I have managd to get to WDW or DLR once a year since 1998. My family and I live in the UK (Staffordshire to be exact) and are real Disney freaks ! I'm not sure what year I bought my first pin but it was an outlet store at The Beltz, The Search For Imagination Pin Event - Scream-Willie the Giant (15528). I loved this pin, even though I didn't know who the character was. When we arrived back the following year I noticed Cast Members walking around with lanyards and they told me how it all worked. Another trip to the outlet and I was all loaded up with pins and a lanyard to hold them on !
I had such a great time I thought I may well carry on doing this when I got back home.
There wasn't an easy way to get pins other than through Ebay, so I started bidding on pins from people who lived Stateside and waited for what seemed like an eternity for the LBEs [little brown envelope] to drop onto my mat !
The more I got the more I wanted - I was totally hooked.
Whilst looking for pins to bid on I noticed several people acknowledging Pinpics for their information. After some detective work I found out what they were all about and started to catalogue my collection.
Then I found pins I wanted and also pins that I had that other people wanted. My first trade was for Magical Milestones - 2003 - Premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean (38882). I traded it for a pin that I wasn't bothered about. I just had it because I won it cheap off Ebay, San Francisco Disney Store - Cable Car (FAB 4) (212). It's funny that the pins I didn't really care for, because I thought they were old, were the ones I could get the best trades for !
If only I had the experience I have now - lol !
The first time I met up with somebody that I had traded with was the beginning of 2006. He gave me Disneyland 50th Anniversary Tour (38624) and is a pin I treasure even today !
My last visit to Disneyland I met up with lots of people I had traded with and one particular person keeps sending me pins for no other reason than she likes to find pins off my wanted list and loves the thrill of finding pins on the CM's lanyards !
She has managed to get me every missing pin from the DLR Hidden Mickey series the only thing she likes in return is English chocolate !Last month I managed to get past 5,000 pins and although I see no end to me wanting pins the financial problems of the last twelve months has limited my ability to spend lots of money on my biggest obsession !