While in LA this weekend, I saw how friends adore Disney pins. I almost never wear pins, period. These are not a fashion thing whatsoever. It’s a collection thing. In this case, merchandise and inventory attach themselves to a positive thought process. Nothing wrong with that. My version of Disneyland is going to any given cemetery and turns toward recording who is there and the information presented upon and around headstones. Leave the dead alone, but let them be known. Part of why I consider the historic repositories app mentioned in previous blogs intensely necessary.
Keeping track of Disney pins is a cumbersome exercise involving printout’s of pictures and SKU numbers for correlation. Pin collectors and traders need binders to keep track of said information. In a day when there is an app for nearly anything (or at least that is the theory) why is there not an app for this?
Walking around Disneyland with friends, I see people with lanyards and pins. Most stores carry either clothes, crystal/glass, figurines, food, pictures, kitchen ware, toys, music, and/or pins. There are tales of pins ranging through and between the different parks. Evolving between Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong, Orlando, California, and/or including other elements such as Disney Vacation Club, limited edition pins, D23, Annual Passholder, and mystery pins. There’s a pin style, size, or anything for the preference of the person purchasing. There are also buttons. Pin trading varies in levels and layers of complexity.
Since my friends are such fans of most things Disney, I came along for holiday, and they handed me a lanyard with extra pins for trading. Inclusion in the past time was nice and enjoyable, though I do not see myself getting into it with their passion. While I do not admit to organizing myself well, helping solve unfulfilled needs is a hobby, and app production is my latest craze. At least, aspects of development where I take notes and either figure out how to do it later, or see if anyone decides to read this blog and then attempt it. I dream things up and with one degree may make it happen. Understanding the inherent fire behind the pin trading is not necessary for my work. My friends communicate well what they want. I work by asking for pointers in what the needs are for their daily use.
On first look, this appears as a simple correlation between Excel spreadsheets and pictures. Like setting up a basic carousel or Internet store effect, or something akin to electronic binders with unlimited expansion potential. Options that I could see being necessary are the abilities of the app to:
- Add specialty pins (expansion of scale with specialty products that are not necessarily available for everyone)
- Add historic (older) sets (dependent upon years)
- Download the newest collection pictures as-needed or as early as released for organizing purchases, orders, etc. (refresh rates)
- Keep track of pins sets according to any range of parameters including what friends or family members own, styles preferred, and potential to limit pins based upon preferences (if choosing not to complete a set versus automatic updates or reminders of pins needed)
- Wish lists for pins
- Ability to trade lists between pin holders.
My friends explained that there are hundreds of thousands of pins. Quantity is not my worry. Time spent is one thing. If there is a way of using what already exists on Disney websites and Ebay and moving it into the database, then it’s mainly data mining mixed with correlating and linking pictures with unique serial numbers. Crunching quantities of data is the purpose of computers. If opened up like a Wiki, let the people who care the most upload information and populate the data for themselves with options of sharing with the rest of the world and helping the public with something that people need.
I’m actually a little surprised that Disney does not use QR codes to keep track of it all already. Regular scanned bar codes are easy to use with portable red scanners. QR codes would automatically scan via smart phone and keep things organized without massive time necessary. And the QR codes would make shopping simpler. Scan the code for something purchased, a wish list item, or similar, and the data is there. Personal information regarding the collection is not necessary. Just a username and password for keeping track of whose pins are whose.
Pin traders are serious, and they invest in these items. This is not short-term investing or a day-trading concept. People specifically buy premium passes to the parks for access to said pins on the days that they come out. It’s a little mind-boggling, and not to detract, but it feels like a Costco run. You get what you need and then you get out and do your best to avoid sample distractions. Some people need to ride rides (I prefer rides, but that’s me). In this analogy, some people need to look at everything as in checking out everything from steak to tuna to dairy to frozen food, batteries, Christmas lights, and car tires. Serious pin traders know where to go, do their thing, and have time to run errands on the way home. It’s incredibly impressive, and I hope that these concepts help someone create the needed app to make pin trading even more effective and fun for good friends of the Mouse.