"It's like a disease without the possibility of a cure,
and we thank God for it."
-- Anonymous Disney executive
Pin collecting and trading began as a small hobby and evolved into an enormous industry. In 2003 alone, Disney netted nearly a quarter of a billion dollars on the sale of collectible pins. These gigantic profits are made possible by the copious numbers of pins Disney makes available, and the fact that many collectors are completists who wake up with screaming nightmares if there's a pin out there they don't have.
Basic pins range in price from $7 to $10 for basic pins, with special pins (limited edition, glow-in-the-dark, lenticular, mechanical, electronic, or radioactive) often selling for $30 or more. On the secondary market, particularly rare or desirable pins may sell for as much as or more than a heart transplant.
To encourage collectors, Disneyland has released a number of pin series. For example:
Alphabet -- an appropriate Disney character for each letter of the alphabet
Zodiac -- an appropriate character for each sign of the zodiac (the Little Mermaid for Pisces, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee for Gemini, Cruella de Ville for Virgo, etc.)
Eisner "Classics" -- caricatures of Michael Eisner inserted into scenes from classic Disney cartoons
Attraction -- every attraction that has ever been in one of the parks, from the Tower of Terror to the Bathroom of Tomorrow.
Best Guest -- photos of people who were at Disneyland on opening day (e.g., Ronald Regan), people who were landmark guests (such as the millionth guest), and celebrities visiting the park (e.g., Ronald Regan again).
Steamboat Willie -- every frame from the classic cartoon (Disney's largest pin series to date)
Collectors are further encouraged by special events held throughout the year at the Disneyland Resort. These include pin-trading days, private pin-purchasing opportunities, and limited-edition pins created for every conceivable event, happening, holiday, opening, closing, change in weather, and film release.