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    

Ghost Adventurers Autographs By Crew Zak, Aaron, Billy, Jay On Ghost Pez CharityFinnpez Pez Gathering Convention 2016 Limit Ed. "the Black Pearl" Pez DispenserVintage Early 1970s Make-a-face Pez Dispenser *rare* *rare* 2016 French Pez Gathering Attendee Dispenser Mint On CardPez Portugal Gathering ~ Made By Pez International ~ 1st Gathering 2014Vintage 1970s Witch Pez Dispenser Set Of 5!Vintage 1970s Pony Pez Dispenser! *rare*Rolling Stones Exhibitionism Pez Set Of 3 Moc New*rare* 3.4 No Country Of Origin /green Inner-sleeve Pony-go-round Pez DispenserVintage Frankenstein Monster Pez Dispenser Black No Feet Austria -great Shape!!Vintage 1950s Easter Bunny Pez Dispenser! (lot Of 5)Pez 8 Diff. Trucks From The 70s Leftovers From Homeworkers, Mint Pez Big Lot Of Mint Vintage Spare Parts Leftovers From HomeworkersVintage Pez Dc Comics Penguin Soft Head No Feet Misb Unopened #bp49Spg 2014 Dispenser Swedish Pez Gathering Blue Crystal Reindeer. Convention PezVintage Pez Dispenser - Snow White No FeetVintage 1970s Pilgrim Pez Dispenser!Vintage Coache's Whistle Pez Dispenser *still In Original Package* Rare 1967 Vintage Green Hornet Pez Dispenser No Feet Green Hat Green Mask Mint Vintage 1960s Batgirl Softhead Pez Dispenser *still In Original Package* Air Spirit Soft Head Monster Eerie Spectres Pez Dispenser No Feet Usa/hong Kong*rare* Vintage 1960s Easter Bunny Pez Dispenser! Die-cutPez Vintage & Limited Edition Dispensers - Large Lot Of 27Vintage Mid 1970s "fishman" Pez DispenserVintage 1950s Casper Pez Dispenser *die-cut*Vintage Early 1970s "panther" Pez Dispenser Vintage 1970s "doctor" Pez Dispenser Vtg Goblin Troll Elf Pointy Ears Green Austria 2.6 Pez Dispenser Machine No FeetVintage Late 1970s Thor Pez Dispenser 2005 Katrina Pez Dispenser 1 Of 750Vintage 1960s Bullwinkle Pez Dispenser Lot Of 17 Vintage Pez Dispensers - Some W/ Feet - Instant Collection From EstatePez Lot Of 78 Dispensers Star Wars Holidays Halloween Garfield & More Saves PetsPez DispensersPez - Set Of 5 Japanese Mini Pez Magi Rangers Mint In BoxVintage Early 1970s "pony" Pez Dispenser *pony-go-round*Vintage 1970s Wounded Soldier Pez DispenserPez - Set Of 5 Japanese Mini Pez Final Fantasy Near Mint Lot #601Vintage Early 1980s "foghorn Leghorn" Pez Dispenser Pez - Set Of 5 Japanese Mini Pez San-x Party With White Pig Near Mint Lot #602(3) 2016 Ne Pez Convention (stamford, Ct) Pez DispensersVintage Pez Disney Uncle Scrooge No Feet Misb Unopened #bp50Vamp Soft Head Monster Eerie Spectres Pez Dispenser - No Feet Usa / Hong KongVintage Mid-1970s "daniel Boone" Pez Dispenser Vintage 1970s Uncle Sam Pez DispenserVtg Witch Orange Stem/green Head Austria 3.410.455 Pez Dispenser Machine No FeetVintage Late 1960s Batman Pez Dispenser (with Cape)Vintage Mid- 1960s Boy With Cap Pez DispenserFantasy Pez Collectable Handmade WolfmanVintage 1970s Indian Maiden Pez DispenserVintage 1970s Astronaut Pez DispenserVintage Pez Dispenser - 3 Piece Witch Black Hair Vintage Tv Pals Barney Rubble Series Non Pez DispenserVintage Pez-doctor-no Feet-white Body, Mustache-missing StethoscopePez - Set Of 5 Japanese Mini Pez Pokemon Series 1 Near Mint Lot#598Pez Vintage Rubberhead Penguin RarePez - Set Of 5 Japanese Mini Pez San-x Party With Black Pig Near Mint Lot #603Vintage 1960s "sailor" Pez Dispenser Vintage Pez Dispenser Felt StandRare Donald Duck Usa Pez Vintage