HobbyDB has emerged as a major source for those who engage in the hobby of collecting. In order to learn more, I spoke with Christain Braun, its founder, and CEO. Here is my interview.
Richard: What is hobbyDB?
Christian: Built and maintained by the most awesome community of super-fans, geeks and collectors on the internet, hobbyDB is an Amazon-style marketplace powered by a database of every collectible ever made. Created for the world’s fragmented $450 billion collectibles and licensed goods market, hobbyDB empowers collectors to research, buy, and sell their collectibles all in one convenient location.
Richard: How is it going so far?
Christian: Amazing! Guided by our Advisory Council (which you are an appreciated member of) we first focused on building the database. Over the past year ,it's grown to cover a huge 500,000 collectibles and their related subjects plus 4 million price points with 5 million more data entries being prepared for uploading. We now also provide data and archives for a diverse group fo brands such as Funko, Hard Rock Cafe, Mego, and Topps.
Our next goal was to build out our user base. Since launching in 2014, hobbyDB has become home to more than 605,000 collectors. Over the last 12 months, we've seen 34% growth in our users' collections and a 94% increase in our user base. Even better, their combined collections have a total value of $624M!
Now it's time to monetize! Our marketplace SKUs have grown by 42% over the last quarter, and with the recent launch of our beta Shopify App integration, our inventory levels are continuing to soar!
Richard: How does hobbyDB help brands?
Christian: hobbyDB is the perfect place to host an Official Archive of all the items you or your brand has ever created. In a single search, you can find every model car or vinyl art toy from a particular brand, and a history as complete and accurate as possible because it comes straight from the horse’s mouth. Even better news, we now have the power the hobbyDB experience on any website, blog or forum so bands can offer their communities access to all of the great hobbyDB features (such as collection management and a secure marketplace), but in an environment which looks and feels like their own site. We are now hosting more than 50 official archives including Bburago, Cryptozoic Entertainment, and Kidrobot.
And, as hobbyDB grows, so does our influence! We’re already teaming up with top brands to give input on what products collectors want to see next and to bring the exciting exclusives to our communities! If you’re with us, that means you get to help steer and wield our influence too! Things we've already created -
Richard: How does hobbyDB help retailers?
Christian: With millions of visitors each month, we’re giving retailers access to a huge range of potential buyers! We are also working hard to ensure that you'll never have to rely on eBay or Amazon with their huge fees and buyer-centric policies. We’re on a mission to provide a buying and selling experience that is catered to collectors like us. And, to make sure we're doing it right, we work closely with all of our sellers to ensure they are getting the excellent experience that they deserve. We are also expanding our APIs so that retailers can integrate into our system.
Richard: Why Crowdfunding?
Christian: As our incredible community is at the heart of everything we do, instead of asking for donations or participating in a Kickstarter, we wanted collectors and fans to actually be able to own a part of hobbyDB, Pop Price Guide, and The Toy Peddler. When you invest in us, you are buying actual shares of the company. As we move forward, the overall goal is to become the epicenter of the collectible world and, when possible, pay dividends to our shareholders, pro-rata to your ownership percentage of the company. Also, there is always the opportunity of acquisition, where you would receive pro-rata payment of the sales price.
Here’s what some of our community is saying about us –
When you own an 80's toy collection that could fill the trailers of 10 life-size Optimus Primes, you start to get a little hazy on what items you have and what you still need. I love the hobbyDB concept because it's perfect for helping me keep track by documenting my collection!
Adam Goldberg – Creator & Producer of The Goldbergs
I've been designing Hot Wheels since 1969, and I love how hobbyDB is set up to document everything about the subject, from the cars to the designers that made them!
Larry Wood – Designer of Hot Wheels
The goal of the American Shelby Collection is to collect everything to do with the Shelby brand and cars. hobbyDB will help us fill in the gaps, and, eventually, you’ll be able to see our complete 40,000-item collection on there. That’s great as we never have space to display all of it in the real world.
Steve Volk Director, American Shelby Collection
"Mego has been making toys since 1954, and we're thrilled that hobbyDB is documenting them all! We've got a number of projects in discussion with them, and we're looking forward to making them a reality!"
President, Mego Corporation
Richard: How can someone participate?
Christian: Learn everything you need to know at our Wefunder profile!