Pecman’s 30th Anniversary: A History of the Iconic Video Game Character
Pecman was created in 1986, and the game was later released on December 31st, 1987 in Japan. It wasn’t until 1991 that Pecman made its way to North America, where it became an instant hit with consumers of all ages. Pecman’s amazing popularity across multiple demographics led to the creation of several TV series, and in 1995 he even got his own movie! In celebration of this momentous 30th anniversary, we’re talking about the history of Pecman, how he became such an iconic video game character and what the future has in store for Pecman! Let’s get started!
Celebrating Pez in 2017
In 1982, a Canadian-based company called Pez International Inc. introduced its signature product, a candy dispenser shaped like an anthropomorphic mouse head named Pez. As it turns out, the idea for this quirky contraption was born when founder Eduard Haas III noticed that his daughter Gabriele liked to store her candies in a metal Mickey Mouse bank. Inspired by Gabriele’s creative use of her toy, he created a prototype penny eater machine and showed it to executives at Hershey Canada. They were not impressed.
Trying to Find Pez in 1990
If you’re a gamer from the 90s and early 2000s, then you’ll remember this iconic video game character. I’m talking about Pecman. Pecman was an orange-skinned creature who had a serious addiction to pez candy. For thirty years, Pecman has been our favorite 8-bit hero with a big nose and a big heart. He became such an icon that he got his own show on Nickelodeon in 1996 which ran for three seasons. You could find him in various games such as The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Brothers 3, and even Donkey Kong Country 2 (he was one of my favorites!).
The Birth of Pez in 1977
The world’s most iconic video game character, Pac-Man, had his first appearance in 1981 and quickly became a worldwide sensation. But before that, there was Pez. And while you might not be able to tell it by looking at him today, he was once one of the most recognizable figures in pop culture.
Pez originated as a product in 1977, created by Hans Riegel GmbH for his company’s 40th anniversary. The plastic figure resembled Mr. Peanut, with a white head, yellow ears, and two orange eyes with black pupils. He didn’t originally have his trademark mustache, nose, or arms (you can see him without these features in the early promotional material). And if that wasn’t enough, he also came in several different colors – which is why collectors will pay top dollar for them now!
The toy was an instant hit with kids everywhere (kids love candy!), but they were expensive due to their hand-made production process so children usually only got them on special occasions like birthdays or Christmas. Still, when they did have them available people went crazy over them! There are stories of desperate parents crashing into stores demanding to buy pez because they couldn’t find any anywhere else!
How Pez Became Popular
In 1930, Austrian confectioner Eduard Haas III invented a peppermint-flavored, soft chewable tablet with no sugar that could be easily dissolved in water. The tablets were called Pfefferminz-Kügelchen (German for peppermint candy) and because they looked like little pebbles or pecans, he called them Pecksnaps.
In 1945, Haas sold his company to a man named Hans Riegel who renamed it after himself Riegel’s Pez. When Hans retired in 1967, his son Paul took over and led the business until he passed away in 2010.
Where Is Pez Headed?
The company is launching a new contest in celebration of its anniversary, where fans will be able to submit their own ideas for the next Pez dispenser design. The winner will have their design produced and distributed on a global scale. The prize is worth $10,000! What will your idea look like?
The iconic shape and design of Pez dispensers have stayed consistent over the thirty years, but there have been a few changes. For example, Pez containers used to be more flexible plastic, but are now hard plastic for safety reasons. And since 1996, a trademark has been added to each design. On top of that, different versions have been created for specific occasions and events like Halloween, Christmas, and Easter. How cool is that? I can’t wait to see what people come up with!
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