hobbyDB Partners with Kidrobot to Launch Kidrobot Archive

hobbyDB partners with Kidrobot

We are super excited to announce our new partnership with Kidrobot! Read on for more details about the launch, straight from the Kidrobot team –

You have been asking for it, and we have been listening!

Kidrobot is proud to announce that we have partnered with hobbyDB as an archival source for all Kidrobot releases.

Now at hobbyDB you can dive into the deep history of Kidrobot releases from Visionaires and De La Soul to the recent The 13 Dunny series!

Search the Kidrobot Archive on hobbyDB Now

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Powered by collectors, hobbyDB is building a giant database of every collectible ever made. Go ahead and jump in because you never know what you might discover. There could be a holy grail waiting!

Start Searching Now.

With such an extensive catalog, the community is still adding and tweaking the database to make it perfect. Many have already joined us in our quest to document every single Kidrobot detail over the past 13 years of releases, but we need more help. Show off your expertise and get involved now.

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Holy Batmobile! George Barris, Iconic Car Customizer, Passes Away at 89

George Barris customizer

George Barris, one of the best-known custom car designer/builders, died on November 5, 2015. Riding the same wave as over-the-top  customizers such as Dean Jeffries, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and Tom Daniel, Barris’ most famous creations were huge hits on television.

He created two cars for “The Munsters,” the Koach, and the Drag-U-La, which were turned in various diecast models and kits. He also modified a 1966 Chyrsler Imperal in the weaponized Black Beauty for “The Green Hornet.

But his most lasting contribution to automotive and pop culture had to be the Batmobile he created for the 1966 “Batman” TV series. He started with the fabulous but outdated Lincoln Futura concept and completely reskinned it to become the Caped Crusader’s defining ride. And he did this in just three weeks, finishing just in time for shooting. The very first version of this car recently sold for over $4 million at auction.

1966 TV Batmobile

These are just the tip of the iceberg. Many more of his cars such as John Wayne’s Texas Bulls#!t Scraper, live on in museums or as scale models. Hop on over to his bio page on our site to see several others. And if you have some of his more obscure models, add them to our catalog!

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Diecast Drift Track Lets You Play With Cars at Work

One of the best things about working at hobbyDB? You can play with toys at work and nobody gets mad. And if someone does call you out, you can claim you were studying it for cataloging purposes.

Well, let’s get ready to rip open some Hot Wheels blister packs! This diecast drift track set from Tyotoys allows you make your favorite 1:64 scale vehicles “drift” around the corners in a just barely controlled set of slides. They come in a few different sizes, but the small set, at 18 x 9.5 inches, should fit on your desktop for plenty of worktime “research” into friction, speed, aerodynamics, and any other scientific principle you can think of that justfies playing with cars on the job. It even has screws to adjust the banking.

Here’s a short video showing the track in action. Some skill and practice and the right vehicle set up are actually called for, so it never gets boring. And for you fans of Kidrobot vinyl art toys… you will be pleased when you hit the 1:00 minute mark. Trust us!

Tracks are for sale on Tyotoys’ website.

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The Devil’s in the Details… How to Spot Bogus Hot Wheels Packages

Have you seen the movie “Truth” starring Robert Redford as TV anchorman Dan Rather? It’s about a case in which CBS aired a story concerning old documents that allegedly showed then President George W. Bush to be a substandard soldier when he was younger. But the letters proved to be fake, done in by inconsistencies in how the letters of a particular typewriter font lined up optically, instead of in exact columns. See, when analyzing typography—

Wait! Don’t run away! We swear this is of interest to collectors!

Whew! Anyway, a similar situation has been discovered in the world of Hot Wheels. People have been creating fairly accurate and believable replicas of the packaging for rare, older Hot Wheels vehicles. And the bogus packages are good… but only so good.

With a bit of sleuthing, you can learn to see the difference in material quality, color tones, type spacing, even individual letter shapes that don’t match the original. The inconsistencies can be tiny, but knowing how to spot them will prevent you from spending a lot of money on a fake.

Derek Reusser of Teenycarz.com created this handy chart showing how to spot the detail differences in at least one particular forgery. (You can scroll down for larger versions).  Memorize it, or better yet, print it out and carry it with you when you go to the flea market or antique store. You can avoid costly mistakes by dotting your “i”s and crossing your “t”s.

Spot fake bogus unreal counterfeit Hot Wheels packaging

Original Artwork from Redliner Magazine Issue 5 Autumn 2012

Here are the counterfeit packaging details…

Counterfeit Hot Wheels packaging

And here are the authentic details.

Authentic Hot Wheels packaging

Original Artwork from Redliner Magazine Issue 5 Autumn 2012

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Diecast – There’s more to it than you think…

I remember setting up and taking the first few 1:64 scale diecast pictures that I shot back in 2009. My desk was by a window in my office. I would shoot pictures on a piece of white printer paper only when the sun was shining. At that time, it was all that I had. We had an old Polaroid ‘point-and-shoot’ that we used as a family camera – I would borrow it and burn through countless AA batteries…

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I began participating on a few forums and was floored by some of the images I was seeing from others. Quickly, I upgraded my setup. I have always been interested in the whole DIY (Do It Yourself) thing so I decided to build myself a lightbox. Halfway through 2010, I purchased my first DSLR and tripod. This enabled me to do many more things than what the trusty old Polaroid was capable of. I could go on and on about equipment and lighting setups but let’s talk about the subject. Diecast.

I started collecting redlines back around the same time I started the whole photography thing. History has always been an interest of mine and that led me to think….very few of my redlines are in ‘mint’ condition, but each one has a story to tell.

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At one time they were new. Brilliant. Perfect. Hanging on the pegs at the local store, various hues shining bright in all their glory. Since then, days and days of play have taken their toll. Their magnificence is now long gone. ‘Beaters’. ‘Junkers’. ‘Fillers’. ‘Perfect for restoration’. These once loved toys are now referred to as many different names. The paint may be scratched, faded, and dull. The axles are bent and a wheel or two may be missing. The beauty – long faded away – but yet these toys are survivors.

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The damage they wear is unique to their history, similar to how a scar is to you. That scar happened in a specific place and time. It can be linked to an event. When you look down on that blemish you tend  to remember what you were doing and where you were when you got it. These toys have a similar story to tell, yet they have no voice. In their silence, all they can do is lend themselves to our imaginations and ask for us to interpret their exclusive story in any way we’d like.

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Photography has taught me to see everyday things in a whole different way. I challenge you to take a minute and really look at your collection. If you are fortunate enough to still have some cars from your childhood, step back and remember those moments and listen. I bet quiet a few of them have a story to tell.

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