Jim Garbaczewski, publisher of the Hot Wheels Newsletter, is now working to archive all the past issues on hobbyDB. “I started collecting Hot Wheels in 1989”, he said. “ I didn’t know much at first but I became obsessed with these cars. As I read the newsletter I’d see cars I needed and also cars that I had but were not listed. I contacted Mike Strauss to mention it.’ He continued… “We had long conversations about Hot Wheels and would fax each other our want list and traded a lot of cars at the time.”
Long before the internet existed, collectors had to use other methods to communicate and connect with each other. Magazines such as the Hot Wheels Newsletter, debuting in 1986, were so crucial to this task.
While many club newsletters and magazines have fallen by the wayside or been converted over to just an online presence, the Hot Wheels Newsletter still thrives as a printed resource. The Newsletter does have a website and a very active Facebook presence, but the printed version remains so important to the hobby, in fact, the magazine is being inducted into the Diecast Hall of Fame.
Eventually his collection reached 40,000 unique Hot Wheels cars. “I try not to put duplicates in my collection but I know I’m still missing quite a few.” By the mid 90’s Jim started going to the Conventions and Nationals, growing his collection and his knowledge of the hobby immensely. “In 2007 I started helping with the Tomart’s Vol 6 price guide. About this time Mike was ready to retire from the hobby and asked me if I would like to take it over. After some negotiation I accepted.”
The Hot Wheels Newsletter has produced several limited edition vehicles over the years.
His favorite castings are all Volkswagen Beetle related. “There are so many things in my life that happened around this car!” As for his favorite memories of the magazine, Jim is of course neutral. “If I had to pick one issue it would be the Turismo/DeLorean issue,” he said. “Just the fact that it brought so many collectors from around the world together that collect Hot Wheels cars, that’s what I love about it.”
The style of the Hot Wheels Newsletter has changed over the last 30 years, but the mission has not.
Jim’s latest project is to include information about every edition of the Hot Wheels Newsletter in hobbyDB’s archives. He has the majority of them covered, especially the later ones, but could use some assistance from longtime subscribers. “I have most all of them but I’m not as organized as I’d like to be. Early issues from ’86 through ’90 would seem to be the hardest for me to find.” If you search hobbyDB’s archives, you might be able to fill in some of the blanks. “hobbyDB is an amazing source of almost anything collectible and getting bigger and better everyday.” Especially with folks like Jim and his fellow collectors helping out.
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