To Data, Prices, and Beyond! Your 2018 hobbyDB Recap

hobbyDB Buzz Lightyear

Happy New Year from all of us at hobbyDB! 2018 was a stellar year full of fandom, from Jeff Goldblum Pops to celebrating Hot Wheels’ 50th Anniversary! We (plus our amazing squad of volunteer contributors) had a bunch of fun documenting thousands of new collectibles and millions of price points on hobbyDB. Here’s a quick recap of all the goodies from 2018.

New Data – Data is our core. As many of you know, it’s our mission to get to 100 billion collectibles documented (eventually) and we take that very seriously, so this year, we decided to expand into new areas of collectibles that many of you have been requesting. Some examples include: Amiibo, Dark Horse Collectibles, DC Direct, Decoys, Diamond Collectibles, Garbage Pail Kids, Hot Toys, Mezco Toyz, Matchbox, NECA and Sideshow.

To top it all off, we added more than 84,000 Hard Rock Cafe pins to the database and now host the collections (more fondly referred to as Pin Lockers) of hundreds of pin collectors.

hobbyDB hard rock cafe pin pink caddy

New Prices – We really hit our stride this year when it comes to adding prices to hobbyDB. In 2018, we added more than 1.25 million new price points to the guide. Our aim is to be the most accurate, up-to-date, go-to destination on the web for collectible prices. The most exciting new pricing feature to come in the next few weeks is the ability to calculate and track the value of your personal collection. To read more about our roadmap for a collectible price guide, read our Vision for the hobbyDB Value Guide.

hobbyDB lego

A marketplace that has your back

It’s our goal to ensure you can always count on us to provide a safe trading environment, whether you are looking to buy or sell collectibles. We implemented proactive outreach programs to stop fraud before it even occurs and expanded our Trusted Seller program, so that you know when you’re buying from a Trusted Seller, your purchase is guaranteed.

On top of the additional security, we added new ways to buy and sell and a revamped buyer/seller dashboard! Now you have more flexibility as you can select Buy it Now, or Best Offer when listing items for sale.

Of course we can’t forget the Halls!

The Model Car Hall of Fame community grew to more than 4.3 Million collectors, including 107 clubs in 24 countries around the world. This influx of new community members led to our largest vote and inducted class ever. More than 4,000 votes were cast this year to induct 24 great people, models and brands into the MCHOF. The Pop Culture Hall of Fame debuted 11 new awards for titans of culture like Pokemon, Power Rangers and Alex Ross. The PCHOF now has 21 Inductees and 19 iconic brands and characters from across the collecting universe.

hobbyDB Model Car Hall of Fame

The Halls continue to grow in support every day, connecting with collectors from every edge of the hobby. 2019 promises to be another banner year, so stay tuned!

Looking towards 2019

Over the last four months, we’ve created a thorough road map that includes major changes to the site design. These changes will make it easier to find exactly what you are looking for, add to and manage your collection, and see how your collection changes in value over time.

We’ll also be adding a ton more data and price points to ensure that the database continues to get better and better over time. New data points include comics, action figures, statues and more. Price points will follow suit, with a goal of having values for 90% of the items on hobbyDB. If you’re interested in having a little price guide fun and joining our awesome volunteer squad, just let us know.

So go forth fellow collectors, into the fandom sphere and always let us know if there is anything else we can do to better.

Keep calm and yub nub,

Your hobbyDB team

Comments (1 Comment)
Ines Betancourt

Super happy that you started with pins, could you please also add Disney pins?

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Amiibo, hobbyDB Celebrate Reissue of Super Smash Bros. Game and Figures

amiibo groupamiibo mariohobbyDB now has the internet’s most up-to-date, complete database of Nintendo Amiibo figures, including the five-year reissues of the first ones. Half a decade might seem a bit recent, but the reissue is actually in honor of the latest version of Super Smash Bros., their hugely popular video game that first came out in 1999 for the Nintendo 64. The latest versions of the figures is for the new, revamping of the game for the wildly popular Switch game system.

Nintendo is a company that has been around a lot longer than people realize, so when they decide to honor anniversaries and reissues, it sometimes feels odd. But the world of video games moves pretty quick, and Nintendo has actually existed ad a toy, game, and card manufacturer since 1889. No, that’s not a typo. And they have made video games and related items since 1972.

amiibo characterSo this Amiibo project is not a short-term nostalgia grab. Amiibo is Nintendo’s wireless communications and storage protocol, for use between compatible toys-to-life figurines, and the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo Switch gaming platforms. The figures are dynamically posed figures that have some special powers when connected to certain Nintendo game systems. And the new ones are designed work with the latest game on the latest platform. That’s why people love Amiibo.

But that high-tech features isn’t why everyone collects them. As figures by themselves, they are pretty cool, so some people collect the whole range even if they don’t own the compatible games. The name “Amiibo” (more accurately, it should be “Amībo” but that’s hard to type for most folks) comes from a Japanese term amii which conveys friendship. It also happens to sort of rhyme with amigo, which works as well.

amiibo charactersSuper Smash Bros. is but one part of the vast universe of Nintendo games and products. It’s an all-encompassing game featuring characters from all of Nintendo’s properties, including Legend of Zelda, Fire Emblem, and Kirby. They all join  Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Bowser, and Toad from various games as part of the re-issued figures. In fact, there are well over 50 playable characters in the game.

amiibo pac manAlthough Amiibo are made by Nintendo, the range of characters includes the worlds of Namco (Creators of Pac-Man), Capom, (Mega Man, and others) and Blizzard (Diablo 3). It makes sense, as many of those games have been adapted to Nintendo’s various platforms for decades.

On hobbyDB you’ll not only find every single character created, but also various packaging variants including U.S. and Japanese releases as well as reissues of older figures, which feature multi-lingual labels. Each item includes price guide information, regularly updated from real online sales. And speaking of sales, hobbyDB includes a Marketplace to buy and sell Amiibos or anything else collectible.

Whether you intend to play with them arrange them on your desk, or leave them in the package, Amiibo figures are just getting to be hot collectibles even as they celebrate their relatively brief history.

amiibo mario

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Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Celebration Was a Nonstop Victory Lap

hot wheels 50th header

Ron Ruelle

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

The Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary celebrated half a century of the world’s most popular toy cars in 2018 with a year-long blowout. As the calendar flips to 2019, let’s look back at some of the highlights.

hot wheels 50th logoFirst for a sense of scale, consider what Hot Wheels did in 1993. In that pre-internet, pre-everything-is-collectible era, the Hot Wheels 25th Anniversary caught many fans by surprise. If you happened to be scanning the pegs for new cars, you might have been stopped in your tracks by the once-familiar red and orange flamed packages with the Hot Wheels logo. The wide custom cut card art, the button (reproduced in plastic) and the brightly colored cars were an instant time machine to the late 60s and early 70s remembered so fondly by kids of that era.

It’s almost cute how subtle the whole thing was. Original 16? No, Mattel only dragged out eight molds from the past. Heck, they may have even been caught off guard at how popular these would be, as the next year, “Vintage Series II” was released with eight more early favorites.

And that was pretty much it. Hot Wheels did a few commemorations for their 35th and 40th birthdays, but those numbers aren’t as magnificent as the big 5-0.

hot wheels 50th lionel train2018 started off kind of subtle, with the new “50” logo on all the packaging for new models and old. Not a huge deal, actually, although it set up some packaging variants to keep track of. In fact, the really special merchandise kind of just trickled out at first. Lionel surprised collectors with an elaborately decorated Hot Wheels-themed train set (complete with orange track!). It’s a really nicely done set, but that wasn’t quite what fans were expecting.

hot wheels 50th twin millhot wheels 50th flyerThe first 50th cars arrived early in the year, the “Black and Gold” series, a set of seven castings from various eras (six plus a mystery Treasure Hunt). If you hadn’t been paying attention to signals from the various insider clubs and rumor mills, that almost seemed like that was going to be the whole shebang.

Shortly after those cars came out, however, a little flyer arrived… a tear sheet available next to the store displays, outlining the rest of the commemorative models. A lot of them. Suddenly, it was game on!

Stars and Stripes,” “Zamac Flames,” and blue “Race Team” themes were all on the way, but some more “commemorative” lines were also promised. The 20 car “Throwback Collection” featured a mix of old and new castings. One interesting trend was that most of the celebration focused on models based on real cars, with only a few unlicensed, original, fantasy designs to be seen.

hot wheels 50th originalsThe “Originals” Series was kind of an odd mix… the late ’60s flamed card art, plus Spoilers-era cartoon illustrations of the cars, plus… well the castings were interesting.  They included a VW Beetle, a ‘Cuda, a Camaro, a Cougar, and a Mustang, staples of the original 16. But not the original castings: these were versions of later models. For the price, the overall effect was neat, but kind of a near miss for some collectors. (A few years ago, on the other hand, the RedLine Club did a much more accurate tribute by re-releasing castings of all of the “Original 16” cars. They even got the wheels right, with the covered center hubs. And the packaging was a much closer replica, as real as you could get without causing authenticity questions. More on these in a bit…)

hot wheels 50th mediaThe History Channel broadcast a one hour History of Hot Wheels in the summer. It was fun to watch, but it zoomed down the orange track too quickly. August brought about another amazing retrospective history of the brand in a more permanent form. The book “From 0 to 50 at 1:64 Scale” by Kris Palmer featured colorful layouts, terrific photography great sidelights, and an intro by Larry Wood (it was a big year for him and the other historic designers). Oh, and it came packaged in a vinyl carrying case that looked and smelled like 1970!

Speaking of good reading, Jim Garbaczewski teamed up with hobbyDB to publish the latest Hot Wheels Casting and Price Guide this past Spring. With 228 pages of details and 3,300 color photos, it’s as accurate and complete a listing of castings as you can get.

hot wheels postage stampsSeptember brought possibly the most welcome surprise of the anniversary… Hot Wheels postage stamps! Ten designs featuring cars from the original Twin Mill to 2018’s Mach Speeder made the mail flow just a bit faster. (How many of you used them on your holiday cards this year?)

hot wheels 50th convention carsThe conventions had a more celebratory feeling than usual too. The 18th Annual Collectors Nationals debuted a VW T-2 Rockster, a new casting that is sure to be popular among premium offerings for years to come. The 32nd Collectors Convention got into the spirit of things with an outstanding array of amazingly detailed paint schemes on the convention cars, including early castings of ’65 Mercury Cyclone of the new Dragstrip Demons gassers.

hot wheels 50th favoriteshot wheels 50th favorites drag busFall brought the 10 car “Favorites” series to stores. Sharp black cards stood out among the rest of the offerings, with colorful, Real Rider-adorned, metal-chassis cars. And what a selection it was. The Drag Samba Bus, the ’55 Chevy Gasser, and the ’67 Camaro anchored a wide variety of vehicles from different marques. They were kind of hard to find, but not impossible, making the hunt challenging and fun, but not over the top.

Then came one final present… a very limited edition replica of the Original Hot Wheels Store Display that kicked things off in 1968. This large cardboard unit included another round of repops of the original 16 in Spectraflame hues. Since it was limited to 1,500 pieces, it has sold briskly. Even at $500, it was worth it almost for the cars alone.

hot wheels 50th displayThroughout 2018, Mattel did an amazing job rekindling some of the memories that today’s collectors felt as kids. The celebration was downright fun, which is what made Hot Wheels an instant success from the start.

What was your favorite part of the Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary? Let us know in the comments below.

Comments (4 Comments)
Samuel Ace

2018 was definitely the best year for hotwheels in a along time.  They did lots of great stuff last year for they're 50th anniversary. 👍And 2018 was the best year for me with hotwheels in along time. 2018 was the most hotwheels in one year at the stores and at the flea market and at car shows and at toy shows. 👍 And 2018 was the year where I found the most super treasure hunts at the stores since I started collecting hotwheels. 👍 So I hope and pray this continues into 2019 with hotwheels. 👍

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The Iconic Citroen 2CV, The French Car That Almost Never Was

norev citroen 2cv prototype

Here’s another Guest Blog from Patrick Wehr, owner of Pat’s Modellauto and and also a Curator and Champion at hobbyDB. 

The Citroën 2CV is one of the most iconic French automobiles ever made, but it almost never came into existence.

In 1934, the Citroën Company was bankrupt, and was taken over by the family-owned Michelin Company. At that time, France had a very significant rural population which could not yet afford cars. Citroën wanted to built a little low-priced car, an “Umbrella on four wheels.” It had to carry four people or 50kg (110lb) of goods to market at 50km/h (30mph) on unpaved and muddy roads. The car would have to be fuel efficient, using no more than 3l/100km.

norev Citroen prototype

1937 Citroen 2CV prototype by Norev

In 1936, they began to secretly develop a car called “TPV“ (Toute Petite Voiture, or Very Small Car). Water and air cooled engines were investigated as options to power the car. They settled on a water-cooled engine, a horizontally opposed 2-cylinder engine of 700cc that was capable of propelling the car to 37mph thanks to its low weight of only 370kg. experimented with lightweight materials, including an aluminum body.  Citroën expected that this light material would soon be as cheap as steel. Although this didn’t pan out, it demonstrated Citroën’s commitment to innovation.

The first prototypes were uncovered chassis with rudimentary controls. Test drivers wore leather flying suits, much like pilots wore in contemporary open biplanes. 20 TPV prototypes were built by the end of 1937. French law at that time required only one headlight, so the TPV had only one.

In 1939, 47 technically different prototypes had been built and tested and a pilot run of 250 cars was produced, receiving approval for the French market. They printed brochures, renaming the car the “Citroën 2CV“ for the Paris Motor Show in October 1939. Everything looked great.

But with the beginning of the World War II, the launch of the 2CV was abandoned. As they feared some military application for the 2CV they hide several TPV’s in secret locations, one was even disguised as a pickup and the others were destroyed.

norev citroen 2cv prototype

Norev Citroen 2CV pickup prototype

For years, it was thought that, at best, only two prototypes had survived the War or, at worst, that all the cars were lost. Apparently, management knew of the existence of some survivors, since in the 1950s an internal memo was issued ordering the remaining ones to be scrapped. Some workers who appreciated their historical value concealed those TPV’s so that they could be preserved. It was believed for years that only the Pick-Up and one other vehicle had survived. Then, in 1995, three cars were found in a barn at the Bureau d’Etudes at Ferté-Vidame and they were kept exactly as they were found.

Citroën 2CV Terrasson 1939

norev citroen 2cv prototype

Norev Terrasson TPV

norev citroen 2cv prototype

Pierre Terrasson began to built this model on 1935 and on 1939 three prototypes tested in secret the parts of the new 2CV on day and night. They tested various engines and technical parts and two Citroën Traction Avant’s with technicians on board followed them to give help if technical problems would appear. As war began the Terrasson 2CV were scrapped.

Citroën 2CV Cyclope 1939

norev citroen 2cv prototype

The 1939 Citroen Cyclope TPV by Norev

norev citroen 2cv prototype

Some Technical Specifications of the Cyclope TPV:

As at the beginning of the war the development of the 2CV was stopped but Citroën began in secret to develop another car during the war. A prototype was made in 1942 with the name “Cyclope”. Can you guess why? The Cyclope kept the same dimensions of the first 2CV made in 1939 as well as the concept of the TPV. However, the materials used to build that car were cheaper in sight of the difficult times.

With so much expertise, experimentation and trial, the 2CV would go on to write history until production ended in 1990. 5,114,966 of them were produced over the years, quite a successful run for a car that almost never happened.

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hobbyDB: What’s the big idea?

As a hobbyDB user, you may have looked up all the Super Treasure Hunts from a certain year, or how much that Headless Ned Stark is worth. You may be wondering: How’d this all start and where is it going? Well our very own Joschik recently appeared on the Syfy networks Fandom Files to provide the answers. Check out the podcast to find out why we do what we do and what you can look forward to as a part of hobbyDB.


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