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 (film franchise)

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 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 its 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 a physical model of the character Buzz Lightyear. 

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

- Brands or Series. Brands and series are handled slightly differently than subjects and have their own fields when adding an item to the database.  

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. This Iron Man action figure 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. 
  3. Always ask yourself, "can I realistically own what I'm creating as a subject?". If the answer is "yes", think twice before adding a subject that does not yet exist.