TV Producer & Toy Fanatic Adam F. Goldberg backs hobbyDB

Anyone who watches The Goldbergs will notice the presence of toys throughout the show. Not just sitting around in the background, but as major plot devices in many cases. Like any boy who grew up in the early ‘80s, to Adam F. Goldberg, G.I. Joe and He-Man were in his sweet spot, so they play an important role in his autobiographical hit.

“I still collect toys, robits and action figures, he recently tweeted. “So many people judge this hobby as silly and juvenile. All I can say is… it brings me joy. This is why I love the @goldnerds fans. Even though we’re grown-ups, we refuse to grow up and ignore what makes us truly happy.”

With that kind of toy collecting pedigree, Goldberg recently discovered hobbyDB, and liked what he saw. In fact, he liked it enough to invest in the company as a new shareholder. He’s definitely the kind of guy we want on board here!

Garbage Pail Kids were also one of his favorites. So it figures he would produce the documentary 30 Years of Garbage: The Garbage Pail Kids Story in 2017. In fact, one of his first contacts with hobbyDB was via their production of new GPK products.

He has also done deep dives into other geek culture such as documentaries about Dungeons & Dragons, Tetris, and The Masters of the Universe.

Though he says “The Goldbergs” is fairly straight-up autobiographical, he plays fast and loose with specific timelines. “When I think, When did I win Legend of Zelda? I don’t remember what year it was. I only remember that it was somewhere in the mid to late eighties. … So we decided to set it in ‘1980-something.’ Pop culture references from the early and late ‘80s will appear side by side, which gives it a benevolent memory of an era instead of a rigid recreation of a specific moment in time. “This idea of having an undependable narrator was “so liberating creatively. We could do anything … It’s kind of a melting pot of the eighties. It’s how you remember it.”

The beauty of hobbyDB is it can be a place where folks like Goldberg can revisit certain parts of their childhood by sharing their collections in the database, seeing what others with similar interests have added, and archiving those toys for posterity. “I just love the idea of continuing where Wikipedia stops,” said Goldberg. “For example, a site that has a list of every GI Joe vehicle with all variations but also shows every version of GPK character Adam Bomb is the holy grail for folks like me who have fond memories of the time we played with these.”

We’re glad Adam decided to share his toys with hobbyDB!

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Also, when Adam tweeted about Robits versus Robots we were all stumped and thought about why (that he might have just misspelled the word was the first theory put to rest).  Our money was on Zoidberg but we were wrong.  Adam explained that is was actually something his dad used to say (Philly accent?) and that it had always bothered him but has now morphed into a long-running joke on The Goldbergs!

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Celebrate Mother’s Day With Your Favorite Fictional Moms


Ron Ruelle

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

Mother’s Day is an interesting holiday in the collecting world since there aren’t a lot of items specifically targeted with a message for Mom.

mom hard rock pinsHard Rock Cafe has offered quite a few pins and other collectibles over the years, but brands like Hot Wheels haven’t gone all in on the day just yet (well, does this count?). Same thing for action figures.

That said, we decided to celebrate with collectibles referencing some of our favorite fictional Moms. Some are from TV, some from movies. Some are a bit more, umm, nurturing than others.

brady bundy partridgeThe Golden Age of TV Moms – If you’re a certain age, you grew up with a plethora of perfect mothers from 1960s and ’70s sitcoms. Carol Brady from The Brady Bunch is surprisingly not well-represented in collectible form (although the 6 kids and their live-in housekeeper Alice are, so there’s hope). Shirley Partridge of The Partridge Family meets a similar collectible fate. You can get either of their daily drivers in miniature, however.

For collectors of a slightly younger age, there’s always Peggy Bundy, the TV Mom from Married With Children who’s classic in her own unique way.

mom flintstone jetsonYour Mom’s a Cartoon! – The world of animated sitcoms has no shortage of great cartoon moms. The earliest (for real and in fiction) would have to be Wilma Flintstone, whose orange hair and rock-like demeanor were the foundation of that family. Shortly after (and thousands of years in the future) Jane Jetson would provide the same kind of gravitas for her space-age family.

fox sunday vinyl toysQueen Elizabeth funko popJump ahead to Sunday night on Fox, and there’s a trio of cartoon Moms who show up in vinyl and other forms. Lois Griffin (Family Guy) and Linda Belcher (Bob’s Burgers) are definitely stronger characters than the husbands their shows are named after. But the queen of all TV Moms has to be Marge Simpson, who has quietly suppressed her rage and kept The Simpsons from complete family disfunction for 30 years.

Queen Mum – Speaking of queens… oh, wait, she’s real? The Queen of England just kind of seems like a benevolent mother figure from like a Harry Potter novel or something. Yep,  Queen Elizabeth II has been in the public consciousness long enough that folks could forget she’s the actual Queen of England. Apologies for the royal confusion.

munster adams familyMonster Moms – The 1960s brought a couple of family comedies to television in the form of The Munsters and The Adams Family. Regardless of your preference, both were solidly funny shows built on ghoulish but not scary family values. Lily Munster  and Morticia Adams both came across as the sensible matriarchs of their spooky domains

mom game of thronesMonstrous Moms – Mom from Futurama could fit in the previous category… sure, she has three idiot sons, but she’s better known as the head of Mom’s Robot Factory. Her sweet, matronly demeanor in public is betrayed by her savage, sleek, sinister personality behind the scenes. Another Mother who isn’t quite as cuddly as you would hope is Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. She’s a bad mother, in more ways than one. Of course, the most ferocious might be the Xenomorph Queen from the Alien movies. From her perspective, she is just a protective mother hen, but to Ripley and her crew, she’s a bad mother figure…

i love lucy funko popPerhaps the greatest TV Mom of All – You might not think of Lucille Ball as a ‘TV Mom,” but she was one of the most revolutionary. In 1952, she was pregnant… er, “enceinte.” See, saying the P-word or even discussing it was taboo on TV back then. Heck, showing a baby bump was pretty controversial. Nevertheless, she persisted and actually wrote the pregnancy and birth into a 5-week arc of I Love Lucy, with the birth episode coinciding with the real birth of Desi Arnaz Jr. (son of her husband and co-star). Turns out the general public had no problem with any of this, just the overly protective censors. Fun fact: Lucy was visibly pregnant while filming the pilot episode of the show a couple years earlier, but they just never acknowledged it in the script. Way to go, Mom!

Do you have a favorite fictional mother we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments!

Comments (1 Comment)
Bud Kalland

Cool, well done! Surprisingly brings the active world of real moms to reality. ;)

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Limited Licensed Promo Hot Wheels – Collect Them All If You Can Find Them!

Ron Ruelle

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

Anyone interested in collecting Hot Wheels can find a pretty much complete list of every variant of every model ever made, as well as accurate lists of upcoming offerings.

There is an exception to that rule, however, when it come to limited licensed promo Hot Wheels models. A company such as Supreme, makers of skate-related fashion, might offer a vehicle (or a matching set in this case) with their logo plastered all over it.

hot wheels supreme bmwWhat makes these rare for completist collectors is that since they are distributed by the company who licensed them, many of them do not end up on the official Mattel release schedules, so diecast collectors might not know about them until they sell out at stores, online, or via mail-in promotions. Eventually they might show up on the secondary market. In fact, the target market for these items would likely not include traditional diecast collectors, but fans of the brand, so some of these might not ever get resold.

hot wheels twizzlers van

This is actually not a promo car.

Davis Sprague is an avid collector who has added quite a few items to the hobbyDB database. He happens to specialize in really odd variants such as these promo vehicles. “I prefer to focus on collecting variations, international releases, and anything that most collectors wouldn’t typically see every day at their local flea markets,” he said.

On a side note, Hot Wheels occasionally offers cross-branded cars as part of the Mainline series. Since these are widely available in most stores, these aren’t what we’re talking about here. Also, convention and event cars are not quite the same thing. Instead, let’s focus on models that were distributed well outside the usual collector channels. Many of these were released well before the internet became the instant toy news machine it is today, so finding out about them back then was hit-or-miss.

Davis was kind enough to send us a pretty comprehensive list of his favorite promos.

hot wheels promo cars

hot wheels fish o sour

Fat Fendered ’40 (2001 Chuck E Cheese’s Game Prize)
This one was fun to get… it was a prize to be earned at Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant/arcades. There’s no shame in playing kids games to get something this awesome, right?

C. Rex Mobile Nissan Hardbody (1994 Kraft Mail-In Promotional)
Speaking of cheesy mascots, this pickup was only available by mailing in mac and cheese proofs. In some cases, promotions like this may have been mentioned in TV ads, but most likely, you just had to spot it on the shelf at the grocery store.

Fish-O-Saurs VW Drag Bus (1998 Van de Kamp’s mail-in promo)
Do you like fish sticks? Good, because there were several vehicles available in this promotion (and one the year before) that required sending in proof of purchase seals.

hot wheels promo carsFatlace Volkswagen T1 Panel Van (Fatlace Promo)
Speaking of VW Buses, Fatlace, a “dope, ill, lifestyle” brand, made this T1 Panel Bus available only through them. It includes the slogan “Collect Everything” on the door, so what are you waiting for?

Second Wind (1983 Spontex promotional)
If this looks like Speed Racer’s Mach 5 with a sticker on the hood, well, yeah, it kind of is. The Second Wind was intended to be a Mach 5, but Mattel didn’t secure the licensing, so they modified it slightly and renamed it. As for the sticker, Spontex is a French cleaning supply company, and even though it’s just a sticker, it does come in a sealed blister, so finding one intact can be a challenge.

hot wheels promo carsAdidas High Voltage (2005 Adidas Shoes Promotion)
There was a chance collectors may have known about this one, as it came with a pair of kids Adidas Hot Wheels shoes. Which you bought for your kid, not for yourself, right?

Ecolab Ford Bronco 4-Wheeler (1994/1997 Ecolab Promo)
Maybe not the hippest brand on the planet, Ecolab (a clean water and hygiene services company) did this promo that resembles their service trucks. They are very sought after by collectors because of the popular casting and several wheel variations.

Since these don’t show up in more traditional outlets, these can be hard to keep track of, especially if you want to acquire them new. If you know of other recent or current promo vehicles from Hot Wheels, or especially from other diecast brands, let us know in the comments. Also, do you enjoy chasing these models from the source, or would you rather get them afterwards (such as on hobbyDB?)

Comments (8 Comments)
Samuel Ace

I enjoy hunting and chasing after these to add to my hotwheels collection. 👍

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GeePeeKay and hobbyDB Hock up a Winner with Week 4 of the “Art by John Pound Collection”


Welcome to Week 4 of the Limited Edition “Art by John Pound” Sticker Card Collection presented by GeePeeKay and powered by hobbyDB.

We’ve hocked up a winner for you this week as we proudly introduce the Adam Bomb Phlegm Border Sticker Card. The exclusive card with its dynamic yellow border comes with a rarity of just 200 made.

This is the fourth color variant in the set, following the Classic White, Bruised (Dark Blue) and Bloody Nose Red border cards from weeks 1 through 3, respectively.

To earn the unique piece of Garbage Pail Kids nostalgia, we’re going to ask for your help in building a bigger and better database – in the form of fun weekly tasks to unlock the chance to purchase the officially-licensed version of Adam Bomb.

The collection is part of a collaboration between GeePeeKay and hobbyDB to celebrate the creation of our Garbage Pail Kids archive and marketplace.

GET THAT CARD! Week 4 Task: Take a Break

The best way to deal with nasty ole phlegm is to get some rest. So we’re giving you the week off from tasks.


GeePeeKayTake a moment to review your collection, making sure it looks in tip-top shape. You can customize your collection using our specialized features to mark your favorite items as public, private or trade, in addition to managing your transfers and advanced searching capabilities.

When you’re happy with the way your collection looks, you’re eligible to purchase the card for $10.99.

Remember, you must complete the first three tasks to become eligible for the Phlegm Border Card. See below for further instructions. Cards are limited to one per user. Additionally purchased cards will be refunded.

Make sure to check back on Wednesday for the next card and task.

How everything works

The six-card set will be available by unlocking levels pertaining to the Garbage Pail Kids database. The officially licensed collection comes in six variants, ranging in rarity from 1,000 to 50 produced. The back of the cards, with the exception of the white bordered cards, are individually numbered. Each Wednesday we’ll offer an opportunity to buy the next card in the series, along with another task to obtain it. As the challenges rise, so, too, does the rarity of the cards.

Cards are limited to one per user and sold via the GeePeeKay and hobbyDB marketplaces. Please note, to be fair to all collectors we will refund purchases of multiple cards. Cards will ship upon completion of each task.


You’re halfway there! Join Tired Tom this week and take a break.

Late to the game? Do not fear. You can make up weekly tasks provided cards remain. Find out how to here.

About the Archive

Our official Garbage Pail Kids archive is growing by the day. In addition to all base sets, we’re cataloging every variation of Garbage Pail Kids sticker cards, including different colored borders and languages. We believe this will allow all levels of GPK enthusiasts to accurately sync their collections.

Those variations will include all legitimate card changes — such as the controversial “Schizo Fran – Fran Fran” Original Series 2 card — and all error cards, think Original Series 9 #355b Semi Colin (no number), for example.

But the catalog goes further than just the sticker cards. Among the many items you’ll find in the archive are Final Artwork renderings of Adam Bomb and an assortment of other Garbage Pail Kids characters before they were immortalized in card form. The prints stand 5 x 7 feet and were created by original artists such as John Pound and David Gross using acrylic and airbrushed paint.

Adam Bomb – Phlegm Border

GeePeeKayWeek 4 – May 8

Phlegm (200 produced)

Level 4: Track your collection with hobbyDB

Price: $10.99

Task: Take a break!

The Skinny: You’re doing great. As a reward, we want you to sit back and bask in the glory of your new GeePeeKay collection powered by hobbyDB. Take this week to check out your profile, which will soon include the Phlegm bordered card.

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What Makes a Classic Car a Classic?

The allure of a classic car is irresistible to any petrol-head but for the nascent investor, someone looking to take a step ahead of the crowd, buy in on the ground floor and see a profit, it’s vital to understand what attracts people to these vehicles. In short, what makes a classic car a classic?


Escort MexicoIn literal terms, a car becomes a classic for insurance purposes after 20 years but does age alone mean profitability? A pristine chocolate brown Vauxhall Viva from the 1970’s may have an attraction to some but a battered Escort Mexico from the same year would be worth several times more. The relationship between age and classic status primarily relates to exclusivity. If something is no longer made, there will be fewer available. Although the term classic is linked inexorably with age it is misleading. Without more, it’s just an old car.


Automotive aesthetics reach out to a wider audience, creating mass appeal and becoming instant classics. The Jaguar E-Type‘s place among New York’s Museum of Modern Art classic designs collection supports this. Unique design attracts profit but it’s not purely aesthetics. When form meets function perfectly a design classic is born. The Original Mini exemplifies this with its cute but functional exterior and its ideal size, maneuverability and simplicity for its owner.

Limited Numbers

Ferrari 250 GTOCars with limited production take on a life of their own. Ferrari 250 GTOs, for example, are not counted as a block of products but distinguished as individuals. Each car is known by its designation. Fanatics can recall the tale of how number 15 was discovered or the glamorous ownership history of number 7. It’s not just in high-end cars that this rule applies to. The Lancia Delta Integrale Evo 1, made to homologate the company’s Delta Rally car, sells for double the price of standard models.


Many of the most expensive cars ever sold are steeped in racing history. The desire to own THAT car which achieved victory in THAT race is overwhelming to the petrol-head seeking reflected glory. Mostly this relates to racing machines years ahead of their time but this can also apply to road cars. The Abarth name, for example, carries a history steeped in performance and wild styling that still attracts enthusiasts.

Nostalgia and fantasy

Lotus ElanThe 2-seater sports phenomenon in the UK is testament to this. From Lotus Elans to Jaguar E-types these cars harks back to a time when cars oozed with finesse and drivers enjoyed automotive freedom – cruising empty B roads with the wind in your hair and a beautiful partner at your side. Buying into the fantasy is how all cars are sold. If you can find a car that brings with it its own image without you having to apply one, it’s safe to say you’ve found a classic.

Celebrity ownership

Alan Bean and CorvetteA link to the glamour of celebrity can make an ordinary car sell for an extraordinary price. This was epitomized when Pope Benedict’s distinctly average VW Golf sold online for $244,000 back in 2005 making it the most expensive standard Golf ever sold. It doesn’t even have to be a rock star’s old Lamborghini. On a recent TV show I filmed we met a lovely gentleman named Danny who had bought a Corvette owned by astronaut Alan Bean, one of the last men on the moon, for around $7,000 back in the 1980s. The car is now worth $3 million.

Cult following

Certain cars appeal to a niche market in irresistible ways, whether it is based on performance, such as the Escort RS brand, on nostalgia, such as the Morris Minor, or on its lack of mainstream appeal such as the Reliant Robin. Whatever the attraction, a small number of people who feel passionate about something will spend more on it than a large amount of people who are mildly interested.

Its effect on the public consciousness

VW BeetleSometimes a car crosses over into the mainstream, grabbing the public’s attention like no others. The VW Beetle is a case in point. Through its accessibility when first produced and celluloid fame brought on through the Herbie movies, the Beetle appealed to almost every demographic. Female motorists and surfers alike were seduced, turning the car into a global icon.

All of the above point to classic status. When considering potential investments, the car collector must tick off at least one of these boxes. Tick off a couple and you have a great investment. Tick them all and you will be a millionaire. Only by layering the levels of interest can you consider an automotive investment watertight. So keep your eyes open, learn a car’s history and remain open-minded. The more emotions a car tugs on, the better chance of a sizable return.


This article was originally written for Rareburg which joined forces with hobbyDB to provide an excellent source of know-how for the whole collecting community. 

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