Ah, PEZ, you bewitching sweet Austrian treat with your collectible mechanical pocket dispensers. Is there any trend or franchise you can’t coopt? The fantastic dispensers pictured here came out in 1968 and were created to tie into the “Flower Power” of the Summer of Love that had just happened a year earlier. (1968 would be a considerably darker year, but the dispensers still fit in fine.) There was a “flower” design and a “hand” design; both featured eyeballs. [Could these have inspired The Residents to adopt their trademark eyeball masks?]
According to Nina Chertoff and Susan Kahn in Celebrating PEZ, the flower flavor didn’t go over very well:
When psychedelic eyes were produced in the 1960s, [Eduard Haas, founder of the PEZ company] insisted that the candies be flower flavored to tie in with the “flower power” theme of the times. Their taste was unpopular, and they were finally pulled off the market.
Oh well. Wikipedia lists “Flower” alongside “Chlorophyll Mint,” “Coffee,” and “Yogurt” as one of eight “retired” PEZ flavors. Aren’t you curious what it tasted like?
They came out in 1968 and there was a limited reissue in the late 1990s—available by through a mail-in offer only—but I can’t tell the difference. Experts can, I presume. An original “Psychedelic Hand” model with a black hand can go for more than $500.
You can buy a pretty groovy mug with a “psychedelic PEZ” motif on it.
I know this is a total cliché, but here’s a Christian song in the new wave style called “Love Dispenser” with a stop-motion animated video, done with PEZ. It’s actually not bad!