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January 2022
Thinking Outside The Dispenser Since 2001

 

Spring Loaded: A Message From the Editor
2021: A Pezhead Looks Back

The Legend of Golden SpongeBob Pez
Baby, If You've Ever Wondered...
Pez Poetry


Spring Loaded: A Message from the Editor | top

Hello and welcome to Pezhead Monthly. And Happy New Year!

I am really looking forward to this year, as a Pez collector and otherwise. As a Pezhead, I know that there will be many new Pez to be added to my collection and lots of good times to be had at conventions. I am also hopeful that the travel, rest, and relaxation that sometimes eluded me last year will come back in 2021, at least to some degree, as much as the pandemic will allow. At this time of the year, I always reflect on this Pez poem I wrote back in January 2002:

New Beginnings

The twelfth Pez candy is dispensed,
The last one of the bunch,
Those candies, once alive, intense,
Are gone with but a crunch.
The chamber that was full one time
Is now a barren place;
The hopes and dreams once in their prime
Have left without a trace.

Let not this chamber go without,
Do not deny its share.
There's other Pez to have, no doubt,
And not a one to spare.
To end this darkness and suspense,
More Pez shall now be sowed:
Another twelve to be dispensed,
Another twelve to load.

Before we look ahead, let's take a little time to look back, starting with my December Pez scores. As has been the case for the last few months, many of my December scores came from the talented artist, my Pez pal Topher Yarrison- in this case, a blue Santa, a golden Grinch, a pair of funky Ninja Turtles, a mini leprechaun, and lastly, a trio of Thors (which fittingly arrived on the last Thursday/Thorsday of the year!).

From my Pez pals Steve and Sue Heraly comes another great calendar with new Pez artwork for each month. I loved their 2021 calendar and am looking forward to putting the new one up. (And as a note for those who have the 2005 Pez calendar- those dates sync up with 2022, so you can display that calendar as well!) Out in the wild, I found 3 new dispensers in December: the new mini Santa dispenser, the 2021 Travel America hauler, and the 2022 Valentine's Day white bear.

From my own "workshop" close to the Pez room, I grew my Batman Pez fantasy army. Thanks to a YouTube video, I was able to swap out some heads of 2 of the Pez POP vinyl figures with those of Batman POPs. I really like how these turned out! Here is a look at the 4 new creations.

From my lovely wife, I received a Christmas gift of the "Action Girl" comic with a cover that features a girl in a Pez dispenser costume.

This leads me to my 3 very, very (did I mention very?) big Pez scores of the month: from Pez.com, I was able to get the gold mascot that commemorates New Year 2022. There were only 2022 of these made worldwide, and I have my Pez pal Anita to thank for alerting me that the gold mascot went live on Pez.com. I likely would not have scored it if she didn't alert me, as it sold out in under an hour! Thanks again, Anita. Also from Pez.com, I picked up the Pez Visitor Center (PVC) Cupcake. This dispenser celebrates 10 years of the PVC and its run was limited to 1000. It could only be obtained firsthand in-person at the PVC or through an email lottery system (or second-hand by likely paying a premium for it on eBay). I could not make it to the PVC in person but was overjoyed when I received that magical email! And last, but in no ways least, I scored a dispenser that I've searched for and wanted for quite a while, and is one of those "white whales" for many collectors: from my awesome brother-in-law, I received the GOLDEN SPONGEBOB PEZ! There is more to say about Golden SpongeBob later in this issue, but for now here is a picture of these 3 top-tier Pez dispensers. What a way to end the year!

Here are the pictures of all of my December scores. (The Action Girl comic is in a separate photo because I got it very late in the month, after I had taken the first picture.) You can click on the pictures for larger views.

This month's issue of Pezhead Monthly takes a look back at 2021 through the eyes of a Pezhead, including my favorite Pez scores and experiences of the year, as well as a summary of the poems, songs, and other features in the pages of Pezhead Monthly this year. Also in the issue, I tell of the Legend of Golden SpongeBob Pez, a very special recent score (as shown above) that has made a few appearances on the pages of Pezhead Monthly over the last year and a half. In addition, I share a video I made to celebrate the Pez Informational Gathering (P.I.G.), which I will be attending in March 2022. And lastly, let it be resolved that there is a Pez poem to kick off the new year in style.

Did you miss last month's issue, where I shared photos of my new Pez Christmas tree? 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!

Joe Durrant
Editor, Pezhead Monthly
joe@pezheadmonthly.com


2021: A Pezhead Looks Back | top

The year 2021 was a very active one for this particular Pezhead. I added lots of new Pez to my collection (including the most custom Pez in any year since I started collecting), got to meet up with a lot of old Pez friends (and new ones) for the first time in a while, and stretched myself creatively in both this publication and in other various Pez projects. It was a fun, wild, busy, and sometimes exhausting year, and well worth it. Below I cover some of my favorite Pez scores and experiences of 2021 and share some highlights of the year in Pezhead Monthly, before looking ahead to what it seems will be a very Pez-filled 2022.

Pez Score of the Year

There were many contenders for my score of the year as the months progressed. If you asked me what my score of the year was back in March, I would have said that it'd be hard to top the Easter Island Moai fantasy dispenser made by the very talented Angelo Canale. If you would have asked me at the end of July, I would have answered that it was the 1-2-3 punch of Pilgrim, Indian Brave, and Wounded Soldier, which completed my vintage Bicentennial set, or maybe the 2 pieces of awesome Batman Pez artwork that I picked up from artist Eddie Santiago. If you would have asked me in September, I may have proclaimed it to be the complete set of Disney Parks dispensers, thanks to my Dad's wife with an assist from my Pez pal Brian at Pezamania 30. If you would have asked me in October, I would have pointed to all of the new fantasy Batmans by Topher Yarrison, or the really cool full body Santa that is a nice callback to the vintage one. Heck, if you would have asked me about 10 days ago, I would have said the Pez Visitor Center (PVC) 10th Anniversary Cupcake dispenser.

But as it turns out, my score of the year came on Christmas Day. When I opened that gift from my brother-in-law DJ, I felt its shape through the tissue paper and knew it was a Pez dispenser on card. I thought that maybe this was the PVC cupcake or one of the limited edition mascots (since we have family that live somewhat close to the PVC). But when I unwrapped it, my eyes widened and my jaw dropped.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, vintage and currents… my 2021 Pez score of the year is none other than… GOLDEN SPONGEBOB PEZ!


I honestly never thought that I would have this amazing piece in my collection, and words cannot describe how grateful I am to DJ for this gift. In another feature in this month's issue, I break down the multiple ways that Golden SpongeBob has graced the pages of Pezhead Monthly.

Collector Set of the Year

My collector set of the year is The Office tin. It features Michael, Dwight, Jim, and Pam in a tin that's in the shape of a briefcase. I think everything here is well done and I am happy to have this in my collection.

To be fair, The Office tin set also benefited from lack of competition in 2021. Not counting the multitude of double packs that came out, the only other box/tin set that came out in 2021 in the US was the Game of Thrones tin set, which is admittedly cool, but not having watched the series it doesn't quite hit home for me. As for the 2-pack sets, I grabbed most (all?) up, but man they are really starting to add up. If I ever need more space in the collector set area of my Pez room, I think some of the 2-packs will be the first to go. The vast majority of these 2-packs, especially in recent years, contain dispensers that can also be picked up individually (Paw Patch, Nintendo, Eternals, Space Jam, and so on) and if it comes down to the 2-packs or unique items that are not already in my loose display, the choice will be obvious.

Fantasy Pez of the Year

I picked up over 90 new fantasy dispensers in 2021, mostly from my Pez pal, the talented Topher Yarrison. There were so many great pieces from Topher that I can't narrow it down to one dispenser or even one set. Instead, here is a picture of some of my favorites, followed by another of the Batmans he made for me that are now in my Batcave. It's one of my goals in the new year to add to the display area in my Pez room to give Topher's creations the exposure they deserve.


I also want to give a shout out to Angelo Canale's amazing Easter Island Moai dispenser and Mike Herz's very well done custom Uncle Sam dispenser.

Click here for an animated gif of the Easter Island Moai Pez dispenser in action!

Pez Publication of the Year

All of the Pez publications I picked up in 2021 were very good. John LaSpina's Pez price guide (32nd edition) is, as always, a reliable resource for tracking the value of Pez. Sue and Steve Heraly's 2022 calendar is well done and, like the jelly of the month club, is the gift that keeps on giving with new artwork each month. Jeff Rosenberg's "All PEZ Made in the USA" has really great info and pictures of the various Pez dispensers that were made in the USA.

But one Pez publication stands out above the rest this past year: the 2021 Pez Yearbook. Compiled by Aaron Lamay, this work of labor and love includes pictures and brief biographies of many people in the Pez world, including myself. It is a great way to learn more about our fellow collectors and it will be fun to try getting everyone's signatures at conventions.


Pez Experience of the Year

I had many great Pez experiences in 2021, including Pez conventions both in-person (Pezamania 30, as a solo attendee, and IN Crowd 2021, with my lovely wife) and virtual (two Virtual Pez Conventions, one in March and one in October). I had the honor and pleasure of participating in both VPCs: for the March VPC I was on a "Creators in Pez" panel, and for the October VPC I read my Halloween Pez poem "A Pezhead's Fear". I also tried my hand at various creative Pez projects, such as custom candy wrappers, trading cards, and even a CD parody. In addition, I set up a Pez Christmas tree in my Pez room for the first time. And all of this is in addition to the joyous experiences I had all of the (many) times I found new Pez in stores or in my mailbox in 2021.

That being said, my best Pez experience of 2021 was, without a doubt, Pezamania 30.

This is always the biggest Pez convention of any given year, but Pezamania 30 had added significance since the 2020 convention had to be cancelled because of the pandemic (and, on a personal note, also since I missed Pezamania 2019). The theme of "family reunion" could not have been more on the nose. It was so great to see my fellow Pezheads after such a long time apart. We had a group photo for the first time ever and there was a great seminar by the Pez Outlaw himself, Steve Glew. I came home from Pezamania with all kinds of awesome scores. I also put an immense amount of time and effort into 2 projects for Pezamania: my Pezamania swag and my CD parody of Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A", otherwise known as Loose Springsteen's "Orange in the U.S.A." You can read all about my Pezamania adventures here.

2021: The Year in Pezhead Monthly

Looking back at Pezhead Monthly's activity in 2021, this was one of the biggest years ever for this publication, and for me personally as its primary content contributor. I spent a lot of time putting the 11 issues of 2021 together and had much fun in the process.

  • There were 8 Pez parodies of songs by Prince, George Michael, and Bruce Springsteen (you can see all of my Pez song parodies here). For one of the songs, "Gotta Have Grape" (to the tune of "Faith" by George Michael), I put together a fun video, which you can check out here.
  • There was also my first ever original Pez song, "The Limited Leprechaun." You can see the video here.
  • There were 20 total Pez poems in 2021, including 9 haikus and 4 limericks, as well as a sonnet contributed by Maria Tucciarone. My favorite verse Pez poem of 2021 is New Pal, which is about my experiences at the IN Crowd 2021 Pez gathering.
  • There were 10 cover images, and while a new appearance by Egg Baby is always cause for celebration, my favorite cover image of 2021 has to be Machete Fills, which is a Pezzification of a poster for the movie "Machete Kills", complete with an appearance by a Taco Pez!
  • Highlights of Pezhead Monthly's other features in 2021 include breakdowns of my Pezamania swag creation, Springsteen CD parody, and IN Crowd 2021 swag creation, and the fun I had when I discovered that the Reface app works quite well with Pez dispensers.

Wrapping Up 2021 and Looking Ahead to 2022

Last year I added about 230 new dispensers to my collection (about 140 official Pez and about 90 fantasy Pez), as well as a bunch of non-dispenser stuff like artwork, t-shirts, and various swag items.

My Pez collection currently stands at about 2300 dispensers. That count actually decreased in late 2021, when I reconsidered what should be counted as a unique Pez dispenser. I previously considered giant Pez, fantasy Pez, convention dispensers, and party favors as unique dispensers, but I decided to remove them from my official count. (I am guessing that there is some variation in what Pezheads consider official dispensers, and may explore this further in another issue of Pezhead Monthly down the road.) I do still include POP+Pez in my official count. Not counting POP+Pez, my collection is closer to 2000.

A big goal for me in 2022 is to spend a good amount of time working on my Pez room. I put it together in 2019 and then spent the next 2 years acquiring (a lot of) new Pez. I need to better organize the Pez that is displayed, and add some more shelves/displays for Pez that is not displayed yet. I foresee another trip or 2 to IKEA, and I'm crossing my fingers that their stock will improve as the year progresses. In any case, I look forward to posting updates here at Pezhead Monthly as my Pez room continues to grow and evolve.

And, of course, there will be Pez conventions in 2022. It's shaping up to be an absolutely epic year for Pez conventions. With the Michigan convention set to come back, it looks like there will be the most conventions and gatherings since 2019. My fingers are crossed that the pandemic will not cause any more havoc for conventions in 2022. As for me, I am going to try to go to as many Pez conventions and gatherings this year as I can, as my time and budget allows. I am already registered for the PIGPIGPIG convention in March and Pezamania in July. I am also planning/hoping to attend the Michigan Pez convention in June, PEZ on the River in September, and the IN Crowd gathering in October. Whether my time and budget will accommodate all of these Pez adventures is another matter, but I am hoping for the best!

As for Pezhead Monthly, I plan to keep this train rolling through 2022 and beyond. I am looking forward to sharing more of my Pez experiences as well as my creative odes to this wonderful hobby. I love to celebrate Pez and share my sense of wonder and happiness about it. I hope Pezhead Monthly made you smile, laugh, and learn in 2021 and that you are looking forward to more of the same this year ahead. I know I am!

Thank you as always for reading Pezhead Monthly and best wishes for a truly Pezzerific 2022.


The Legend of Golden SpongeBob Pez | top

In April 2020, the new SpongeBob SquarePants Pez set started to hit stores. This set consisted of 6 dispensers, including SpongeBob on a blue stem with bubbles, a yellow crystal SpongeBob, a clear crystal SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward. The final dispenser in this set was the elusive Golden SpongeBob, which was extremely rare. In fact, only 1000 Golden SpongeBobs were made. At first, there were many instances of people sharing their lucky scores in Facebook Pez groups. They would find Golden SpongeBob on cards or in bags in various stores like Kroger, Christmas Tree Shops, and other places where Pez was sold. Eventually the posts became less frequent and dwindled down to 1 or 2 a month. Meanwhile, the price for this highly treasured item shot up significantly on eBay and other sites.

At some point a few months after its release, I accepted that I would likely never find Golden SpongeBob in stores. That didn't stop me from looking through Pez racks anytime I came across them in stores, of course, but that was more for a general search for any Pez that I did not have, or maybe factory errors like wrong cards.

Here on the pages of Pezhead Monthly, Golden SpongeBob has been featured several times over the past year and a half. Its first appearance was in June 2020, when I wrote a haiku that touched on the extensive searching that I did when Golden SpongeBob was first being noticed in stores:

Pez Haiku #144

O Golden Spongebob,
I've lost track of the Krogers
Where I've searched for you.

A few months later, Golden SpongeBob made an appearance in the cover image for the September 2020 issue, which was a Pezzified take on the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"


In July 2021, Golden SpongeBob played a part in my take on the Anakin/Padme meme that was everywhere that summer.

Also in July, I was finally able to hold one in my hands at Pezamania 30. But alas, to paraphrase Darryl Hall and John Oates, Golden SpongeBob was so close, yet so far away!

In November 2021, Pezhead Monthly featured images from the set of INDIANA PEZ trading cards I made for the IN Crowd Pez gathering. These were scenes form the classic Indiana Jones movies, with a Pez twist on them of course. One of these images was made by the talented Bret Christopher, who contributed to several Pezhead Monthly issues back in 2020. The image was a play on the famous "golden idol" scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. In it, Indy is seen with none other than a Golden SpongeBob Pez!

This brings us to the current issue where, for the cover image, Golden SpongeBob takes the place of Simba in the iconic scene from "The Lion King."

And more importantly, as shown above in the Spring Loaded letter, I can finally at long last say that Golden SpongeBob is part of my collection! I received Golden SpongeBob as a Christmas gift from my brother-in-law, DJ. I was completely shocked at this gift and of course very happy about it. I'm very grateful not only for the gift, but also to have a brother-in-law who cares so much about me to track this down and surprise me with it. I am not sure if I will ever be able to thank him enough for this generous and thoughtful gift.

And thus concludes the Legend of Golden SpongeBob Pez. Well, the first few chapters, anyway. The adventure will continue when I look for a way to display this fine piece in my Pez room. This may still be a while away, but I'll be sure to post an update in an upcoming issue of Pezhead Monthly.


Baby, If You've Ever Wondered... | top

I recently put together a short video to express my excitement for the first convention of 2022, the PEZ Informational Gathering (P.I.G.), which takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio. This year's 3rd iteration is known as The PIGPIGPIG and is hosted once again by the one and only Josh Bales. I've already registered for the convention and booked my hotel room and I can't wait until March for this grand event!

The video/song is an homage to the theme song and opening credits from the classic TV show "WKRP in Cincinnati." As you may have guessed, I put a Pez-flavored twist on it. Please note that, although Josh is a good friend, a cool dude, and a great convention host, Pezhead Monthly is not affiliated with The P.I.G. I'm just an enthusiastic supporter who wants to share my excitement about this event with you. Also, I really dig the WKRP theme song.

Here is the brief video for your enjoyment. I hope to see you at The PIGPIGPIG!


Direct link here

Pez Poetry | top

Resolution

I made a resolution
Late on New Year's Eve,
A goal I thought was fair
And simple to achieve.

I'd go a year without
Not even one Pez score,
No packages in mail,
No buying in the store.

I'd save a lot of money,
And quite a bit of space,
And maybe I could travel
To some exotic place.

It's January 2nd,
My resolution's shot.
Perhaps I'll do it next year,
But I am guessing not.

 

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