By Christian Braun – CEO & Collector-of-Collector at hobbyDB and Chair of the Pop
Culture Hall of Fame and the Model Car Hall of Fame.
Everybody needs a little support now and again, and the manufacturers who make collectibles
are no exception. Margins are getting smaller, raw materials, production costs and labor are
getting more expensive. And, the costs of designing, tooling, manufacturing and marketing new
models have never been higher. And of course, all of that also impacts licensors.
Until now collectible brands have not had the ability to access a lot of information about their
customers or transform into actionable data trends and insights that can be used to develop
future product lines. Often manufacturers know which retailers stock their goods and the larger
retailers know some of their buyers. However, after a customer’s purchase, everybody is left in
the dark, especially in regards to the secondary market, from there.
The team at hobbyDB has set out to give brands and retailers more insight into the buying
patterns of their target audiences. The hobbyDB system reveals trends via the collection
management technology that is used by more than 480,000 collectors. hobbyDB users now own
40m items worth almost a billion dollars and marked items valued at more than $750 million
within their wish lists.
As an example hobbyDB saw that the Hot Wheels Ford Escort was being exported in large
quantities to the UK – the assortment for the US and Europe were the same in terms of
quantities, but the car became much more popular in the UK. With this kind of information,
Mattel could increase the number of this model in their European assortment and reduce it in
the US mix to achieve a better sale-through rate.
Besides geographical spread hobbyDB also provides trend information about hot colors and
liveries for model cars or characters for action figures, PEZ dispensers or other merchandise.
With more than 4.4 million price points, hobbyDB is now the official price guide for such diverse
brands as Funko, Hard Rock Cafe or Sideshow Collectibles.
The price trends reveal which products and SKUs are hot and which are not, helping brands
and retailers make strategic decisions in regards to future product lines and pricing. Funko also
displays these estimated values on their own website and app, enhancing the onsite experience
for their own fans. The recent integration to Shopify allows hobbyDB access to even more
hobbyDB’s newest offering will be another powerful tool for brands and retailers. With more than 586,000 collectibles and their related subjects in the database, users will be able to rate each item on a scale of 1-10. These ratings can then be used to generate trends around specific
products and themes.
What makes hobbyDB special is that it is currently owned by more than 700 collectors
worldwide (including our adviser and Global Toys Experts partner Richard). As of this summer
every few months the team does a crowdfunding round to give our volunteers and industry
insiders an opportunity to own a piece of what they are helping to build. If you are interested you will find more information on wefunder.com/hobbydb .