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The AccelePedia is the last remaining active AcceleRacers / Highway 35 World Race community and reference site, and one of the most notable Hot Wheels fan sites on the internet. It's staff members recently initiated a revamp project dubbed Project 2.0 that was responsible for a total overhaul of both the main site and forums, and spawned a project aimed to resurrect AcceleRacers, called AcceleRacers 5: The Edge. The upgrades and the AcceleRacers 5 project are still currently in progress.
The AccelePedia was founded in 2005 by Brian Adams (EdgyLlama), John Gushue (j-w), and Isabelle Gonthier (MarieJuliette), adult fans of Highway 35 World Race and AcceleRacers. Ths site was built by Brian and phpBB2 forums were installed. The main site contained every piece of knowledge about Highway 35 World Race and AcceleRacers known at the time, and nearly all official media, save the games. The forums took off almost immediately, gaining 228 members in a matter of months. The phpBB2 forums had a visually appealing design thanks to Brian, and the administrators were putting a lot of work into the forums to keep them well maintained. The community was very popular into 2007, and the member-base only grew until then.
However, in late 2007, the administrators decided to upgrade to phpBB3, which had recently been released at the time as the successor to phpBB2, which the AccelePedia forums were running. During the upgrade, the AccelePedia server suffered a catastrophic data loss, and most members, topics, and posts were lost. The main site remained un-damaged. In 2008, the upgrade was completed despite the huge data loss, but the damage caused many of the members to leave, and the admins slowly began to lose the free-time they needed to properly maintain the forums. The new custom theme was never completed, so the unappealing default phpBB3 theme remained. The members who stayed were glad to see the forums back up, but disappointed with the then current state of them. Slowly but surely, members began to go inactive, and the overall activity level on the forums decreased, and as a result the activity and liveliness of the entire AcceleRacers online community decreased as well. As the forums died away over the years, there was still a group of members who still held hope for the AccelePedia, and stayed on as active members. This group fluctuated from 2010 to early 2013, gaining some new members but overall losing active ones. Talk of an upgrade to rejuvenate the forums had been going on since 2009, but nothing had ever been done. One of the admininstrators, MarieJuliette, had gone inactive, but j-w and EdgyLlama stayed semi-active. Small efforts such as contests and advertising had been made to help kick-start the forums back to life, but this mostly failed.
In July 2013, Benjamin Leake (AcceleMaster), one of the last remaining active members, decided to do something big to save the AccelePedia. He began Project 2.0, the largest scale effort to bring up activity level in the history of the AccelePedia. He recruited several of the remaining active members as staff and they began work on upgrading the main site and forums. Only AcceleMaster, Chris Takada (Chris.T), Justin Nakamori (Metro Master), and Anthony Ninthara (Shirako Takamoto 2) were active on the staff for the most part, and they worked for hours each and every day to ensure that the upgrades were as excellent as possible. Finally, in August, the Project 2.0's staff's work finally payed off, when the forums were successfully transferred to IP.Board 3.4 without any loss of data. The forums had finally returned to the glory of their 2005 - 2007 iteration, with a beautiful new theme and enhaned functionality. AcceleMaster, Chris.T, Metro Master, and Shirako Takamoto 2 were made admins in order to aid j-w and EdgyLlama in maintenance and upgrades. The focus of the staff then turned full attention to the main site, and in September, it was partially upgraded as well. Much work is yet to be done on the main site still.
Parallel to Project 2.0, Chris.T began work to work on a fan-fiction continuation of AcceleRacers, called AcceleRacers 5: The Edge. He began to write new chapters each week, and started working on drawing concept art for the characters in the story. The potential success of this continuation was realized early on, and the staff made it their goal to have not only the AccelePedia approved by Mattel as an official Hot Wheels fan site, but to have The Edge become an official continuation of AcceleRacers. A Facebook page was created for it, and over the course of just a week, 37 people liked the page. The staff decided to contact people who were involved in the AcceleRacers project with Mattel from 2004-2006, including Andrew Duncan, Alan Michael Andrews, and Sam Brown, to request their support and help with AcceleRacers 5: The Edge. After utilizing paid Facebook advertising to help the page reach a larger audience, the like count rose to 650, and is still going up rapidly.
- July 15, 2013: Project 2.0 is approved by j-w and officially begins.
- July 17, 2013: The AccelePedia is expanded on to deviantArt and Tumblr, gaining more members.
- July 18, 2013: All active staff members are recruited.
- July 30 2013: It is decided that the new forum software will be Invision Power Board. (IP.Board)
- August 1, 2013: All of the updated information is gathered for the revamped HW35 and AcceleRacers sections on the main site.
- August 16, 2013: IP.Board license is purchased and the new forums are installed seamlessly at www.accelepedia.com/mb3. The old forums are still made available to access as an archive at www.accelepedia.com/mb2.
- September 18, 2013: Main site design is finalized and implemented on a Wordpress installation.
- October 1, 2013: A Facebook page is made for AcceleRacers 5: The Edge, and it receives 37 likes in just a week.
- October 6, 2013: Alan Michael Andrews, Sam Brown, and Andrew Duncan are contacted on behalf of the AcceleRacers 5 project to request their aid.
- October 11, 2013: David Earl is contacted, and the staff receives a reply hours later. David Earl gives his support and voices his enthusiasm for the project, but he is unfortunately unable to aid the staff because of his busy schedule. Chad Smith is contacted soon after as per David Earl's suggestion.
- January 21, 2014: The AcceleRacers 5: The Edge page reaches 200 likes.
- January 23, 2014: The AcceleRacers 5: The Edge page reaches 650 likes.
- January 28, 2014: Sony Entertainment has been contacted.
- March 9, 2014: Ben Benedetti replies and says he does not work with development. The search for potential contacts continue.
- March 26, 2014: The AcceleRacers 5: The Edge page reaches 2,856 likes.
- March 29, 2014: The AccelePedia.com site theme is finalized, and single sign-on is implemented for the main site and forums, allowing the use of one account for both. The process of adding pages begins.
- April 8, 2014: Official AccelePedia Facebook page goes live at https://www.facebook.com/accelepedia.
- April 12, 2014: The AcceleRacers 5: The Edge page reaches 3,000 likes.
- April 14, 2014: The AcceleRacers 5: The Edge page reaches 5,000 likes.
- April 14, 2014: The weekly like rate of AcceleRacers 5: The Edge surpasses the weekly rate of both Mattel's and Hot Wheels' official pages.
- Brian Adams (EdgyLlama)
- Isabelle Gonthier (MarieJuliette)
- Benjamin Leake (AcceleMaster) | 2.0
- Chris Kurtz Takada (Chris.T) | 2.0
- Brian Adams (EdgyLlama)
- Benjamin Leake (AcceleMaster)
- Chris Takada (Chris.T)
- The AccelePedia
- The AccelePedia Forums
- The AccelePedia (Official Facebook Page)
- AcceleRacers 5: The Edge (Official Facebook Page)
- Official Tumblr Blog
- The AccelePedia is the last remaining active AcceleRacers and Highway 35 World Race fan site on the internet, but it is also devoted to everything else Hot Wheels.
- Exactly $625 has been invested thus far in the Project 2.0 upgrades, and an additional $350 has been invested in AcceleRacers 5: The Edge.