Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Tim Hortons Gift Card Collecting

The History of Gift Cards!

A Collectors Perspective

Gift Cards were invented in 1994 and Neiman Marcus was actually the very first to sell the cards, but they didn't advertise and display them.  It was Blockbuster who in 1995 first displayed the gift card in its stores for sale and seeing the success several other retailers soon followed

The Phone Card Gift Card Connection
The Mobil gas card which initially also offered prepaid phone value provided by MCI Lead the way for Kmart to introduce the Kmart Cash Card which in the early generations provided prepaid phone time with AT&T. This attracted Phone card collector’s attention and many collected them and in doing so, started to collect early gift cards with the phone card feature

In 2001 Starbucks introduced Reusable Gift cards that worked more than once to entice you to keep going back. Many large retailers seeing the success soon followed and attracted more attention from phone card/gift card collectors with the success

The first Tim Hortons Gift Card was released to the general public on October 25th 2007 to the Canadian Market and in Early 2008 to the USA. 
Canadian Tim's Collectors took note... and a New Hobby was born!

Prototype and Test Gift Cards!
One of the most unfortunate things about test cards is that they are often created in limited numbers are sent out to specific testing sites or stores for testing purposes for a specific period of time.  Often those partaking in the test are instructed that when the testing is completed the cards are to be discarded or destroyed as they have served their purpose or function and are no longer valid or useful
Very Few Survive Making them a well sought after item by Gift Card and Tims Collectors!
2003 Prototype Test Cash Card!
Produced By TDL Group Corp. Dated 2003

Quick Pay Test Tim Card!
The very first Test Tim Card was licensed by TDL Group Corp. and produced by DX Storm 
Note the Red Tim Hortons Logo on the Back of the card 
It is speculated the 04/04 on the bottom of the back of the card is the date the Test Card  was issued
This could verify that  QuickPayTest Runs started as early as April 2004 and may have ran until just before the Original Brown Cup Gift Card was released publicly in 2007

Before Tim Cards Were Gift Certificates
Gift Certificates Precede Tim Cards!

Gift Certificates were replaced by gift cards largely to combat counterfeit gift certificates.
With the advancement in photocopiers in the refinement of exact imaging it inadvertently allowed the duplication and copying of an existing original gift certificate to be copied wherein counterfeit production copies of existing original Gift Certificates were then used to redeem for fraudulent unauthorized purchases

2001 Wide $1 Dollar CDN Gift Certificate

2002 Wide $1 Dollar CDN Gift Certificate

2002 Narrow $1 Dollar CDN Gift Certificate

2004 CDN Gift Certificate Booklet

2004 $1 Dollar CDN Gift Certificate From Booklet
Front and Back

2006 $2 Dollar CDN Gift Certificate
Front and Back

2007 $5 CDN Booklet

2007 $1 Dollar CDN Gift Certificate From $5 booklet

2007 $2 Dollar CDN Gift Certificate From $5 booklet
Front and Back

2007 $10 Booklet Cover CDN Gift Certificate

2007 $2 CDN Gift Certificate From $10 booklet
Front and Back

2007 $5  USA Gift Certificate Booklet

2007 $1 dollar from $5 booklet USA Gift Certificate
Front and Back

Gift Certificate Envelope
Front and Back

Other Notable Companion and Co-Related Collectibles Recognized and Sought After by Tim Card and Tims Collectors!
Often as a supplemental to a collection small Companion Tims items or Co-related non Tims items will be added if they are relevant to a collector and the collection as a whole Often overlapping and combining into different collectible categories
Very Often Companion Items help explain or define WHY WHEN or WHERE and For WHAT Purpose a SPECIFIC Gift Card was Released and allows you to get the basic/necessary information to provide the complete story for its purpose

1985 Hamilton-Wentworth Enterprise Game $10 Timbits Certificate
With Monopoly type $10 Timbits bills Inside

The Infamous 1988 Nova Scotia Bronze Coffee Token
Is Real and Exists!

Tim Hortons Commemorative Year 2000 1oz Fine Silver .999 Silver Coin
To Commemorate the Millenium 2000th This coin was created in 2000 to mark the opening of 2000th Tim Horton Restaurants Branch in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  One side of the coin is the picture of Tim Horton and Ron Joyce and other side is the 2000th Tim Hortons store that opened in Ottawa.
Each coin is individually packed in a high quality hard plastic protective capsule and then 
placed in a blue velvet gift box.

2002 NHL All-Stars Commemorative Stamp & Medallion Set
The Tim Horton NHL All Star Medallion was a part of  this set
Tim Hortons Released The 2004 Poppy Quarter First!
Often overlooked as a Tim Hortons Collector Piece.  The First Poppy Quarter was the very first colourized coin ever released and was released first through a partnership between the Royal Canadian Mint and Tim Hortons.  
On October 21, 2004 the new poppy quarter was available from Tim Hortons locations across Canada one month before it was released to financial institutions making Tim Hortons the exclusive distributing partner with the Royal Cnnadian Mint for these coins.
aka-Spy Coin! 

The Poppy Quarter Led To USA Spy Coin Warnings!
The odd looking coins were so unfamiliar to suspicious US Army Contractors travelling in Canada that they filed confidential espionage accounts about them! The worried contractors described the coins as "anomalous" and filled with something man made that looked like nanotechnology! 
This has since been denied - Is it true? Or is it urban legend?

2005 Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Legends Tim Horton 50 Cent Silver Coin
The Tim Hortons RCM Silver 50 Cent Coin was part of a 4 piece set released in 2005 of the Legends of Hockey from the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Only 25,000 of these sets were minted in 2005
The Tim Horton Coin is well sought after by Coin and Tim Hortons Collectors alike

2007 Tim Hortons Kandahar Airfield Tim Card
The Tim Hortons Deployment ran from 2006 to December 31 2011
Series 6040 VL-4414 USA CURRENCY!
2007 Customized Timopoly
In 2007 Everyone at Corporate Head Office Received One Customized Tim Hortons Timopoly At Christmas!

Customopoly Games.com http://www.customopolygames.com/Blog/Success-Stories/Archives/2007/11/Tim-Hortons-Opoly.aspx

2009 Kandahar Airfield Tim Card!
Series 6056 Store at Dusk Grey Back VL 10297U US Currency

2009 Tim Horton USA $1 Celebrity Dollar Bills
Two Different Tim Horton Celebrity Bills Have Been Found

Tim Hortons Accepted US Fund Pogs in Kandahar!
Relevancy: Companion Tim Hortons Collectibles
Valid and redeemable in any EFI facility trading in US Dollars
1) Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency, 2) Canadian Forces, 3) British Army
Associated institution: Tim Hortons Associated Place, Kandahar Airfield

Verified by Canadian War Museum

Canadian Tim Cards in Canadian Currency Were Released in Kandahar. 
The Canadian Kandahar Tim Cards did not bear a sticker on the front or back of the cards!
Special Note: NO French Cards Released in Kandahar

The Tim Horton Childrens Foundation
The Tim Horton Children's Foundation was established in 1974 to Honor Tim Horton's Love for Children and his desire to help those less fortunate
Tim Horton Childrens Foundation Bronze Medallion and Medal

History of Tim Hortons

Store Number One Circa 1979 Yellow and Brown Store Colours - Tim Horton and Ron Joyce -Inside the Old Tims

In 2014 the Old Original First Tim Hortons Store was knocked down and new two level Tim Hortons was Rebuilt with a Tim Hortons Collectible Museum on the second Floor
Out Front a Bronze Statue of Tim Horton is on Display.  Two Very special Signs are in this store that NO other Tim Hortons have is the photo of Tim Horton Shooting Donuts with a puck and a bronze store plaque to commemorate the opening of Store Number One
Inside the Museum on the second floor is a walk down memory lane as you view Tim Hortons Collectibles and other retro items Thru the years
The Good Old Days...

Tim Card Collecting 101
Gift Card Collecting, similar to Sport Card, Stamp or Coin Collecting Started with Phone cards and has progessed into Gift Card Collecting and is for sheer enjoyment and entertainment purposes to collect and catalog the Tim Cards and Collectible Companion Merchandise Released by Tim Hortons

Tim Cards
What are they?
Tim Cards are Tim Hortons name for their company branding gift cards

Definition of Terms
Collectibles: an item valued and sought by collectors. 

Limited Edition: limited to a specific number of copies of the gift card Released 

Special Edition: an edition of a Gift Card that differs from the usual format, especially in concentrating on one particularly important Promotion 

Exclusive Edition:  Limited to Area Concerned

Commemorative: The gift card commemorates a specific event 

Seasonal: A gift card that is released at specific times of the calendar year ie. Spring Summer Fall winter Christmas 

Annual: Carefully selected subjects pertinent to company programs and directives Ie. Timbits hockey, timbits soccer, Childrens foundation 

Annual Editions: Updated on a regular ongoing basis during and through a continuous amount of time 

Sports Team Cards Sponsorship Cards: To show partnership and sponsorship support for a specific team with a co-branding leading to a specific fan/customer base while co-branding and advertising 

Hanger or “Break Away” Cards: Card hangers conveniently hang on display near a cash or check out area and are used widely in Grocery and Drug stores simplifying merchandising and providing added promotional sales for the supplier Just like a regular stand-alone in-store cards, the card portion of the hanger is scored to easily detach or snap the card from and can include a bar code or magnetic stripe Hanger cards come in different forms including Plastic Snap hangers, paper backed hangers, snap key chain cards and schedules 

Fast Cards Starting 2016 Tim Hortons officially changed the name of Hanger Cards to Fast Cards in direct planning to their Omni Channel Marketing for online tim cards

Error Cards: Typeset Flaws, inadvertently made by manufacturer during the production run process often limited cards released as it is corrected when found 

Tim Card Variations: A gift Card variation is a different or distinct form or version of something. of the same kind. In Tim Hortons Tim Cards this can be found in gift card colours, Series numbers and Pin Boxes utilised within the same VL/FD code of the same card 

Pin Box Variants -Pin Box Variants Like Series Numbers are a way to identify different types of pin boxes utilising runs of the same card within a specific VL/FD Number and Series run

True Sets Often the same Pin box can be found for each card type (Canadian English, Canadian French, USA) to create True Collectors Sets 

Colour Variations made during the production run during the manufacturer’s production run process where set colour guidelines are used within a specific of what is considered the norm 

Series Numbers: The first four digits of the Tim Card Code 

Series Runs: Any cards numbered beyond the first four digits of the Series numbers on the Tim cards utilised to locate a specific card ie. Pin Box, Type, errors or colour variants within card runs 

Identifying Series and Series Runs on Specific Cards is a standard practise in the gift card collecting hobby By Using this practice Tim cards and can be utilised in several ways 
1) Filling in questionable gaps in the VL/FD list 
2) Verifying and ensuring we have not missed a card released during the year 
3) Expanding an existing collection by series variants 
4) Identifying Specific Cards in a specific Series Run Release 

Filling in Questionable Gaps in the VL/FD List Generally in the early years from 2007 to 2015 Tim Hortons would release a Canadian English, a Canadian French and USA version of the same card 
Each card would have a specific VL/FD number attached to it to identify these particular specifications specifically 
Often there were holes in the VL/FD list that left collectors wondering -have we missed a card? 

Verifying and Ensuring we have not missed a card released during the year To verify with no uncertainty we have missed a card released to be collected and to fill in gaps on the VL/FD list we also follow the tim card numbers by the first four digits and call them Series Numbers 
So each time the first four digits on the tim card number on the top of the card increases a digit it is deemed a new series variant of the same card with the same VL/FD number for tracking purposes - in essence filling in the gaps to verify that indeed we did not miss a card released! 

Expanding an Existing Collection by Series Variants Collectors often collect the different Series Numbers on the Same Cards Released in their Collections as Place marks to follow the VL/FD list and in doing so they expand their collections past the original VL/FD number of one specific type of card creating sub-collections with the variant Series Numbers 
This has been utilised very highly in the White Cup - Brown Cup Categories of different Annual Store "Flag" or "Core" Cards re-released over and over every year   So in essence by collecting the same cards by series numbers with the same VL/FD numbers you can collect all the Series Numbered cards in this category increasing the amount of cards in your collection while filling in questionable gaps of actual cards released by VL/FD Number 

Identifying Specific Cards in a Specific Series Run Release Identifying Specific Cards in a Specific Series Run Release is a very efficient and effective way to locate and find with uncertainty a specific type or variation of card by identifying the First 6 Digits of the Tim Card Series Run Number 
By tracking a card by the first 6 digits of the tim card number you can locate specific variant pin boxes, error cards or even specific runs of cards to locate a specific colour of tim cards released

Gift Card Companion Items
Collecting Gift Cards is much like collecting anything. When you specialise in one company’s gift cards You'll find many easy to find common gift cards or items that everyone seems to have and then there are those really rare obscure hard to find cards and items that everyone is after and searching for that actually add interest or have some form of significance or add value to overall collections when combined These unusual hard-to-find gift cards and accompanying items like matching Envelope Covers, Cup Sleeves  and Cups that all match for a specific release create sub sets or mini collections within an existing overall collection

Companion Collectibles are Recognised as an Individual Set
If there is an item that matches or co-ordinates with a gift card and can be combined into a set this creates a sub collectible category within your existing .collection.  So If you just collect gift cards it should be noted if a matching or accompanying envelope, cup sleeve or cup matches the gift card.  Attaining the matching gift card cover or other matching items "may" add value or significance to your overall collection as they are recognised as an individual set to collectors   Taken out of an existing Collection they stand alone and are recognised as an existing set or mini collection upon themselves

Other Notable Companion and Co-Related Collectibles Recognised and Sought After by Tim Card and Tims Collectors!
Often as a supplemental to a collection small Companion Tims items or Co-related non Tims items will be added if they are relevant to a collector and the collection as a whole Often overlapping and combining into different collectible categories
Very Often Companion Items help explain or define WHY WHEN or WHERE and For WHAT Purpose a SPECIFIC Gift Card was Released and allows you to get the basic/necessary information to provide the complete story for its purpose

2007 Coffee Card Blog: