Hard Rock Hotels Blog


Expert Tips: How to Start Your Hard Rock Collection

June 13, 2019
hard rock pins and magnets

Pins, magnets, and t-shirts are popular collectibles. If you’re looking to start a Hard Rock collection, here are tips from two of our expert collectors.

Many people collect items that are visually pleasing to them or that pique their interest. Refrigerator magnets, old coins, stamps, action figures, first-edition books, vintage vinyls—it’s no surprise if you have a friend or family member who is an ardent collector of one of these items. What is your fancy?

Whether it’s pins, magnets or t-shirts, Hard Rock has them in all shapes and designs. Nowadays, pins are back in demand. They are functional and stylish; most pins have a symbolic value.

Hard Rock collectibles are unique as they incorporate local themes and landmarks, holidays, and personalities into their designs. Exclusivity can also be found in a one-off Hard Rock event that warrants a special pin, magnet or t-shirt. For example, different Hard Rock superhero themed pins are designed every year to tie into the Comic-Con buzz that take over the whole city for a week.

Collector, Grace’s butterfly pin collection
Grace’s limited edition Hard Rock Barbie, traded in for 3 of her pins

Hard Rock collectibles are also easy to find and purchase on your travels. Currently there already 84,000 different Hard Rock Cafe pins! By regularly updating their designs with the occasional special edition series, collectors have the thrill of discovering, selling and swapping their Hard Rock collectibles with other enthusiasts all year round.

Excited to be a Hard Rock collector? Here are some tips from two Hard Rock merchandise enthusiasts, Muhammad Akmal Iran and Grace Chiam, on how you can get started:

Collector, Akmal with his Flag Tee collection

Collector, Akmal, with his collection of magnets

1. Focus on a series

Expert tip: “A key pointer to bear in mind when you start your Hard Rock collection is to narrow your focus. Part of the enjoyment is to focus your efforts on one type or category. This creates motivation with a rewarding goal at the end.”⁠—Akmal

What does this mean?

If you’re thinking of collecting Hard Rock merchandise for the long-term, this may be a good way to start. Completed series have more monetary value. From a collector’s point of view, a full Hard Rock pin, magnet or t-shirt series is far more valuable as they appreciate the effort and time spent in collecting each item.

Akmal was offered USD$5,000 for one of his magnet board collections of 200 pieces in early 2018. The Swiss man was very impressed when he saw Akmal upload his collection on one of the collectors’ Facebook groups, however, Akmal declined as he is on a mission to complete the collection.

To start, the Hard Rock ‘Guitar’ pins may be something for you to focus on. Or you can narrow the focus of your pin collecting efforts with different cities. Check out our Hard Rock core pin series featuring city icons from around the world. Go alphabetical or make a random pick to begin with. This will certainly add motivation for you to travel.

Grace’s pin collection

2. Get organised

Expert tip: “I don’t necessarily collect Hard Rock pins in a series. I prefer collecting Hard Rock pins that I think are most creative and unique in design. This is because I like to wear the pins I collect on some of my carry bags to jazz up my look. One of my friends noticed this and gifted me a Hard Rock pin bag with several pins on it from countries he had visited. It was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received! Now I keep most of the pins I collect on there.”⁠—Grace

What does this mean?

If you want a Hard Rock collection that’s visually appealing or carries a symbolic meaning to you, go ahead! There is no right or wrong way to collect anything. But you’ll have to get organised as your collection expands.

Compared to other collectibles, it’s easier to showcase a lapel pin and magnet collection. In fact, most collectors and traders wear their pins on different articles of clothing such as hats, vests, sashes, lanyards, or even scarves when attending events related to pin trading and collecting. Hard Rock’s collectible pins roll up bag is great for storing, protecting, and displaying your favourite pins. Depending on the size of the pin, this bag can hold up to 100 lapel pins. It has a padded handle and front zip pocket so you can easily take it with you on your next adventure!

Magnets, of course, usually go on the fridge or a magnetic display case. Hard Rock magnets come ready to showcase in a display box. Our t-shirts can also be tastefully framed like what one of our experts plans to do, after getting this idea from a fellow Hard Rock t-shirt collector in Germany.

Some of the displays from a collector in Germany- source of inspiration for Akmal
Some of the displays from a collector in Germany- source of inspiration for Akmal

3. Keep track of new collectibles

Expert tips:

“Join your local Hard Rock pin, magnet or t-shirt collector community online and follow the updates. You’re sure to get info of all the latest Hard Rock collector gatherings.”⁠—Grace

“There are many online collectors groups! The community helps each other keep up with latest news and product releases from their respective countries – they help each other acquire magnets and other souvenirs. There are 6,000 collectors within Malaysia alone!”⁠—Akmal

What does this mean?

If you want to seriously start collecting Hard Rock pins, magnets or t-shirts, by series or special editions, you’ll have to keep track of what new merchandise is launched and how you can get them. One good way is to join online communities and trade directly with other Hard Rock merchandise collectors or discuss meeting at the next collectors gathering.

Akmal is active on Facebook groups for Hard Rock enthusiasts. The groups serve as a newsletter to update one another. There’s a present system of trading orders, where a collector who is travelling to Thailand will take orders for Hard Rock Pattaya pins to help other collectors with their Hard Rock collection and vice versa. With over 6,000 collectors in just Malaysia, this is highly recommended.

You can also find out who your local Rock Shop manager is, to get direct updates of Hard Rock merchandise collector gatherings and events near you.

4. Make friends and learn trading etiquette

Expert tip: “Make friends with other Hard Rock merchandise collectors! It makes the hobby so much more meaningful. These friends regularly share their photos and updates via social media.”—Grace

What does this mean?

Hard Rock collector meets are competitive, fun, and very social events that can help you meet other Hard Rock merchandise collectors from near and far as you start taking part in this enjoyable hobby. As suggested before, look online for Hard Rock merchandise collecting message boards to find out about events in your area.

However, ensure you trade fairly and practice good trading etiquette. A good trading practice to follow is to trade merchandise that is in good condition. You also shouldn’t value the other collector’s items above yours to get multiple collectibles for a single trade. If you’re not sure about the value of an item, whether it’s yours or the trader’s, ask advice from another trader or an expert who may be on the venue.

Grace and Akmal both expand their networks beyond just Malaysia by connecting with collectors from Singapore, Europe, as well as the United States. Between them, they have a wide range of collections from Hard Rock Tees to Shot Glasses, which they frequently update each other on through social media platforms.

5. Network with friends and family

Expert tip: “Share your Hard Rock collection on social media and your friends will know exactly what to get you on your birthday. They may also notify you when they see a Hard Rock special edition item you’re looking for on their travels.”—Grace

What does this mean?

When you tell your family and friends about your hobby with enthusiasm, they are sure to give you full support. After all, a lapel pin, fridge magnet, or even a t-shirt does not cost much but can be a very personalised gift. So put your collection on display and let all your friends and family know which Hard Rock merchandise or series you’re working towards.

Of course, a good way of making this known to a wider support group is via social media. For example, Hard Rock has the hashtag #HardRockPins that allows you to get noticed by other pin collectors around the world. This way, you can connect with them directly and make a trade or meet-up in a group.

Start your own Hard Rock collection now!

A properly started Hard Rock collection can result in something that proves to be valuable in the future. Both in monetary and sentimental form. Are you ready to begin your journey into Hard Rock merchandise collecting and trading? Perhaps you fancy t-shirts more than pins or fridge magnets? Hard Rock carries a wide variety of merchandise with the flag t-shirt series being a favourite. It may seem daunting at first, but remember, it’s not a competition—it’s a hobby that brings people together. Check out Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast’s Facebook page to get your first pin or contact our Pin Master today!


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