I'm really feeling it!

My Ever-Expanding Video Game Pin Collection

The power, the presence
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I love seeing collections. Specifically, I love seeing nerd collections. They’re the best kind!

I made a post about a year ago about my own collection, and I wanted to provide a little update. More for myself than anything. Because the pin collection has GROWN, baby. Mo’ pins, mo’ problems? Absolutely not. The only problem I ever had was physical space to store the pins, which has been mitigated by a fantastic present from my wife. Corkboards! Who knew?

We put up these awesome hexagon-shaped corkboards on our walls and they’re the perfect place to stick my pins. The pinbacks live in a dish on my nightstand, just the right spot for my cat to knock it over about once a week.

I wear a different pin almost every day, depending on my outfit. I’ll put them on a lapel, or a shirt collar, or the strap of my bag. There’s always a spot, and I’ve learned that the main way to pull off wearing an enamel pin from an obscure video game is CONFIDENCE. People will inevitably ask, “oh, what’s your pin?” and telling the truth provokes some interesting reactions. I once fell into a great Majora’s Mask vs. Ocarina of Time debate, and once got to explain what a Gengar was. The best moment came when I was wearing my 8-bit Mario pin at my restaurant job and a customer asked if I had been to PAX; we started chatting about that and it turned out she was a producer at Annapurna Interactive. Completely unexpected and wonderful.

All the Marios have no idea how close Kratos is to full-on Spartan Rage; Atreus and the World Serpent are keeping things cool, for now
Photo: photograph by author
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The most recent additions to the pin cache are my God of War pins. I was a victim of targeted advertising; most of the time I hate it, but in this situation, I think it worked out. There are two sets of GOW pins, and I went with the first. Mainly because I identify with grumpy Kratos and very much wanted to see him sandwiched between various Marios.

I think these pins are awesome. The quality is really good; they’re minimalist, but also exactly the right amount of detail to be evocative. I think anyone who played last year’s God of War game would know immediately who each of these characters are. I kind of wish I had been able to buy the pins a la carte instead of in a five-pack, but that’s how it works.

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Of course, there’s always the Ebay route! If you’re looking for a specific pin out of a pack, I always recommend the resale market. Those Super Mario Bros. 3 pins? They were originally sold in blind boxes. I got lucky on my first one and got a Boo and a Raccoon Suit Mario; the others I picked up off of Ebay. For me, it was worth it to get exactly what I wanted rather than pick up box after box in the hopes of getting Tanooki Mario.

You can also find some amazing fan-made stuff on Ebay as well. It’s where I found both my Majora pin as well as that rad Black Mage. Also, that Luigi that is double the size of any of my other pins. He’s a little large to wear on a shirt collar but the perfect size for a bag or strap. You’re always a giant in my heart, Luigi.

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The Joker mask and the E3 road sign were ones I picked up the convention a couple weeks ago. Atlus was giving out the Joker pins at their booth; I managed to snag one literally minutes before the show closed for good this year. There were some other styles of E3 pins but as I live right off of Route 66, I liked the look of the road sign. Obviously Mimir is there to observe and offer witty quips.

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A few of my most favorite pins came courtesy of Fangamer, and can I just say, in the course of going to their site so I could put a link there, I found three pins that I want. Oh my godddd there’s an Ape Escape pin, a Rareware pin, a Golden Jiggy pin... Was this entire post an excuse for me to look up more pins? Maybe!

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As I was saying. These Hollow Knight pins are a few of my favorites, and the Hornet in particular was a great addition to my E3 lanyard. Definitely a good find. I particularly enjoy wearing Zote on days when I can’t quite believe that I’m thirty years old and am feeling like a lump.

So these are a few of my favorite things; it’s a small collection, but I think a worthy one. If you’re a fan of pins, tell me your favorites!

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