On Monday 27 July the London 2012 limited-edition 3 Years to Go pin was launched at the Museum of London
. The publicity surrounding the pin, and the fact that only 3,000 pieces will ever be made, made it a hugely popular collectors item. At 3PM on 27 July the Museum of London officially received the 3 Year to Go pin into their collection. It now joins several other items of Olympic memorabilia, including the London 1948 and Beijing 2008 Olympic torches. Jack Lohman, the Director of the Museum, who personally accepted the artefacts into the Museums collection described them as being a precious work of art and said we want to make London the pin capital of the world.
Earlier in the day eager fans had been queuing outside the entrance to the Museum, keen to make sure that they didnt miss out on this once-in a lifetime purchase. When the doors opened they all made a beeline straight to the shop. In order to make sure that everyone managed to get their hands on a pin, the Museum decided to impose a strict limit of ten 3 Years to Go pins per person otherwise they would have sold out very quickly.
In other retail outlets there were similar scenes, for example the sports retailer Runners Need had sold out in all their five retail outlets by midday. Crest of London's nine central London stores also sold out. And whilst the only retail outlets selling the pins were in London, pin-fans from the rest of the country were able to buy online on the Museum of Londons online store which sold 500 pins on the first day of sales alone.
Fortunately for anyone whos not managed to get their hands on one yet, the pins are still available at the Museum of London store and at their online shop - but hurry, at current rates theyll be gone in a few days.
Many officials including Seb Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, Boris Johnston, Mayor of London, and athletes such as Tom Daley, Daley Thompson and Aileen McGlynn got hold of the pin in advance and wore it during the 3 Years to Go celebrations at the Olympic park.
After the LOCOG officials, the first person to be able to buy the 3 Years to Go pin was Liz Douglas, a teacher from New York who lives in London, who was first in the queue at the Museum of London. Liz said that she first came to be interested in pins whilst on a road trip around the USA, but is not really a pin collector. She decided she wanted this pin because shes really excited that the Games are coming to London, and knew that the pin was a limited edition.
Quite apart from the 3 Years to Go pins, several other new pins with innovative London and UK themed designs were also on sale for the first time, including pins themed on Punk, London Markets and Music Festivals.