Pindex 2002, It is, It was

Pindex 2002 is now over, and what a GREAT time was had by all. This year had perhaps the biggest crowd of people in attendance since the event started in 1999. People were meeting and greeting, putting names to faces that before had only email addresses to signify them. Pins were flying all around the trading hall, changing hands like mad. It was a true pin frenzy.
The activities started on Tuesday with what turned out to be a well above average line of attendees waiting for the brand new Pindex retail items to go on sale at 3pm. At it's height, the line went from the front of the retail store and reached down past Pink Taco. This was the first year that a line for the retail store has ever formed. It was Pindex madness!!!!! At the same time all this was happening, Nicole and I started signing people up at the trading hall. In those few hours I saw many familiar collectors and met a bunch of new ones.
That evening was the kickoff greeting party at the HRH Beach Club by the pool. It was a warm and slightly humid night, but everything went absolutely wonderful. Food was a plenty, drinks were a flowing, and people were meetin' and greetin'. A better night could not be found anywhere in Vegas. Check out these pictures from the party.

Your Pindex 2002 organizers, Nicole (online specialist) in her slinky black dress, Adrian (event organizer/promoter) clad in my vintage HRH purple crushed velvet shirt and Krista (retail operations manager) looking beautiful as always!!!

Nicole and Chris Herrington, owner of Herrington and Co. teddy bear manufacturer for HRH. Stylin!!!

Mary and son DJ Schmider representing the Schmider clan in true class form. It's great to see them once again.

Myself and Suzzane Nordmann (Legs), drinking before hand, waiting in the food line. FOOD?!?! There were free drinks, what did we care!!!!!

The man who started it all, Warwick Stone and his lovely wife Cookie.

The rest of the event would be a wild and crazy couple days. At 7am on Wednesday, there were people already starting to form a line for the rest of the retail items that went on sale at 8am. The trading hall opened at 9am, and the trading then began. Perhaps the biggest madness that happened didn't even involve pins. For the $10 per day event admission you got a free no value poker chip. For day one, we had a little under 500 left to giveaway with the admissions (out of 500 total for the red chip). The chip collectors stood in line, and rotated the whole time back in line until all the chips were gone. Limiting the free chips to one per admission and only one admission at a time, all the chips were gone by about 10:10am!!!! On Thursday it was the same deal with the purple chips. But this time it only took them till about 9:30am to run out of the free chips. It was purely insane!!!!! 

Over the course of the event, there were several silent auctions held. There was a masseuse on sight to work out the the excitement of being at such a huge event. There were different raffle items for each day as well, with great prizes donated by the HRH. Check out these pics of the bustling trading hall and some of the raffle events and winners.

THE MADNESS!!!! And this is just a small peek at all the goings on.

The GCI team, Kenny, Jerry, Micah and, long time manufacturers of key chains, and most importantly PINS, for the HRH.

The Tiny Treasures booth.

Logoholic from Japan with Warwick.

Price of one pink, hand painted HRH toilet seat, $100; Price of a new digital camera, $400; Getting two grown men to stick their heads through a couple of toilet seats and have their picture taken, PRICELESS!!!

Time to hand out some raffle prizes. Sorry to say, we didn't get the names of most of our raffle winners.

Myself with the winner of a brand new baby blue HRH hand painted pedal push car.

The proud owner of a brand new HRH golf bag.

Another lucky winner who walked away with a brand new HRH letterman's jacket.

Warwick had a couple other little things up his sleeve for the event. On the last day, he handed out a couple best in show awards to people who he thought were tops for the event. A few were awarded based on the type of table displays, depending on if you were a regular trader, a bigger pin dealer, or one of the vendors. They were all awarded with cool medals to proudly display.

Craig S. for best trader table display.

Bill Roth and Dave Easterla for best dealer table setup.

Myself with Herrington, winner of the best vendor display, who has consistently been at Pindex with the most elaborate display for his teddy bears.

Nicole, without whom this event would not have come together as well as it did. She did a lot of the behind the scenes work with Krista in making sure that everything was ready to go.

Lastly, myself for helping the event come together and bringing all of you the word about what was going on.

Lastly, there was one award given out to one trader of the event. It was voted upon by all who attended the event. The "Keeping the Flame Alive" award was given to the person who traders felt most has kept the spirit alive of the hobby, and represents what collecting is about. Fittingly, with permission of the family, we named this trophy in honor of Uncle Dan Schmider, one of the greats to ever come into this hobby. The trophy went to Greg Ferguson, the current GM of HRC Nashville. He had left the event day before, so we were unable to get his picture with the trophy. Below is what the trophy looked like.

DJ Schmider, son of the late Uncle Dan and the "Keeping the Flame Alive" trophy.

This years pindex was the best that I can recall. Everyone loved it and had a great time. The people were wonderful, and the trading was unbelievable. Of note was the tons of new faces that attended this year, some of whom have never attended a large scale event before. We hope that all of you had as much fun at the event as we did hosting it. We look forward to seeing many of you and more at next years Pindex. You will NOT want to miss that one, as we'll be celebrating the 5th anniversary of Pindex!!! Be ready for it, it's gonna be great. See you all next year.


Love Peace