On the hobbyDB Database, Subjects are the basis for all of the interconnection on the site. The concept of a "subject" is something that cannot be owned by an average collector, think characters like Batman or Buzz Lightyear, companies like Mattel or Hard Rock Cafe, and even actors and film franchises like Chris Pratt or The Avengers

Collectibles (AKA the stuff you as a collector actually own) can be connected to these related subjects to make the database easy to browse and search. As an example, let's say I'm a Marvel collector. I visit the Marvel subject page on hobbyDB. Listed on the Marvel page are all of the different collectible items associated with Marvel, from Pez dispensers, comics to model cars and everything in between. Also listed on these subject pages are other subjects also related to Marvel, like Actors, Artists, Characters, Films, Games, and more. 

Subjects are the glue that binds the hobbyDB database together, and make it easy for collectors of all kinds to find collectibles based on the way they collect -- by brand, actor, character, company, and so on. This is why it is important that subjects are created and added to carefully in order to maintain the collector-centric organization and search-ability of the database. 

Subjects are...

- Searchable on the site. 

- The common links that bind collectibles (the stuff you can own) to fandoms (the incarnation of "why" and "what" you collect).

- Intangible. In most cases, a subject is something you can't put on the shelf and collect. Its the idea behind the thing on your shelf.

Subjects are not...

- Own-able. You can't own Buzz Lightyear the fictional character, but as a collector you can own an action figure of him. 

- Mutually exclusive. A collectible can have multiple related subjects.

The Details

As a Contributor (or above) on hobbyDB you'll most commonly encounter subjects while adding an item to the database, under the section "Related Subjects". Multiple subjects can be assigned to a single item, take for example an Iron Man action figure. It is related to the subjects Robert Downey Jr., Marvel Comics, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the Iron Man character 

Here are some best practices when assigning subjects:

  1. Always search for a subject before creating a new one for an item or items. 
  2. Check your spelling! Its all too common to find a misspelled subject with one item attributed to it. This is because the subject creator mistyped the subject while attributing an item to it, creating a second, incorrect subject in the database.

When searching 

You will also notice that you can type any word of the subject to see all the different options. 

What makes the perfect subject page?

When creating subjects, please make sure that they have at least one photo, a quick description, related subjects, parent subjects (if applicable) and a subject identifier. 

So what's a subject identifier?

With the breadth and depth of hobbyDB's coverage, we inevitably wound up with lots of subjects that have the same or similar names - but are related to entirely different things! For example, is this the Mainline series from Hot Wheels or the series of the same name by Matchbox? Is this Avengers subject the Movie or the Comic Series? This is where identifiers come in - they show on the subject page, the search results, and when you're adding an item and will let you see at a glance whether you're in the right place or not!

You can add a subject identifier when you're editing a subject like so - 

Here's an example of subject identifier in the search results - 

This is also especially helpful when you're adding a subject to an item as the Identifier shows within the subject search. Here' an example - 

Verify subjects so members see the most accurate data

Once you feel like the subject you're working on is complete, you can go ahead and verify it.  We are soon releasing a new subject search which will be initially filtered to only show verified subjects.

To verify a subject, scroll to the bottom of the page and click verify - 

This will automatically verify the subject, so that members know that it's been double-checked by one of our members that care (you!).