The Matchbox Collectors Forum at two.

Two  years ago, there was an event in the collecting community that was needed and basically changed the diecast forum membership forever.
I of course refer to the mental breakdown of a one Mark Curtis – the Kim Jong Il of the mboxcommunity.com.
So let’s take it back a tad – the MCCH was THE place to go to discuss diecast – the level of information was huge as well as many a collecting royalty such as Jim Gallegos frequenting, posting and trading. But some members wanted to speak out and express a view – something which Curtis did not want and insisted that folk tow his line in terms of rules and what to post. People defied Curtis and to maintain control he started banning folk left, right and centre – the behaviour of a child or a mentally unstable man. Someone that needs to have so much control surely needs psychiatric help?
Anyway, the numbers banned over a period of 2-3 weeks hit double figures and out of the chaos came this email from Brad Collins:

17thMarch 2012

Gday,
I have started a new Forum dedicated to Matchbox.  If you are interested in joining me (and hopefully others) and contributing some of your vast knowledge then you can find the new forum at http://cobratoys.com.au/forums/
Of course would appreciated you inviting along anyone else you know that might be interested.  Of course there are some rules, but unlike other sites I have only three rules (see the Welcome message for details).  Although the forum is hosted on my website, I want this to become YOUR forum (not mine).  You guys will set the pace, style and rules…we are all adults and I am sure we can make a really worthwhile forum.
Hope to see you there
And from this email, I immediately signed up. In fact I was one of the first members of the site. And I have never looked back.
Two years on, the path of the collector has significantly changed. The MCF now has 421 members (not all active, but impressive nevertheless). There has been a huge wealth of topics discussed and debated, free from over-zealous moderating and allowing the member to freely discuss what ever topic they like. For me this is a forum I enjoy posting. Where I have made an error in judgement in posting, I have requested the it to be taken down – there was no moderator ban – I knew I had stepped over the mark……..self policing has always been the ethos and it bloody well works.
It has been noted that for some, the MCF is far too rough a place – all kinds of reasons have been brought up (children reading the board – surely they should be out doing something else? God-fearing Americans upset with the tone of language – well, for those folk who feel all Ned Flanders, please advise how many of the 10 commandants they have not broken….).
I have said that the MCF is the only place where posts are self regulated. Yes, there are flare up’s and some very heated debates, but this all blows over after time – it is just a question of time more than anything else…..some really don’t like it and stay away – the comfort of a moderated forum providing them a security blanket. Well, that is fine – but surely this adds to debate and discussion? Or should everything discussed by fluffy and warm? You need to get stuck in and not be passive.
Others have seen that the sometimes harsh tone of the board is due the passion that some of the collectors have – and this cannot be denied. A quote from a recent post:

I thought it was a bit rough when I first visited. But I soon realized it is just a bunch of passionate collectors who speak their minds. The growth and cooperation has become better each visit. I see all my friends coming over to visit and wow, no one banned yet. Keep up the good work and keep the passion.

Of course you have young wannabe’s who look to give advice on Skype servers and parenting even though they have not even started shaving yet – the future of collecting it has been said……..well, maybe, but first I suggest that they discover girls and then they will realise that at the end of the day, there is more to life……and a lot to learn about as well.
The MCCH is now a shadow of its former self. It has been rightly questioned why people still flock to the MCCH – well, they have “friends” there and so they wish to keep in contact. But surely the right thing to do would be to move off the MCCH and join the MCF or HobbyTalk/Swiftys instead and take those friendships with you as well?
The MCCH needs to collapse – so that Curtis can realise the extent of the damage he has done to the hobby of diecast collecting. Mattel want nothing to do with him. The Gathering in ABQ, NM goes on without Curtis’ attendance and numbers are up – his failed attempt at his own Gathering has made him a bit of a joke: check out http://www.mcchconvention.com/– the goon is still advertising the event! Add to that bus-gate (his fundraiser that are not getting sent out as he is on death’s door so he says….it makes no sense to stay in the equivalent of North Korea’s Diecast Forum.
You have the Curtis fan club – a chap called Terry O thinks the sun shines out of his arse, and keeps calling him “brother” – reminds me of the WWF and Hulk Hogan……..well, let the fan club stay in the bubble. If they want to bury their head in the sand so be it. I know that folk think he is a good bloke – good for them. But the praise for Curtis in the face of his behaviour surely must be questioned – and how many times have we heard the Curtis sod story before and folk fall for it all the time?

You will have some that will be irked by this post and say “what a complete wanker, I want nothing to do with him or the MCF” – the so be it as well – but why miss out just because this has most probably irritated or annoyed you – it is about opinion and the expression of opinion which the MCCH fails to adhere to due to Curtis’ inability to allow others to challenge. I don’t mind the flack, I really don’t – so if there is the need to get it off your chest, then go for gold – it proves my point that opinion will be given, debated, argued about and then fade away……………………we all gather around once again and we discuss diecast.

So, in summary, happy birthday to the MCF – two years old and getting bigger all the time – you may not like the bite at times but surely you should never stifle passion?

Good cheer to you Brad Collins! 

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