The size of this website has forced a few needed design features to make browsing and management of the site easier. Here is a brief explanation on how to best understand these tools:
About "Product Searches Menu"
Whenever possible the widest general searches are usually provided on the main website pages. If the number of results is too many, there is usually a "...More" link that may provide some very much narrower searches that will usually come with fewer results or help you find specifically what you are looking for. A good strategy for saving you time is to try the narrowest searches first, then if you cannot find what you are looking for, go wider in the hopes someone simply listed an item with poor word choices. I assume that by now you have figured out that "Search 1" is an E-Bay search and "Search 2" is an Amazon search. These stores inventories are just too large and change to fast to keep up with. I am one guy...not a company! That being said, it is easy to compare prices and availability quickly using these tools. So even if my pages are a little large, and thus trying your patience, you should still save time and probably money using this site.
About "New Collectible Vendor Searches"
Because of the inherent difficulties in constantly updating all of these vendors individual products some neccesary steps have been taken:
1. If possible, a "store" has been provided with just LOTR products for that vendor (See Amazon for example).
2. If a Store is not possible, then there may be an LOTR product list for that vendor (See Noble).
3. If neither of these first two options can be accomplished reasonably, then a LOTR search link is provided.
4. If none of the above can be accomplished, then they are not listed. For years WETA Workshop didn't show the URL in the address bar...so not listed.
Familiarizing yourself with these various store products can save you time later. For example the "Sports Mem" store is useful for a small handful of product types. (I know it seems a strange choice for a listing...but they had a lot of LOTR photos...so they get a listing)
Why the Pop-up Product Pages?
This is an easy one. I must regularly check product links to see if the product is still in stock for any given vendor. Using the Pop-Ups means I only have to open a dozen pages (or so) to do this task. The alternative is to open 250+ pages (and counting) to check each for links to in-stock products. Not a reasonable method for managing a site this large.
The Entire Website Menu
If you want to see the old menu again for quicker browsing, you can still use it from the Homepage. It was simply getting to large to include on every page.
Why the Large Pages?
If a page cannot be further broken apart without disrupting the logic of the orginazation, then it remains the size that it is. Please be patient, no page is larger than 72K and I am working hard to reduce them even further.
I do not know who you are (unless you e-mail and/or Chat with me), I do not know what you looked at, I don't know where you live. I will never send you an unsolicited e-mail or any e-mail unless you contact me first, even then I will only send an e-mail in response to yours. I am trying to help fellow LOTR collectors / fans, and I hope you help in return through support of this site, WITHOUT SUPPORT THIS SITE WILL CLOSE, I CANNOT AFFORD TO CARRY THIS SITE ON MY OWN. I will respect your right to privacy and that is that. I speak only for myself and my website. "Thag you very buch".
Bookmark this Site...
This site regularly falls of the map of the search engines because what I consider to be more helpful to you is considered bad policy to the search engines...whatever.
Allowing the Pop-Up Windows
The use of Pop-ups in this site is really a time saver for both you and I (there are no pop-up ads on this site). It keeps you from having to constantly hit the back button and reload a page for every search. This is especially important if you are looking at a large page or are still using 56k internet access. It also allows for more searches for an item than shown on the main page (look for a "...More" for additional search options). It also allows me to add new products to the site without re-publishing the entire site just becuase someone put out a new bookmark.
The real bonus comes, as mentioned above, on the Product Search page. Use this page only if you are still on a 56K modem. Most features on this page are now available as a "Pop-up Tool". While only a few searches are available to you if you "block content" there are thousands of searches available to you if you do not block the content. I have done my best to make it even easier as the following picture shows;
The page in the background is the main page (Product Searches, as referenced above). The yellow window box (a pop-up) is a menu of available search options for the category chosen (in the picture you can see the red link, I have chosen the action figures category. Upon clicking the action figures category the yellow menu box appears, but not if you block the pop-ups on this site. The window in the center of the picture is the pop-up for the menu choice I made in the category window (I clicked on the "Lord of the Rings 1" option in the Toy Biz section of the menu box).
There is no harmful content on this site, there are no malicious scripts of any kind. The blocked content simply allows you to use the site as I have designed it and that translates to ease-of-use and ease-of-management (at least easier....not easy). Enjoy collecting.....I do. I will ad more photos of my collection when time permits.
Allowing the "Blocked Content" (scripts)
More recently released browsers like Google Chrome handle the scripts on this site just fine. No adjustments neccesary
1. The scripts on this site accomplish two things. Allowing the "blocked content" first accomplishes the following;
The menus expand and contract when clicking the menu options (the yellow boxes). This makes the smaller pages a little more attractive and creates less need for you to have to constantly scroll up and down the window to make a menu selection. While there is no problem with not allowing the scripts, because the menu simply stays fully expanded the entire time, it is less attractive and more time consuming.
The page content can also expand and contract. Just like the menu explanation above, this allows you to choose which items on a page you want to explore further without having to scroll as much. The main difference here is that browsing will be MUCH easier because the pages become MUCH easier to visually scan.
Take a quick look at these two screen captures to see the difference:
The picture on the left is what a small page looks like if you block the content (scripts). As you can see the page is all there, and you can see everything with some scrolling up and down the page (notice that you only see a portion of the top category of the picture on the right). The picture on the right is of the same page as the picture on the left, only this time the "blocked content" has been allowed. As you can see the whole menu is visible and the page content is much easier to browse without necessarily the need for as much scrolling.
2. The second feature accomplished by the "blocked content" (scripts) is the making of the pop-up windows. This may seem irrelevant to you until you try to use the search features of this site.
This website is large, costly, and time consuming, it requires your support to continue its existence. Please leave the window open from the link provided when you make a purchase. Some of the vendors pay a commission on sales, without this support I cannot afford to keep this site running. It costs you nothing. That being said.....NO, not all the vendors pay. The point of this site is to help you find what you are looking for, not necessarily to make money. The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, etc is one of a handful of great passions in my life (my wife, guitar, and fishing are a couple of the others) and I just want to be involved somehow. Look at it this way, my commissions are less than you would tip a waiter by half, and some are so small as to be laughable, but whatever. If you do not want to support this site there are still plenty of links you can use that do not help my efforts: WETA Workshop, Noble Collection, Games Workshop, Mithril, just to name a few. I link to them becuase they are integral in the LOTR/Hobbit collections, and if I can find someone else selling their products who will pay a small commission, I will link to them also.....every time, no apologies. I am not even asking that you pay more for anything, if a vendor that pays a commission has a higher price than one that does not, BUY THE CHEAPER ONE (remember to factor in shipping), just please don't be surprised if one day this site is closed and you haven't done anything to support it. For those of you who do not mind supporting this site, and even want to help, do your shopping for anything and everything here....it never hurts. Why am I stating this? You have a right to know, and I am one guy (not a company with a staff of professionals), and I don't bother optimizing my site for better search engine results...not enough time in the day for that, so the traffic to my site is much smaller than the "Big Guys" websites. I am hoping you appreciate the obvious effort that goes into this, and can understand an earnest appeal for support. Thank you.