Advisory Council Posts

Jacques de Selliers Joins hobbyDB Advisory Board

clockarium copyJacques de Selliers, an expert in majoliclockophilia, has joined the hobbyDB Advisory Board. (If you aren’t familiar with that term, it means “connoisseur of faience clocks”… Not familiar with “faience?” It refers to objects with a “fine tin-glazed pottery on a delicate pale buff earthenware body.”)

More specifically, he curates the Clockarium, a museum of Art Deco ceramic clocks in Brussels. There are over a thousand different mantel clocks from the first half of the 20th Century in the museum. He is also one of the main contributors to a 2008 Visitor’s Guide to the museum, printed in French and Dutch.

Clockarium art deco clock collection

Just a small portion of the Clockarium Museum’s collection… The top seven shelves are circa 1927 to 1940, the two bottom shelves are circa 1950)

art deco clock Berlot French-Mussier.

The Clockarium is itself housed in a beautiful Art Deco building

We look forward to seeing more of the museum’s collection on hobbyDB!

Robert Graves Jr. joins hobbyDB’s Advisory Board

Rob with just a small portion of his collection.

Rob with just a small portion of his collection.

We are excited to add the diecast expertise of Robert Graves Jr. to the hobbyDB Advisory Board. Rob is one of the co-founders of the South Texas Diecast Collectors Club, and his South Texas Diecast website is the most authoritative lists of Hot Wheels models on the internet.

An early fan of Hot Wheels (he was born the same year as the first Redlines), he collected many of them over the years until family and career pushed the hobby aside. While his young son was in the hospital in the late 90s, the two bonded over Hot wheels, and his interest was rekindled.

In 2002, seeing a void in good Hot Wheels information on the web, he posted his personal database online. He then began working with Hot Wheels own forum as one of their photographers and has also now become a moderator there.  You will normally meet Rob at the Hot Wheels Annual Collectors Convention, the Hot Wheels Nationals, SuperToyCon and other diecast up and down the country.

The net’s hottest new Hot Wheels Catalog…

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As part of our grand plan to catalog everything, the hobbyDB gang have decided that a good thing to start with would be Hot Wheels. (We don’t believe in starting small…). That’s every Hot Wheels ever made in every variation, of course. And we’re not just talking about the Mainline, or just the cars. We also want the rrRumblers, Zowees, Sizzlers, bigger scale stuff like this Pantera, Mexican issues, Tune Up Towers, hats, pins, print ads – everything!The list is endless. Well, actually it’s not really endless, it’s just that the end is several hundred thousand items away. And that’s without all the pages on HW-related subjects; designers like Larry Wood and series like Blackwalls.
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That’s why we’ve started bringing in the big guns. We’ve got Chris Parker working with us and Gary Barnum has just joined Mike Zarnock on our Advisory Board. Bruce Pascal is helping out with data and so is David Williamson, the famous Toy Car Collector of RedlineCollector.com. We’ve already imported the info from Andy Goodman’s ModelPackRat site, which got us off to a great start. Big thanks to Anita from CFR too, who’s helping publicize and got us our first Subject manager – a big welcome to user mspace who’s managing the rrRumblers section. Jim Garbaczewski, co publisher of the Tomart Hot Wheels price guides and the Hot Wheels Newsletter has joined us as well.

There are a few choice vehicles that already have great pages like Ecto-1 and the Silhouette.

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It’s a great start, but we need more help to build on it! Are you a Hot Wheels fanatic who likes to catalog? Or maybe you have a forum you’d like to get the word out on? Or some other HW connection? If so, get in touch!

 

hobbyDB Advisory Board Adds Firepower with Steve Arlin

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Our latest Advisory Board member is packing significant heat (in toy form, that is)! Steve Arlin has one of the largest collections of toy guns, holsters and western toys in the world. Having written widely on the subject, and owning an additional toy ray gun collection, his expertise made him a perfect addition to the hobbyDB Advisory Board and we’re very pleased to welcome him to it!

Here are our other 52 Advisers and here are our new emerging sections for Toy Guns and for Toy Gun Holsters.

Andy Goodman on collecting, family, and hobbyDB.

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Our Hot Wheels, M2 Machines, Jada and Muscle Machines listings have had a huge boost over the last few months as popular diecast database modelpackrat.com merged with hobbyDB, bringing its 10,000+ diecast listings with it. To mark the occasion – and his addition to the illustrious hobbyDB Advisory Board – we sat down with the original Model Pack Rat himself, site founder Andy Goodman, to talk about collecting and why he thought hobbyDB was such a great fit for Model Pack Rat’s data.


 

While Andy’s been a collector since he was young his 35,000-strong diecast collection started with one model Mustang.

“I was working my first job and I’d always dreamed about owning a Mustang Cobra. It was nowhere near reality at the point, but one day my girlfriend comes home with the #984 Hot Wheels Mainline Mustang and says ‘I bought you your dream car!’ Andy remembers. “It was a gag gift, but I just thought ‘wow, this is really a pretty cool way of having a piece of the car without having the whole car.’”

AGMustangQuoteIn a scenario instantly recognizable to most collectors, things escalated rapidly from there. First the cars took over a shelf on Andy’s bookcase, then the entire bookcase. Now, some 18 years later, they occupy his finished basement and all the walls in his 4 car, 1,000sq foot garage which is covered in Jada collectibles.

“I’ll never be a Leno, a Seinfeld or a Tim Allen with a garage full of real cars,” Andy says, “but when the cars are two to five dollars, I can have everything I want!”

As well as his vast model car collection – and collections of Legos, Garbage Pail cards, and coins – Andy owns AGoodMan Enterprises Inc, an integrated marketing and motorsports company. He also serves as exec producer of Motorama Events, consults for the Nassau County Cruise to the Show, The Torque Meet Tour and M2 Machines as well as having been a Contributing Editor for Die Cast X Magazine. But it was his diecast models which inspired the creation of Model Pack Rat.

“With a collection of 35,000 items, there’s no way to remember every piece you have. It’s impossible.” Andy explains. “I’d buy a set, forget I had it and buy it again. You end up with a pile of doubles. I wanted to build some sort of cataloging system to keep track of what I have.”GoodmanWall

The site began as a personal organization tool but quickly developed into a catalog, which anyone could add to and use to organize their models. Many users, however, just liked using it for research.

After a year, there were 10,200 cars in the database and Andy was averaging 800 to 900 new additins every month. But while the site quickly became a popular destination for 1:64 collectors, Andy soon realized that expanding its audience further would be difficult. “What I’d built was specifically for the 1:64 diecast collector,” he says. “That’s really a niche within a niche within a niche. You really are in that small, small segment. It was never going to have the opportunity to become something big, it was just too segmented.

That was when hobbyDB came along.

“The difference that I liked at HobbyDB, is that HobbyDB is really attracting collectors from a multitude of collectables, really anything.” Andy explains. “It’s not just a matter of having a database for diecast guys. It works for a 1:1 scale car guy or even a guy who collects Mustang collectables. You’ve got crossover there with a multitude of people checking out different things, different topics and seeing different information versus my very niche idea.”

What Andy sees as hobbyDB’s huge future potential also contributed to his decision to move Model Pack Rat over. “It’s really digging into putting in manufacturer, different notes, two-door, four-door, versus my make, model, year, series and brand. They really break down the items into very specific, searchable categories. If people get out there and really support HobbyDB and start entering their own stuff into it, it could be a limitless encyclopedia of information.”

HDBFields“Using software to catalog your collection is time consuming, nobody’s ever going to lie about that, but hobbyDB is easy to use and really cuts down how long cataloging takes,” he adds. “If you really do have an extensive collection, though, there’s a lot of reasons to catalog it other than just knowing what you’ve got. For example, if you need to file a claim because of fire or theft, you’ve got to give documentation of what you have to your insurance company.”

Of course, with the Model Pack Rat merger, Andy’s own collection is now documented on hobbyDB, instantly making him our biggest user! We’re hoping also that he’ll also be adding some of his more special pieces to the site. He has quite a few of those too. “I’m more about the story than the car,” he says. “And there are a lot of stories behind some of my pieces. Friends that have sent me prototypes. Russell Hughes, who owns GreenLight, personally sent me a mold piece of a Mustang, knowing my favorite car is a Mustang. Those are priceless pieces.”

And as he’s already started his kids on collecting, we’re hoping we might see them on the site too.

“My daughters’ Lego addiction is a family affair. We have Legos all over the house and china cabinets and showcases in my daughters’ rooms. One daughter’s four, the other’s seven, and I’d much rather see them thinking critically, building a product, and taking it apart to turn it into something else. Collecting increases family time all around, but the Legos are definitely the largest link for me and my children.

The truth is, they’re kids once, you get that only one time then they grow up. If you find an activity that everybody likes, it doesn’t have to be Lego, whether it’s diecast cars or Barbie dolls, whatever the heck it might be, if it creates that bond, that’s more important than anything else.”