Pez Toys

Written by Will Baum
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Pez toys aren't really "toys" in the conventional sense of the word. They are candy dispensers, which cough out little sugary Pez tablets. Don't throw your dispenser away when the candy's gone, though. Pez collectors, known as "Pez Heads," will often pay upwards of $3,000 for some of the rarest Pez toys.

A Brief History of Pez Toys

Pez comes from "pfefferminz," the German word for peppermint. Austrian Edward Haas is the inventor of the Pez candy, which starting in 1927, were packaged in tins. It wasn't till 1948--over twenty years into the existence of Pez--that the company developed the "easy, hygienic dispenser."

In 1952, Pez set its sights on America. To appeal to U.S. buyers, the company placed heads on the new dispensers, aiming the product at children. They also expanded to fruit flavors. The innovations were, needless to say, a success. Soon Pez was manufacturing on U.S. soil, offering as many as 150 different dispensers at any given time.

Shawn Peterson's "Collector's Guide to Pez" details which Pez dispensers are the most valuable. Among them are the World's Fair Astronaut from the early 1960s, the Alpine Man from the early 1970s, and the Owl Whistle from the 1980s. An antique, headless Pez dispenser was reportedly sold for $6000. The Internet is a great place to search for Pez toys of every variety.

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