Updated: Jan 28
A note from Tyler - Toyfixer founder (and everything else) since 2002
This is a bittersweet posting! 2002 was the heyday of my "toy collecting" hobby. I was out of college and working, and had very little in the way of "real life" financial responsibility. In this era my toy collection flourished. It was also the era of web forums, and a time when "geeks" and "loners" could interact with people like themselves, and suddenly not feel so geeky or lonely anymore.
My forum of choice was the Star Wars collecting forum at toysrgus.com (now the forumless http://theswca.com/ ) I would spend hours on the forum and in the attached chat room. While a member there I noticed a trend - that members were repeatedly asking the same questions about toy repair, restoration, and conservation. This was also the same point in my life that I had taken a few dreamweaver classes (which I just learned as of this posting , like - right now, is still a software) and the inspiration clicked. "Let's make a website about Star Wars toy restoration."
In November 2002 toyfixer was launched as a subdirectory of my then-portfolio site hamstudios.com. (if I recall it was hamstudios.com/starwars) At first the site focused on just Star Wars toys. As time went on, the site grew, and in 2005 my site's information was given it's own section in Jeremy Beckett's book The Official Price Guide to Star Wars Memorabilia. In 2008 the url toyfixer.com was registered and for the first time, the site was independent of my personal web portfolio,
Over the years the site has been very good to me. Not only did I get to contribute to a fantastic book, but TWICE I was approached by television production houses about hosting my own show about vintage toy restoration (I assume to compete with the popular TOY HUNTER show) Both the show concepts were canceled - but it was still a fun adventure.
And here we are. 18 years in and I am handing the reins over. The era of website instruction is in decline. It is the youtube era and toy restorers like Retroblasting and Toy Polloi, with their step-by-step instructional restoration videos are far better produced and more fun than my little site. This is also reflected in the sites analytics. At it's peak, toyfixer was getting over 100,000 visitors a year. In 2019, it was barely 15,000. Also, my time has become so limited that I have ignored the site - and the neglect was apparent.
So where are we now? Toy Polloi (https://www.toypolloi.com/) has been given all my scanned sticker, instruction, and random sheets and will start posting them on his site. He and I have chatted back and forth over the years and he seemed like a good person to spread on the ashes of toyfixer.
Thank you to everyone who contributed, commented, and visited my little site over the past 18 years. It feels good to know I was the first site on the big, giant internet dedicated solely to 1980's era toy restorations. But like these toys we love, the internet and myself have aged, and it is time to retire the old, and sit back and enjoy the new.
Thank you, everyone.
After announcing the site shut down I got some really nice notes! Nice to know it was appreciated while it was here :)