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The Art of Collecting Disney Pins

Collecting Disney Pins is fun

When I started collecting Disney pins, there were so many of them and so much variety that it was difficult to choose which ones to buy. I had a seriously limited budget (still do), and very little space to devote to them. So, I needed to limit myself, and I knew I needed to choose one subject to focus on.

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The Art of Collecting Disneyana: a Short Guide

Disney Lego Minifigs Series 1 Disneyana

The Fall 2003 issue of “The ‘E’ Ticket” featured a profile of Disney collector Richard Kraft, who had a collection of Disneyana (Disney memorabilia) that any Disneyland fan would envy. It included a Frontierland canoe, a Bog Thunder Ranch sign, and an assortment of Ferdinand the Bull items. Overall, he had 10,000 items in his collection, and many of them were big ticket.

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The Unicorn Penguin with a Chip on Its Beak

unicorn penguins on my shelf

My wife and I have been trying to outfit our apartment on the cheap while still keeping it homey and having some of our favorite items around to provide happy energy. This has meant multiple trips to the dollar store for strange, new snacks, bathroom accessories, and penguins!

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Experiences Make the Best Collections: Collectors’ Corner

focused toddler running on middle of footpath a new experience

According to the research Mary Holm presents in her book “Rich Enough?” (affiliate link) experiences contribute more to people’s happiness than things. While there is an initial spike in happiness with a new thing, it quickly wears off as the thing is incorporated into life and loses its luster. When a new edition of the thing comes out, people become dissatisfied and unhappy with the edition they have. (Think iPhones or shoes where new editions are released every year just to keep sales up for the companies behind those products.) Experiences, on the other hand, allow one to savor the moment while being in it and then to relive those moments for future happiness.

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Panini 2003 Mickey and Donald Figure Collection

Panini 2003 Mickey and Donald figure collection

On one of the streets parallel to the main street in Valletta, there was a Panini shop. Panini is the name of an Italian sticker company (not to be confused with the sandwich). When I was growing up, they did sticker albums and collectible stickers for the Disney Company. I decided I wanted to see what was in this shop that could sustain an entire business, and it was all the Panini stickers, mostly focused on soccer, you could ever want. Then I saw the Panini 2003 Mickey and Donald figure collection with stickers. I bought a couple to see what they were like and decided I needed the entire collection.

The Packs

Each pack contained one figure and five stickers. There are 24 figures in the collection and 228 stickers. Since the store didn’t have any sticker packs by themselves, I decided that I probably wasn’t going to get the entire collection. The figures were more interesting to me anyway.

Buying the Collection

Every week I set aside a certain amount of money to go get a couple of packs. I don’t remember what that figure was, but I’m sure it was somewhere around four or five. As I got closer to completing the set, I may have purchased more or fewer depending on where I was and what I believed the supply at the store to be. This collection was from 2003, I doubted I would run across it randomly anywhere else in the world. It was an only-in-Malta kind of thing.

Almost Heartbreak

One week I went in and bought the rest of the box. I thought that was it. When I opened the packages inside the box, I didn’t have a complete set. I looked on the Internet for the pieces I was missing, and they wanted more money than I was willing to pay. (Plus, it doesn’t have the excitement of surprise or the bonus stickers.) I went back to the store and didn’t see what I wanted. I decided to ask. The person behind the counter brought out another box. When it came to the end, the last character I needed to complete my Panini 2003 Mickey and Donald figure collection was Mickey Mouse.

Collecting is one way to capture those things that inspire you and drive your imagination. For more ways to improve your imagination and creativity, subscribe to this blog, join our Patreon, and get my books: “Disneyland Is Creativity,” “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity,” and “Penguinate! Positive Creativity.”

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Stickers from Dodo Pizza as a Collection

Stickers from Dodo Pizza

Some collections just happen because you like a product and they offer a prize or something a little extra with it. Kids love McDonald’s and the Happy Meal toy is the bonus. (To be fair, many adults also enjoy McDonald’s even though they know it’s not the healthiest food, and I loved when they had Disney tie-ins, like the Christmas 101 Dalmatians [affiliate link] in the late 1990s.)  Cereals often have their own collectibles. In Russia, Dodo Pizza, which can also be found in Mississippi and Tennessee of all places, offers a hospitality packet with each pizza ordered. Inside the packet are a couple of napkins, one or two toothpicks, and a sticker. It’s great for people who collect toothpicks… and stickers from Dodo Pizza.

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An Incomplete Collection: Collectors’ Corner

An incomplete collection of Justice League Kinder Egg toys

There are several reasons why you may an incomplete collection. For many collectors, the thrill of the hunt is more engaging than the simple acquisition. Baseball cards and their ilk, McDonald’s Toys, Lego Mini-Figs and Kinder Eggs are among those who use the “chaser” mentality to sell more of their products (though McDonald’s has provided other options for completing sets). When you buy a pack, you have no idea what’s inside. These Justice League Spinners from Kinder Egg are one of the collections I wasn’t able to complete.

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My Eraser Collection: Collectors’ Corner

A portion of my eraser collection

I started an eraser collection in junior high because they gave us certificates worth cash at the student-run store. They had so many different kinds of erasers: dinosaurs, robots, spaceships… I’ll have to dig them out of my stuff when I get back to Oregon to truly see what was available. I’d get a certificate, go to the store and get an eraser or two. We got to choose, so there was no reason to get doubles. I stopped doing much with my eraser collection when we moved away from California. Oregon’s middle school didn’t have a store where I could get free items – at least, I don’t remember it having one, maybe I wasn’t good enough to get free certificates.

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Winnie the Pooh Figures: Collectors Corner

Winnie the Pooh figures

My wife loves Winnie the Pooh. The characters are gentle, kind, and imperfect. The stories are wonderful to read and remind the reader that he or she can live in a world of love and friends if the reader makes that choice. The Hundred Acre Wood is a safe place to imagine, create, and enjoy the company of your best friends, who are all accepted in spite of their foibles and quirks – even Rabbit finally accepts Tigger and Tigger’s bouncing and pouncing after Rabbit discovers what happens when Tiggers aren’t allowed to bounce. Russia has its own version of Winnie Pooh, so collecting the figures has an interesting international side to it.

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Pirate Plushie Penguins for 2017’s D23 Expo

pirate plushie penguin Ragetti

In honor of Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean attraction turning 50, the Disney Expo 2017 held a contest for Pirates-related art. I convinced Jenya that we should try to win the prize using penguins in the “Take a Wench for a Bride” scene. I knew Disney was going to change the scene, sooner rather than later, but they hadn’t made an announcement. Jenya looked at some other scenes, but thought these outfits made for the funniest penguins. Because of the timing of the contest, Jenya had to make the pirate plushie penguins before the results about moving forward were in. We weren’t chosen, but we had all the penguins.

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