When PEZ Sold a Candy-Shooting Gun to Kids

vikif/iStock via Getty Images
vikif/iStock via Getty Images / vikif/iStock via Getty Images

The mid-20th century was a golden age of questionable children’s toys. After school, kids passed the time with such products as a witch doctor head shrinker kit and an atomic energy lab with real uranium-bearing ores. In 1965, PEZ hopped on the inappropriate toy trend by releasing a candy-shooting gun.

As AV Club reports, the retired PEZ dispenser recently resurfaced in a viral Reddit post. The plastic device was designed to look like a real pistol. Instead of lifting a character’s head to dispense candy tablets, all you had to do was pull the trigger. If a commercial ever depicted kids shooting PEZ into their mouths from a toy gun, it hasn’t made it onto the internet—though the packaging does depict a cartoon boy gleefully shooting the candy projectiles. You can see what the product looks like in action in the video below.

The dispenser cost less than a dollar when it was introduced. Its status as a collector’s item makes it much more valuable today; in 2012, a PEZ candy shooter in its original package sold for $250 at auction. It was initially valued at between $300 and $400.

The PEZ company hasn’t always been the family-friendly brand it is today. The bite-sized candies were original developed as anti-smoking mints, and early advertisements used provocative imagery to target adults. You can find more facts about PEZ here.

[h/t AV Club]