Memberships

Members can now use paypal to pay for their yearly dues.  Membership runs January through December.

Online memberships are $6 (to cover paypal fees).

As a member you have access to our Club’s Facebook group, participate in club member activities, and help support our Club’s annual picnic and website expenses.

 

2018 STDC Memberships





Introducing the New Marketplace, Hot Wheels Newsletter Book, Redlines to Treasure Hunts DVD, Casting Identification Tool, and Treasure Hunt Pricing

It’s been a good summer so far and we’ve been working hard on some requested features and updates.

New Hot Wheels Marketplace

We have added a new STDC Hot Wheels Marketplace to the site, powered by hobbyDB.  Users can search for specific Hot Wheels items and also filter by seller or shipping by countries.  All hobbyDB exclusives are available in the STDC Marketplace.

HW Newsletter Casting Guide 

Authored by Jim Garbaczewski, editor of the Hot Wheels Newsletter and Co-Author of Tomart’s Price Guide to Hot Wheels, the HW Newsletter Casting Guide to Hot Wheels is full of all the same great images and information you’ve come to expect, and covers all known models released between 2008 and 2017. The book will have 160 pages in full color and will be available late 2017 or early 2018.  The list price of the book is $34.99.  If you preorder the book you can save $10.00.

 

Redlines to Treasure Hunts DVD

Daniel Hornberger has released the long awaited documentary Redlines to Treasure Hunts on DVD.  The 84 minute presentation covers the Hot Wheels culture, collectors, and customizers.  There are also some nice extras including early Hot Wheels commercials.   You can order this DVD for $20.00 plus shipping in our new Hot Wheels Marketplace.

 

Casting Identification Tool

Although most Hot Wheels cars have the casting name on the baseplate, there are a few exceptions when there is only a copyright date.  For someone who is just starting to collect Hot Wheels, it can be difficult to know what you have and when it was actually released.  The hobbyDB website now has a Baseplate (by year) information page that lists castings that have specific copyright years on the base.  Click on the baseplate year, which is located on the left side, and it will display the castings that have that year on the base.  By clicking on the casting and then clicking the blue xx variants button, the page will display all the versions of the casting.  It’s simple to use and a very useful tool.

 

Treasure Hunt Pricing

Another new feature on the hobbyDB webpage that was released is a new pricing guide.  We’ve started adding sales history and values to thousands of Hot Wheels items.  The sales history feature was tested on all the Treasure Hunt entries with great success.  While viewing an item, the value table shows the high and low sales prices, median, and average across several time periods.

Casting List Links Updated

The Casting Links have been updated to show all the versions instead of an example of the casting.  A small percentage of the 2,500 + links still may have an issue.  These will be corrected during the week of May 14-21.  If a new casting has more than one release, it will be added this week as well.

Expert Only versus Crowd-Sourcing, a Personal Perspective on how to build Collectible Databases

Rob with just a small portion of his collection.


For years, my site, South Texas Diecast, was one of the leading sources for Hot Wheels information on the internet. It catalogued thousands of Hot Wheels variations dating back 40 years – and I did all the cataloguing myself. It was a labor of love and I enjoyed every minute – but it was also exhausting and I started to wonder what would happen to the site in the future.

Like thousands of other collectors who build catalogs of their favorite collectibles online, I’d spent 16 years on STDC and because it was all me, I dreaded the thought that in the future it might become a similar “ghost site”, falling into neglect before ultimately disappearing when the hosting ran out.

Far too many good websites are not with us anymore

 

That was when hobbyDB stepped in and introduced me to the concept of crowd-sourced data. Of course, I was familiar with Wikipedia (who isn’t?) and it’s community-created information repository. But I hadn’t previously considered using the same model for STDC – which is just what hobbyDB was proposing.

The much wider mandate, documenting every collectible ever made excited me as I also collect records, my wife is a collector of Supernatural Collectibles and I have many more interests besides Hot Wheels. Wikipedia has nine pages on Hot Wheels, hobbyDB already has more than 31,500 pages on Hot Wheels related collectibles! I was also attracted by the fact that like Wikipedia hobbyDB has vowed in its Manifesto to be free forever.

Naturally, I had some questions and skepticism at first. After all, if STDC was a Wiki-type site, wouldn’t it be open to vandalism and manipulation? And even if incorrect data wasn’t maliciously-intended, how would we make sure that all the data entered by users was to my exacting standards?

Of course, these are all the same questions leveled at Wikipedia when it began. And as I researched, I realized that all of them had been answered. In 2005, a blind study was completed by the journal Nature that compared 42 science subjects and biographies between Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica (here a write up about that study on the BBC site and here much more background on that subject). They concluded that “Wikipedia comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries”. And by that time Wikipedia was only four years old! From everything I could find Wikipedia not only got better over time but also more and more trusted.

Wikipedia is constantly gaining quality and trust, even compared to some of the most established expert only data sources in existence
Wikipedia is constantly gaining quality and trust, even compared to some of the most established expert only data sources in existence

 

A combination of a passionate userbase and the right amount of oversight ensures that data is exactly what it needs to be. Of course, that doesn’t happen overnight, as contributors need to find the project (whether that’s through their own efforts or marketing outreach), become familiar with the site and learn to work together. Given that hobbyDB is not a pure wiki either, time and effort has to be expended on developing proper tools too. hobbyDB is only 18 months old, so we still have a long way to go!

Just as Wikipedia introduced its famous “Talk” pages, at hobbyDB we take care of all of this in a similar way with a team forum. There, Curators (all our official data gatherers/editors get this title), Champions (Curators with enhanced on-site features and powers), the hobbyDB Advisory Board members and Admins can converge to discuss cataloging conventions, site improvements that would help their job and which bad data to weed out.

Many hands make light work, the saying goes, and that’s certainly proving to be true here. We’re far from being the only entertainment/research site in this space to follow the model either. IMdB and Bricklink are just two of the diverse examples of sites which have made this model work in spectacular ways.

Moving STDC to hobbyDB and starting to work in this way has certainly taken the pressure off of me and ensured the longevity of the data I spent so long putting together. I have seen others making the same move with the same feelings – worried before the transfer, relief afterwards.

The Original Hot Wheels Entertainment Series

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In 2013, Mattel/Hot Wheels introduced a new series called Retro-Entertainment (and has recently been shorten to just Entertainment) with model vehicles that were represented in major Television and Motion Picture franchises.  However, this isn’t the first time Hot Wheels has had a series called Entertainment.

In 2004 and 2005, Hot Wheels released several sets called Entertainment 2-Packs.  These were sets with two mainline vehicles, decorated with subjects from several different animated series and a couple from World Wrestling Entertainment.  These 2-Packs usually had a battle theme (such as Batman vs. Mr. Freeze and Yu-Gi-Oh vs. Summoned Skull).

When introduced, these were fairly popular and some of the sets disappeared quickly.  In 2004, there were 17 sets released and only 6 releases in 2005.

Hot Wheels Long Haulers & Pavement Pounders

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One of the most popular series that Hot Wheels released was the 1998-1999 Long Haulers and the 2000-2003 Pavement Pounders .  These are sets with a Truck/Trailer combo and a Hot Wheels vehicle.   This series used popular castings including the ’57 Chevy, Scorchin’ Scooter, and the Dodge Viper.  These are now set up on hobbyDB as separate items (truck/trailer combo and the vehicle) and as sets.  This will allow you to add these to your collection whether you have them loose or in package.  In 2004, the series name changed to Truckin’ Transporters which is the next section that will have this feature soon.

 

Casting Spotlight: Dairy Delivery

Dairy DeliveryThe Dairy Delivery, designed by Phil Riehlman, debuted in the 1998 First Editions series. It is loosely based on the Divco Dairy Truck which was produced from 1926 to 1986.

The first release was White with Light Blue, Dark Blue, and Pink decoration. It has “Got Milk” on the sides which was a famous advertising campaign at the time. This first release was manufactured in Malaysia and China and has been found on Red or Blue cards.

In 2008 the Dairy Delivery was voted as number 22 into the Top 40 Hot Wheels of all time, today it might rank even higher (there are now more than 150 variants!).

This casting is very popular with customizers due to the large surface areas to apply their graphics/designs.

What does the Year on the Baseplate mean?

So you’ve found an old Hot Wheels car at a garage sale. You tried to find out more information but nothing matches the year on the base. This is a very common issue with all Hot Wheels.

Baseplate Year
The year is not an indication of when it was manufactured. It is the year that the casting design was copyrighted.

In the example, the ’57 Chevy has 1976 on the base. The first Hot Wheels ’57 Chevy wasn’t released until 1977. Most ’57 Chevys, regardless of when they were made, have 1976 on the base. In most instances, the date is one year before it’s initial release. The example above wasn’t produced until 2009 and was part of a 10 pack release.

What is a ZAMAC car?

A ZAMAC car is basically an unpainted car. ZAMAC is the material that Hot Wheels are casted from.

ZAMAC
A normal painted version and the ZAMAC version

The term ZAMAC car was first used in 1998. There were 25 carded versions available at the ’98 convention along with a baggy Zamac and a 4 ZAMAC car set. Kay-Bee Toys also had some 2 car sets (Same casting, one painted, one unpainted or ‘ZAMAC’). In 2004, Mattel released some of the First Editions in ZAMAC. These were a Toys ‘R Us Exclusive but were later found at Target stores as well.  In 2013, Walmart issued 18 unpainted mainlines for their exclusive ZAMAC series.  These have a ZAMAC logo on the cards and are numbered 001 to 018.  Walmart continued these releases in 2014 and 2015 (18 cars each year).  Walmart also issued a premium ZAMAC exclusive car for their Rewards program in 2013, 2014, and 2015.