Autographs Posts

hobbyDB to Expand its Autographed Item Database


When it comes to adding autographed items to hobbyDB, you, the hDB faithful, were strongly in favor. 

We started by adding easy ones. For example signed Funko items with their own series, stickers and quantities from trusted distributors and partners such as 7 Bucks A Pop and ToyZilla as these are effectively products in their own right.

Now we’ve begun to introduce a wider variety of signed items. And have some other fun features arriving soon.

Categorizing Signed Items

Larry WoodAll autographed items signed by the same person, will be found in the database as a Subvariant of its original Funko item. So, for example, all signed copies of Pop! Clark Griswold #242 signed by Chevy Chase will be assigned to the same database entry, regardless if they had been signed in red or white pen or on the top or the front and named Clark Griswold (Signed by Chevy Chase).

Autographed items aren’t reserved just for Funko. For example, here is a Hot Wheels’ Turbine Time signed by Larry Wood.

Only logical signatures will be accepted. By that, we mean items autographed by actors, designers and artists, or anyone specifically related to that item. In this instance, probably only Chevy Chase. If you have this item signed by anybody else, we will not be able to accommodate it at the moment (but have some plans for later). We do this to help limit the number of these new Signature Subvariants to one or two per item.

Coming Soon

We will be adding a new Subject field on each database entry which we’ll call “Signed By.” This will allow users to find all items (books, comics, film posters etc) autographed by a specific person, in addition to only signed items for sale in the hobbyDB Marketplace.

Once there are a few hundred of these in the system, we will create a unique Signature Variant option for each item. See the mock-up here.


That way you can easily see if there are Signature Variants and if you don’t care for them you don’t have to see them.

You Can Help

This is a massive undertaking and we could always use more help. If becoming a part of the team is of interest to you, let us know by messaging us at or by clicking the green Contact hobbyDB button on the right side of every page.


Making the Grade: The Ins and Outs of Collectibles Grading Services

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

The condition of a collectible is one of the most hotly debated and important factors in determining its value. What constitutes “mint” versus “near mint” and everything below is a matter of opinion, but your opinion might be vastly influenced by whether you are buying or selling. What one person considers “mint” may have many very tiny, but still important imperfections that would upset a buyer who paid full price. The opinion of an impartial third party can be very useful in such cases. Of course, you may also want to have high-ticket items in your collection graded for insurance purposes.

skating judgesThe tough part comes with newer items that are designated as collectible right from the factory. Collectors should expect a perfect item in these cases, but even in a perfect world, a tiny bit of wear and imperfection is normal. How much and what kind of wear is acceptable becomes the sticking point.

Collectibles grading services can take some of the conflict out of the mix by attaching their unbiased expert opinion to an item.

We did a recent article outlining some of the terms people use to list specifiic imperfections on packaging, but that’s only part of the package in grading. An honest accounting of flaws big or little is crucial for the buyer to determine how much they are willing to spend. For high end items such as vintage comic books or extremely rare variants of action figures or diecast cars, it can make sense to have a professional grading service chime in with their opinion.

In most cases, you will need to send the item to the company, so there is a tiny bit of risk, although the packages should be insured both ways. Some companies may offer on the spot appraisals as well, even setting up at collector conventions and such.

Authenticity is part of the game in collectible appraisals. For an item that is no longer sealed, there’s all kind of possibility for fraud, including faked variants, repairs, or reproduction elements. Some grading services won’t offer grades on such things because the company’s reputation is on the line with each assessment they perform. With a grade from a reputable service and a price guide in hand, a collector should have a good sense of an item’s value.

grading diecast

CGA offers several different grading services including diecast.

CGA, Collectible Grading Authority, is one of the most prominent services in the business. CGA actually has four separate divisions, for grading Action figures, collectible dolls, video game equipment, and diecast. For each of these services, you ship the item to them, insured, and they will grade it in the flesh.

As you may have figured out, this is not free, so this kind of service is not for $5 Hot Wheels cars or $10 action figures. CGA does offer different types of authentication and grading, such as for new items that are easily documented, or vintage items that may have some provenance. CGA can also assess hand-buillt prototypes, pre-production loose toys, and other oddities.

grey flannel auctions grading

Grey Flannel Auctions offers a free valuation service for sports memorabilia.

For vintage sports equipment and uniforms, Grey Flannel Auctions offers an interesting new service. GFA  is a leading consignment auction house for such items and have earned a reputation for their honest assessment of items up for sale. They recently teamed up with, a daily blog about sports uniforms, to offer an appraisal service for sports memorabilia. It’s not technically a grading service, but instead an overall assessment of the value in their expert opinion. Sports gear is a collectible corner where wear and tear and repairs can actually make a game-used item more interesting and/or valuable if it’s an important piece. Best of all, there’s no charge or obligation, although if the item is perceived to be worth less than $250, they will not do an appraisal. You can learn more here.

grading comics

CGC, Certified Guaranty Company can grade your vintage comics or magazines.

For other specific collectibles, there are dedicated services available (if we are missing a service let us know and we will add it!).

Asian Antics





Comic Books

(Where “F,” Fine, outranks “A,” Average!)


Trading Cards

Video Games


In each case, you’ll want to do some research to make sure these companies have a reputation for honest respected grading, and also for taking care of your valuable collectibles while in their possessions. In other words, make sure your grading service makes the grade as well.

If you’ve used any another collectibles grading companies, let us know in the comments.