It’s Official! The newest Hot Wheels Casting & Price Guide has gone to the printer

For those of you who have been patiently awaiting your pre-ordered price guides, we finally have amazing news for you! The Hot Wheels Casting and Price Guide is at the printer and will be ready to ship by April 20! Once we receive the books, we’ll immediately begin shipping them. We will start with those who ordered the book first, but everyone will get their copy ASAP.

We cannot thank you enough for your continued support through this process. You’ll be happy to know that the delay was caused by the addition of more than 100 pages. We definitely think it will be worth the wait, and we hope you will think so too. With 228 pages of details and 3300 color photos, this will surely be the most complete guide of Hot Wheels models released from 2008-2017.

The Hot Wheels Casting and Price Guide will now retail at $49.95 + shipping. If you haven’t ordered your own copy yet, you can do so here.

And if you’re at the Dallas Convention, go say “hi” to Jim Garbaczewski in the registration room to see what the book will look like!

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!


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Why Do You Do The Scale You Do? How Collectors Decide on a Model Scale

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

Someone recently asked a question on one of the Facebook pages we follow – “What makes you pick the model scale you do?” Seriously? You have to ask? Because the answer is obviously… ummm… Actually, that’s a great question!

This query was from a gentleman in the UK regarding Airfix model kits. Airfix is a long-established, highly regarded company best known for their military models. Mostly planes. In certain scales. And eras. And nationalities. But that’s not all they make. So there’s some wiggle room in there. Which means the folks who chimed in on this question likely had a common core interest, but with some variances due to… well, what, exactly?

Airfix facebook

It all started with a simple question…

Let’s break it down.

  • Who’s responding to this question? The question was about what scale you “do.” Not just collect, not just build, but invest your time and money into. Could it be modelers, or collectors? Is there a difference? Well, yes, as it turns out. When someone is building and detailing a model, the factors of what is possible and what is practical are a bit different from someone who is purchasing pre-built miniatures.
  • Do you have a split loyalty? Do you have multiple scales you work on/collect?
  • Are there scales you love or don’t like for some particular reason? Maybe some scales that just feel too small to be appreciated for quality over quantity? Or too big to be appreciated at arm’s length?

There’s so much to unpack here. So let’s look as some of the factors that influence the decision and how they relate to modelers versus collectors. These were all cited by folks who responded to the original question…

Shelf space – Usually, this skews towards smaller sizes like 1/64 and 1/43. Unless someone only wants a few key models, in which they might go bigger.

Cost – In general, smaller models should cost less, but that’s not always the case. There are plenty of very high-end 1/43 models that can easily break the bank more than similar models in larger sizes.

Airfix spitfire

A lot of models come in multiple scales. Which do you choose and why?

Availablity of a Specific Model – For collectors, this is strictly about what has been made of the cars or planes you like. For modelers and customizers, there is more flexiblity with such things, depending on how much you are willing to scratchbuild.

Availablitiy of certain parts – For someone scratchbuilding a car, tires are one feature that they will most likely acquire preformed from some other source. So tire size is an important attribute when figuring out how big or small to go. A lot of people don’t think about it, but when designing a model in Lego, the wheels and Minifigs are the two most likely factors in determining the scale..

Brand loyalty – Some companies specialize in one particular scale, and that’s that.

Airfix interior

How much detail? How good is your eyesight? How crazy do you want to be? All play a part in scale selection.

Eye hand coordination – This is of interest for modelers and customizers. Generally, bigger is better, up to a practical point.

Taking satisfaction in crafting tiny details – In this case, it’s all about the challenge, eyes be damned! A tiny N scale train with accurate details is an amazing sight (for those who can see it!)

Pride in crafting a humongous tribute – On the other hand, if you have a lot of room or work in a museum, you might want to create an impressively giant model. The bigger the kit, the more you can mimic real materials and assembly techniques. Why create rivet patterns, when you can have actual rivets holding parts together?

The bigger the scale, the more detail you can work with.

How big is this scene? – If you’re making a diorama, do you want to show an complete, enormous battle in one small space? Or do you want to focus on a small vignette in great detail?

Other modeling interests – Airfix makes a lot of airplanes at 1/72 scale, but tanks and ground vehicles at 1/76. Why the small difference? The plane scale came first, and at 1/72, a 6 foot person is exactly one inch tall. 1/76 matches OO scale trains, so when they made land-based vehicles, it made some sense for them to match the trains. (1/48 planes go well with 1/43 model trains) or minifigs. (By the way, if you’ve ever wondered why certain scales even came to be in the first place, we covered that a while back.)

Airfix boeing 727

Large commercial aircraft are usually done an really small scales like 1/144 (half of 1/72).

Wide range of models – If your interests are broad, and you want to stick to one scale, 1/64 and 1/43 are most likely your best choices for model cars. For planes, it could be 1/72 for most small military planes, or 1/144 or even 1/400, if you’re into jumbo jets. Large warships are often rendered in 1/1,200 scale, resulting in a still pretty big finished model.

airfix bismarck

For really big flotillas, scales as small as 1/1,200 are common.

Popularity – You got into this hobby to be popular, right? Maybe not, but working in the more common scales will present more opportunities to trade, share, and otherwise connect with fellow hobbyists. For model car kits in the U.S., 1/24 or 1/25 are far and away most popular choices. Is it because the market spoke and the manufacturers listened? Or do modelers just buy what’s available? Strangely enough, this scale is not nearly as popular for pre-built cars.

Going Against the Grain – Some modelers just dare to be different. Pocher/Rivarossi makes a series of 1/8 scale cars that are quite frankly enormous. They contain some colossal detail, and sometimes require building components such as wire wheels. And they are pretty expensive. But if you only plan to build a few models in your life, that may add up to your cup of tea..

pocher mercedes benz

Pocher makes a series of 1/8 model cars, which are huge, hyper-detailed, and pretty expensive.

It’s sort of made up – For many fictional vehicles, such as spacecraft, it can be hard to nail down a scale. You can sort of figure out how big it’s supposed to be, but accuracy is loose. Models of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek are often listed at 1/1000, as it makes a plausible ratio for a decent sized model. 1/6,250 is about the smallest size, suitable for a model of, say, the Death Star.

Airfix Space 1999

Some fictional creations like the Eagle Transporter from Space:1999 don’t have a scale, some do.

Love at first sight – Did you get a model as a gift at some age that you just loved? Maybe you just found a particular brand or range, and whatever that scale was, it stuck with you forever.

Whatever’s going – Several modelers in the forum said they build whatever strikes their fancy in any scale, feeling that a lack of dedication to one scale or brand can be liberating and fun. And isn’t this whole collecting thing supposed to be fun?

We’d love to hear your stories of how you decided on a particular scale or scales for your collection… Let us know in the comments.

Comments (5 Comments)
Jim Simpson

I tend to collect both 1/43 and 1/24 scale models with a few 1/18 for fun, but most of the scratch building I do is in 1/24 scale... it is a nice size to work in and is manageable... Tried to leave a picture of some of my work but the link does not work

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Selling is more flexible than ever – introducing Best Offer.

Now there are even more ways to buy and sell your items on hobbyDB and all hobbyDB powered marketplaces! Introducing Best Offer – here’s how it works.

If you’re a Seller – invite customers to negotiate with you.

To invite best offers on a listing –

  1. Go to the listing form
  2. You’ll see three different selling options –
    • Buy it Now – Offer your item at a fixed price
    • Buy it Now & Best Offer – Offer your item at a fixed price and let buyers make offers
    • Best Offer Only – Let buyers make offers for your item without setting a price
  3. If you would like to let buyers make offers, select either “Buy it Now & Best Offer, or Best Offer Only. Buyers will then see the ability to Make an Offer on your listing.
  4. If a potential buyer makes an offer, you’ll receive an email notification.
  5. The email notification will direct you to your seller dashboard where you can either Accept or Decline the offer. If you accept, the buyer will be notified and will be prompted to pay for the item. You’ll get a notification of the sale as soon as the buyer pays for the item. Please ship upon receiving the order confirmation. If you decline the offer, the buyer will have a chance to make a higher offer if they’re still interested.

If you’re a Buyer – try your luck at getting the item of your dreams.

To make an offer on an item –

  1. Make sure that the seller does, indeed, accept offers. If they do, you’ll be able to click the “Make Offer” button on the listing.
  2. Once you click the Make Offer button, you’ll be taken to an offer form. From there, you’ll be able to enter in an offer.
  3. Once you submit your offer, the seller will receive an email notification. They can then decide to accept or decline your offer.
  4. If they accept your offer, you’ll be sent a notification email that will prompt you to pay for the item. Make sure you pay for the item quickly, so as not to lose out on your deal. You will also be able to see accepted offers on your buyer dashboard like so –
  5. Once you pay for the item, the seller will get a notification and will promptly ship your item within their shipping timeframe.

If you have any trouble with this feature, always feel free to reach out to us. We’re happy to help.

Are you interested in selling on the hobbyDB marketplace? Get in touch.

Like the Beatles 5-car Premium Set? Check out the listing!

Comments (2 Comments)
Lloyd B. Thompson

What a novel idea> I have been collecting Hot Wheels, JADA, Johnny Lightning and some oddball manf's for 15-20+ years. The collection scale ranges from 1:64th, 1:24th and a few larger scale die cast. The majority are focused around my passion for VW's. With the make an offer marketing, how do I assign a reasonable dollar price. I have near 1500 new in package and several hundred without packaging. Please advise, I will be using your new marketing service. I can photograph the collection. Where should I start: scale small to large; manfacturer age? I have limited time to ponder pricing and would appreciate your feedback..
Thank You in Advance,
Lloyd Thompson

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Fireball Tim Visits hobbyDB, Shelby American Collection, and More In Boulder

The folks at hobbyDB recently enjoyed a couple days hanging out with Fireball Tim Lawrence, dropping in on some automotive attractions in the Boulder Colorado area. Fireball was visiting to record video for his Fireball Malibu Vlog on his his website

fireball tim shelby

Steve Volk of the Shelby Museum meets Fireball TIm.

First, let’s clear up the confusion about his name. “Fireball” is not a nickname, it’s his actual name. And no, he didn’t legally change it to that, it’s from his parents. “My Mom and Dad were a Hollywood writer/producer team,” he said. “They were always having to come up with interesting names for characters and went with ‘Fireball’ for me.” Aside from the usually teasing that comes with middle school, the name suits his go-getter life style just fine. My wife usually just calls out “Hey, you!” he laughed.

hobbydb office

At Tatooine, the headquarters of hobbyDB (from the left Anastasia, Devan, Ron and John).

While he was in Boulder, he stopped by the hobbyDB office to ask about working/collecting/playing with toys, and also the Model Car Hall of Fame. He took a private tour of the Shelby American Collection with Steve Volk, dropped in on William Taylor at Auto Archives, and paid a visit to the office of Hagerty’s Insurance. He also met hobbyDB store owner Bud Kalland to see his real and his diecast cars, and went to Loveland to view one of our Advisory Council member Steve Engeman’s collection of promo cars and other automobilia.

william taylor

A tour of Auto Archives and Hagerty Insurance with William Taylor.

Along with a ride up the twisty turns of Boulder Canyon, he shot enough video to create four episodes of his vlog.

Here’s the rundown of the episodes with links…

  • Episode 758: Visit to the Shelby American Collection (Private tour by Steve Volk)
  • Episode 759: Visit to hobbyDB, World’s Coolest Collectibles Database (Meet the hobbyDB staff and visit to Steve Engeman)
  • Episode 760: Visit to Auto Archives & A Rare 540HP McLaren (Auto Archives and Hagerty Insurance in Golden, CO)
  • Episode 761: A 400 HP Mustang GT is only  the Beginning (Visit with Bud Kalland)
bud kalland

Bud Kalland shared his diecast collection and his real Mustang (here with John and Christian).

Being immersed in Hollywood culture his whole life gave him a sense of wonder and possiblity. “Never listen to the Doctor No’s in life,” he says. By that, he means the negative people and voices that tell you to play it safe and never take chances. So to that end, he has worked for Disney Imagineering designing them park rides, created production designs for countless movies, and even worked on the 1989 Batmobile from the Tim Burton movies. “I take the script, and sketch out what the vehicles, weapons, props, and sets should look like for a movie,” he said. He also had a company called Fireballed which produced hypertuned Mini Coopers.

Steve Engman

With Steve Engeman, promotional model collector.

Fireball Tim is also an author/publisher, with several books to his credit. He’s created a couple volumes about his movie and TV cars, but also several activity and coloring books for kids. The children’s books focus on, as you might imagine, cars, beach, and ocean culture. “I just want to share my love of these things through coloring and reading.”

fireball tim books

Just a few of Fireball Tim’s books…

So, yeah, he’s pretty busy and loving every minute of it. These days, he splits time between Malibu and traveling anywhere there’s an opportunity to talk to people about car culture. His vlog features daily posts, so in the past couple years, he’s already created over 750 15 minute or so episodes. “The message of my work it that life is fun,” he said. “You can live a long time where it’s not fun. I play with cars, I live a beach life. Happiness is present, not in chasing dreams.”

Everything Fireball visited on his trip to Colorado is being archived on hobbyDB, The World’s Online Museum. He came to visit hobbyDB because he was a bit skeptical of our mission of documenting the entire world of collectibles. “I came out here because I didn’t think it could be done,” he said, “and now I thinks they just might. I love it!”  In fact, we plan to have him visit again later in the year as there is lots more to see here in Colorado!

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Diecast Collector, Historian David Wright Joins hobbyDB Advisory Council

The Advisory Council at hobbyDB consists of experts on many different facets of collecting, all sharing their knowledge for the benefit of the entire site. David Wright, a noted model car collector from Storrington, England, is the latest to join the Council.

David WrightHis fascination with buses and cars began when he was nine years old. “I started collecting bus numbers while sitting on a grass bank on the main trunk road past my parent’s house to the south coast,” he said. It wasn’t until later in life that he began seriously collecting diecast. He found an old Dinky Austin van in a donation pile, and made a £5.00 donation to the charity to acquire it. “I stripped and restored it, and I was hooked. I then discovered a small shop selling old model cars, stamps and magazines near where we had recently moved in South London, and I began collecting. This means I have been hooked since 1973.”

BMC truck and car

Bakelite 1920s SunbeamHis collection now totals around 1,000 models. British sports cars, such as Allard, AC, Bristol, Jensen, Riley, TVR, Turner, and Wolseley are his primary passion. “I have given myself licence to move into models of British Motor Corporation vehicles, as I just love the red, white and blue rosette logo!” Most of his collection is 1/43 scale, although he also has a nice variety of early Lesney models. One of his favorite larger models is a 1/18 Bakelite design study prototype of a 1920s Sunbeam Roadster, seen here.

David is also a diecast historian who has published several books about collecting. He began by by focusing on lower volume makers other than diecast, who were not likely to have their own existing guides. “My books were prompted by the realisation that many of the makers of white metal and resin models, be they cars, trucks, buses, or trains, are artisans, working on their own, and their stories about how they came into this wonderful hobby needed to be known by all,” he said.

David Wright model car booksDavid Wright“It was only when I retired in 2007 that I found the time to work on the books, and now I am more busy than ever, building kits and converting models for fellow enthusiasts around the world.” He also stays busy driving a commnity bus and traveling with his wife Chris, both of whom are avid bird watchers.

His first two books cover about 170 different model makers in each volume. His first guide, about white metal models (which is sold out), took about three years of research before it was published in 2011. His follow up, a 2013 book on resin models, took about two years. “I then felt confident in my writing style and the self publishing process, together with a comprehensive network of both makers and collectors at my disposal, to work on the British Sporting Cars in Miniature book,” he said. That one was also finished in two years, available in 2015. His books are available on hobbyDB.

As for future writing, he’s taking a break from books at the moment. “I’m happy with my trilogy of books, and continue to publish regular articles on the history of particularly interesting cars, and the models made of them, “he said. “My most recent example is a comparison of the Brazilian made Brasinca, and its similarities with the Jensen Interceptor, Iso Grifo and Studebaker Avanti.”

David also has a couple of 1/1 scale classic cars: an MGA 1600MkII, and a Jensen C-V8 Mk III, both of which he drives regularly. He is also the South Downs Rep for the Jensen Owners Club and collects real car badges, and old cigarette cards of motor cars. “But there’s no space for much more!” he laughs.

David Wright

Comments (1 Comment)

I have all of David's books - they are very detailed and well worth it if you collect 1/43 white metal or resin.  A lot of great history is contained in them.  I appreciate all the work that went into them.

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