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Collecting PEZ Dispensers

Hobbies for Kids - PEZ Dispenser


PEZ candy is now a household name in the American culture.  Every child has had a PEZ and has loved it.  PEZ has been in existence for more that 80 years.  It was invented by a candy man named Edward Haas III in 1927.  Originally, it was marketed as a peppermint for adults in a flip top dispenser.  In the 1950's Haas changed his marketing philosophy by creating fruit flavors that children would enjoy and adding recognizable character heads to the product. In the late 1970's feet were added to the PEZ dispensers.

How to Start a Collection?

Since PEZ is an item that is readily available and something that kids love why not turn it into a hobby for them.  There are over 500 PEZ dispensers of different types available to collect.  

It is easy to start your collection, PEZ can be purchased at grocery, convenience, candy and toy stores.  They will cost approximately $1.95 - $3.95 depending on style and number of refills included.  You should begin by buying all the current PEZ that you can find.  These will be reasonably priced and will be a great investment since they will be worth money some day.   If your child enjoys the hobby and wants to expand further you can begin to look for vintage PEZ.  These dispensers can be found at antique stores, fleas markets, thrift shops, online auctions, websites and at collectible stores.  Also, check with friends, and relatives to see if they happen to have one stuck in a storage area or attic.  In addition, attending a PEZ convention is a great way to meet experts, gather a wealth of information and purchase hard to find dispensers.   Lastly, if your travel outside of the United States, particularly Europe or Asia where PEZ are manufactured, you may have some luck purchasing unique PEZ dispensers.

As with any other type of hobby it is important to do your research prior to making purchases so that you have some insight on what you should pay.  There are many magazine articles, books, and websites available on PEZ collecting that are helpful for the beginner as well as an advanced collector.

Care and Storage of PEZ Dispensers...

There are a variety of different types of display boards, hanging racks tiered stands or Plexiglas display cases that are available to exhibit you collection.  If you purchase a rack it should contain a custom grove that the PEZ can slide in, this will prevent them from falling.  You can also store them in large glass jars.   It really is based on preference and your budget.  All of these items can be found and purchased on the internet.

How to Determine the Age of a PEZ Dispenser?

The age can be determined by the tag on the PEZ dispenser.  You will find that there are two different types of tags on PEZ  The first type is the patent number and the second type is the injection mold code (IMC).  The patent number is located on the side of the dispenser and it relates to a year.  The IMC, which will be on the bottom of the dispenser feet, will tell what mold position the piece came from and the one found on the side of the stem determines the country of origin.

Patent Number

Year Issued

First series -  Patent 2.620.061    


Second series - Patent 3.410.455


Third series - Patent 3.845.882    


Fourth series - Patent 3.942.683  


Fifth series - Patent 4.966.305    



IMC Code

Country of Origin




Austria/Hong Kong








Hong Kong/China


Hong Kong/Austria




USA - Vermont, Connecticut




Click here for the History of PEZ

Helpful Links...

Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia - PEZ museum located in San Francisco Bay Area.

PEZ Candy Inc  - This is the official web site of the company that produces PEZ