Interview with Jim Maser – The Pin Man

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(Right – Jim Maser – The Pin Man, Left – Dave, and me in the middle)
Pins are some of the most popular collectibles, especially when it comes to sporting events.  If you’ve attended an All-Star Game, World Series, or Super Bowl, its likely that you’ve run into Jim Maser a.k.a. The Pin Man.  I first met Jim and his brother Dave during the 2009 National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland.  I had never seen so many pins all in one place before.  Any pin collector would have a ball browsing through his inventory.
Recently I caught up with The Pin Man and he was nice enough to answer a few questions for the blog.  Be sure to check out The Pin Man on eBay.  He has a ton of great stuff.
  • How did you come to the decision to deal mainly with pins?

I got into selling pins by accident.  I discovered selling on eBay in 1998 and I bought a bag of pins at a swap meet and put them on eBay.  They all sold out so I got more and more and now I am the Pin Man.  I was also fortunate enough to be living in Southern California, which happened to be where three major pin makers are located.

  • Over the years, I’m sure you’ve seen a ton of cool pins.  What are some of the most interesting ones that you have owned?  Why did you find them interesting?

The most interesting pins that I had were prototype pins from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.  They were interesting because they were the prototypes of many of the pins that were sold in Atlanta.  I ended up selling all of them to a few Olympic pin collectors.

  • What is the best part of your job?

I love working for myself and being able to make sure that all of my customers are always satisfied no matter what I have to do to provide that satisfaction.  I also love sports and being involved in some of the major sports events throughout the year such as the All-Star Game, World Series, and Super Bowl.  I also love the hustle-bustle of working shows and meeting new people.  I have also made a lot of good friends (like you) through this business.

  • What are some of the most in demand pins collectors are after right now?

The most in demand pins right now are Packers and Super Bowl 45 champions pins.  Also in demand are press pins.  Unfortunately the NFL lockout is going to put an end to the demand for the NFL pins.  I am also going to have an exclusive Opening Day pin for the Colorado Rockies that will be in huge demand on April 1st when I am selling at Opening Day.

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  • Would you like to see pins integrated into trading cards somehow?

No I really don’t think that it works.  I believe that it has been tried by Score a few years ago and it just didn’t work.  I think the problem is that pins can’t be easily put in packs without the potential for damage to the cards.

  • Do you have a personal collection?  If so, what is in it?

I have a small personal collection.  I am originally from Detroit so I like to collect pins for the Tigers, Red Wings, Pistons and Lions.  I also collect pins from events that occurred in Detroit like the 2005 All-Star Game and Super Bowl 40.

Want to learn even more about The Pin Man?  Take a look at this article by Steve Stoler of WFAA-TV Dallas/Fort Worth.

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One Response

  1. Pin man! It’s interesting how people find their niches in life.

    I’m not a pin collector, but I like the idea that pins capture a point in time, and commemorate an event and a year, rather than a player or a team.

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