In 1927, Eduard Haus III created Pez – a pint-sized candy that would go on to have a larger cultural impact than he could have ever imagined. In 1956, after crossing the ocean from Austria to America, the sweets were newly packaged up and remarketed with the groundbreaking dispenser that would become even more iconic than the candies themselves.
Now, vintage Pez dispensers are collected with the same fervour as Beanie Babies or Cabbage Patch dolls. Here are the rarest Pez Dispensers of all, and what you can expect to pay if you want to own one.
1982 World’s Fair Astronaut B – $32,000
Unsurprisingly, the rarest and most expensive Pez Dispenser is one that never hit shelves. The ultimate white whale for many collectors and enthusiasts is Astronaut B, a prototype created for the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. An unknown number of these Pez were taken home by employees on the day, and when the first one found its way to auction in 2006 it sold for an unbelievable 32,205.00!
1961 Political Donkey – $13,000
The story behind the 1961 Political Donkey Pez is as engaging as any political thriller. Created for President John F. Kennedy (as the donkey is the emblem of the Democrat party), it was gifted to him in Austria along with a golden Pez for his wife Jackie Kennedy and a Bozo the Clown one for his daughter Caroline. Unfortunately, these were confiscated by the Secret Service, and ended up back in the hands of the Pez company’s own vice president, who in turned gifted it to an employee. Eventually, Political Donkey Pez sold at a rare toys auction for $13,000.
2011 Prince William and Duchess Kate – $13,360
The William and Kate commemorative Pez are another example of recently released Pez Dispensers that have nevertheless managed to secure a high resale price. Released in 2011 to celebrate the pair’s nuptials, these two Pez are almost always sold as a pair, and their resale price often easily soars above $13,000. You could almost pay for your own royal wedding at that price!
1980 Foghorn Leghorn – $7,000
When it comes to Looney Tunes characters, not many would name Foghorn Leghorn as their favourite over Bugs, Daffy or even Marvin the Martian. However, this lukewarm fan reputation has only increased the value of the 1980 Foghorn Leghorn Pez, which consistently sells for around $7,000. This high secondhand price exists in spite of the fact that examples of this Pez are prone to discolouration, with the ruddy brown being especially prone to fading.
1957 Orange Witch – $4,500
The 1957 Orange Witch Pez Dispenser is one of the rarest of all, so much so that even photographs of it are hard to find. This Pez can be identified by its orange stem, black head and quickly abandoned hallmark of image printing on the side of the stem. It is worth a small fortune, with auction houses regularly selling this piece of toy history for $4,5000. However, if you want to set your sights just a little lower, the Witch A Pez was also released in 1957 with a black stem and orange head, and this variation is a little easier to find.
1978 Panther Green Eye Variant – $4,000
In 1978, Pez released the standard Panther Pez Dispenser, which had the somewhat baffling distinction of bright blue fur and yellow eyes on a red stem. Despite the outlandish colour palette, this Pez sold fairly well, and thanks to its age has become fairly valuable all these decades later. With that said, if you’re lucky enough to have a Pez panther in your attic or garage with green rather than yellow eyes, then you’re in for a treat, as such an example is worth $4,000 secondhand!
1972 Make a Face – $4,000
Pez Dispensers don’t have gimmicks as a general rule but, like the laser guns and slide whistles, there are some exceptions. The 1972 Make a Face Pez Dispenser was inspired by Mr. Potato Head and had removable components that could be swapped and changed around. As a result, finding an example still with all the pieces intact so many decades later is obviously a challenge, which has led to a secondhand resale price of $4,000! Imagine how many real Mr. Potato Heads you could buy for that amount of money!
1979 Softhead Mickey Mouse – $3,500
In the world of retro toy collecting, it’s pretty rare for principal characters to command prices as high as side characters or villain, owing to just how many exist in circulation at any given time. However, the soft head Mickey Mouse Pez bucks this trend, having somehow retained a higher resale price than numerous other soft head iterations of the Sensational Six. A 1979 soft head Mickey Mouse will set you back $3,500, and that’s without any Pez sweets included!
2021 Chewbacca Misprint – $3,500
It is generally true that older Pez tend to be more valuable than newer designs, but there are always exceptions to prove the rule. For example, the 2021 Chewbacca Pez commands an immense price of $3,500, if you get it with the right backing card. The reason for this high price is not the Chewbacca design itself, but the fact that several Chewbacca Pez were accidentally sold on Disney Princess backing paper. Whoops!
1962 Purple Lions Club – $3,075
Looking at this Pez, you might assume that the purple stem and golden lion head represent a football team. In reality, the Purple Lions Club is an international collective of do-gooders, committed to making the world a better place. This Pez was given out at the 1962 Purple Lions Convention to its members, and that exclusivity has contributed to its high secondhand value today. Want to add a Purple Lions Pez to your shelves? Be ready to pay a whopping $3,075!
1979 Softhead Captain Hook – $3,050
Often in toy collecting, villains and side characters are worth more secondhand than the heroes of a franchise, as fewer examples were made and so fewer exist in circulation. To a lesser extent, this is true for Pez collecting too, as villains like Captain Hook tend to be harder to source than prolific characters like Mickey Mouse. To add a soft head Captain Hook to your collection, you’ll need to shell out $3,050, unless you’d rather try to find one by going past the second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.
1964 Football Player – $3,044
When the Football Player Pez came out in 1964, it came with two flavour refills and cost 25 cents. Nowadays, the same exact Pez has a value of over $3,000, both because of its age and its rarity. Not many examples of this classic Pez still exist today, and even fewer exist in a decent state of repair. There are a few different colour variations of this Pez, but the most highly prized is the version with a blue helmet and white stem.
1979 Soft Head Goofy – $2,883
Not unlike Foghorn Leghorn, Goofy’s lower-tier status among the classic Disney characters has actually worked in his favour regarding the value of his signature Pez. Soft head Goofys are already valuable because of their construction, but the scarcity of these items on auction sites or at car boot sales has inflated their value even further. Now, adding a soft head Goofy to your collection means shelling out almost $3,000, depending on the condition of the Pez in question.
1979 Crazy fruit Pineapple – $2,247
In 1979, Pez released an entire series of fruit-themed dispensers with a funky and offbeat look and theme. These so-called Crazy Fruits were all popular, but it is the Crazy Fruit Pineapple that has become a lot of collectors’ white whale. Given both its age, rarity and the tendency of the white sunglasses to get scratched or damaged, the secondhand value for this Pez sits at a whopping $2,247.
1970 Sparfroh European – $1,800
The Sparefroh Pez was released back in 1970 throughout Europe, in order to promote the idea of saving and spending responsibly to children. Sparkasse banks in Austria gave these Pez Dispensers out to children who came to put money in their savings accounts on World Savings Day, and each dispenser came with a coin taped glued to the front of the stem. This niche character was a European exclusive and so is increasingly difficult to find, resulting in a secondhand price of $1,800!
1974 Asterix with blue helmet – $1,800
Asterix has been a recognisable character ever since his first appearance in a French comic in 1959. However, by the mid-1970s his popularity had reached hitherto unseen heights, hence his being immortalised in Pez form. While he was only ever sold in a multipack with his friends, it is Asterix himself who is most valuable to collectors, with a rough resale price of $1,800 depending on condition and if the packaging is included.
1967 King Louie with Light Brown Hair – $1,750
Even within different official rereleases of popular characters, you can find some minor differences in Pez colour and design. For example, while King Louie only hit shelves once in 1967 (the year his movie The Jungle Book was released), there are discrepancies in stem colour, hair colour and the presence of feet. The most sought-after iterations have a combination of no feet, a blue head, a red stem and light brown, so if that’s what your King Louie looks like, then you’re looking at a Pez worth $1,750!
1972 Alpine Man – $1,500
As with other collectables such as Beanie Babies and Pogs, the rarest and most valuable examples tend to be those that never officially hit shelves, and instead were given out at exclusive events as part of a limited-run promotional effort. The much-loved Alpine Man Pez was given out during the 1972 Munich Olympics and, due to how few still exist in circulation, has a resale price of around $1,500 as long as the quality is decent.
1990 Merry Music Maker Parrot Yellow Head – $1,200
In the 1990s, Pez released an entire range of animal dispensers with an added gimmick – the bodies of the Pez Dispensers were also slide whistles, and could be used as musical instruments. The lack of licensed characters in this range, plus their relatively recent release date, should ensure a low resale price, but the Merry Music Maker Parrot in particular has captured the imagination of enthusiasts. As a result, this particular animal Pez has a secondhand price of $1,200 even without its packaging!
1979 Soft Head Dumbo – $1,000
Dumbo is another Disney character to have had more than its fair share of Pez redesigns and rereleases, but it is the soft head Dumbo that enthusiasts are most eager to add to their collection. Also released in 1979, this Dumbo is of a similar rarity to the soft head Donald Duck, and so has a similar value of around $1,000. However, its blue base colour means that it is more susceptible to tarnishing than its ducky contemporary, and so it is harder to find one in good condition.
1979 Soft Head Donald Duck – $1,000
The older and more popular a character is, the more likely it is to have had more than one Pez iteration throughout the decades. In particular, Disney’s Sensational Six have had numerous rereleases, but the most valuable of them all are the soft head designs, which were made with squishier plastic. Soft head Donald Duck was released in 1979 and is worth around $1,000, even without the original packaging!
1970 Landerbank Hippo A – $900
One of the least exciting series’ of Pez Dispensers is the animal range, which was released throughout the 1970s. While all relatively rare and valuable, the most coveted amongst collectors and enthusiasts is the Landerbank hippo – which has the Landerbank bank emblazoned on its side. As of 2018, hippos of this kind were worth around $650, but that price can reach the $900s for examples in even better condition.
1973 Mary Poppins – $846
The 1973 Mary Poppins Pez Dispenser may not be the most valuable when it comes to the numbers alone, but it is widely considered to be the rarest Disney Pez ever made. Unlike many other designs from the time, this Pez has no feet and was released with two separate variations: with painted cheeks and without. While non-painted Poppins’ fetch a secondhand price of between $700-800, a painted cheeks Mary Poppins is much harder to find and has been known to sell for over $1,200!
1981 DHS Space Gun – $710
Most Pez Dispensers have a pretty standard design, with the sweets popping out of the heads of the various characters. However, in 1981, Pez settled on an entirely new concept to coincide with the worldwide Star Wars craze. The DHS Space Gun fires Pez out when the trigger is pulled, which delighted kids despite the danger it presented. For an in-the-box example in okay condition, you’ll need to shell out over $700.
1955 Space Trooper Dispenser – $300-500
While many of the most valuable Pez Dispensers are based on instantly recognisable characters, some are valuable simply because of their age. In 1955, Pez released both blue and red generic space troopers, unaffiliated with any sci-fi property, and they still become some of the most valuable Pez on the secondhand market, owing to their rarity. As not many have survived the necessary over half a century, the dispensers themselves are worth up to $500, while in-the-box examples can sell for as much as $1,000!