Editor’s be aware: This article was initially revealed on Nov. 23, 2020.
Challenge coins are an attention-grabbing army custom.
Some people will visibly swell with satisfaction as they current their assortment of coins, which to the uninitiated seem like gilded slammers from that ’90s period sport Pogs. Standing earlier than these neatly ordered protection business discuses, all coated and aligned on a home made show case, they’ll cheerfully comment how one time some four-star common or protection official at this one base palmed them a coin for doing one thing or different. Others will provide little bits of data, like military-grade Snapple Facts. They’ll say, “Hey, do you know that there’s a ingesting sport involving challenge coins?” And everybody else will say “Yes, we all know.”
It’s not that I dislike challenge coins; they’re wonderful. It’s simply that they’re in all places and handed out for all the pieces, typically in lieu of a extra significant reward, to the level that it generally appears like they’ve misplaced their that means.
It’s with this jaded outlook that I first encountered challenge coins in a single place the place I by no means anticipated them to be, not in 1,000,000 years — and I can actually say that that is one coin I really want I had:
That’s proper: The Walt Disney Company can now add “challenge coins” to an inventory that features Marvel, Star Wars, and just about all the pieces else that outlined my childhood.
The badass-looking (albeit complicated) Mickey Mouse/Punisher cranium challenge coin seems to have come from safety personnel at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. A photograph of the coin was supplied to Task & Purpose by a reader who didn’t provide particulars on when the coin was given out.
At first, we had been uncertain if this was a one-off prevalence, like a couple of safety guards who had been vets determined to make a challenge coin for themselves, or if it was one thing the magical kingdom had formally sanctioned.
Turns out that Disney challenge coins are, in truth, an actual factor:
“The Walt Disney Company has a permanent custom of help for many who help in the army, in addition to their households and veterans” and that extends to challenge coins, a spokesman for Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida advised Task & Purpose.
“In our safety departments and different areas the place army veterans have come to work after their service, it’s pure that affinity, that cultural use of coins, got here with them and all of the hallmarks of it: unit identification, organizational identification, satisfaction in mission, in addition to the use of the coins as an indication of mutual respect and recognition,” stated the spokesperson, including that the coins are primarily created for worker recognition and are not out there for buy.
At any given time Disneyland and Disney World have three to 4 formally sanctioned coins, which are utilized in a lot the similar method as they are in the army, Disney confirmed to Task & Purpose. The spokesman stated that the Punisher/Mickey coin was not an official Disney challenge coin, however added that park personnel typically make their very own coins for inner use.
“There are many unofficial, however skilled coins, which are designed and paid for by the solid members who created them,” the Disney spokesperson stated, including that each one coins — official or in any other case — are presupposed to undergo evaluation by Disney in the event that they characteristic the firm’s mental property.
Yet it’s laborious to know for sure which coins are official, and which of them are not. After all, the web is awash with these glittering little tokens, a few of which characteristic Mickey dolled up like a minuteman, whereas others present simply his silhouette emblazoned on physique armor:
And whereas it’s unclear which class a few of these coins fall into, Disney has as soon as once more managed to remodel one thing drained and boring into one thing surprising if just a little laborious to elucidate.
Update: This article has been up to date with new data from The Walt Disney Company confirming that the Mickey/Punisher coin isn’t an official Disney challenge coin.