Search, Filter & Sort – Tools to navigate the Web’s Largest Database

We might not be the largest Database yet but that is definitely the plan as you can see from the Homepage:

That requires thinking very carefully about how people can find what they are looking for.  We are considering four scenarios  –

  1. You have the item in hand and it has a Barcode – use the app to read the code or type it in
  2. You have the item in hand and it does not have a Barcode – use the app to photograph the item and photo match against the database (planned for Q4 this year) or search
  3. You do not have the item but know what you are looking for – this is where all the search tools (meaning Searching, Filtering, and Sorting) explained below are coming in!
  4. You just want to know if a model of a certain car exists in 1/18 Scale or if there are Action Figures of a certain character – again, all the search tools are your friend


New Search or Add to existing one?

Clicking on the Default button with the word New and the magnifying glass will create a new Search.  The one that says Add and has the Filter icon adds your new search term to the existing term.


The below discusses the many ways of using adding Filter Tags.


Search Box creating Filter Tags

Use the search to type in phrases, say Funko Batman Target to find a Target Exclusive:


That works if there are a small number of results or if you are 100% certain that is what you want.  If you are neither we recommend typing each word followed by an Enter:


Now you can finetune your Filter Tags, say you are looking for a particular Hard Rock Cafe Las Vegas Guitar pin (there are 1,299 currently!).


Notice that there is a negative filter, here to exclude Valentine-themed pins.

Here is an example for where you are looking for a Ford Mustang made by Hot Wheels (we have 1,502 of those) but cannot remember its name. Just string as many -Filter Tags as you need, here are seven (and there is no limit) in what we call “Brute Force” searching:


Combine with Filters

We have filters for Brand, Series, Related Subjects, Autographed by, Production Status, Scale, Released and Discountinued Dates, Reference Number, HDBID, Added by Member and Types and they can be used on their own or in conjunction with the Search Filter Tags.

Say you want to find items autographed by Mark Hamill:


Or an Action Figure released in Hasbro’s Black Series and you know it is an Exclusive and made sometimes between 2015 and 2017:

Now if you knew it was made in 2015 then you could just add that in the Search but as you are not unsure you need the Release Date Filter here.


Use as a Tool for the Collection

We got three special Filters for your Collection – “Has Item on Sale”, “In My Collection” and “In My Wishlist”.   Say you want to find all Posters made by Porsche that feature the driver Vic Elford that are not yet in your Collection or on your Wishlist:


Now combine all of that with Sorting!

You can sort by when something is added, its Estimated Value, by Alphabet, by the number of items owned, its Rating, Reference Number or when it was made:

And for each of these in either direction.

Say you want to find all carpets designed by Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann sorted by the oldest first:


Or the Garbage Pail Kids Trading Card that is owned by most Members on hobbyDB:


The Same type of Experience in Subjects, Member List and Marketplace

Here are our Subject Filters:

Marketplace (we got lots here, too many to show!):

Member List:

You could for example look for Members that are Contributors (i.e. members of hobbyDB’s Volunteer Squad) that like Brooklin Models (even if the question should be who does not?):

More on the options here in our Knowledgebase here.


Besides these common tools, we got more browse features in Subjects.  Say you want to find all Series made by Lego:

More on that in our Knowledgebase here.


What is still to come?

More filters, editing a Filter Tag inline (versus having to retype it), saved Filter Tags, saved Filter Tag combinations, permanent Filters (say you only like Ferrari and never want to see anything else) and the ability to add more than one Filter of the same type (say 2 Filter Tags for two Production Statuses or 3 Filter Tags for different Scales).

We believe that super-strong search tools are a must-have for a site that wants to document 100 billion collectibles and will continue to improve what we have. We love to hear your comments, suggestions and questions.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x