Märklin and Paul Deardorff coming to hobbyDB

Musings By Joschik
Christian obsesses over collectibles, antiques and toys more than the average person, but (he believes) in a productive way. Documenting collectibles has been a passion since working on a book about his favorite childhood toys from Timpo 41 years ago. His mission is to unite the world’s knowledge on collectibles (more on the reasons behind that here).

We’ve made it our mission to partner with collectors from all around the world.  Today, we feel very privileged to introduce a long-time supporter, who will work with hobbyDB to add a considerable amount of information to the database. Ten years ago and before the start of hobbyDB, Paul and I began a dialog about him helping out with hobbyDB’s predecessor ToyPedia, a database for every toy ever made.  Now it is our goal to do that with every collectible.  Since then, not a year has passed where we did not talk. Paul is not only a collector and expert in Märklin, but also an entrepreneur with past experience in software and product development specifically for the collectibles industry.


Paul with his top-shelf piece, a Märklin Churchbury Station
for the English market, one of about ten known worldwide.

Ten years ago, Paul developed a very capable collection management solution in order to help him manage a collection of antique tin toys. Over his years of collecting antique toys, he gathered hundreds of thousands of Price Points for Märklin, thousands of reference images, and worked for an interesting collectible start-up called Collexion where he worked on a prototype for image recognition of collectibles – something we plan to do next!

After every conversation with Paul, I had to go back and add more excellent ideas to
our Roadmap!  And while we both wanted to work together it just never quite worked out.  So I was super excited when Paul called a few weeks ago telling me that he felt hobbyDB was now ready for Prime Time Märklin!  In his words  –

“After watching hobbyDB’s continued growth over the years, I became more confident it would remain a lasting place for all things collectibles. I decided to double down by investing, bringing over what I developed with CollectorMetric, and contributing data toward my area of interest: tinplate toys.”

We’re excited to announce that Paul has now joined our Squad, the hobbyDB Advisory Council and, together with
more than 1,100 other hobbyDB Members, became a hobbyDB Shareholder through our current 3rd round of Crowdfunding and has started planning the migration of his collection and research information to hobbyDB.

We are excited to begin adding more and more items from Märklin’s history given their position as one of the world’s top toy manufacturers still operating today.  Since its founding in 1859 in Goppingen, Germany as primarily a manufacturer of dolls and accessories, the firm then expanded into hand-painted tin toys – ships, submarines, trains, beautiful stations, and had thousands of products in its range. Today, the firm still retains its strong reputation for high-quality model trains in HO Scale and large gauge including its acquired brands LGB, Trix, and others under the Simba Dickie Group. 


In addition to Märklin and its family of brands, we also plan to include other manufacturers like Lutz, Rock and Graner, Bing, Heyde, Elastolin, and more that together tell the greater story of early tinplate toys and accessories (where Paul is joined by Alex Procyk who came on board two weeks ago).


One of Paul’s first entries, a Zeppelin Hangar
(I added it immediately to my Wish List)

You will also soon find some improvements in our Collection Management tools as we are going to be adding some features over from CollectorMetric.

We’re excited to welcome Paul to the team and hope you enjoy browsing through all of the new Märklin data as we begin to add it over the next few weeks. Don’t forget you can “heart” the Märklin Subject Page to stay up to date on everything newly added related to Märklin.


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2 years ago

Can’t wait to check out all his tinplate cars!

2 years ago

While more into model cars I love to see what Paul is adding. Very exciting and welcome on board!

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