Disney Trading Pins!

We just recently had a several Disney pins consigned to our auction and I wanted to share some Disney pin facts with you! 

Pin trading began in the Disney parks in late 1999 and became a huge hit and it is something adults and children can do together! Disney has rules and regulations for how pin trading should be conducted within park limits, one main rule – money cannot be used in a trade (only pins for pins). While in Disney parks cast members may be wearing lanyards with pins, guests are able to trade with them up to 2 pins per person as long as you don’t give them a pin they already have! 

What to trade for? Some people focus on one character, movie or attraction to collect while others, like me, collect whatever they think is “cute” or special to them. Both ways of collecting are fun and exciting and you never know what you are going to find next time you are on the hunt in the parks!

There are several different types of pins: Limited edition, open edition, Artist Proofs, Cast lanyard pins, Cast exclusive pins, Slidder pins (moving parts), 3D or raised pins, and many more!

Here is some information taken from Disney’s offical pin trading website:

Thousands of unique Disney pins have been created over the years. And that is part of the fun of Disney Pin Trading – our incredible assortment. Guests may find pins from Disney Parks & Resorts, as well as pins from other divisions of the Walt Disney Company, such as DisneyShopping.com. The key to Disney Pin Trading is finding favorite pins to personalize a Disney Pin Collection.

For every pin created, there exists a series of Artist Proof (AP) pins. At Disney Theme Park Merchandise, we receive approximately 24 Artist Proof pins per style of pin. For pins with lower edition sizes, we may receive even fewer AP pins.

An AP pin typically has an “AP” mark stamped on the back side of the pin. Stamping the letters “AP” on the back of a pin is an extra step that the manufacturer does once the pin has been created. There is no difference between a retail pin we sell in a merchandise location and its AP cousin except for an “AP” mark that will be found on its back stamp. Artist Proof pins, however, are not sold in our stores.

Once “AP” pins are produced, they are sent to Disney Theme Park Merchandise headquarters where they are used for a variety of purposes. One of every pin created is kept in a permanent Disney Pin Archive at Disney Theme Park Merchandise headquarters, and one pin is sent to the Walt Disney Archives at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. The remaining AP pins may be used for trading or may become part of auction lots featured at Disney Pin Events. You never know where you may find an AP pin for trade.

Depending upon the manufacturer, the “AP” stamp will appear in a variety of locations. There are very rare occasions when an Artist Proof pin may not include an “AP” mark on its back stamp. We have seen some AP pins in the Disney Pin Vault from the early days of Disney Pin Trading that did not contain “AP” marks. If such a pin is included in an auction lot, we will describe it accordingly – “This is an Artist Proof pin but does not contain an “AP” mark on its back stamp.”

Below are some examples of “AP” marks and where you may find them on the back stamps of pins we create:

AP Mark

Limited Edition pins are just that – limited. This means there will be a finite number of pins manufactured and sold. The “back stamp” (the text on the back of a pin) on the pin will list the edition size. Sometimes, a Limited Edition pin will be individually numbered meaning it will be #XXX of XXXX (depending upon edition size).

Once a Limited Edition pin sells out, it cannot and will not be re-ordered again. For Guests, this is a unique opportunity to own a very special pin. The starting retail price for a Limited Edition pin is typically $8.95 (for a flat pin). Depending upon the additional features on the pin, the retail price will increase.

There is a difference between “Cast Exclusive” and “Cast Lanyard Series” pins. The “Cast Exclusive” pins are only available for Disney Cast Members to purchase. These pins are found within “backstage” Cast Member retail locations.

“Cast Lanyard Pins” can be traded with Cast Members at Disney Theme Parks and Resorts.