Saturday, 30 June 2012

30/6: Coca-Cola Pins Announced

As we move into the last month of the countdown to the Olympic Games, Coca-Cola have launched their pin programme and their online shop. As pin collectors know, Coca-Cola produce a range of themed pins for the Games, and London 2012 is no exception.

Their pins will be issued from now right up until the end of the Paralympic Games and their range of designs means that there should be a pin for everyone.

The pins will be available in the pin trading centres in Hyde Park and the Olympic Park as well as in their online store -

In the store they have a range of Coke branded merchandise as well as the pins. All profits from the sales of Coca-Cola products on the site goes to the StreetGames charity which aims to bring sport to young people in disadvantaged communities across the UK.

I understand that there will be some pins exclusive to the individual pin trading centres that will not appear online, but more news of those when they are released.

The pins available at the launch of the online store are divided into categories...

  • Olympic Torch Relay - the pins we have seen already, but now your chance to buy individual pins online
  • Welcome to the Games - 12 opening telephone boxes representing 12 of the visiting nations
  • Country Flags - 10 countries are represented with their flags connected to a Coke bottle and the London 2012 logo
  • London Landmarks - 8 pins showing ironing London buildings or scenes but with a Coke twist
  • Typically British - 9 pins which take a tongue-in-cheek view of how we Brits see ourselves and how we may be seen by others
  • There are 3 other pins which use iconic Coca-Cola imagery
The online range will continue to grow as we approach the Games and we will be able to see the pins 'in the flesh' for the first time when the Hyde Park venue opens soon.

Future pins will highlight the 'Move to the Beat' campaign and a fantastic musical jigsaw set which draws on British musical heritage from the 60s and 70s.

As well as the merchandise, the Coke Store site also has some background on pin trading, the pin designers, the StreetGames charity and a teasing outline of the pin-of-the-day set!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

28/6: Hyde Park Store and Pin Trading Centre

I've received some emails recently asking about the location of the Pin Trading centre in Hyde Park. I visited this week to take a look. A lot of the construction appears complete and they are working on the branding on the outside.

It's a large plot, but then again it will contain a London 2012 store as well as the Coca-Cola pin trading centre.

During the Games, the hours of operation of the pin trading area will be 10am to 10pm. The shop hours may differ - I do not know for sure.

The shop is located on the south side of the park between South Carriage Drive and Rotten Row, opposite the Hyde Park Barracks.

View Hyde Park Pin Trading Centre in a larger map

For those that are not familiar with that part of London, I travelled there by underground - the Piccadilly Line, to Knightsbridge station. I used Exit 1 which is well signposted from the platform and throughout the station with large pink 'Hyde Park' signs in London 2012 branding.

At the top of the exit stairs, turn left along Knightsbridge. Walk along that road and then turn left into a narrow cut-through - Park Close. Follow that to the end and you will be on South Carriage Drive with Hyde Park in front of you and the pin trading centre across the road and to the left.

Perhaps during Games time, access to and from the station will be controlled and this route may not be possible at all times.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

27/6: Pin Meet Video from London 2012

The video that the London 2012 team made of our last pin meet is now available on their You Tube Channel.

Click here to take a look.

It's just under 3 minutes long and gives a quick overview of the day and pin trading.

27/6: EDF Pin News

A new pin from EDF has been spotted. This time it's a London landmark - the London Eye. As EDF sponsor the London Eye, this is a very appropriate subject.


The pin is limited to 2,500 pieces I understand and is for internal distribution to staff only. It will not be issued to the public.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

24/6: New Internal Pins

News of four new internal pins has surfaced this week thanks to readers.

LOCOG have issued pins to celebrate the London 2012 festival which started last Thursday and to recognise the anti-doping unit.

LOC0036 - Anti-doping pin
LOC0050 - London 2012 Festival pin

The anti-doping pin shows two sample capsules marked A and B. The festival pin is a smaller version of the retail pin 1065 with the word 'Festival' in pink rather than white.

Meanwhile the ODA have issued two pins, one in the 'Great Team Effort' range, this time marking the Water Polo centre, and the other to recognise the Town Planning team.

ODA0033 - Water Polo centre
ODA0034 - Town Planning

The town planning pin shows the outline of the Olympic Park broken up into the many planning development zones that make up the park. These zones allow the town planning team to easily refer to the approximate locations of the various planning applications that are made across the Park.

I have no information on the issue sizes of any of these pins at the moment.

24/6: New Pins Seen at Pin Meet

At the pin meet last week, Honav were kind enough to bring along some new pins to show us. I mentioned a few in the meet report, but here are some more of the pins they brought along - a mix of retail and sponsor.

There were a set of retail pins that combined the London landmarks designs we have seen previously with sports, such as an equestrian rider 'jumping' the House or Parliament. They are reminiscent of some of the 'Back the Bid' imagery we saw in 2005.

Another set of retail pins showed sporting terms in highly coloured pins. Examples were 'Slam dunk' from basket ball and 'Drop Shot' in tennis.

There were a few pins which showed sporting equipment in gold along with a Games logo. The photograph shows a basketball and hoop, there was also a tennis racquet and a football pin

The Arcelor Mittal orbit was shown on a pin using the landlines graphics seen in previous retail pins.

Whilst all of these pins were confirmed as retail, I have no details on whether they may be restricted to specific locations or venues or whether they will be on general release.

Several sponsor pins were on show too, and given they were on display, I presume that all have been issued to the companies concerned.

BAA/Heathrow continued their range with a green and purple pin echoing their first issue and they also had on display some gold, silver and froze pins which we presume will be awarded to staff based on their commitment.

Lloyds TSB had a couple of pins which combined there logos with the mascot sport poses.

BMW have issued a Mini (the car) pin s before, but this time the logo on the car uses the flame infill and the writing on the pin mentions the Olympic Torch Relay.

The final pin was another issue from the Lloyds Banking Group - this time celebrating World Sport Day and shows the mascots vaulting over the globe. This was a larger than average pin and based on comments on the day, one of the most popular in the room with collectors.

Please remember that all of the pins shown here from the sponsors are for internal use only and will not be issued to the public. 

Thursday, 21 June 2012

21/6: Top Pin Trading Locations in London (8)

This week, we focus again on the Olympic Park and in particular...

Olympic and Paralympic Venues

There's no getting away from it - the Olympics is all about the most fantastic sport on earth, and if you are lucky enough to have a ticket to see some of the sporting action, then be sure to take part in your own sport (the biggest spectator sport in the world) - Pin Trading!

Olympic venues are always a good place to trade pins. To start with, make sure you visit the official merchandise outlet within the venue. You never know what goodies you might find only in that location which may relate to the venue or the sport taking place there. At the last few Games in Beijing and Vancouver you could find some sport related pins which were only available for purchase from that particular venue.

Venues always have a large number of volunteers and staff - and quite often a fair number get the pin collecting bug during the Olympics. If you see one wearing a pin - it's usually worth seeing if you can make a trade!

Queuing up or standing in line to get your ticket checked, or have your bag security checked is another opportunity to scan the crowd and see who is wearing a pin that you need - keep your eyes peeled and you could be in for a swap!

21/6: Cockney Rhyming Slang Pins

"Cor Blimey!" Six new pins from London 2012 were announced today to capture rhyming slang expressions.

Pin 1060

Pin 1061
The six subjects are Frog and Toad - Road, Apples and Pears - Stairs, Dog and Bone - Phone, Jam Jar - Car, Mince Pies - Eyes and Sky Rocket - Pocket. Pin numbers are 1059 - 1064.

Each pin uses the the subjects quiet effectively to create fun pins. Each pin is limited to 2,012 pieces and should be available soon.

21/6: Shamrock and Gender Pins - Available

I have just had confirmation that both the Shamrock and Gender pins will be available in limited quantities soon. The Gender pin will be available on the official London 2012 online store.

I have no information on how limited the numbers may be, so don't hang around if you need want either of these pins for your collection.

I cannot confirm which retailers have either or both pins, so you may want to contact your preferred supplier for more details of what they have available.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

20/6: Next Jigsaw Piece from

The latest piece of the circular jigsaw pin set from was on show at the pin meet last Saturday.

Pin INS0009

This is pin 5 of 6 and like the first piece comes on a backing card which shows an image of the complete set. The pin is limited to 800 pieces.

Monday, 18 June 2012

18/6: Pin Meet 9 - Report

Last Saturday, we had our 9th unofficial pin meet. We returned to the John Lewis store in the Westfield, Stratford City complex. This venue is open to the public and therefore we had the chance to speak to lots of visitors and explain pin trading. Whilst the trades themselves were mainly confined to the pin-heads, we certainly raised the awareness amongst those we spoke to.

Lots of people in the room

The day was extremely busy with many successful trades being completed. We started around 11am and were still going strong at 4pm with very little quiet time during the day.

London 2012 came along to film the event in order to produce a promotional video for their website. Zoe Salmon was the host and took the time to speak to a couple of us about pins, collecting and what makes us collect.

Zoe Salmon looking over some pins
A collector explaining pin trading to Zoe

I'm pleased to say that as well as the usual faces, there were a number of new collectors there and several from Europe. It was certainly the busiest event so far.

Honav brought along a number of items to show us, the Olympic Torch relay set and a huge framed set of oversized mascot sport pins. The Torch Relay set caused a stir with members of the public and was very well received.

The Olympic Torch Relay set

They also teased us with new retail pin designs that we will see soon. These included the remaining countdown pins for 10, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 day to go...

It's the final countdown...

 There was an Opening Ceremony pin...

The Opening Ceremony pin

They also brought along some of the 200+ national flag pins coming soon.

Just some of the national flag pins

We also saw a new sponsor pin form one of the traders. The meet provided the first sighting of the first pin from Arcelor Mittal.

Pin AM0001

Overall it was a very successful meet. There has been very positive feedback and we are all looking forward to the next one on Saturday 21st July which we hope will be able to be held as part of the Cocoa-Cola pin trading centre in Hyde Park. More details to follow soon.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

14/6: Top Pin Trading Locations in London (7)

This weeks destination needs hardly any explanation...

The Olympic Park

There are no less than 9 venues on the Olympic Park. It's home to the Stadium, Aquatics Centre, Water Polo Arena, Copperbox, Riverbank Arena, Basketball Arena, Eton Manor, Velodrome and BMX Circuit. In addition it's also the site of two major Non Competition venues. The Main Media Complex - which includes both the International Broadcast Centre and Main Press Centre - and the Olympic Village. Add in to this mix a sprinkling of sponsor showcases, hospitality centres and of course the Coca-Cola Pin Trading Centre and you can see why the Olympic Park is a prime location for pin swapping come July!

We will spend time in the final three blogs in this series exploring some of these locations in more detail, but suffice to say that the Park will be the place to be. With 7 million spectators across both Games likely to be on the Park, thousands of sponsors, athletes, the worlds media and press as well as staff, your chances of seeing a new pin are much greater here than anywhere else.

The sponsor showcases in particular could be interesting, from past experience some of these will be more clued-up about the need to give out a few pins than others. Some may have no pins to give out, some will.

Of course access to the Park is not straightforward. It's an Olympic venue, and therefore either an event ticket, an Olympic Park ticket or accreditation is needed. But if you've secured one of these then make sure you build some time into your day to be part of the pin trading scene on the Park.

14/6: Good News 2 - London 2012 at the Pin Meet

London 2012 have confirmed tonight that they will be at the pin meet on Saturday with a film crew. They will be bringing a presenter too, who will 'front' the film and talk with collectors. Who knows, they may even trade a few pins!

So, careful of the stripey shirts - you know who you are!!


The Central Line is suspended on Saturday between Marble Arch and Bethnal Green, so if you were planning to use it from central London or to connect with the Northern Line at Bank or direct from Liverpool Street, you will need to make alternate plans.

14/6: Good News 1 - Shamrock Pin

Honav have confirmed today that they have been reading the comments on the blog regarding the Northern Ireland pins and that they have been able to find some Shamrock pins for collectors. They will be very limited in number (I don't have a figure) and will be available soon.

They are still working in the St. Patrick pin.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

13/6: International Flag Pins

Thanks to a couple of readers for telling me about some international flag pins seen at the London 2012 shops in Stanstead and St. Pancras. There are 10 countries represented...

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Spain
  • USA
  • Great Britain

Three of the pins are shown below.

Pin 1322
Pin 1389
Pin 1499

Based on the pin numbers and the size of the gaps, it seems that there are a lot more countries to come and it seems that the Great Britain pin number is higher than the USA pin number, so perhaps they are in the order off the Athletes' Parade at the Opening Ceremony? The issue size for these 10 pins is 5,000 pieces.

13/6: New Pictogram Pins

So far, we have seen metallic pictogram pins and pewter pictogram pins, now it's the turn of gold pictogram pins.

London 2012 have released 9 sports - 8 Olympic and 1 Paralympic as gold pictograms. These pins combine the pictogram with the appropriate logo and use a shiny and dull gold finish seen on the recent Team GB and Paralympics GB pins.

Pin 1772
Pin 1773

The pins are limited to 10,000 pieces and are numbered 1772 - 1780.

Given the issue size, these are the least rare pictogram pins we've seen, with the original issue being 5,000 Olympic and 3,000 Paralympic and the pewter issue being 5,000 Olympic and 2,012 Paralympic.

I have no news on whether more sports will be available in this range or whether they will be available as a set as well as individually.

These are my favourite style of pictogram pins so far as I like the gold finish and am pleased to see the logo make an appearance.

These pins should be available very soon.

13/6: Northern Ireland Pins

In keeping with the Emblems of... pins issued for other countries in the UK, London 2012 have issued 5 pins celebrating Northern Ireland. They appeared last week, probably tied in with the Olympic Torch Relay arriving there.

Pin 0650 - Titanic 
Pin 0651 - Shamrock 
Pin 0652 - Harland and Wolff 
Pin 0653 - St. Patrick
Pin 0654 - Giant's Causeway

Each pin is limited to 2,012 but it seems that 2 of the designs were completely bought up before hitting the retailers and the other 3 pins were extremely limited. This means that these pins are officially sold out at Honav. There may be some of the Titanic, Harland and Wolff and Giant's Causeway pin with retailers, but the St Patrick and Shamrock pins were not even available to collectors it seems.

13/6: New Faith Pin

Following on from the hard-to-find Diversity pin - Faith, comes the should-be-easier-to-find Diversity pin Faith version 2.

Pin 1075 - version 1

Pin 1721 - version 2
The new pin is identical to the original apart from the fact that the Olympic logo is in blue where the original was pink. This pin is limited to 10,000 pieces compared to the original's 2,012 pieces.

This new pin should due available very shortly.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

10/6: Torch Relay Pins from Lloyds

Keeping on the Lloyds TSB theme, we have seen the Olympic Torch Relay pin from them last week, but there also appears to be a Bank of Scotland version of the pin too.



I hope to have issue sizes for all of the new Lloyds TSB pins soon.

10/6: Sponsor Countdown Pins

We passed the 50 days to go mark last week, and the only pin that seemed to surface was one from BT. They continue their range with the consistent design seen in their other countdown pins.


There were rumours of a pin from another sponsor, but at the moment, nothing has been seen.

However, although not 50 day to go pins, lloyds TSB has been very busy and released 10 countdown pins. These were 500, 400, 300, 200 and 100 day pins in both Olympic and Paralympic varieties.



Even though Lloyds TSB have released 500 day pins, these new pins all use the more recent corporate logo - green rather than white. Overall they make a great set. You can see the complete range on the Lloyds TSB page of the website

10/6: Collectors Folder from Royal Mail

A pleasant surprise cam in the post last week. Royal Mail sent a collectors folder to hold all 30 of the Stamp and Pins sets. The folder can also be used for the Stamp and 50p coin packs too.

The pack is a multi-layed cardboard holder with notches cut out to hold each pack. It has the standard London 2012 branding and colours and makes a great holder for the stamp pins. I'm not sure if the album will be available to purchase, but the letter contain din the package stated that it was being sent as I had bought all of the packs in the set.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

9/6: Video of Pin Meet in May

Here is a small video put together by the film crew that came to our pin meet in May. They were there to capture pin collecting in action for a piece they are putting together about the Olympics.

However they were kind enough to cut a few pieces together for us. It really shows a vibrant meeting and promotes UK pin collecting very will I think.

I've uploaded it to You Tube and embedded it here or you can click on this link to view it on You Tube.

Thank you to all those that contributed and don't expect royalties!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

5/6: Next Pin Meet - Saturday 16th June

With less than 2 weeks to go until our next pin trading meet, I wanted to invite anyone that is still thinking of joining us to come along.

The date of the meet is Saturday 16th June. We are meeting at the Stadium Suite on the 3rd floor of John Lewis in the Westfield, Stratford City shopping centre. We start at 12pm and will be there until around 5pm. If you had thought about trying some pin trading, or just want to come along to meet some collectors and see a wide range of London 2012 pins, then please join us.

Stadium Suite at John Lewis

There's no pressure to trade and whether you have lots of pins to swap or very few, you will be welcome.

I'm pleased to say that Honav will be supporting us and hope to be able to display some frames of pins.

If you would like to know more or wish to register your interest, please email me at