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 - Mr. Mystic HumanVintage Arithmetic Candy Pez Dispenser Toy No Feet Retro Green Plastic Math OldVintage Late 1970s "chip" Pez Dispenser (chip And Dale)Vintage Early 1970s "sheik" Pez DispenserPair Of Vintage No Feet Pez, Bozo Clown, Disney Goofy, Both To Go For Parts.Rare Vintage Pez Vending Machine From GermanyVintage 1980s "space Gun" Pez DispenserVintage Pez 1972 Dr Skull No Feet Green Stem Usa 3.8 Pat Imc 94 Pez Dispensers * No Feet * Captain America Donald Duck Santa Fat Ear RabbitOlive Oyl Oil From Popeye Vintage Pez Dispenser – No Feet – Well Preserved!Pez Dispenser Lot Feet, No Feet, Unopened PackagesRare! 1950s Pez Yellow Space Gun Jr6Vintage Pez, Roar The Lion With Crown No Feet With Red Stem,made In AustriaVintage Pez 1972 Dr Skull No Feet Red Stem Yugoslavia 3.9 Pat Imc 5Vintage Pez 1972 Dr Skull No Feet Blue Stem Austria 2.6 Pat No ImcVintage Early 1970s "doctor" Pez DispenserVintage Jiminy Cricket Made In Austria Pez Dispenser (no Feet)Vintage Pez 1972 Dr Skull No Feet Orange Stem Usa 3.8 Pat Imc 9Pez - Popeye Version C With Pipe And Red Hat Very Nice Lot #238Pez - Octopus Or Blob No Feet Black Head Lot #237Vintage Pez Mr Ugly No Feet Red Stem Austria 3.9 Pat # Imc #3 Vintage Pez No Feet StandVintage Pez Maharajah No Feet Orange Stem Austria 3.4 Pat Imc 2Huge Lot Of 560+ Pez Dispensers / Candy Dispensers Pez - Eerie Spectre Soft Head Spook Yellow 3.8 Made In U.s.a. Stem Lot #239Vintage Late 1950s "popeye" Pez Dispenser~2015 Limited Edition Harry Potter Box Set 25,121 Of 100,000~*3.8* Usa Vintage No Feet Doctor Pez Pal Pez Dispenser / Incomplete / As-isRare Vintage 1950s Santa Claus Pez DispenserPez - Bicentennial Pilgrim Pez Club Med Face And Yellow Hat Band Lot #249Vintage Pez 1979 Captain America No Feet Blue Stem Austria 3.9 Pat Imc 8Vintage Pez 1970 Fireman With Mustache No Feet Red Stem Hong Kong 3.9 Pat Imc 7Pez Snowman - Neon Red Hat - RarePez Snowman - Brown Head - RareVintage Pez 1981 Pumpkin No Feet Red Stem Yellow Head Jugoslavia 3.9 Pat Imc 5Pez - Disney Dumbo Two Tone Head Yellow Hat No Feet Lot #230*no Feet / Thin Feet* Vintage Disney Pez Dispenser Parts Lot / As IsPez - Mimic Or Monkey With Baseball Cap No Feet Golden Yellow Head Lot #248Original Vintage No Feet Pez Dispenser Christmas Angel Cello Pack & Paper InsertStar Wars 120+ Action Figure Lot Pez 2 Darth Carrying Case Tons WeaponsPez Boy (white) Blond Hair, Blue Stem Vintage No Feet, No Cap Circa 1971 AustriaVintage Junk Drawer Lot Pinbacks Old Pill Tin Boxes Wristwatches Pez Wheat PennyVintage Pez 1965 Batman No Feet Red Stem Yugoslavia 3.9 Imc 5 Sign Nat'l Vintage Pez 1973 Panda A No Feet Blue Stem Pink Sleeve No Pat # Imc 8 AustriaVintage Pez 1960's Lil Lion Metal Pin No Feet Green Stem Austria 3.4 Pat No ImcVintage Late 1950s "spaceman" Pez Dispenser (cocoa Marsh)Pez Snowman - Orange Head - RareVintage Rabbit Pez Dispenser No Feet 2.6 Pat. Great Shape No Breaks Pez - Coach Whistle "b" Silver On Silver Hard To Find Lot #246* The Wizard Of Oz Complete Nib New Pez Dispenser Set LotStar Trek The Next Generation 25th Anniversary Pez Collector's Set Nib Pez Fat Ear Rabbit Bunny. No Feet Austira, Yellow Head, Blue StemVintage Pez 1977 Scrooge Mcduck A No Feet Blue Stem Austria Imc 8 No Pat #Vintage Long Face Clown Red Hat Yellow NoseVintage Pez 1971 Mickey Mouse No Feet Blue Stem Austria 3.9 Imc 8 Removable NoseVintage Penguin ( Batman Villian ) Soft Hat No Feet Pez DispenserWolverine Test Pez - RareVintage Early 1970s "pirate" Pez DispenserVintage Austria Made Pez Dispenser No Feet Christmas Angel With Halo & WingsVintage Mr. Ugly Pez Dispenser, No Feet, Yellow Tube