Collector Showcase Posts

Karen Silverbush on her Collection’s Evolution over time

I was always a collector of sorts.  At around 15, I decided that I loved foxes.  They were elusive then.  Seeing something with a fox in, on it or with it was rare.  It was difficult and therefore probably fun to collect figurines, artwork, clothing, and stuffed animals.

Steiff Fox Hand Puppet (included in the range as he has a role in a number of fairy tales)

I then started adding Siamese cats after I got one for a pet, and my aunt gave me her antique Siamese small but very nice collection of cat merch.  So these were my two passions way back then until about the late 1970s.

I then discovered Annalee felt dolls and loved them.  I joined the Annalee Doll Society, they had a big event on their property every summer where there were workshops, special editions, games, food and of course meeting other collectors!

The 1991 Annalee Logo Doll

By now you could find foxes and Siamese cats merchandise around every corner, in every catalog and every store window. I moved on and began collecting Christopher Radko ornaments and Llado porcelain figurines.  Unfortunately, these are fragile and take up lots of room to display not to mention expensive.

Garden of Dreams by Llado

Well, in 1987 I went to my first Hard Rock Cafe in Cancun. My husband, Steve and I bought T-shirts.  The whole reason to go there was to look at the memorabilia.  So if we went on vacation and there happened to be a Hard Rock, we did go, looked at the memorabilia, had a drink, and bought T-shirts.  In 1997, a friend of Steve’s asked us to pick up pins for him in Hawaii. While enjoying drinks at the bar, I decided that I liked the pin we’d bought and said “we should really buy pins at the cafes. The T-shirts fade and rip and then get tossed”. That is how we got our first pin!

Every pin collection starts with one! Here is ours

The following year we were at the Hollywood cafe sitting near the lunch counter and saw this group of folks with bags of these pins and found out that there were others that collected and traded.  We met Uncle Dan and we got a registration form to join the Guitar Pin Collector’s Society.  We went to our first event in New York in 1999 and have been collecting on and off since. In 2014, We decided that it was time to slow it was down and rethink our collection.  Steve decided to keep the wall series guitars.  I decided to keep Grand Openings, Breast cancer, cats and foxes.

Still collecting Cats!

We are selling all of the rest.  We are down to about 1,600 or so pins and would be thrilled to see them go to a loving new home.  For that purpose, I have created a profile on hobbyDB for the pins we are selling (and to make this easier for you you can buy as many as you like and not pay more shipping).  We are almost done with that and will then create another profile to showcase what we are keeping (so look forward to seeing my pins and porcelain figures and stuffies and and and….

R.I.P Henk – you will be missed!

Henk Rijpstra started collecting pins in the early ’90s as a shared hobby with his son Marco.  When they could they would travel and somehow there was always a Hard Rock Cafe for lunch and for dinner…  So Henk was ready when in 1999 the Amsterdam Hard Rock Cafe opened, he came to the first Pin Meeting and bought some traders (I believe 6 and they in a tiny tin box!).

Back then the Germans run PIN (the Pin International Network) and PIN organized the PinMarch every year in …. yes, in March. PinMarches were held in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Copenhagen, Malta, Reykjavik, Stockholm and even in Cairo. And Henk went to them all. And these events raised money for charity, generally easily around $20.000! Henk loved buying at those auctions as the money went to charity and the pins came home with him.

But PinMarch also did something else.  There would also be an exclusive pin for the event and at the auction, somebody could buy the naming rights to that pin.  In Reykjavik Henk wanted to be that person, so plans to save a war chest were enacted and when it came to the auction folks did want him to win it! As he felt strongly that this was a big money maker for the charity he started to bidding against his son!  Henk felt compelled to name the pin Circle of Friends.



Hard Rock Cafe became more and more internationally!  Believe it or not, Henk did not speak more than 6 words of English!  And no German, French, Spanish or even Finnish.  But yet he traveled all over the world and traded pins with folks from all Nationalities.  In no time he became a member of the 100 Club and shortly afterward the 200 Club.  While he often needed help with translations he got around. He loved going to the Hard Rock and often he would say to just anybody, even somebody he just met “Hey, are you coming with me to the Hard Rock?”  His last trip was with a pinfriend to the Hard Rock Cafe Baku and as always he had a great weekend.  When he got home he was tired and wanted to rest a bit, falling asleep he never got up again.

For me, I lost a very good and dear friend. I met Henk in 2001 at the PinMarch and it turned out we only lived 5 miles apart from each other. So we would always go to the monthly meeting in Amsterdam. Henk persuaded me to go the PinMarch in Iceland and many more places after that (he just had this way of asking). When I got sick and survived breast cancer he would care for me. He always came by and cheered me up, he made sure I had a ride to the hospital and when I had to cancel the Barcelona pinmeeting because of my illness he returned with a present from the auction, signed by all the attendees wishing me well! And that was just him.  As soon as he heard about somebody being ill or otherwise in trouble, he was there for those folks. He was the kind of person you could call in the middle of the night and no questions asked, he would do whatever was needed.  In short, the best friend you can imagine.  Henk, I will always miss you.

Rinske Haaitsma

Our Man in Anchorage

Bruce is big into collecting Anchors… on pins.  Here some of his pins on a large stretched frame with sailcloth  –

He got the sailcloth in Maine and his partner-in-crime sewed it to the frame. So far about half my anchor related pins on there with a large amount waiting to be added as it apparently really tough cloth to put pins through!

Other pins get stored in an antique watch makers case  –


It has fiberboard on spray glued black felt to the boards. That way Bruce is able to just punch pins into the board.  He keeps the backs in a little HRC bag. This case now houses every Anchorage pin sold, a few prototypes and some oddball Anchorage pins.

Other pins go into his large Map Chest  –

That way Bruce can buy pins for a few years to come.  Luck helped – his friend’s dad was an architect and decided to downsize. The chest was going to be donated or trashed!

When not buying, sorting or trading pins there is always food!  And here with some of the other Anchorage collectors  –

Staring in the front with the blue T-Shirt Daniel, Andreas, Hannah, Sandra and Julien (family visiting from Germany), Bruce sticking his head up, Carolyn and Lester.

Here is the page on the Anchorage location that Bruce and Eddie Dorman maintain.

Hard Rock Pin Collector Showcase: Meet dez9rlady

For our third Collector Showcase, we introduce Lisa Bertman Hoffman, also known as “dez9rlady”, of McLean, VA. Lisa is the Pin Master for the three Northfield Park locations, Cleveland and Tel Aviv!

Check out a bit about her story and some pictures from her collection  –

1. When did you start collecting and what did you first collect?
I bought my first pin in 1984 not knowing it would lead me to the crazy world of pin collecting and the many great friends I’ve made over the years. I was a recent design school graduate visiting LA’s Beverly Design Center. I came across this great hamburger joint across the street called the Hard Rock Café. When I paid my tab, they had what became to be known as a classic, no name black Les Paul guitar pin for sale. If I recall correctly, it cost $4 and I had myself a souvenir of my LA trip.

Fast forward 10+ years and I was traveling a lot for work. I knew if there was a Hard Rock where I was going, I could get a good burger and pick-up a pin. In 2002, I relocated from Cleveland to Washington, DC. My office was around the corner from the café and I soon met Floyd Terry, DC’s pin master. The rest is history and it’s all his fault 😊

I have different collections of Hard Rock pins. Cleveland and New York having lived in both cities. Breast Cancer-I’m a survivor, City-T’s for every location I’ve visited, Classic Cores for every city I’ve been that has or had a Hard Rock, and sugar skull animals. I have a few series-Dublin Doors, Amsterdam Delft, Philadelphia Solar System and the Deconstructed Guitars to name some. The European Train Series is my favorite. Architecture, art and design are interests of mine so pins of buildings and structures are a big part of my collection. I love cats, I have three of my own.

The collection I’m most proud of is of my 9-11 pins. I was part of the Pentagon Renovation Program post 9-11. I believe I have all the pins produced by Hard Rock commemorating the events of 9-11.

What has been your favorite festival, event or visit related to your collection?

My favorites have been the ones I’ve turned into an excursion. In 2014, on my way to London’s pinORIGINAL, I spent 10 days traveling Ireland, N. Ireland, Scotland and England and visited five Hard Rock locations along the way. In London, I met Lovely Rita who is one of the original Hard Rock waitresses from 1971 and the infamous London Musketeers-Mike, Nick, David, Doug and Dixie.

But my favorite was Reykjavik in 2017. It was a gathering started by three collectors celebrating their 300th unique Hard Rock visit. It snowballed into a party that included others celebrating their milestone visits including my own 50th. I spent a week in Iceland traveling solo and with other collectors. Incredible country.

2. What else do you collect besides Hard Rock Pins?
I have a very small collection of Cleveland themed Guitar Mania mini guitars produced as a fundraiser for the United Way with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I have limited space and need to leave room for me!

Enter Pinvana! The Seattle global pin trading event

By Paul McKelvey AKA wsbudman9, Co-Pinmaster, Hard Rock Cafe Seattle

The Seattle Pinvana global pin trading event is coming up in less than 4 weeks (April 5-6)! You still have time to RSVP and book flights. You also still have time (until March 21) to contact me to sign up for the charter bus day trip to get visit credit for Hard Rock Casino Vancouver BC Canada (April 4). Two visit credits possible from one plane trip! We have collector milestone visits to celebrate at Vancouver Casino, followed by the main event in Seattle, with tons of pin trading in both locations. The RSVP list for Seattle is actually double what the event page shows. Sign up now and come out for this 2nd annual major event!


And here a nice Pinvana tradition, the Pinvana Pinboard  –

In addition to paid charity raffles throughout the event, Pinvana raffles off an entire pin board. For each limited edition pin you add to the board, you receive a raffle ticket. No limit to how many pins you can put on the board. At the end of the day, one ticket is drawn, and the winner gets all of the pins on the board. Denise Black, AKA demiroff, Pin Master for 3 Ibiza locations, won last year.


All photos are credited to Lou Nuccio AKA HRC-Worldwide and Pin Master Baltimore and Nabq.