Happy New Year! Welcome to the first Toy Collector newsletter of 2010. We expect 2010 to be a big year for Toy Collector with a lot of great things happening on the site and we're looking forward to sharing them all with you.
NEW STUFF: TOYPEDIA PICS, FORUMS & COMPETITIONS
You may have noticed that the newsletter's coming out a little later than usual this month. That's because we were putting something in place that I wanted to make sure was ready for you to use - the ability to insert and/or change the main image on a ToyPedia page (that's the picture on the top left on any catalogue page).
Previously, if you wanted to insert an image there, you had to email it to me and I had to upload it through the backend of the site. Now you can add in your image by clicking the Edit link underneath the pic and inserting the URL of your image into the popup window that appears, and saving. We'll shortly be bringing in the same feature for individual variant images on item pages too. We've also been super-busy uploading more items to ToyPedia - we've now got almost 30,000 items listed on there, including new additions from Hongwell and Aurora. As ever, if you want to contribute or help out with the ToyPedia project, just PM me!
Over the Christmas slowdown, I also revamped the forum layout. As requested by many of you, model kits and diecast now have separate forum sections and there are all sorts of new forums for both, like the specific one for Diecast Plastic Vehicles (yes, I know it's a bit of a contradiction in terms, but its for all those fans of Herpa, Wiking and other plastic model cars that aren't kits!) and the Sci-Fi and Fantasy, On the Workbench and Ground Combat forums for kits. We've also put in new a Diecast Aviation section.
As well as bringing the end of 2009, December also brought the end of the last round of our competitions in all the categories. We had some fabulous entries and you can see all the winners here. New competitions are now up across the board, so if you have a great model kit build, a custom action figure or an amazing Blythe doll you'd like to enter, now's the time to do it!
UPCOMING STUFF: TOYFAIRS, PROMOTIONS & PARTNERS
This year, for the first time ever, Toy Collector will be at the London and Nuremberg Toy Fairs! So if you're there, let me know by PM and we'd love to meet up! We're also looking for anyone who's going to the New York, Paris or Hong Kong events and who might like to report on the goings-on there for us. If that's you, then let me know by PM!
Also, as you'll remember, 2009 saw us promoting Audi's centenary and Lamborghini/LookSmart via special blogs. Well we've got some great new promotional partners lined up for 2010, including Bugatti, Lufthansa and Ford, so there'll be a lot of great material on all of those coming up soon!
We've also got some great content coming up courtesy of some of our new members. The first of this is a fantastic series of Mego How-To guides all about modifying your Megos and courtesy of our new member Captain Dunsel and his Mego Madhouse! Thanks Captain Dunsel! We've just posted the first one, which tells you how to make your very own Mego Gene Roddenberry - an absolute must-have for all Star Trek fans out there!
And last, but most definitely not least, a shout-out to one of our other friends, White Tower Miniatures and their 2010 range of British-made toy soldiers and other lead figures. You'll remember them from our recent competition where we have away two of their great figures, the Hospitaler Knight and Clint Eastwood as The Preacher from Pale Rider. Their ranges include figures from the Wild West, Robin Hood, Vikings and Saxons, Normans, Mongols and the English Civil War (like the gentleman pictured to the left).
All are designed, sculpted and made traditionally in the UK to a very high standard. Ideal for toy soldier and figure collectors looking for something new to collect in 2010!
MEMBER OF THE MONTH
Huge Matchbox 1-75 fan Tractorboy has spent the past month industriously filling in description and history details for Matchbox Regular Wheels on ToyPedia (the lists of which he very kindly provided in the first place!) His great descriptive info helps to make it an ever-better resource for collectors. Many thanks for your fantastic efforts, Tractorboy, they are much appreciated and it all looks great!
THE NUMBERS, THE BLOGS & THE FORUMS!
Time for our monthly look at the site stats! December saw us cross the 3,000 member mark! We've now got 3,113 members! There are also 16,144 blog entries and 111 discussion forums with almost 9,000 forum posts. Oh, and should you be at a loss for something to look at, we've now got over 81,500 images in the galleries!
Needless to say, all of those 16,000 blog entries make for great reading. Among the most notable recent posts have been a look at the casting alterations Dinky made to their 25V Bedford over the years, an amazing scratchbuilt model of The Nebuchadnezzar from The Matrix movies, a great interview with Frederik Braun of Miniatur Wunderland, an introduction to Stikfas and a resto/comparison piece on Dinky's 25H and 250 Fire Engines.
Forum chat has been buzzing over the break too. We've got the hunt for a mystery model Jim Clark Lotus in 1/18 scale, news of new Captain Action figures, Captain Scarlet as modelled by Timpo, a Playmobil Paris anniversary exhibition, a look at the incredible detail that's going into our member Modelguru's contract build of a 1/350-scale Starship Enterprise and, er, a comparison of the relative cost of buying vintage games in eBay and at Selfridges!
Whew! Let no-one say we haven't started the new year with a bang!