Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Disney Pin Trading - The addiction (and fun) begins!

My starter set of pins...
When I went to Disney back in the 1990's with my wife, Disney was just getting started with pin trading.  For those who don't know what this is, it's the process of buying and trading metallic pins that you can get at stands in the Disney parks around the world that are adorned with all kinds of scenes related to the Disney parks, characters, movies, etc.

There are thousands of different pins available to date.  Anniversary pins, annual pins, specialized pins, limited edition pins.  You name it, there's a pin for it.  Shockingly, a big missed opportunity for Disney is that they don't publish an annual guide of all the pins, which I'm sure many people in the hobby would love to have and be willing to pay for.

Even back in the 90's when it was just getting started, I could see the potential popularity of the pin trading hobby because people of all ages swarmed the few pin buying stations that Disney had in each park looking for pins to fit into their growing collection.  I was intrigued by this and went over to one of the stands to check out the pins.

I quickly saw that it can be an expensive hobby!  The most basic pins are about $7, the typical fancier pins are around $10, and they get even more expensive than that depending on how complex/fancy the pin is.  Over the years, the prices have remained pretty much the same, and I would imagine that they have to because how expensive can you make a pin???  There's a price point that these things need to stay at so people will buy them over a period of years. 

At the time, I didn't get into the hobby because quite frankly I didn't want to spend the money on it.  Then, on our last trip to Disney in 2010, my kids expressed an interest in buying pins.  Although I heroically resisted this additional expense on what was already turning out to be a very costly trip, I caved in and bought the kids some pins.  They were thrilled to get them.  And thus a new hobby in my family was born...

We all started talking about the pins, stopping at the pin stands, looking at other people's pins, etc.  Once you get into it, all of a sudden you'll notice them all over the place!  And the Disney cast members walking around the parks wear them too, so you can walk up to them and ask them to trade (which they always do).  Even I got into it when my wife bought me a collector's edition starter kit for Christmas.  You can see it in the photo above where they're attached to the red pin lanyard.  I like to collect the pins that have scenes of the parks and Disney hotels in them.

Now I can't wait to get there this year to see which new pins to add to my collection!!!  I can feel the money being sucked out of my wallet before we even get there....at $10 a pin!  When you add this to my "Disney coffee mug" hobby (I buy at least two on every trip there), I'm not going to have enough money for gas to drive home!

It's now a little over ten years since Disney started pin trading.  Wisely, they've made it possible to get some pins online at the 'Pin Trading Around The World' website at this link to extend their selling opportunities once people leave the parks.  At this site there are links to their pin trading blog, the pin store, and other helpful information for those just starting out with collecting.

Here are two interesting stories about pin trading:
  1. Getting to the Point with Disney Pins
  2. Big Pin Hunting at Disney
If you weren't previously aware of all this, check out the Disney Pin Trading website and all of the pin trading activities and locations the next time you're in the parks.  But bring some extra cash, because I bet that you too will soon be hooked on collecting and trading Disney pins.  See more photos below...

Decisions, decisions.  Which pin to buy???!!!

A smile as they check out the shiny new pin purchases...


1 comment:

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