In 2005, MP3 players were still an up and coming thing. 512 Megs didn't seem like a ridiculously small storage space, the iPod wasn't yet the only game in town, and we'd come along far enough to have collectioble MP3 players too. One of the first articles I wrote here on Retro Thing was about an unusual MP3 player - one that fit into a Game Boy Color.... but even that one doesn't approach the kitsch value of the the PEZ MP3 player.
News of this nostalgic MP3 player seemed to hit every gadget "blog" (also a new-ish idea at the time) back then. It wasn't an official product of the candy company - rather it was the dream of online entrepreneur Patrick Misterovich, who licensed the iconic design from PEZ. The player is the same size as a genuine PEZ dispenser, and the plastic boy head on top a duplicate of one of the first collectible PEZ dispensers back in 1955.
When you flip open the head, instead of being greeted by that familiar chalky candy, instead there's a power switch. One side of the player features simple navigation controls (forget any playlists here people - this is just a very basic player), as well as the mini USB player for loading up the built in memory. The headphone jack is in the dispenser's nape, and it's all powered by a single AAA battery.
The player was a limited edition of 1200 (though there are conflicting reports, there may be more out there), with the promise of more designs to come. As it turned out, the plastic faced boy model was the only style to ever hit the market (which seems odd - all you'd have to do for future models is change heads, right?), so this model became a hot collectible. Even when it was new, the player was on the expensive side at $100 for 512 megs of non-expandable memory. Nevertheless, it apparently made Patrick Misterovich an internet millionaire, at least according to one report. These days, your only hope of finding a player is on Ebay where they are quite scarce, and can command over a hundred bucks.
Sadly with all that MP3 player technology crammed into the dispenser, there is no room left over for any candy. I wish they'd left room for at least one of the candy bricks,,. just for emergency purposes, you understand.