It’s super hot around here so I’m taking it easy and photographing inside stuff this week. I figured it’s about time to introduce you to a minor obsession of mine – Pez dispensers. Remember those little plastic tubes with funny heads that shoot candy when you tip the head back? You probably got one as a kid and never really thought about again? I have boxes of those things. Numerous plastic boxes that form a small wall in our basement. I’ve been collecting Pez dispensers and Pez branded items for over two decades! I started young because it was something I could look for when my parents dragged me to auctions and antique shops. Pez is a great thing for kids to collect because they’re cheap, small, and easy to find both new and vintage. Although my buying and selling has slowed over the years, I still appreciate a good Pez buy. Pezhead for life, yo.
So let me tell you about my newest purchase! A few weeks ago I bought a plastic three-dimensional Peter Pez head from the top of a retail Pez display. Who is Peter Pez you ask? The PEZ wiki (yes, it exists) explains that “Peter Pez is the PEZ mascot. He is depicted on the sales displays, as well as numerous other forms of advertising. Often, Peter PEZ is depicted as a real clown, holding in his left hand a Peter PEZ dispenser.” True to the description here’s the display:
Originally, this Peter Pez head would have been mounted on the top of a circular rack that would be filled with hanging Pez dispensers. At the bottom of the rack were plastic clown shoes to match the head. They stopped using this display in stores sometime in the 1990s. There was a great discount department store called S&R in Kingston that had the full display with plastic head and feet. When S&R was going out of business a few years ago I BEGGED them to sell it to me. I was willing to come all the way from Toronto to get my hands on it. After a few calls back and forth, they stopped communication and sadly the store closed. I know the employees had a lot of things on their minds and it was easy to forget about me, but I just hope that some other misguided soul was able to purchase the display and it’s not sitting in a dump somewhere.
If you can find the six-foot tall display intact including head and shoes it can set you back as much as $300 – $500 dollars from sellers. It’s quite the rare item and honestly it’s a pretty cool way to display your own Pez dispenser collection. The head alone is usually worth about $100. I found this one on kijiji from a man in Scarborough who was asking for $50. Coincidentally, I had just sold a used air conditioner on kijiji for $50 so it was cash in, cash out. My husband Anson drove me to pick up the head and asked me if I was attempting some type of opposite bartering system where I take an air conditioner and eventually trade it down to a toothpick. Funny guy.
Here are a few more photographs of Peter Pez in all his glory. In case you’re wondering, yes, the other side of the display is the same image. You cannot escape the clown.
How big is Peter Pez in relation to the average house cat? This big:
This display has real value to me as a part of my collection so I will want to show it off. The bottom has a hole in it from where it was connected to the rack so I’ll probably try to put something in there and mount it on my wall. Most terrifying idea would be to stick a light bulb in this thing and make it glow. You see so few clown themed night-lights these days.
So I guess in summary while I am not the biggest fan of clowns I am very happy with my Peter Pez display head :) The cat, however, remains unconvinced.