Balloon Fiesta

Be on the lookout for 'Better Call Saul' balloon pin

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - When "Breaking Bad" balloon pins launched a few years ago, crowds went wild to get their hands on Walter White taking flight. Now, there's a "Better Call Saul" pin up for grabs, but you have to know where to look.

Balloons, unquestionably, are the stars of the show. Once they hit the skies over Balloon Fiesta Park, though, it's something much smaller that has everyone talking on the field: pins.

"Oh, it's huge! We have people that collect every single pin if they can, every year," Lisa Mulder, Balloon Fiesta Merchandise Manager, said.

There's a lot to be collected. Mulder says Balloon Fiesta orders at least 20,000 pins in 94 different designs each year.

Pilots, crews and other officials have their own pins, as well. Plus, there's the pin vendors at Fiesta, like Plano Pin Co., which is selling a commemorative 10-year Breaking Bad pin this year.

The first "Ballooning Bad" pin some years ago was a huge hit.

"They just love it...bringing this out and connecting the two. The hot air ballooning and Breaking Bad together," Mulder told KRQE News 13 in 2014.

So get ready, mega fans: This year -- if you're lucky -- you might score a Better Call Saul pin.

"Pins are just so fun because it's a way to express something about yourself," Garrett Heath said.

Heath lives in San Antonio, Texas, but has family and friends in New Mexico. 

"I love getting out to New Mexico. I love camping there, I love visiting my family, I've always really enjoyed the state," he said.

Inspired by the culture of AIBF and Breaking Bad, he put Jimmy McGill's car next to a Los Pollos Hermanos balloon, on a pin.

"What if Los Pollos Hermanos had a balloon? Who would be the chase car, right?" he said.

Heath said he may send a handful of the pins to his cousin, who may attend AIBF, but otherwise you can't buy them at the park.

Instead, you can get them online through his store, here.

Heath says $1 for every purchase of the $11 pins will go toward Road Runner Food Bank, to provide five meals.

"It's just an outstanding organization to feed all of New Mexico," he said. "It's just kind of a small way that I can also give back to the community that is helping support this pin."


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