PEZ MP3 Player
We've seen MP3 players in the shape of teddy bears, wristwatches, sunglasses, jelly beans...so why not as a Pez character? This first-edition Pal Boy is a tribute to the original figure, which was introduced in the 1960s. The Pez MP3 Player is one of 5,000 units made by entrepreneur Pat Misterovich, who has his fingers crossed that his first batch will be a success. If that's the case, he promises to follow up with a second-edition line of characters. Could we see Batman or Homer Simpson Pez players in the near future?
Upside: Replacing the half-century-old candy-dispenser functionality are digital music parts, including 512MB of storage, which equals about 120 songs encoded at 128Kbps. Surprisingly, this flash player conforms to the compatibility found on other players in its class; it plays MP3, as well as secure and subscription WMA, music files. This is impressive because there are still some bigwig manufacturers out there that don't offer subscription compatibility yet.
The Pez MP3 Player is plug-and-play ready with USB 2.0, and you can drag and drop music files from your computer's OS; no software is required. Another bonus is that it comes preloaded with a dozen tracks from various artists. These are indie artists you've probably never heard of, but it's still a nice touch.
Downside: The Pez MP3 Player's screenless design--not to mention its $99 price tag--is obviously inspired by the iPod Shuffle's. The price is right; however, if you prefer a display for browsing your artists/albums/playlists, this is not the player for you. Also, it runs on one AAA battery, so although it's convenient when you're on the go and away from a power outlet, the lack of an internal rechargeable battery makes it more expensive in the long run.
Outlook: The Pez MP3 Player is a buzzworthy device that's fun for the whole family. Kids, Pez collectors, and those who simply grew up eating and playing with Pez will relate to this product. Nice job, Mr. Misterovich. Hopefully, these players will not only make it into the Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia but also become the next big thing in the expanding world of wacky MP3 players.