Blinkies. The trading pin bling that gets your team noticed fast.

A baseball team in Louisiana needed a trading pin for their upcoming World Series tournament. They didn’t have a mascot, only an idea and a team name, the Blaze. The customer kept saying that they wanted something fun, something cool and nothing like last year’s pin, said the salesperson from The Monterey Company, a leading trading pin manufacturer. When I heard the name, I knew we could definitely do something fun for them. The Monterey Company team, made up of the salesperson and designer, came up with a mascot for them, a little Blaze. It had flames coming out of the top of its head, like what you see when you first strike a match, the salesperson said. And it also had little arms and legs and a smiling mouth, showing sharp teeth. I don t think it was too scary of an image to represent 8-year-old boys, said the customer. She knew the limits. A couple of years ago, she said she received an image from another trading pin company that was really dark and scary. It had dripping blood, and I said to them, you have to keep in mind that we’re dealing with young boys. To enhance the Blaze image for this year’s pin, they added double blinkies for the Blaze s eyes. Recently, The Monterey Company reduced the price of their blinkies from $1.12 to .60 cents each. Double blinkies cost an even $1. (Note that blinkie prices are an added cost to the basic price of the trading pin). Most trading pins only have one blinkie because of the higher costs involved. A blinkie is a LED light that flashes on and off. It is generally put into the eye of the team s mascot, such as a snake or a bulldog, in the front of the pin, and a battery and switch are attached to the back. It takes time and precise attachments at the factory to make hundreds of blinkies, said Paul Stark, president of The Monterey Company, which has produced thousands of trading pins over the past 19 years. Yet, it’s all worth it. Players know that they can get up to three trading pins for the price of one blinkie during the World Series or Cooperstown.” The unique aspect is that this team got double blinkies at an affordable price, added the salesperson. They reduced the size of their trading pin from 2 inches to 1.75 inches, saved a couple hundred dollars, so they were able to purchase the blinkies. Salespeople at The Monterey Company work closely with customers to ensure that they are getting the most trading pin for the best price. Trading pins are known for being large (generally 1 ½ inches to 2 inches), sporting the team s name and mascot, with plenty of bells and whistles, including blinkies, spinners, sliders, bobbleheads, and glitter. For more details on these trading pin extras, look under Trading Pins on this website. Not only did the customer get the double blinkies, but also added red glitter to the team s name. That way, when the blinkies are turned off, the trading pin still has some sparkle and shine, Stark added. That pin is going to be very tradable this year. The customer was happy to finally have a team mascot (the Blaze) to promote on other items, such as banners, T-shirts, hats, and towels. Creating a mascot is rather usual for us, but our staff works with whatever the customer has and wants, Stark said. For assistance with your team s trading pin this year, contact The Monterey Company toll-free at 800-259-6496.

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