Tuesday, 31 July 2012

31/7: Days of the Games Offer

Event Merchandising have asked me to mention an offer to readers of the blog. They are offering all 18 Days of the Games pins for £135 including free UK delivery PLUS a free London 2012 Union Flag logo T-Shirt.

Please email your orders and payment details to steve@eventmerch.com and specify which size T-Shirt (S/M/L/XL) you would prefer. All the pins are in stock so can be dispatched the next day.

Monday, 30 July 2012

30/7: Coca-Cola Pin of the Day 4

Today's Pin of the Day is the UK map and Union Flag. This pin celebrates the fact that London 2012 includes the whole country with venues across the UK and a torch relay that touched every part of the country.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

29/7: Coca-Cola Pin of the Day - 2 and 3

Here are the next 2 pins in the series.

The day 2 pin highlight's Coke's 'Move to the Beat' programme showing a Coke bottle crowd surfing!

The day 3 pin recognises the sailing venue at Weymouth and Portland.

Friday, 27 July 2012

27/7: Coca-Cola Pin of the Day 1

Here is Coke's first Pin of the Day. Released at the Hyde Park Official Pin Trading Centre this morning...

The first pin is a slider which shows the London 2012 logo moving across the London Skyline with the words 'Opening Ceremony'.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

26/7: Daily Update (D-2)

Probably the easiest and quickest way is for me to 'brain-dump' anything I found each day. Photos will be added where possible, but for now consider that the catalogue will always be out of date. It WILL catch up eventually.

So here's the news for Wednesday 25th (D-2)...

I was lucky enough to get into the Olympic Park today and even luckier to get into the Media area thanks to the great team at Around the Rings.

As well as lots of media (press and broadcast pins)

 I also saw the venue specific media pins - 3 in total.

and 2 Team GB venue pins. The team GB ones are not specific to the Media Centre as I saw them in one of the superstores on the Olympic Park.

I also managed to get a Coca-Cola venue operations pin from one of the army personnel.

There are also new pins from Visa, McDonalds and a great torch pin from BP

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

24/7: Opening Ceremony Pin

By now, most of you will have seen the Opening Ceremony pin appear, disappear and then reappear at an online store.

Pin 1992

This pin is limited to 10,000 pieces.

24/7: Days of the Games

As well as the Coca-Cola pin of the day, there is also a set celebrating the Days of the Games. These pins will not be issued one per day, but instead will be available in one go. They are dated for each day of the Games and show a different sport.

However, the 'special' with this set is that they build into the 2012 logo.

Days of the Games pins

Each of the 18 pins is limited to 5,000 pieces. These were spotted yesterday by someone lucky enough to be working in the Olympic Park, but they will be available from Friday from the usual retailers.

Monday, 23 July 2012

23/7: Final Diversity Pin: Ethnicity

The sixth and final pin in the Diversity range has now been issued. The Ethnicity pin shows the continents in different colours joining together.

Pin 1806

The issue size for this pin is 2,012 pieces and it seems that this one will be available to retailers.

23/7: Games-Time Mode

As we move into the final days before the Olympics commence, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that has supported the website, blog and message board since its inception back in 2009.

Those of you that know me and have communicated with me, know that I like to try and respond as fully and as quickly as I can. However as the activity has increased in the last two weeks and as it 'explodes' over the next three to four, I want to apologise now if it takes me a while to answer you.

During the Games, I hope to update the blog daily with new information that I have and will use Twitter where I can, but to be honest I have no idea how easy that will be! I plan to fit in pin trading, the website, events and family time during the Games so I am not sure what the balance looks like at the moment!

So, wherever you are, please keep emailing me with information when you have it, enjoy the Games and sometime in the autumn, we can all get some rest!


Saturday, 21 July 2012

21/7: Views from International Pin Traders

Here are a couple of links to pin traders blogs from visitors to London for the Games.

The first is from Carol and Krystal and entitled '2012JourneyToLondon'. This blog from a mother and daughter team tell their story of preparation for London and will follow them as they trade throughout the Games. I've followed their blog for a while and met them both at the pin meet today. They are a great couple who have a massive number of pins to trade - look out for their own pin design!

The other is from Steve Robie, an Olympin member - entitled 'An Olympiholic's Journal'. Again, this blog will follow his experiences as he trades in London.

It will be interesting to see how Canadian and American pin traders view our city, the London 2012 Games and pin trading.

Please note that I am not responsible for the content of or views expressed in these websites.

21/7: Final Pre-Games Pin Meet

Today we had our final pin meet (our 10th) before the opening of the Olympic Games. As usual, it was great to see so many friends for a trading session. Coca-Cola allowed us to take over most of the tables in the Hyde Park pin trading centre today and we rotated in shifts so that everyone who wanted a table had a chance.

Being in the Coke centre meant that there were lots more members of the public coming through and a number of trades were made with new faces who had pins to trade.

A number of international media were there with interest from Japan, China and New Zealand. A few collectors spoke to them and were filmed for news features.

Friday, 20 July 2012

20/7: Coke Store Update

Over the last couple of weeks, there have been a few issues with the online Coke store. A number of readers have commented on problems with delivery and communications. So that you are all aware, the team behind the online store have been reading the feedback and working hard to resolve the issues.

They would like to assure everyone that they have taken steps to improve the situation such as

  • making sure that automated communications are working
  • contacting customers who have placed orders that have not yet been fulfilled
  • making effective use of warehouse dispatching to satisfy both online and venue shops

They are also on the case to add new products to the website as soon as possible.

So, hopefully many readers will have started receiving their orders and those that haven't should be sorted very soon.

Please be sure to post some positive experiences when the online Coke store is working for you just so everyone knows.

20/7: This time next week...

With only one week to go, BT have marked the moment with a pin released today.


The pin follows the familiar BT countdown style, although this pin is longer at 65mm long. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

18/7: New Coca-Cola Partner Pin

A new Coca-Cola internal pin has appeared on the scene.

This pin has not been produced by a professional designer but rather was produced from a competition they ran earlier this year. It was a chance for the Coke families to design a London 2012 pin. The winning design was voted for by staff and they produced a pin for each member of staff in the country. The issue size is 5,000.

As with most internal pins, this is for staff only and is not going to be issued to the public.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

17:7: Countdown Pins - Event Merchandise Offer

Steve at Event Merchandise has asked me to mention that they can supply all 6 of the final countdown pins (10, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1) for £35 including delivery (IUK addresses). They have them in stock and are ready to send as soon as payment is cleared.

Please confirm back by email to steve@eventmerch.com with credit card details/bank transfer and preferred delivery address.

17/7: Pin Trading Centre - Day 1

Don't worry, there won't be a report on each day's activity! As it was the first official day of trading at the Hyde Park Centre, just a short summary for those that were not able to make it.

A successful day of trading took place from around 11am this morning until after 3pm. There were lots of Coke staff around to find out more about pin collecting and trading. They were a very friendly bunch and were putting themselves through their paces. These are the teams that will be managing the people through the centres and they were keen to get trading with us.

There were around 9 tables set up for traders and a steady flow of collectors - experienced and new. It was an excellent taste of things to come.

As the day warmed up and the sun came out, the room got a little hot, so make sure you have fluids with you if you are set for a sessions trading.

The designers of the Coke pins came to see the centre and the collections and it was very nice to meet them both.

There were a number of new Coca-Cola retail pins on sale today as well as the newly released 10 day to go pin (issue size 5,000).

Meanwhile in the London 2012 shop next door, there were a range of new pins on sale - 26 boxed sets of 2 venue pins. Each box contains a printed sports mascot pin (subtly different to the existing sports mascot pins) and an enamel 'venue' pin which may be an image of the venue or a 'sign' with the name of the venue and the dates of competition. More on these win another post, but there were 26 sets each at £15!

Venue and mascot pin sets

Sunday, 15 July 2012

15/7: It's the FInal Countdown...

The remaining six Olympic countdown pins have been announced. The pins for 10, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 day to go will each be released on the actual day, so you will not be able to buy them in advance.

Pin 1808
Pin 1809
Pin 1810
Pin 1811
Pin 1812
Pin 1813

Each pin combines a sparkly number with a gold or silver logo. No information yet on issue sizes.

15/7: New Sponsor Pins

A number of new sponsor pins have been spotted this week.

Adidas promote their lightest running spike ever with a pin showing the adiZero Prime spike.


EDF have marked 50 days to the Paralympics with another in their countdown pin range showing the Olympic Park venues. This time it's the turn of the Copper Box which will be used for the goalball competition.


Lloyds Banking Group have issued 8 pins (4 each in their Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB brands) showing Wenlock and Mandeville in a range of sports.


See the full set of pins on the Lloyds TSB page of the catalogue

15/7: Media Pins

Thanks to readers a new set of media pins has been added to the catalogue. There are a number of broadcast pins, which can use the official marks, and press pins, which cannot.

From the BBC (the UK Olympic Broadcaster) comes a gold version of the white pin seen already. I'm told that the gold version is for accredited staff only.

Channel 4 (the UK Paralympic Broadcaster) have issued 3 pins all combining the C4 and Paralympic Games logo.

From the international broadcast and press companies we have a range of pins which tend to draw on London's skyline and icons.

Germany's ARD/2DF use the Olympic rings and London skyline

Australia's Channel 9 have issued 8 pins. There are 2 designs available in all for London 2012 brand colours - pink, orange, blue and green. One of the designs combines the London 2012 logo with that of Channel 9, and the other design adds in the London skyline.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) also use the skyline while Foxtel (USA) and SVT (Sweden) make use of the London 2012 logo

Finally, USA Today use sporting pictograms, Big Ben and the British flag to show the London connection for their pin.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

14/7: Sports and Glow in the Dark Pins

The hawk-eyed eyed collectors and those that follow the message board will already know that two sets of pins and a single were released yesterday (Friday).

The first is a set of sports pins that show shots from different sports. These pins were on show at the recent pin meet and are now available to collectors. The numbers are 1693 - 1670 and they are limited to 10,000 pieces each

Pin 1693

The second set (well two pins) are glow in the dark pins. They show the 'Mind the Gap' warning at the edge of the tube platform and a lighthouse. These are pins 1800 and 1801 and are limited to 5,000 pieces each.

Pin 1801

The final pin released today manages to combine the nature and venue themes into one pin.

Pin 1805

The pin shows 'Willow' the Olympic Stadium hawk who presence will be used to keep smaller birds away from the stadium I presume. The pin uses a fantastic purple logo and features Willow with wings outstretched and the Olympic stadium in the distance. This pin is limited to 10,000 pieces.

All the pins are available immediately, so contact your preferred retailer.

Update 20/7: I've just found out that the Mind the Gap pin IS NOT a glow in the dark pin - just the lighthouse. Apologies for the confusion.

Friday, 13 July 2012

12/7: Coca-Cola Pin Trading Centre in Hyde Park

The Coca-Cola Pin Trading Centre (PTC) for London 2012 is now open in Hyde Park.

The first official day of pin trading takes place next week on the 17th July, so although there is no pin trading at the moment, the PTC is open for purchases.

This must be the place...

The PTC stocks all the pins that can be found in the online Coke Store and it will be the place where exclusive pins will be available such as the countdown pins and Pin of the Day. There will be pins at both PTCs (the other one is in the Olympic Park) that you cannot buy online.

View of the PTC as you enter

Not only is July 17th the day when official pin trading kicks off, but it's also the day when Coca-Cola's first countdown pin is launched. That day marks 10 days to go to the Opening Ceremony and the 10 day to go pin will be available exclusively at the Hyde Park PTC.

The PTC is part pin trading centre and part retail outlet for Coca-Cola pins and other Coke branded Olympic merchandise such as T-shirts and lanyards. There is a queuing area to access the centre ensuring that it will not get too crowded during the Games. The pins are on display in frames and a simple numbering system allows you to write down the numbers and quantity of the pins you wish to buy, go to the counter and the staff will put your order together.

Choose your pin from the frames or the chart

There is a large 'Coke Bottle' display marked up with the outline of the Pin of the Day shapes and I imagine that each morning as the pins go on sale, that day's pin will be revealed on the bottle to gradually build up the complete picture.
The Coke bottle waiting for Pin of the Day

The PTC is connected to the large London 2012 Shop at Hyde Park. This is a large retail space selling lots of merchandise, some of which we have seen in other locations, but most of it Games Time and Olympic Venue stock which has branding and logos we have not.

The exterior of the London 2012 Shop.
The PTC entrance is through the orange section at the far end

During Games time, the PTC will be open from 10am until 10pm. At the moment, the closing time is a little earlier.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

12/7: Top Pin Trading Locations in London (9)

This time we stay in the Olympic Park and focus on...

Village / Press and Media

There are three huge and vastly important non-competition venues at any Olympic Games.

The Main Press Centre hosts the worlds press journalists, photographers and non-rights holding broadcasters. The larger press agencies will create their own private press rooms, whereas the freelance journalists or smaller newspapers may rely on the vast shared working spaces available.

The International Broadcast Centre is usually an enormous building, which plays host to the temporary studio and production facilities for the companies which have paid millions (sometimes billions) to broadcast the Olympics.

The Olympics Village is of course the home away from home for the athletes of the world. It is made up of a vast collection of residential buildings as well as shared facilities such as a post office, bank, gyms, stores and dining facilities.

Of course while these three venues have their own specific purposes they are interesting to us for another reason - pins!!

When the journalists, broadcasters and athletes arrive at the Games they very often bring with them pins - but of course as with the Partner pins we have seen so far, some will be harder to get than others.

Most companies or teams will bring one type of pin with them, a more select bunch (generally the larger broadcasters or teams) may have a number of different designs. Some will give out their pins generously to employees for them to give on as gifts or to trade with. Others (some of the smaller teams for instance) will only have a few of their pins and may give only one to each person in their team. These will be much harder to get hold of.

Broadcast pins tend to include Olympics logos, Press pins do not tend to have rings or logos, and team pins fall into two camps: The "Generic" pin and the "Games-specific" pin. A generic pin will include only the countries flag/team logo and the rings. A Games specific pin will include London 2012 imagery, logos and wording. Not all countries will bring a pin, and certainly not all countries will bring a Games specific pin. The fun of collecting team pins is to try to find them all!

Broadcast pins can be fun to find, particularly the rare ones. For instance, NBC often has some made only for their President who will give them out sparingly to whoever he meets during the Games.

Journalists, Broadcasters and Teams are now arriving here in London, and some of these pins are already being found - so keep your eyes open for these rarer pins!

Of course, getting into these three venues for most people is not possible. Understandably, security is tight so you won't be able to get into them without the appropriate accreditation.

However, from past Games experience situating yourself near one of these venues can be a fruitful experience. In Vancouver the Broadcast and Press Centres were situated next to a main road on the Harbour front. Sitting on the pavement outside you could usually find between 10-30 pin traders with their wares on offer.

Of course, even if you can't get near these venues, you can always find team, broadcast and press pins by keeping your eyes open wherever you are. Journalists, broadcasters and team members will be seen out and about at all the venues, and across London so you never know when you might pick up a not-seen-before pin!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

11/7: More Coca-Cola Pins Released

The Coke Store added more pins to its inventory today.

The 'Love London' series was extended with one new pin while the 'Music and Sport' series add 9 music themed pins too.

There is a great T-Shirt pin in the 'London 2012' series along with Coke's first mascot pin to show Mandeville.

The Coca-Cola Icons series now has a number of Coke bottle pins with various infills.

There are also four new series...

Music - an homage to the Beatles Abbey Road album cover with musical instruments crossing the street. There are 5 pins available, but only 3 are available as individual pins. 

Venues - The Aquatics Center and Wembley are the first two pin sin the series

Retro - more iconic Coke images

Sport of the Day - a series of 17 pins covering a range of sports. Even though the pins are numbered 'Day1, Day2, etc' and are dated, they are being released now. For new collectors, these are not the Pin of the Day that collectors talk about.

All these pins are available now and I imagine will be in the Hyde Park store too.