Partnerships Posts

The Futureeeeee…. What’s Coming to hobbyDB in 2018

Thanks for an incredible 2017

Here at hobbyDB, we couldn’t do what we do without the support of our fellow collectors. So thanks for helping to make 2017 such a great year. From more than 100,000 new price points added to our new price guide in December alone, to an entirely new marketplace experience, we’ll keep working hard to bring you a better, all-in-one collectible resource. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s coming to hobbyDB in 2018.

More Data

Data makes the hobbyDB world go round! In 2017 we (and that includes you!) added 80,000 items to the database. Throughout the year we partnered with several organizations to ensure the most accurate and up-to-date information was being added to the database. From customizers such as David Chang (AKA Kustomcity), to publications like Model Auto Review, to diecast brands including AutoCult, Bburago, Brumm, Laudoracing, and  Replicarz, 2017 was a busy year in the data mines!  One of our biggest projects was adding PopPriceGuide, the enormous vinyl art toy database! We even had folks join us to open totally new segments, such as our first 500 decoys!

More Accurate Data

We know that all this data means nothing if it’s inaccurate or incomplete! So we’re putting new tools in place to ensure our database maintains top notch quality. Going forward, the ability to add and edit content on hobbyDB will go only to users who have shown they add quality data. “Probationary” users who are new to the site will still be able to view everything, but will have to be approved before they can make changes.

Pricing Data

hobbyDB’s aim is to be the most accurate, up-to-date go-to destination on the net for collectible prices. We aim to be the premier, one-stop destination for calculating the value of your personal collection. And we plan to do that by gathering our price information from the widest range of data sources possible, with stakeholders updating prices in real time! The project is off to a flying start too, having added more than 100,000 prices alone in December. We’ll be adding values from many sources throughout 2018, starting with 1.9 million price points from our partner site PopPriceGuide. You can read more on our blueprint for the price guide here.

Collection Management Revamp

We know the hobbyDB collection management system needs a little bit of tweaking. You’ve let us know what you want — printable lists, more wish list integration, snazzy ways to group and view your collection, a mobile app — and we’ve listened. We’ll be rolling out a bunch of features to make the hobbyDB collection management tool more powerful and user-friendly than ever before.

More Marketplace Tools

Another goal we have is to become the safest, most secure environment for trading. We’ve all been burned by either an unreliable seller or buyer somewhere on the internet, right? So we’re adding tools to ensure you’re always protected whenever you buy or sell on any hobbyDB powered marketplace. In 2017 we caught and stopped 22 fraud attempts and protected every hobbyDB buyer and seller! In addition to a safer marketplace, we’ll also be adding new ways to buy and sell items, such as our “best offer” feature and the addition of new currencies.

In an effort to make selling even easier for you, we’ve embarked on a journey to integrate with both Shopify and the U.S. Postal Service. Much like Frodo’s quest in Lord of the Rings, the integration will be an epic battle to ensure you get the best experience and rates possible. But in the end…it will all be worth it. (Disclaimer….this is going to be a huge effort, so hang in there with us, and we hope to have it up and running in the second half of the year).

Getting more involved

Last year, we relaunched an improved Diecast Hall of Fame and helped Jim Garbazewski publish the Hot Wheels Newsletter Guide to Hot Wheels.

This year, we have plans to do a much needed revamp to the Toy Collector Hall of Fame, to help publish other long-awaited collector books, and to even organize a collectible related Guinness Book Record (stay tuned for that one). More on our plans here.

Whew! Well that’s it for now, so here’s to an awesome 2018 – be sure to follow the hobbyDB blog and Facebook page to stay in the know over the next year.

Scale18 Plus hobbyDB Equals Thousands of 1/18 Models

Scale18 hobbyDB kevin pickell

A huge database of large diecast is now available at hobbyDB. Scale18.com, a longtime forum for listing and discussing 1/18 scale models, is partnering with hobbyDB. How large? Over 26,000 1/18 scale models! As a result, we now have the by far most comprehensive database of large diecast vehicles you will ever see, and Scale18 has better organized, more easily searchable data.

“Since 1997 I’ve been building the Huge List as the ultimate collectors’ reference to 1/18th Scale diecast,” said Kevin Pickell, the site’s founder. “As the years flew by and I got out of collecting, I knew that I didn’t have the time to keep the database up to date.” At that point, Kevin considered shutting the site down. Luckily, not too much time passed before hobbyDB stepped in to work with Kevin to save the project.

“By combining their archive with our database, we not only added thousands of models we didn’t have listed, but also automatically cross referenced them with other topics such as real cars, other scale models, and related collectibles,” said Christian, one of the hobbyDB admins. “We also made it even easier to search for models and manage your own collection.”

Scale18 hobbyDB display

Scale18’s smaller search images (left) are replaced by the bigger, clearer images on hobbyDB (right).

So now when you log into Scale18 and search for something, you’ll be redirected the updated database at hobbyDB, as seen above. You can see that the photos are bigger on hobbyDB than they were on the original listing. For many models, there will be more detailed information as well as new links about the real car, when available.

hobbyDB also offers the ability to keep a checklist of your own collection as well as a wish list of what you’re looking for. The best part about the wish list is that you’ll receive an email as soon as your desired item is listed for sale.

The other most important feature of Scale18 has been the Message Board, where collectors can log in to discuss new offerings, industry rumors, and debate the merits of specific models. Members will be thrilled to know that part of the site will remain active as well. “Your account will remain exactly the same,” said Kevin. “Every part of the site not connected to the database will remain as it is.”

Scale18 hobbyDB

“I’m pretty excited about all the awesome things that hobbyDB has been doing,” said Kevin. “I’m proud to partner with them to give you a new and improved experience. I also want to thank the entire Scale18 community for all of your support over the last 19 years; I couldn’t have done it without you!”

Here’s how you can find your favorite 1/18 scale models at hobbyDB –

Search

If you have a general idea of what you’re looking for, you can go ahead and enter your term into the hobbyDB search box. The search box will be your most powerful tool.

Browse

You can also browse the database and use search filters to help narrow down your search to exactly what you are looking for. For example, let’s say you’re looking for a 1/18 Scale Bburago racing car that raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans –

First, search for your particular manufacturer either from the search box above, or the hobbyDB homepage.

Once the search results load, select the type of item that you are looking for. In this case, it’s Model Racing Cars.

hobbydb search tips

You’ll then be redirected to a page where you can now filter your results –

First enter the scale that you would like – in this case, 1/18 scale.

hobbydb search tips

And then any other details that will help you narrow your results, such as race car driver, or race series.

hobbydb search tips

hobbydb search tips

Once you’ve added all of your desired filters, click “Go” and you’ll be redirected to your final search results like so –

hobbydb search tips

Once you find what you’re looking for, you can select “+ Wish List” to add the item to your wish list. Or “+Collection” so you can add the item into your collection.

hobbydb search tips

And that’s it! Please always feel free to let the hobbyDB team know if you have any questions.

hobbyDB & Museums – a perfect combination

young-christian-braun-smallMusings By Joschik

Christian is one of the founders of the hobbyDB project and his musings share some of his collecting experience. He recently joined the board of Auto-Archives, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization.

Visiting museums is one of my favorite pastimes and I’ve been to more than 400 of them (including personal collections that are so extensive and well-displayed that I count them as museums!) Museums play an important part in promoting collecting and I think hobbyDB can add enormous value to them as part of the collecting ecosystem, by allowing easy cataloging and, more importantly, showcasing and sharing their collections. This is why we decided to develop features specific to museums and large collection (see hobbyDB’s roadmap for details).

Museums’ software today serves mainly one purpose, keeping an inventory and giving admins access to it. Here’s an example;

traditional-museum-software

Museum Software packages are still stand-alone and not integrated into any other databases

As a first step, we want to give collectors and the public-at-large granular access to each item so that they know which museum has a particular item.

exhibited-on-item-page-mockup

A mock-up of a catalog entry showing which museum has the item in its collection

Next would be custom profiles for museums. These pages would explain the museum’s philosophy and how to get access to their collections. For example, “This item is in Room 8 on public view” or “This item is in the off-site archive, you need to give us two weeks notice and here is how”.

After that we plan to show all items in a particular museum with full search capabilities.  We want to ensure that these digital presences are aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly, the same way museums work hard on their physical presentations (like the Mint Museum of Toys with the below gallery).

Mint Museum of Toys

The Mint Museum of Toys in Singapore. Its founder Chang Yang Fa is a member of the hobbyDB Advisory Board

We also plan to extend the Wish List functionality so that museums can ask for items to be donated or loaned, either on a long-time basis or just for an exhibition.

We have already started working with Auto-Archives and the Shelby American Collection to have their volunteers document these two collections (with an estimated total of 300,000 items) and are talking to five other museums about doing the same.

american shelby collection

The American Shelby Collection not only houses the two most expensive American-made cars but is also custodian to thousands of Shelby related documents

In keeping with our ethos, these features will be free for museums, of course. We hope they’ll add enormous value and help them boost attendance – and help bring hobbyDB’s vision of being “the World’s Museum” one step closer to reality!

Coterie Press Signs On With hobbyDB

Coterie Press

Specialist automotive publisher Coterie Press is hobbyDB’s latest partner, bringing its archives and information to the database.

Even if you’re not yet familiar with Coterie Press, you’ll definitely know all about the subjects of its books. Ferrari, Lotus, McLaren and other prominent European marques, all with a strong racing heritage are all covered extensively. Lotus is a particular favorite, with individual titles covering the cars, the racing wins, the advertisements, the collectibles, and of course, the people behind the brand started by Colin Chapman in 1948.

Coterie Press

“Coterie Press was established in 1996,” said William Taylor, one of the company founders. “After four years of research trying to find an example of every Lotus to photograph, we released our first title The Lotus Book in 1998. It came out just in time for the 50th anniversary celebration of Lotus Cars at their factory in the UK, and more than fifteen years on, it is still recognized as the most authoritative book in existence on Lotus cars.”

Coterie’s latest book, Pit & Paddock (due for publication in October) offers a behind the scenes look into the world of European auto racing in the late 1960s and early ’70s. It features the work of legendary motorsports photographer Peter Darley who chronicled this incredible golden period of motor sport. Dan Gurney, Sir Jackie Stewart and Lord March, the force behind the Goodwood phenomenon, also contributed their own amazing insights.

Pit and Paddock

Coterie Press books are known for their clean design, smart modern layout, beautiful photography and knowledgeable text with clear, concise and well-researched historical facts. “Our mission is to produce the highest quality automotive books. Books that inform, educate and enthuse car people the world over.” William told us. “Attention to detail and the very highest production standards are the key to the Coterie philosophy.”

In addition to welcoming Coterie’s archives to hobbyDB, we’re also very pleased to announce that they will also be selling on hobbyDB. The posters, prints, DVDs and other memorabilia in the new Coterie store all match the same extraordinary quality of its books. 

William Taylor

Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton was at Magny-Cours to help author William Taylor launch the Coterie Press book McLaren the Cars at the French GP.

Of course, like everything else on hobbyDB, all Coterie’s information is automatically linked to every relevant subject in our catalog, so you’ll find Coterie products on all sorts of pages; drivers, model cars and other memorabilia types.

Tom Walker Racing

Auto-Archives To Host Digital Library at hobbyDB

auto archives library

If you’re a car nut, you’ve probably visited a number of automotive museums. But have you ever been to an automotive library? If you haven’t, you need to visit Auto-Archives, in Denver, Colorado.

auto archives library“Our mission is to preserve and document the rich history of the automobile, and provide both a physical and virtual resource for the study of the past, present, and future of the automobile, in all its forms,” said William Taylor, President of Auto-Archives. “We hope to inspire, enable and support the advancement of automotive studies for people interested in an industry that has, in the past one hundred years, changed the habits of modern society.”

The physical archive of literature will reside at their library location, while a digital database will be hosted at hobbyDB. “By hosting the archive on hobbyDB, we can link the contents of the library to their cars, races, teams, drivers, sponsors, designer or  engineer in our database,” said Christian Braun of hobbyDB. “We were excited to hear about their mission, which is very similar to our aim to document everything collectible. So in addition to our partnership, hobbyDB will donate 10% of our net income from the sale of automotive literature to Auto-Archives.” Eventually, this will mean the addition of 250,000 entries to the database. Combining the actual collection and the digital reference will result in any automobile enthusiast’s dream.

To further the partnership, Christian is joining the Auto-Archives Board and William has joined hobbyDB’s Advisory Board.

Besides books about anything auto-related, they are also looking for factory brochures, manuals, event programs, and back issues of car magazines. “Ideally we want to have at least two copies of everything,” said William. “One in very nice condition for preservation, and one for visitors to browse.” Eventually, everything in the library will also be digitized for anyone to browse or read on hobbyDB.

Auto-Archives is designed to be a living collection. Plans include a new, custom-built, climate-controlled building (the archive is is currently housed within the offices of leading automotive publisher Coterie Press). The building will house a Museum, Library, Boutique, Coffee Shop, Reading Room, Art Gallery, and both Movie & Media Rooms, as well as a Photo Library with copying and printing services. The new facility will be open to all automotive journalists, car clubs, researchers and fans, to view the collection, research using the archive, or simply ‘hang-out’ with like-minded people.
auto archives library

Auto-Archives is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, which means if you donate an item to them, you can declare it as a tax write-off. To learn how you can donate your automotive literature to Auto-Archives, you can visit their website. You’ll find lists of what they currently own, specific items they are looking for, and more. 

Also, if you’re an automotive publisher, if you donate a sample of your back catalog to the Auto-Archives, hobbyDB will create a digital official archive for your publishing history as well! Find out more here.