Video Games Posts

A Collection of 10 of the World’s Largest Collections

Ron Ruelle

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

One comment we at hobbyDB hear a lot is “do you get to play with toys all day?” (The answer, sadly is no.) Another is “you must have the world’s largest collections of (Hot Wheels, Funko Pops, video games, etc.)” Also, no, but most of us do have a pretty good collection of something or another. We all geek out about some kind of collectible culture here. It’s sort of a requirement to be part of the hobbyDB project.

Which got us to thinking… who does have the world’s largest collection of bobblehead dolls? Or diecast cars? Or baseball cards? Or Barbie dolls? So, we did a little digging. Most of these figures have been verified by some organization, such as the Guinness Book of World Records, and exact numbers might not be up to the minute, as one trip to the toy store can add several more to the totals.

The hobbyDB database has a pretty good start documenting some of these (and some of the most complete data on the internet on others), but we are always looking for collectors and experts to contribute their knowledge to make it even more complete. If you’re interested in getting involved, let us know! We also are running a WeFunder campaign if you want to really get involved!

bobblehead hall of fameBobbleheads, Nodders, Wobblers – Just over a year ago (February 1, 2019), The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum opened its doors, a project started by friends Phil Sklar and Brad Novak of Milwaukee. They have collected over 10,000 bobbleheads, wobblers, and nodders, dating back to some of the earliest sports models from the 1960s. While most of the collection is on display at their gallery, they often loan out part of the exhibit for special events. If a particular team is visiting the Milwaukee Brewers for a baseball series, figures related to that team might be on display at the ballpark.

As far as individual collectors with a focus, Philip Darling is credited by Guinness as having the largest gathering of sports-related bobbleheads, with over 2,300 of them, with an emphasis on hockey.

largest model car collectionDiecast VehiclesNabil Karam of Beirut, Lebanon, has a documented collection of over 37,000 diecast model cars of all brands and scales (37,777 at most recent count). Many of them are on display in some 400 painstakingly assembled dioramas. He says he has a weakness for Porsches, so it’s likely he has the largest collection of models of just that marque.

As far as single brands go, Mike Zarnock, well known among diecast fans, is said to have the world record for the largest Hot Wheels collection. But at an estimated 20,000, it’s just that… an estimate (a really big one though). He is verified as having the collection of the most models of different cars, at 8,128 (and if he’s been to the store in the last few days, he’s probably picked up a few more). The hobbyDB database shows over 40,000 distinct Hot Wheels variants, so Zarnock is halfway there! And if you have a collection of your own, you can utilize the hobbyDB tools to organize, manage, and track it.

worlds largest hot wheels collection

 

worlds largest funko pop collectionFunko PopsPop! figures have only been around a handful of years, so the largest collection isn’t as massive as some of the older toys. Nonetheless, Paul Scardino of Virginia had amassed a documented 4,475 of them by the end of 2018. Considering how many have been released since, that number has probably expanded.

If you’re really into Pop! figures, check out poppriceguide.com, part of the hobbyDB family. As the name suggests, it’s probably the most complete Pop! reference online, and has current, accurate pricing information.

worlds largest lego collectionLego sets – To be technical, this record also includes some other brands of building toys… Frank Smoes of Melbourne, Australia has 3,837 complete plastic building sets. He started building his collection in 1980 and estimates there are over 1.2 million bricks and at least 8,000 Minifigures in the collection.

The most complete collection of just Lego products is likely the vault at Lego’s headquarters in Denmark. They have preserved at least one copy of virtually every set ever released by the company, locked safely away for preservation (though it would be fun to play with some of those).

Video Games – Antonio Monteiro of Richmond Virginia has 20,139 games in his home. Not just the games, of course, where’s the fun in that? He also has over 100 consoles and computers to actually play the games on. Guinness said the collection was so big it took eight days to count before they verified the record.

world's largest license platesLicense Plates – Peter and Tamas Kenyeres of Hungary have amassed a collection of 11,345 license plates over the years. The oldest plate in their collection is from Austro-Hungarian Empire (1900). They also somehow acquired a plate that just says “B7,” which was a Hungarian minister’s plate from 1945 to 1948. 

But wait… Paul Franke of San Diego has since compiled a collection of over 22,000 plates, twice the size of theirs… but it hasn’t been verified by Guinness yet. It’s possible someone reading this right now have a bigger collection than that. If so, please contact us!

Since hobbyDB is located in a state with one of the most iconic license plates, this is a topic dear to our hearts!

worlds largest funko james bond collectionJames  Bond MemorabiliaNick Bennett of Leigh, Lancashire, UK, has a collection of all things Bond-related totaling 12,463 gadgets and other goodies at last count. Not just toys and action figures, but actual movie props in some cases. And yes, he keeps them in a secret lair in his basement.

hobbyDB is putting together the world’s largest collection of, well, collectibles, at least the largest online. Even better, because we include everything collectible, we can cross-reference any collectible that’s related to another by even the most obscure strand. The examples above are some areas where we have a pretty good start on documenting everything, but it’s collectors like you who help us complete the set. So, if you see some gaps in the hobbyDB project, please help fill them in for us.

Soon, we’ll look at some other giant collections, in areas where we really could use an expert or several to grace us with their knowledge and jump-start those parts of the database.

If you want to be a bigger part of the hobbyDB family, here’s your chance… Learn more at our Wefunder profile. We thank you!

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!

hobbyDB Becomes Portal Master for Skylanders Franchise, Spyro

If you’re looking for us at hobbyDB, you might want to begin your search among the floating islands of Skyland.

SkylandersThe official toys-to-life video game franchise Skylanders is the latest addition to hobbyDB. And thanks to new curator (i.e. Portal Master) XyberDAWG, the hobbyDB catalog now boasts close to 600 Skylanders collectibles.

The franchise originally took to the consoles in the late 1990s, introducing us to the affable Spyro the Dragon. After 10 years and 11 games, Spyro spawned the Skylanders spinoff, which expanded its universe with six more games. In the process, Skylanders and its parent company Activision have generated billions of dollars from the sales of games, collectibles and television.

Check out the Skylanders catalog on hobbyDB by clicking here.

Skylanders

Interested in joining forces with hobbyDB to take charge of our collectible destiny? Learn more at our wefunder profile.

Mint Super Mario Bros. Sells for Record $100,000

Super Mario Bros., the video game that revolutionized the industry, has made history yet again.

super mario bros screen 2Back in 2017, a mint Super Mario Bros game sold for $30,000 at auction. At the time, this was one of the most valuable video games ever seen on the market. Even though NES copies of Super Mario Bros. are extraordinarily easy to find, its historical significance makes mint condition copies ludicrously valuable. But alas, while we were dazzled by this last mint Super Mario Bros. in the spotlight, another copy of the game has been waiting to knock our socks off all over again.

super mario bros cartridgeBehold, the $100,150 mint Super Mario Bros for the NES.

As the first video game to ever be sold for over $100,000, this mint Super Mario Bros. holds the record for most valuable video game ever made. So what makes this copy of Super Mario Bros. over three times as valuable as the last mint NES Mario to be auctioned off? Turns out, it’s all thanks to a tiny sticker.

When the Nintendo Entertainment System was being market tested in select cities between 1985 and 1986, original black box NES titles were sealed by a small Nintendo sticker. The sticker seal was scratched for traditional shrink wrapping, so sealed games from this era are practically unicorns. In fact, this mint Super Mario Bros. may be the only sticker sealed copy that has been preserved for all these 30+ years.

super mario bros stickers

These little stickers are what set this particular game cartridge aside from all other copies!

The seller, who is only known by his online alias “Bronty,” shared his story of acquiring this holy grail with Ars Technica. When he acquired the game back in 2012, collectors estimated its value to be around $2,000. Even though Bronty has no regrets about selling the game, he estimates its value will continue to skyrocket in the coming years.

It’s easy to draw parallels to Action Comics #1 here. Both are considered monumentally valuable for their vintage and their significance to pop culture. The difference, however, is that loose copies of Super Mario Bros. can still be found for a few dollars on second-hand markets. Meanwhile, even a damaged copy of Action Comics #1 can fetch thousands of dollars at auction. If anything, this proves how exciting it is to be a retro video game collector nowadays.

super mario bros screenThere’s very little precedent for how the value of video game holy grails will evolve. This mint Super Mario Bros. may be worth six figures today, but it could potentially jump to millions if it is well kept for another decade or two. Heck, maybe other “common” video games will eventually skyrocket in value. With the huge jumps we’ve already seen with mint Super Mario Bros. copies, only time will tell how the market will evolve.
super mario bros cartridge 2In the meantime, stories like this remind us of the immense historical value that physical video games hold. As the industry continues to shift to digital storefronts and distribution, physical video games like this are relics that can be preserved for future generations. While servers for our favorite video games will eventually be shut down, physical video games will last for as long as we’re willing to care for them.

Even if our video game collections aren’t nearly as valuable as this game, they are still our expressions of love for this slice of pop culture. And the truth of the matter is, you can’t put a price tag on the memories housed within our favorite video games. I mean, I wouldn’t object to making six figures off my favorite titles, but in the meantime, most collectors are content admiring the great gameplay and gorgeous box art. Any potential fortune made after that is just a pleasant surprise.

Many Milestone Video Game Anniversaries Came In 2017

This article originally appeared on collectorsjournal.com. We are reposting it with the gracious permission of the author.


By Trenton Schipper

2017 saw the anniversaries of some classic (and some newer) video games. Some of these games are a little better known than others. Some of them might not be known at all to newer generations of gamers. My apologies if I leave some of your favorites out, as that was certainly not my intent. However, my space is somewhat limited so I’ll touch on some of the bigger names.

North American Ms. Pac-Man arcade cabinet from 1982.

Starting out the year we had the original Ms. Pac-Man arcade game released in 1982 that turned 35. While this game is a little before my time, (I wasn’t born until 8 years later) I have still spent a lot of time playing it. In 2009 Game Informer Magazine did a “Top 200 Games of All Time” with Ms. Pac-Man taking the number 10 spot.

Ms. Pac-Man was actually an early attempt to get more women to play arcade games. It was thought that the non-violence of the game is what attracted women to the original Pac-Man. Even though Pac-Man is one of the highest-grossing American arcade games of all time, Ms. Pac-Man still held her own. The game had 125,000 arcade cabinets and only 5 short years after the release it had brought in over $1.2 billion in quarters. Estimates suggest this is the fourth highest-selling arcade game of that time. While not everyone caught on to the Pac-Man craze, many did. It even inspired a Pac-Man themed wedding of a Des Moines, Iowa couple in 1982. Pac-Man even went on to have the first cartoon based on a video game. It was a short-lived show with Pac-Man and his wife (with a little bit of a restyle) as well as Pac-Baby, the ghosts and several new characters. It ran on ABC but only ran for two seasons. The original arcade-style game can be found on eBay for between $2,000 and $3,000.

mario kart 64It’s been 20 years since the release of Mario Kart 64. While it came out in Japan in December of 1996, its American release date is still considered to be January 1997. This game was the second in the Mario Kart series. Mario Kart 64 also included 4-player support, where Super Mario Kart only allowed for 2. It has since been released on the Nintendo Wii console (January 2007), and on the Nintendo Wii U console (December 2016). Along with Mario Kart 64, the original Super Mario Kart celebrated its 25th anniversary. This game also got a re-release on the Wii console (2009), and the Wii U (2013).

The third installment in the Tekken series, simply named Tekken 3, celebrated its 20th anniversary. Tekken 3 was originally released in arcades in March of 1997, but also got a release on the original PlayStation in 1998, and another release in 2005 as part of Tekken 5’s Arcarde History Mode. Tekken 3 is the second best-selling fighting game of all time with more than 8.5 million copies sold worldwide. Super Smash Bros. Brawl takes the top spot.  It also has the title of the fourth best-selling PlayStation game. Tekken 3 was the first game in the series to use the third axis, or simply put, allowed the player to sidestep.

wolfenstein pac man

Wolfenstein 3D Pac-Man level.

Wolfenstein 3D, turned 25 in May. The game was originally built to be fast and violent, unlike most other games of the time. It is widely considered the first game in the first-person genre, however, this is untrue. However, it is one of the first games to help the first-person shooter genre gain popularity. Known to some, Wolfenstein 3D actually contains a level based off of Pac-Man, featuring giant Pac-Man ghosts. Wolfenstein 3D is now able to be played through your internet browser for free, in case anyone reading this is a fan and wants to reminisce. Original copies of this game can be found online for between $45 and $85.

Metal Gear celebrated a milestone, turning an amazing 30 years old. While there are several sequels and prequel games, this is the anniversary of the original. The main character, Snake, is actually a combination of three people according to the games creator Hideo Kojima. Snake is a mashup of Snake Plissken, played by Kurt Russell, the body of Jean Claude Van-Damme, and the face of Christopher Walken. A very impressive lineup indeed. Metal Gear was made when 3D games were still a fairly new concept and the levels were originally built out of Legos.

The Legend of Zelda also celebrated its 30-year anniversary this year. Although it has had many games made since then on many difference consoles, the original Zelda was a bestseller for Nintendo, selling over 6.5 million copies. Zelda is now largely considered one of Nintendo’s most popular series. Chronologically speaking, the first Zelda game is one of the last. Zelda is actually left-handed in all of the games except one, the Nintendo Wii version of Twilight Princess. This was done because most people are right-handed, and the game is based off of the players’ motions. Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of The Legend of Zelda as well as the Donkey Kong and Super Mario Brothers franchises, made to game for players to focus on exploration and completion and not just on getting the highest score. This was a relatively new idea in video games at the time. A little known fact is that the late actor Robin Williams named his daughter after Princess Zelda and expressed interest in being the voice of Ganondorf if a film was ever made.

Another 30-year anniversary game is Street Fighter. Like its predecessors, it is also a highly lucrative game franchise for its company, Capcom.  Street Fighter is one of the highest-grossing video game franchises having sold over 40 million software units and is Capcom’s second-biggest franchise behind Resident Evil, and is their third best-selling software franchise behind Resident Evil and Monster Hunter.  The original release of Street Fighter machines actually features pressure-sensitive punch pads underneath the buttons, to determine the amount of pressure for light, medium or heavy punches or kicks.  The pads had a tendency to wear our quickly though and most people preferred the strategy of “if I smash the buttons as hard as possible it will be more effective in the game.” Believe it or not, the Street Fighter franchise is actually in the Guinness Book of World Records 8 times. Some of these include “Most Prolific Fighting Game Series,” “Longest Running Fighting Video Game Series” and “Best-Selling Coin-Operated Fighting Game.”

Halo soldierCelebrating its 10-year anniversary is Halo 3 (a personal favorite of mine).  Halo 3 is the third game in the series developed by Bungie.  To date, it has sold in excess of 14.5 million copies, making it the fifth best-selling Xbox 360 game of all time, the best-selling Xbox 360 exclusive title and the best-selling first person shooter aside from the Call of Duty game series.  It was also the best-selling video game of 2007 in the U.S. 

The sound designers of Halo 3 wanted to include as much content as possible, not just in terms of music but also in terms of dialogue.  This led them to record more than 35,000 lines of dialogue for Halo 3. Right along with Halo 3, Halo 4 is celebrating its fifth anniversary. Although titled Halo 4, it is actually the seventh installment in the Halo game series. You can buy either game disc on Xbox 360 for about $10-$20 or you can download it for $19.99.  

Another game to celebrate 25 years is Mortal Kombat. Very similar to the Tekken franchise, Mortal Kombat (yes Kombat with a K) is a fantasy-horror fighting game.  The owners of the rights to the game have changed several times but the franchise remains strong.  Not only is it a video game series but it has also been made into films (both live-action and animated), a TV series, a comic book series, a card game, and a live-action tour.  It is considered one of the most successful fighting franchises and has generated over $5 billion in revenue, becoming one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.  Unlike most games, Mortal Kombat was created by just four people in the span of just 10 months.  For the first 6 months, the game had no title as the four designers couldn’t agree on a title that they all liked.  

pongCelebrating an amazing 45 years is one of the earliest arcade video games, Pong. It didn’t take long for Pong to become a success and was the first commercially successful video game, helping to establish the industry. The original prototype cabinet for Pong was very primitive. It used a black and white TV inside a wooden cabinet. Wires were then soldered to complete the needed circuits.  The coin mechanism was actually taken from a laundromat and used a milk carton inside for the coins to drop into. A few days after the installation of the original Pong prototype a problem arose. What was the problem? The coin mechanism was overflowing with quarters, a problem I’m sure they were glad to have.  

The first Splinter Cell game turned 25 this year. Splinter Cell is a series of award-winning stealth video games, as well as tie-in novels written by Tom Clancy. While some people believe the game is based off of the novels, in fact, it is the other way around with the novels being based off of the game, some even making the New York Times bestseller list.  Sam Fisher, the main charter throughout the series, is ranked at number 24 in the Guinness Top 50 Video Game Characters of All Time. This series, as well as the Assassin’s Creed series, are considered to be one of Ubisoft’s main franchises, selling more than 31 million copies. The first Splinter Cell game also won IGN’s Best of 2002: Xbox Game of The Year.  

mega manNext up, celebrating a strong 30 years, is Mega Man.  This game features the robot character and was created by Capcom.  This game was the first in a series that would go on to spawn over 50 games on many various gaming systems.  Mega Man gained such popularity that a soccer-themed game was released in the US. Despite the best efforts, it was not a very successful game for the series. The franchise also ran its own animated show.  While it was a somewhat successful show, it only managed 2 seasons, each with 13 episodes before being canceled.  The soundtrack to Mega Man is still very popular and is one of the most covered soundtracks ever having over 30 cover bands dedicated to them.  

final fantasy 2017

Final Fantasy has come a long way in 30 years.

Rounding out the list is the Final Fantasy series, celebrating 30 years going strong. Like several other games mentioned, Final Fantasy has branched out and launched CGI films, an anime show, a manga show, and novels. Having sold over 130 million units, it is one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time. The original Final Fantasy game is considered one of the first created first-person shooter video games. The designer of Wolfenstein 3D (see above) credits the programmer of Final Fantasy as being a major inspiration and influence.  Although all of the games in the series are called Final Fantasy with their respective number following, the original very nearly was THE Final Fantasy as the company was failing financially. Although few people in the company believed it would save them, they turned out to be wrong as the original sold over 400,000 copies in Japan alone. The original game was made with a team of just 7 people.  Respectively, 10 years later it took 120 people to make Final Fantasy VII and following that almost 300 people to create Final Fantasy XII.  While most designers of the time based their games off of tabletop games or video game RPGs, the designer of Final Fantasy designed it based off of American football as he had never played either form of the game before. While most games of the time used a first-person shooter or over-the-shoulder view, Final Fantasy uses side-view battles. While not as widely known as the Mega Man soundtrack, in 2004 the United State synchronized swimming team used 2 songs from the Final Fantasy VIII soundtrack. They ended up winning the Bronze medal.  


My name is Trenton Schipper, and I’m 28 years old. I grew up in a very small town of about 800. I started my collection about 2 years ago at an auction where I won a set of 4 Dragon Ball Z action figures still in the box, and it has expanded since then. I also collect military postcards, mostly Operation Enduring Freedom, as my dad is an Afghanistan veteran. This is my first article, and I am looking forward to writing more.