Crazy For Pez

Is any of that junk in your attic worth some money? How do you sort the trash from the treasure? CBS News Saturday Morning continues its series with collectibles expert Tony Hyman.





This week's moneymaker is something you might never expect to be worth money: Pez. That's right -- Pez Candy dispensers.

Pez Candy started out in Europe as an adult candy sold in flavors like eucalyptus, coffee and anise to mask smoker's breath. In the '50s, American marketers changed the flavors and sold Pez to kids by putting cute plastic heads on the dispensers. Along the way, familiar faces from Betsy Ross to Yosemite Sam to Chewbacca have been commemorated atop Pez dispensers.

"More than 250 different heads have been used and collectors pay outrageously for the right ones," says Hyman.

The secret of finding valuable Pez dispensers is simple, says Hyman. In the mid-1980s, feet were added to make the characters stand up better. Pez with feet seldom have much value.

But nearly all Pez without feet bring at least $10 or more. And, one in three from the 1960s are worth $100.

If you have a "Make-a-Face" Pez on its original card you can put a whopping $2,500 in your pocket. This rarest of Pez dispensers had detachable parts so that children could make their own Pez faces, in the style of Mr. Potato Head. Few were made because of parental concerns about kids swallowing parts.

Also valuable - up to $5,000 - are dispensers with a shooting star on the side instead of the Pez name.

To be valuable to a collector, Pez dispensers must work and be in perfect condition. The polystyrene used to mold the dispensers often melted when two dispensers were stored in contact with each other. Melt marks are a kiss of death, says Hyman.

For specific questions on Pez, Hyman recommends David Welch, author of A Pictorial Guide to Plastic Candy Dispensers and Collecting Pez. His email address is pezdude1@aol.com.

The Internet abounds with Pez-related sites, and many have specific sections for collectors and for buying or selling Pez dispensers. Check out The Official Pez Candy, Inc. Web Site or "The Ultimate Pez Web Site." There is even an online Pez museum.

And, go to Tony Hyman's Web site for more information on collectibles.

Previous CBS News Saturday Morning segments with collectibles expert Tony Hyman are available in the collectibles archive.

(Editor's note: the sites listed are for informational purposes and not intended as an endorsement of those sites.)


If you think you have a collectible worth a lot of cash, send an email to: sat@cbsnews.com. Pu"What's it Worth?" in the subject line, or write to: "What's it Worth?" CBS News Saturday Morning, 514 West 57th Street, 6th floor, New York, New York 10019.

Please note that because of the volume of mail received, Saturday Morning can't respond to all requests, but some will be selected and featured on the show in the near future.


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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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