Every Database Item should ideally have two standard images — a Main Image and a Show on Search Image, plus a Subvariant Image if the item is a Subvariant — but there is no limit to how many other images and photos a Database Item can have. The more details that can be shown, the better!


How to Add an Image

  1. Go to the Edit Images page for the Database item:

    If you are creating a new Database Item you can click the blue Save & Add Photos button at the bottom of the page to go directly to Edit Images after your new item is saved:

    If you want to add images to an existing item, navigate to the Database Item page and click the Edit button, then click Images to go to the Edit Images page:

    You can watch this video or continue reading below to learn more.

  2. To upload an image, click the Browse Files link and select an image from your computer/device. You can also drag and drop one or more image files onto the page.

    Note that only PNG, JPEG, GIF, and WebP images can be uploaded, and filenames can't contain these special characters: # \ + % ?

    The Edit Images page also has links to Experte Background Remover and remove.bg, two services that can automatically remove the background from images. Removing the background can make good photos great.

  3. Your images will appear on the page above the Drag & Drop box as they are uploaded.

    There will be a row of four buttons underneath each image that you will use to set image types:

  1. Set a Main Image and Show on Search image (see below to learn what type of image to use for each), and if the item is a Subvariant, please also set a Subvariant Image. You can also set Fake Images and Artistic Images if you have them.

    • If your photo isn't oriented correctly you can use Rotate buttons to correct it.

    • You can add a description or other info to the Caption field below the image. 
      • Note: Captions should be specific to the photo. General descriptions of the item should not be entered in the Caption field.

    • If you're adding someone else's photo (only with permission, of course), credit them in the Courtesy of field.
      • Note: If you created the image yourself there is no need to enter your own name. Every photo shows the member name of the uploader, so your own photos will be automatically credited to you.

    • After saving, you will not be able to remove images unless you have the Coordinator Squad role. If an image needs to be removed, please flag the item and note which image needs to be removed and why.

  2. When all of your images have been added and the photo types have been set, click the Save button at the top or bottom of the page (both work the same). It may take a few minutes for your photos to show on the Database Item page.

Image Types

Images on Database Items can be set as one or more different Image Types:

  • Main Image: The image shown on the Database Item page.

  • Show on Search Image: The image shown as a thumbnail in search results and on Subject pages.

  • Subvariant Image: The image shown on the Subvariant page to call attention to the details that make the item different from its other Subvariants.

  • Artistic Images: Creative images, like illustrations or photos that show the item in a diorama or action scene.

  • Fake Images: Comparison shots showing how to tell the difference between a genuine item and counterfeit versions.

Read on to learn more about each Image Type.

The Main Image

The image set as the Main Image will be shown on the Database Item page. Members can click on the Main Image to enlarge it and browse through other images in the item's gallery. The Main Image will ideally show the item new in its original packaging. These photos of a model car and an action figure on sealed blister cards are perfect for the database items' Main Images:

If the item can't be seen without removing it from its packaging, the Main Image can show the item out of the package. In these cases, the Main Image will ideally show both the item and its packaging at the same time. Here are some examples:

If an item was exclusive to a set and doesn't have individual packaging, the Main Image should be the item out of packaging (and in that case, you don't need to set a Show on Search Image).

The Show on Search Image

The Show on Search Image will represent the item in search results and on Subject pages. It will ideally show the item on its own, out of the packaging, on a clean white or transparent background (or a dark/contrasting background for white or very light items). The idea is to show the item as distinctly as possible and make it easy to identify in search results. Show on Search Images are displayed on search results at 240 x 190 pixels. That's already a pretty small size, so it's best to crop out any margins to make the best use of that space. Show on Search Images are shown at a higher resolution in the item's photo gallery, so there is no need to resize the image before uploading (the system takes care of that automatically).

These are excellent Show on Search Images for the items shown in the first Main Image examples above:

There are also two other places where Show on Search Images are displayed:

  • If the item has a relationship with another item, the Show on Search Image will be displayed under the related item's Relationships section.

  • If the item is a master Subvariant, its Show on Search Image will be displayed at the top of its Subvariant group page as a representative example of all the Subvariants.

If an item doesn't have a Show on Search Image, its Main Image will be shown in place of the Show on Search Image.

The Subvariant Image

The Subvariant Image is shown on the item's Subvariant group page and focuses on the detail(s) that differentiate the item from its other Subvariants. Subvariants are very similar to each other but differ in one or more small details such as the type of packaging or the interior color of a model car. 

The Subvariant Image should be cropped tightly and only show the differences that set the item apart from its other Subvariants. Here, for example, the image is cropped in to show the use of different languages on the packaging:

If there is more than one difference and those differences are difficult to show in a single photo, a composite image can be used. A composite image, or collage, is a single image made up of more than one image or photo and can be created with most basic image editing apps. Here are good composite Subvariant Images for two model cars that have different color packaging artwork and different countries of manufacture but are otherwise identical:

For very small and easy-to-miss details an image with an explanation can help:

If you don't have access to image editing software or need help creating a composite Subvariant Image, feel free to post in the Volunteer Squad Facebook group and ask for help from another Squad member.

Articles of clothing available in different sizes will be always be Subvariants. We've made several clothing tag images showing different sizes that members can use for Subvariant Photos when adding clothing size Subvariants. See all the size labels here. You can right click and save the images, then upload them to Database Items.

Subvariant Images are displayed on the Subvariant Group page at 240 x 190 pixels, so please make sure the details are discernible at that size.

Artistic Images

In addition to the Main Image, Show on Search Image, and Subvariant Images types which each make the database useful and are meant to be “clean,” we also want to showcase the incredible artistic talent of the collector community. We welcome creative photography such as photos that show collectibles in a diorama or action scene. These types of photos can be tagged as an Artistic Image and we have plans to show them as a separate feed in the future. There is no limit to how many Artistic Images can be uploaded and tagged.

Fake Images

If an item is frequently faked or counterfeited it can be helpful to add images that show how fakes can be identified. The best Fake Images will show both a genuine and a fake example of the item side-by-side with the differences highlighted. Here's are some good examples comparing different parts of the frequently bootlegged #678 Blacklight Carnage Pop:

There is no limit to how many Fake Images can be uploaded and tagged.

Main Tails Image (Coins, Tokens and Casino Chips Only)

Main Tails is a special image type that is only available for two Database Item Types—Coins and Token and Casino Chips. Both of those should have both a Main Image for the obverse (front, or "heads") side and a Main Tails image for the reverse (back, or "tails") side:

They will show like this on search, making it easy to identify the item from the search results without going to the database item and clicking through the photo gallery:

Since the Main Image and Main Tails Image are shown together in search results, there is no need to add a Show on Search Image.

General Guidelines

  • Be sure you have permission from the copyright holder to upload the image (stock/glam/marketing images from brands are generally okay to use without explicit permission).

  • A bad photo is better than no photo. If a better photo is uploaded later, it can be set as Main Image instead. We don't typically remove low-quality photos even if higher-quality photos have been added. Even low-quality photos can be useful, especially if they show a different angle of the item or details that might not be visible in other images.

  • Similarly, more images are better than fewer images. There is no limit to the number of images that can be added!

  • Images with no watermarks are MUCH preferred (but again, a watermarked photo is still better than none!).

  • We generally do not delete images unless they are duplicates, wrong for the item, or violate somebody's copyright. If a photo needs to be deleted or moved to another database item, please flag it.

  • If you believe that any photos on hobbyDB infringe upon your trademark or copyright, please complete our DMCA Notice Form and we will review it.

  • When adding images to a number of similar items, try to use the same angle for each Show on Search image, if possible (for example a 3/4 view for model cars with the front of the car on the left). This makes search results look cleaner.

  • Ideal images have a white or transparent background (we highly recommend remove.bg, a free website that does an excellent job of removing backgrounds, especially for model cars), unless the item itself is white or almost white — in those cases a black or dark gray background works best.

  • Photos in a diorama or of the item in a historical context (for example as a prop in a movie) are great as additional photos (see Artistic Images above).

  • We have big plans to add more options for images in the future. See our blog article about those plans, and please comment there if you have suggestions!