Loose is a term indicating that a dispenser is no longer in its original packaging.
Since Pez dispensers are candy distributors, to get to the candy and eat it, one has to open the package. A loose Pez dispenser is usually, by definition, a used dispenser.
If the dispenser is still in its original condition, it can be considered "near-mint," but to truly be considered in mint condition, it has to be in its original packaging.
Many collectors remove Pez dispensers from their packaging in order to display them better. Loose dispensers take up much less space and can be seen much better than if they were in the original packaging.
Other Packaging Types
Effect on Value
Pez is one of the few collectibles where original packaging does not significantly affect the value of the item. Exceptions to this rule include:
- Dispensers with small, removable parts, such as the Make-a-Face dispensers or the baseball glove with bat and ball.
- Dispensers with production errors. These need to be in the original packaging as proof that they were not tampered with.
- Dispensers in the wrong packaging, for example a Disney character packaged on a Halloween card.
- A collector's set in a box or tin, which is often shaped to reflect the characters or includes extra items, like the Elvis tin with a music CD.
- Dispensers such as the Space Trooper or Full Body Santa, which were only sold loose.