5 Things You Might Not Know About Hot ToysJose Lopez
Hot Toys has been around for the better part of 20 years, and in that time they have become the definitive sixth scale figure manufacturer in the world. Heck, some might argue that they’re the best toy company, period. That opinion is definitely up for debate, but what is not is the fact that there’s a whole lot more to Hot Toys than some collectors might know. Perhaps you’re aware of every tidbit on this list, or you know just a few. Either way, sit back and relax as we spotlight five lesser-known facts only true collectors know about Hot Toys.
Hot Toys first action figure was Tom Cruise
Well, sort of. Let me explain. When Hot Toys first entered the sixth scale action figure market, their initial releases were under the FamousType branding. The three characters that started it all were, from first to last, Ethan Hunt from Mission: Impossible II, director George Lucas, and, last, Neo from The Matrix. They’re never explicitly named as such due to the company not having actually retained the rights to the likenesses, but the intentions are obvious. So while it is unofficial, Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt is the first action figure ever released by Hot Toys, back in 1999. He will earn this honor again, in a way, later on in this list.
Hot Toys most expensive sixth-scale figure cost over $1,100 MSRP
There was never the shadow of a doubt that Hot Toys would make a figure based on the Hulkbuster Iron Man armor. First appearing in the film Avengers: Age of Ultron, this gargantuan look for the Iron Avenger was a no-brainer, if only because of the company’s clear dedication to making every iteration of the character. The only query on collectors’ minds was, “How much is this thing going to cost?” The answer, according to Hot Toys and American distributor Sideshow Collectibles was a staggering $1,150 USD. Now, that’s the price for the Deluxe Edition before shipping, and this figure is going to weigh a lot, so keep that in mind. Damn near $1,200 USD at the lowest for what might be the ultimate Iron Man figure ever made? You know what I’m going to say. Where do I take out the loan?
Hot Toys rarest action figure only had 16 pieces made
Back in 2012, Avengers fever was infecting the world and Hot Toys decided to do a special release of the Iron Man Mark VI armor that appeared in the film. Two releases were announced, the Movie Promo Edition and the Joint Promo Edition. The former was limited to 3000 pieces worldwide, but the latter saw just 16 pieces produced as part of a deal made with 7-Up Hong Kong. Hot Toys announced an updated diecast version of the Mark VI in 2016, but most collectors can only dream of owning one of those 16 limited edition figures. Truly a grail piece for any Iron Man Hot Toys collector. Even the diecast version of the Mark VI now trends at twice it’s original MSRP in secondary markets.
Hot Toys has their own toy store called Secret Base
As if having the premiere high-end collectible company wasn’t enough, Hot Toys also has their very own official retail flagship toy store. Located in the popular Hong Kong shopping district of Mong Kok, Secret Base opened up in 2013 and has been a dream destination of fans ever since. A place where you can see many of Hot Toys sixth scale figures and other various products in person, buy them, and even get a sneak peak at prototypes of future releases. Secret Base is a dream museum for collectors and genre fans alike. What’s cool about this toy store compared to a typical retail establishment is the theme and decor present in the shop – it really does help you step into another world.
Hot Toys first officially licensed action figure was… Tom Cruise
Well, basically, at least. The actual figure that would become Hot Toys first officially licensed figure was called the F-14 Tomcat Aviator, released in 2000. The Aviator figure was approved by the United States Air Force, a pretty impressive feat for a Japan-based start-up toy company right out of the gate. Legend even has it that Howard Chan, the founder of Hot Toys, slept in the factory for three days straight during the production process, insuring that every detail of the uniform was precise and accurate. It paid off, the entire run of 5000 figures sold out, and the rest is collectible history. The Aviator was an amazing product for its time, but take one look at that pilot’s face and tell me that he doesn’t put the “Tom” in Tomcat. Hello, Maverick!