Tokens & Icons was founded on authenticity in 1991 when Ward Wallau was approved for a license with the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA). This occurred eleven years after he first approached them in 1980 when they filled in the "Y" of the quarter-sized "Y-cut" subway token. At that time Ward was recently out of college and not making much while working at the Plaza Hotel. While he understood that businesses need to find ways to save money, Ward wanted to prove to the NYCTA that by filling in the "Y," they were dispensing of something truly unique and beloved to the city and its riders. After collecting a hundred of the "Y-cut" tokens, Ward, though not a cuff link aficionado, thought they might be a logical way to reincorporate the tokens into New York's daily life and celebrate them as an icon of the city's rich transit history.
With his first fifty pairs of authentic New York Subway Tokens, he received positive feedback and thus began his decade-plus endeavor to secure a license. The length of time was due in part to the fact that the NYCTA never had participated in a licensing agreement before this opportunity and thus had nothing from which to model one. During the eleven years, Ward had intermittent contact with the NYCTA while working at two apparel companies. Many friends and colleagues suggested he simply replicate the tokens, a concept which could not have been further from his vision. When Ward finally secured permissions from the NYCTA and the authentic tokens, he and Bulova Watch were the charter licenses. Bulova chose to replicate the tokens, yet Tokens & Coins (the original name of Tokens & Icons) was able to embark with the "authentic" token.
Tokens & Icons started as a one-man operation in New York City, moved to Berkeley, CA in 1998, and is now a full office still expanding. With Ward's trademark persistence and hands-on involvement in the consumer experience, the Tokens & Icons team has acquired over twenty licenses, and has developed a wide selection of authentic and creative gifts.
At Madison Square Garden's storage facility selecting remaining panels.
Bob Rutko (left), Head of Sports Memorabilia with TD Garden, with a section of the floor.
Tokens & Icons Toll-Free (877) 558-7404 email@example.com