Action Figures

Does Software Really Help You Catalog a Toy Collection?

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In my last article, I shared the importance of creating a database for your collection. Not only is it good for your own personal inventory but knowing what your items or whole collection are worth can be helpful for insuring your prized possessions or knowing their value if you’re looking to re-sell. Today I’m going to go into more depth about my process of putting together the extensive catalog I have been working on for my boyfriend’s Star Wars collection.

Research is Key

Toy Collection

Image: Jess Del Pino

I spent a couple of months doing research to try and find the best way to go about cataloging everything he owns. Of all of the apps and software out there I couldn’t find anything that would suit our needs. This is when I decided to develop my own database from scratch. How does one go about doing something like that? It was actually quite simple once I put together a basic template of information I was looking to record.

Starting with basic word processing software I listed out all of the criteria I was looking to record for each item. Of course, some of the criteria ended up being a little different depending on the type of item I was cataloging. For instance, I included story arc names and issue numbers for each comic book. When it came to the action figures I changed those criteria to include the name of the toy line that figure is a part of. Overall, the basic list of criteria I came up with was the item name, original release date, original market price, current market value, condition, notes, and a place to include pictures of each item.

Get a Google Drive Account

Image: Jess Del Pino

Considering the scale of the collection I was working with I found that setting up a Google Drive was the best way for me to go. If you aren’t familiar with Google Drive there are many tools that include a word processor called Google Docs and spreadsheets called Google Sheets. Also, there is the ability to share what you are working on with others and you can add users if you are getting help to input the data you are collecting. What really sold me on using Google Drive was the ability to access it from anywhere. It’s helped quite a few times when I’ve been out at a comic book store to easily see from my phone if there might be a missing comic book issue that we need to pick up. Plus it has helped cut down on purchasing duplicate issues.

There’s an App for That

Image: Jess Del Pino

While I know this may not be for everyone I will say that I did end up finding an app that I have started to incorporate alongside Google Drive. The app is called Gemr. It’s a social media meets online marketplace specifically geared toward collectors. You can find my profile here to give you an idea of the kind of community they’re building. There are also a ton groups you can join. They range from anything you can think of that people collect including Star Wars, Transformers, vintage toys, and even VHS tapes. It is super easy to use and you can build groups of collections and share with others. It’s helped me by connecting me to similar collectors to fill in the gaps of information I haven’t been able to find just by researching on the internet. Plus it’s been a fun way to interact with others while cataloging this collection.

While these are just the things that have worked for me so far I am always looking for new tools to add to my tool box.

Let us know in the comments what other software you use and have been helpful with keeping track of your collection.

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