TECNews Oct-Dec 2022 Issue Elongated Coins

As we head into the final stretch of 2022, the latest issue of TECNews has been released along with the exclusive elongated coins generously donated by the club and club members. Each issue is filled with fantastic auricles by members about their own coin travels, special collections, tips about the hobby and many other topics. Plus they have special events like the Design contest we reviewed a couple months ago, and this time it was a coloring contact for our younger members.

There is plenty of great information inside each issue and I really look forward to each new edition. Then of course we always get to look forward to the included elongated coins. Let’s take a closer look at which ones we received this time.

This first charming looking coin was donated by John and Nancy Wilson. They have had elongated coins created for the World’s Fair of Money (ANA Coin Show) for over 20 years. With this most recent event being held in Chicago Illinois, John included in this design a fun piece of Chicago Bears history along the bottom. The design was engraved by John Gusmano and rolled by Cindy Calhoun.

Next we have the World’s Fair of Money TEC elongated design that was created and rolled by Paul Connor, and engraved by John Gusmano. It has World’s Fair of Money across the top with a marvelous collection of starts just inside the border surrounding a large owl that Paul made to look similar to the eagle on the back of a Kennedy half dollar. We also have 2022 inside of the owl’s wings, the dates of the show in the bottom right and TECNews.org on the left side.

Finally let’s take a look at the World’s Fair of Money ANA elongated design. This was also created and rolled by Paul Connor, and engraved by John Gusmano (they were both certainly busy these last few months). Paul said of this design that he wanted to make a more historic looking elongated. The lettering and style he used was similar to posters and material from the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago. But my personal favorite part of this design is the lettering for Chicago that looks like it was plucked fright from an old fashioned theater lighted marquee.

Well there you have it just a little preview of the October to December 2022 edition of TEC News. As always I have included a link to the TEC website here in case you are interested in more information or are ready to sign up and start enjoying this incredible club. I hope you enjoyed these very exclusive coins. Have a fantastic week and as always Keep on Pressing!


The Mandalorian Medallions NEW | Downtown Disney, CA

I’ll admit that I am completely blown away and was taken by surprise when I found out about this new set of collectible medallions. As I’m sure you saw in the title Disney has released Mandalorian themed coins. I knew it would eventually happen, but this seems much quicker than they usually move to implement designs based on new movies and TV shows. Sure The Mandalorian already has 2 seasons out, with a third scheduled for the new year but that is certainly quicker than some of their extremely popular movies or attractions that can take many many years before they are available to collectors and guests.

Ok I know I’ve complained about this in the past, so let’s move on to these new coins. They can be found in the Downtown Disney district on the West Coast in California. Located inside the old Rainforest Cafe building which has been transformed into a Star Wars themed Trading Post.

Photo courtesy of Kelly B

Just inside the main entrance to the Trading Post on the left side is where this new medallion machine has been placed. The cabinet is wonderful. You know me, I love themed cabinets and this one looks great and fits right in with the wall color and design.

Photo courtesy of Kelly B

Unfortunately I was not able to actually visit this machine in person, but I have heard from fellow collectors that this is already a very popular machine with guests. They seem to have quite a good inventory of each design on hand, but as we have found in the past this can change without notice.

Let’s take a nice close look at the images on each of the coins in this set. You can see among them Grogu / Baby Yoda, Mando, Ahsoka Tano and a mythosaur skull.

The reverse image on all of the coins is the same. It includes the Star Wars and Mandalorian logos along with the copyright LFL (Lucasfilms Ltd).

In case you couldn’t tell I absolutely love this set. I hope we get something similar (but not identical) here in Florida. My gut tells me if we do get a similar machine the designs will probably be identical which just seems to be how things work and I’m sure saves the vendor additional costs from having to create so many different designs.

Are you a Mandalorian fan? Will you be picking up these coins for your own collection? Would you prefer these were elongated coins / pressed pennies? Let me know down in the comments below, I’d love to heard all about it. Enjoy the rest of your day and we will be back soon. Keep on Collecting!

Guardians Mission Breakout Updated Pressed Pennies | Disney California Adventure

When I first hear murmurings on the Disney coin groups a bout new Guardians of the Galaxy pennies I immediately thought we were getting them here in EPCOT for the Cosmic Rewind attraction that opened earlier this year. But that was not the case, instead new “Updated” versions have been released at the Mission Breakout attraction in Disney California Adventure.

Every time I see pictures of the outside of this attraction it just looks amazing. The details are so unbelievable and from what I’ve seen inside that continues all the way through. Now I am not a fan of this type of drop ride so I’ll be skipping it this time around, and instead we are going to jump right over to the exit gift shop called the Collector’s Warehouse.

Photo courtesy Kelly B

As you walk through the stop it’s towards the exit door in one of the corners. At first glance it looks like a pretty standard 3-design electronic machine, but don’t let that fool you. The cabinet is nice and details for this shop, but that marquee is no marquee instead it’s actually a digital screen that changes and moves when you use it. I have not personally been out here to see it in person so I don’t have any video clips of it, however I hope to soon be heading to the west coast for a family trip and will be documenting those screens in plenty of details for future reviews.

First let me show of my glamour shot of these coins. They are really fun and have a ton of detail on them. Peter Quill Star-Lord, Groot Floral Colossus and Rocket as Pet Rodent.

On the above left is the new versions we just looked at and the right are the previous versions. They look identical, maybe with some slight detail changes around the characters but you’d need a pretty good magnifier to see those.

Instead the new variant is on the reverse side of each coin. Thanks for Boomer over at ParkPennies.com he was able to confirm that the backstamp on these coins has been changed. It appears much smaller and a bit less details in my opinion. Honestly I think I like the previous version better, but I’m one of those pesky completist so I need to get any variant versions I can get my hands on.

I love the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, characters, the new ride in Epcot, but this one in California Adventure not so much. Maybe one day my daughter will drag me on it and I’ll experience it. Hopefully instead of just a new backstamp in the near future we can get some updated front designs for either the upcoming Holiday special movie or Volume III hitting theaters in a couple years. A collector can always wish can’t he. Thanks for joining me and enjoy the rest of your week. Keep on Pressing!

Frozen still getting NEW Pressed Pennies | Disney California Adventure

Ok I really don’t want to be that guy…but really Disney we are getting more Frozen themed pressed pennies in 2022? I guess it would be one thing if these were brand new designs, but as I’ll show you shortly these are the same designs already available in Florida. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely loved the original Frozen and will still sing along to those songs when they pop up on my Pandora Disney playlist. The second movie I could have really done without, but honestly these pennies I could have also really done without at this point.

First let me start off by mentioning in case you missed it, today we are inside Disney California Adventure theme park. Not too far inside you find yourself on Buena Vista Street and tucked away in the back corner is a place called Kingswell (Camera) Shop. Years ago when I visited this was an actual camera shop selling mostly those disposable Kodak film cameras, but now it seems it has just been merged into the nearby stores selling the same more standard Disney merchandise.

Photo courtesy Kelly B

Many of these stores along Buena Vista street are all interconnected similar to Main Street USA in Disneyland. Each shop has it’s own set of entrance and exits and in one of these near the Kingswell shop is where you will find the newest penny press machine. I will admit this is one very pretty look machine cabinet, and I really like those little snowflakes they have inlaid with the wood. I’m sure they are luck vinyl stickers but still a very nice touch.

As promised here is a closer look at the “new” set of Frozen themed penny designs. Included are Anna, Elsa and of course my daughters favorite Olaf.

Earlier I mentioned that these are similar to designs we have here in Florida at the Norway Pavilion in EPCOT. They aren’t identical but as you can see from the above comparison they are pretty close. Elsa seems a bit more defined and better looking details to the edges of her dress and hair. At the top the Disney logo is gone from the new versions. The other designs are very similar in comparison.

I mean there is nothing wrong with them, and I guess technically the West Coast parks haven’t had designs like this so that’s fine. It just seems like a strange new set to release now. Why not put out some Encanto designs, or Turning Red. We still haven’t seen anything from those movies yet and they are much more relevant that this point in time. Guess I just need to Let it Go!! Haha sorry I couldn’t resist.

Keep on Pressing!

Small World NEW Pressed Pennies | Disneyland, CA

Based on just the title alone I’m sure that ear worm of a song has already started to repeat itself in your head. I will vow to you right now that I promise not to sing for you, and I’ll try to limit the song lyrics in this post. So if the song is still in your head after that, well you are on your own.

I’m going to assume many of you have been on this attraction at least once in one of the Disney parks, or if not maybe you saw it on TV over the years. It seems to be one of the most recognized attractions that Disney has every created. So with that in mind we are going to skip ridding it for this blog post and instead we will pretend we rode it, are exiting the attraction and now are walking towards the cute little It’s a Small World Toy Shop. You know I just realized that in Florida we don’t have a Small World Toy / Gift Shop, that’s kind of strange and seems like a missed opportunity. I wonder why?

Photo courtesy Kelly B

Inside this store of course is everything you can image Small World themed. One of the items I always laugh at when I see is the blue t-shirt that says “I conquered It’s a Small World”. Why isn’t that on a penny Disney? The penny machine is tucked away in one of the corners and is a new 8-design touch screen version that has been taking over Disneyland lately.

Look at these cuties, the classic Mary Blaire creations in all their glory just now in pressed penny form that you can slide into your pocket, and they don’t sing. That’s certainly a plus! Some of the designs include the Small World attraction facade, the little Dutch girl, Maracas player, and Toy Horse.

Also included in this set are the classic Beefeater, Can Can girl, Drummer, and my personal favorite the blinking hippo, or is she winking. You know I never can tell, but I love her just the same.

This set is unbelievably good, I can’t express how much I love these designs and it’s something I have not yet seen released here in Florida at Walt Disney World. I hope we get something like this soon, although like I said with no gift shop nearby I’m not sure where the machine would go. I hope you enjoyed this non-musical trip to collect this set of great pennies. Keep on Pressing!

NEW Space Mountain Pressed Pennies | Disneyland, CA

Now that it seems that Disneyland on the West coast has finally woken up and started giving us lots of new elongated coins, I find that it’s been hard lately trying to keep up with them to share. I’ve got a few to share with you but I’ll post them separately just so they are easier to find based on their location and probably more importantly their design theme. First up we are headed into Disneyland, over to Tomorrowland and hopping aboard a high-speed thrill ride in the dark better known at Space Mountain.

As with most penny machines at Disney you do not actually need to ride the attraction if you prefer to keep your feet on the ground.

Photo courtesy Kelly B

The machine is located near the exit where you would be able to preview the onside photographs. It is kind of tucked away in one of the corners along the glittery space wall.

Photo courtesy Kelly B

The machine cabinet has a fun future and space theme to it, nice and shiny like a new rocket ship.

Usually I tried to photograph the entire set together, but I’ve been finding with these 8-design sets sometimes not all of the coins are shown in their full glory. So I’m splitting them up to try and show more details. The set includes pennies with the Space Mountain logo, Mickey & Minnie, Mike & Sully, and Mickey Donald & Goofy all in Space Mountain ride vehicles.

The second half of this set had a couple designs with Mickey in a space suit and doing a space walk. Then we find that cute duo Chip & Dale floating around, and we end with Donald in another space suit.

This is a fun new set of elongated coins themed for one of my favorite attraction Space Mountain, and yes I will admit that the California version is far superior to our Florida version but that could just be me. Stay tuned for quite a few more new west coast Disney themed coin sets on the way. Keep on Pressing!

Incredible Hulk Transformed into Fantastic Four Pressed Penny Machine

Quite a few years ago I tracked now a new at the time, pressed penny machine that was released for The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park. This machine had some great penny designs available, but was in a pretty bad location. If you rode the attraction you would pass by it as you exited, but if you didn’t want to ride (such as myself) you had to kind of walk against traffic into the exit to track it down. You can read all about it here if you are interested.

Just a few days ago I was visiting the park with some family, and my cousin opted to risk death by riding this crazy looking coaster. I insisted on keeping my feet on the group while holding his things. While I waited I kind of wondered around this area of the park just because I’m honestly almost never over here. As I checked out the area something caught my eye which I though may be something new. To try and give a bit of wayfinding, near the Hulk coaster is the Fantastic Four Cafe.

Along the one side of this cafe almost directly across from the Hulk coaster is a set of restrooms. Then tucked into the corner is a collectible tag engraver machine and what looked like a new Fantastic Four pressed penny machine.

The design of the machine cabinet was nice, and I certainly was excited to see what designs where available at this machine. But….then I noticed these were not new designs.

These were in fact the same designs that had been in that previous Hulk machine. Now during the Covid park shut downs and then subsequent reopening, there were a few times I tried to access this machines old location in the exits area to the Hulk attraction. But there were Team members stationed near a barricade keeping non-rides out. So for quite awhile I haven’t been able to actually confirm if this machine was still there or available. This has since confirmed that the machine was in fact missing for at least a little while as they refurbished its outside cabinet. It does seem very strange to have a Fantastic Four cabinet with no Fantastic Four penny designs available, so fingers crossed that maybe we will see that update or change in the future. For now this post is more of an informative update. If you are or have been interested in this set of Incredible Hulk and a few other classic Marvel characters it is now easier to access than before. Keep on Pressing!

EPCOT 40th Anniversary Commemorative Coin

It seems like every year Disney is celebrating some type of anniversary, from the company, parks, movies and of course Uncle Walt himself. As 2022 starts to come to a close we have one more celebration and that is over at EPCOT for its 40th Anniversary which was on October 1st.

When I arrived at the park there were plenty of new signs around for the 40th. But when I went back a couple days later it was all gone. So this was certainly a quick celebration that seems to not be sticking around too long.

Honestly there wasn’t much going on at the parks for this event anyways, other than mostly just merchandise and all of that was located in the Creations Shop just beyond Spaceship Earth.

As I’m sure you can guess there was plenty of items for sale with the 40th Anniversary all over it. I mean it’s Disney and merchandising is one of the things they do best. There was a huge line just to get into this store and I heard that the wait time exceeded 2 hours at one point so these items were in pretty high demand. Unfortunately I know that a lot of it was headed straight for eBay but that’s a complaint for another time.

If you are a pin collector they had you covered with at least 10-15 different kinds of pins, plus there is always plenty of t-shirts, sweaters, spirit jerseys, hats, magic bands and so much more.

Plus this is Figment’s park, so there is plenty of purple dragon related items on both clothing, pins and of course different types of plushies. Unfortunately there was no special pressed pennies or commemorative medallions (sort of). This is something I’ve always hoped Disney would start doing more, and for a little while we saw some Festival medallions appear but those haven’t come back in the last couple years.

However, I did come across a bin filled with some 40th Anniversary commemorative coins. They did come safely stored inside a small acrylic holder case. But the price tag on these took me back a bit. At $34.99 these were certainly an expensive coin to buy for collectors. We were told by nearby Cast Members that these were a limited quantity and once they were gone, they were gone. So of course being the Disney sucker that I am, I fought off the crowds and picked one up for my collection.

Yes I took it out of the protective case, but I really wanted to get a closer look at it. One side has the classic EPCOT rings logo with the globe in the center. EPCOT 40 near the bottom as well as the anniversary date October 1st, 2022.

Now I will say that it is quite hefty and weights in at 1.2oz (35 grams). There is not markings on the coin to indicate what type of metals it’s made up of but is a very nice looking coin. It has a diameter of 45.25mm and a height of 3.70mm. The coin has almost like a matte finish on it, which I actually really like and helps keep those pesky fingerprints from getting on it.

The reverse side of the coin has Celebrating 40 Years of Imagination around the edge, and EPCOT 40 at the bottom. The center is the EPCOT rings and globe logo again this time with no inlaid color. That is circled by all the different land logos like World of Motion, The Living Seas, The Land, Journey into Imagination and more.

Overall I was a bit disappointed with the 40th Anniversary celebration at EPCOT just because it seemed like Disney just needed an excuse to release a bunch of new merchandise knowing guests would rush to get it, and I was right there with them. I do wish they had released a special pressed penny or medallion just to help keep the cost down a bit for us collectors. But I do really like this commemorative coin and found out a few hours after I picked mine up that they were indeed sold out so even with that high cost it seems like guests were willing to pay which has me worried that the next big celebration may have even higher costs for similar items.

Happy Anniversary EPCOT, you were not my favorite park as a child because you seemed like I was going on a school field trip instead of on vacation. But as I’ve gotten older you have become one of my favorite parks and I certainly appreciate you more than I ever did.

Keep on Collecting!

Halloween Horror Nights 2022 Medallions – Universal Studios Florida

It’s October and you know what that means, it’s Spooky Season. Well technically here in Central Florida with all the theme parks we start Halloween season back in August, but that’s besides the point. All across the country there are numerous local haunting attractions, and we are no different here. However the creme de la creme of these events in my opinion has to be Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights.

This is my fourth straight year going since moving to the Orlando area. We have a few others available but this is the one I really look forward to each year. As with previous years there are 10 houses / mazes, 5 scare zones, a stage show, a lagoon water show, and plenty of special themed food and drinks. Oh and did I mention new collectible medallions, oh yeah they have those as well. But first let’s take a little walk around the park to see some of the festivities before we track down those coins.

The scare zones are always fun, and you can really have some great interactions with the scare actors. Plus there is plenty of fog to really get the atmosphere set to spooky mode.

As with the houses / mazes each scare zone has a pretty detailed back story to it. Some have stage shows that are all apart of the on going story as you pass on through.

I was able to survive all 10 of the haunted houses at the event. The lines can be quite long so just be prepared for that, but my little tip is that the lines do shorten later on at night. I won’t give any spoilers away about details within the houses, but I do always get asked what my favorite houses were so here are my top 3 for HHN 2022.

#1 Dead Man’s Pier Winter’s Wake
#2 Universal Monsters: Legends Collide
#3 Fiesta De Chupacabras

Next let’s visit a few of the food stands for some interesting eats this year. First one I came across was at a Food Stand near Finnegan’s Bar & Grill. It was the Pepperoni Pizza Skull. Pretty self explanatory, but it looked really cool and was stuffed with plenty of pepperoni and cheese. How can you go wrong with that combination.

The second item that I really enjoyed was located at the Universal Monster’s Food booth near the Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone. This was the Garlic Philly Cheese “Stake” with seasoned curly fries.

It’s about time we headed over to the new Tribute Store which is just as detailed as some of the houses we went through. Universal has really put a lot of work into this themed store and it’s become an attraction all to its own. Inside is jam packaged with plenty of Halloween Horror Nights merchandise and lots of sweet treats and savory snacks. Be warned that the check out line during HHN events can be very long, but the Tribute Store is also open during regular park hours and in my experience has much short lines.

After you have picked up your event merchandise, as you head towards the exit you will pass through one last little hallway and is where you will encounter the new collectible medallion machine. It has an updated marquee sign for the 2022 event, and I also noticed that there is no longer a cash payment option. Your only options are now to use a credit card or digital form of payment like ApplePay or Google Wallet which also forces you to buy four coins in total, you can no longer just pay cash for one medallion. Just for clarification on this, you can obviously get one of each design for the full set, or any combination of coins to get your four coins. Technically you could also just get four of one design if there is one that you really like.

The designs in this years set include Dracula from the Universal Monsters, the Pumpkin Lord who is this years event icon, Casper the friendly ghost for some reason. I actually saw merchandise with Casper on it as well, but he’s not in any of the houses or scare zones so I’m not sure exactly why he’s here especially when there are so many other design options they could have included with this set. But they did finish strong, the fourth design is of the crowd Favorite Lil’ Boo who was a social media phenomenon even thought he was just a small decoration outside of one house during the 2021 event.

Once again Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights seems to be another success this year. Then entire event is so much fun, with plenty of things to do and lots of scares but nothing too intense. I’m so happy to see that Universal has continued releasing new medallion sets. I always say it would be nice to see something like this as a pressed penny, but I’ll keep collecting these coins as long as they keep putting them out.

Have a truly Spooky Halloween season, and as always Keep on Collecting!