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]



Discussion Forums

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vntage Pez No Feet Knight Made In Usa Nmint No ReserveVintage Nf Fat Ear Bunny (feb) Pez Lot - 21 Unique Febs, Instant CollectionVintage Pez Regular - No Feet - Arithmetic Regular - Incredibly Rare - Blue StemVntage Pez Green Cow Made In Usa Very Nice No Reserve2.6 Austrian Luv Pez Psychedelic Eye Pez - Nf No Foot Vintage W/ Marbled StemTest Pez Dispenser - Green Crystal Elephant - 4.9 Imc 5 W/ Mono Stem - RarePez Vintage Doctor Pez 3.4 Austria No FeetGiant Pez Dispensers Rare General Mills Complete Set!!Anthropologie Camera Pose Bikini By Pez D'or Lrg Vintage High Waist Starlet Nwt!Rare White Knight Pez Dispenser Pez: Set Of 3 - Lounge Lizard Party/pezamania 2104Pez Ringmaster Austria 3.4 No Feet Stem RedRare Pez Regular Us Zone Yellow Stem Black Cap No Feet VintageRare Pez Regular Us Zone Red Stem White Cap No Feet VintageRare Pez Regular Us Zone Blue Stem White Cap No Feet Vintage2.6 Personalized Vintage Pez Dispenser - Regular - Nf Green W/ Red StickerHuge Lot Of 280+ Pez Dispensers, 20+ Year Collection, 10 With No FeetLot Of 5 Vintage No Feet Pez DispensersPez Very Rare Vintage Red Gun Shooter On Version 2 Card Rare Vintage Pez No Feet Brutus Bluto Popeye Made In Austria 1960s2 Nf Hot Pink Fat Eared Bunny Pez / Febs / Vintage - Both No-patent AustrianVintage Pez Baseball Glove With Ball No FeetVintage Pez Bullwinkle J Moose Rarer Brown Stem Yellow Antlers No Feet Nf CleanPez: Lounge Lizard Party/pezamania 21043 Pez Rare Limited Edition Set Polizist Ferdinand Sumsi Bee & Viktor KPez Jiminy Cricket Austria 3.4 No Feet Stem Awesome Vintage Little Orphan Annie Footless Pez Made In Austria LilPez Lim. 100made, Blue,green, Red Crystal Pumpkin E..linzgathering 2012...vhtfVntage Pez Stewardess Made In Austria Very Nice No ReservePez - Complete Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Set Of 56 Dispensers! TmntHuge Lot Of 119 Pez Candy Dispensers Disney Cars Princess Hello Kitty Snoopy +++Hard To Find Vintage Pez Betsy Ross (no Feet)Pez - Complete Funky Face Collection Of 65 Dispensers!Vintage Estate Junk Drawer Lot Star Wars Pez Metal Wood Fishing Lures & MoreVintage Pez Dispenser --- Eerie Spectres "scarewolf"Vintage Die Cut Bozo Butch Pez No Feet Rare!!!!!!!!!Vntage Pez No Feet Coach Whistle-pink Circle/orange Made In Usa Nmint No ReservePez - Looney Tunes - Soccer - Set Of 10Pez Vintage Sheik No Feet Austria, Band Black Stem 3.4Vintage No Foot Pez Pal Boy - White Hair - 2.6 Austrian Nf Stem - MintVntage Pez Lion Made In Austria Very Nice No ReserveVintage Nf Pez Pal Girl - Hong Kong - 3.9 Imc 1 No FeetVintage Popeye The Sailor Man Pez Candy Dispenser, White Hat, No Feet, AustriaPez - Kooky Zoo - Yappy Dog - 3.9, Austria, Thin Feet, VintageVintage Pez Dispenser Uncle Sam No Feet AustriaVintage Nf No Foot Feb #2 - Metal Pin - Pink W/ Blue Stem - Rare Pez DispenserPez - Mr Men - Rare French Set - Set Of 5Vintage No Feet Go Go Pez Dispenser Psychodelic Flower Austria Rose Vintage Rare 1978 Pez Dispenser Wonder Woman No Feet Soft HeadVntage Pez No Feet One Eye Monster Nmint No ReserveVntage Pez No Feet Jiminy Cricket Made In Usa No ReserveLot Of 350+ Pez DispensersVntage Pez Disney's Zorro Very Nice No ReserveVintage Pez Batman 1966 With CapeVintage Black Pez Batman With CapeThe Wizard Of Oz Collection Box Set Pez Limited Edition New Factory SealedVintage Pez Dispenser Clown No Feet AustriaPez - Obama Inauguration Heart - Rare Printed Stem HeartPez Incredibles Unmasked!Vintage Jiminey Cricket Pez Dispenser - No Feet - Made In Austria