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Cataloging Question?
Topic Started: Mar 8 2018, 08:42 PM (371 Views)
pjedsel
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Muscle Car
I notice in the database that a number of "brands" are listed under High Speed as the actual manufacturer. Brands like Malibu International, Grell, Top Mark, Reader's Digest, etc. For making my own cataloging more simple or easier to follow would it make sense to list them all under High Speed like this - High Speed: Malibu International; High Speed: Grell; High Speed: Schuco, etc. Let me know your thoughts - for me it makes sense as these days I tend to lose track of some of these "lesser brands" that are made by others. Have also been tempted to do something similar with the lesser Made in China brands - you know list it as Made in China: Soma or Sohbi or others. As I get older it seems like I "forget" the names of some of these brands so I am thinking if I have them as Made in China: "brand" it will help me find and keep track of these little guys. :lol:
Edited by pjedsel, Mar 8 2018, 08:52 PM.
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juantoo3
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A lot is a judgment call.

I'm becoming more and more convinced Grell is like Imperial or Edocar, they contract others to put their name on. Lately I've been finding Welly and Maisto castings, and sometime back I showed a Muscle Machines casting, all packaged for Grell. So not all Grell is High Speed.

Likewise, not all Malibu International (particularly the sub-brands) are High Speed.

And then some High Speed tools showed up with Greenlight, and more with Top Mark, and now some of the Wondrie / Readers Digest / High Speed brass era oldies are showing up under Yibao.

I choose to lump them all together. Others may wish to distinguish between them.

I even have heard rumor that early Kyosho were made by High Speed. Where does one draw the line? Tough call.

Schuco is problematic no matter what. There are distinct generations of Schuco. Going way back are the clockwork pressed tin models. Then the 1/66 stuff from the late 60s into the early 80s. Then you have the tiny Piccolo series. Then around the Malibu International period is almost matching Schuco. Now there's an entirely new range in 1/64.

I see High Speed (and Yatming, and Zee / Zylmex, and Loyal Bright) as factories...makers...that actually created models from raw materials. Many of the brands we are so familiar with, brands like Johnny Lightning and Greenlight, don't *own* the factories that produce them, they are contracted to be made. Often rival brands are made in the same factory. This is nothing new, it has gone on at least since production was outsourced overseas...I would say right around 1970.

How one wishes to incorporate that little piece of reality into their way of cataloging is an individual choice...most guys are blissfully unaware and could care less, and will continue to sort things by the brand that best speaks to them.

And when all is said and done...does it really matter? Sorry for getting all philosophical, Pastor...that's just how I see all of this. My thinking is "why over-complicate an already very complex problem?" That is why I keep all the recognized High Speed in one place in the database, allowing some wiggle room for questionable pieces, and keeping the handful of others that are related but likely not High Speed just for convenience.

To me....it is all about the evolution of a casting. I suppose that may be a side effect of variationitis...but I enjoy chasing a casting though the various phases of its lifetime, and sometimes that means passing through several companies...even though the tooling may never leave the factory it is housed in.
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toyotageek
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Japanese Minicar Maniac
I'm probably the wrong person to give any advice on cataloging, since I fail miserably at doing it myself, but I'd say, do whatever works for you.

If "Made in China" with subcategories works for you, then use it.

As far as High Speed and Grell and the others.... well, I'm more a splitter than a lumper. I personally found it confusing to have Grell, Malibu, Schuco & Greenlight Motor World under the High Speed heading. I'm finally getting used to it, but I would often look for Grell, unable to find an entry. Personally I think each should have their own entry, but that's just me. ^_^

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juantoo3
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The problem we bumped into with that is that the model list became so long it was unwieldy. It was actually Dean that suggested shortening the list, and after doing so I find myself in agreement.

So my cladistics stem from the K.I.S.S. principle. ;)
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juantoo3
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To the second part of your question Pastor, since I didn't see it when I responded the first time...I'm equally torn on the "generic" brands. I know just enough to get myself in trouble.

When it comes to your cataloguing, I would say go with what works for you. My intention with the database, nowhere near complete, is to allow each recognized maker some space. Particularly with the "no-name" makers, many of which were probably made in the same factory together, but we don't have ready access to that information...so the only we have to go by, and even then sometimes purely conjectural (1988, CF) is to go with the maker name. What to do with something like the 1990s era Imperial / Buddy L models? We know, without doubt, they were contracted...*all* other Imperials were always and ever contracted...but we don't know from whom. How do you database those models? A lot of what we are doing is shooting from the hip, rolling with the punches and trying to see what works.

In the Summer database we built the list by the norm we initially set out. The problem for me is, so many of the models have the maker number hidden inside, so without the model in hand plus bright light plus good eyes, its really hard to tell. I am thinking of making an auxiliary list by auto maker and model as on some other lists, just to make it easier to find specific models for those that may not have the mfr number handy.

This is all as we go, experience is the teacher, and we're just trying to make the best of a complex situation. Collecting toy cars is supposed to be fun, making it a full time job to sort things out kinda takes away from that.
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b2young
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Sad firefighter
And before we were "collectors", we, like the kids the things we 'collect' were made for, didn't care a bit who made most of the things we played with. Exceptions notwithstanding, like "Matchbox" or "Hot Wheels" or "Majorette"...the brands that were, as far as we knew or cared, the actual makers of the things with their 'brand' name. And even with Matchbox or Hot Wheels, now they're all really "made" by "Mattel"....yet in some un-named Chinese or Thai or Viet Nam factory....so even our major brands use 'anonymous' makers.

I have a field for "Brand" and another field for "manufacturer". When I search, I may have to search on both those fields, but my database (Filemaker Pro) allows me to stack search terms into one search. Picklists for known Brands and Manufacturers help simplify and prevent errors/maintain consistency of terminology and spelling. I may have more detailed information in my personal database than the Swifty's compendium for a particular casting, but the Swifty's database is still a great and developing resource and starting place.
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toyotageek
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Japanese Minicar Maniac
In general, I go by whatever it says on the bottom of the car. So even if the same casting was used by more than one "Brand" I tend to recognize each "brand" individually. I basically don't keep track of the factory or manufacturer of the actual model.



Since we've touched the subject of High Speed and family, I'd like to make some observations/suggestions.... (sorry if this isn't the proper place).


The Database is split into two sections, but they are both titled "Databases". It might help to differentiate them with slightly different titles (PRIMARY DATABASES and OTHER DATABASES, or some such title variations).

Posted Image
Posted Image




I was also thinking it might help if the "Company List" be retitled to something like BRAND INDEX or something similar, and be at the top of the page where it could be more readily seen.

Posted Image

Posted Image


Also, I noticed if going alphabetically, "Grell" and "Malibu International" don't link anywhere, and there is no separate entry for Readers Digest.
I think this is where I had trouble when I was looking where the Grell cars were... before I found the link under the High Speed heading.

Posted Image



I'm just thinking little tweaks like that might make it easier for newbies and the less experienced collectors find their way around when looking for stuff.





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Edited by toyotageek, Mar 9 2018, 05:18 PM.
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juantoo3
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yeah, more than likely I missed that one and haven't been back around to look, so thanks for bringing that to my attention. With the PB meltdown my attention in the database has been elsewhere and I haven't updated the master maker list in quite awhile. Only so many hours in a day, and I do have a life outside of Swifty's, so it just takes time.

Actually I welcome suggestions and letting me know when there are little goofs like that, just prefer not actually in the database...I know that sounds counter-intuitive, maybe I should make a pinned thread in the database just to point out things that need fixing?
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juantoo3
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There, that should fix a few of the things mentioned and then some. I do not have the administrative ability to move the list to the top.
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toyotageek
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Japanese Minicar Maniac
juantoo3
Mar 9 2018, 05:59 PM
Yeah, more than likely I missed that one and haven't been back around to look, so thanks for bringing that to my attention. With the PB meltdown my attention in the database has been elsewhere and I haven't updated the master maker list in quite awhile. Only so many hours in a day, and I do have a life outside of Swifty's, so it just takes time.

Actually I welcome suggestions and letting me know when there are little goofs like that, just prefer not actually in the database...I know that sounds counter-intuitive, maybe I should make a pinned thread in the database just to point out things that need fixing?
I understand the issue with time - I am guilty of that myself with the Tomica database. :blush:

The idea of a suggestion (or whatever ya wanna call it) box (thread), sounds like a good idea. :thumbup:
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toyotageek
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Japanese Minicar Maniac
juantoo3
Mar 9 2018, 06:23 PM
There, that should fix a few of the things mentioned and then some. I do not have the administrative ability to move the list to the top.
:2thumbsup:
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juantoo3
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm counting on you to help me keep the Tomica DB straight. I don't mind posting what I have, but I'm like a fish out of water there, there are so many subtleties to the brand that I am not familiar with that I am easily lost. I wouldn't know if someone mis-posted anything.
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toyotageek
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Japanese Minicar Maniac
juantoo3
Mar 11 2018, 09:20 AM
I'm counting on you to help me keep the Tomica DB straight. I don't mind posting what I have, but I'm like a fish out of water there, there are so many subtleties to the brand that I am not familiar with that I am easily lost. I wouldn't know if someone mis-posted anything.
And I'll admit this is where I've fallen short. I have not policed the entries the way I should. The problem of mis-posting, or mis-titling the Tomica cars is a common and easy mistake, and the errors are not always easy to catch, which is why I sort of gave up on it. Postings were being added faster than I could verify them. I'm no expert on Tomica. I rely on books, and research to help me ID and confirm models. Trying to catch and correct errors like that often needs a little research, and once I fell behind, I lost hope in catching up.

But, I still will try when I can. Most recent example was the 58-4 NISSAN CEDRIC PATROL CAR which was posted as a No. 13-5 NISSAN CEDRIC PATROL CAR. 58-4 is what is listed on the box, and 13-5 is what is listed on the base of the model. This was easy for me to catch since the poster also included a photo of the box, which made confirmation easy. The difference between 13-5 and 58-4 is 13-5 is a civilian vehicle, while 58-4 is a patrol vehicle. Overall same basic body casting, but modified to become a patrol vehicle, but they share the same base.

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juantoo3
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And those would be the types of things I would have no idea about...I go by what is on the base... ;) I wouldn't know where to begin to look, and frankly have too many irons in the fire as it is. So I do the best I can, but I have to reduce to the lowest common denominator...the base.
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juantoo3
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I would like to illustrate if I can some of the complexity with trying to catalog diecast, particularly the obscure brands. I'm going to pick on an *easy* one, as if... :rolleyes:

Speed Wheels

Speed Wheels is an in-store brand for Walgreen's drug stores. I don't know if they are or have been available elsewhere, but I know they have been in those stores for many years and still are.

Posted Image

I actually already have this model, but I grabbed this in a tatty package to give me some documentation to work from. This is Series X (10), as Speed Wheels tends to number its series, which roughly correspond to years. I could find no date on the package.

Posted Image

I know the model is a Welly Corvette, I have several variants, and this was one of the few ways to get Welly models in America, at least for a time. However...not all Speed Wheels are Welly...remember, this is from series 10. I know these are Welly in part because I have a few of the models pictured on this package back...but frankly there are models pictured I haven't seen before.

Posted Image

Also recently picked up these. This is from so early in the Speed Wheels series that it has no series number, and they sell 3 / $1! (I haven't seen 3 / $1 Speed Wheels in *many* years now). I have in the past seen Speed Wheels packages with series III on them, so I am guessing these are from series I or series II, but I really have no way to know for certain, again no date on the package. What I can say with certainty is these are not Welly...I don't know what they are (little help please), but they are not Welly.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

The base(s) only has "Made in China" and a 3 digit mfr number beginning with 9 (900 series) and an "F" suffix...that may mean something to someone better versed than me, but at this moment these are a mystery, and do not conform to any maker I have any familiarity with.

Later series of Speed Wheels, I think beginning with series XI, went to Maisto, and to this day Maisto still supplies Speed Wheels models.

With the database, since I have been trusted to caretake it, I go with the known maker. The Wellys go under Welly, the Maisto under Maisto. For these early ones I will and am now asking for assistance to ID them. In the rare instance that no maker can be attributed, then I would list these as Speed Wheels until properly identified. That is the essence of what I am doing in the database.
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Mark F.
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Minivan
Those would be products of Global Way International (or Gwint for short). Their own packaging usually has this logotype on it: Posted Image
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juantoo3
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank you Mark! (I figured between you and Dean someone would have a clue)

Can you tell any more about the company and do you have a model list or can you point to one? I have a sense of some of these (Lancia Stratos, Mercedes Gullwing), but some are pretty vague. The red one I showed for instance, looks to me somewhere between a Fox Mustang and a Honda Prelude.
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Mark F.
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Minivan
I got this from a website a while ago:

The company devotes to manufacturing, designing and selling zinc alloy series toys. The headquarters is located in Hong Kong and the factory is set up in Guangzhou. The workshop is located at NO. 8, Industry Broadway, XinHua Town, HuaDu District, Guangzhou City, China and occupies an area of over 65, 000 square feet.
The factory is equipped with Mould Dept., Colour Printing Dept., Plastic Sucking Dept. and Electroplating Dept. One-hop producing match equipment, as well as the Marketing Dept. and Designing & Researching Dept. Currently, The factory has 1,000 employees with the monthly output capacity reaching 25 million pieces. Our products are sold well in Asia, Europe, South America and North America, Middle East, Australia etc. All the products have passed the Europe EN71-1, U. S. ASTMF963-96a certificate.

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b2young
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Sad firefighter
I'm not sure I would want to work in the "Plastic Sucking Department" there...but maybe that's where they test chewing on your old Bic pens and/or the caps that used to come with them? :lol:
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juantoo3
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Google translations...gotta luv 'em...not!
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Mark F.
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Minivan
:lol: Probably vacuum-forming.
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juantoo3
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mark F.
Mar 12 2018, 09:51 PM
:lol: Probably vacuum-forming.
Translating the translation, that was my guess as well. Google translate does the best it can, but too often comes up short.
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juantoo3
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

toyotageek
Mar 11 2018, 12:43 PM
Most recent example was the 58-4 NISSAN CEDRIC PATROL CAR which was posted as a No. 13-5 NISSAN CEDRIC PATROL CAR. 58-4 is what is listed on the box, and 13-5 is what is listed on the base of the model. This was easy for me to catch since the poster also included a photo of the box, which made confirmation easy. The difference between 13-5 and 58-4 is 13-5 is a civilian vehicle, while 58-4 is a patrol vehicle. Overall same basic body casting, but modified to become a patrol vehicle, but they share the same base.

Now that I think about it, this helps illustrate something else. Now, I'm leaving the Tomica board to you...you know them better than me, you have access to the research materials, and you are a splitter.

*If it were me,* I would link both catalogue numbers to the same thread, and any others of the same model. Again, not knowing Tomica, but if say the same casting was used for civilian, police, fire, unmarked detective, doctor, premium, promo, special edition, etc, and each was assigned a different catalogue number, I would point all of those on the list to the same thread to show all of the iterations of that casting. I think you will find that by splitting, you are actually creating far more work, particularly if you also insert reference links to the other same casting posts so a novice can actually hunt down all of the variants of that casting.

But that is an administrative cataloguing decision, one I am leaving to you for that board.
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toyotageek
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Japanese Minicar Maniac
LOL, that is a veritable can of worms.

I've always tried to keep it simple. Here's how I look at it... the simplest database to create for Tomica, follows the box numbering system. This is how a lot of the Japanese collector sites have been based, and that was how I started doing it years ago. Now I have seen some sites that do something like what you mention, but they go even a step further, with links and cross-links.... you can look up the car by it's box number, or by the model/make name. Then from there you can see all the iterations of that casting, and even what gift sets or other various sets or releases that it was part of. That is beyond my ability and I think the scope of this forum... but yeah, I'd love to be able to do that for English speaking collectors to refer to. As I've mentioned before, I'm no Tomica expert. I'm just a collector with an interest in sharing information. I would love to become an expert, but I don't see that happening until I retire... which won't be for another 15 years or more down the road - unless I win the lottery, or find someone to fund such an endeavor.

Another thing is that the Japanese Tomica sites are all managed by a single person, and they have complete control of what they do. Swifty's on the other hand is a community effort. and with it being a group endeavor there are good things and bad things that go along with it. The good is that more can get done than just I can accomplish in a given amount of time, but the bad thing is you lose some control over how each individual contributes and what they contribute.

I don't know if there is a right or wrong way to do it. It's all a matter of preference and opinion. When I look through a Tomica database, I want to be able to see the specific model I am searching for, and I don't want to wade through a number of variations. I know that other people probably do want to see all the variations.

In the end, we do the best that we can with what we have...
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juantoo3
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And therein lies Pastor J's answer. There isn't a "right way and wrong way," it is personal preference and what works for you!
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