Holiday Penny Set 2022 | Disney California Adventure

Not too many years ago collectors were on the edge of their seats during the Holiday season anxiously waiting for the Disneyland Holiday pressed nickel sets to be released. It has been an annual staple at the parks for quite a few years dating back to 1995 in Disneyland and 2010 in the California Adventure park. But then in 2020 when the entire world seemed to shut down we missed out on that years special holiday coin designs. That continued into 2021 with another year passing by and still no holiday coins. Many collectors assumed this beloved tradition was gone for good.

Photo courtesy of ParkPennies.com

Then just a couple weeks ago our friend and fellow collector Kelly B was visiting the parks and noticed some new designs that were released in Disney California Adventure back in the Kingswell Camera Shop where it seems like all new pressed coin designs have been released lately. Now first off I should mention that these are not pressed nickels like in previous years. I have a feeling this is due to the machine having recently been converted over to the $1 price point and is pre-loaded with pennies. It seems like the vendor doesn’t want to pre-load these with nickels and have to figure out an even higher price to use the machine.

Photo courtesy of ParkPennies.com

As much as I really enjoyed those pressed nickels, I’m just as happy to have these pennies. Something is better than nothing, and I really missed them the last couple years.

The designs include Minnie Mouse holding a gift with Joy towards the top of the design. Next is Goofy trying to balance a large pile of gifts. Then finally we have Mickey Mouse with a more reasonable two packages and Noel just above his head. These images are really cute and I love having them in my collection.

The backstamp on all of the pennies is the same and just has the classic Disney California Adventure logo. I do miss the unique Happy Holiday backstamp that used to be on the more recent nickels, but again I don’t want to complain too much since I’m just happy we got these. There used to be separate sets from both Parks, but so far at the time of posting this there was only this one set available. Time is running out on 2022 so I don’t know if we will see another set appear over in Disneyland, but if it does show up I’ll be sure to share it with all of you.

Happy Holidays everyone!!

Harry Potter Spell Coins – Hogsmeade

In a previous post we checked out a new collectible available at Universal Studios the Harry Potter Spell coins or markers at the parks are calling them. We first visited Diagon Alley which you can read about here, but today we are heading over to the Islands of Adventure theme park by way of the Hogwarts Express and into Hogsmeade.

I mentioned this in the previous post but wanted to go over it again here. To help store and display your spell coins there is a special map available for purchase at the time of this post it was $22 (separate maps are available for Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley). It’s made of similar material to a Monopoly game board and has cut outs that can be removed and your coins inserted quite well to keep them from falling out. The coins are sold separately for $8 (at the time of posting). One thing I realized when trying to find all of the coins for both parks is that there are a couple duplicate spells but the coins have a banner on them that specify either Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley so just be careful when searching to make sure you get the correct coins.

The coins are all available inside the Island Supply Gift Shop at the front of Islands of Adventure. I did not see these available inside any of the Hogsmeade shops for some reason. It does make finding them a bit easier, but every so often at least for me, it would be fun to have to visit more than one location to track them all down. Guess I’m just a glutton for making things more difficult on myself.

Over in Universal Studios at Diagon Alley there were only 8 spell coins available, but here in Hogsmeade there are 9 to collect. The front of each coin will match a spell marker that are located throughout Hogsmeade where visiting wizards can cast spells to trigger a reaction within the environment. The reverse side of the coins all have the same image of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal Studios logos.

I really do love these coins and find the details on them really fantastic. A few of them will have a crack along one side adding to the authenticity of them. These seem like they could have come straight out of a Gringotts vault.

The spell coins are quite a bit larger in diameter than a US Cent and even a US Quarter, but only slightly thicker.

Here is a look at the completed Hogsmeade map with all the spell coins inserted and on display. They are nicely secured in the cutout sections, but could be knocked out if this is dropped. The cost of the map and each coin this can be quite an expensive collection to complete and I have seen many guests looking at the coins, but seem to only pick out one or two representing their favorite spells. I’m not sure how many other people are working to collect the full set, but I just couldn’t help myself.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed checking out these new Harry Potter themed Spell Coins (Markers).
Keep on Collecting!


Jurassic World NEW Medallions | Universal’s Islands of Adventure

This new machine almost slipped past us unnoticed, but thankfully we have some very sharp eyed friends in our collecting community. Not too long along I received a message about a new medallion machine inside of Islands of Adventure and I was anxious to get over there, but unfortunately due to my schedule I wasn’t able to visit. In comes our friend Joe Watts to save the day and helped get some pictures of this new machine and the medallions so I could share all the details with you. Let’s take a closer look.

I’m sure if you have visited Universal Florida you know that the Jurassic Park (hopefully soon to be Jurassic World) section is in the Islands of Adventure theme park. If you haven’t been here, well now you know. We have visited here many times in the past for plenty pressed pennies including some specifically for the Velocicoaster Grand Opening that you can read out here.

One downside is that this section of the park is all the way in the back of the park and there is no real direct way to get there. Heading to your right into Seuss landing, or to your left into Marvel Super Hero Island will both eventually get you into the Jurassic area. One of the popular attractions here is the River Journey Adventure and as with all great theme parks you exit from the attraction into a gift shop and this one is called Jurassic Outfitters. Of course if you are visiting just to grab these new medallions you can skip the ride completely if you prefer to stay dry, that ride will result in you getting completely soaked. You have been warned!

This store is quite large and has an immense selection of items all, as I’m sure you an assume, themed for Dinosaurs and the Jurassic Park / World franchise. I always enjoy the faux trees with branches and leaves all around and evening dangling from the ceiling.

The new medallion machine can be found in the back of the store near the ride photo preview desk. Just follow all the soaking wet people walking through the store and you will eventually find it against the wall. The machine cabinet is quite plain, with a nice wood finish to is. I’m always looking for theming when it comes to the machines and wish this was designed to look like a prop from the movies, or have some dino damage to the sides of it. But I guess this makes it easier to swap out the coins in the future without having to completely redesign the cabinet as well.

The cost of these has (so far) remained the same. $5 for one medallion, or $15 for four designs. The coins have some nice designs on them, including a couple Raptors, a T-Rex and what I believe is a Spinosaurus trashing a vehicle.

The reverse side of all the coins has the same image of the Jurassic World logo along with Universal Studios and the copyright / trademark information along the bottom. I really like these new designs and honestly almost like the reverse side best wit that classic Jurassic logo on it. My wallet doesn’t love these due to their higher costs that my beloved pressed pennies, however I just can’t seem to say no. The larger size and details available on each of these coin designs draws me back each and every time they put out more.

On a little side note just going back to the cost of these coins. Please note that if you want only one of these medallions you MUST pay with cash. If you swipe your credit / debit card or pay with a digital form of payment like ApplePay or Google Wallet you will automatically be billed the $15 that entitles you to select any four designs (or just four of one design if that’s what you want). I have seen quite a few guests swipe the card, push a button for one medallion and then start walking away before I have to explain to them what happened and ensure they get the rest of the coins they paid for.

Have a wonderful weekend. For some reason I feel like watching a Jurassic Park movie so I guess that’s my plan for later tonight. Stay safe and as always Keep on Collecting!


Goodbye Splash Mountain Pressed Penny – Privately Designed

Splash Mountain was conceived by Imagineer Tony Baxter in 1983. It’s a log flume style ride that was Disney-find with classic Disney music and their state of the art audio-animatronics.

The plot behind Splash Mountain is based on the 1946 animated Disney film Song of the South. It follows Br’er Rabbit who leaves his home in search of adventure, but encounters Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox who are determined to catch him.

When Br’er Fox does eventually catch Br’er Rabbit this is when we follow him down the 52 foot drop into the briar patch.

Br’er Rabbit escapes uninjured and the other animals rejoice to have him back home safe and sound.

This fan favorite attraction opened in Disneyland California in 1989, and then in Tokyo Disneyland and here in Florida’s Magic Kingdom in 1992. There was a fourth version of the attraction scheduled for Disneyland Paris but was scrapped due to budget reasons and the colder weather in Europe.

Back in June 2020 it was accounted that the versions in California and Florida would be re-themed and based on the 2009 film The Princess and the Frog.

Currently there is no official date set for when these changes will be made and with many other planned refurbishments on hold it may be a little while before this change takes place.

To mark this imminent change, friend and fellow collector Don Cade created a special pressed penny. This design shows Br’er Rabbit “Leaving The Laughing Place”. The details on this are really great and I think this is a wonderful way for us to commemorate this iconic attraction.

As sad as I am to see some of these iconic characters like Br’er Rabbit, Bear and Fox head off into retirement, I understand the need for change and to progress forward. The Princess and the Frog movie is one I didn’t immediately watch when it came out, but once I did see it, that movie has quickly become one of my favorites. I can’t wait to see how it’s translated into this attraction. Fingers crossed when it does get completed we will find plenty new pressed penny designs, and maybe even a beignet stand. I don’t about you but that sounds pretty great to me.

Take care everyone and remember to have a Zip-a-dee-doo-dah day!


Harry Potter Spell Coins – Dragon Alley

Universal Studios has always been one of my favorite theme parks to visit. Years ago when I used to visit with my family the backlot tours, informational shows about horror makeup or the Alfred Hitchcock Presents show gave movie fans a glimpse behind the curtains. But over the years the focus as with other theme parks has been to give guests a more immersive experience and nowhere is that more apparent than in the highly successful Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The details in these areas of the parks is really beyond words between the state of the art attractions, themed shops, clothing, food, butter beer and even wands that allow guests to connect with their inner wizard and cast spells at designated locations.

Recently a new collectible has made an appearance at the parks that all levels of wizards can attempt to acquire. They have released a special set of Spell Coins or what they are calling Spell Markers.

To help you store these coins once you start collecting them is a special trip-fold map. When I opened mind it reminded me of the material used to create a Monopoly game board. It’s made of cardboard but has a couple layers pressed together. There are circle cutouts that when removed will allow the spell coins to fit snuggly in place but we will look at that a little later. At the time of this post the map was $22 but also note that there are separate maps for the different Harry Potter areas, Diagon Alley in Universal Studios, and Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure.

It would have been fun if these coins needed to be earned by showing you could cast the specific spells, but obviously these are just another souvenir. Each coin (at the time of this post) cost $8. For Diagon Alley there are a total of 8 coins to collect, and for Hogsmeade there are 9 total coins.

Taking a closer look at the spell coins you can see they are based on the spell markers found throughout the parks that lets guests know where they can try to cast a spell to trigger a reaction in the environment. Above is the Aguamenti market on the right and does include the wand movement needed to trigger the spell. The coin on the left has the same information, it also does list Diagon Alley and the reverse side of the coin has The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Universal Studios logo. This reverse image is the same on all the coins.

These coins do appear to made of some combination of metals. A few of the coins have a darker appearance that seems to be by design not necessarily a manufacturing flaw.

Unlike the elongated coin machines that are spread out all over the parks, these coins can all be found inside the main Universal Studios gift shop. Just note that this store will only have the Diagon Alley coins available, if you want the Hogsmeade coins you’ll have to head over to Islands of Adventure and you can see those in an upcoming post.

The spell coins are quite a bit larger in diameter than a US Cent and even a US Quarter, but only slightly thicker.

Here is a look at the Diagon Alley map with all the spell coins inserted and on display. They are nicely secured in the cutout sections, but could be knocked out if this is dropped. I was personally thinking about using some 2×2 cardboard flips to store these coins for my collection, but I really like the way they look in these maps so will probably just keep them there and try to see if I can mount it in open in a frame to hang on my wall. I think these are a really fun new souvenire, but between the cost of the map and each coin this can be quite an expensive collection to complete.


Penny Machines on TV – Season 3

This has become one of my favorite posts to work on. Sure it sometimes takes a few years before I’ve found enough new episodes of television to make the post worthwhile, but when I do have a few ready it’s always fun sharing them all with you. Before we grab our remove, first let me just give a huge Thank you! to all of you in our amazing collecting community for helping to let me know whenever you catch a glimpse of a penny press or elongated coin in your favorite (or not so favorite) television shows. If you are interested in checking out our previous posts you can read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here. Now sit back, relax and take a look a few of the latest episodes showing our favorite little collectible.

Pawn Stars (History) Season 16 Episode 4
Originally aired: February 11, 2019

Earlier in this episode someone enters the shop to try and sell the commonly thought of as first publicly available elongated coin from the 1883 Columbian Exposition in Chicago Illinois. The show does share some fun an interesting information about that coin, but many collectors are already aware of it.

Instead for this episode I wanted to focus on another segment where fan favorite Chumlee has come into possession of a penny press machine with a very special design.

The coin design shows off Chumlee’s face along with his cute little dog Pinky. I did hear that this machine was available for a time at the Pawn Shop but has long since been retired, maybe removed after Chumlee’s unfortunate death. I’ve tried to acquire one of these for my own collection, but so far haven’t been able to find one.

American Gods (Stars) Season 3 Episode 5
Originally aired: February 14, 2021

This next show is certainly an interesting story. I was watching this from it’s beginning in season 1 and initially found it a bit hard to follow, but at the same time was fascinated with the characters so I stuck with it and I’m glad I did. Here in Season 3 I almost fell out of my chair when the episode began with some guests visiting the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

Check this out, after the opening credits are done this is what you first see. Now I will say this is obviously a modernized version of the jewelry machine that would hav actually been used at this event to elongated coins. Still I don’t know about you but I would love to find this machine somewhere and use it, the cabinet just looks stunning.

Next we have a fascinating sequence of quick cuts between clips of a guests inserting their coins, sliding them into the machine, the coin dropping down into the die.

We then get to watch at the shiny coin is pressed between the dies in what looks to be the most clean machine I’ve ever witnessed.

To conclude we see the finished elongated coin drop down into the cup ready to be retried by the event guests. I have watched this short video sequence probably more than I would like to admit. I can only hope one day to one of my YouTube videos recreate this type of clip. Just such a beautiful way to show on this elongated coin. What was the rest of the episode about…I have no idea.

The Simpsons (Fox) Season 34 Episode 1
Originally aired: September 25, 2022

In this Pennies on TV posts we certainly have found many on quite a few animated television shows. This time it’s the big one, the longest running one, The Simpsons! Admit it you sang their name just like in the show didn’t you.

This episode at the time of writing only just aired a couple weeks ago. It starts out with the family visiting the Springfield Zoo and find that the beloved Turtle Slow Leonard is missing. Homer is insistent they try to help find him and when he needs a recent picture of Leonard heads over to a nearby Penny Stretcher machine.

Voila, after a few struggling turns of the handle Homer is eventually able to press his coin with I must say is a really cool looking elongated design. Do they find Slow Leonard, well you’ll need to watch the episode to find out. However I do have one last surprise to share today.

Our collecting community is truly amazing and we have so many creative friends. I’m not sure how he was able to get this designed, etched and pressed so quickly after the episode aired but I’m certainly thankful he did. Elongated coin designer Rob Gilger created this along with many other great designs we have reviewed in past posts. If you are interested in this design or any of his others, you can contact him through The Elongated Collectors Club Facebook Group here.

Thank you all for lounging on the couch with me again for this latest season of Pennies on TV. I’m sure we will find many over in the coming years of television. If you find a machine in show that you watch please beside to leave a comment and let me know so I can include it in our next edition. Have a fantastic rest of your week.

Keep on Pressing and Keep on watching TV!


Pressed Cut-Out Pennies?

My name is David and I’m obsessed with Etsy. There I’ve said it and I’m not ashamed. In between scrolling through Facebook penny groups, my Instagram and of course cat TikToks I’ve been spending a lot of time on Etsy looking for weird penny related items. One late night search I found some interesting pennies and placed my order.

The unique thing about these pennies is that the seller / artists(?) used a punch to cut out different designs into the penny. Initially I was just going to buy a bunch of these and show them off as a fun collectible, but when I saw them in person I was hit with an epiphany. What would happen if I pressed these in a penny machine?

My only problem was that here in Central Florida it is getting harder and harder to find a penny machine that allows you to press your own coin. Most of them have all been converted to versions that supply a penny which I’m sure if more convenient for the casual collector, but as we have talked about in the past many long time collectors prefer to use our own preferred coins to press. Thankfully there was one that last I checked hadn’t been changed over and was at Disney Springs inside the House of Blues restaurant.

I will admit I was a little worried that these pennies would damage the machine in some way, but because they were newer zinc pennies which are very soft I was hopeful not to make a mess of the machine.

Thankfully we lucked out and the pennies pressed really nicely. The design cutout in the middle did stretch out a bit but you can still clearly see what it was. Now obviously by using these coins most of the pressed image is missing from the penny, but I still think these are kind of a fun idea for a special design in your collection.

Let me know what you think down in the comments below, is this something you would try? Thank you for joining me again this week and I hope you enjoyed our little experiment. This is not something I would do often, but I am certainly surprised at how well these turned out in the end. Have a great week and Keep on Pressing even if it’s not your standard penny!


Transformers NEW Collectible Medallions | Universal Florida

At Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure there are two very similar attractions. The Adventures of Spider-Man and Transformers The Ride 4-D. Personally I prefer the Spider-Man ride which I think may be a hot take. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the Transformers ride, I just get a little more queasy on it so I don’t ride it very often. Due to this I may have missed a brand new Collectible Medallion machine that was recently placed in the Supply Vault gift shop for this attraction. Thankfully our friend Les G. did find it and was kind enough to pass along the tip.

So I immediately headed over to the park to check out this new set of coins. I did wait in line to experience the attraction just due to it being awhile since my last ride. But I will let you know that you do NOT need to ride the attraction to access the medallion machine.

There are a couple entrances / exits to the Supply Vault gift shop from the park that will allow you to shop for all sorts of Transformers themed merchandise along with these medallions. The cabinet seems really large, but I do enjoy the design of it as it does seem to fit right in with the store theming.

As with the other collectible medallion machines, there are four designs available. It does cost $5 for one coin, or you can get all four coins for $15. This machine does accept credit / debit cards, digital payments like ApplePay or Google Wallet as well as cash. The designs on these coins include Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, the Autobots emblem and the Decepticons emblem.

The reverse image on all the coins is same. It has the NEST Transformers Logo in the center, Universal Studios across the top, and some copyright information along the sides and bottom.

I am happy to say that I survived my ride on the attraction and came off of it without any issues, so this may be a good sign that I can go back to riding this more frequently. I still think I prefer the Spider-Man version, but this is a lot of fun and honestly who doesn’t want to ride along with the Autobots to save the planet from time to time. Universal Studios has certainly seemed to embrace these collectible medallions and I’m happy to see more new designs being released. Keep on Collecting!


Classic Car Pressed Coin Sets | Privately Designed

In the past here we have reviewed some really amazing privately designed elongated coins from friends in our collecting community. It has become one of my favorite sub genres of my collection and I’m find myself always on the look out for new and unique sets. I actually have quite a few in my collection that I haven’t even had time to share with you yet, but stay tuned because we have plenty of them on the way in future posts. Today however I wanted to show off some fun sets created and rolled by Martin Spier and are these after some classic cars and automobiles.

This first set from Martin is celebrating some classic Volkswagens, specifically the T1, T2 and T3 Camper. One thing that I love about not just this set but the others we will look at shortly is the details in the backgrounds of these designs. It really sets the scene and seems like these could have been pulled directly from an advertisement for the vehicles.

The second set continues with some other famous Volkswagen models you may recognize. They include a 1971 Beetle under a bridge, a 1955 Beetle diving along the coast with a lighthouse in the background, and a 1966 Beetle causing along a tree lined street.

The third and final set may just be my favorite, and includes the unique Trabant 601, a classic Ford Mustang in the dessert, and Fiat 500 that looks to be parked in front of the Roman Colosseum.

All of these coins are really striking and I was completely blown away when I saw them in person. The details are incredible and I couldn’t be happier to have them a part of my collection. I can’t wait to see what Martin comes out with next, maybe some more classic car designs or something completely different. The fun of designing elongated coins is they are only limited to the imagination of each designer. If you are interested in checking out these sets or any of Martin’s other available coin sets you can visit his website here. Just note that it is a German website so you may need the assistance as I did from Google translator to navigate it. But feel free to email Martin through is website with any questions and he will be happy to help place your order.

Keep on Pressing!


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!