Themed Pin Events – Pin Trading 101

So far, we’ve covered two different types of events – Pin Trading Nights at the theme park and Disney Soda Fountain Pin Trading Events.  This time we’ll cover this third type of event – the themed event.  The themed events, while expensive, are well worth it and for someone like me who has to travel to these events, it’s nice to know in advance that I’ll get in.  They also do a RSP (Random Selection Process) to be fair about the distribution of pins also.  It literally is random so no matter when you sign up, you still have an equal chance to get the pins you want.  You may not get the pins, but again, they let you know in advance.  It’s really the best way to solve some of the problems that could otherwise arise (see DSF events).  So if you’re like me and you want to be assured of getting in to the event and being able to participate, this is the best way to go.

The commemorative gift given at the Sci-Fi Academy event
The commemorative gift given at the Sci-Fi Academy event

Themed Pin Trading Events with Pin Product Available for Purchase

My favorite of all the pin trading events, I took my kids to one and they loved it.  I loved it.  The product was beautiful and people were really amped up about the pin boards.  Now, if you don’t know, a pin board at one of these events is different than at Walt Disney World or even the little pin board they have in Westward Ho at Disneyland where you can simply trade one for one.  These pin boards are FILLED with awesome (and some not awesome) pins including AP (Artist Proof) and PP (Pre-Production) pins.  Here’s the deal.  They often have more than one board.  At D23 Expo, they had two to choose from and at the Sci-Fi Academy event they had three.  You can only pick one, and you have to pick it before you see what’s on the board.  Then you have 30 seconds to pick two pins and trade them.  Again it’s one for one and the quality of the pins are very nice, but that’s the caveat – you don’t get to see the board in advance.  It’s actually a lot of fun and very thrilling.  Tickets for the pin event were very high.  The first time I went it cost I think $70 and this time I believe it’s $85.  Seems high just to get in the door and they don’t reveal what the commemorative gift is until you got there – but it was nice the last time I went.  They gave us an early bird pin for registering early.  Then they gave us a complete set of limited release event only pins in a special case.  THEN they gave us an EXTRA set of pins JUST FOR TRADING!  A total of 13 pins and a pin case.  How cool was that?  The pins I was able to get in trade more than made up for the cost.  Will that be the case at each event?  Maybe not, but I have found that for any Disney event I’ve had to pay for, it was always worth the ROI (return on investment).  In addition, they had wonderful items for pre-purchase (pick it up at the event and pay for it beforehand) and for purchase.  They had exclusive pin bags, statues with pins, framed pins, limited release pins, and just plain old great pins.  At the upcoming Tiki event they will also be having artist signings including a signing by SHAG.  For SHAG fans, this is a real treat.  The only way this coming event could get any better is if they have Dole Whip Floats for free.

One of the boxed sets of pins available for purchase at the Sci-Fi Academy pin event
One of the boxed sets of pins available for purchase at the Sci-Fi Academy pin event

If you don’t have tickets already, they have sold out.  I don’t know what that means for the rest of us and how busy, packed, and a madhouse it might be, but I’m still excited.  Admittedly, I don’t go to the other pin events any more.  Too crazy for my taste.  And definitely not the best environment for kids.  But this one will be loads of fun.  A tip though if you’re bringing children – bring something to do in line.  Yes, there are lines.  Especially for the pin boards.  Even though you only get 30 seconds, it adds up.  For each pin board we waited about 45 minutes in line and it took up most of the day.  Worth it?  Still yes.  But seriously, be prepared for some serious waiting.  Have a great time everyone!!!

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