The Real Reason The 'Make A Face' Pez Dispenser Was Recalled

Every time the classic Pez candies are brought up, we're hit with a blast of nostalgia. Many of us grew up with the candies and have lots of fond memories chomping away on them. Even more visceral than the candy itself are the dispensers, which consist of a stack of the Pez tablets that are pushed up toward a character's head. When the head is pulled back, a single tablet is dispensed as if it has shot out from the mouth.

Lots of different Pez dispensers were made, with varied characters depicted. This delighted kids and adult collectors alike, who loved getting their hands on the latest Pez dispensers featuring a character from pop culture. Part toy, part candy dispenser, and all fun, it's no wonder Pez took off. According to Smithsonian Magazine, Pez had designed over 1,400 dispenser designs with lots of variations, many of which are valuable to collectors to this day.

Not all the dispensers were created equal. One in particular was ultimately so dangerous that it was discontinued for safety reasons.

The 'Make a Face' Pez dispenser

The "Make a Face" Pez dispenser is truly one of a kind. It's constructed sort of like a Mr. Potato Head toy, with removable and interchangeable pieces of different facial features that can be rearranged to create whatever wacky, upside-down face you desire. The pieces included eyes, facial hair, nose, mouth, and hair. The "Make a Face" dispenser debuted in 1972 (via Pez).

It sounds really cool and probably drew a good number of fans. However, it was ultimately considered too dangerous and was subject to a recall soon after it was released. It turns out that the small pieces that could be rearranged to change the face were too small for children to play with. Ultimately, the pieces were too easy for kids to pop into their mouth and ingest them (via The Gamer).

While this dispenser is no longer made, they can still be purchased by collectors for a high price. On eBay, the "Make a Face" dispensers go for thousands of dollars. At a convention in 2001, one sold for $4,000 (via ABC News). The recall and discontinued production of the dispenser have only made it even more valuable.