Spring Loaded: A Message from the Editor top
Hi there! It's been a wild and crazy year for sure. My Pez collection currently stands at about 2100 dispensers and is constantly growing.
In this issue of Pezhead Monthly, I walk through my Pez year of 2019, including all of the highs and lows, and look ahead to a bright 2020. And, as shown above, the cover image is a Pezzification of Baby Yoda. Because of course it is.
Despite the name, this website is not always updated monthly due to other commitments. I hope to find a better time balance in the months ahead that allows me to spend more time on the site and to creative appreciations of Pez overall. That beign said, you can always check out all of the archives here. And, if you don't do so already, I'd encourage you to follow Pezhead Monthly on Facebook or Twitter to be the first to know when this site is updated.
Happy New Year and Keep On Pezzin'!
2019: The Good, The Bad, And The Pez Scores top
As another year, and indeed another decade, draws to a close, I cannot help but reflect on the impact that Pez collecting has had on me. 2019 was a milestone for me because it marked my 25th year as a Pez collector. There were many Pez Dances of Joy (PDOJs) this year, but there were also some moments that were bittersweet. But as the year draws to a close, the overriding feeling I have is one of hope and excitement for a bright and sunny Pez future.
I Like To Move It, Move It
The biggest thing that happened in my Pez world this year was that, for the first time in 4 years, my entire Pez collection is with me again. Since 2015, when I moved in and lived with my girlfriend (then fiancée, now wife) at her condo, the vast majority of my Pez collection was kept in a storage unit due to a lack of space. I did have a curio cabinet at the condo that contained some of my favorite dispensers (vintage, Star Wars, Batman, and other superheroes), as well as a shelf dedicated to as many of my most recent Pez scores that would fit, but other than that I had boxes (and boxes and boxes) of Pez dispensers and other Pez items in a nearby storage unit.
Of course, during these 4 years, I continued to grow my collection at a steady pace, going to conventions and many different stores to get lots of new Pez. And I would proudly display my new scores on the top shelf of the curio cabinet. But, with the lack of space at the condo, it was not too long before I had to pack up another box and move it to the storage unit. At one point I had over 50 boxes of Pez in the storage unit, along with other items such as posters, giant plushes, tubs of extras that I sell at Pez conventions, and more.
That all changed in July of this year, when my wife and I moved into our new house, which we both love. Along with this, I was finally able to move all of my Pez out of storage and into its new home, a wonderful Pez room in the basement! I will have much, much more to say, and show, about the Pez room when it is in its final (or near final) state, which I am thinking will be in March or April of next year. Progress on the room is steady so far but there is still quite a bit to go. I hope to dedicate a lot more time to it after the holidays. For now, it is just so nice to have all of my Pez in one place, even if some of it might still be in boxes for a while.
An Unconventional Year
To borrow a word from fellow Pezhead Josh Bales, a great guy who hosted the first ever Pez Informational Gathering (PIG) in Cincinnati this year, this was a rather "unconventional" year for me. Specifically, for the first time since 2001, I missed the annual Pezamania convention, the world's largest Pez convention and an integral part of my experience as a Pezhead. It was very hard to break this streak and it certainly was not intentional. Indeed, Pezamania 30 is happening next year and you better believe I will be there! But this year, Pezamania happened to fall on the weekend before our move date into our new house. I tried to at least attend the Saturday floor show, but alas, it was not to be. Instead, I had to live vicariously through the pictures and stories of this year's Pezamania attendees on social media.
For the smaller conventions earlier in the year in Cincinnati and Michigan, I had also hoped to attend these this year. But, due to time and money, I had to settle for the absentee packs in both cases. These were both great, but were of course a pale substitute of attending the conventions in person.
And then, just when I thought this would be my first year since 2001 without meeting up with fellow Pezheads, another Indiana Pezhead named Rob offered to host a Pez gathering in November- right here in my city of Indianapolis! The gathering was coined "The IN Crowd" (props to Josh for the name idea!) and I enthusiastically RSVPd yes right away. I put together a wish list and gathered up a few extras I had for sale. And, as fans of the Pezhead Monthly Facebook page already know, I posted numerous Pezzified tributes to Indiana, like this one.
This and all other Indiana Pez pictures can be found here for your enjoyment.
The gathering was held at Rob's house, on a perfect Sunday afternoon. He and his wife Leigh were kind and gracious hosts. Food and drink was provided, as was space for everyone to display some of their Pez for sale. There were only about 20 of us in attendance, but it was such a great time. I had already met a lot of these folks in years past at Pezamania, and it was nice to meet others for the first time.
Here is a picture of the 2019 IN Crowd attendees. I am already looking forward to 2020!
Another great thing about this gathering was that, because of the small size, I was able to give everyone a swag bag containing a bunch of goodies: a Pez dispenser wedding favor from my wedding, 3x5 cards of some of the Pezzified pictures I had posted earlier, and a USB flash drive containing some of the Pez videos I've put together over the years on this site and elsewhere. It was a real treat to be able to do this and something that I could never have done at a larger convention like Pezamania.
So thanks again to Rob for hosting this gathering and giving me a chance to hang out with some fellow Pezheads for a while. It was much appreciated!
Scores, of Course
Looking back on my Pez scores this year, I see that I added lots of new stuff, even in the midst of moving and unpacking. By my estimate, I added about 265 new Pez to my collection, including about 160 new Pop+Pez. The Pop+Pez amount is thanks in large part to John LaSpina, one of my favorite dealers at Pez conventions who is now also my go-to guy for Pop Pez. It can be pretty difficult to find new Pop+Pez in stores, and John's selection, prices, and shipping makes the choice obvious.
My favorite scores of the year in terms of standard dispensers would have to be the Star Wars Kylo Ren tin and the Twelve Days of Christmas Ornaments. There were so many Pop+Pez scores, but I would have to say the Masters of the Universe set (10, including 4 chases) and the Thundercats would get the top spot, just in terms of pure nostalgia. I also appreciate all of the new Star Wars Pop+Pez, especially since they are (so far) all characters that have not appeared on standard Pez dispensers.
It's hard to believe, but over the entire year I only had one vintage score. It was Puzzy Cat, which I picked up at the IN Crowd gathering.
And, no year of Pez scores would be complete without custom (fantasy) Pez. This was a great year for custom Pez, especially now that Pop+Pez has opened the door for new types of custom Pez. Fellow Pezhead Jeff Evans used his mad electrical skills to hook me up with a Skeletor and a Batman with light-up eyes, and a Ghost Rider with light-up hair. I also got a few other custom Batman Pez that will make great additions to my Batman display once I have that set up.
Taking a broader look over the last decade, there is no way I can tell for sure how many dispensers I added to my collection. Suffice it to say, it was a lot. The first dispenser of the decade for me was the current Bambi Pez, which I got on January 11, 2010. As for the last dispenser? I can't say for sure, as there are still a few days left!
It's also hard to pick my favorite dispenser or even set of the decade, but if I had to choose it would have to be the US Presidents. This collection spanned 44 American presidents from Washington to Obama and was split across 9 sets that were released from 2011 to 2015. It's a truly epic feat by Pez Candy Inc. that I tip my hat to.
As I look ahead to 2020, I cannot help but be excited at all of the Pez adventures to come, and to getting to see old Pez friends I have not seen in a while and new ones too.
For one, my new Pez room should be complete in the next few months. I've got a good start, with new floors, new bookcases from IKEA, new Pez display stands, and more. I've also set up most of my collector boxes and a good amount of my loose Pez. But there is a heck of a lot more to go. I will be posting many words and pictures on this website when the room is complete!
Another big thing I am looking forward to this year is a return to the Pez convention world. I really missed Pezamania this year, and I cannot wait for Pezamania 30 in 2020. So many Pez friends are there and every year I meet some new people. And the amount of Pez to be found is unparalleled of course.
In addition to Pezamania, I hope to make it to at least one other convention this year, and due to proximity to home it will probably be either the PIG 2 gathering in Cincinnati or the Michigan convention in June. Or who knows, maybe both! And my fingers are definitely also crossed for another IN Crowd Pez gathering too.
Wrap it Up, Pezman!
2019 was a unique year that I will never forget as a Pez collector. It had many of its own highs and lows that will never happen again, mixed with the familiar feelings of excitement of many new Pez scores and, unexpectedly, seeing some old and new Pez friends, despite not making it to a convention. I am excited to welcome the new year and can't wait for all of the Pez fun to come in 2020.
Enjoy Pez, but please do so responsibly.