Thinking Outside The Dispenser Since 2001
Spring Loaded: A Message from the Editor | top
Hello there, and happy May from Pezhead Monthly! I am looking forward to warmer weather and spending some more time outside. And also spending more time inside, because that's where the Pez is, after all.
First off, the cat is out of the bag, part one: This past month my wife and I added a new cat to our family. Her name is Annie and she is already adapting quite well to life with us and our other cat, Ollie. She's very lovable and we are so happy to have her with us. Here is a picture of her and another Annie!
Second, the cat is out of the bag, part two: the reason why I was unable to attend the Pez Informational Gathering's PIG4All convention in April was that I attended another event at the same time: GoldenCon, a convention dedicated to the classic TV show "The Golden Girls," as part of my wife's birthday celebration. Although technically, thanks to the magic of technology, I did manage to attend both conventions at the same time: while my wife and I were St. Olaf-ing it up in Chicago, a video of my Pez song "Gotta Love The PIG4All" (as featured in last month's issue LINK) was being played at the PIG4ALL convention in West Chester, Ohio. It was surreal to get messages from some of my Pez pals at that convention about how everyone was singing along with the song, while at the same time I was two states away at a completely different convention. Pretty wild stuff!
Between the new cat, GoldenCon/PIG4All, the April 2023 Virtual Pez Convention (VPC), and a bunch of Pez scores, April was quite the busy month! Things look to wind down a bit in May, which is good because I can use some time to organize my Pez room and collection, and maybe to start planning for what to buy, sell, and SWAG at July's Pezamania convention.
This month's issue of Pezhead Monthly, like this past month itself, has a lot going on. For starters, it has a definite Golden Girls focus, kicking off with the cover image. There is also a recap of our adventures at GoldenCon, which was particularly interesting since it gave me the chance to be an enabler, instead of my wife being the very frequent (and awesome) enabler of my Pez hobby. There is also a special All-Golden-Girl Edition of Pez Poetry. And the Golden Girls also play a part in my recap of the April 2023 VPC. There is also a bit of a Star Wars focus in this month's issue, including the latest short-but-sweet Pez Almost-Quote of the Month and a reminder of Pezhead Monthly's Star Wars Pez feature page, May The Fourth Be With You. Lastly, I walk through my April scores in words and pictures, but alas, without interpretive dance. Maybe next month!
Thanks as always for reading Pezhead Monthly. Take care and see you soon!
P.S. Did you miss last month's issue? You can still read it here. To search the full Pezhead Monthly archives, hop on over to the archive page, where you can browse by feature, Pez Poetry Slam, or issue. There's also a Google search bar to help you search the content across the site. And hey, maybe you would like to submit some words, photos, artwork, or videos to Pezhead Monthly to be featured in an upcoming issue? That would be great! Check out the submission details here.
From Facebook Pez pals, I picked up a few more neat custom Batmen Pez: a couple with some custom painted body parts in the style of Batman '66 and Batman '89, and then a glitterized custom piece of the Batfleck Pez version.
From the talented custom artist Mike Herz, I picked up a very well made custom Frankenstein dispenser. This is the first in Mike's custom Universal Monster series, with the next one being the Bride of Frankenstein. I'll be posting about them right here in Pezhead Monthly!
From the Pez Outlaw himself, Steve Glew (with help from the amazing Larry Mason), I picked up 3 new "Angel Outlaws"- all white pieces with red, yellow, and green faces and bunny slippers. These will be great additions to my Pez Outlaw collection, for which I am going to need more room soon. Steve did let us know that he'll be taking a break form new dispensers for a little while, so I am glad ot have picked these up.
Out in the wild, I was delighted to finally find the Good Luck Care Bear Pez at World Market. This dispenser was on sale for a short time on Pez.com (not to be confused with the limited edition crystal version) and then sold out for a while after that. (As of this writing, it is back in stock online). But the real out-in-the-wild shocker was the new Little Mermaid set (Ariel, Sebastian, Flounder), found at none other than Kroger! I can't remember the last time I found new Pez at Kroger. I am thinking maybe the recent SpongeBob set, but not sure. At $3 per dispenser for the new set, the price was a little steep but I didn't mind it. After all, this may be the last new Pez I find at Kroger for a while!
Speaking of Pez.com, we were all surprised when the new Sour Green Apple Mascot appeared out of the blue. I scooped one of these guys up to add to my Mascot set, which is one of my favorite sets. There is one more Sour Mascot featured on the card, so I think it's just a matter of time before it shows upon Pez.com. I will keep my eyes peeled for it for sure! Along with the Mascot, I picked up 2 more 2-packs: Ariel and Flounder from the Little Mermaid set and Hello Kitty and Hello Kitty Puppy from wait for it the Hello Kitty set.
My April Pez scores were rounded out by goodies from two different conventions: The Pez Informational Gathering 4 (PIG4ALL) and the Virtual Pez Convention (VPC). From the PIG4All, I picked up a convention dispenser, 2 different attendee dispensers, and a sweet t-shirt (PIG convention t-shirts are the most comfortable Pez convention t-shirts I've ever worn, for the record). The convention host, my Pez pal Josh Bales, also enclosed a nice note thanking me for being his closer. Josh is referring to my "Gotta Love The Pig4All" video, which I included in last month's issue, and which closed out the PIG sharing event on Saturday. The pleasure was all mine, Josh! (Even though I was not there in person.)
From the VPC, I picked up a very cool ladybug convention dispenser, along with some stickers, patches, pins and a postcard. The ladybug dispenser was custom painted and had some fun design prints on the stem, and some of the stickers, patches, and pins featured the winning entry in a contest that the VPC held in the Pez community. This was a really fantastic convention pack. Elsewhere in this issue is my recap of the April VPC, so be sure to check it out!
Here is a picture
of my April Pez scores, except for the PIG 4All t-shirt and some of
the goodies from the VPC.
I recently had the pleasure of attending a pop culture convention called GoldenCon in Chicago with my lovely wife, Jessi. The convention celebrated the classic TV show "The Golden Girls," a show of which my wife is a huge fan. Don't believe me? Check out this shrine in her reading room! We learned about this convention about a month or so in advance, and when we realized the amazing coincidence of it taking place on her birthday weekend? No doubt about it, we wouldn't miss this for the world!
This article is partially about the events of GoldenCon itself, which was a lot of fun for sure. But it's also about supporting your partner and the things that bring them joy, in any way that you can. This is also known as "enabling." We Pezheads very likely have at least one close person in our lives who enables our love of Pez, whether it's a family member, significant other, or friend. They enable us in ways big and small, including attending conventions and gatherings, waiting in the car at stores, and listening to us talk on and on (and on) about our collections, our displays, new arrivals in the mail, and so much more. But what happens when the enabler tables are turned, and Pezheads suddenly have the opportunity to support the passions and interests of someone close to us?
Follow me, if you will, through the looking glass.
Amid all the days, months, and years that Jes has supported and enabled my Pez collecting hobby, I've done my best to support her interests too. For example, she loves to read and it's always a pleasure to see her in her reading room with one or more cats on her, digging into her latest novel or memoir. When we're traveling, we always look for a bookstore, or if we're really lucky a sock store, to spend time in. The biggest chance I've had to enable Jes is when I surprised her with news of the Robot Chicken Skating Party coming to our town, where we got to meet one of her celebrity crushes, Seth Green. (I recapped this event in a previous issue of Pezhead Monthly.)
But GoldenCon was truly in a league of its own: a weekend-long convention that was so big, so immersive, and of course just wall-to-wall Golden Girls. And even better, GoldenCon took place on her birthday weekend. She was very excited, of course, but I was pretty excited to have the chance to support her too. My first t-shirt of the convention was a custom shirt that combined our 2 biggest fandoms, The Golden Girls and Pez. I also brought along the Golden Girls POP+Pez set. Here is a picture (and the t-shirt logo should look familiar as it is also this month's cover image).
The main focus of the convention was its panels. Some panels were about the cultural impact of the show, both on television and in the world at large. Other panels featured actors, writers, producers, and others who played a part in the main show, as well as two of its spinoffs, "Empty Nest" and "The Golden Palace." There were also some interesting panels with assistants to the main stars of the show, who had some unique behind-the-scene stories and perspectives that can't be found anywhere else.
In addition to the panels, there were a variety of other events, including a live recording of a Golden Girls podcast, a drag parody show, a trivia contest that took place in several rounds over the course of the weekend, a Saturday night dance party, and a multitude of fun photo ops including iconic scenes and set pieces from the show. And, just like other pop culture conventions, GoldenCon featured merchandise vendors, lots of cosplay, and even celebrity meet and greets.
But in order to make the most out of GoldenCon, we needed a plan. This is where my lovely wife came in. I had known of her mad organizational skills all the way back in 2009, when she proudly presented me with a color-coded itinerary for our trip to San Francisco on the airplane. It was a thing of beauty. She has also inspired me to be more of a planner myself, which I do appreciate.
Jes jumped right into the planning process once we secured our convention passes and hotel room. This involved not only her initial pass through the online convention agenda, but then multiple additional passes as the agenda continued to change as the dates got closer. A color-coded Excel sheet laid out in clear detail the must attend, may want to attend if time allows, and okay to miss events, along with descriptions. Golden Girls t-shirts and jewelry were part of the planning too, of course. Her enthusiasm for planning out the event was quite clear and it was wonderful to witness. It definitely brought to mind my own planning for a Pez convention, and the encouraging ear and voice she always lends while I am giddy with excitement. What a fun and enlightening time it was to be on the other side of this dynamic!
From the moment we got our registration lanyards, we were pretty busy attending panels (8 total panels together, plus another one that Jes attended without me), checking out all of the merch, and just taking everything in. In between all of this, we often refreshed ourselves with somewhat overpriced food and drinks. And of course, there were lots of other people there, who all had one thing in common: a love for "The Golden Girls." At many points during the weekend, Jes's eyes lit up when she saw people in costumes or t-shirts. And she'd enthusiastically tell me all about them. She struck up conversations with other attendees and shared laughs and stories of her favorite Golden Girls moments. All of this should sound quite familiar to Pezheads who attend Pez conventions. You may come to your first convention as a stranger, but in no time at all, you realize that you are among others who are just like you. You find your people and you leave as a friend and as a member of a community. Observing all of this from an enabler's perspective made me appreciate the fan/collector side all the more.
I would say that Jes was at her happiest when she got to meet Kerri Doherty and H. Allen Scott (as his alter ego, Sadie Pines), who are the hosts of "Out On The Lanai," a Golden Girls podcast that she enjoys listening to. The hosts were at GoldenCon for a live recording of their podcast. She first noticed them as we were having lunch in the hallway. She almost instantly realized they were dressed as Daisy, the Sunshine Cadet and Fernando, the one-eared bear, from the episode Old Friends. I had mistakenly identified them as Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion from "The Wizard of Oz," which, looking back on it, makes no sense at all as those two characters have nothing to do with the Golden Girls.
Anyway, we had a chance to meet Kerri and H. Allen/Sadie one on one (or I guess two on two?) before their podcast. Jes let them know she was a big fan and that it was her birthday (which resulted in them giving her a birthday shout out during their podcast recording!). The whole interaction was such a joy to be a part of. Here is a picture!
In the Pez world, this would perhaps be the equivalent of a first-time convention goer meeting Angela and Justin from the Pez Collection Podcast or perhaps the Pez Outlaw himself, Steve Glew, Shawn Peterson, or Joe Paravati.
Looking at GoldenCon through the eyes of an enabler (and a Pezhead), it really stood out to me that, much like Pez conventions, GoldenCon was all about a specific thing that brought everyone together, from miles away. Something that is part of people's lives, in what they watch and wear and do and read. Something that's a part of how they talk and what they think about. Basically, something that's a part of who they are. And being able to share that with a whole community of like-minded people is an experience you just can't miss if you have the opportunity for it.
I am so glad that I had the chance to be a part of Jessi's birthday weekend at GoldenCon. It was great to see her so happy and so fully immersed into one of her most beloved fandoms, and to be there to support her through it all. It gave me a new appreciation for what being a fan and convention attendee means, from the initial planning and preparing to all of the joy that washes over you when you finally arrive and are there with your people. And it also gave me a new appreciation for what it means to be an enabler, and to see and hear the happiness in the eyes and voice of your beloved collector/fan.
And lastly, it made my love for my awesome wife Jessi grow even more, which I didn't think was even possible!
It's now been a few weeks since GoldenCon and it still stays with me. I find myself saying random quotes from the show, such as "No, no I will not have a nice day!" and "Picture it: Sicily, 1922" and "Hey, take it easy lady! You just get out of prison?" It's even made its way into my Pez world, as shown in multiple other places in this month's issue.
I'd like to close with a Pezzification of the Golden Girls theme song, "Thank You For Being a Friend." I am currently working on a video for this song and hope to have it ready for next month's issue!
Back in St Olaf,
there was a saying,
Picture it, Austria,
And then C3PO! A
Fish Out of Water!
Gold Pez is nice,
nice, nice! Yes, I said it thrice!
And whether a Pez
is vintage or recent,
As I eat some cheesecake
out on the lanai,
A Pez dispenser:
A Pezhead named
Dorothy, Rose, Sophia,
a frozen display,
Rose's big smile
and sweet, trusting soul,
Sophia would be
vintage, aged like fine wine,
And then there is
Blanche, a real Southern Belle,
Dorothy, Rose, Sophia,
The Pez room tours were quite memorable. Kicking things off was a tour by Erin Panda, whose YouTube channel Erin Collects Pez is fantastic, not only in terms of the informative content but also in terms of its production values. Subscribe to Erin's channel right now if you haven't already done so! For her room tour, Erin first walked through some items in the recording studio that serves as the backdrop for her YouTube videos, before taking us down to her Pez room, which featured not only lots of pandas (of course) but many other vintage and current pieces. It was a great tour filled with one amazing display shelf after another.
The next Pez tour was a spotlight on a specific Pez series, specifically Hello Kitty. Ty Belisle walked us through his incredible Hello Kitty collection and walked us through all the different types, colors, variations, and more. In addition to the loose dispensers, he had bags, cards, and tins. It was an amazing site to see for sure. The Hello Kitty series is a notoriously difficult one to stay on top of because there are just so many of them, and new ones seem to come out quite frequently. But it's safe to say that Ty is in front of it and, if he doesn't have the biggest Hello Kitty Pez collection, it simply has to be a top contender.
The Pez room tour that followed Ty's showcase was a wild one. It was done by Austin Judson, also known as AJ, and was billed as "Something We've Never Seen." AJ is such a fun and lively member of the Pez community. Anytime you find AJ at a Pez convention, you know you're in for a treat. He's both very kind and very wacky, which is an awesome combination in my opinion. His Pez tour, on which he was accompanied by a mystery cameraman, started off with the introduction of his assistant, the dog puppet from Pets.com, which was attached ot his hand (Pets.com, for all of you kids out there, was one of the websites that was an early part of the dotcom craze back in the day). The dog puppet, whose name I am ashamed to say escapes me at the moment, gleefully interjected whenever AJ got to a dog Pez dispenser, or really whenever it felt like it had something to say. It was a fun, unpredictable twist on a room tour and I found it quite hilarious. As for AJ's Pez collection, it was quite cool and had a bit of pretty much everything, and a lot of some others.
Following AJ was the VPC featured tour: none other than Mr. Jim Blaine. Jim is a great dude and a real treasure for the Pez community. He and his wife Jody host the Michigan Pez Convention, which is coming up on June 22-24 of this year in Farmington Hills, MI. As of this writing, registration is still open but I am not sure how long that will be the case. Register today, just to be safe! I had a fantastic time at last year's Michigan Pez Convention and extensively recapped it in the July 2022 issue of Pezhead Monthly. Sadly, I won't be attending the full convention this year, but I am holding out hope that I'll at least make it to the Saturday floor show. For his VPC tour, Jim showed his extensive Pez collection, including more Pez skulls in one place than I have ever seen, or likely will ever see again. He also showed off all of the stuff from the past 5 years of conventions, and some props and behind the scenes info on his involvement with the "Pez Outlaw" movie (which, by the way, is still on Netflix and other streaming services). There was a lot more to Jim's tour, and unfortunately I missed a good chunk of it due to needing to prepare for my own VPC segment, which I'll get to later in this recap. I definitely look forward to watching the YouTube recording of Jim's tour when it is made available on the VPC website and YouTube channel.
Speaking of "The Pez Outlaw," the VPC also featured an interview with the Pez Outlaw himself, Steve Glew. Steve talked to Landon about the movie and all of the events that led up to it and followed. Despite now being a genuine movie star whose movie, along with himself, has won multiple awards, Steve remains a gentle, funny, friendly, down-to-earth man. Believe it or not, Steve still has not seen the movie himself. Since it was a part of the movie, he talked a lot about mental health and how important it is, and about how you never really know what someone is going through, so the best thing you can do is to always be kind. It's always good to se and hear Steve, and he's easily approachable and is always up for a picture or an autograph. He told us that his last two convention appearances EVER will be this year's Michigan Pez Convention in June and Pezamania in July. So if you are still on the fence about going to either of these conventions, this should push you right off of that fence!
There were also plenty of giveaways and bingo games. I was not a winner of any of these, but I am not complaining. It was fun just to see the prizes, which were almost 100% donated by members of the Pez community. One particular bingo prize featured a variety of attendee packages from recent Pez conventions, as well as registrations for upcoming conventions. This is a great idea, and very generous of the convention hosts, that I hope is done again for a future prize.
In terms of the VPC itself, Landon and Morgan provided an update on the 2023 VPC scholarship winners, talking about their qualifications such as community service. To learn more about the VPC's charity, the VPC Scholarship Fun, click here. Another VPC item was the 2023 convention package, which included a fun dispenser (a ladybug with some neat printed designs on the stem, which can be seen in the picture of my April scores elsewhere in this issue), along with some patches, stickers, pins, and a postcard. I scooped up this pack right away. As of this writing, you can too! But supplies are limited and once they're gone, they're gone.
Oh, and then there was that guy dressed up like a Golden Girl who read a Pez poem. Mind you, this is the same guy who previously read Pez poems at the VPC as "Weird Al" Yankovic," a hip-hop bunny, and a Batman Pez dispenser. Yes, to quote my close personal friend and life coach Snoop Dogg, he is I and I am him. I am honored to have a recurring segment at the VPC and once again I can't thank Landon and Morgan enough for their consideration and for allowing me to go a little nuts while reading some Pez poetry.
This time around, thanks to multiple Goodwill Store visits and the fine folks at Amazon.com, I was dressed as Sophia Petrillo, the wisecracking and eldest of the 4 Golden Girls. In front of a Zoom background of the Golden Girls living room, I read my Pez poem "Golden," which also happens to be included in this month's Pez Poetry All-Golden Girl Edition. (And this of course also ties in with another feature of this month's issue, my adventures at GoldenCon with my lovely wife Jessi.). It was a really fun time and I capped it with a parody of the Golden Girls theme song. Although I messed up the closing line, I had a vintage Pony-Go-Round dispenser on hand to wrap things up, along with the classic line "stay gold, Ponyboy!" from "The Outsiders."
And yes indeed, there is a video of this event, but as of this writing it is not online yet. It may be available by the time next month's issue is published, and if so I will post it here. In the meantime, here is a behind-the-scenes picture of me-as-Sophia along with my wife Jessi!
Thanks again to Landon, Morgan, and all of the contributors and prize donators for another fun and exciting VPC event. I look forward to the next one that's set to take place in Autumn. And hey, by the way, Landon and Morgan also happen to be hosting Pezamania, the world's longest running Pez convention since 1991, for the first time in July. I am really looking forward to it and I hope to see everyone there!
And lastly, May 4, also known as May The Fourth, is a special day for Star Wars fans, a group of which I am proudly a member. Did you know that there is a single page that has all of the Star Wars Pez poems, almost quotes, photo parodies, and more from Pezhead Monthly? It's true, and here it is!
I've recently updated this page with the Star Wars content from this month's issue, and pictures of most of my Star Wars Pez collection, except for various other items such as Giant Pez, POP+Pez, and custom Pez, which I hope to add to the page soon.
May the Fourth Be With You, Always!
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