History of PEZ
An integral part of the American scene for approximately 50 years, PEZ Candy has been enjoyed by generations of Americans. PEZ was first marketed as a compressed peppermint candy more than 70 years ago in Vienna, Austria. The name PEZ was derived from the German word for peppermint, "PfeffErminZ."
With great-tasting flavors and collectible dispensers, PEZ is more than just a candy, it's a pioneer of "interactive candy" that is both enjoyable to eat and fun to play with. PEZ Dispensers are a hot collectible for adults and children alike, as well as being a staple of American pop culture. New character dispensers are introduced regularly to capitalize on current trends.
PEZ Candy is manufactured in Orange, Connecticut, by PEZ CANDY, INC. and marketed along with other unique confectionery products through supermarkets, mass merchandisers, variety stores, drug stores, convenience stores, toy chains and gift stores throughout the U.S.A. Available around the world in more than 60 countries, PEZ Candy and Dispensers truly has universal appeal.
The highest verifiable sale of a PEZ dispenser was a private sale of a Mickey Mouse softhead for $7,000 between an Austrian dealer and a California collector.
The PEZ collecting hobby has grown to the point where several conventions are held annually around the world. The oldest convention is PEZ-A-MANIA, which has been held in Ohio since 1991.
The all-uppercase spelling of PEZ echoes the trademark's style of type on the packaging and the dispensers themselves. The logo looks as if the letters were built out of 44 brick-like PEZ confectioneries (14 bricks in the P and 15 in each of the E and Z). Go ahead count for yourself!
In 1955, the PEZ company placed heads on the dispensers and marketed them to children. Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse were among the first character dispensers. Since 1950, more than 550 different PEZ dispensers have been created.