Thinking Outside The Dispenser Since 2001
Spring Loaded: A Message from the Editor | top
Hello and Happy New Year from Pezhead Monthly! I am excited for the Pez train to keep rollin' into 2024 and beyond. I'd like to kick things off with a New Years Pez poem that I wrote for the January 2023 issue.
I have to say, 2023 was a pretty good year to be a Pezhead. We were lucky enough to get lots of new releases from both the US and Europe this past year, the convention scene was hopping from April all the way through September, "The Pez Outlaw" debuted on Netflix and went on to win an Emmy (and in the process, I am guessing, drawing many new people to the hobby). I am looking forward to what 2024 brings!
In December, I attended a non-Pez pop culture convention called GalaxyCon, where I added some more Pez autographs to my collection. I also started the process of building new furniture for my Pez room, which will continue early into the new year and allow more of my collection to be displayed. I'm looking forward to sharing pictures here. I also rounded out my 2023 Pez scores with 20 new official and custom dispensers. Not a bad way to say farewell to the year at all!
This issue of Pezhead Monthly kicks off with a cover image that is a Pezzified version of some vintage New Years Eve artwork. The big feature is my extensive recap of my year in Pez, including conventions I attended, scores I added to my collection, and notable words and photos from Pezhead Monthly. There's also a recap of my adventures at GalaxyCon, which includes a picture of my autographed Pez collection, along with a rundown of my December scores and the first Pez Poetry of 2024, including a single poem that is a blend of 4 different poetic forms.
Thanks as always for reading Pezhead Monthly. Take care and see you soon!
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.
Let's start out with Pez.com. Earlier in the month, a package arrived that included the new Trolls Band Together set (Viva, Poppy, and Branch), along with the Poppy and Viva 2 pack collector set; Liberty, the newest addition to the Paw Patrol series; new versions of R2D2 and Ahsoka from the Star Wars universe; and, the big score from this bunch, the Pez.com exclusive crystal Polar Bear that has since been retired. I luckily already had all of the other Pez in my cart already when the crystal Polar Bear dropped, otherwise there was no way I would have gotten all of this at once.
Later in December, another package from Pez.com arrived, which included the new Chewbacca dispenser and the 2024 New Year dispenser, a crystal Rocket. The crystal Rocket was a surprise release; collectors were expecting a 2024 New Year dispenser, since one has been released every year since 2019, but had no idea what it was going to be. And even with a limit of 2, boy did it sell out fast. It did come back for another website sale later in the week, but that run sold out even faster. I managed to picked up 2 of the crystal Rockets myself and may consider trading the second one for a dispenser on my wish list, though I need to give some more thought on what I might want to trade for. Looking back on ordering the crystal Rocket, I was especially fortunate that I got it because I added it to my cart before noticing Chewbacca was new to the online store and adding that too. Next time around I may not be so lucky if I try those shenanigans again.
From the talented artist Mike Herz, I picked up no less than 4 custom dispenser figures to round out his Classic Monster series. This included Dracula, King Kong, The Fly, and a surprise bonus figure, Vincent Price! Mike also sent a nice thank you note with the final 2 of these. What an incredible run this series was! I am looking forward to continuing the party in 2024 with his Classic Monsters Series 2.
From Maggie Crawford, I added 2 more of her very creative wooden Pez replicas to my collection: a Candy Corn Mascot and a Turkey Mascot. As with the Valentines and Easter pieces from earlier in the year, the heads slide open to reveal cute messages. Here is a picture of all 4 of these cool little things.
From Cam Art, I
received a very nice Christmas card. Thanks so much, Cam, for this card
and all of the other great Pez I picked up from you this year!
From the Pez Outlaw himself, Steve Glew, I picked up his Make-A-Grinch Pez Outlaw Set (Outlaw and Dog), along with a Pez Outlaw 2023 wooden nickel. Thanks to Steve and Larry Mason for all of your work on these this year! I am looking forward to what you have in store for 2024.
I also added 4 more autographed Pez dispensers to my collection when I attended a pop culture convention called GalaxyCon: a Thor signed by Vincent D'Onofrio for his role in "Adventures in Babysitting," a Santa signed by Mara Wilson for her role in "Miracle on 34th Street," a Vampire Boy signed by Harvey Guillén for his role in "What We Do In The Shadows," and a Kermit the Frog signed by Steve Whitmire for his role as the puppeteer/voice of Kermit and other Muppets for many years. More info and pictures can be found elsewhere in this issue, including pictures of my entire autographed Pez collection, minus the Adam West and Kevin Conroy signed Batman dispensers that reside in the Batcave.
Lastly, with just hours left to go in the month/year, I added 5 new Pez dispensers to my collection. First, while in Market District looking for New Years Eve desserts, I picked up 2 of the 3 remaining LOL Surprise Series 3 dispensers that I was missing, Soul Babe and Snow Leopard. As I noted earlier this year when I picked up the first 6 in this series at BA Sweeties, I am very glad that the carded versions of Series 3 are not in mystery boxes. This saves a lot of time and money and it's frankly a little odd that the bagged versions of Series 3 still come in mystery bags. Anyway, the only dispenser I still need from Series 3 is one of the "Super" three, Luxe, and I am sure I'll pick that up down the road at some point.
And, as a Christmas gift from my lovely wife, I picked up the Moshi Monster set (Furi, Poppet, and Katsuma). This was a European set that came out way back in 2012, and I somehow missed it! But I am glad to add these 3 to my collection to round out the month and year in Pez scores.
Here is a picture of my December scores. You can click on it for a larger view.
Well, 2023 happened! And boy was there a lot of Pez fun to be had. Below is a comprehensive look back at all of the conventions, scores, organizing and displaying, and Pezhead Monthly features that made my Pez world in 2023 so wonderful.
I attended 4 Pez
conventions and gatherings in 2023, including both instances of the
Virtual Pez Convention (VPC) in April
32 in July, and IN
Crowd 2023 in October. Also, while I did not attend the PIG4All
convention in April in person, I did contribute a video song called
Love The Pig4All" that seems to have been enjoyed by those
in attendance. I look forward to returning to the PIG convention again
one sunny day
As expected, Pezamania 32 was my standout convention of the year. It was great to connect in-person with so many of my fellow Pezheads, either for the first time or for the 20th time (or more). With the theme of Wild Wild West, new hosts Landon and Christine Proctor and Morgan Rhinehart and Jeff Baker brought some fun new ideas and energy to the World's Largest Gathering of Pez Collectors, while at the same time maintaining some of the traditions that have made Pezamania the must-attend Pez convention for all these years. I'm definitely looking forward to what they bring to the table in July for Pezamania 33, when the theme will be the Olympics.
The swag I created for Pezamania 32 marked the first time I made custom dispensers, consisting of a cowboy hat (to keep with the convention theme) and a stem label for Pezhead Monthly. I learned a lot from making the swag this year, and overall I am happy with how it turned out.
The 2 VPCs, also hosted by Landon and Morgan, offered Pezheads the chance to meet virtually and to have a look inside the Pez rooms of collectors from all over this land. What started as an adjustment for the COVID pandemic has now become a staple of the Pez convention circuit and I am so glad that it has. Its very low cost of admission (i.e., free), wide array of attendees, and unique features such as room tours and Pez art auctions make it a must-attend for Pezheads everywhere.
Also, for both VPCs, I was fortunate enough not only to attend, but to be given the opportunity by Landon and Morgan to perform some of my Pez poetry. In April I dressed up as Sophia Petrillo from "The Golden Girls" to perform "Golden" and in October I dressed up as a jellied slice of bread with a mullet to perform "Proposing a Toast." Below is the "Golden" video; you can check out all of my VPC poem performances on YouTube here.
IN Crowd 2023 was a fun gathering at my Pez pal Karen's home in Lowell, Indiana. It was quite well attended, as the group photo shows, and Karen and her husband Ronnie made us all feel welcome and at home. It also happened to feature one of the coolest convention/gathering custom dispensers I've ever seen, thanks to the genius and artistry of Larry Mason.
The swag I made for IN Crowd 2023, similar to my Pezamania 32 swag, was something new: magnets! I made 4 magnets consisting of Pezzified movie posters featuring 2 Indiana natives (Rebel Without a Cause/James Dean and Bullet/Steve McQueen) and 2 Egg Baby Pez horror movie poster parodies (Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre). I also made a few others from earlier Pezhead Monthly images (Blues Brothers and Monkees). This was a lot of fun and the possibilities are endless for future conventions. I'll definitely plan on bringing some to Pezamania to sell in July.
I also attended a couple of other non-Pez conventions that nonetheless had a bit of Pez thrown into the mix. In April, I went to GoldenCon, a convention dedicated to the classic TV show "The Golden Girls" that took place on the same weekend as the birthday of my lovely wife, who just so happens to be a gigantic fan of the show. This was a lot of fun and it gave me a bit of a glance into the world of the fan enabler, a role which my wife has been graciously playing for over 15 years now. While there was no inherent link between that show and the world of Pez, I made a custom shirt featuring the Golden Girls POP+Pez dispensers that were released in 2018, which also included a Pezzified version of the opening/closing line from the "Golden Girls" theme song: "Thank You For Flipping A Pez." This evolved into a Pez song parody of the full song, which I performed at the April VPC along with the Pez poem "Golden" (see the link above).
In December, I went to GalaxyCon, and while I did not buy (or even see) any new Pez items there, I was able to add 4 new autographs to my signed Pez dispenser collection: Vincent D'Onofrio signed Thor, Mara Wilson signed Santa, Harvey Guillén signed a Vampire, and Steve Whitmire signed a Kermit. More info and pictures are included elsewhere in this issue.
It was another fantastic year in Pez scores for me. My final tally was 281 new dispensers (and dispenser-shaped and sized pieces) that were added to my collection. Just over half of these were official Pez dispensers, including POP+Pez, which I personally count as official even though some others may not. The rest were customs, mostly Batmans (of course) but plenty of others too.
In terms of the official dispensers, I only scooped up 3 vintage dispensers: Panther, Duck with Flower, and Peter Pan.
One of my Pez goals in 2024 is to bump this number up a bit, but unless I win the lottery I don't expect to get more than 10 vintage next year, and even that is pushing it. Most of the lower cost vintage are already in my collection. There are still plenty of vintage in the mid-level range (which I'd consider $100-250) that I don't have, but I usually limit myself to just a couple of these at each convention and tend to not buy them online. I rarely go higher than that, but who knows, maybe that will change next year. And of course, I am still collecting new dispensers and will never stop never stopping to collect custom dispensers if they are appealing.
In addition to the
vintage dispensers, my favorite official dispenser scores from 2023
were the 3 crystal Pezimals, the 3 Disney 100 tin sets (Star Wars, Marvel,
and Disney, all of which look much better in person than online), all
4 of the Mascots I picked up (Green Apple Sourz, Pineapple Sourz, Mystery
Mascot, Mystery Mascot NCA), and the 2024 crystal Pez rocket. Let's
just say Pez.com got a lot of my money this year, and I qualified for
free shipping on more than one occasion. Also, thanks to some significant
time spent on planning, I filled a lot of holes in my collection at
Pezamania, including missing Aral Boy variations, some crystals and
trucks, and more. Some sets still aren't complete but they're getting
My customs were not limited to just Batman, though. Most notably, I picked up Series One of Classic Monsters from Mike Herz, ranging from Frankenstein to The Fly, and there was even a bonus figure at the end of the series: Vincent Price! (I don't have a picture of the entire series, but the 4 most recent dispensers are included in the picture of my December scores in this issue.) These are all non-functioning pieces, so it's more accurate to call them figures, but they do have the distinct shape and size of a Pez dispenser. And to add to that, they are marvelously detailed, and in the black and white style. A second series in color (some repeats, some new) is also set to come in 2024. I am looking forward to these for sure! Despite some pretty big personal setbacks this year, Mike did a great job with these figures and I really appreciate him.
Also notable in 2023 was the plethora of custom dispensers I picked up from the Pez Outlaw himself, Steve Glew. Most of these, like Mike's, were non-functioning. My favorite of these, by far, was the UFO (Unidentifed Flying Outlaw) that I picked up at Pezamania (where I also had the honor of meeting Steve in person again). This piece features the Pez Outlaw on top of a UFO that lights up, either blinking or steady, and it is just awesome.
Steve indicates that more Pez Outlaw custom Pez are coming in 2024, and I'll be on the lookout for them for sure. (And by the way, congratulations again to Steve and everyone else involved for their Emmy win for the "Pez Outlaw" movie!)
Other custom Pez favorites of mine in 2023 were the OlymPEZ camera from the awesome folk artist Steve White, the Pez Hula Girl from the 2023 Michigan Pez dinner, the full-body robot from an artist in Israel, and the INCrowd 2023 attendee dispenser. And not to toot my own horn, but I am quite fond of the Michael Keaton custom Batman that I made, even if it is non-functional and for display only.
Lastly, there were some new additions to my collection that were neither official or custom dispensers. Some of these were licensed items (my favorites being the many different Pez socks found in stores and the 3 porcelain-hinged boxes that started my PHB collection, and the oddest being the Glaxon shaker and corresponding creatinine supplements) and some were custom-made (my favorites being the 4 custom wood dispenser replicas from Maggie Crawford, the VPC romance novel parody from Cam Art, and the 2024 calendar from Sue and Steve Heraly)
But perhaps my biggest Pez score of the year was Melba toast! The below Pez poem, which I performed at the October VPC, explains it all.
I was quite busy in 2023 on a few fronts for Pez organizing, not only in my Pez room itself but also in some of the tools I use to keep track of my collection.
In May, I undertook a pretty massive project of updating both the Excel spreadsheet I use to document my collection and the photos of my collection that I keep on my computer and phone. It involved taking pretty much every dispenser off of display, cleaning them, and taking (or often retaking) photos. My goal was to update the spreadsheet and photos before Pezamania and I managed to do it by just going set by set, shelf by shelf. You can read more about this project here. I will admit that I've since fallen a bit behind on the spreadsheet and in particular the photos in the past few months as new scores have come in pretty frequently, but I plan on getting back on track soon, and staying there.
In October, I spent some time organizing my Pez room, focusing on my collector sets that seem to multiply like rabbits thanks to the many, many 2-packs that have come out often over the past few years. I managed to corral most of them together and the result is shown below. I'm still collecting the 2-packs, but if space becomes a serious issue I think I'll be fine selling them off or trading them.
I am also in the process of adding a few more pieces of furniture to my Pez room. I have 2 more IKEA Rudstas for the "island" portion of my Pez room, one of which I built in December and one of which I will build soon, as well as another IKEA Billy for my Batman display area. Once the new furniture is built, the next step is to adjust what is being displayed and how. I am looking forward to this, and have some fun ideas planned for the Batcave in particular, and I'll be sure to keep you posted right here on the pages of Pezhead Monthly.
Here on the pages of Pezhead Monthly, it was another fun-filled year of recapping my Pez adventures and serving up creative odes to the wonder and magic that is the Pez collecting hobby.
On the recap side, as in previous years, I touched on the conventions I attended, the progress in my Pez room and organizing, and the scores I picked up each month. This included one non-Pez convention: during my time at the Golden Girls convention in April where, as I mentioned earlier, I had the chance to step into the role of the enabler, which is usually filled by my lovely wife as she patiently listens to me prattle on about all things Pez and genuinely supports my love of the hobby. Although I do suspect that she is getting a bit tired of my declaration "I got a new Pez package in the mail today!"
On the creative side, I continued to share my love of Pez in photo parodies, poems, songs, and videos.
My favorite cover images of the year were Barbipezenheimer (the majority of which was not made by me; I just added the Pez stuff and the new title), Back to Pezamania (my Back to the Future Pez parody that unknowingly was similar to one done before for an Austin Pez Gathering; apologies again to Ryan), and It's A-Pez Mario. I also made an animated GIF of that last one. Here it is again for your enjoyment.
I made a few other Pez photo parodies and memes in 2023, including the latest entry in the Egg Baby Pez horror movie archive. One of my favorite Pez photo parodies was one I made to celebrate the Western-themed Pezamania 32, featuring Val Kilmer's Doc Holliday from "Tombstone" holding a Huckleberry Hound POP+Pez. If you know, you know!
I wrote 7 new Pez song parodies in 2023, Pezzifying songs by The Beatles, Elvis, Billy Idol, and more. Two of these songs inspired videos: the first video was for a song called "Gotta Love The Pig4All" that I sent along to my Pez pal Josh Bales, the host of the PIG convention in Cincinnati, to share with everyone since I was unable to attend in person. Here is the video. The second song/video is "Pez Is Love," my Pez twist on the 90s classic "What is Love?" by Haddaway. The video also includes odes to the "Saturday Night Live" sketches starring Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan that featured the Haddaway song. This video was a lot of fun and is maybe the favorite thing I did this year for Pezhead Monthly. Here it is!
And of course, there was lots of Pez poetry in 2023. In total, I wrote 24 Pez poems last year, from "I Donut Know" in January to "Rudy" in December. My favorites, which I consider to be the ones I had the most fun putting together (and in some cases performing) were:
And lastly, in 2023 Pezhead Monthly had the first new "Five Questions" feature in over 11 years! When Pezhead Monthly started, this was more of a frequent feature. This dropped off over time as I focused more on Pez photo parodies and videos. But it made a grand return in October with Zombie Elvis as the subject.
I don't have many specific Pez goals yet for 2024, but I know it will be another fun year filled with new Pez adventures and I am very much looking forward to it.
Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!
In December, my lovely wife and I attended our first pop culture convention since 2019. The convention was called GalaxyCon and it took place in Columbus, Ohio, just a few short hours from home. This was a highly attended event that featured a whole lot of celebrity appearances, panels, shopping, and more. We used to go to these more frequently but after 4 years we were a bit out of practice and overwhelmed by the crowds. But we had a great time for sure. I even got to meet one of my first celebrity crushes, Paula Abdul! And she called me "Sweetie"!
So at this point you're probably asking yourself, "Self, this is all well and good, but what does this have to do with Pez?"
Well, allow me to explain. This event breathed new life into one of the interesting corners of my Pez collection: autographed Pez dispensers. Prior to GalaxyCon, I had been getting celebrity autographs on Pez dispensers for about 8 years, starting with Henry Winkler for Joe Cool, all the way up to Matthew Lillard for Shaggy. I was especially honored to get signatures from both Adam West and Kevin Conroy on Batman dispensers and from Peter Mayhew on a Chewbacca dispenser.
But when our convention attendance paused, for both happy reasons (wedding, new house) and not so happy reasons (COVID), so did the Pez autographs. Enter GalaxyCon, where a plethora of celebrities were scheduled to attend whose characters happened to be on, or related to, characters on Pez heads. I loaded up a box with somewhere between 8 and 10 of them. Many of them ended up not coming to pass for various reasons, such as cost, time, and just the general crowds. So maybe next time, Bill Shatner/Captain Kirk, Mike Tyson/Tiger, Grant Gustin/Flash, and Peter Cullen/Optimus Prime.
But, I was more than pleased to get celebrity autographs for no less than 4 Pez dispensers at GalaxyCon!
First up was Vincent D'Onofrio. In the 1987 movie "Adventures in Babysitting", Vincent played a mechanic named Dawson who bore a striking resemblance to the Marvel superhero Thor, which played a part in the movie. So, I had him sign a Thor dispenser, and here it is with me, Vincent, and my lovely wife. Vincent was a great guy, very charming.
Next up was Mara Wilson, best known for "Mrs. Doubtfire" and "Matilda." I was struggling to come up with a dispenser for her to sign until I realized that she also starred in "Miracle on 34th Street." So Santa it was! Here is a pic where Santa makes an appearance if you look close enough. Mara was so nice and it was great to meet her.
Right next to Mara was Harvey Guillén, who is best known for his role as Guillermo in the TV show "What We Do In The Shadows." Harvey was a fun and hilarious guy and was more than happy to sign a Vampire Boy Pez dispenser for me. Here is a picture which, although missing the signed Pez dispenser, nonetheless shows Harvey's animated spirit.
And last but certainly not least was Steve Whitmire, who was the puppeteer and voice of Kermit the Frog and several other Muppets for many years. Steve was just the sweetest and nicest guy and my wife and I both loved him. We also had the benefit of catching him just as he came back to his table, so there was no line and we had lots of time to chat with both Steve and his assistant. Here is a picture of us with Steve. After signing a Kermit Pez dispenser, Steve placed it in the hand of a Kermit figure that was at his table. This picture shows Steve's laughter and happiness and it makes me smile every time I look at it.
The only downside of getting 4 new Pez dispensers signed was that I had to pull each of these dispensers from my own collection. But I've already picked up a new Santa at Five Below and a new Vampire at Big Lots. As for Thor and Kermit, I am sure I can pick them up at the next Pez convention I attend, or maybe even somewhere in my extras.
Below is a picture of most of my current collection of signed Pez, followied by details of the dispensers and who signed them. Two signed Pez dispensers are missing from this photo; Adam West and Kevin Conroy signed Batman dispensers and these reside in the Batcave. Oh, and let's not forget Steve Glew, who kindly signs ALL of the Pez Outlaw dispensers he sells, as well as any Pez item that you bring to him in person. Because that's how Steve rolls.
Also, you'll notice
that the dispensers are propped open by a roll of Pez candy, to show
the signatures on the sleeve. Eventually I plan on replacing all of
these with the excellent Pez
wedges made and sold by my Pez pal Joe WHAT!
Top row: Darth Vader, signed by Jake Lloyd; Boba Fett, signed by Daniel Logan; Pez Visitor Center Boy, signed by Joe Vittoria (president of PEZ Candy USA at the time); Chewbacca, signed by Peter Mayhew; Darth Vader, signed by Garfunkel and Oates
Next row: Spider-Man, signed by Bruce Campbell; Norville "Shaggy" Rogers, signed by Matthew Lillard; Hamm, signed by John Ratzenberger; Joe Cool, signed by Henry Winkler; Belle, signed by Paige O'Hara; Jasmine, signed by Linda Larkin
Next row: Elvis Presley, signed by Elvis Presley (just kidding, it was signed by Donny Edwards, an Elvis tribute artist); Thor, signed by Vincent D'Onofrio; Kermit the Frog, signed by Steve Whitmire; Vampire Boy, signed by Harvey Guillén; Santa Claus, signed by Mara Wilson
Bottom row: TMNT Donatello, signed by Corey Feldman; Samwise Gangee, signed by Sean Astin; Hulk, signed by Lou Ferrigno; Halloween Cat, signed by Julie Newmar
Pez Haiku #175
I'll pass on Times
H ello to
another new year,
N ecks release
a year ago,
Pezhead Monthly on Facebook
| Twitter | E-mail
If you would like to contribute to Pezhead Monthly, click here for the submission policy.
Copyright © 2001-2024 JoePez Publications
"Pezhead Monthly" is in no way affiliated with Pez Candy, Inc.
PEZ is a registered trademark of PEZ Candy Company Inc., Orange, Connecticut.
Enjoy Pez, but please do so responsibly.