Mid-Michigan’s ‘The Pez Outlaw’ documentary hits Netflix

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 6:01 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The story of the Pez outlaw may sound like fiction, but it’s a true story that began in DeWtt, Michigan.

DeWtt farmer Steve Glew smuggled Pez internationally, and made millions off of the iconic candy dispensers. Glew’s story is now being told through a Netflix documentary, titled “The Pez Outlaw.”

Jim Blaine owns a museum they filmed part of the documentary. He started off as a fan of Steve Glew, but quickly became a close friend. The two worked together to share Glew’s story, which they say is less about Pez, and more about relationships.

“If you really watch the movie, it’s not only about Pez, it’s a love story,” said Blaine.

Not a love story between a man and his Pez...

“It’s about the relationships.” said Blaine.

But a love story between a man and his wife, and how he smuggled Pez internationally to provide for his family.

“He saw a need and he fulfilled it. Was it illegal? I don’t know, was it?” said Blaine.

Some Pez designs are only sold in specific countries, and American collectors wanted Pez that weren’t available in America.

“I’ll put it this way, he found a loophole and it worked,” said Blaine.

Steve Glew would head overseas and bring back exclusive Pez to sell for profit.

“Sure there was millions of dollars involved in this, right, but in the end, I don’t think it was necessarily about the money as much as it was taking care of his family.” said Blaine, “Steve’s a little bit of a recluse.”

Pushed out of the Pez smuggling business, Glew decided that if he couldn’t sell Pez, he’d sell his Pez story, and most importantly, spend more time with his family.

“The catalyst to the movie is Pez, but the item could’ve been anything, it could’ve been Hot Wheels.” said Blaine, “Really what it is about is about the friendships. It’s about not necessarily being the cool kid in school, but finding a community of people you just connect with.”

The Pez outlaw eventually retired, after a long-fought battle with the company. You can find the full story of the candy crimes on Netflix.

If you’d like to meet the Pez outlaw, he’ll be at the Michigan Pez convention on Saturday, June 24th in Farmington Hills.

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