the vpc story.
March 2020 - a month none of us are likely to forget. With COVID-19 traveling around the world, we were suddenly being asked to stay at home, cease unnecessary travel, stop gatherings with our friends and start "social distancing." With one convention already canceled because of the situation, PEZ Collectors were left wondering when we'd all be able to see each other again.
What they're saying about us:
"The event was surreal! So amazing to see the PEZ family"
"For an entire month we’ve been living in a scary reality with everything going on. For the first time today, I literally for a moment didn’t think about it whatsoever. I was with friends and had a million laughs. From noon to 11pm, I was with my second family."
"What a blast that was!"
"This was seriously freaking amazing!"
Out of a difficult situation, the VPC was born! We decided that social distance didn't have to mean social isolation, and in 11 short days we pulled together the first PEZ Convention to take place solely online. Our event was on April 11, 2020 and included three seminars, two featured tours, nine mini tours, and a huge virtual Bingo night complete. We had nearly 40 people who donated prizes and 270 attendees! The numbers exceeded our wildest expectations.
What started as a one-time event to help everyone break up the boredom of quarantine is growing into something bigger! After hearing everyone's feedback from the event we realized that ongoing events, both small and large, can help us all learn more, see collections we'd otherwise have no opportunity to see, and connect with each other during those long stretches between in-person gatherings.
Get to know your VPC co-hosts
Landon: I've always been a collector of things - toys, autographs, odd lamps, and even door knobs have made their way in and out of my world. One of my earliest collections was Peanuts items and when I found Peanuts PEZ, it was a gateway to all things PEZ. One of my favorite things about PEZ collecting is the community of people and friends I've made along the way. Collectors have even let me sleep in their house and eat their food so I could take a PEZ road trip to see their collections. Once COVID made it impossible to see these friends I've made, the idea for a virtual convention popped into my head (fueled by a drink or five). Once Morgan was sure my beer goggles were off she agreed to help and 11 days later the first ever VPC was born. We're planning to grow even more this year and I'm excited for what we will do next - though I may not figure it out until I have a drink!
Morgan: My foray into the PEZ world came first by being what the community fondly refers to as an "enabler". I supported my husband's collection by categorizing, organizing, and buying. I grew more interested in the hobby, and it was once I attended a convention alone, I realized I couldn't deny that I too am a collector. Over time, my (I mean our) collection has grown to around 3,500 unique dispensers and probably over 4,000 PEZ items. I've developed a love for the removable nose Mickey and buy as many unique ones as I can. I adore being part of the PEZ Community and when Landon asked me about providing collectors with the opportunity to attend these virtual events, I couldn't say no (after the drinks wore off and I knew he was serious!). This experience has been a lot of work, but incredibly rewarding. I'm so excited to see where we go next!
a post 2020 thank you!
As 2020 comes to a close and we move into 2021, we need to express sincere thanks for all of the support we received in starting this endeavor. What started as an event to fill a void created by the COVID pandemic turned into so much more.
This year we hosted four events, featured 23 presenters, received donations from 65 different people, had over 600 unique registrants, and raised over $4,000 for our charity. We spent many minutes on Zoom and had a fantastic time connecting with you and connecting all of you to one another.
Given the positive reception we received this year we absolutely plan to keep going with virtual events in 2021. When in person conventions return, we will do our best to attend as many as possible to allow you a way to "be there" even if you can't go in person. We are so excited about the possibilities for the VPC, but we also know it couldn't have happened without your enthusiastic support each and every time. For that, we say thank you so much from the bottom of our PEZ hearts!