From Rags to Riches: The Astonishing Journey of Small Candy Dispensers

The candy company PEZ has a long history of producing candy and dispensers. The dispensers have evolved over time from a small mechanical box to the iconic character-shaped dispensers that are popular today. The dispensers have become collector’s items, with some rare and unusual candy flavors, such as Licorice, Flowers, and Chlorophyll. The scarcity of certain dispensers has led to increased value, and collectors like Steve Glew have traveled the world in search of exclusive Pez dispensers. However, the success of Pez collectors has not always been welcomed by the company, as seen in the case of McWhinnie, the tyrannical leader of America’s Pez, who sought revenge against a collector in the movie “The Pez Outlaw”. Despite this, collectors like Brian Jaskolski have amassed impressive collections of over 3200 Pez dispensers.

“The Pez Outlaw” is a documentary that tells the story of Steve Glew, a man from a small town in Michigan who made millions of dollars smuggling knock-off Pez dispensers from Europe and selling them in the United States. The documentary chronicles Glew’s career as a so-called Pez outlaw in the 1990s, including encounters with the police and ultimately someone called the “Pezident,” the head of U.S. distribution for the Pez corporation, who eventually took Glew out of business. The filmmakers, Bryan and Amy Brandlien Storkel, first heard about the “Pez outlaw” from news articles and eventually found Glew’s blog, which he has been keeping for the past 20 years. They decided to get on a plane and fly to Michigan to meet Glew and his wife. At that point, they knew that this was an amazing story. The documentary has been described as a true crime story that sounds like fiction. It was released on Netflix in January 2023.

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