…and I am speaking as a hobbyist, so please don’t anyone be offended out there. These are my people, but they are definitely a buncha nuts. Collecting PEZ dispensers is not my hobby, but I do own this one here:
I’m thinking about it because my husband got this book from the library to look up certain types of PEZ dispensers today. Glancing through it, I was struck with the thought that became the title of this post.
Collectors (real ones, I’m not just talking about pack rats here) can be the craziest people. There is, amazingly enough, a relatively short and exhaustive list of genuine dispensers, authorized by the company, and some are really cool and some can be so danged ugly. The newer ones (meaning post 1985ish, IMO) are sharper, and much more plentious with multiple sets coming out annually, and seem to be themed to be less like you’re eating candy out of a cartoon character’s neck. I bet PEZ collectors are a bit irked by this. It’s not a complete collection if you don’t have them all, which means going out and investing in the entire Tinkerbell set, and knowing that next year’s popular kid movie will be likewise immortalized.
The book has a list of ads and packages and different periphery items a person may be interested in (like a really scary prototype of a Ronald McDonald that was slotted for happy meals but never made it), which made me wonder if there’s someone out there who has a little museum built up in their garage with a lot of shipping boxes and so on. You have to be careful which ones you get because, like any other collectible item, people have been known to counterfeit these things, but of course a real collector would be able to spot fakes.