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Special Event and Limited Edition pins - while rare - can be found at the Show & Sale.
Shows - Sales - and the Secondary
Do You NEED Anything?
Id been casually collecting Disney since high school, a pin here, a t-shirt there, an occasional book or record (yeah, back in the days of vinyl), or poster, or watch, or plate, or mug, or button, or - you get the idea. But my first real foray into the world of the "serious" Disneyana collector - and into the wild n wooly "secondary" marketplace - was at an NFFC Show & Sale (I didnt understand the title then and I dont now - there wasnt much "showing" going on - but I watched buggy-eyed as lots of heavy-duty selling was happening all around me) at - what was at the time - the Inn at the Park in 1989 (thats pre-E-bay folks). Its an amazing phenomenon for the uninitiated - that much stuff all in one place and all for sale - it can be a bit disconcerting - it was a wall-to-wall-cash-infused-adrenaline-shopping high that lasted for hours - and began a couple of collections that have lasted for years. I still have the first item I every bought on the secondary market - a Disneyland Cast Member Partners credit union pin (of course).
Mini-bean-bag plush are made and sold for the world-wide marketplace, the Show & Sale is a good place to find International pieces for your collection.
After I joined the NFFC, and began attending their conventions I started to learn the finer points of the collectors marketplace and the unabashed freedom of the secondary market. The most important lesson I learned was that the psychological profile of the hard-core - gotta have it all and gotta have it now! - collector isnt all that much different from that of any other addict - instant gratification is paramount to the drive to collect - and any merchandiser worth his market share can tap into that drive and create a frenzy. Remember Ty and the beanie rush of the mid-90s and crash less than 5 years later? What collector isnt aware of the Disney pin frenzy and merchandiser backlash happening now? There is a real rush involved in finding something you thought that youd never own - and there is a real "thrill" in the hunt for the "last" one needed to complete a collection. Self control is the most important attribute for any collector as temptation is everywhere.
Watches, figurines, plates, jewelry - all have collectors and collections can be completed with pieces forund at the Show & Sale.
Its the machinations of the secondary market that cater to most collectors and fills most collections. With the explosion of Internet auctions sites and on-line trading, those unlucky enough to live too far from a theme park or Disney Store or dont have ready access to the items sold there - can find - and purchase - what they want. For the Disneyana marketplace, its the buyer that drives production and determines - to a great extent - the price-point. Theres a symbiotic relationship that exists between seller and buyer in the primary market - both create a kind of trust that insures the continuance of the other. A trust that once broken is very slow to mend. Its a bit different with the secondary as the buyer acts as a catalyst for the seller - whatever sells does so at the dictation of the buyer - if the item is to sell at all.
Flat art has a huge market
If there is a "thing" made - anything at all, it doesnt matter a bit what it is as long as it has a © Disney on it - there is someone somewhere who will - given enough emotional enticement - want to collect it and will pay just about any price to own it. Its the principal at the core of the marketplace - trends drive marketing and marketing drives production and buyers drive the market demand and determine the trends - simple in its complexity. It doesnt hurt that the demand for the Disney brand is gigantic and - on the net - worldwide and 24/7. With every new piece of merchandise marketed and sold - in every Disney venue around the world - a new buyer is born and a new collector is entering the ranks. Im part of the first generation - yeah, late-boomer that I am - that has no memories of a world without "Uncle" Walt or Mickey Mouse. My attachment to Disney is purely emotional.