11 Wandering Tribes – Lost, Living, Exploring in Space

Ron Ruelle

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

With Captain Picard about to head off on another voyage into space, it seems like a good time to think about other space travelers. More specifically, let’s think about those wanderers who live in space… not just sci-fi fare like Futurama where the characters travel a lot but live on a planet, but those who are truly living in interstellar RVs. Some are lost, some are fugitives, some are just out there trying to make the universe a better place. So even though they travel a lot, characters in franchises like Star Wars or Doctor Who don’t count here. And in hobbyDB fashion, let’s look at some collectibles from each!

star trek collectiblesStar Trek – We could do this entire list about the original 1960s TV series and the many spinoffs, sequels, prequels and reboots, but let’s call them one entity here (In fact, the combined entities were recently named to the Pop Culture Hall of Fame.) They are willing travelers for the most part, and only rarely touch the ground, usually by teleportation.

lost in space jupiter ii modelLost In Space – Years before Star Trek, Space Family Robinson became disoriented in the cosmos. Each episode of the show usually had the Jupiter II and crew land on a different planet, only to find a differently costumed reason for its unsuitability. Their biggest threat, of course, was always Dr. Smith. A recent Netflix series has revived the concept, but nothing will ever match the campy charm of the original series.

alien garbage pail kidsAlien – Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece is widely regarded as more of a horror movie than a science fiction flick. The crew of the Nostromo takes one brief pit stop on a distant planet and all hell breaks loose. Spoiler alert… technically, most of them don’t “live” in space, at least not for the entire movie.

guardians of the galaxy popGuardians of the Galaxy – As comic book characters, the GotG were barely B-list stories, but as a pair of movies and counting, they were some of the best in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Funny, smart, and with a great soundtrack, viewers actually wanted to be stuck on their spaceship with them.

battlestar galactica collectiblesBattlestar Gallactica – The original and the remake were both stylish adventures in space, but the nod for the better stuck-in-space show has to go to the newer version. Why? The final season of the original series took place on Earth, allowing a major cost cut in special effects, which is not what we’re talking about here. Those shiny Cylons ruled though.

mystery science theater lunchMystery Science Theater 3000 – Not only is Joel (or Mike, or Jonah, if you dare) a prisoner in on a spaceship, but he is forced to watch cheesy movies, the worst they can find. Joel created his robot pals to keep him company at the expense of having any control over his situation. They do seem to have a lot of fun, though.

red dwarf gameRed Dwarf – There was something cosmically stupid yet brilliant about this BBC production in space. Perhaps it was the long time confined to a spaceship that drove the cast to such clever verbal madness.

hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy gameHitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – The books and movie start out on Earth, but that ends rather rapidly, doesn’t it? Douglass Adams’ four-volume trilogy was filled with robots, bad alien poets, and the dryest humor in the universe. Eventually, they would find the answer to life, the universe, and everything.space 1999 hawkSpace 1999 – Much of the action takes place on the moon, so does this count? Well, in the show’s pilot, an explosion sends the moon out of orbit and across space, making it in effect, an out of control spacecraft. In a way, that’s even cooler!

firefly action figuresFirefly – It’s 500 years in the future, but actually more than 15 years ago. Was this show really on for only two seasons? Refugees, explorers, interlopers… hard to classify the mission of the crew of the Serenity, but it was gripping stuff and gone from TV way too soon.

wall-e eve toysWall-E – In a way, this is the most horrifying and realistic vision of the future, with obese, immovable humans scooting around a giant luxury cruiser in space. That solution was easier than cleaning up the terrestrial world because Earth is too messed up to fix. Not so far-fetched, is it?

The Jetsons, of course, are not on this list. They don’t live in space, but in domed buildings on pillars high above the Earth. There is a theory that at the same time, the Flintstones live down on the Earth’s surface in the post-nuclear apocalyptic landscape, which explains why they know about Christmas. But that’s another story…

Know of any additional action figures, model spacecraft or other collectibles from these shows? Add them to our database!

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We’ve officially reached 95% of our Crowdfunding target!

hobbyDB Crowdfunding

Throughout our crowdfunding journey, we’ve spoken to collectors from all over the world to understand what they want in their all-in-one collection management tool.

Whether it be researching a collectible, tracking the value of your collection over time, or purchasing an item for your collection, our goal is to create the best tool that powers your entire collecting journey.

If you haven’t already, take a look at what our plans are and how with your small (or big) investment, we can get there faster. Join more than 190 collectors who have already invested in hobbyDB.

Visit the hobbyDB Wefunder Page to Learn More

We’ve made a lot of exciting steps forward –
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DC Comics Sculptor Tim Bruckner Joins hobbyDB

DC ComicsIt’s an exciting week for the hobbyDB community – especially if you’re a fan of DC Comics, action figures and superheroes in general. Sculptor and artist Tim Bruckner has created thousands of figures and statues for DC and many other companies, and now he’s coming to hobbyDB! He’ll be adding his collection to the database and selling some of his rarer items in the marketplace.

Check out Tim’s Showcase here or you can read the full blog post here.

Heritage Auctions and hobbyDB

The Database is about to grow 5X larger

Last quarter we forged partnerships with two of the most powerful brands in the collectible industry – Heritage Auctions and StockX.

Read the Official Heritage Auctions Press Release here

Volvo Model Cars

Bring on the Volvo Models!

Just this week, we joined forces with the Volvo Model Car Group. Their base of almost 9,000 members plans to add thousands of Volvo model cars to the database.

Read More on the Blog

hobbyDB Price Guide

New Features and Price Points Elevate the hobbyDB Value Guide

We’re ringing in the new year with 1.3 million new price-points added to the hobbyDB value guide in 2019.

See a break down of the new features here.

hobbyDB Marketplace

The hobbyDB Shopify Integration Now in Beta

Shopify stores can now easily sync their inventory on to hobbyDB, giving our buyers more variety in terms of items and price points.

Check out the marketplace

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Meet hobbyDB’s Newest Backers! Part 1; Industry Insiders!

We’re thrilled to have so many new shareholders from so many different walks of life! Some are site super-users, others are people who have worked in the collectibles industry for years and love what we’re doing for collectors! Today we’re featuring some of the latter; a few industry stakeholders who believe in the hobbyDB mission and are now happy to be part of it as shareholders! Oh, and stay tuned to the hobbyDB blog because on Friday we’re featuring some of our amazing users and their even more amazing collections!

If you’re still thinking about whether owning a piece of hobbyDB and our other sites would be right for you, don’t take our word for it! Get to know some of our newest shareholders from the industry and see what some of them have to say…


Adam Goldberg
Creator & Producer of The Goldbergs

“When you own an 80’s toy collection that could fill the trailers of 10 life-size Optimus Primes, you start to get a little hazy on what items you have and what you still need. I love the hobbyDB concept because it’s perfect for helping me keep track by documenting my collection!”


Andy Goodman
Organizer of the Central Pennsylvania’s Collector Con (& many car shows)

“You have my support, just completed the process with a small investment- least I can do is give back a little to such a great resource that has helped me track my collection for free – having some 1200 pops now it is impossible to remember all that I have and don’t.”


Anita Smith
Founder of Chickluu’s Redline Forum (& Operator of our site The Toy Peddler)

“Because I truly believe hobbyDB is the future for collectors… IT IS!”


Arthur Ward
Book Author on Airfix & Founder of Collecting Friends

“I’m continuously impressed with what the hobbyDB team are doing for collectors like me and for the hobby overall.”


Bruce Pascal
Book Author on Hot Wheels

See Bruce’s Rose Rear Load Beach Bomb listed for sale on The Toy Peddler


Cletus Seldin
Youtube channels on Funko and other pop culture (and we hear the Guinness Book record holder for the largest Funko collection)

“I believe hobbyDB is going to be a worldwide sensation within the collecting community.”


Dov Kelemer
Co-founder of DKE Toys, the largest independent wholesale distributor of designer toys

Dov is helping to explain hobbyDB to cover hundreds of artists, designers, and boutique manufacturers that produce small, limited runs of designer toys and that are not documented anywhere today.


Derryl DePriest
Book Author on GI Joe and Star Wars figures & formerly VP Hasbro

“In the world of collectibles, data is everything – is the bedrock that enables cataloging, tracking, valuation, commerce, and sharing. I believe in the mission and strategy that the hobbyDB team is taking, and proud to be part of the ‘team’ (and I promise that, in time, I will get your my data from The Collectible GI Joe!).”


Fabio Di Pane Masi
Founder of Diecastlovers

“hobbyDB has been a fantastic home for our Diecastlovers community! Tante Grazie!”


Jennifer & Mark Millhollin
Organizer of the Official Hot Wheels conventions

See the Official Archive of The Hot Wheels Annuals Convention


Jim Cowen
CEO of Automodello & Diecasm

“hobbyDB is unparalleled as a model car database – it’s my go-to place for checking to see which cars have been modeled and which haven’t!”

See the Automodello Official Archive on hobbyDB


Jim Garbaczewski
Publisher Hot Wheels Newsletter

“I use hobbyDB mostly for research; there is a vast amount of knowledge by worldwide collectors on this site. I also use it to buy those hard to find pieces and to sell off my extras. It’s simple and easy.”

Jim’s last book that we helped publishing has arrived!


John Smoke
Owner Diecastmodelwholesale

“We are a great supporter of hobbyDB (and the Model Car Hall of Fame where we were inducted as the first Model Car Dealer of the Year in 2017), as it will be good to have a resource showing every model car ever made and also as a good addition to the online retail landscape with a viable alternative to the big ecommerce platforms.”


Mac Ragan
Designer of Johnny Lightning & GreenLight models

“As a toy-car designer (Johnny Lightning and GreenLight brands), collector (1:64 die-cast), and author, I find the international scope of hobbyDB invaluable. For me, the company provides a great research tool and I hope it continues to grow. I rely on it more and more every year!”


Manny Ruiz
CEO Nostalgiacon

“As the founder of a NostalgiaCon events platform that itself leverages all things retro and collectible, I both see the boundless opportunities for hobbyDB and for its owners (me!).”


Matt Oldweiler
Founder of Geepeekay

“I love what Alex and her team at hobbyDB are building for collectors. The creation of a flexible collection-management tool that is not only flexible and robust, but also easily integrated into my site, is something that has never existed before!”


Mike Horn
Founder of Palisades Toys  &  Inductee Pop Culture Hall of Fame

“hobbyDB is the tool that I had been waiting for! I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to become a shareholder as it brings value to all of the players in the collectibles space: IP Owners, Product Makers, and (most importantly) Fans! We’re just getting started here!”


Sergio Goldvarg
Founder Goldvarg Collection

“I have talked to the team over the last 5 years and they started to document my lifework from my first toy company in Argentina to my newest project. I am a big supporter of the hobbyDB project!”


Richard Gottlieb
Toy industry commentator & CEO of the Global Toy Group

Richard is on our Advisory Council, sits on the voting committee for the National Toy Hall of Fame and his company is a Community Supporter of our own Pop Culture Hall of Fame.


William TaylorDirector Auto-Archives  &  Publisher, Coterie-Press Motorcar Publishing

“We are working on plans to document Auto-Archives 300,000 objects on hobbyDB and Coterie-Press is hosting its official archive on the site giving us lots of extra exposure. I love the hobbyDB vision and am proud of being part of making it happen.”

See the Coterie Press Official Archive on hobbyDB (Auto-Archives is still work in progress as there are 400,000 objects to catalog!)


And here you can meet some of our Super Users that have become hobbyDB Owners.

Join us and learn more about the hobbyDB mission and vision at our Wefunder Profile.

Comments (3 Comments)
Bud Kalland

Great  crowd! I will continue investing through my store site here at hobbydb. It's all I can do to keep pace with the products of the diecast hobby. As each manufacture comes aboard, the search for information is easier. Thanks to all who are on board and for those yet to join in the future.


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Meet Tim Bruckner, DC Action Figure and Statue Artist

Tim Bruckner DC artistRecently hobbyDB brought you the stories of some of the designers of Matchbox cars from the early 2000s. You all thought it was fascinating to learn of the people and processes behind some of our favorite toys and collectibles. In that spirit, we’d like to introduce you to Tim Bruckner, an incredible sculptor and designer who spent decades creating action figures and statues for various DC entities and other companies. We’ll be telling you about his long, fascinating career over the next few weeks. You can get a peek at his work at his hobbyDB Showcase, where there are a few rare pieces for sale (and more will be added soon!).

Bruckner started with DC Direct in 1999, and worked for them for most of the last two decades. “Every element of a sculpture says something,” Bruckner said. “The expressions, the pose, the way the clothes flow or bend… they all tell a story, and it’s my job to interpret it perfectly. An action figure will be posed by the collector, but a statue has to get it just right.”

Tim Bruckner SupermanPerhaps the most mind blowing aspect of his creations is his ability to interpret different artists’ visions of a single character into a 3-D model. “Look at Batman as rendered by Frank Miller versus the same character from Alex Ross,” Bruckner said. “My job is to make sure the character represents the look, but also the tone of their interpretation. The pose and even facial expressions are usually provided by an art director.”

Tim Bruckner CatwomanTo some, that might not sound like there’s a lot of room for creativity, but that’s part of the challenge. “I sculpt and show it to them, and keep doing that until the client is happy,” he said. Depending on the artist or the art director, there might be a couple of back and forths with minor revisions, or there might be several go-rounds with major changes. “The earlier we can make and agree on changes, the better,” he said.

A look at the sheer number of Superman or Joker sculpts he has done over the years is revealing. While there are several obvious differences between the live-action, comic book, and animated versions of characters, the different versions in each of those categories are astonishing.

He has a remarkable ability to create dynamic poses that make still figures look like and feel they are in motion. Another one of his talents includes making characters appear to “float,” by barely having them touch the ground, such as his Catwoman “Pinup” figure.

Bruckner has another take on serving the “client,” however. Several years ago, he attended the San Diego Comic-Con and watched as people looked over displays of his work, discussing the fine details, perhaps not even realizing who he was. “I watched a couple talk about which statues they wanted to spend their hard-earned money on. They were having a serious conversation about the merits of these things, and I realized in a way, DC wasn’t my client… these people are.”

Tim Bruckner prototypes

Even Bruckner’s preproduction originals and hand-painted masters look finished.

Tim Bruckner AquamanThe prototype processes are actually quite different from how it works in the world of diecast vehicles. In addition to the original wax figure, Bruckner had to determine points of articulation, how to separate the figure into multiple, moldable pieces, and even hand-painted the prototypes. “With the advent of 3-D design, that skill set is evaporating,” he said. “Hopefully digital sculpting and hand carving can coexist.”

As you might imagine, he has accumulated quite a few of these pieces over the years. Too many to properly display and curate, so he is selling some of his collection. His collection on hobbyDB has a few dozen items up for sale so far, and hundreds more will be added soon.

In addition to DC Direct/DC Entertainment, he has also worked for other toy companies including Kenner, Hasbro, and Toybiz. In a departure from his most famous 3-D work, he has done a lot of graphic design including album covers for Ringo Starr and others. He’s written books on his work and some pulp fiction as well.

Tim Bruckner Ringo StarrHe’s retired from working on this sort of thing professionally, but still spends hours every day in his studio creating. “It’s not all that different, except I’m not on deadline anymore,” he said. “It’s an odd adjustment, but a good one.”

In our next installment, Bruckner will show us some of his favorite figures from his DC days as well as a deeper look into the process of creating an action figure from wax to finish. 

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Images on hobbyDB – the current Plan & Philosophy

We believe the more images the better for a research tool like hobbyDB!  Here are some ideas on how we would ideally like to show them (and as always please share your thoughts and feedback in the comments section!).

For Database Entries, we would like to have standard images for different Database Types.  So 2-dimensional items, like Postcards, would only have two standard images  –

Each type would have its own image standards.  For more 3-dimensional collectibles, such as Model Airplanes, there would be a few more standard images  –

Users would see these on the Search overview pages and scroll between them without having to go into the Gallery  –


Or do the same on the Database Item page.  Here we could also show the others as thumbnails as we have more space  –


And while we like the images to be as standard as possible (like the image on the left) — ideally with a white background — we would love to have users add 1,000s of artistic images (like the one on the right)!

If you like the Diorama photo, there are more images like it on this site!


In fact, we accept any images for the gallery, as there might be something of interest in each. Even a bad image might show a detail that other images in the gallery don’t have!  We are already considering to later enable voting on images so that the very best photos float to the top of Galleries.


It is for the above and other reasons that we generally don’t allow the deletion of photos; only images that are wrong for the database entry or that are small and have been added in a larger format are considered for deletion – just flag those.  We will eventually enable a rollback timeframe, say 60 minutes, to delete an image you uploaded so that you can correct a mistake.

Besides all this, there will also be Variant Details images (for more see this Blog post) and we plan similar galleries for Subjects and Showcases where you can show all or parts of your collection, and share images of your collecting adventures.

Comments (6 Comments)
Jay Comparoni

I like the idea of being able to delete my own pictures as I have found my pics to get better over time I would like my original pictures removed. I generally try to get the best picture but sometimes I have to redo them and would leave the first as a place holder until I get the better pic. Sometimes others get the better pic and the duplicate that is not of better quality should be removed. I have been in the process of getting a house ready and moving over the last few months so I have slowed down quite a bit but I am almost back to normal and ready to get my pics put in the database. Once my shop is done in about six months I will be back to getting everything imaged and uploaded.

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