Can you believe that Club Penguin is 15 years old? Or that it’s even older than that, if you count all the previous versions?
I spent almost nine years of my life working on Club Penguin and met the love of my life while working there, so CP will always hold a special place in my heart.
To celebrate, I’m hosting a giveaway! I will be giving away a Club Penguin staff jacket over on playr.gg. Click here to enter the contest!
This jacket is one of many different Club Penguin staff merch items. Did you know there are many different exclusive CP items only available to those who worked there?
We made many different types of things to celebrate the team’s dedication to the CP community. Here are a few of them:
As far as I know, the team invested in staff Jackets starting in early 2006. There were several different variations of these over the next five years.
The original 2006 jackets were black and white sports jackets produced by a Vancouver company called Boardroom. They included the original Club Penguin logo embroidered on the right side. While it felt common to see former Starbucks baristas wearing these around Kelowna, there were a limited number of them.
By the time I joined, there were about 80-90 of us. I was employee #83. There were jackets produced for staff and their children, so there could have been around 150-250 of these jackets produced.
Unfortunately, I gave away my original jacket. When one of these popped up on a local classified site, I picked it up to give it away to the true fans in the CP community.
After the Disney acquisition, we got new jackets made with the “Disney Club Penguin” logo printed on them. These were pretty much the same jackets, but by the time they were produced in late 2007/early 2008, there would have been many more of these newer jackets produced.
A few years later, after we unified the virtual worlds teams under the “Disney Interactive Worlds” banner, we got versions with Mickey Mouse and the Disney logo. There were even more of these, as the team was approaching 1,000 or more people across all the worlds we supported.
Club Penguin Game Day Wii Cover Variant
I believe it was in 2010 when we produced a staff-exclusive version of Game Day for the Wii. We called it the “5th Anniversary Limited Edition”
This was a simple cover swap, replacing the paper insert under the DVD case cover with one we printed in-house.
I was the secret ghostwriter behind Billybob’s tribute message to staff on the back. We often did this, saving each other time by writing drafts of blog posts and stuff like that.
I also remember brainstorming with Screencaptor about the cover design. We brainstormed going with a black cover to make it stand out in your Wii collection (since every other Wii game was white).
While the commercial release of Game Day included art from an external illustrator, the staff version included art from the Club Penguin team in Kelowna, so it felt more true to us.
There were probably 1,000 produced at most, but likely less. A few community members have copies of these.
The Blue iPod Nano
I believe it was in 2007 when employees were given a truly beautiful gift – a blue iPod with the Club Penguin logo engraved on the back.
While the team had expanded by this point, I estimate there were probably under 500 copies produced of this iPod. I’d have to confirm with someone closer to the project to have a better idea of actual numbers.
I didn’t have a picture of mine, but one of my awesome former co-workers Dave did:
I gave away my engraved CP iPod to fan blogger Riyita back in 2015, along with a playlist of tunes I like.
Sorry I didn’t make it available as a giveaway. I like that giveaways give multiple people a chance to get something that’s one-of-a-kind.
Project Celebration Pins
Disney pin collectors are very serious about their hobby!
What if I told you there were official Disney pins only available to people who worked on a specific project? That’s right… There were Club Penguin pins only available if you worked on that specific project.
That means there are pins I don’t have, but my fiance does, since she worked on projects that I didn’t. 🤯
It was later in Club Penguin’s history that we started getting pins made for achievements. I wish we started this tradition sooner! If my memory serves correctly, it wasn’t until around 2012 that we started this awesome tradition.
As an example, there were employee pins for:
- Mobile app versions (e.g. 1.0, 1.1, 1.2)
- Game launches like Card-Jitsu Snow
- Club Penguin Island launch
- 10 year anniversary
Some of these were given to the whole team, while others were limited to a project team. The project team ones are obviously much more rare!
Photo Frame Pin Holder
What do you do with all these employee pins? Put them in your new employee photo frame!
At the time of writing, there’s actually one of these up for sale on eBay for about $4,000. Honestly? A bit too expensive for this cheap frame if you ask me. But the pins included are cool, like the Puffle Wild one.
Moderator Card-Jitsu Cards
Okay, so here’s one that not too many people know about, including most staff.
I planned a secret project with the Merchandise and HR team. The intention was to make a set of Card-Jitsu power cards for each moderator penguin account. We created an employee survey that was like a personality quiz, and it also asked for their moderator penguin name.
The survey was needed to create exclusive, overpowered Card-Jitsu cards.
If you were playing the physical trading card game, you could pull out your 13-point Moderator card and more easily defeat your opponent. Since all the maximum point value on every Card-Jitsu card was 12, these Moderator cards would be ultra-rare super-power cards.
I thought it would be cool to use them as name cards at a Christmas party. Then give each staff member 10 cards to trade with their co-workers at the party. Obviously everyone would compete to get the Billybob or rsnail cards, which would be fun.
Unfortunately, we were so busy that I never did complete this secret project for the team. Plus the team was growing so fast that it was next to impossible to keep up with everyone to make sure all names were covered.
I’m still kicking myself for not pushing harder to get this done.
The Gold Viking Helmet Plush
By now, everyone probably already knows about the Gold Viking Helmet plush penguin.
In 2006, the Gold Viking Helmet was the hardest to find secret item in the Penguin Style catalog. And since rsnail’s penguin wore a Red Viking Helmet, the Gold Helmet was both a tribute to him and an indication of the rarity of the actual item itself. When the team redesigned the Gift Shop and renamed it to the “Clothes Shop”, they included the gold viking helmet in there as an Easter eg..
Now this plush was not entirely exclusive to employees and staff. Instead, it was also available as a giveaway back in 2008.
These came in a clear plastic bag with a Toys R Us sticker on it.
There are a few Club Penguin fans who own this rarest of plushes:
Aside from the sculpture Chilly0ne made me, this is the one piece of Club Penguin merchandise I will always keep. It may not be the most rare, but it makes me happy.
Is That All?
Probably not. If you ask Spike Hike or Billybob or others, I guarantee there are a load of rare exclusives. I’m not counting any of the one-off prototypes or anything like that.
But I thought this would be an interesting little post for you. Thanks for reading!
Until next time… Waddle on.
Join the conversation
I had no idea they made a special Ipod for the staff around then. It’s been almost 3 years since I left the community for different adventures and it still amazes me I am learning new stuff about the franchise every day. Still looking for that Rock N Roll plush, but I think Lane may be one of the only people who owns it.
Thank You Chris for being so generous and giving away this employees Club Penguin jacket. Such a wonderful read, thanks for sharing the insight into these merchandise items. Perfect for any dedicated Club Penguin fan.
You’re welcome, Pen50gi! Thanks for all the support of the community throughout the years
Thank you so much for this generous giveaway Chris! Seeing the staff exclusive pins hurt bad! I’m an avid Disney pin collector and I’ve always wanted each of the staff exclusive pins. Thanks for the fun read!
You’re welcome, CyberSonic! That’s cool that you’re an avid pin collector. They are kind of neat, that’s for sure. 🙂
luck to everyone!