Interview with James Dobbs

We're happy to share a recent interview with James Dobbs; we hope you enjoy it!

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions, James. To start, can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is James Dobbs; I am 54 years old and married with four kids (all now adults). I worked in the restaurant business for about 30 years and am now an in-home caregiver for my 2nd youngest son.

Thanks! and how did you get into pin trading?

We made our first trip to Disneyworld in 2008 and were immediately enthralled. One of the fun things to do was pin trading, so I dove in headfirst.

I love how accessible pin trading is to new folk in the parks; that is how we first learned about it! What are your main collections, and why?

Man, that is a hard question. I have a lot of princesses, star wars, holiday pins, and a plethora of hidden mickeys and cast lanyard pins. So I guess I collect everything.

And how many pins do you have?

Somewhere between 500 to 1000 or more.
Some of James' collection
Some of James' collection

I love the wooden case in that pictures (not to mention the pins!), did you get that custom made or where did you find that?

From the looks of it, I believe it was custom made but I actually found it at GoodWill (a chain of second-hand stores). 

I also buy ones like that at the craft stores (shadow boxes) for other pin sets.

Really good to know, thank you! What is your favourite pin?

A limited-edition set of Christmas pins.
Mickey's very merry christmas party 2017 limited edition pins
Mickey's very merry christmas party 2017 limited edition pins

Great set! What do you like most about pin trading?

The hunt. Every year when we go, I take a list of things I need to finish a set or something new that I saw that I want to get. It is so exciting.

Do you remember your first pin trade?

I don't remember specifically my first pin trade but we were eating at Saratoga Springs resort in Disney World and a few gentlemen in suits were walking by our table and they each let my son trade with them. He got a few cast member pins that you can't get if you don't work for Disney.

If you could change one thing about pin trading, what would it be?

That all pin releases are done online as well as in person, so I would have access to them when I am not at the parks. 

That would be amazing! Do you have any advice for someone who wants to get into pin trading?

Do it; you won't regret it, buy yourself some starter sets and jump in feet first. Remember to be patient; it has taken me sometimes years to complete a pin set that I really want but can't get any other way. HAVE FUN!


That is a great thought to end on! HAVE FUN; that is totally right.

Thank you so much, James, for sharing your story and your pictures with us!

If you are a pin collector and would like us to interview you, please get in touch.

Written by tosbourn - Tuesday 25 May 2021

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