Buttons and Other Giveaways

Are Buttons still a big trading item? If so, how many should a team bring to a regional event. If not, what is. Thanks, in advance for your reply.

Go Team PIoneers! (1676)

Buttons are a very inexpensive and popular trading item. Bring a s many as you can and encourage your kids to give away as many as possible. You can always trade more at otehr events and during other years (if it’s not year speciffic, such as , based on this year’s game).
Good luck this year!

Yes, make up two designs if you can. One can be a general one with your team name and mascot or something like that. You can hand those out at fundraisers, cub scout demos, etc. Make another one that is specific to this year and you can hand those out at the competitions you attend. It’s fun to come across one from previous years when you’re cleaning out closets, etc.

RAGE made a “portable” button table that comes to competitions with us. That way, especially on Thursday, when teams have practice rounds, members of the team can make more if necessary.

Make sure you have a “quality control” procedure in place (ours involves dropping them onto the table to be sure they don’t fall apart) and make sure that your team members are trained in button assembly or you will waste lots of materials on buttons that are not cut out properly, that are not assembled properly, etc. And who wants to waste money like that?

The square plastic bins with handles, like dog biscuits and kitty litter come in, are great for storing buttons in and carrying them with you to competitions.

Buttons were huge at the VCU regional last year, and there were some REALLY good buttons. The NASA Knights, Synergy, Fire and Ice, and several other teams had exceptional designs. We didnt really have a big budget last year, so we could only afford to make maybe 500 buttons, we sold them to our sponsors, PTSA members, our friends, and we gave them out at VCU. Another big thing at VCU was trading buttons, say someone else had a button you really liked, you could trade buttons with em, it was alot of fun. Me and and few other guys on my team took duct tape and made sash’s for putting buttons on, it looked cool and it gave our team a different look. So yeah, buttons=good

When we went to Manchester last year buttons were popular, but there were some fun other ideas… pens, bandannas, I think we even got gum at one point…

Our team had keychains (printed out from the computer, hand lamanated, and punched holes with a little chain-- nothing too fancy) and little pins. They are pretty cool, and real easy to make. I think some team moms got together and made a hundred or so.

The Dukes ordered 2,500 for the '02-'03 school year. We went to three events that year and two events last year plus we show our robot off to grade-school kids and we always take a bunch of buttons with us when we do that. We just got low enough on our supply that we purchased another 2,500.
btw - they cost us just over $600 shipped for 2500 2.25" buttons from http://www.buttonsonline.com/.
Incidentally, if you look in the “Site Information” pages for each regional, you will see that buttons are the only items that you may legally trade at events, although I’ve never seen this rule enforced at any regional I have attended.

Yes, buttons are very popular, as the above posters have mentioned, but the sky’s the limit for promotions…coming up with something original can help make you stick out in the minds of other teams. There are companies that will sell you almost anything with your logo on it. Some of my favorites that our team had last year were the balloons and sharpies, and we got an extra donation, so everyone on the team also got a visor and a messenger bag with our logo on it, although those weren’t necessarily for trading.

Buttons are just a great item for teams of all funding levels to use. It will bring members of the team together, to sit and learn more about each other as they help assemble the buttons. Then as team members get to distribute and share buttons, they will once again, get to experience a wonderful part of FIRST, and meet and great more and more members of other teams.

Buttons are the basic standard items to collect and trade.
I have a wall in my office full of FIRST buttons.

I also have Frisbees,
Bandanas ,
Pens & pencils,
Note pads with team # & name,
Small chunky note books (very useful),
Candies (ate them),
Noise makers (you name it… I’ll gotten it),
Costume jewelries,
Hackie sacks,
ID neck straps (useful),
Team canvas bags,
Plastic swords,
Tee shirts (tons of these),
Devil’s pitchfork (from that crazy NJ team),
Magnets of every shape and theme,
Stickers big and small,
Eye-patches (from the pirates),
Plastic money,
Tissue packs (comes in handy),
Stress balls of many shapes,
Yoyos big and small,
Form rockets,
Moe Sticks (a collector’s items),
Maps (yeah),
Cans of Soda,
Makeup bags (that’s right),
Blinking LED lights,
(and this is just stuff in my office desk!)

One team I Project Manage sometime cruises the 99 Cent Store or Odd-lots for bargains. One time they purchased all the canvas bags from one store for 50 cent each.

My all time favorites are hand-made custom team pins. These I treasure. :]
Btw- we are experimenting with plastic chocolate molds and resins to make custom pins this year. Anyone tried this before?

Pins are a very popular trading item, depending on the regional you Always want to bring the least 150 pins to a max minum of 600 pins. if you don’t use what you bring at one you just bring and use at another thats all, I remember making close to 500 pins for the nationals and gave out roughly 450 of them, this counts for 1 for each team number, and whatever team members would like, the FIRST volunteers - they treasure those the most, and whoever else would like them.

A good number is a minimum of 20 per student. This gives each student enough to trade with the majority of teams at the regional, and then the mor ambitious students can usually take extras from the kids who arent as into pin trading.

You also might want to bring an extra ~50 to have sitting around the pits for teams that come by or if your adults want to trade some.

Buttons are pretty popular and I think most teams have them. This is my first year on the team, so I don’t know much of our merchandise, but I think we also have notepads, little flags, and t-shirts.

[quote=Rich Wong

Edible pins? :ahh: :smiley: :)[/quote]

Don’t do it.
Remember FIRST said not to bring food to the events no matter what shape or form they are in.
You’re just going to get into unecessary trouble with the officials.
It’s just not worth it.

Well I still say the best ones from VCU and Cheasapeak were the Dave says that pimp that 116 made…(Heidi designed and I used the button press to make)

Well, the FIRST Safety Supervisor won’t knew unless he catches me nibbling on my pin between matches. :eek:

Will they return? Will there be a new Dave pin? What picture might be used this year? Or will Woodie be featured with “Bling bling for the brain”?

Ahh yes… the infamous “buttons”. My team has very unique philosophy shared by teams such as the Miracle Workerz (365). Unlike 365, we make many useless designs that look horrid and even I don’t like. Secondly they are made in Microsoft Word pasting pictures in a 2.5" circle and adding text. This year they have stupid pictures of “Alexander the Great.” This just happens to be the name of our robot, also not my idea. Last year it was Napoleon, not bad but we shouldn’t have stuck with the “conquerers” theme… blah. Make up our own word or something and add numbers at the end would be even better. :mad: Sorry… I just need to vent. I plan to make a button design with 3DS Max with four “vision” tetras stacked, saying “Dream Believe Achieve 648,” respectively. Much better than what was set before.
Thank you for allowing me to express my thoughts, just don’t mind them.
Thank you.

I have being using MS Powerpoint for button design and printing for several year. It has more variety of fonts and can import graphics better. I get five buttons per sheet.
MS Word is very troublesome.

Buttons are fun to trade during the competition, but when the season is over what do you do with them? Exactly.

If your team can afford to think outside of the box; perhaps you could hand out something that will actually be of use. I’ve seen:

-strategy clipboards (has picture of field on it)
-miniature fans (for those hot days)
-small tools
-mini radios

Or try combining ideas, like a pen-pin! (I always misplace my pens so having one attached to my shirt might be helpful.

Those are just my thoughts… every season I get a collection of buttons that end up sitting in a box for a few years before I throw them out.

On the other hand, if you make classic looking metal pins instead of buttons I’d keep them on a lanyard or something; similar to those Disney pin collections.