I’ve never been in a Hard Rock Café, but I have a friend that has, who’s alerted me to an international collecting trend, which concerns the Hard Rock Café Pin. Not content with serving up some of the best food, in true rock and roll surroundings, and hosting some great live music, house bands, and DJ’s at their restaurants, they’ve also got the memorabilia market cornered too. As a company, The Hard Rock Cafe holds a large collection of items from music legends, such as The Beatles, The Who and Madonna,each and every item an authentic piece. They also sell their own merchandise, so staff and visitors can join in the fun.
They have merchandise for openings, special events, anniversaries, some that’s unique to the city/branch, and some that’s been designed by rock stars too (The Shakira and Bon Jovi T-Shirts are rather cool). Sitting alongside, and perhaps dwarfing the standard t-shirts, key rings, and mugs in the popularity stakes is the Hard Rock Cafe Pin Badges. But these are no ordinary Pin Badges, these are collectors items!
These Pins come in all shapes and sizes. From a brief glance through the Rock Shop on their website, I found Pins with the company logo and city on them, guitars decorated in various colours, samba dancers playing guitar, and a skateboard with a guitar emblazoned on the back. These are just some of the creative designs on sale through the website. No doubt there are many more that are unique to each Hard Rock Café branch, or like other merchandise, have been produced for events and so on. That’s only half the story though, being collectors items for staff and visitors, it’s not just the current Pins that attract the publics attention, but past Pins too, some of which are so rare they can be worth quite a lot of money. The Hard Rock Café team have even set up a Pin Collectors Club, and Pin Catalogue, which gives members early access to new release Pins, information on rare Pins, discounts, and a swapping/selling community hub.
The craze has also spawned unofficial websites and collecting sites as well! When you see some of the designs, it’s not hard to see why they are so popular, and why they might often be the item of choice, to remember a visit to the Hard Rock Cafe!