Diecast – There’s more to it than you think…

I remember setting up and taking the first few 1:64 scale diecast pictures that I shot back in 2009. My desk was by a window in my office. I would shoot pictures on a piece of white printer paper only when the sun was shining. At that time, it was all that I had. We had an old Polaroid ‘point-and-shoot’ that we used as a family camera – I would borrow it and burn through countless AA batteries…

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I began participating on a few forums and was floored by some of the images I was seeing from others. Quickly, I upgraded my setup. I have always been interested in the whole DIY (Do It Yourself) thing so I decided to build myself a lightbox. Halfway through 2010, I purchased my first DSLR and tripod. This enabled me to do many more things than what the trusty old Polaroid was capable of. I could go on and on about equipment and lighting setups but let’s talk about the subject. Diecast.

I started collecting redlines back around the same time I started the whole photography thing. History has always been an interest of mine and that led me to think….very few of my redlines are in ‘mint’ condition, but each one has a story to tell.

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At one time they were new. Brilliant. Perfect. Hanging on the pegs at the local store, various hues shining bright in all their glory. Since then, days and days of play have taken their toll. Their magnificence is now long gone. ‘Beaters’. ‘Junkers’. ‘Fillers’. ‘Perfect for restoration’. These once loved toys are now referred to as many different names. The paint may be scratched, faded, and dull. The axles are bent and a wheel or two may be missing. The beauty – long faded away – but yet these toys are survivors.

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The damage they wear is unique to their history, similar to how a scar is to you. That scar happened in a specific place and time. It can be linked to an event. When you look down on that blemish you tend  to remember what you were doing and where you were when you got it. These toys have a similar story to tell, yet they have no voice. In their silence, all they can do is lend themselves to our imaginations and ask for us to interpret their exclusive story in any way we’d like.

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Photography has taught me to see everyday things in a whole different way. I challenge you to take a minute and really look at your collection. If you are fortunate enough to still have some cars from your childhood, step back and remember those moments and listen. I bet quiet a few of them have a story to tell.

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How Do They Make Those Wonderful Toys?

Ever wonder how your favorite diecast vehicles are made? Well, here’s how Matchbox did it over 50 years ago.

These two short films come from the Pathé archives, a treasure trove of amazing old clips. See how many of these cars t you can recognize! (The Jaguar XKE is featured prominently.)  The idea that the prototype is built 5 times the final size and scaled down with a pantograph is mind-blowing!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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Inside the World of Super Collector Andy Goodman

If you’ve ever wanted to see what a collection of 30,000 diecast models looks like, you can visit Andy Goodman. Andy is a super collector of all kinds and scales of diecast vehicles, specializing in Jada and Hot Wheels, cars, limiting himself primarily to cars based on real world prototypes. He’s also a member of the hobbyDB Advisory Board, a group of experts on various subjects who help steer the direction of our site and keep us on top of the latest developments in the collectible world. hobbyDB caught up with him recently at SuperToyCon this past summer in Las Vegas.

He recently opened his Mechanicsburg, PA home to the folks at Jalopnik for a tour of the garage and basement and other nooks and crannies where the diecast can be found. The sheer scale of his collection and his friendly demeanor are amazing.

Andy Goodman, Jada ahd Hot Wheels Collector

Screenshot courtesy of jalopnik.com

Andy was the founder of modelpackrat.com, but his extremely organized collection suggests anything but a hoarding rodent. And even with over 30,000 cars in his collection, he shows restraint. In the interview he describes finding a diecast model he likes at a store, but then leaving it behind because he would rather not branch into another brand or series at the moment. A man’s gotta know his limits, right? Nontheless, over 1,000 square feet of his house, including quite a bit of the garage is devoted to the collection.

Read more and watch the video on Jalopnik.

Comments (1 Comment)
gerard weitz

Hello Andy,

My name is Gerard Weitz, and like you, I have always had a thing for cars. As a child, money was tight, and I had a small collection of Matchbox and Hot Wheels, along with a bunch of model cars. I have most of my originals some 50 years later. I wanted to ask you about "Muscle Machines" in particular, as you seem to have all of them ever produced. Do you have, or know of a 56 Pontiac Safari in black? I am certain that I saw one in either Wal-Mart or Target a while back. I have a life long friend and we are both into Pontiacs, real and/or die cast. He thinks that I dreamed this up. We both have silver and teal colored 56 Safari's by Muscle Machines. Any info would be greatly appreciated. I enjoyed the youtube video of your collection! 

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See More of What You Want, Less of What You Don’t

At hobbyDB, we see super-powers as kinda our thing, which is why we’ve been working hard to perfect the power of laser-focused search to better navigate through our galaxy of collectibles. These features are brand new, so you may want to tinker around with them first to get the hang of things.

 

Exclusive Keywords

If I wanted to look at Porsches, but don’t want to be bothered with those pesky Boxsters, I can put a minus in front of keywords I want to leave out of the search. For example, if I type

My results will show ALL Hot Wheels Porsches except Porsche Boxsters. Wahoo!

Search Filters

Maybe you have an affinity for black VW Drag Buses from Phil’s Garage? Perhaps you only want to see Boeing Model Aircrafts from the Herpa Wings series in one place? No problem!

Search filters allow you to find collectibles using any combination of model characteristics. Below is a small example – don’t worry, we have a ton of more options for you to play with, as well as detailed data points to easily locate any collectibles. Start browsing now!

search filter

 

Happy collecting,

Patrick & the hobbyDB team

Still not clear on how the new features work? Shoot us an email at contact@hobbydb.com for a further demonstration.

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Join the Curation Nation

Ever feel like you’re destined to do more? We do.

Believe it or not, hobbyDB relies on the generosity of Curators to keep our numerous catalog items clean from misinformation that could be lurking around every query.

Curators are users with special powers that we trust to edit specific information on the site. You can curate something as specific as an individual catalog item. But you can go beyond just one item, you can even curate a subject of anything from as small as the Personal Happiness Happy Labbits vinyl toy seriesor as expansive as all the pieces done by Hot Wheels designer Larry Wood. You can even curate a specific casting and its variants. For example, Robinator is the Curator of the Dairy Delivery…and all 108 variants of that casting.

As an added bonus, you get a special badge AND your avatar is on the item page you curate… so everybody knows who’s boss.

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Why join the Curation Nation you ask?

  1. Revel in the pride of keeping your favorite collectible page clean and spiffy.
  2. Whatever you choose to curate will be a handy resource used by researchers and collectors alike.
  3. Most importantly, you don’t have to be an expert…just somebody with a favorite subject.

All you have to do is think about what exactly you would like to curate, and tell us via email at contact@hobbydb.com.

 

Already a Curator? Update your avatar with a photo of yourself or your collection for a chance to be featured on our dedicated Hot Wheels Curator Page going live later this week. Selfies are acceptable!

Recruit your buddies to become Curators and form an elite misinformation-fighting task force designed to tackle the most in-depth subjects on hobbyDB (Mercedes-Benz, perhaps?). Multiple members can curate a single subject, and a single member can curate as many pages as they’d like.

 

Reminder: We will be in Los Angeles with Rob Graves (aka Robinator) for the National Hot Wheel’s Convention from September 30th – October 4th. If you’re in the area, we’d love to see you there!

 

Happy Collecting,

Patrick & the hobbyDB team

any questions about new features, Curator abilities, or the National Hot Wheel’s Convention – feel free to email contact@hobbydb.com for personalized help.

 

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