My collection of Disney cloisonné pins currently numbers over 4,350.  When I began collecting in October 2001 I had no idea that I would acquire this many pins, nor that I would meet so many interesting people in the process.

My collecting began in earnest in October 2001 at the Disney Store in Limeridge Mall, Hamilton, Ontario.  I had read about the "100 Years of Dreams" pin series being sold at Disney Stores from September 15th to December 15, 2001, so I dropped by our local store at Limeridge Mall on Saturday October 6, 2001 only to be told, "Our pins are sold out.  You must be here and line up at least a half hour before the store opens at 9:30 if you want to buy pins."  Imagine my surprise that the pins were so popular!

So the following Saturday, October 13 I arrived at 9:00 a.m. to find about 30 people already lined up.  I took my place and enjoyed chatting with those in front and behind me.  When the doors opened we filed in in order and were allowed to buy two of each of the pins released that day.  There were generally 7 or 8 pins released each Saturday.  I did not arrive in time to get each pin that first day, so the following week I arrived at 8:30, a full hour before opening.  I got all the pins that week, but the series just kept getting more and more popular and more people were lining up each week.  By the middle of November we were only allowed to buy one of each newly released pin, so I had to conscript Gary who came each morning to make sure I was able to buy a supply of "traders".  By December we were arriving at 7:30, a full 2 hours before the store opened.

I was able to purchase about 60 of the 100 pins in the series at he Disney Store in Hamilton, but Gary and I made a few trips to stores in nearby Mississauga and Toronto as well to buy pins.  During some of these trips we heard stories of hysteria and even fist fights over pins in some stores.  We were thankful that things were so orderly in our "home" store.  By the end of 2001 I was able to pick up all the pins I missed in the first four weeks of sales by visiting other stores and buying others on EBay.

I was pleased to pick up the entire series, and on our next trip to Walt Disney World I bought a lanyard and began trading with Cast Members and other guests.  The hook was now set!

Then the "Magical Musical Moments" and "12 Months of Magic" series came along in rapid succession.  By the time I completed my set of the "Magical Musical Moments" series, I had decide to become a little more discerning in buying pins.  I only bought a few pins in the "12 Months of Magic" series.  I now limit my purchases and trades to Limited Edition pins, and even of these, I only buy pins which have some special significance or particular appeal to me.  Gary and I are WDW Annual Passholders and I have an extensive collection of pins which are exclusively available to passholders.  I also try to find all Daisy Duck pins, all Pluto pins, all Haunted Mansion pins and all Fort Wilderness pins and all Nightmare Before Christmas pins.  

While I have traded pins in Hamilton, at the home of one of the "Saturday Morning" regulars from the autumn of 2001, and at many pin trading meets in the Toronto area, most of my trades have been made at Disney parks in Florida and California.  I prefer to trade with Cast Members and with amateur collectors like myself, rather than the professionals or "sharks" who make a living dealing in pins.

A highlight of my pin trading experiences was our trip to "The Happiest Pin Celebration on Earth" held at EPCOT in September 2005.  I enjoyed it so much that it has become an annual event for me.  Plans are well underway for my 12th EPCOT Pin Event in September 2016.

I also travel to New Jersey once or twice a year for the Central Jersey Disney Pin Traders weekend meets.  I have made some good friends through pin trading and I enjoy getting together with them at pin events.

I keep a close eye on various Facebook pin trading pages to stay abreast of new pin releases and most of my friends and family normally take a list of selected new releases which they try to pick up for me.  This, combined with our several Disney trips each year, give me my needed "pin fix".

 

If you want to read a bit more about pin trading check out these links:

 

Pin Trading Blog for AllEars - 2008

 

Pin Trading Tips Blog for AllEars - 2008

 

Pin Trading Blog for AllEars - 2009

 

Pin Trading Blog for AllEars - 2010

 

Pin Trading Blog for AllEars - 2012

 

Pin Trading in New Jersey Blog for AllEars - 2012

 

Vinylmation Blog for AllEars - 2012

 

Trade Celebration Blog for AllEars - 2013 Part 1

 

Trade Celebration Blog for AllEars - 2013 Part 2

 

Trade Celebration Blog for AllEars - 2014

 

Pin Trading Blog for AllEars - 2015

 

Pin Trading Blog for AllEars - 2016