Who would have guessed that a colorful candy dispenser would would spark museums, lifelong friendships and extensive collections?
A childhood favorite, PEZ candy originates all the way back to 1927 Germany. The word PEZ is derived from the German word for peppermint, “pfefferrminz,” thus creating the beginning of the PEZ word. The famous dispensers have taken many turns to become what they are today.
PEZ candy has not only turned into a collector’s item but also a lifelong hobby for people all over the world.
Kelly Jo Mitchell, resident of Michigan, has been collecting PEZ since 1998. She first saw the “Axtrix set” while she was living in Germany and was hooked.
“I started seeing other PEZ and started buying them,” said Mitchell.
She started buying them for her son, but because he was only interested in the candy and the Power Ranger despensers.
“I guess you can say I bought them for him, but it was me who really liked them and I never stopped,” said Mitchell.
She said its not the PEZ themselves she enjoys but the adventures of hunting for them and meeting the lifelong friends by collecting.
Christine Kois, Michigan resident, caught the PEZ bug during a short visit to the “Burlingame Museum of Pez” in San Francisco.
“I had no idea there were so many types of PEZ,” said Kois.
Kois got sick and had to stay home from her job for two months. She was quickly bored with her interim position, but was interested more in the internet. On eBay she found not only PEZ, but also many collectors too.
“I ordered the PEZ book by David Welch and began to learn about the PEZ company and PEZ dispensers,” said Kois.
She attended her first PEZ convention in Minneapolis in 2005 when she met other collectors and even won the raffle for the handmade dispensers.
Kois has well over 3000 PEZ in her collection. They set up a “PEZ museum” in the lower level of their home.
“We carry extra PEZ everywhere to hand out to well-behaved kids, waiters and waitresses, and people who just seem to need a smile,” said Kois.
She said the coolest thing about PEZ is that it makes people smile.
“Let there be PEZ on earth,” said Kois.
History of Pez
Czechoslovakia Builds First Manufacturing Plant
Oscar Uxa Designs First PEZ Dispenser
Uxa’s PEZ Dispenser is Introduced at the Vienna Trade Fair
Fruity Flavors and Character PEZ Dispensers
PEZ-Haas Establishes First Sub-Headquarters in New York City
Stickers and Die-Cuts Are Added to Dispensers
PEZ Creates Interchangeable Rubber Heads
U.S. Company Headquarters Relocated to Orange, CT
PEZ Adds Feet to Dispensers
First PEZ Convention in Mentor, Ohio
PEZ Introduces PEZ Fuzzy Friends, Plush PEZ Dispensers
Mini PEZ Dispensers in Cereal Boxes
PEZ Introduces PEZ Sourz Dispensers
PEZ Makes Chocolate Flavored Candy
PEZ Opens First Visitor Center in Orange, CT