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Pezhead Monthly
March 2010

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Spring Loaded: A Message from the Editor top of page | cover page

Welcome to the pages of Pezhead Monthly. Here is this month's video version of Spring Loaded.


(direct link here)

Thanks for reading (and watching), and see you next month!

Joe Durrant
Editor, Pezhead Monthly

joe@pezheadmonthly.com


Pezhead Monthly Presents: The 1st Annual Pezzy Awards top of page | cover page

There's no denying it: awards season is upon us. The best in movies, TV, and music are being celebrated on what seems like a weekly basis. But what about the best Pez?

Well, it's been a long standing policy here at Pezhead Monthly not to play favorites: who is to say what Pez experience is better than another? Anytime you find a new Pez, or attend a Pez convention, or see another Pez display, or set up a pez display of your own, it's a glorious occasion.

That being said, looking back at 2009, there were some clear Pez victories. So I figured this would be an ideal time to share some of my personal favorite Pez moments of 2009, in what I am calling the 1st Annual Pezzy Awards. While these awards are 100% reflective of my own personal Pez experiences, thoughts, and opinions, hopefully next year I can set up a vote to let my fellow Pezheads decide some of their favorite Pez moments of 2010, and make it at least a bit more community-driven.

Finally, it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: these awards are not affiliated in any way with Pez Candy, Inc. They are just a reflection of the many ways that Pez has affected me on a personal level over the course of the past year.

Without further ado, here we go!


Promotional Hauler of the Year

Wegmans Hauler

Looking through a Pez-colored lens, 2009 was definitely the year of the promotional hauler. Previous years had given us precious few of them, including Walmart and Walgreens. In 2009, however, stores all over America exploded with new promotional haulers: Sheetz. Winn Dixie. CVS. Rite-Aid. Hollywood Video. Movie Gallery. Wegmans. And probably 10 or 20 more that I am forgetting.

This was a tough call, but I'd have to go with the Wegmans hauler. I give it points for its unique brown color, as the other haulers' colors were repeated from years past. And although I embarked on an epic quest for the Hollywood Video dispenser, it was my personal experience as a former employee of Wegmans, a truly great company, that made this dispenser so special to me and pushed it to the finish line.

By the way, I certainly hope the promotional trend continues in 2010 and beyond. There are so many stores and restaurants that the possibilities are endless. However, it would be nice for some unique designs to come out instead of more trucks. Perhaps some company mascots…


Pez-Featuring Store of the Year

Walmart

Regardless of what you may think of it as a company, Walmart has really stepped up its game recently as a retail destination for Pez, in my region of the country anyway. Throughout the year, I found many new dispensers first at Walmart, such as the new Star Wars, the Marvel Heroes, and new Nascar helmets. And as far as I know, Walmart was the only retail store where you could find crystal versions of the Santa, Reindeer, Snowman, and Polar Bear dispensers. Factor in the new "short cards" for card collectors (which I tend to be on occasion), and Walmart was the best place to go for new Pez in 2009.

Honorable mention goes to Cost Plus World Market, which always has a truly impressive Pez display that includes lots of bagged Pez and lots of the packaged sets like Wizard of Oz and Star Trek. Even the crystal Hello Kitty tins from a few years back still lined the shelves there as of a couple weeks ago. And Toys R Us also significantly stepped up its Pez game in 2009, and looks to be a force to be reckoned with in 2010 as well.


Factory Error of the Year

Batman/Snow White

This is one of those categories that is truly subjective. Each Pezhead will find unique factory errors along the way during the course of a Pez hunt, and some Pezheads don't even look for them. But for me, the most memorable factory error of 2009, and very likely the best factory error I'll ever find, was the double shot of Batman on a Disney Princesses car and Snow White on a Batman card. Finding just one of these would have been enough, as I am an enormous fan of all things Batman and all things Pez, and of course all things Batman Pez. But to find both of these in the same store? What a stroke of luck, and one that I will surely never forget!


Pez Convention of the Year

Pezamania 19

Again, from a personal perspective, Pezamania 19 was the only Pez convention I visited this year. But honestly, I don't know how any Pez convention in 2009 could have possibly compared to the Pezamania 19 in Cleveland. The Glihas were once again great hosts for the convention, and there were plenty of people there and plenty of Pez to be had. I saw some old friends, made some new ones, and of course added a huge amount of Pez to my collection, including my Score of the Year (read on for that). I'd also like to add that the Glihas were kind enough to allow me to perform a live Pez Poetry Slam (several clips here), an event that I felt went pretty well and, who knows, one that I will perhaps do again sometime down the road. You can read a full recap of my adventures at Pezamania 19 here.

And- spoiler alert- Pezamania is also the odds-on favorite for 2010 Pez convention of the year. For one, it will once again likely be the only Pez convention I attend from start to finish (although I'd like to attend the Saturday shows for St. Louis and Minnesota, and, I hope, the full convention in Myrtle Beach). For two, it will be the epic 20th year for Pezamania. A milestone to be celebrated, indeed.


Pez-Inspired Museum of the Year

Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia (Burlingame, CA)

This is another subjective category, and to be fair, this is the only Pez-inspired museum still in existence to my knowledge. Definitely the only one I visited in 2009, or, you know, ever. It consists of only a couple rooms, but it has lots of history, many vintage Pez dispensers, and some truly creative Pez tributes (always appreciated!). It is an essential stop along the way on any Pezhead's journey. Gary Doss, the museum's curator, is a knowledgeable and fun guy who I am glad to have met. You can read a recap of my experience at the Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia here.


Pez Addition of the Year

The Halloween Bat

In 2009, we also saw a lot of Pez dispensers added to already existing sets, including Star Wars, Clubhouse Disney, and Ice Age, to name just a few. But my personal favorite 2009 addition would have to be the Halloween Bat. Prior to the Bat, it had been 3 years since we were graced with a new Halloween dispenser (the Black Cat), and that's a real shame because the Halloween dispensers have always been among my favorites.

The bat is a nicely designed dispenser and a welcome addition to the Halloween series. The wings are a great touch, although admittedly, without them it would just look like an angry rat. Despite the frown and the baring of fangs, the Bat comes off as relatively harmless and doesn't come close to approaching Egg Baby levels of creepiness.

Here's hoping that future Halloween Pez releases will be more frequent. I understand that 2010 may mark the release of a Spider Pez. My fingers are crossed!


Pez Set of the Year

Wizard of Oz

Although there were lots of great new sets in 2009, including Monsters vs Aliens, Marvel Heroes, and Toy Story (OK, only 2/3 of the Toy Story set was new), it was the Wizard of Oz set that stood out to me as the clear winner. Not only because of the sheer quantity (8 new dispensers!) and not only because of the artistic packaging, and not only because of the limited edition run. No, what sets the Wizard of Oz set apart from other sets of 2009 (as well as the otherwise stellar 8-dispenser limited edition Star Trek set in 2008) is the quality of the dispensers, the uniqueness of the designs and the attention to detail. From the Cowardly Lion to the Wicked Witch of the West, including my personal favorite, Toto in a basket, each of these dispensers are extremely well made. I don't think we'll see another set of this caliber for a long while, although I'd be happy to be proven wrong in years to come.


Pez Score of the Year

Thor


I added a lot of new Pez to my collection in 2009, to be sure. And there were a lot of unique, once-in-a-lifetime adds. For example, I was able to get a Nurse Pez from the Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia for the incredibly low price of $100. I also zoomed on over to Family Video and was able to pick up the Wizard of Oz set mere days after its announced release date (thanks, Pez Community!). And the updated Sparefroh dispenser I got from the Pez Collectors Store will, I suspect, be highly valuable in years to come. And the Batman/Snow White factory error was certainly one for the ages.

But only one dispenser stands out as the biggest score for me in 2009. And that dispenser would have to be the one and only THOR. Thor was one that I had wanted for years. Such a majestic Pez dispenser. The winged helmet, the hair, the stem. Near perfection! And in 2009, I finally put aside the one thing that was holding me back, the cost, and I took the plunge. And boy, am I glad I did. While I suspect I won't ever pay as much for another single Pez dispenser as I did for Thor (although, you know, never say never), I definitely consider it money well spent. For reasons not only related to financial cost, Thor not only my biggest score of 2009, but the biggest score in my time as a Pezhead to date. Now that's what I'm talking about.

In honor of the Pez Score of the Year, here again is the Pez poem "Thor," which I performed at the Live Pez Poetry Slam, and which was also featured in the August 2009 issue of Pezhead Monthly:

Thor

Every year he made my list,
The score to top all other scores
But every year I somehow missed
The chance to get the Mighty Thor

The stem of blue! The hair of blond!
The pointed helmet and the wings!
Of his design I am quite fond,
Such sheer delight this Pez does bring.

And yet, he's always out of reach,
Just barely more than I would spend,
Like sand between my fingers at the beach,
He slipped away, again and again.

So as I planned another year
Of Pezamania room hopping,
A thought occurred, so very clear,
That this time, there's no stopping.

The way I see it, there's a choice
That I should now be making-
Listen to that inner voice
And end the annual heartaching.

Goodbye, despair! So long, regret!
I've had enough, I don't need more.
Hello to you, my best score yet,
Hello to you, my Mighty Thor!


This concludes the 1st Annual Pezzy Awards. Stay tuned for your local newscast. Thank you and good night!


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