One Sixth Scale Showdown: Hot Toys vs SideshowPaul
One sixth scale collectors can be a critical group of people, often quick to vocalize their concerns or displeasure with a a new 1:6 scale figure in public forums or Facebook groups following the release or announcement of a pre-order. All the best companies have fallen into the cross-hairs more than once.. Hot Toys, Sideshow Collectibles, Toys Era, ThreeZero and just about any other manufacturer offering one sixth scale figures and collectibles. As you might imagine, the question often comes up, “Is Hot Toys or Sideshow the Better Manufacturer?” in some form or another. It’s only natural that collectors are looking for the best quality available – especially when 1:6 scale figures and Hot Toys are typically $250+ USD in most cases. It’s time to put this debate to rest once and for all (ya right..) and dive into the similarities and differences of one sixth scale manufacturers and shed some light on why your money is well spent with any of these collectible companies.
Believe it or not, a good portion of the most well known companies in the world of 1:6 scale figure manufacturing utilize the same pool of both designers (artists) and production facilities to bring their creations to life. In China; where most of your favorite sixth scale figures are manufactured, there are factories that specialize in producing very specific products and not much else outside that realm. Seeing as this is still a bit of a niche hobby, the number of factories that produce 1:6 scale figures or accessories is quite limited compared to other main stream commercial products. Meaning when it comes time to produce a new figure, parts of the design or creation process are handed off to these third parties to handle. While there is no way to say with absolute certainty, chances are a lot of the 1:6 scale accessories and clothing that make your Hot Toys or Sideshow Collectibles figures appear accurate were produced on the same assembly line. In addition to sharing production facilities, it’s not uncommon for well-known artists to do commission work for a number of different companies and not a single one. That is one of the great benefits of a lot of artists and designers choosing to remain ‘freelance’ even when working with some of the biggest names in the collectible business.
Another great thing about purchasing a sixth scale figure from a company like Hot Toys or Sideshow is that the quality control and product support are top notch. Sadly when dealing with a lot of third-party (unlicensed) manufacturers, if you encounter an issue with your figure you might be left high and dry with no replacement or support offered. Fortunately enough, purchasing a figure from either Hot Toys or Sideshow is nothing like that! If you receive a figure that has paint issues or arrived damaged, both companies are willing to step up and offer to replace either that specific part and/or the figure. When you pay several hundred dollars for a single collectible it’s important to have peace of mind in knowing you received something that is free of any defects or problems. Not only for the sake of display but should you want to re-sell in the future. Purchasing anything from Hot Toys or Sideshow Collectibles comes risk free in the sense that you won’t be stuck with something that left the factory looking like it was ready for a landfill and not your collection. Both companies take a lot of pride in what they deliver to collectors and it definitely shows throughout the process of: design, production and even fulfillment.
With the evolution of technology (namely 3D printing) over the last decade the gap between an average sixth scale figure and an exceptional one continues to narrow. Most 1:6 scale manufacturers these days are achieving an accuracy with head sculpts that is truly breathtaking and lifelike. Versus a past where only companies that employed a truly exceptional traditional clay sculptor were able to achieve such accuracy. Nowadays the number of talented 3D sculptors and artists in the market is plentiful. Having said that, the most important factor when deciding to purchase a new 1:6 scale figure is: do YOU love it enough to want to display and appreciate it? The character selection and costume availability varies per manufacturer so really it’s about choosing (and buying) what you love most of all. Try not to get too tied up on what looks better to someone else and focus on what YOU like. If you are unhappy with how prototype photos look and think you should pass on an upcoming figure then do just that. But try not to let the vocal minority that may be quick to be critical and judgmental of something spoil the fun for you! If you love a particular upcoming (or available) sixth scale figure and want it.. buy it and enjoy it. That’s what matters most.
Sometimes getting engulfed in a new hobby we can lose sight of why we got involved in the first place and what should be important. We become a little too focused on what other people might think of what we chose to like or enjoy looking for some sense of approval when in reality it’s important to remember that you are collecting for you and not anyone else. So the next time you are excited about that latest Hot Toys pre-order or 1:6 scale figure announcement remember to put the chatter on ‘mute’ and collect what you want.
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