There is no doubt that, at some point in our lives, we have eaten or seen the iconic candy, PEZ.

For me, growing up and getting a PEZ candy dispenser usually happened after I made good grades or was on my best behavior. Being on my best behavior as a child was not a very common thing, so I did not get many dispensers. That would change as I grew older.

The sugar-sweet candy went on sale in 1952. Originally, the candy dispenser was designed to mimic a cigarette lighter to help smokers wean themselves off cigarettes. The creators found that if smokers had a similar looking lighter device in their hands, it helped ease the anxiety from wanting to smoke. A bonus was that, not only did it offer a smoker something to hold, but it was also loaded with candy to help fight the craving to smoke.

Soon after, the candy dispenser craze went global and they became collector's item. There are currently ten flavors and fifteen-thousand different dispensers. In 2011, PEZ opened the PEZ Visitor Center located inside their Orange, Connecticut manufacturing facility. It is near the top of my bucket list of places I would like to visit.

My nephews and I started collecting PEZ dispensers three years ago. At last count, we have over 300 in our collection. We are definitely PEZheads. Many friends enjoy helping add to our collection. One person sent us thirty dispensers from Connecticut. I’m always on the lookout for stores that carry PEZ. If you know of any places, let me know.

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