Hunting for Hard Rock Café Pins.
by Dan Robinson.
I collect Hard Rock Café pins that feature koi or koi flags. These are issued to celebrate Children’s Day. Usually one is issued for each Japan Hard Rock Café outlet. This year (2003) saw the Honolulu HRC join Japan with what may be my favorite of all the Hard Rock Café Pins. These are limited edition pins with 300 to 500 made of each pin. This year I also found a few Japan issue pins that feature koi flags and Disney characters. Being a pediatrician and a bit koi kichi, I just could not resist these pins.

Whenever I go to a koi show I find at least one pin collector and most of them have never seen any of these pins. I usually get asked where did I get them and will I part with them. I suspect most of the pin collectors on the koipin list have an extensive list of contacts that they use to help them keep acquire their treasures. I likewise have a network of contacts but mine are all ebay sellers. Few people are more of an ebay addict than me. Each May I eagerly await the new crop of pins. If you are not familiar with ebay go the internet and type where you will be transported to what some call the world’s largest garage sale. Once you locate the box that says search you are ready to start your hunt. If you really want to maximize your chance of finding the pins and do not mind digging through tons of unrelated items type koi pin in the search and see what all you find. Do realize that not everyone knows what a koi is so with a few years of trial and error I now usually search with the words (“childrens day”,”children’s day”,”boys day”,”boy’s day”, koi, carp) pin* . Be sure to click the box “in titles and descriptions.” This gives me about 100 hits and gives me any auction that includes any of the words or phrases in the part in parentheses as well as the word pin or pins. If you do not like seeing so many results you can limit your search to only return results to a specific category, like Music Memorabilia. The refined search will miss a few but will find most and eliminate your having to see lots of bad jewelry. The link to this search is Here. The link to the more complete list I mentioned earlier is found Here. I usually search these at least once a week. If you look at the top of the page that you searched there are options for saving the search and once you save it you can even set things up so that any day a new item is listed that matches your search you get a tickler email. I see a few pins each month on ebay.

Prices for these pins vary on ebay from about $5 to $25 each. Remember you must add postage to your total. Most pins sellers have very reasonable postage even for international sales. Once you find a seller that has one ask them if they have others. They frequently can find others for you. If you find an ebay Hard Rock Café pin seller from Japan, even if he has no Children’s Day pins listed, drop him an email and let him know you are looking for them.

Another option is to search for Hard Rock Café pin sellers on the net. Dozens off HRC pin collector and trader sites can be found. It is a faster way to start your collection but you will pay a little more in most cases than what you might pay on ebay.

Good luck in your hunt for these pins they really are well made and tons of fun.

Dan Robinson
Spring, Texas
Lone Star ZNA Koi Club 

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