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In 1948 Oscar Uxa designed the first PEZ dispenser called "Box Regulars" which resembled cigarette lighters encouraging people to quit smoking.
To grow the US market in the early 1950s PEZ introduced fruity flavors and character dispensers, targeting them toward children. The first dispensers were a full-body Santa, full-body robot and a space gun.
Popeye was the first licensed character with only the head rather than a full body. Mickey Mouse was introduced in the early 1960's.