Did you trade wisely?
Odds are, if you visited Walt Disney World or any other theme park when you were a child or an adult, then you’ve probably seen people trading pins.
Whether they’re decked out in lanyards or flipping through the pages of a fully stocked binder, pin-trading can be addicting and also rewarding.
Disney pushes out a massive number of pins.
From your favorite ride to your favorite character, Disney most likely has a pin for it.
And well, like most Disney memorabilia, if you wait long enough or find the right item, it’s going to be worth some money -- that is, as long as you can find someone willing to fork over the cash. As it turns out, the same goes for Disney pins.
First, let’s get into some more background on pin-trading, for those who are scratching their heads at the concept.
While Disney has always sold collectible pins in each of its parks, pin-trading wasn’t born until October 1999, when Disney kicked off of the Millennium Celebration. It was then that the new tradition of Disney Pin Trading began.
“Now, thousands of guests trade each day with our cast members as well as other guests throughout the parks and resorts,” Disney said on its website. “Like sharing Disney stories with your children and grandchildren, sharing pins is a delightful tradition for each generation.”
Seems pretty simple, right? Buy a pin, trade it for another and repeat.
Out of the thousands of pins Disney has released over the years, some have proven more valuable than others. Some can be bought at the parks, while others are harder to get your hands on -- unless you work for the mouse.
While each pin has its own value, whether monetary or sentimental, these are the types of pins selling for the highest prices right now:
Walt Disney Imagineering profile pins
One pin that has continually sold for hundreds of dollars is the Cast Member Exclusive Walt Disney Imagineering Stitch profile pin. The pin was released in 2018 and could only be purchased by a Disney cast member. What makes the pin even more desirable is the fact that only 250 were made. The pin has continually sold for more than $600, and most recently sold for $1,199.99, according to this eBay listing.
Other profile pins that have sold for a lot include Ariel, at $2,700, Sorcerer Mickey, which sold for $1,495, and Elsa, which sold for $1,000 on Ebay. It’s safe to say, if you own any WDI profile pins, you traded wisely.
Other pins that have been known to fetch a pretty penny are the Alice in Wonderland variety, based on the artwork by Elisabete Gomes. One pin in particular shows Alice, the Mad Hatter and the March Hare enjoying their tea surrounded by colorful teapots. Only 100 were made, so the pin is very sought-after -- so much so that it recently sold for $1,900 in Orlando, according to eBay.
All of the pins created by Elizabeth are said to be among the most-wanted pins in the world, and are known to hold their value.
Super jumbo pins
Jumbo pins, like their name implies, are larger and often more intricately designed than a regular-sized pin. While these pins won’t fit on your lanyard comfortably, if you choose the right one, it will hold its value over time and prove to be a wise investment.
Some jumbo pins that have sold for high dollar amounts include the Lady and the Tramp cast jumbo pin, which sold for $1,026.55, and the Disney World Animal Kingdom Lion King jumbo pin, which sold for $637.65.
Check out what other jumbo pins are selling for by clicking or tapping here.
Cast member pins
If you’re a cast member and in need of some quick cash, selling your anniversary pins is one way to do it. Cast member pins are some of the most sought-after pins, as the only way you can them is by being an employee and staying with the company a certain number of years.
One cast member pin worth its weight in cash is the Cast Member 50 Year Service Award Pin with Steamboat Willie on it. Don’t get this confused with a cast member’s one-year anniversary pin. While the two may look very similar, the 50-year pin has a small diamond embedded in the bottom.
It’s definitely not the pin you would find yourself trading, but if you did get your hands on one, the pin has reached prices of up to $5,000.
Another pin only offered to long-term cast members is the 45 Year Service Award Pin. The pin depicts Mickey Mouse sitting on the knee of Walt Disney, with the number “45″ below them in red.
Even though the pin is very rare, collectors said you could get your own by spending close to $1,000 on a resell site.
Disney pins have been proven to increase in value -- that is if you purchase the right ones.
Based on selling prices if you were planning on purchasing pins as an investment, you should steer toward pins that are limited-edition or are only available to cast members or passholders.
If you’re heading to Walt Disney World soon, limited-edition pins can be purchased at Disney Springs inside Disney’s Pin Traders as well as inside all four theme parks.
Do you collect Disney pins? Do like to trade or keep for yourself?