For nearly three decades after World War II, Mr. Allina was the vice president in charge of United States operations at what is now Pez Candy. In 1955, at his urging, what had been an austerely packaged Austrian confection for adults took on vibrant new life as a children's product. That year, the first character dispensers, as they are known in the parlance of Peziana, were issued, giving birth to what is today a highly collectible pop-cultural artifact. Instantly recognizable, the dispensers are slim plastic containers, usually anthropomorphic in design, whose heads -- modeled after those of TV characters, cartoon figures or historical personages -- flip back to disgorge brick-shaped pieces of candy.The story notes that some rare Pez dispenser now cost thousands of dollars apiece.
Remembering a Pez innovator
The New York Times posted an interesting obituary about Curtis Allina, the executive who may have come up with the idea to put plastic heads on Pez candy dispensers. Allina died on Dec. 15 at age 87.
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