When Vinylmation came out, I wasn’t that interested in them. I thought they were just some new fad and that they’d quickly die out. I’d been a pin collector for a while and didn’t want to lose my focus. A couple of trips to Disneyland later, and they started to grow on me. Eh, I’ll buy one, I thought to myself. There was a cute cupcake one in the clear box on the store counter, so I thought I’d trade the one I bought for it. Then, I’d give it to my little baker of a cousin. It was the perfect plan, or so I thought. I decided to buy one of the Cutesters. They were just so- cute! I snatched a box out of the Cutesters tray and paid for it. I opened it up and pulled out the Vinylmation. I had seen the Cutesters everywhere for a while, yet I didn’t recognize the one I’d pulled out of my box. “Huh?” was my only thought. “That’s a chaser,” the cast member behind the counter remarked. Call it beginners’ luck or fate; my first Vinylmation was a chaser. Then I was hooked.
“I’ll buy just one more. Then I’ll be all set for the rest of this trip.” These are the famous last words of many Disney collectors. Whether your poison is pins, Vinylmation, hats, charms, antenna toppers, trading cards, or something else, the feeling is the same. You feel exhilarated when you place your item(s) on the counter. Then, when that friendly cast member gives you the bag with that special smile you feel like climbing to the top of the Matterhorn (Mickey’s Fun Wheel, the Tree of Life, Cinderella Castle, the Sorcerer’s Hat, Spaceship Earth, etc.) and showing everyone in the park the new addition to your collection. Everywhere you look you see more and more of whatever you collect. In turn, you see more that you must possess.
My pin addiction has weakened, but in the worst (or best, depending on your perspective) time of my mania, I would chase after cast members if I saw an interesting pin on their lanyard. It got to the point where I wasn’t even sure what pins I had because I was trading them so frequently. A few days into the trip I looked at my empty wallet and wondered where the money had gone. Then, like jewels, the beautiful pins flashed inside my crazed mind. It took a few years and more than one hundred pins for me to recognize my addiction. Of course, I had joked about it before, but I hadn’t realized how wild I had become.
I’m not saying I’ve stopped collecting pins, because my nose would grow a few feet if I did. I have just learned how to manage my addiction better. I did stop wearing my lanyard for a while. I would keep only two pins or so in my backpack to trade. Once I traded those pins, I either traded my new additions or just stopped trading for the trip. It wasn’t easy.
My addiction lessened after I attacked it with those tactics for a while. I realized I had a lot more fun on vacation when I wasn’t constantly on the alert for a pin I hadn’t seen before. However, I still love pins. My heart still sings when I get a new one. Even though my collecting has extended to Vinyls, I’ve managed to keep the burning “buy more” impulse to a controllable desire. I’ve been carefully saving my babysitting money to feed my addiction on our upcoming Disney trip. I plan to buy a Duffy Bear. I hear there are many outfits for me to (dare I say it?) collect…
Contributed by: Hannah N. (NDT #23). Hannah is our resident teen blogger.