Pez dispensers passion adds sweet touch to wedding day
A woman who owns one of the UK's largest collections of Pez sweets dispensers has said she is so passionate about the toys that she even had a customised pair on top of her wedding cake.
Kelle Blyth, 29, of Norfolk, has around 3,000 dispensers of different characters and sizes, including some original pieces from the 1950s.
Her first one was a Miss Piggy-themed piece given to her when she was 14 and, 15 years later, she now boasts her "Pez army".
Mrs Blyth said: "My parents used to buy them for me as rewards, but as I got older they went into a box in the attic.
"Later I saw an article about a musician and saw he had a Pez dispenser collection behind him. So I got them all out and started building the collection and then it just became like an army.
"I even had the Pez Pals bride and groom on my wedding cake, customised to have hair matching mine."
Mrs Blyth's collection includes limited edition dispensers, books, clothes and other Pez memorabilia all stored in her garage, which she has converted into a "Pez room".
She will be showcasing her "army" this week alongside 10 other "obsessive collectors" at a pop-up exhibition in London hosted by furniture and home giant Ikea.
Among them is television's Dawn O'Porter, whose passion for collecting vintage clothing from around the world is inherited from her parents, who worked in fashion in central London during the 1960s.
Collectors of Spice Girls memorabilia, Star Wars toys, taxidermy, cameras and dolls house furniture will also be displaying at the exhibition, running from January 21-23 at The Proud Archivist in north London.
A spokeswoman for Ikea said : "More than 70% of British adults call themselves collectors and spend on average £287 a year on their passion - but almost half hide their collections away."
She added that part of what makes us human "magpies" is the temptation to impress, with collectors books being rated as 10 times more attractive than other kinds.
"The kudos of displaying our collections is strong with 15% of Brits displaying their collections to seem more alluring to the opposite sex and 20% admitting they find a bookshelf attractive," she said.