Wednesday, 10 July 2013

HOARD WORLD: YEAR ONE - A GLANCE BACK AT THE LAST 365ish DAYS OF LIFE WITH HOARDAX.

The Hoardy Bunch.

It's hard to believe that in your human time measurements, approximately 369 days have now passed since Hoard World was first revealed to the inhabitants of Planet Earth via social media and this ye olde blog.

But it has.

So believe it.

Yes, it was on July 6th 2012, that Hoard World appeared for the very first time with this here BLOG POST.




The premise was simple - I had acquired way too much stuff over the years and was looking at ways to offload it in a way that was fun for me. Originally, the whole venture was going to be called Hell's Hoard. It was going to be quite blue. The header and tag line on this very blog initially said: Hell's Hoard - Hoarding Awesome S**t My Entire F*****G Life So You Didn't Have To...


My pseudonym would be Hellz Hoardax - which obviously ties into the whole Hell's Hoard theme much better. It's also alliteration. And I love that.

But I realised pretty quickly that I was already alienating a potential audience by being openly offensive, negative, and saying rude swears whenever I felt like it. The internet's full of so much of that already. Plus I had reservations about a blog that was realistically only existing to sell stuff where you first had to click 'I agree' to an adult content disclaimer before you could even look at it. I made the executive decision that whatever I was doing, it was for everybody. Theoretically.

Now I wasn't quite sold on Hellz Hoardax anymore (although technically I'm still called Harry "Hellz" Hoardax in some places) and Hell's Hoard seemed incongruous once I decided that Hoardax wasn't going to work blue.

I had already created a hamfisted pun on the Masters Of The Universe character Hordak. Why not go with that?

And thus - Hoard World run by Hordak's twin brother HOARDAX was born. On my personal facebook page, I started a countdown leading up to the big reveal. For the days leading up to it,  there were photos of Hordak and his pals from old He-man magazines and toy package art uploaded with text saying stuff like "Four Sleeps To Go......The Hoard is coming...."

By the time, I launched on the Friday, I'm certain everybody I knew were either completely sick of it already or thought I was outta my Vulcan mind.

This is what the first few hours of Hoard World on Facebook looked like (along with the aforementioned maiden blog post - which was only a photo of a custom Hordak holding a stolen Adora Baby with a re-worked version of the opening monologue to Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!)

First appearance of soon to be Not Famous catchphrase "Get On Board The Hoard!"
As you can see, in this early version, it was "Get on board with The Hoard." Oh, hindsight.

It's only through looking back on the evolution of Hoard World in its various forms that I see now it began as a pretty solid idea before I got incredibly distracted. The plan was SELL MY STUFF on eBay and at swap meets, markets and stall cabinets. Blog about it. Support it with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. The End.

And had I stuck with this in its purest form, I might have even made some real money by now. To be honest, the early days went a lot better than I anticipated. I did particularly well from my (now long-defunct) occupation of the All Star Comics Vintage Toy Cabinet. The thing that started to change my focus however, was the quality of photos that (currently AWOL Hoard World character) "Skorpia" was starting to take to promote the All Star Comics Vintage Toy Cabinet.

I was also quite enjoying writing made-up stories about my real past like this one and this little devil here, (to date still one of the most popular blog entries of all time) as well as stuff like this piece - which is basically MOTU fan fiction (never as popular as I thought it would be when I wrote it - I thought it was HILARIOUS for some reason).

And so it continued, but it was already slowly becoming less about me selling my stuff and more about me feeding my own addiction for this stuff - with an increasingly obvious focus on Toys. This is where it needs to be said that Hoard World was always supposed to be about "The Hoard" in general - not just toys but anything else I had accumulated that I had to sell (comic books, VHS, dvds, blurays, books, posters, magazines and toys).

This is a page where you can already start to see the beginnings of a change in Hoard World's original scope. A bigger focus on things I owned that I had absolutely no intention of selling, the photos themselves starting to take on a life of their own and a paltry amount of actual eBay listings going on.

If we're going to really get meta and narcissistic (and it's still a blog so I can) let's go off on another tangent for a moment and look at my sign-off. I'm not exactly sure why I insisted on having the sign-off of "YR PAL, HOARDAX." It was one part a throw back to someone like Pee Wee Herman using something like "YOUR PAL," as a sign-off, one part ripped off from a livejournal writer that I used to enjoy the ramblings of - he often signed off with "YR PAL," after an hilarious rant.

It was only last week that I realised I might have, in fact, inadvertently been ripping off Mark Millar with his MILLARWORLD editorials. I had literally never made the connection or even noticed he did that.

But your pal, Hoardax, has digressed.

Slowly but surely, I had stopped focusing so much on sorting my own Hoard and selling it online and in other avenues, and had begun to get obsessed with having blog content that was about things I liked and dates that were inconsequentially relevant. Like Friday The 13th. There's a Friday The 13th coming up! Quick! I have to do a blog post that mentions it along with photos of Jason Voorhees.

"Happy Friday The 13th Everybody!" became the very first (of so many more to come) Date Celebration style blog entries that were a bunch of fun but had no real point outside of saying, "Happy <insert day here> from Hoard World!" We also see the first official mention of the TOYPERWARE Party - a future event that, a year later, has yet to be fully realised outside of the beta testing amongst close friends that this photo of Super Patriot and the Body Bags guy is from. 

By the time we get to October of 2012, the format for what Hoard World was to become is practically cemented. The Vintage Toy Cabinet has become a thing of the past - its final death throws a well intentioned and moderately effective money raising venture called Charity Hoard where (currently AWOL Hoard World character and one of my favourite Horde-based puns) ManTenor offloaded roughly $100 AUD worth of ToyBiz figures and donated all the money to charity.

I had stopped spotlighting things I actually had (and in some cases, still have) to sell like the Johnny Lightning cars and completely started going off on other tangents like strange Deadpool/Muppets Fan Fic (once again, something I thought would be a big hit with the cool kids and just wasn't), an as yet un-repeated Collectable-based Travelogue, more Date Celebration Entries (like He-man's Birthday and It's A Very Hoard World Halloween) and spotlights on things I liked (the most popular Hoard World blog post of all time TMNT CLASSICS.)

Ebay had become a dirty word. I rarely listed anything, even more rarely sold anything at all, and was now solely focused on new blog content that I found personally interesting or had thought of "cool" photos for.

I had now also become completely obsessed with Facebook LIKES and had developed a mild-to-severe (depending on who you ask) Facey B addiction. To the point where I even promoted some FB posts with real money to get Hoard World's name out there even more.

I have to admit this is a great pic but I have never again achieved 94,233 people seeing one of my posts ever again. I'm doing well if it hits over a thousand people "seeing"it. I guess the biggest problem I have with Facey B is that I don't really know what this data even means. All I knew is I wanted these kinds of numbers. It's addictive. Even if it's meaningless.

Promoting Facey B posts seems to absolutely work but despite 94,233 people "seeing" that picture - I think we can objectively agree that the Hoard World page doesn't have 94,233 page likes.

At this point in time, whenever I do eventually return to a focus on selling my Hoard, it is almost only as an excuse to take photos of Masters Of The Universe Classics characters hanging out together. Exhibit A - the woefully unsuccessful Black Friday Sale. Exhibit B - Me blowing my own horn about finally being able to sell MOTUC figures to The People. As if an action figure that Hoardax has played with is somehow more of a collector's item!

By the end of the year, two things are firmly in place, however.

One of them is that I start to write some blog entries that are incredibly nostalgic for me and actually delve into my true past with the trilogy of Christmas Tales: I [have] The Power Lords, How He-man Ruined My Life (the fifth most read Hoard World feature of all time) and The Very First Hoard World Photo story. I personally got a lot out of writing these. At one point, a representative of The Four Horsemen even contacted me to ask permission to use my vintage photo of me at Christmas holding up a carded Adam Power for their upcoming Power Lords Return Toy Line. I can't begin to tell you how amazed and excited I was by this.

I suppose I could have kept it mint on card but imagine how many countless hours of fun I would have missed out on.

The second established thing was that when we actually hit that Christmas-y time of year - now referred to as Hoardsmas by yours truly - the stable of ongoing characters on Hoard World has begun to be take shape. This becomes the first time that the MOTUC Hordak figure appeared on Hoard World without his head rest and cape and finally represented "Hoardax" as opposed to Hordak. It was also the beginning of Trap Jaw taking on a personality of his own that would continue to this day. I had never thought about displaying Hordak without his cape before. I only did it so he could open his presents properly for this shot. It allowed for much better poseability. But I liked it so much - I never went back. Unless of course the character is meant to be Hordak. Until I get a custom figure of Hoardax made - this is how you tell the difference. Cape? It's Hordak. No Cape? It's clearly Hoardax. They're twin brothers don't you know?

The very first Hoardsmas blog entry can be read in its entirety right here.

The Hoardsmas Eve edition of Hoard World was also the first time I joined The League Of Extraordinary Bloggers. Whenever I actually get around to it, it's always a lot of fun. It also guarantees an audience for whatever I'm writing for it because, at the very least, the other bloggers will check it out. Here's the second time I wrote for the League: It was very Dino-Rider-y. I'm sure I'll do more in the future.

It was now almost 2013. Having become well and truly addicted to Date Celebration Blogging - It would have been remiss of me to have not celebrated NYE. Here you can see some of the lead-up to the big kaboom over on Facey B.


We hadn't quite moved on to different coloured backgrounds at this stage. For the Hoard World Fireworks display I experimented with actual darkness and created one of my all time favourite pics. Which, is still one of the least read blog entries I've ever committed to Internet Land; probably because everybody was too busy celebrating and living their lives while I was foolishly at home getting drunk with The Brains Trust (formerly known as Skorpia) and trying to set up the perfect shot. I'm a real Taskmaster. But not in a good way.


In 2013, I have truly felt like Hoard World has found its audience and it continues to grow. This makes me very happy because as much as I enjoy doing this for myself, I also like knowing that people enjoy it and can interact with it. If I didn't care about the people, I wouldn't be putting any of this out there. I'd just keep it to myself. But where's the fun in that?

This constant evolution, however, into a variety of different avenues but with a strong leaning towards Action Figures and Masters Of The Universe, had taken most of my focus away from the original mission statement of what Hoard World was founded to be.

I'm a pathological Hoarder. I need to get rid of some stuff. 

If anything, Hoard World was encouraging that behaviour. It was absolutely feeding an addiction. As much as I lied to myself, I had begun to stop looking at my old stuff in terms of selling them and more so in terms of, "Is this good content for Hoard World?" I would be looking at new figures that were coming out and think, "I need that for a Hoard World photo shoot!"

I would never in a million years have dreamt of owning, for example, a Ben Affleck Daredevil figure, but I was constantly coming up with, "hilarious" ideas* that Hoard World would now benefit from if I did have one. (Keep an eye out for that because you better believe that's still happening!)

I can't even convey to you how much Barbie stuff I now own because the play sets make such great backgrounds and have so many brilliant props. Every time, I go into a toystore or K-mart or whatever, the Barbies section is usually my first port of call. A few days ago, my local K-mart was closing down and I saw a Barbie Jet Plan with a fantastic interior for only $40 and I almost had a coronary. My mind begins to race - "By Crom! Hoardax might have some family on the way over in a plane!" or "What does Skeletor and He-man think about airplane food??!????!"

I'm out of control.

But on the plus side, things like this end up happening:

I love this pic and have gotten so much mileage out of it, it's ridiculous. It turned up originally in the Hoard World Valentine's Day Special (yet another Date Celebration Entry), was used over on one of my favourite sites of all time Dinosaur Dracula and became the focus of a very successful Hoard World Caption Contest where the winner got a free Merman.
But also by 2013, we now had a bunch of Hoard World arenas that had started to grow cobwebs due to disinterest on my part or blatant neglect.

The Twitter.

I think I get it. I think I finally understand Twitter. I just don't know if I can be bothered. It seems like work to me. And I think you'll agree that "Tweeting" shouldn't feel like work. These days, when I think of something to tweet, I just say it out loud to whoever's nearby because then at least it'll have a bigger audience.
Not even Scareglow and friends could save the Hoard Tweets. I attempted one last push at the start of the year and then immediately lost interest in under 140 seconds. If you've been paying attention thus far, or even if you've already tuned out, there's no denying that I am nothing if not VERBOSE. Hoardax can't be restricted to 140 characters. It's elitist. Hope you NEVER receive a text from me.

If only I could tweet photos more obviously, I think I might have something. Oh wait, Helloooooo Instagram!


The Pinterest. (click on image for a larger view)

I like Pinterest. I honestly do. And I think The PinsterHoard looks great! It's rather Pinteresting.  But I'm all pinned out.

Not such a big deal that Hoard World isn't conquering social media with Twitter or Pinterest. They're both fine machines but maybe they're just not for me. And I'm not abandoning them completely. It doesn't hurt to leave them lying around for funsies.

Here's where I have a real problem and I can only blame neglect. This brings us back to how I've lost my way in terms of what Hoard World was created to achieve.

eBay. (click on image for a larger view)

Oh, Hoardstore. Why have I forsaken you? You are the real path to my hopes and dreams.

Now, I don't think I've done a bad job on eBay. I just haven't done enough considering that it's over 12 months since Hoard World began. And I made a pact with The Brains Trust (formerly known as Skorpia) that I would be bringing in enough eBay Hobby Selling money to cover my own addiction and have spare money for Real Life Things.

They say most businesses fail within the first 12 months and I'm no different. If Hoard World was treated purely as a business and looked at in that way - it is an abominable failure. But it's still a great business model (if a somewhat confusing one). If I had have had TMNT Classics figures to sell when I first did that TMNT Classics Spotlight way back when, we would have made some serious coin.

Instead, what I've been doing is making sales for a bunch of other people both directly and indirectly through my constant Hoard World obsessions. This is in no way a bad thing and I've enjoyed doing it all. I don't plan on stopping any time soon in promoting things that I personally enjoy and think are awesome.

In fact, if I was only trying to sell my things ALL THE TIME with Hoard World, I believe people would tire of me pretty quickly. But I've gone too far the opposite way. It's a fine line to tread. You want all the love of various things to come from a pure, genuine place. Not something that is riddled with a conflict of interests or insincere due to financial gain.

But the evidence remains, based purely on my own interactions with people and initial readers of the blog that some people look at pics and things I'm highlighting and go, "This is great! How do I buy stuff?"

On one hand, that's a magnificent response. By the same token though, you never want to make it confusing or difficult enough that people need to ask that question after looking at your theoretical wares.

And this is where things haven't quite come together in the way that we had planned. The eBay store and any in person sales feel like almost an afterthought to what is now a moderately successful Toy Blog, Facey B community and growing Instagram Empire.

Which is fine but I need to find some middle ground.

That "middle ground" is possibly not just taking a photo of Hoardax, his Human Assistant and Trap Jaw pretending to do eBay and saying that you're doing eBay. It's actually listing on eBay.

Without continuing to self-indulgently share my thoughts from behind-the-curtain, let's spend the rest of this time looking at what else has happened in the last year of Hoard World!


It's been an amazing journey so far. I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It's made me write again. It's given me a renewed interest and practical use for all of my years of hoarded possessions. It's literally made use of decades of useless skills I own; some skills that go right back even to the way I used to play with and pose my toys as a child. I'm excited about these new adventures I'm creating and the fun that I'm having in the process. None of it is as easy as it may look but it all feels worth it. I've also met and been exposed to so many new and amazing people in the process. I couldn't even begin to list them all. I love you all.



Aside from what I've just written, my latest Poe Ghostal Review is still technically the last thing I've actually written. But what good timing, given that King Randor is on sale again in a few days over at Mattycollector.com!




Thanks again for being a Hoard Worlder. Here's to another 365ish Days!

yr pal,

Hoardax.

Behind you! Behind you!

*These ideas are often only hilarious to me and a handful of people worldwide!

**To this day, the winner still hasn't expressed interest in even getting the prize! I don't blame them.

***Thanks entirely to regularly contributing Hoard Worlder Brendan Ryan. This is to date, the 2nd most viewed Blog Entry after the TMNT Classics spotlight.

****I have never before seen (outside of shortly after posting to Reddit which is always insane) so many pageviews hit the Blog all at once. I felt like a journalist on the front lines of a real story. Except, not really.

*****Don't despair. Part Two of Round 1 of Ask Hoardax is still on its way. And I think you're going to like it!


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