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Just can't pin it down...

Disney has awesome, incredible power. They have the power to change our country's laws to their liking (see also: copyright, Mickey Mouse), they have the power to create cultural legends, and they have the power to start fads. Apparently this pin-trading phenomenon is their latest attempt to cash in on Americans' desire to collect anything collectible, and it appears to be working.

I'd never heard of this before we arrived, but once we were in the park, there were pin-trading booths and cast members wearing lanyards covered with pins everywhere. The pins themselves are high-quality colourful metal ones with images of everything Disney-related, from all the major and minor movie characters to rides within the theme parks and more. There must be several thousand different pins.

For this trip, AAA acted as our travel agent, and as part of the package they gave us a few starter pins which we could trade with cast members for different ones (cast members are required to trade with visitors upon demand -- this helps facilitate the whole fad-adoption thing). My sister eagerly got into it, and found herself a Piglet and a Winnie the Pooh pin quickly, which she was happy about.

I tried my best not to get sucked into the idea. The pins cost at least $6.50 apiece and while the idea sounded fun, I don't really have that much disposible income that I want to spend on collectibles. (Homies are different. They only cost 50 cents. Shut up.) However, by the end of the trip, the subliminal advertising that Sarah posited must have been everywhere had gotten to us: she bought a pin depicting Lilo (the little girl from the movie Lilo & Stitch) and I bought one of Lumiére from Beauty and the Beast.

During check-in at the airport on the way home, I saw a guy with a Disney pin binder that must have contained several hundred pins easily. He was taking it on the plane with him instead of checking it in his luggage.

My pin is affixed to my summer hat now. It looks nice there. I hope I never add another pin to my collection.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 29th, 2003 10:35 am (UTC)
I'm surprised the pins didn't get seized as potential terrorist weapons :-)
Apr. 29th, 2003 10:48 am (UTC)
That's why I put mine in my checked luggage. "Take this plane to Nicaragua or I'll PIN you! I mean it!"
Apr. 29th, 2003 12:48 pm (UTC)
"Take me to Nicaragua or FACE THE WRATH OF DISNEY" might work better.
Apr. 29th, 2003 12:27 pm (UTC)
We sell pins...
Could I interest you in a Wrangell-St. Elias National Park pin?

No? Perhaps a Glacier Bay National Park pin, then.

NO? Perhaps an Alaska Natural History Association pin, then.

Anyway, last summer the state ferry docked near the visitor center. Many people flooded the visitor center, as usual, and one of them was a young man from somewhere in eastern Asia who didn't speak much English.

He was wearing a hat covered in pins.

He took off his hat and started gesticulating wildly toward it.

I got the point, quickly, even not understanding anything he said, and showed him the pins.

He smiled, bought one of each, and promptly left. He never looked at anything else in the visitor center.

That, my friend, is wack. Don't let youself be sucked in! Keep you hat to just a one-pin hat!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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