My name is Ray Green, and I’m a Pepsi Collector from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. I originally started collecting Pepsi items around 25 years ago. I didn’t grow up around Pepsi-Cola, however. I started various collections from my elementary school days and have continued with various collections ever since; concentrating almost exclusively on Pepsi items now, which, to a lesser extent includes Mountain Dew and 7Up.
First, there was stamp collecting, then coins, match books (I still have a collection of 976 from around the world: only 11 of those are Pepsi & 1 Mountain Dew), tins of all sorts, pioneering implements, and of course a Pepsi collection. At the time I commenced my collection, Pepsi was bottled by Pepsi-Cola in Australia. Now, Pepsi is bottled by Schweppes. Back then in the 1990’s, Pepsi-Cola here had a merchandise division with a glossy magazine from which you could purchase all sorts of products with the Pepsi logo. My love for Pepsi-Cola over other brands of colas and all things ‘American’ saw me want to proudly display that Pepsi was my drink of choice and display the red, white and blue. Well, it was also the Australian flag colors and appealed to my sense of patriotism.
My first item was a polo top, which I still have, but no longer wear. To get one of my earliest items, I persuaded staff from a major department store in Melbourne city, to sell me a Pepsi-Cola tin stool, which I consider my flagship Pepsi item from one of their displays. After having started a collection, I stopped collecting for many years, even giving away many items; only to start collecting again in more recent times. Numerous moves and family reasons over a long period back then didn’t allow for a more permanent Pepsi display. Now, my Pepsi collection is virtually contained to the bedroom my son use to have before he left home. My wife ‘allows’ me have my ever growing collection providing it’s contained to that room. However, there are a few pieces that have escaped to other parts of the house!
Unlike the United States and some other countries in which there is a plethora of Pepsi items to drown yourself in, Australia has but a few drops in the ocean of Pepsi gear by comparison. Even the number of Pepsi- Cola flavors released in Australia over the years is more conservative. So, for an ardent collector, it is very easy to snap up what’s on offer ‘Down Under’. Purchasing items from overseas can sometimes be prohibitive due to the shipping charges. Having said that, my collection does have Pepsi items from 25 other countries to date.
I mainly concentrate on Australian cans, coasters and recently Pepsi magazine and newspaper ads. I also keep a range of Pepsi T-Shirts and Caps, which I wear regularly. Where I can, I also wear predominately clothing that have red, white and blue in them. Almost like a living ad for Pepsi!
My love for Pepsi has seen me commence the Australian Chapter of the PCCC. There was no recognised Pepsi-Cola Collectors Club in Australia. In Australia, although Pepsi Max is the No. 1 selling soda by volume, store displays for Pepsi products are still relatively low key. At present, all new flavors come out in Pepsi Max. Over the years, advertising in all forms for Pepsi has decreased dramatically in favour of different stores being able to stock ‘their’ range, size and pack quantity of Pepsi sodas. Some can sizes for example are only available through Gas Station Convenience Stores, such as 7 Eleven. So, in collecting I have to frequent many varieties of outlets to obtain all that becomes released in the Pepsi range.