Thursday, February 2, 2012
4281. Diego PEZ
Diego is a saber-toothed tiger, one of the main protagonists in all three of the films. He has a somewhat sarcastic personality, although it's usually not intended as malicious. He was sent by his pack to retrieve the human baby called Roshan; When he found Roshan in Manny and Sid's care, he pretended to lead them to the humans, but instead planned to lead them into an ambush by the pack. However, when Manny saved his life Diego changed his mind, telling him about the pack and helping to counterattack. He appeared to have been killed by the pack's leader, Soto, but survived and joined Manny and Sid on their travels. In the second film, he was revealed to suffer from aquaphobia, but he eventually conquered it in order to save Sid, Eddie and Crash. In the third film, he began to fear that he was losing his predatory abilities from being in the "herd" too long, and considered staying in the underground dinosaur world. He changed his mind after managing to save the labored Ellie from a dinosaur attack. He will reappear in the upcoming Ice Age movie, Ice Age: Continental Drift, while having a love interest in the movie with another Smilodon named Shira, voiced by Jennifer Lopez. He is voiced by Denis Leary.
Pez was first marketed as a compressed peppermint sweet or candy in Vienna, Austria. It was invented in 1927 in Vienna by a confectioner named Eduard Haas III. Haas invented peppermints using family owned baking powders, and decided to serve the mints in small, hand-size containers. He manufactured a small tin to hold the mints, similar to the modern Altoids tins. The first Pez mint dispensers, known as "regulars," were similar in shape to a cigarette lighter, and dispensed an adult breath mint marketed as an alternative to smoking. They were invented by Oscar Uxa. Haas Food Manufacturing Corporation of Vienna, Austria, was the first to sell Pez products.
World War II slowed marketing and production. In 1945, manufacturers devised and promoted the Pez Box Regular. In 1952 Eduard Haas introduced his product to the United States, and Curtis Allina headed Pez's U.S. business. In 1955, the Pez company placed heads on the dispensers and marketed them for children. Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse were among the first character dispensers. Since 1950, over 1500 Pez dispensers, including the original character dispensers have been created.
Pez vending machines were used in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. The first German machines were introduced around 1954 and were produced by DWM (Deutsche Waggon- und Maschinenfabrik) and GWS (Georg Wiegandt und Söhne), both of Berlin, Germany. Machines were later introduced in Switzerland and then in Austria, in October 1956; these were produced by Glerios / R.Seipel & Co. and/or Theodor Braun (Vienna, Austria).
In 1973, Pez built a factory in Orange, Connecticut. In 1983, Scott McWhinnie became the president of the Pez company. He retired in 2003. Joe Vittoria became President of the company in 2004. Around 2005 the size of the original factory was doubled and the Pez dispenser line was expanded. In the mid-1990s peppermint flavored Pez candies were reintroduced along with remakes of the 'regulars'.
In early 2006 the family of the original founder of the company bought back 32.5% of the stock from investment company PGH for €18M. They now own 67.5% of the company. The headquarters are in Traun, Austria. The Pez candies are produced in Traun and Orange, Connecticut, while the dispensers are produced in Hungary and China.