Partnerships Posts

Auto-Archives To Host Digital Library at hobbyDB

auto archives library

If you’re a car nut, you’ve probably visited a number of automotive museums. But have you ever been to an automotive library? If you haven’t, you need to visit Auto-Archives, in Denver, Colorado.

auto archives library“Our mission is to preserve and document the rich history of the automobile, and provide both a physical and virtual resource for the study of the past, present, and future of the automobile, in all its forms,” said William Taylor, President of Auto-Archives. “We hope to inspire, enable and support the advancement of automotive studies for people interested in an industry that has, in the past one hundred years, changed the habits of modern society.”

The physical archive of literature will reside at their library location, while a digital database will be hosted at hobbyDB. “By hosting the archive on hobbyDB, we can link the contents of the library to their cars, races, teams, drivers, sponsors, designer or  engineer in our database,” said Christian Braun of hobbyDB. “We were excited to hear about their mission, which is very similar to our aim to document everything collectible. So in addition to our partnership, hobbyDB will donate 10% of our net income from the sale of automotive literature to Auto-Archives.” Eventually, this will mean the addition of 250,000 entries to the database. Combining the actual collection and the digital reference will result in any automobile enthusiast’s dream.

To further the partnership, Christian is joining the Auto-Archives Board and William has joined hobbyDB’s Advisory Board.

Besides books about anything auto-related, they are also looking for factory brochures, manuals, event programs, and back issues of car magazines. “Ideally we want to have at least two copies of everything,” said William. “One in very nice condition for preservation, and one for visitors to browse.” Eventually, everything in the library will also be digitized for anyone to browse or read on hobbyDB.

Auto-Archives is designed to be a living collection. Plans include a new, custom-built, climate-controlled building (the archive is is currently housed within the offices of leading automotive publisher Coterie Press). The building will house a Museum, Library, Boutique, Coffee Shop, Reading Room, Art Gallery, and both Movie & Media Rooms, as well as a Photo Library with copying and printing services. The new facility will be open to all automotive journalists, car clubs, researchers and fans, to view the collection, research using the archive, or simply ‘hang-out’ with like-minded people.
auto archives library

Auto-Archives is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, which means if you donate an item to them, you can declare it as a tax write-off. To learn how you can donate your automotive literature to Auto-Archives, you can visit their website. You’ll find lists of what they currently own, specific items they are looking for, and more. 

Also, if you’re an automotive publisher, if you donate a sample of your back catalog to the Auto-Archives, hobbyDB will create a digital official archive for your publishing history as well! Find out more here.

hobbyDB Collectibles Database Zooms Past 200,000 Entries

The collection just keeps growing at hobbyDB! Our database of anything and everything collectible just blew past the 200,000 item mark this past week, with the addition of the Minichamps James Bond Mustang Mach 1. The milestone came and went so quickly we barely had time to stop and notice! It took 13 months to get the first 100,000 entries in the database and just five months to double that number. At that rate, we’ll reach the million mark in the next year or two! We couldn’t have done it without all of you!

James Bond Minichamps Mustang

That 200,000 figure breaks down to over 178,000 unique Items, and over 34,000 Subject listings. In our collectibles database, an “Item” is an individual collectible you can own, such as a single Hot Wheels car or a Captain America action figure. A “Subject” is a topic or person or thing that can be related to several items, such as Elvis Presley, or Disney. Together, they allow our information to be cross-referenced by users, so they can search for a particular brand of toy like Corgi, or for anything related to a particular subject, such as The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine. (And yes, there is a Corgi version of that sub!)

So many of you helped us to get this far… There are now over 11,000 Users on hobbyDB,  adding entries, editing information, buying, and selling (which is how we keep the lights on). The number of registered users more than doubled over the last five months as well. Over 200 of you have signed on as Curators, volunteering to either help monitor specific pages such as the page for John Wayne or the New York Yankees or to check new items to make sure they are entered as correctly as possible.

hobbydb 200,000 items

Brand partnerships have been a big part of hobbyDB’s rapid growth… several companies have come on board to host their official archives with hobbyDB ranging from vinyl art toys (Kidrobot) to diecast model cars (Kess) to real cars (The Shelby American Collection). The beauty of these relationships is that we get complete, accurate information along with frequent updates and additions. (You even get to preview upcoming prototypes such as this upcoming Eagle Challenger Indy car from Automodello, straight from the horse’s mouth!) 

We’ve also arranged to include data from collector databases such as Hugada’s list of over 60,000 video games and South Texas Diecast’s giant list of Hot Wheels. By combining such archives in one place, we multiply the power of these lists. For example, we can cross reference items of interest to both groups, such as the Nintendo Mario World series of Hot Wheels cars. But even with these massive contributions, we still rely on individual users to fill in missing items and provide updates. It’s like an extension of Wikipedia with a serious concentration on collecting.

At the rate we’re growing, you should be hearing about our 300,000th catalog item in the hobbyDB database before too long. In fact, we’ve received so much information from museums, archives and individuals that we need help sorting it all! We’re looking for volunteers with good editorial skills to join the team and help us add data to the catalog. If you’re interested, let us know (You can hit the chat button in the lower right corner of the screen to reach us)!

hobbyDB’s Brand Partnerships Help Support Collectible Brands

hobbyDB Supports Collectible Brands!Everybody needs a little support now and again, and the manufacturers who make our favorite models are no exception. Margins are getting smaller, raw materials, production costs and labor more expensive, even in China. The cost of designing, tooling, manufacturing and marketing new models have never been higher.

Like all you other collectors out there, we at hobbyDB want to make sure that these companies are around to keep making great product for a very long time yet. So we sat down to think about how we could do our part to help make sure that was the case. And we came up with the idea of Brand Partnerships.

Brand Partnerships with hobbyDB help us to help brands. Here’s how it works: manufacturers provide us with as much data as they can about their back catalog, current and future production. Ideally, they give us details and images of every single thing they’ve ever produced, including prototypes, pre-production models, tie-in merchandise… everything! We then use that to create their official archive on hobbyDB, processing and uploading the data. They then link to that official archive from their own official sites and promote it on their social media.

In return, whenever one of their products is sold on the hobbyDB marketplace (or on our sister site Scoomer), they get a cut of our fee on the sale, giving them a new income stream to generate revenue that they can plow back into making more great collectibles! We do want to make sure that everyone is clear that this doesn’t mean you’ll be paying more for anything you buy. As you know, hobbyDB takes a fee on every transaction. That’s the money we use to keep the site running and keep improving it (and it’s less than eBay takes!). We’re giving the the brands a slice of the cut we already take, not adding anything else on top.

We think this will be particularly helpful to smaller manufacturers but it’s by no means limited to them. We’ve already partnered with brands like Automodello, Kess and Kidrobot, as well as customizers like Brew City, Chris Stangler and Liberty Promotions. There are a lot more in the pipeline too, including some much bigger brands.

So if you’re a brand, artist or customizer of any size and you’re interested, get in touch!

CarWarz joins hobbyDB to Put New Spin on Hot Wheels Collecting

Hot Wheels Carwarz track

At hobbyDB, we’re always looking for other resources that share our passion to help document our hobby and add gobs of fun to it at the same time. We recently became friends with Jeff Lacroix, who started ‘CarWarz Hot Wheels Review’ in Dec 2015. “I wanted to create a video database of my collection, and make it searchable with the titles containing all collector information, he said. “We’re just approaching 1000 videos, and still have lots to go.”

Of greatest interest to us at hobbyDB would be his 360 degree “Hot Wheels Review” videos. The videos aren’t critical reviews that rate the cars… you can do that for yourself. Instead, they offer a chance to get a good look at a model from all angles, particularly useful on rare variants. He has about 1,000 of them up and is adding more. How much do we like these? We’ll be adding external links to our Hot Wheels listings for cars when there is a video available as an extra resource. See an example of how it works on hobbyDB here. You’ll find the link to the video in the external links section at the bottom of the page. 

Carwarz Hot Wheels Olds 442

Jeff has other great plans for his videos. “I also created the 12 CarWarz Raceway to do some racing videos as well.” (Note the HD camera at the finish line in the photo at the top of this page.) So, look for us to post some of that action soon as well. 

On another note, his CarWarz Modbogging channel gets about 1.5 million views a month. So if you like real vehicles too, especially ones caked in mud, well, this is for you. Enjoy!