It's Audi's official 100th birthday on Thursday, July 16thwhich means our last Audi promotional blog entry will be coming out that day - and the charity forum auction will also be ending. Now, we've said that the auction ends at midnight UK time on the 16th, but for several reasons, we're going to allow bidding to go on until the Friday morning. For one thing, we know a lot of you are in different time zones and for another, we know that last time we held a forum auction, the auto-extend was a little haphazard given that peoples' computers aren't all set to the exact same time.
Also, we want to discourage sniping and hope that this way, people will enter their max bids well ahead of the end time! Remember, this is for charity and it's a very good cause - the Helen & Douglas House Hospice for Children & Young People.
There will be a total of 33 lots in the auction, from Audi themselves and manufacturers Amalgam Fine Model Cars, Bub Premium Classixxx, CMC, Kyosho, LookSmart, Minichamps, Neo, Revell, Schuco, Siku and Wiking. Extra thanks once again to Audi and to all these makers for helping to boost the auction. With so many great models on offer, it's easy to lose track of what's been listed, so we've put together this handy gallery displaying the models! Just click on the pic to go straight to the auction forum.
You can also find the auction by going directly to the URL www.planetdiecast.com/AudiCentenaryAuction, so if you know anyone else who'd be interested in bidding, please forward that on to them too!
We've added a number of new things to the site, and there's more coming. Firstly, Member of the Month is back after a break. The hiatus was due to some behind-the-scenes technical stuff we were doing but which we're done with for now. As such, please congratulate blueflamechevelle, this month's Member of the Month who's also moderator of the new Major Matt Mason and Captain Action forums. And speaking of the forums, we've just upped the size of the images you can post there. Previously, you were limited to 150K. Now, you can post pics of up to 500K!
Over in blogs, the big news is that Toy Collector is now hosting Tales of Toy Cars! Doug Breithaupt has been running the hugely-popular TOTC webzine about 1/55-1/72 scale model vehicles since 1998 and has now decided to convert it to blog format. We're very honoured that he chose Toy Collector to do this on, and look forward to helping him find even more happy readers. At present, new content is going up alongside "reprints" of older articles as we convert them all to the new blog format, giving new readers a chance to see more older material and regular readers to review old favourites.
In addition to TOTC, we've also got two other new Special Blogs, The Dinky Toys Blog, which will look at all things Dinky-related including series, values and individual model profiles, and Medieval Times, which focuses on figures depicting the medieval era.
Elswhere, we've also added a couple of new sections. The Special Offers section will (obviously enough) feature money-saving specials on partner sites that we're making available specially for Toy Collector members. Our first offer is a 10% discount with Veloce Books, and keep checking back because we hope to be adding more soon and on a regular basis.
The other new section we've added is Hosted Sites. These are standout toy, model or collecting-related sites owned by members that we're now featuring on Toy Collector either because they're highly informational, highly enjoyable or - as in most cases - both! So far, we've added three sites, Animobil, which is all about Playmobil animals, GI Joe Rocks and Staffan's Toycar Museum. We hope to be adding more on an ongoing basis, so if you have a site you'd like us to consider, or one you'd like to recommend, let me know via PM. Please do bear in mind that this section is primarily for sites that are informational and an enjoyable read, so we can't feature any site that's purely commercial, although we'll be happy to consider informational sites which have a commercial element to them.
Lastly, there's something new in Profiles too. We've added sections for you to fill in your city and country. New members can do this at registration, and existing members can do it by clicking on My Toy Collector and then on Update Your Profile. This is optional info, but a little further down the road, it'll help us to show you more local content like events (ie, if you're in New Zealand, we'll be able to show you stuff that's going on in New Zealand). Plus it links to something else special we've got planned for the near future, and about which there should be more information shortly.
The end of June also saw the end of the Second Quarter Blythe Doll contest, and Model Car Kit Contest. Congrats to DollStudioByEaki, whose entry My Little Princess took First Place among the Blythes, all of whom looked fabulous. The Third Quarter Blythe Competition will be opening shortly.
Congrats also to Red000878's Junk Yard Jewel which gets Special Mention in the car kit category since he had the highest score. However, we had some slight confusion, as his entry came in early - but all the others came in right at what should have been the end of the contest, and as such there was no time for anyone to vote on them. Under the circumstances, I've decided that the best thing to do is roll everyone who entered over into the Third Quarter. We're always happy to receive your competition entries, but when entering, please do try and do so early enough that members have a chance to see and vote on your entry. And also, please vote on other members' entries, as we can't have a winner without votes!
THE NUMBERS, THE BLOGS & THE FORUMS!
Time for our traditional look at the site stats! There are now 2,187 Toy Collectors on the site, 13,686 blog entries, 93 discussion forums with 4,704 forum posts and we've broken the 40,000 barrier over in the galleries, as we now have 40,743 images! Not to mention the 474 videos!
Over in the blogs, we've seen how to build a Ford Flathead Six Engine, learnt about the complexities of the Hornby & Airfix relationship, heard about the early days of Victory Industries and the exhaustive variations of the Corgi Batmobile as well as seeing some Penny Toys that are now worth a pretty penny. And in the forums, we've had Major Matt Mason's Power-Cat, the Cararama Austin Cambridge, Pinched Axles, a bit of Lego colour history and a request for info on Tutti, Barbie's sister.
And with that, I shall sign off for the month! I'll be back in August, so if you're off on holiday in the meantime have a good time and as always...