The goal of CollectionDX is to provide reviews, news and information from the world of Japanese Toys, Action Figures and Pop Culture. Although our content focuses on Japanese toys, it really comes down to whatever we think is cool at the time.
Back in 1999, I started a small on-line store in my basement called CYBERTOYZ. It was mainly to supplement my collecting habits, but I quickly found out that I was not cut out for the world of retail toy selling. I sold the domain in 2001.
cybertoyz.com, circa 2000
I was happy to be out of the business of selling toys, but I missed the aspect of cataloging them. I thought, for my next experiment, I would make a web site that would basically be a gallery of my toy collection. I thought it would be good for insurance purposes. Thus, in 2001, CollectionDX was born. Initially, I had collections of all kinds listed - from Robots, to Star Wars, to Barbie, but I decided to just focus on what I like.
CollectionDX.com, circa 2001
In 2003, with the help of Russell Cox, I switched the site to a rudimentary content management system. We began to solicit advertisers, and at this point, we were able to cover our operating expenses.
CollectionDX.com, circa 2005
In 2006 we moved to the open source Content Management System, Drupal.
Once we had the ability for users to register and comment, things took off. Our membership grew, and so did our traffic. During this period we produced original toys with Kaiju Big Battel and Onell Design, and Josh co-wrote a book. New contributors came on board, and it was in 2008 a partnership was formed, and CollectionDX LLC was registered. By 2009 we had outgrown our server, and our software was aging rapidly. Frequent downtime plagued the site so a plan was formed. We would upgrade. CollectionDX V2 as it was known to staff members was shut down to new content in October, 2010. Rising in its place was a new and improved CollectionDX, with increased speed, stability, and a host of new features.
We lost a good friend and co-owner, Dan Webber in 2010. In 2014 we hosted an art and toy show called Super Robots Giant Monsters. We brought on new staff and were churning out a lot of content, and advertising was good! However, all good things come to an end. Staff members moved on, the copyright apocalypse on YouTube de-monitized much of our content. Hacking attempts on the server increased. I got divorced and had to sell a lot of my collection. Morale was low. Nonetheless, we persisted. We slept on making the site mobile friendly as Smart Phones took over our traffic. Our anime site, OtakuDX, closed. A few tries at crowdfunding fail, as server costs skyrocketed.
In 2023, CollectionDX went into retirement mode. What this means is that while the site exists, it's now something that I do when I have the time. There may be months with no content, there may be weeks with 3 reviews. We still do sponsored reviews, youtube videos, and the occasional review for the hell of it, but most of the reviewers have moved on to do their own thing.
We'll run until the cost exceeds the revenue brought in by advertising, or we get get hit with some catastrophic hack or something that I can't fix on my own. The landscape of the web is constantly shifting and what was once great for SEO can now backfire. Traffic moves from social media account to social media account, and I can't keep up. So I'll be here, tinkering with my website, just like I was over 20 years ago.
- JoshB, November 2023