara University in the mid 1990s.

I sat down at a table with people who I knew from previous years, including the co-host of last month's Michigan Pez Convention, Mr. Jim Blaine. This also included my Pez pal Karen, who I also sat next to at… wait for it… the Michigan Pez Convention!. I don't think they knew who the man was behind the mask at first. But once I took it off, I saw the looks that said "Of course that's Joe Durrant." It's pretty much the same look I get whenever I go to Five Guys or Starbucks.

At about 6pm, the evening's festivities kicked off with a welcome by Rick along with the birthdays, remembrances, and recognition of first-time attendees that we've all come to know and love. Then, being as this was the end of an era with Rick and Sue stepping down as convention hosts, Rick spent some time thanking his staff for all of their help over the years, from running the kids games to helping out in the registration room, and spending long hours of their own vacation time to make sure Pezamania was the big, memorable event that we all know it as.

Soon thereafter, it was time to announce the Pezhead of the Year. This is a very big honor that is bestowed upon a member of the Pez community that goes above and beyond in bringing a new level of knowledge, support, and visibility of the Pez community. This year's winner, narrowly (or perhaps not so narrowly) beating out my odds-on favorite, David Hasselhoff, was none other than the man himself, RICK MARLOWE! It was a beautiful and perfect moment, and without a doubt well-deserved!

And the hits just kept on coming. The next big announcement was who the new Pezamania hosts were going to be. The announcement took a lot of us by surprise, myself included. The new hosts, narrowly (or perhaps not so narrowly) beating out my odds-on favorite, David Hasselhoff, were announced to be none other than Landon Proctor and Morgan Rhinehart! That's right, Landon and Morgan, along with their respective spouses Christene and Jeff, will be taking over next year starting with Pezamania 32. In their speech, they emphasized what a cornerstone Pezamania is for the Pez community and they were looking forward to maintaining that as well as bringing some new ideas. They also announced that Chad and Emily Davis will be taking over the kids games. I think this is a great choice. Supported by her father Chad, Emily is a fantastic young artist who always brings her A-game, including for this year's swag swap (more on that later).

Now, astute readers of Pezhead Monthly, as well as the vast majority of the Pez community, already know Morgan and Landon as co-hosts of the Virtual Pez Convention (VPC). The VPC took form in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has grown to be a staple of the convention circuit, having been built up to 2 VPCs per year and giving us a chance to see inside each other's Pez rooms and to connect with each other across the world virtually. Landon and Morgan have assured everyone that the VPC will still go on with them as hosts, although they will be getting some more support there. I don't know how they'll be able to do it all, but I am looking forward to it for sure!

I for one, though I know I am not the only one, am really excited for our new Pezamania hosts, Landon and Morgan. They bring an energy and their own unique humor and sensibilities, and they are well known in the Pez community for their kindness, humor, and love of the hobby. They've proven through the VPC that they can host a convention and are just fun, outgoing people that you enjoy hanging out with. And, with Landon also being a Toastmaster and a skilled auctioneer, we've definitely got some great family fun nights ahead of us. I can't wait to see what they and their crew bring next year!

After all of these announcements, I think everyone needed a breather. Turns out we got one! Everybody take five!

We returned to the ballroom to play lots of games, specifically, lots of games of Match-a-mania. With the theme of this year being Superheroes, a lot of the prizes were superhero Pez dispensers, and what great ones they were. Whether it was a vintage Hulk or Thor or one of the fantastic softhead dispensers, there were no shortage of great prizes that were kindly donated by other Pezheads. One could even say that there was a plethora, Jefe. The catch, of course, was that you actually had to win a game to get the prizes. And, as has been a recurring theme in years past, this proved to be a rather difficult endeavor. Whether the game was over in 10 card calls or 40 of them, the folks at our table were always just on the precipice (okay, let's face it, pretty freakin' far from the precipice) and victory eluded us throughout the night. But that's okay!

Early on in the games there were a couple of great moments. At one point Larry Mason presented Rick with a giant card that read "And all the Pezheads say… THANK YOU" It was signed my many members of the community. At another point, Eddie Santiago, in a killer luchador mask, came up to present Rick with a belt in the style of a pro wrestling championship belt. On the belt it read "RICK MARLOWE: PEZ CHAMPION". These were two very nice sendoffs for Rick and it was so great to be a witness to them. Here are pictures of these two great moments.

Photo credit (both): PEZAMANIA Facebook page

Also interspersed between the games throughout the night were some very nice auctions for some great Pez stuff, with all winning bids going to the official Pezamania charity, Gliding Stars of Toledo. This also included some silent auctions that were going on in the front of the room. For the live auctions, there was artwork by Eddie and Emily. There were pens by Carl. There were autographed Pez dispensers and convention prototype dispensers, and so much more. For some of the auctions, Rick had to turn the microphone over to Landon because he was getting too emotional to call for bids. This included the evening's big auction, a remembrance basket for our dear Mike Chadwick, who the Pez community sadly lost earlier this year. Similar to the basket at the Michigan Pez convention, this one was filled with pieces from his collection, including some really groovy Odie test pieces. The bidding got pretty high up there, and as we were closing in on the final bid (from Mr. Jim Blaine no less!), other Pezheads started to jump in and offered to add $100 each. Many people jumped in and it was very exciting and touching. It brought me back to a month ago in Michigan, when the room was filled with similar raises of the hand. It was a moving remembrance to Mike and I know that his wife Yvonne, who was at Pezamania and in that room, really appreciated it. All told and with all of the extra pitch-ins, I believe the final count for the basket was $4500! Just incredible.

The evening was filled with memorable times and wrapped up close to 10pm. At that point I was getting pretty tired, but not tired enough to stop partaking in a bit more room hopping. I actually made it all the way up to the 5th floor, where I found a room with lots of great stuff. I walked out of it with a sweet Batman Pez header card. Not a bad way to end the day!

The Saturday floor show was, as always lots of fun but was also bittersweet. Sure, this is the grand finale of the convention (not counting some auctions and games later in the day) where a huge amount of dealers set up in the ballroom and the amount of Pez in that one room is simply unrivaled. It's also a chance to catch up with people you may have missed earlier at the convention or even see some people who just came for the floor show (shout out to Terrence!). But it's also the last time that many Pezheads get a chance to see each other for a while.

Or is it? The thing is, that's not really the case anymore. When I first attended Pez conventions, it was pretty much a once-a-year thing. But now, personally speaking, there are 3 conventions within 5 hours of home, not to mention other conventions and gatherings that I am long overdue to attend (looking at you, Pez on the River! Hopefully next year…). There's also the IN Crowd gathering in October (and other gatherings all over the country and world), and let's not forget the 2 VPCs each year. And then you throw in the Facebook Pez groups and all of the knowledge and fun we have there. The truth is that Pezheads have never been more connected than they are today, and that is a wonderful thing.

I did walk around that ballroom many times as always and picked up some more scores, with one of the highlights definitely being another Batman Pez art print from Eddie (to add to the 2 other ones I picked up last year). I said my goodbyes to everyone, and gave both Rick and Sue big hugs and thanked them for a great year and for all they've done in their time as Pezamania hosts and all of the memories and joy they brought to the Pez community. I was very glad to hear that they'll be coming back next year as attendees and selling out of their room. I'm looking forward to hopping over to their room at Pezamania 32!

And with that, I closed the book on another great time at Pezamania. I rounded out Saturday with a road trip to Wegmans and a couple of episodes of Umbrella Academy.

Pezamania 31 was so many things wrapped up in one. It was a continuation of the biggest and longest running Pez convention ever, and all of the fun and memorable pieces of it that we look forward to every year and miss as soon as we leave the hotel on Sunday. It was a fond farewell to hosts Rick and Sue Marlowe and their hard-working and dedicated staff who have brought this convention to life for many years. It was also a changing of the guard moment, as we all look ahead excitedly to what Morgan, Landon, and their team will bring to the convention next year (no pressure, guys!). And of course it was a great chance to meet up with Pez Pals old and new, and to see, buy, sell, and trade more Pez in a single place than you'll ever see.

THANK YOU most of all to Rick and Sue for another great convention and for pouring your heart into this endeavor for so long. You definitely deserve some rest! Thank you also to all of my Pez Pals for the swag swaps, for the scores, for the smiles and laughter, for your expertise, and just for being awesome people. I am so glad to be a part of the Pez community with you and I can't wait to see you again sometime down the road.

I am already looking forward to Pezamania 32 next year! Until then, up… up… and away!


[[credits start to roll…]]


Mid-Credit Scene: All Aboard the Swaggin' Wagon!

Last year was the first time that I put together swag for Pezamania and I went all out. Being relatively new to the swag scene, having offered my first swag in 2019 at the first IN Crowd gathering, I upped my game in a big way for Pezamania 30. I also came away from that experience with a lot to learn. First of all, I learned not to overdo it. Make sure your swag is good and memorable, make sure it stands out somehow. But keep it to 1 or 2 pieces if possible. Second, don't be afraid to try new things, but also work with the skills you already have, especially if time is a factor. And lastly, try to cut back on the manual labor, especially for a big convention like Pezamania where you should aim for at least 50-60 swag packs to swap. The amount of scissor cutting I did for last year's swag is something I'll never forget, and I think my hands still cramp now and then just thinking about it!

This year's added challenge with swag was that I had a shorter window to get it done. I spent a good amount of time before the big Michigan Pez convention in June making swag for that convention, so I only really got to the Pezamania swag when I got home from Michigan.

But I think things turned out pretty well this year. First off, to help reduce the scissor cutting, I invested in a guillotine paper trimmer. This turned out to be the biggest helper for swag since I picked up a long stapler for the PIGPIGPIG convention in March. There was still some hand cutting involved, but it was much, much more bearable. Also, the swag I made last year gave me some great starting points for what to put together this year.

As for the swag itself, it consisted of 2 parts (well, technically 3 parts, but the third part was a piece of paper that described the other 2 parts). The first part was an update to the coin I included as part of my Pezamania 30 swag. This year, in honor of Pezamania's superhero theme and to celebrate my favorite superhero, Batman, I updated the coin to be a hybrid of the Pez clown and Batman's cowl. I also updated the haiku on the other side of the coin as an homage to the opening lines from the 1966 Batman theme song (the haiku also appears in this month's Pez Poetry section). And, it may seem minor, but last year I noted the year on the coin and I updated it this year. I think I will keep on doing this for at least the next year or two, perhaps changing the head side to match up to whatever the convention's theme is. And after that? Well, all I'm saying is that the coins fit pretty well on a puck dispenser, and who knows where that will lead!

Here is a side-by-side picture of the front of last year's coin compared to that of this year's.

The second part of my Pezamania swag was a series of Pez parodies of superhero images. For one of these, I dug way back into the archives, June 2009 to be exact, for a pezzification of Wolverine. For another, I just had to look back to February of this year to find my Peacemaker parody. Then I also made 2 brand new Pez photo parodies. The first one was for Superman, which also serves as this issue's cover image (it's also Superman holding a Superman dispenser! To quote the non-Bill half of Bill and Ted, Woah!) For the second one, I got a little silly. For a while now on the internet, there has been a meme of 2 Spider-Men pointing at each other. With last year's big movie "Spider-Man: Far From Home," the meme was updated with 3 Spider-Men because (spoiler alert!) all Spider-Men from the 3 different movie franchises were in this new movie: Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland. So I decided to swap out the heads with heads from some of the various Spider-Man dispensers over the years. And thus, this was born!

I printed all of these superhero pics out (and, in the case of Spidey and Wolverine, reprinted them the night before heading out to the convention for better quality), used my handy guillotine paper trimmer, and placed them in some colorful frames I picked up from Amazon. The frames were cardboard, but they also had fold-out stands so that the pictures could be stood up for display. This gave each swag swapper 2 choices to customize their swag: pick a superhero and then pick a frame color.

Below are pictures of my swag contents (not including all of the frame color variations), along with the assembled swag in the container that I ended up carrying all over Pezamania.

For the record, the Spidey picture was the big hit of the set. It was the only one that I ran out of by the end of the convention!

Now, there are definitely a few perks of making swag for a Pez convention. One is the fun you will (hopefully) have bringing an idea into fruition and the craft of actually making the swag. Ideally you'll enjoy whatever process you're doing to make the swag happen, although maybe not every part of it. And yes, there may be some long hours involved, but when you finally get everything assembled and ready to go, it's a great feeling. Another perk is that you get to hand out your swag to other people and see the smiles on their faces when they see what you brought.

And let's not forget a very nice perk indeed: the "swap" part of the swag swap, where in exchange for handing out your Pez swag, you get some really great stuff from other Pezheads! And wouldn't you know it, the more swag you swap, the more you get. Here is all of the swag I swapped for at Pezamania 31.

I'd like to take just a few moments to call out a few of my favorite swag items from this convention. This is nothing against all of the others I picked up, and there was so much of it as the picture above shows! But some stuff just really stands out for its uniqueness, craftsmanship, and creativity.

Andrea's fantasy Pez cape

Now here is a GREAT idea that celebrates Pezamania 31's superhero theme: a custom-made cape with a "P" logo! It will fit on most any dispenser with holes on the side of its head, such as … checks notes… OMG BATMAN. I was so excited to receive this, although I have mixed feelings: do I keep it in the bag? Or do I open it and add it to one of the Batmans in my Batcave display? I gotta tell you, option #2 is pretty much inevitable. Also, this apparently comes in 3 other colors?! I may have to get in touch with Andrea and see if we can swap again!

Cameron's Star Wars magnet

Cameron is a great artist in the Pez community. His photographs of Pez on matching backgrounds and the compositions are top notch. He brought with him to Pezamania 31 a number of different pictures on magnets. I had to go with this awesome photo, which features the 4 crystal Star Wars dispensers from the Darth Vader tin from several years back. I really dig it!

Emily's Pezamania coloring & activity book

Speaking of great Pez artists, let's hear it for Emily, whose Pezamania 31 swag was a Pezamania coloring and activity book with a superhero theme. Yes, this is the same Emily who will be running the kids games at next year's convention. She also has made many great pieces of artwork, some that she has donated to convention auctions and have gone for high prices. Emily is a very talented artist and I am excited to see her continue her craft. As for this activity book, it's got a bit of everything, including some coloring pages, a maze, and even a word search!


And lastly, a collection of top swag would not be complete without an entry from my Pez pal Rory. Rory is one of the most gifted Pez artists I know and also a cool dude. His specialty is fantasy pieces made from "vintage" Star Wars dispensers. This time (and I feel like I say this every time, because it's true), he really outdid himself. Check out the above pic of CAPTAIN KASHYYKMAN, which features a Chewbacca head on a mini stem, arms and feet from (I think) a set of caveman body parts, and a chest piece that… well, I just don't know how he did that. But the setup is clearly meant to evoke the iconic cartoon superhero Captain Caveman, and it does so quite well. To top it off, he even included a bowcaster accessory!

But the thing about Rory's swag is that is never just about the dispenser. Even his bags are works of art. First off, they are often sealed with double sided tape, so you can take the dispenser out of the bag without damaging the bag. But let's take a closer look at the bag label. The front of it is done in the style of a comic book cover. Check out the "Peztastic Pezheads" title that's a great play on the Fantastic Four style, which is accompanied by the Pez mascot in 4 different designs that match up to those of the Fantastic Four: A rock-like one for The Thing, A mascot on fire for Human Torch (who, as I understand it, was denied a bank loan), a translucent one for Invisible Woman, and a stretchy one for Mister Fantastic. The other details on the front are great too. On the back of the bag label, a story is woven about the origins and powers of Captain Kashyykman, and then some more details about The Notorious Rory D, including his well-documented and I'd say unmatched love for all things Star Wars. This was an incredibly creative swag offering from top to bottom and my thanks again go out to Rory.

Well, I guess that wraps up another Pezamania. Everybody be sure to drive home safely and see you next year!


[[credits continue to roll…]]

[[Ooh, the soundtrack! That means we're getting close to the end!]]

End Credit Scene: Scores, of Course!

Of course, it would not be a Pez convention without the scores. Here's some pictures and tales of what I was lucky enough to bring home with me from Pezamania 31.

My very first scores were a pair of Pezamania 31 convention dispensers, colored yellow and orange. One was the standard dispenser that everyone got and one was for those of us who paid for the premium registration.

From Chris Jordan of the Pez Collector's Store, I picked up 6 brand new dispensers, including the set of 3 Pezimals known as Milo the Monkey, Gigi the Giraffe, and Ella the Elephant, and the set of 3 Animal Crossing dispensers, Isabelle, Tom Nook, and K.K. Slider. Also from Chris, but not pictured here, I picked up a couple of new shelves for my IKEA Detolfs. These are made from the same materials as the ones that are on my Billys (as shown in this picture from a year and a half ago), but fit for the smaller Detolf. It's one of my big Pez goals of the next few months to get my Pez room updated and these shelves will be a big help. Along these lines, I also got some more shoes that fit the non-footed dispensers. I love these shoes because they are one size fits all and they fit perfectly in Chris's shelves. I can assure you that I am not a paid spokesperson for the Pez Collector Store! I just really love the way these accessories help my display come together.

On the fantasy front, I picked up a variety of neat offerings. From the creative minds of Larry Mason and Steve Glew, I picked up a mini gnome and a fantasy puck dispenser with the Pez Outlaw silhouette. From my Pez pal Josh Bales, host of the PIGPIGPIG, I picked up the O-69 Pez dispenser, which was a coveted prize from his EVERYBODY WINS version of Bingo (I chronicled that great time in my PIGPIGPIG recap). And lastly, I picked up a wild mashup of Tweety Bird and Elvis from my Pez pal Brian at the Saturday floor show. I love it!

I also picked up a giant Chewbacca- for free, no less- at the Thursday trade night event, as well as a couple of Pez bobbleheads that were missing from my collection (Fireman and Peter Pez). And, for what I believe was my last score of Pezamania 31, I picked up the Walmart Pickup tower from my Pez pal Russ. Sweet!

Lastly… we need to talk about Batman. Oh boy, did I pick up a lot of cool Batman stuff at Pezamania 31. First off, when prepping my wish list and chatting with some Pez pals, it occurred to me that while I have a vintage Batman softhead, there was another one out there: one that does not say "Hong Kong" on the back of the head. If I were to get that, I would set it up in my Batcave, while my first Batman would remain with my other softhead superheroes on my superhero shelf. So this was at the top of my list for Pezamania 31. Little did I know however that I would first be won over by ANOTHER softhead Batman. This one, very fittingly sold to me by my Pez friend Robin, did have "Hong Kong" on the back, but also had a beautiful blue stem, different from the gray stem one I had in my collection already, and was in really good shape. Then to top that off, I found another softhead Batman without "Hong Kong." These two dispensers took up pretty big chunk of my Pez budget for the convention and I have no regrets! Here are pictures that show the differences between my 3 Batman softheads (with my 2 new ones in the middle and on the right) from the front and from behind. You can click on the pictures for a larger view.

In addition to the 2 softheads, my Pez pal Susan had a bunch of the standard blue Batman A dispensers for sale. What was interesting about them was all of the color varieties. They range from a light blue to almost teal, and sometimes the heads and stems are quite different colors, possibly due to different plastics being used. Susan told me that this was NOT because of sun damage, it's just how they naturally changed colors over time. I really like this range of colors. The picture below does not do them justice, so here is a closer look. And by the way, that completely awesome Batman display stand? That is another creation from the marvelous and gifted Mr. Larry Mason, who I can't thank enough.

Rounding out the Batman party in this picture are an orange Bonbon card that I was missing from my collection (from my Pez pal Joe, from whom I picked up another Batman orange Bonbon card last month in Michigan), along with a nice factory error (I think this is my first "sideways" error!), again from my Pez pal Josh, and a cool Batman counter display card.

All of the above scores are in the picture below. You can click on it for a larger view.

… But wait, there's more!

You'll notice a few more Batman items in this next picture. First, I picked up another Batman print from the very talented Pez artist Eddie Santiago. He always does great work and this is no exception. I can't wait to add this to my Batman display, along with the 2 others I picked up from him last year at Pezamania 30. You may also note that this print is secured by 4 different magnets made out of Batman Pez heads! These were one of my first scores of the convention from my Pez pal Carl. I love them!

Also in this picture is an autographed, pink variation of the Pez Outlaw movie poster. This is a nice complement to the grey version I picked up last month in Michigan. I am looking forward to displaying these both in my Pez room!

Lastly, there is a picture of Yours Truly next to a POW, which was free for me and all convention attendees thanks to Kurt Nielsen Photography.


Thank you all for coming to my PEZ talk and have a good night!














Pez Poetry | top

Pez Haiku #163

To the Pezmobile,
Let's go! Candy to power,
Dispenser to speed.

Super Power

This one guy wears a cape
And soars across the skies.
He stands so tall and sees through walls,
Shoots fire from his eyes.

Another guy knows danger
As quite a tingly feeling.
Away he swings on webs he slings,
And crawls on walls and ceilings.

This other guy gets angry
And grows real big and green.
He's strong and brash and loves to smash
Things into smithereens.

We often watch these beings
And marvel at their skills.
To be that way for just one day?
Alas, we never will.

But all their huge heroics
Cannot compare with ours.
With due respect, we Pez collect!
Now that's a super power.


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