One of the more challenging questions I’m often asked is, “What is the most popular Disney pin?” The question isn’t necessarily a challenge to answer but getting consensus on an answer is a different story. If I asked 50 people this same question, I would get 50 different answers (at this point something about beauty, eye and beholder comes to mind). In the merchandise division, we use historical sales record to determine popularity. Sales records are an easy and efficient method to identify popular pins, but they are lacking one thing – storytelling.
Telling stories is an essential part of trading or collecting Disney pins, and I’ve heard a lot of them over the years! One common thread is people define popularity as the most cherished pin in their collection (which is not necessarily based on perceived value or sales record). One Guest told me that he loved an open edition Mickey Mouse pin because it was the first pin he was given. Another Guest took great pride explaining what it took to trade for a complete set of 10, red Doombuggies from Disney Summer Pin Festival 2009. Both Guests have popular pins – Mickey Mouse is a popular fellow, and there are only 40 complete red Doombuggy sets in the world.
For our 10th Anniversary of Disney Pin Trading, we wanted a pin collection that featured popular pins released during the past ten years. Thus, unique Tribute Collections were created for the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. When choosing the pins for the collections, I turned to the stories I’ve heard during my time as Trading Manager (sorry Pin of the Day, you didn’t make the cut). My hope is that Guests will showcase the original pins next to their newer cousins, the Tribute pins.
Some pins were easy to identify such as Flubber 2000 (who doesn’t want to wait in the rain for pins?). Another popular favorite was Wet Paint – a much discussed surprise pin from the early days. One pin I thought was a must was released on January 1, 2004 – the monorail surprise pin. The pin contains the one and only Spanish sentence that I know (say it with me) – “Por Favor Mantengase Alejado De Las Puertas.” Other pins selected included the Fantasmic! Hidden Mickey pin (just how difficult was it to trade for that pin?), and the gorgeous jumbo-sized pin designed by Disney Design Group artist Monty Maldovan titled “Celebration Surprise.” The latter was released in February 2006 for the Happiest Celebration On Earth. All of the pins selected for these collections have great stories attached.
So now it is your turn. What is the most popular Disney pin?
For more information about these pins and other things related to the 10th Anniversary of Disney Pin Trading, visit http://www.DisneyPins.com.