Artist Proof Disney Pins

Artist Proof or AP Disney Pins

Artist Proof stamped AP Disney pin.

What is an Artist Proof Disney pin?

Disney makes a certain number of pins to be checked over for quality, colors, errors, and overall looks before they manufacture and release them for sale at the Disney Theme Parks.

These pins are referred to as Artist Proof or AP pins. I have personally traded for a few handfuls over the years of living right next to Walt Disney World Florida and even have some for sale in my online pin store here.

How Many AP pins are made?

It is said that Disney makes around 25 or less AP pins for each and every pin produced.  If a pin is a really low Limited Edition, then less Artist Proof pins are made of it.

 What does Disney do with these pins?

These pins are split up and distributed to various locations, one pin is sent to the Disney Pin Archive and one is sent to Disney Studios in California and put in an Archive there.

The rest of the AP pins find their way to Lanyards, Pin Trading Boards, Pin Events, or used for Lots of Pins that will be auctioned off at events or Prizes for pin trading events.

What pins do they make Artist Proofs of?

You can find an AP of any Disney pin, from Framed Sets to Hidden Mickey pins.

• Framed pin sets
• Hidden Mickeys
• Rack pins
• Limited Edition
• Limited Release
• Vinylmation pins 

How can you tell if a pin is an Artist Proof?

It will have an “AP” stamped on the back of the pin.  Depending on the manufacturer, the stamp will look different or be in a different location on the back of the pin.

It is wise to always look very closely at the backs of your pins, you can even use a magnifying glass to help you see better.  Sometimes the AP stamp is so tiny it will look like a scratch.

Tiny AP stamp on Disney pin.

Very Rarely pins are Artist Proof versions but Not marked or stamped on the back to identify them.
These are old pins that were made before they started stamping them.

How or Where can you get AP pins?

You can find these pins while trading at Disney either on Cast Members lanyards (always check out the Managers lanyards:), in Pin trading books, on Pin trading boards, by meeting and trading with Scoop Sanderson in the Magic Kingdom, or at Pin Events.

Check out our online Pin Store, we have listed some of our Personal collection of pins including AP pins for sale.

Believe it or not, but my whole family was trading one day at the Downtown Disney Resorts in Florida, and we found a total of 14 Artist Proof Vinylmations in one book!

We have also found CM’s with entire lanyards full of AP pins. Read our story of the first AP & PP pins we ever found on a Cast Members lanyard here.

Are Artist Proof pins different from their counterparts?

The Artist Proof pin and it’s counterpart pin are identical except for the AP stamp on the back.

AP pins are Not sold in the Disney Gift Shops or Stores.

Some pins do end up looking different than the manufactured pin, these are called Pre Production or Prototype Pins and stamped “PP” on the back.

What is the value of AP pins?

Generally these pins are sold for a higher value than their normal counterparts, usually at a 10-20% mark-up.

They sometimes go for a very high price if it is a rare or really wanted Low Limited Edition pin.

Like any Disney pin, the value is determined by how much a pin is worth to the collector, and how much that collector is willing to pay for the AP version of a pin.

Are there Fake AP pins?

Unfortunately I have seen a few fake Artist Proof pins.

People have tried to reproduce these themselves by using a Stamping Kit at home, but the few I have came across were very bad quality.

Not only the “Stamp”, but the pin itself was an obvious fake pin with damage done to the front from trying to stamp the back.

The Real AP pins are the first struck, so they are very nice and shiny and high quality pins.
The AP stamp is clearly legible and evenly spaced and sized.

Hidden Mickey Artist Proof pin.

I hope this informational pin page has helped you to better understand Artist Proof Disney Pins.

Thank you for reading our Disney Pin blog, please comment below with any questions you might have.

Elizabeth D.

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