PEZ was invented in 1927 in Vienna, Austria, as a peppermint flavored breath mint. At first, the candy was sold in rolls as “Drops,” similar to Life Savers and other hard candy. During the 1930s, brick-shaped PEZ was also sold in small tins that protected the candies when kept in the pocket. Customers could purchase refills that looked similar to the ones sold today, but the multi-colored plastic dispensers we associate with PEZ would not be introduced until after World War II.

The first "BOX Regular" PEZ dispensers appeared in 1949 and were shaped like cigarette lighters, which was in keeping with the candy’s positioning at the time as an aid to help people quit smoking. That same year, the words on the containers were changed to “BOX Patent,” and for a brief period, there was even a dispenser that had a small locking mechanism on the top. These locking dispensers are quite rare. In addition, many PEZ dispensers produced in postwar Germany bear the words “US Zone” on them.

Some of the first character dispensers were shaped like robots and Santa Claus. The bodies of these dispensers from 1955 went beyond the rectangular outline of the refills inside them. Instead, Santa was rotund, which the robots were bulky, with arms stiffly at their sides. One especially hard-to-find Regular PEZ from this era is the Golden Glow, which came with a round gold base, so that the dispenser could be displayed almost like a piece of sculpture.

To contemporary eyes, the most curious, and even disturbing, PEZ shape is the space gun from 1956, which came in a variety of colors and actually shot pieces of candy. Today, of course, it’s difficult to imagine a candy company expecting its young customers to put the muzzle of a gun in their mouths and pull the trigger in order to consume its product, but in the mid-1950s and ’60s, when the space gun was retooled as a handgun, the delivery device was all in good fun.

During the 1950s, as PEZ tried to gain a foothold in the United States, the flavors of the candy were expanded beyond a range of mints to include numerous fruits. And then came the characters: Popeye, a bunny, and a witch were among the first to be introduced at the end of the 1950s, followed by Casper the Friendly Ghost, Bozo the Clown and several Disney characters, from Mickey Mouse to Donald Duck, at the beginning of the 1960s. Many of these dispensers had character heads as well as additional character images die-cut into their sides (for example, Huey, Dewie, and Louie appeared on the sides of Donald Duck dispensers).

Today, some of the most sought PEZ dispensers are from the 1950s and ’60s. Wonder Woman and Thor dispensers are just two of the comic-book characters collected by fans, while the Psychedelic Hands dispensers from 1968, each of which holds an eyeball, are favorites of people who collect rock posters and ’60s psychedelia. In 1987, PEZ added feet its dispensers, so that’s one easy way to date a dispenser.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Museum of Childhood

Museum of Childhood

Embrace your inner child on this website from the Victoria and Albert Museum, filled with high-quality images and i… [read review or visit site]

The Wheelmen

The Wheelmen

This elegant tribute to turn-of-the-century bicycling includes memorabilia, photographs, and an index of 3140 bicyc… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Pez Dispenser No Feet Made In AustriaEarly Pez Maharaja Very Rare Rare Rare !!Three Vintage No Feet Pez Dispensers - Rocket Space Man - Popeye & Santa ClausVintage Cockatoo Pez Dispenser, In Original BagVtg Mr Ugly Pez Dispenser No Feet Orange Stem Usa Footless Halloween Monster Rare Vintage Pez Dispenser Baseball Glove Ball Bat Home No Feet 2.6 AustriaPez Vintage Red Knight. Great Shape!!Vintage Pez Eerie Spectre Air Spirit Soft Head DispenserCollectable Pillsbury Doughboy Pez Dispensers (rare)Vintage No Feet Crazy Fruit Orange Pez DispenserVintage Creature From The Black Lagoon Pez Dispenser Made In AustriaCreature From The Black Lagoon-pez-vintage-great Shape-universal Monsters-fishy!2nd Austin Texas (atx) Pez Gathering Attendee Dispenser - ExcellentVintage Pinocchio Pez Candy Dispenser No Feet Austria Pat # 2.6 Yellow StemVintage Pez Dispenser - Cockatoo Red StemVintage Pez Pal Dispenser Mexican Boy W/ Earrings & Moustache 2.6 Patent No Feet*rare* 2 Vintage Fat Ear Bunny Pez Dispensers Yellow Purple No Feet 2.6 AustriaVintage Die Cut Bunny PezVintage Horse Pony Merry Go Round Pez Candy Dispenser (no Feet) *3.4* Dual Imc Austria No Feet Blue Mimic The Monkey Vintage Pez DispenserPez Old Popeye A Pink Face / HeadPez Set Of 3 Uk Red Nose Day.mocVintage Red/white 1950s Pez Space Toy Gun Candy DispenserVintage Pez Snow White Pez Dispenser No Feet Blue Stem Vhtf Rare Walt DisneyPinocchio Pez (no Feet)Airline Pilot No Feet Pez Dispenser - Veryearly - "austria" No Us Patent Number.Vintage Lamb Mmm Pez Dispenser, On Original Bubble Card2010 Annual National Pez Convention Kissing Emoji Dispenser - ExcellentPez Old Popeye A Yellow Head Old Pez DispensersPez Red Plastic Pez Gun With Clip - Made In Austria - Works WellVintage Jiminy Cricket Pez Dispenser U.s. PatentVintage Pez Dispenser Elephant With Red Hat Rare 3.4 Stem!!!Vintage Pez Space Gun With Clip And Shoots Pez CandyVintage Pez Dispenser 3 Piece Witch No Feet Pink Stem RareVintage Pez Dispenser Fat Ear Bunny Yellow Stem Head Rare!!~2016 Pez-a-mania 26 Convention Dispenser~Pez Display CasePez Display CaseVintage Raven Short Red Beak Pez Dispenser No Feet 2.620.061 Made In AustriaVintage Easter Bunny Rabbit Pez Dispenser No Feet 3410455 Made In AustriaDisney Princess Snow White Pez Candy & Dispenser Fairytale Nib Collection Gift No Feet Batman Pez With Cape - Early - Austria 2.6 Great ConditionVintage Snow White Pez Candy Dispenser No Feet Austria Pat # 2.6 Turquoise StemPez Foghorn Leghorn With Feet Mint ConditionPez CockatooVintage Rare 1955 Space Trooper Pez Dispenser Is Blue Damage On One ArmSet Of 3 Variations Of The Bride And GroomVintage Pez Fireman Dispenser No Feet Nf 2.6 Made In AustriaPopeye W Pipe Winking Vintage Pez Candy Dispenser No FeetPez No Feet Pezpal Policeman 2.6 Austria Mint ConditionNo Feet Pez Road Runner - Austria 3.9Pez Vintage Lot Of Seven Cars Mini Cooper And Fiat Pez2 Vintage Pez No Feet Sealed In Bags Bambi And Snowman4 Star War Titanium Series The Black Series Disney Aircraft Ships Original BoxPez Vintage - Pez Girl Tin Lot Of 8 Pez Trucks, Hard To Find ~$4.99 Ship To U.s.Vintage No Foot Pez Truck NfPez Education Series Presidents Of The United States Volume 1Vintage Mr Ugly Pez No Feet