Daily Illuminator

February 7, 2024: What Is It About Pins?

I've flirted with pin collecting on and off throughout my life. My high school and college backpack usually featured quips or witty slogans on basic button pins. I received a small collection of Beatles pins as a birthday gift years ago. (Don't worry – they're displayed in a shadow box, safe from the harsh and unpredictable weather of the Midwest.) And now that I've started going to conventions as part of my job, I've embraced the tradition of festooning one's lanyard with pins of all sorts.
But why? What is it about pins that is so appealing to so many? I can't speak for serious collectors, since I've never felt compelled to own hundreds of enamel pins or to purchase complete sets just to have them on display. For me, pins are a subtle means of self-expression – perfect for a relative introvert who has trouble with small talk. My lanyard collection has helped me open up discussions about the need for artists to be paid fairly in the digital age, my love of cuddly characters and fantasy fiction, and my support for our company and its values. At PAX Unplugged this year, I picked up a three-pack of dog pins as a tribute to some of the little guys that have made my life better. (I also got it because the pack featured a Pomeranian – a tribute to one of my TTRPG characters and his pet, an awakened Pomeranian that the party has taken to calling "Werner Herz-dog" on account of his sardonic nature.)
If you're a pin person, you may want to check out a few offerings during our Valentine's Day Sale. The Uniduck, Deadly Doodles Dragon and Super Kitty Bug Slap pins are all on sale for 50% off, so it's the perfect time to pick one up for you or someone you love. If you do, be sure to stop by our booth during GAMA Expo or Gen Con so I can see it on your lanyard. You'll know me by my odd mix of dogs, sprouts, pyramids, slogans, and music pins. I mean, this one does look pretty cool . . . 

-- Katie Duffy

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