From 1978-79, these classic dispensers are known as "Softheads." There were only two other series made with these rubber type heads, Superheroes, which included Joker, Batman, Wonder Woman, Penguin and Batgirl. The other series was Disney. Disney Softheads never made it to the market and are quite collectible. One thing to note is that some of these dispenser's heads are marked "Made in Hong Kong" and some just "Hong Kong." Sometimes different looks come with the different markings. I've pictured these differences below.
First, here's a look at the six in this series. These pictures remind me of pics in a high school yearbook, especially Scarewolf. He looks so proud. In no particular order...(fine, alphabetical)
And all together...
There are two types of heads with these beautiful morsels. One will be marked "Made in Hong Kong" and the other just "Hong Kong." Here's a look...
Hong Kong is on the left and Made in Hong Kong is on the right. And with these different markings come different heads too!
Here's a look at the differences between heads marked "Hong Kong" (left) and "Made in Hong Kong" (right). You can definitely see the differences in the color, but the molds are different too. Look at the scar at the top right of his head.
And look at this. See the circles on the collar? Well, if you look real close you'll see two circles on the one on the left Diabolic, and three on the one on the right.
Here's a shot of the "shuttle." What's a shuttle, you ask? On most dispensers you'll find that the character head snaps directly onto the uprights of the inner sleeve. On the Softheads, however, the shuttle snaps onto the uprights and then the rubber head fits on the shuttle. The idea was to create a universal type stem. Two other dispensers, non-softheads, have this same set-up, Croc and the "B" Series Truck. Interesting to note that the shuttle can come with one or two posts, which explains the two holes in the head. No jokes, please.
These dispensers will be found on Patent 3.8 (3,845,882), USA stems. This was PEZ USA's "Experimental Era." Many cool colored dispensers will be on the same 3.8 stems, and the stems are pretty nice colors too.
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