Movie Masterpiece Figures - How they are Made
If you are wondering how these fantastic toy collectibles are made and the history we can help provide some insight for you. Founded in the year 2000 and in just less than two decades they have risen to the top of the highly competitive scale figure market and are poised to remain there for some time. But where did it begin?
The company's humble beginnings were spent producing a small number of unlicensed, ambiguously named movie figures followed by a successful, detailed likeness of a US Airforce F-14 fighter-pilot. Hot Toys founder, Howard Chan has gone on to acquire licenses for dozens of popular movies and franchises, with the notable recent addition of Star Wars, in 2014 close to the top of the list.
One of the original, unlicensed figures was a 'Famous Type', bearing a striking resemblance to Neo from the Matrix... We think the Neo figure arriving in 2019 looks pretty cool too.
Hot Toys speciality is their 1/6 scale figure series, usually around 30cm tall, and it's these sixth scale creations that they are most widely associated with. They occasionally produce 1/4 scale figures too, which are also very popular. The exceptional quarter scale figure of the Joker (below) is due for release toward the middle of 2018 and comes with two interchangeable heads and an assortment of hands and accessories...
If you've never seen these figures before, you might be forgiven for thinking there's a trick somewhere; these can't be toys, right? There have certainly been excellent recreations of characters and celebrities before; Sideshow Collectibles, who regularly work alongside Hot Toys, have long been a leader in incredibly accurate busts and statues that stand up to intense scrutiny. The truly amazing thing about Hot Toys, though, is that they are completely poseable action figures. Many sport close to 30 individual points of articulation.
When viewing recent additions to the line, like the Arkham Batman Video Game figures, it can be genuinely hard to grasp that what you're looking at is a fully-poseable action figure standing roughly 12 inches high.
How are they made?
First of all, film or game companies must be contacted, and a license to produce an official likeness obtained. Then, after an extensive period of research, where artists gather useful subject images and clips, the heads are painstakingly sculpted using a widely available, oven setting clay.
Where a specific body type is needed for a figure such as the Hulk, Predator or Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy, a body will be sculpted specifically for the model in much the same method as above. The entire process of creating a figure like this can take anywhere from 3 months to an entire year, depending on the subject.
You might imagine that, given the amount of time and effort that goes into these quasi-mechanical art pieces, the range of figures available would be quite sparse. This couldn't be further from the truth; they somehow manage to release new and exciting figures month on month. This work rate and its apparent success could easily encourage some companies to start cutting corners, perhaps spending a little less time on research and development, using simpler clothing, etc. but Hot Toys quality somehow always seems to be getting even better. It's true that you would hardly describe these Movie Masterpiece figures as inexpensive purchases, but their stunning quality and attention to detail make them a more than worthwhile investment for many collectors and movie fans alike.
The range available for those wanting a quality pop-culture piece at a lower price point has expanded in recent years as well. More affordable items include a range of 'Artist Mix' figures, that see Hot Toys working in collaboration with artists and designers from different spectrums to create new and imaginative takes on popular characters from the world of pop-culture. Not forgetting, of course, the excellent range of cute, collectable Cosbaby toys, now available in a vast selection of different characters from across film, TV and games.
The detail on this Drax figure is pretty incredible.
We hope you have enjoyed this little look into the world of high end scale figures and we are sure if you decide to add them to your collection you won't be disappointed.
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