Pin trading, the process of exchanging, selling, and buying pins, has a blurry history, just like the pin itself. No one knows for sure when it started. However, in 1999, pin trading became popular after Walt Disney World Resort introduced the Disney Pin Trading event as part of their millennium anniversary. The event was a huge success. A lot of pin enthusiasts and collectors were made because of it. Since then, many events and organizations adapted pin trading as part of promoting their brand.
Below are the major pin trading events around the world:
Disney Pin Trading
In the following year, until today, other Disney theme parks adapted the pin trading event. Disneyland Resort, Disneyland Resort Paris, Disney Cruise Lines, Tokyo Disney Resort, and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort have established their own pin trading event that it draws thousands of pin enthusiasts and collectors each year. Each theme park has their own set or list of what can be traded and their own practices and rules on how to trade them.
Disney cast members and managers wear lanyards that showcase around a dozen pins of various designs and characters. If a guest likes any of the designs on the cast’s lanyard, he will just present an acceptable pin and trade it with the one he likes. Most theme parks do not allow more than two trades with each cast member in the same day. However, if such lanyard is given to a different cast member, then the guest can make another trade with that person. The pin traded by a guest must not be the same as that are already on the cast member’s lanyard. They must also be in good condition. A pin traded must have a Disney characters, icons, attractions, and events on them. It must also be made of metal. Most importantly, it must have a “© Disney” on its back.
Lions Club International Pin Trading
With the goal of helping local communities, Lions Club International has 1.35 million dedicated volunteers around the world. To promote their mission of lending a hand and engage others to join, they started their own pin trading event. One of their most active participants in the pin trading event is the Pennsylvania Lions Club, who has their own organization, Pin Traders Club of Pennsylvania.
Otafest Pin Trading
If you are a fan of anime, then be a part of this exciting anime convention in May every year. They just started their pin trading event last year, and it was a success. Pin trading can be done during the convention or in their official website.
Olympic Pin Trading
Athletes have their medals; supporters have their pins. As part of supporting one’s country and their athletes, Olympic pin trading became increasingly popular. Whether it is a Summer or Winter Olympics or the Paralympics, pin trading is always present. Trading can be done on the venue of the Olympics or on various websites where pin enthusiasts gather and trade. The good thing about Olympic pin trading is that most customized ones are accepted and traded aside from the official badges. In fact, as long as another pin collector agrees to exchange the pin with you, then you can trade. There is no strict rules on what, whom, and where to trade. You’ll be amazed at each country’s creativity on encapsulating their nationalistic spirit on a tiny piece of metal.
Websites and Forums
Because a lot of pin collectors and hobbyists are scouring the internet for the next trading event in their area, most of them have agreed to exchange pins without meeting physically. Any pin can be exchanged through mail as long as both parties agreed. This is a great way to start a collection of a wide variety of pins as customized ones with great designs are one of the most traded types.