Loaded: A Message from the Editor top
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once again to the pages of Pezhead Monthly! Believe
it or not, this issue marks the first one of Volume 6. It's
hard to believe the Pez train keep a'rollin', and yet it
2006 has been such an amazing flurry of Pez activity for
me in general. In June I went to the St. Louis convention
for the first time, which was fun. Then I attended Pezamania
in July, which was, if I may say, life-altering. But it's
not over yet- a few days ago I learned that, for the first
time, I will be attending the Minnesota convention happening
in August. I hear great things about this convention and
am very much looking forward to it (look for a recap of
that convention in next month's issue). All of this means
much more Pez, obviously, but also the chance to meet a
lot of new Pezheads and travel to new places. It's a fun
time to be sure and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else
first issue of Pezhead Monthly's Volume 6, you will
discover, is very much focused on the big bash in Cleveland
known as Pezamania. First off, there is the annual Pezamania
convention recap, chronicling my many adventures in the
land of Pez and honey. There is also an exclusive interview
with the awesome Pezamania 16 Tote Bag, and a brand new
song celebrating the convention called "Pezamania High."
Lastly, there is some Pez Poetry and of course the Pez Almost-Quote.
In addition, be sure to check out my Pezamania
I am pleased to announce the 2006 Pez Poetry Slam
will be held in the November 2006 issue. Pezhead Monthly
is now accepting your submissions for this issue, so check
out the site's submission
guidelines and start sending those Pez poems in! More
details to follow...
for reading, and I look forward to another great year of
literary explorations of all things Pez. See you next month!
Editor, Pezhead Monthly
16: Pinch Me, I Must Be Dreaming top
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think that after 5 straight years of attending Pezamania,
one would call it quits. After all, how many more
years can one go to the biggest and wildest 3-day
Pezhead extravaganza in the world? How long can the
magic really last?
turns out, the magic can last- and has lasted- at
least 6 years for this one humble Pezhead. And, based
on the super, splendiferous, and all around spectacular
time I had in Cleveland this year, the magic will
be lasting for many, many years to come. While previous
Pezamanias have definitely been a blast, this one
stands out as a bold, new step for the world's largest
Pez convention, now going on 17 years.
as the rain comes pouring down, the Pezamania welcome
sign stands tall, a beacon for Pezheads everwhere.
year marked the first one for new hosts John and Linda Gliha.
Let me tell you, these two people really did an outstanding
job of making Pezheads feel welcome and feel like they got
their money's worth. Aided in no small part by several other
Pez collectors and dealers who graciously donated their
time, effort, money, and of course Pez, the Glihas' professional
tone and innovative event planning set a new standard for
which all future Pezamanias should aspire.
words, aren't they? Well, within 20 minutes of arriving
at the hotel, I believed it.
started off great when, for the first time in 6 years, I
decided to stay at the actual hotel, rather than saving
a few bucks by staying at a nearby hotel. From now on, it's
the Holiday Inn for me. Home base. Headquarters. Ground
Zero, baby. Not only does staying at the hotel keep you
closer to the action, I discovered, but it also keeps you
on a better pace. No longer do you have to jump in the hot
car and drive back to your hotel to drop off some of your
Pez loot and/or get some more money, now you just take a
couple flights of stairs and you're there. Plus, let's face
it, Pez shopping, while quite a thrill, can also be kind
of hectic (those familiar with several Pez conventions tell
me that Pezamania is well known for being rather crazy in
that regard). That, combined with allthat summer heat, means
you deserve a break now and then in a nice air-conditioned
room on your terms. All of this made me greatly appreciate
the Holiday Inn room more, even if I paid a little extra
I brought my laptop and was better able to monitor my finances,
which came in handy, because boy did I spend a lot (more
on that later). And there was the free wireless internet,
which was kind of nice... except, because it was an unsecured
network, I believe that someone was able to hack into my
computer and eBay account, causing a minor bit of havoc
to say the least. But that is another story, and trust me,
I'm okay now. I think.
back to the Pez action. About 20 minutes after checking
in and getting my room, I went to pick up my registration
packet. I was warmly greeted by the Glihas, who provided
a fantastic welcoming package put together in a wonderful
bag (elsewhere in this issue, I have the rare opportunity
to interview said Pezamania tote bag, which spills the beans
on all the goodies contained therein). A friendly conversation
or two later, and I was on my way to some big-time Pez hunting.
boy, did I hunt. According to my records, in the following
4 hours I picked up about 20 new dispensers, including newer
pieces like the new NCAA footballs and the Gold
Fish out of Water from Chicken Little, and vintage pieces
like Mowgli and a Monkey Sailor. A flurry of Pez action,
to say the least.
a bit of rest and a somewhat disappointing dinner, I headed
right back to it. I brought some of my wares to the annual
swap party to trade or sell. While I traded and sold
nothing, I did pick up a Batman dispenser variation.
And if nothing else, I got to show off my two recent wins
from eBay, a fantasy
Frankenstein made from a Pez Pal Boy dispenser, and
an amazingly done fantasy full
ballroom to get an exclusive first look at the new documentary,
The Movie." The lights went down and, 80 minutes
later, the filmmakers received a hearty ovation. Although
the version was not final (some final editing will be added
when it comes out on DVD), Pezheads in attendance definitely
liked what they saw. I really enjoyed the several informative
and entertaining interviews, as well as a tour of the PEZ
USA factory. I really enjoyed it and I wish the filmmakers
all the success in the world. You can pre-order the DVD from
their website, including a version with an exclusive dispenser,
before prices go up in a few weeks. Chris and Chris, the film's
director and producer, respectively, mentioned that it should
ship in August or September.
vintage Disney dispensers I picked up: (l to r) King
Louie, Dalmation, and Mowgli.
came, and signaled more room hopping and the seminars.
Here was another area where the Glihas' programming
shined. Instead of several smaller seminars, they
had one 2-hour one. It featured a well-known Pez dealer
named Joe "Gotdank" Paravati, talking about
everything from variations that affect a dispenser's
price, to his history in the hobby, to some of his
tips for successful Pez hunting on eBay. Joe put on
an engaging presentation through and through and should
be commended for it.
the Gotdank Experience, one of the most highly anticipated
events of Pezamania 16 took place. Scores, if not
hundreds, of Pezheads poured into
more note about the movie- recall that last year, I was
interviewed by the filmmakers. My interview was not in the
version premiered at Cleveland, which I maintain is a good
thing, given the excess amount of sweat and cellulite that
was no doubt highlighted by the camera (a possibility remains
that I might be on one of the many DVD featurettes mentioned
by the filmmakers). However, a brief shot of me shooting
a Nerf blowdart was captured. It was not on target, I was
not sober, and it was not pretty. However, it was part of
an overall great montage (even Rocky had a montage) highlighting
the fun that was had at the Cinci Pezheads' renowned post-Bingo
with the very end of the movie, the hotel's fire alarm went
off. Some genius apparently threw their cigarette into a
bush, right outside some of the Pez dealers' rooms. So that
sound you may have heard on July 21, 2006 at 4:45 PM EST
was likely the collective gasps of hundreds of Pezheads,
realizing how very close their collections came to annihilation.
Well, I was gasping, at least. Fortunately, the fire was
contained rather quickly.
another break back at the air-conditioned, on-site hotel
room, and a tasty burger at Red Robin, I headed back to
the ballroom for some Pez bingo. It was clear that the Glihas
took extra care to ensure a highly enjoyable bingo time
for all. For one, the prizes
were among the best I've ever seen, if not the best. The
games also proceeded quickly, aided greatly from a lively
announcer. Interspersed with the bingo games were various
auctions benefiting St. Jude's Children Hospital. And the
grand prize at bingo, a collection of 6 circus dispensers
on a pentagon stand, was a fitting climax to the evening's
you, as usual, there were no bingo-related festivities for
me in particular, despite a couple of close calls. However,
I did get to meet a couple of new people at my table, so
that was pretty cool.
really, there is no better place to be post-bingo than at
the aptly named Cincy Pezheads post-Bingo party. As I've
stated before, this is a highlight every year at Pezamania.
This year was indeed no different. You're guaranteed to
met old friends and new alike at this party, talk some Pez,
have some drinks, and play some games, all of which I did.
A bunch of fine people, us Pezheads are. The exclusive Cincy
dispenser this year was an iPez,
a ball dispenser painted with the iPod control configuration.
I got a black head version with my $5 party ticket, and
a white head version when our team was the overall winner
in the games. Speaking of the games, my favorite had to
have been the Price Is Right game, where we had to guess
prices of dispensers called out, based on the 2006
Laspina price guide. The Nerf blowdarts also made an
appearance again, and while my team got creamed on that
one, I did manage to take down a Pineapple
Sourz dispenser. It's the little victories, really.
Thanks again to the Cincy Pezheads for another great party
and great unique Pez dispenser. And thanks also to Tom Zellmer,
who did a fine job of organizing and hosting the games.
And thanks also to the hotel official who dropped by and
suggested that we consider closing the door if we planned
on carrying on at such an excessive volume at 12:30am. Something
tells me he wasn't a Pezhead. But hey, it's all good.
inevitable blues set in upon waking up on Saturday. You
Cleveland attendees know what I'm talking about: the realization
that in a matter of hours, it will all be over. So I packed
up my stuff and brought in to the car, and headed back to
the ballroom for one last hurrah. One last time to see fellow
Pezheads, reflect on another great convention, and look
forward to seeing everyone again next year. I picked up
a few more neat pieces, thanked the Glihas again for an
outstanding job of hosting the convention, and by noon I
was on the road.
my take-home haul
well, without exaggerating, this
was by far the biggest one yet for me. In total, I scored
more than 40 different dispensers- some brand new ones,
some recent ones to fill out my sets, and of course some
great vintage pieces. I give lots of credit to John Laspina's
comprehensive price guide for letting me plan my purchases
ahead of time and recognize the gaps in my collection that
vintage dispensers had to have been Bullwinkle
and the Penguin
softhead. I also got a bunch ofneat current stuff, like
two of the unmasked Incredibles released only in Europe,
as well as a 50th
Anniversary Golden Glow dispenser from 2002. Another
cool thing I got was a light that someone made that goes
into the base of any given crystal dispenser so that when
you stand it upright, it lights up. Check out the effect
it gives on this new crystal skull I got (pictured to the
thing I discovered at this convention was that I felt the
need to collect as many Batman variations as possible. I
don't do this for nearly any other character, because to
collect every variation (including head and stem variations)
would take many, many years and lots of money. But for Batman,
I feel it is a cause worth pursuing. After my Pezamania
additions, I currently have 12 different Batmans. I understand
that there are at least 10 or 20 more. And I very much look
forward to hunting them done, one by one.
that Pezamania 16 is history, I cannot help but reflect
on another fantastic time in Cleveland. So many friends,
so much fun, and good gracious, so much Pez. Congratulations
to the Glihas on a great first year as hosts, and here is
to many, many more.
I know this much: Pezamania 17 cannot come soon enough.
In the meantime, all the standard Pez hunts will continue,
with a few new ones as well (more on that next issue). Armed
with my trusty Laspina guide, my hard-earned money, and
my undying passion for the magic and wonder of Pez, I move
forward with enthusiasm and purpose through what is without
a doubt the most exciting time I've ever experienced as
a Pezhead has never felt as good as it does right now.
(Editor's Note: Be sure to check
out the Pezamania
16 slideshow, as well as the new song "Pezamania
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