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This is an abbridged version of the PEZ FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) v4.0 compiled by Chris Sharpe. I have the entire verision availible for download on my download page.


[1-1] What does PEZ stand for?
PEZ comes from the first, middle, and last letters of the German word for
peppermint, PfeffErminZ.

[1-3] How long has PEZ been around?
PEZ candy was created in 1927 in Vienna, Austria. The PEZ dispenser was
invented in 1948. PEZ candies and dispensers have been marketed in America
since 1952.

[1-4] Tell me more about the history of PEZ.
PEZ was first marketed as a compressed peppermint breath mint in Austria. It
was initially targeted for adult smokers, and the first dispenser was
designed to look like a cigarette lighter (no character heads). After
being introduced in America in 1952, market research with children led to the
introduction of fruit flavors and character heads featuring top licensed
characters. Today PEZ is available around the world in more than 60 countries.


[1-6] What do MIB, MOC, MOMC, and NF mean?
These are standard abbreviations used to refer to the condition of a
collectible: MIB = Mint in Bag
MOC = Mint on Card
MOMC = Mint on Mint Card
NF = No Feet (see question [4-18])
Note that MOC does not mean that the card isn't bent, torn, and discolored,
but just that the dispenser is still on the card (unopened).



*[2-1]* Can I buy products directly from the PEZ factory?
Late in 1996, PEZ Candy began selling dispensers direct to the consumer or
collector. Mail-order inserts are beginning to appear packaged with the
current dispensers. If you wish, you can request an order form from PEZ Candy
by sending a message to:

PEZ Candy, Inc.
35 Prindle Hill Rd.
Orange, CT 06477

You can then mail the completed order form to:

PEZ Candy, Inc.
P.O. Box 3009
Wallingford, CT 06494

They will not take orders by phone. The dispensers are sold in groups of 8
and they are packaged "in bulk"; there is no special packaging. Prices are
$11.95 per group of 8 dispensers plus $3.95 shipping and handling. PEZ candy
is also available through this mail-in offer.

If you wish to find out the name of the PEZ distributor in your area, call PEZ Candy, Inc. at (203)-795-0531. You may be able to purchase PEZ in bulk from your local distributor. This may require a resale tax number or other qualifications, depending on local laws.


[2-5] Where is the company located?
The first U.S. PEZ factory was located in New York and imported the candy from
Europe. The United States division of PEZ Candy moved to Orange, Connecticut
in 1972.

*[3-3]* What's in PEZ Candy?
As listed on the wrapper the ingredients are:
Sugar, Corn Syrup, Adipic Acid, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel & Palm Oils
And Soybean Oil Mono & Diglycerides, Natural & Artificial Flavors,
Artificial Colors (including FD&C Red 3, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 2
- depending on which flavor).

The sugar-free candy has the following ingredients:
Sorbitol, Coated Citric Acid, Magnesium Stearate, Natural & Artificial
Flavors, Ascorbic Acid, Artificial Colors (including FD&C Red 40 Lake,
Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake - depending on which flavor).


*[3-4]* Is PEZ Candy good for you?
The nutritional info is:
Serving size: 1 roll (9 g)
Calories: 35
% Daily Values per Serving (based on a 2,000 calorie diet):
Total Fat (0 g): 0%
Sodium (0 mg): 0%
Total Carbohydrates (9 g): 3%
Sugars 9 g
Protein: 0 g

The sugar-free candy has the following nutritional info:
Serving size: 1 roll (8 g)
Calories: 30
% Daily Values per Serving (based on a 2,000 calorie diet):
Total Fat (0 g): 0%
Sodium (0 mg): 0%
Total Carbohydrates (9 g): 3%
Sugars 0 g
Sorbitol 8 g
Protein (0 g): 0%
Vitamin C: 35%

[3-5] What flavors are available?
Assorted Fruit, Grape, Lemon, Orange, Strawberry, and Peppermint. Cherry and Coco/Chocolate have been discontinued in the US, but are still available in other countries.

[3-6] Are there any sugar-free flavors?
Yes, PEZ Candy makes sugarfree Orange, Lemon, and Strawberry flavors.

[3-7] Where is PEZ Candy made?
Both sugarfree and regular candy are made in Orange, Connecticut where
the candy is also packaged with the dispensers.

*[3-8]* What flavors have been discontinued?
There have been many flavors over the years. Many of these were never available in the United States:
Anise (tastes like black licorice)
Chlorophyll
Coffee
Eucalyptus
Flower Flavor
Hot Cinnamon
IZO (vitamins)
Licorice
Lime
Menthol
Wild Cherry

*[3-9]* What are Kosher PEZ?
Some common dispensers have cards marked "Kosher". It signifies that the
candy inside the package was prepared in accordance with Jewish dietary laws.
They are always the assorted flavor packs. The Kosher carded PEZ are made by
PEZ Candy, Inc. especially for Paskesz Candy Company and are difficult to find.


[4] PEZ Dispensers
-------------------
[4-1] Where can I find PEZ dispensers and Candy refills?
PEZ Candy products (both dispensers and refills) are sold nationally by K-Mart, Walmart, Walgreens, Target Stores, Eckerd Drug, Family Dollar Stores, and Dollar General Stores. Also try your local supermarket, drugstore, and gift and novelty stores. Popular places to find PEZ in Canada include The Bay, Sears, Eatons, Zellers, Walmart, K-Mart, Toys R Us, major drug stores and supermarkets.

[4-5] How many PEZ dispensers are currently available?
The number varies at different times of the year. Holiday collections are only available at certain times, and different dispensers are available in the US and Canada and in Europe. For a Complete list go to PEZ dispenser list

[4-7] Where are PEZ Candy dispensers made?
The dispensers are manufactured and imported from Austria, Czech Republic, China, and Hungary. For US distribution, the dispensers are packaged with the candy in Orange, Connecticut. The Slovenia packaging plant closed in the fall of 1996.

[4-11] Should I open the packages or leave them in the bag and on the card?
This answer is the same as from any collector. Whether you open them or not
is completely up to you. If you want to retain the highest resale value, then
don't open them (but also keep them locked away in a humidity controlled
environment away from UV radiation...). If you collect them just for fun
then it's up to you. I like the cards, so I keep them unopened. It's
difficult to display them in the bag, so I open them. Only keep them in the
bag if you're going to resale them. There are a few exceptions (older
dispensers like the Stand By Me special that *must* be in the bag). The cards
are favored over the bags, but I'm not sure they're really worth more (except
that you get one more pack of candy).

[4-14] What is the highest price ever paid for a single PEZ dispenser?
What is the highest price ever paid for a single PEZ dispenser? David Welch sold a one-of-a-kind Advertising Regular from Portugal for $4375 in March of 1997. Many other dispensers have been sold for over $1000.

[4-17] How old is a particular dispenser?
You can get a vague idea of the age of a dispenser by looking at the patent
number:
Patent 2.620.061 1st series issued in 1952
Patent 3.410.455 2nd series issued in 1968
Patent 3.845.882 3rd series issued in 1974
Patent 3.942.683 4th series issued in 1976
Patent 4.966.305 5th series issued in 1990
Patent numbers are commonly referred to by only the first two digits, so a
4.9 dispenser is one from the 5th series.

Dispensers changed from "footless" to "footed" in 1987, but the recent
re-release of the "Regulars" are without feet. In general, if you have a
3.9 dispenser with feet, it was made after 1987. If a 3.9 dispenser is without
feet, it was made before 1987. (Of course some of these were made *during*
1987, but that's difficult to determine.)

[4-18] What does it mean for a dispenser to be "with feet" or "without feet"?
Most post-1987 dispensers have "feet" on the bottom of the stem. There is a
small plastic lip around the bottom of the stem that has two "feet" in the
front. These were added to aid the dispensers in standing up. Dispensers
without feet are generally older than the versions with feet. A word of
caution: Some recent releases (most notably the reissued Regulars) do not
have feet, so do not use this to judge the age of a dispenser. Switching
stems on a dispenser is quite easy to do.

[4-20] What is the most popular dispenser?
Santa and Mickey Mouse are the two biggest sellers of all time.

[4-22] My dispenser says "Made in Jugoslavia". Is that a misprint?
No. Jugoslavia is just an alternate spelling for Yugoslavia.


*[4-35]* I'd like a PEZ dispenser of xxxxx. Where can I get one made?
Kelley Philipovich makes "Custom Creations". These are not PEZ dispensers
(they don't dispense candy), but it's a great way to have your favorite
character to display with PEZ. You pick the character and the base color and
she sculpts the head out of clay using a different color for each feature
(no painting or glazing). The clay is then fired and a base is attached.
Cartoon characters usually work better than people and prices typically
range from $20-$40. For more information email her at kelleyp@juno.com.

[7-2] What other uses are there for PEZ?
Matt Shook initially described this PEZ gun. The description has been greatly enhanced with the help of several Pezheads.

The materials you need to make a PEZ gun are:
A PEZ dispenser
A spring from a ball-point pen
Double sided tape
A pair of needle-nosed pliers (or wire cutters) A package of PEZ (ammo)

Choose a dispenser that doesn't have a low neck (eg. a collar, Gonzo's bowtie, etc.) that might interfere with the projectile. Optionally, the double-sided tape can be wrapped around the small plastic piece that normally pushes the PEZ out of the dispenser. The tape serves to keep the spring around this plastic "pusher" piece, but may not be necessary depending on how well the spring fits.

The trick is to cut the spring to the correct length. The idea is that the spring is long enough to fit over the pusher piece and extend past the bottom of it so that when the head is tilted back it catches on the plastic of the inner sleave. As the head is tilted back more, the spring bunches up and finally slips off the plastic of the inner sleave, striking the end of the PEZ. Instead of the PEZ being pushed out by the plastic pusher, it is ejected by the spring on the pusher. The spring mush be short enough so the mechanism will reset itself when the head is returned to the normal position.


[8-1] Can I write to the company? What will they send me?
Yes, you can write to the company at:

PEZ Candy, Inc.
35 Prindle Hill Road
Orange, CT 06477
Phone: (203) 795-0531

They do not personally respond to your questions. However, within a couple
of weeks you should receive a packet including their FAQ (which is incorporated
into this document), a PEZ dispenser list (which erroneously lists a Robin
Super Friends dispenser with rubber head that was never made), a color
brochure which shows displays of PEZ dispensers and candy, and a mail order
form.

*[8-3]* Are there any books on PEZ?
There are several:(fallow the links to buy the books, or go to my PEZ Bookstore)


" More PEZ for Collectors: With Price Guide" by Richard Geary ($14.95, Schiffer Publishing Limited, 1995, ISBN 0-88740-849-4)

" Pictorial Guide to Plastic Candy Dispensers Featuring PEZ" by David Welch ($19.95, Bubba Scrubba Publications, 1991)

" Collecting PEZ " by David Welch ($39.95, Bubba Scrubba Publications, 1995)

"PEZ Collectibles: With up-to-Date Prices " by Richard Geary ($19.95, Schiffer, 1994; also a 1997 updated edition)

"The Collector's Price Guide to Plastic Candy Dispensers" by Mike Edelman and John Laspina ($10, self-published)

"PEZ Handbook" by Steve Glew (download FAQv4.0 and see [4-10]of for ordering info)

*[8-10]* Where can I find these newsletters I've heard about?
There is a newsletter called "PEZ Collectors News" which began
in September 1995. For a one year subscription, send a check or money-order
for $19 US ($20 for Canadian subscription and $26 for air-mail to Europe) to:

Richard Belyski
P.O. Box 124
Sea Cliff, NY 11579-0124
Fax: (516) 676-1183

There is also a PEZ club, "The Fliptop PEZervation Society." Members get
an official certificate of membership, an official membership card, and 6
issues (1 year subscription) of the Official Club Newsletter. The first issue
was in September 1995. Membership is $18 per year. For more information,
or to join contact:

Dennis Martin
2328 Farley Place
Birmingham, AL 35226
(205) 822-8745

There used to be a newsletter "The Optimistic Pezzimist" published by
Mike Robertson of Dripping Springs, Texas. There was also another newsletter
published by Larry Lafoe.

Many antique price guides and collectible toy price guide include listings
of discontinued PEZ dispensers and their current market values.


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This document is Copyright (c) 1997 by Chris Sharpe.
It may be freely distributed as long as no fee is charged and provided
the author's name and all notices and disclaimers remain intact.
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