Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia

Pez MuseumThe Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia is a storefront museum with just 2 small rooms: a candy store that sells only Pez & an exhibit room. When I arrived for a visit yesterday morning, there was much ado in the candy store, where curator Gary Doss was posing for media photos in front of the world's biggest Pez dispenser. Mr. Doss then gave a tour of the exhibit room to myself & a couple of tourists.

The museum packs a lot of pop culture into a small space & claims to have an example of every Pez ever made. I was surprised to find that Pez is actually an Austrian product & began as a peppermint candy for adults. Mr. Doss pointed out curiosities such as:
  • The original Pez dispensers, which resemble slim cigarette lighters.
  • The 1st American dispensers, featuring Casper the Ghost, Mickey Mouse & Popeye.
  • A 1960's dispenser shaped like a hand holding an eyeball.
  • The world's rarest Pez, the "Make-A-Face", which was pulled off the market due to child safety concerns.
Mr. Doss's mastery of his subject is at a high level, & a conversation with him should be an essential part of a visit. He is a fount of information on such arcane topics as the 8 U.S. Pez conventions & the differences between the American & European versions of the candies. I also ran into the creator of, who was there to update his site's entry on the museum.

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