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 Rare Pez Dispenser - Mimic The Monkey - 3.845.882 - No Feet Rare Blue Headed Wolverine Test PezVintage Pilot Pez Dispenser, In Original BagVintage Railroad Engineer No Feet Pez Dispenser 1978 Dc Comic Batman Pez Dispenser Rubber Head No Feet Vintage SingOlive Oyl Oil From Popeye Vintage Pez Dispenser No FeetVintage Rare Pez Dispenser - Long Face Chin Clown - No Feet Usa 3.845.882Vintage Coach Whistle Pez Dispenser, In Original BagPez Portugal Gathering ~ 3rd Gathering 2016 * One Pez Dispenser New In Blister *Vintage Tinkerbell No Feet Pez Dispenser Rare!!!Pez Mickey With Green Head Pez Indian Maiden Free ShippingPezamania 26 2016 Emoji Gathering Dispenser Rare Resin Preproduction Hulk "b" Test PezThree Vintage Candy Dispensers Per Without Feet Two Us And One Austrian No Res.mAstronaut 1 - Rare Vintage Pez Dispenser No Reserve!!Rare Vintage Spaceman Pez Dispenser - No Feet - Clear Helmet, Austria 2.620.061Vintage Original Snow White No Feet Pez Pink Stem Turquoise Collar Austria 2.620Vintage Annie Pez Dispenser *no Feet* Made In Austria 1982Vintage Original Circus Carousel Horse Pony No Feet Pez Austria 2.6 Orange HeadPez - Japanese Mini #12- Rody - Set Of 5 - Bandai - 2004/12 - Plus InsertVintage Original No Feet Pez Mr. Ugly U.s. Patent 3.410 455 Made In AustriaPez Presidents Of The U.s. Volume 1 Set 5 Broken Pez Dispensers, Missing Parts. Old Pez. 4 Of Them Have No FeetVintage Chick In Egg B Pez Dispenser, In Original BagPez Captain America Blue Mask No Feet Vintage 1970's Austria Marvel Comics RareBen Pakulski Pez Scored Nutrition Bcaa ChewsHuge, Mixed Lot Of 59 Pez Dispensers ~no Duplicates~1950's Spaceman Pez - Made In Austria Patent 2.620.061 - No FeetPez Candy Dispenser No Feet Popeye Mickey Mouse Donald Duck Disney Toy Vintage3 Vintage Pez Crow With Glasses Donald Duck Dog No Feet 70s Cockatoo Pez Dispenser-no Pat #, Made In AustriaVtg Zorro Pez Dispenser No Feet Walt Disney Production Made In Austria Pez Scooby Doo Gang Set - 5 Dispensers & 6 Rolls Shaggy Fred Velma & ...New Unopened Wizard Of Oz 70th Anniversary Collectors Pez Set, Factory SealedVintage Early 1960s "bozo The Clown" Pez Dispenser *die-cut*Vintage Pez Candy Dispenser Train Locomotive Engineer, No FeetVintage Chief Pez Dispenser With No Feet Pez - Japanese Mini #10- Frogstyle 1 - Set Of 5 - Bandai - 2004/10 - Plus InsertHuge Lot Of 65 Pez Dispensers! Et/disney/star Wars/santa And Many More!Misfit Santa Pez Dispenser White Hat & Stem, Tan Face, Santa Claus 1980Rare Misfit Elephant From The 1997 European Kooky Zoo Pez Dispenser SeriesJustice League Action 2016 Sdcc Swag Bag Wb (comic-con Exclusive)Vintage Savage Sporter 22lr Rifle Magazine 1908 Pat. 23a?Pez Garfield Mickey With Red Head Pez, No Feet, DoctorPirate Pez Plus One YugoslaviaPez - Japanese Mini #09- Dokodemo Issyo 1 - Set Of 6 - 2004/09 - Plus Insert5 Pokemon Pez Dispensers - Loose But New - Vintage Pez Candy Dispenser - Rooster - No Feet - Austria - Very NicePez Presidents Of The United States Volume 2:1825-1845Three Htf Retired Euro Pez Dispensers ~ Crystal Kooky Zoo HippoPez, Vintage, No Feet, Jiminy CricketVintage Gorilla Pez Dispenser - No Feet - Made In Austria - RareFull Set Of 2016 Pezamania 26 Dispensers! Pez Dispenser Boy No Feet Vintage Usa Totem Candy Dispenser Promo Sign Harry Potter Limited Edition Pez Collector's Series AuctionPez Presidents Of The United States Volume 3:1845-1861Vintage Peppermint Pez Candy Toy Tin Litho Clicker German Right After Wwii