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How Hot Toys Started?

Established in 2000, Hot Toys Limited is a high-end collectible brand, devoted to designing, developing, and producing high-quality and highly detailed collectibles with authentic likeness.

Initially started the business by producing 1/6th scale military action figures, Hot Toys has since expanded its product scope to specialize in 1/6th scale collectible figures from popular movies, video games, comics as well as world-renowned celebrities.

The Founder

The founder of Hot Toys is Howard Chan, a Hong Kong businessman and toy distributor.

Howard used to work as a screenwriter for the Hong Kong-based television station TVB.

Around 1998, he opened a small action figure shop in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. It was called Cool Toys.

At the time, there were plenty of one-sixth scale toys available to buy; Hasbro, Ultimate Soldier, and more were in full swing in the late ’90s, however, they never surpassed a certain level of detail.

When he established Hot Toys in 2000, he invested his life savings to produce a highly detailed F-14 Tomcat Pilot figure.

This was the first figure that Howard Chan had licensed, and it has shaped the path of one sixth figure.

How Hot Toys Was Created?

The inspiration for Hot Toys was when Howard’s cousin brought him to the cinema in 1977, they were deciding between ORCA or Star Wars.

If they picked ORCA, “Hot Toys” might not exist.

Howard fell in love with Star Wars because of the design, effects, cinematography, music, story, and so on.

When Hot Toys was founded, Howard spent 3 straight days and nights in the factory to ensure that every little detail was accurate when he was producing his first figure.

For example, the small coiled wire that is wrapped around the figures walkie-talkies took days to perfect.

His passion and dedication to detail quickly differentiated Hot Toys from the myriad of other one-sixth action figure manufacturers.

First Product

The first-ever product created by Howard Chan was Ethan Hunt from Mission: Impossible II, also known as Tom Cruise.

He later produced director George Lucas and Neo from the Matrix.

These were later also released under the “Hot Toys” brand between 1999-2000 and were limited to 500 each.

However, they were made under the Famous Type brand name, which was unlicensed.

Most Expensive Product

Hot Toys made a figure based on the Hulkbuster Iron Man armor. It is Hot Toys' most expensive and valuable figure ever made.

It first appeared in the film Avengers: Age of Ultron. The company’s clear dedication was to make every iteration of the character.

According to Hot Toys and American distributor Sideshow Collectibles, it was $1,150 USD.

Now, that’s the price for the Deluxe Edition before shipping, and this figure is going to weigh a lot.

So you can imagine the total price after shipping and weighing have been added.

Own Toy Store

Hot Toys has its very own official retail flagship toy store. Located in the popular Hong Kong shopping district of Mong Kok.

It is called Secret Base which opened up in 2013 and has been a dream destination of fans ever since.

Secret Base is 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 peek at prototypes of future releases.

Secret Base is a dream museum for collectors and genre fans alike. It attracts customers whether a collector or not due to its theme and decor present in the shop, unlike the typical retail establishment.


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