The Cisitalia 202 Might be the most Beautiful Car at the Petersen


Italy is known for its many stunning automotive designs, so when one stands out above all the others, is must be exceptional. Consider this Cisitalia 202 Coupe, part of the Petersen Automotive Museum collection.

Most people have never heard of Consorzio Industriale Sportiva Italia, even by its shorter moniker Cisitalia. They started by building single sear race cars, and branded out to build limited production cars based on Fiat mechanicals with custom coachwork. In 1947, the company released the 202 Coupe, considered one of the most perfectly designed  cars of that or any other era. It was one of the first cars to cohesively combine the passenger compartment, trunk and mechanicals into a single integrated package instead of treating them as separate components.


The Pininfarina design was so successful that it was featured at the Museum of Modern Art’s first ever exhibit on automotive design in 1951. In fact, one remains as part of their permanent collection.

Prefect design does not necessarily equal sales success, however. Only 170 of these aluminum bodies masterpieces were produced before the company folded.


The maroon 202 shown here is part of the collection at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The Petersen is dedicated to the exploration and presentation of the automobile and its impact on American life and culture using Los Angeles as the prime example.

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Wheel Types, Baseplate Materials, Glass Color and other Details

hobbyDB recently added some new fields to our listings for several categories, such as Model Cars, to allow users to specify Baseplate Material, Baseplate Color, Glass Color, Wheel Type, and Wheel Color.

To some people this might sound obsessive, but to folks who collect certain brands like Hot Wheels, Playart, and Matchbox, these differences matter a lot. For example, Hot Wheels often releases the first few variants of a car with a metal baseplate, but later versions will switch to plastic.

For brands that have many well documented Wheel Types, we are constructing lists for you to pick from. Hot Wheels has its own page of over 30 different types, and similar lists are in the works soon for Matchbox, Majorette, and Playart.

The categories that now include these options are

  • Model Buses
  • Model Cars
  • Model Racing Cars
  • Model Trucks
  • Model Trailers & Caravans

If you are unsure of what to put, you can leave any of these fields blank.

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Diecast Customizers Add Style to hobbyDB

Who hasn’t thought about repainting a Hot Wheels car at some point, only to find it’s not as easy as it sounds? At hobbyDB, we have met a number of folks who have perfected the art of modifying their diecast vehicles to the point that even the experts do a double take when they see them.
We have vehicles from Chris Walker who works as “Night Stalker”. Luis Tanahara has worked in miniature and full-size for Boyd Coddington. Vince Mosely (AKA Vman) creates customs, notably custom drag buses, blown deliveries and Atomic Punk customs. There’s JSR Code3 Models who bases his work on Corgi Toys and other 1/43 scale donors. Chris Stangler Customs specializes in short run 1/64 scale models. Keep an eye out for more customizers soon!


We are happy to feature the work of some of these customizers on our site, both to catalog their work and to provide the opportunity for you to acquire them.


Custom Truck
vman 53 custom
Custom Drag Bus

Custon Crew Sledster

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RIP Christopher Lee, Dick Van Patten & Patrick Macnee!

Everyone at hobbyDB was saddened to hear of the passing of three classic actors over the last month; Christopher Lee, Dick Van Patten and Patrick Macnee. So we thought what better way to pay tribute than by sharing some collectibles!

Still the quintessential Dracula almost 40 years after his last appearance in the role, Christopher Lee, who passed away aged 93 on June 7, also appeared in the fan-favorite Lord of the Rings series and the 1974 James Bond film The Man With The Golden Gun. Here’s The James Bond Car Collection model of the Oleg Cassini Edition AMC Matador Coupe Lee drove (and flew…) as Bond villain Francisco Scaramanga, complete with figures of Lee and costar Herve Villechaize as Nick-Nack. The boot/trunk doesn’t open so we don’t know if Mary Goodnight (Britt Ekland) is in there too!

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Dick Van Patten, who passed away aged 86 on June 23, is still best remembered for the classic 1977-81 ABC TV series Eight is Enough where he played patriarch Tom Bradford, father to eight offspring. The show got off to a troubled start when Star Wars star Mark Hamill, set to play eldest son David, was severely injured in a car accident shortly before shooting began and had to be replaced by Grant Goodeve, but it rapidly became a family viewing favorite. We were quite surprised that we couldn’t find an Eight is Enough tie-in lunch box to post, but we did find this classic 1977 TV Guide print ad announcing the series premiere;



While he made hundreds of film and TV appearances in shows like Battelstar Galactica and movies like A View to a Kill, Patrick Macnee, 93, who passed away on June 25, will forever be remembered as British gentleman spy John Steed of The Avengers (1961-69) and The New Avengers (1976-7). Starting out as a raincoated spy sidekick to amateur detective Dr. David Keel (Ian Hendry), Steed was revamped into the star of the show when it was reimagined for its second season. Now outfitted in stylish suits and always with bowler hat and umbrella to hand, Steed was paired with a succession of groundbreaking buttkicking female partners, Catherine Gale (Honor Blackman), Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) and Tara King (Linda Thorson). Outrageous and surreal, The Avengers ended in 1969 with Steed and Tara blasted into space. They must have come back down to earth, however, since the show was revived seven years later as The New Avengers with Steed now assisted by Gareth Hunt as Mike Gambit and Joanna Lumley as Purdey.

The Avengers saw a plethora of tie-in collectibles produced, everything from paperback books to replicas of Emma Peel’s mod outfits. One of the best remembered, however, is the Corgi gift set featuring Steed’s Bentley, Emma’s Lotus Elan plus figures of the two and three of Steed’s umbrellas! The New Avengers would also spawn plenty of collectibles, including a model of Steed’s Jaguar XJ6 Coupe, one of the last Dinky Toys planned for release, of which only a few were produced, making it also one of the rarest

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Do you have any collectibles that tie in with any of these shows or actors, why not add them to hobbyDB? And if we don’t have a type category that covers whatever you have yet, just let us know in the comments!


Comments (1 Comment)

As long as we are discussing Mr. Macnee's long and vaerid career, we mustn't forget his appearance in The Return of The Man From UNCLE, and his non-appearance appearance in The Avengers movie.(as an aside, there is a Steed and Mrs. Peel comic book on the stands now, written by Grant Morrison).Whether it was bad or good, Mr. Macnee is always a class act, on screen and off.Happy Birthday, Mr. Macnee. You're needed. :-)

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Shoot Your Collectibles Like a Pro

I write about old (pre-1940) and antique (true centenarians) on my blog and since I’m a retired photographer, I thought I would share some techniques to help you take better pictures of your collectibles.

Photographic Lighting
Let’s take a look at a Hubley Pile Driver Truck I bought recently. I use tungsten quartz lights called “focusing spots”. Of course, any lighting will do. It’s usually better to use indirect sunlight, since this light will have less contrast, and record the bright areas (highlights) and the dark areas (shadows) much better than bright and direct sunlight.

I used 2 lights for the first set of photos to illustrate some basic principles for photographing a toy. The first light that was high and to the left of the toy, created the direction and depth to the toy. The second light (to the right and lower) added detail into the dark shadow areas. This allowed the camera to capture the overall detail of the toy best.  I also added a few silver reflectors to add some extra bright spots (highlights) to the toy.

Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-1Here is the first light (high and to the left). It’s called the “main light”, and it’s purpose is to create the 3D (depth) and mood for the photo.

Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-2This light was positioned to the right and lower. It’s purpose is to add light into the shadows. It is less bright than the “main light” so that the main light will still create the depth of the image. Also, in a photo, you want to only see the effect of one light, since we only have 1 sun.

Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-3This photo presents a silver reflector card. You can use aluminum foil glued to a piece of cardboard. In this case, I use the discarded silver foil on cardboard boards that come with smoked salmon or trout.  The silver cards add some extra bright areas or sparkle to the toy truck.

Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-4In this photo, you can see how I used 2 reflector cards. I also used a plastic coin-filled champagne bottle and an empty plastic nit container to support the reflectors.

Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-5You can see the double weights of the pile driver in this photo.
I also originally purchased this toy because it was unique. It’s a pile driver and originally it had a string attached to the top driver part.  The toy also came with smaller pointed “poles” made of wood. They would be placed under the driver, and as the driver was release by a cord, the heavy weights came down, and drove the piles (pointed poles) into the ground.

Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-6You can see the double cast wheel where the sting would wind around and pull up the 2 weights. Once the 2 weights hit the top, the weights could then fall (one actually released from the other). And hit the pile (wood pole). Doing this repeatedly would eventually force the pole into the ground.

Toy Photo Details
When you are photographing a toy, or anything, it’s important to present some of the details of the toy for the viewer or buyer to see. Also, it’s crucial to show the condition as honestly as possible.

Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-7This photo of the side of the truck shows you the detail of the panel sides that were  cut out separately (pressed steel) from the truck chassis.

Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-8This photo shows you the front of the pile driver where it fits into slots of the truck. Also shown are 5 truck roof lights that were cast into the detail.

Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-9This photo presents the nicely-detailed cast iron front fender and grill of the truck.Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-10A close-up of the side of the truck

In 1965, this nice toy sold at the suggested retail price of $3.98. When you look at the nice details, the components, and the time that it would take to assemble the toy, it certainly was well worth the price at the time. Good photography will increase your chance of getting a good price for your collectibles (or enjoy showing it to others online).

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