Many of you may have visited, seen, or at least heard of the Hard Rock Cafe worldwide chain of restaurants (The chain also includes Hard Rock Casinos and Hard Rock Hotels!). One of the features of a Hard Rock Cafe/Casino/Hotel is the merchandise store. The merchandise store normally sells merchandise branded with the Hard Rock logo. One of the trademark items sold at Hard Rock merchandise stores are Hard Rock lapel pins. These pins are known for their high quality and bright, colourful designs.
The Hard Rock chain spans the globe, and there are over 150 Hard Rock sites around the world, not to mention the countless number of sites that are now closed or relocated. This means that there are a near infinite number of Hard Rock pins that have been produced!
In addition to pins available for sale, countless numbers of Staff-only pins have also been produced, and have made it to the general after-market sales/trade scene. Some pin designs have been produced in two versions - one design for the staff-only pin and one design for "general-release".
What does this mean for you? Well it means that a significant number of pins are available for auction or sale on eBay! There are some things that you should look out for when buying a Hard Rock pin:
* Is the pin damaged in any way? The actual pin on the lapel pin is known to break off - some folks will reattach this with aryldyte (i.e. glue), however this reduces the value of the pin significantly.
* Is the pin a genuine Hard Rock pin? Many 'fantasy' Hard Rock pins have been produced over the years, and although these are not designs originating from the Hard Rock Corporation, they can still be worth significant amounts of money.
* Is the pin a limited edition? Many Hard Rock pins are produced in small batches, that is as a "Limited Edition". The abbriviation "LE" is often used, followed by the number of pins produced in that limited edition. For example, LE300 means that only 300 pins of a single design were produced.
* Is the pin part of a series? The Hard Rock chain loves to produce pins that belong together in a series. Often the entire series is not available together from one Hard Rock cafe site, and you may need to obtain pins from several Hard Rock sites in order to complete a series. Some examples of Hard Rock series pins include the "Fashion Statement Series", "European Lap Dancer Series", and the "Guitar Case Series".
* Ask your seller how they intend to ship the pin. Because of their small size, a single pin, or sometimes two or three can be sent as letter-post - even when the pins are securely wrapped in bubble-wrap! This can save you a significant amount in shipping.