Saturday, 28 January 2012

28/1: The 6th Unofficial London 2012 Pin Collectors Meet

Following last week's successful pin meet, I'd like to invite everyone to the next meet. Here are the details

Date: Saturday 10th March 2012
Time: 2.30pm
Venue: The Railway Tavern, 131 Angel Lane, Stratford, E15 1DB

It's the usual format, a bit of chat and a bit of trading. Everyone is welcome, those that have been before and those that think they would like to try some pin trading or just meet other collectors. It doesn't matter how much or how little you have to trade, we would love to see you.

The pub's owners very kindly let us use their conservatory free of charge, so whilst this meet will not cost anything to attend, please consider buying some food or drink while you are their to support them.  Click here for their website

The pub is very easy to find and is served by Stratford regional station which is accessible from underground, overground and the DLR. According to the TfL website, there are no disruptions planned for the area on that day.

As usual I will contact the friendly sponsors to see if they may be able to offer pins to those that register and attend. Anything we receive will be distributed on a first-registered, first-served basis as before.

If you would like to come, then please drop me an email to

Even if you have mentioned in passing that you plan to come to the next meet, please send an email. The list of attendees is currently empty and I'll add people to it in the order I receive emails. I will send a confirmation back to you telling you that I have received your registration and I'll let you know where you are on the list.

So, please come along tot he 6th Unofficial London 2012 Pin Meet, and I hope to see as many there as possible.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

26/1: New pins spotted at the pin meet

At Saturday's pin meet, Honav supplied some frames of pins displaying forthcoming designs that hadn't been seen before. On one particular frame, there were some pins which caught my eye.

There were two logo pins in metal which were stunning. One in frosted gold and one in frosted silver. Possibly the best form of the logo pin I've seen to date. The gold one was marked 'Olympic Torch Relay'.  There was no clue as to whether these would be retail pins or restricted to a small group of people.

The other logo pin used the torch infill seen in some of the original torch relay promotional material. Again an excellent looking pin, but no idea of availability.

Then there were a series of mascot pins. The first, carrying on the torch theme, was Wenlock running with the Olympic torch. He's dressed in a white shirt with a 2012 logo on it and a pair of white shorts. Maybe it's his legs, or maybe the shorts are long, but to me there's a feeling of a 1948 character with a 2012 torch. That's not a criticism, I think it looks fantastic. Once again I've changed my mind and I have a new favourite pin. I sincerely hope this one is retail.

Next we have 2 metallic Wenlocks. Again, gold and silver have been used as the key colours. This time the mascot is all one colour - including his logo and bracelets. Once again, no clue as to whether we're looking at retail pins or not.

Not to be outdone, Mandeville has 'blinged-up', and comes in both the traditional and Union flag colours but this time with a sparkle effect. I sense these two are retail pins.

The final two pins are most definitely retail in may opinion. They come from a set of cockney rhyming slang pins. As a Londoner, I normally cringe at this sort of thing and have flash backs to Dick van Dyke and Mary Poppins, but the designers have dodged that bullet with excellent ideas and humour. For example, the slang for telephone - 'Dog and Bone' shows a dog using a bone as a phone. Ok, not side splitting, but a clever idea in my opinion.

So, a small flavour of what might be coming. The usual caveats apply to these sort of sneak-peeks, in that not all the pins may go into production etc, and if they do, who knows if they will be generally available. However on the plus side, every one of these pins were on a board with retail pins which have already seen the light of day, so there's hope.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

25/1: More Pride the Lion Pins

Pride the Lion makes another appearance on two new ranges of pins. The first shows him in the original poses, but this time the pins are made in soft enamel.

Pin 1000
Pin 1001
Pin 1002
Pin 1003
Pin 1004
The second set of pins shows Pride taking on some Olympic sports such as javelin, diving, cycling, gymnastics, fencing and handball. These too are in soft enamel and limited to 80,000 pieces each.

Pin 1043
Pin 1044
Pin 1045
Pin 1046
Pin 1047
Pin 1048

All of these pins should be available later this week.

25/1: British Instruments

A new set of 7 pins has been released which show a range of traditional British instruments.

Pin 0965
Pin 0966
Pin 0967
Pin 0968 
Pin 0969 
Pin 0970
Pin 0971

Each pin has an image of the instrument on a frosted silver background with the name of the instrument printed on the background. Each pin is limited to 2,012 pieces and should be available later this week.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

24/1: Pin Meet 5 - Report

Here's a short run-down on the pin meet last Saturday at John Lewis, Westfield Stratford City...

This was the fifth time that we have got together as an unofficial meet and each occasion goes from strength to strength. Last Saturday seemed a far cry from the first meeting back in December 2009 when four of us gathered around a table.  Well it did in terms of venue and numbers, but in terms of friendship, a good laugh and some excellent trades, then it was just the same! 

I approached John Lewis about the venue on the day that Westfield, Stratford City opened. This was in response to comments and emails from fellow collectors as well as my own 'Wow' reaction to the concept art for the London 2012 shop in the store. Thanks to Honav's involvement, John Lewis could see the opportunities for using that space to support Olympic collectors.

However, none of the earlier discussions could prepare us for how well both companies had supported us. The room looked magnificent with the views over the Olympic Park and pin frames from Honav set up on display boards at one end of the room. Tables and chairs for the traders at the other end and some cabinets of Olympic merchandise in the middle.

A view of the Stadium Suite at John Lewis
Pin displays

Pin displays and the view across the Olympic Park

I'd asked Honav if they may be able to supply some pin displays to showcase some of their future designs. They were happy to oblige and offered 6 frames of pins showing recent and future retail designs as well as some of the sponsor pins. This was a great opportunity for all of us to see pins we've either never seen before or only ever seen in photographs. More about some of the new pins we saw in future blog posts

One of Honav's pin displays
One of the reasons for wanting to hold the meet in John Lewis in the space connected to the London 2012 shop was to try to encourage new collectors to join us and tempt members of the public to see what pin collecting is all about. To support that, the store had posters printed and made store announcements through the morning to tell shoppers what was going on.
Honav produced a flyer to describe pin collecting to the people that passed by and you can see a copy on the London Pins download page or using this link

John Lewis advertisement for the pin meet
The approach worked because as well as the collectors, we had a steady stream of shoppers taking an interest in the pins and talking to traders. I'm not sure how many we converted into pinheads, but at least there are more people aware of what the hobby is all about.

As for the meet itself, I think it can be described as very successful. We originally had 33 collectors signed up to attend. On the day we lost 6 through work commitments and illness and we hope that these collectors will be able to join us at the next meet.

The turnout was excellent. As well as the 'old-timers' we had lots of new collectors and it was great to see everyone enjoying the trading. It was great to hear that although the first-timers approached with a little hesitation and felt unsure of the pins they had to trade, by the end of the day they had enjoyed their experience, had made some trades and planned to come to the next one. Proof once more that the group warmly welcomes new collectors.

For those of us that have attended before, it was wonderful to catch up with friends and chat through the latest London 2012 pin gossip. I think everyone there made some good trades on the day.

Pin trading in action
In terms of sponsor support, I'm very pleased to say that BT gave us a bag of their 200 day to go pins so everyone received one of those. Cadbury offered a selection of their pins, so they were handed out in a lucky dip fashion based on the first-signed up, first served principle. But sponsor award of the day must go to Lloyds TSB. Not only did a representative of the company attend to meet collectors, but he handed out some of the new silver frosted logo pins, some 1 year to go pins and also the (infamous) diving pin. If any company wants to see how to use pins to promote themselves and create a positive message about the company name - I refer you to Lloyds TSB. Lloyds - we salute you!

On the day, the collectors and traders were joined by two members of the press. Both the BBC London 2012 team and covered the hobby and the meet. Their articles can be read using these links

BBC London 2012

So, in summary, a great day and proof that although we started small, the Olympic pin collecting craze is continuing to grow in the UK. There was talk of the next meet and planning has already started. If you're reading this and thinking you may be interested, then please sign up for the next meet. You never know what pins you may walk away with!

24/1: Pin Collecting on BBC London 2012 website

Check out the BBCs London 2012 website today. Pin collecting and Saturday's meet get a front page article!

Here's a link to the website and a link to the article

Sunday, 22 January 2012

22/1: New LOCOG Internal Pins

At the pin meet on Saturday, 2 new internal pins were spotted.



The first, LOC0019, recognises the Catering, Cleaning and Waste team. It shows Wenlock with a mop, chef's hat, serving dish and recycling bin. I'm told there are 4 pins in this set in each colour of the logo. I'm not sure if they are all the same design or have the same backstamp number. 

The other, LOC0027, recognises the Finance team. This one shows Wenlock carrying a calculator displaying the number '2012'.

I do not know the issue sizes of either of these pins, however recently pins like this have been defined as 'Not Limited' as they could be reordered at any time.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

21/1: Pin Meet - Thank You

A quick post to say thank you to everyone for making today's pin meet at John Lewis in Westfield, Stratford City such a success.

In particular...

John Lewis - for hosting us in such a magnificent venue and laying out a wonderful display

Honav - for providing some frames of pins to view and giving us a taster of what's to come

BT, Cadbury and Lloyds TSB - for offering free pins to the collectors that registered and attended

Coca-Cola - for sharing some pin centre news and talking to collectors about potential new pins

Inside the Games and BBC London 2012 - for interviewing some of us for articles on pin collecting that we should see next week

and not forgetting all the collectors, old and new, who joined in. From the conversations I had, I think there were some pretty successful  trades made today. I sincerely hope the people that joined us for the first time felt welcomed by the group and are encouraged to come back next time. Apologies to those who I didn't get a proper chance to talk to, the time just flew past.

More details and potential event dates to come over the next few days.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

19/1: NOC Pins for Kiribati and North Korea

Two new National Olympic Committee (NOC) pins were released on 16th January by Kingdom Pins. Kiribati and North Korea each issued a pin to support their London 2012 campaigns.


North Korea
Each pin is limited to 200 pieces and is available from the Kingdom pins website, Each purchase of a pin contributes to the country's NOC.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

18/1: Mascot Rainbow Pin

Wenlock has appeared on a new slider pin. He is shown carrying an umbrella 'floating' on a rainbow. No word on issue size yet, but the pin has been spotted on Glamorous Living's site priced at £15.

Pin 0701

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

17/1: Icons of Wales Pins

The latest in the Icons of the UK pin shave been released. This time they celebrate Wales. There are 7 pins in the set and each is limited to 2,012 pieces.

The subjects featured are (with apologies to the Welsh if I get any of these wrong!)...
  • Daffodil
  • Castle (can anyone help me out with which one?)
  • Welsh Dragon
  • Hills and sheep
  • Love spoons
  • Harp
  • Coracle

Pin 0980
Pin 0981 
Pin 0982 
Pin 0983 
Pin 0984 
Pin 0985
Pin 0986

In my opinion, the Welsh Dragon is a fantastic pin, one of my favourites so far. I think some of these would be very popular on St David's Day in March. Each pin is priced at £7