So way back in August, I posted a thread asking for forums members to post their questions for what has quickly become the premiere name in 1:6 scale film and military figures: Hot Toys.
Now, months after the questions were sent to the company, they've finally replied with some answers which will no doubt have fans and collectors talking for weeks to come...
Without further ado...
1) Does Hot Toys surf the web to see what fans and collectors are talking about and do you ever check out OneSixthWarriors.com to see what we, the fans, are saying about Hot Toys and your products?
HT: Yes, we do. We believe it’s very important to know customers’ comment. It helps us to review in which areas, how and what Hot Toys should improve in next.
2) Has Hot Toys considered making a less expensive, more basic “entry level” figure? While most of your figures have loads of gear and accessories, they also cost over $100.00. A lower priced figure would allow fans who can’t afford your regularly priced figures to still purchase Hot Toys figures, but with fewer accessories and gear…
HT: We tried to release the “entry level” figure before, but fans were not expecting Hot Toys to do “simple” figure. Also, there are many “entry level“alternatives for fans to choose in the market.
3) Are they currently working on any new "nude" type 1:6 bodies? If so, are there plans for any body types with no visible joints?
HT: Yes, we are currently working on new “True Type 1/6th scale body”. Articulation is very limited for a body with no visible joints, which is not best fit for all 1/6th scale figure projects, so we just use this special body type for some products only, not apply to all figures.
4) Has Hot Toys considered creating a replacement part program for the pieces and parts that seem to be deteriorating on some figures? Example: the rubber used on the dome of ED-209 or the broken legs on the Aliens warriors figures?
HT: Yes, we do, but we only accept replacement claim via our official website with some criteria.
5) Who does your research and development and how extensive are they in their research?
HT: Our director – Howard Chan and our product development team. They are not only focusing the 1/6th scale product trends, but also other toys and collectibles in different areas. It helps to enlighten our product idea and development in new directions.
6) Has Hot Toys ever considered sponsoring or attending a 1:6 scale hobby show here in the USA?
HT: Yes, we are planning on it. We hope we can bring our best job to the US and have direct communication with our fans and collectors in the US.
7) Are there plans to release a carded version of the female body similar to the True Type 38 nudes?
HT: Oh yes, we know many fans are expecting it on forums, please stay tuned in 2009.
8) Many fans consider Hot Toys head sculpts some of the best in the business. Are there any plans to release carded head sculpt sets for those who don’t want to buy full bodies and only want to purchase the heads?
HT: What our fans really love to see is the head sculpts featuring talent likenesses, but it seems like it’s hard to deal with the carded head sculpt sets due to the licensing issues.
9) Does Hot Toys have any plans to design and manufacture their own non-military, non-licensed figure line?
HT: Yes, we do.
10) If the Hot Toys artists could work on any license or property and make 1:6 scale figures of it, what would it be and why?
HT: Definitely Star Wars, most of our artists and staff are big fans of Star Wars movies. If Hot Toys can work on the Star Wars line, fans could have chance to see the Star Wars collectibles in next quality level.
11) Hot Toys is currently the 1:6 scale’s “gold standard” by which all other manufacturers are measured. How does that make you feel and what do you have planned to continue improving?
HT: Of course, we are so glad to know about it. In fact, our production department and our staff have great interest and passion in 1/6th scale products, we gain useful experience in each project and apply the improved skills to the upcoming projects. So fans can see Hot Toys’ products keep improving from time to time.
12) How do you acquire or attract such talented artists? Have you ever hired someone because you saw their work online?
HT: Yes, we always keep eyes on potential talented artists who shared their work online… Self recommendation is also welcome and will be considered. Certainly, we would consider if their work can well fit to Hot Toys’ product style or not.
13) As a company that started out doing primarily military collectibles, how has the introduction of licensed characters affected your business and company direction? Where do you see Hot Toys progressing in the future?
HT: The introduction of licensed products allow Hot Toys brand widely known by, not only the collectible market, but also the mass market, but we strongly believe our passion to deliver high quality product is the real reason to draw customers’ attention in these markets, so our company direction is to keep improving our production technique, bringing higher quality products and getting further recognition in future.
Movie Masterpiece and Video Game Masterpiece Questions
1) You’ve revealed the three Iron Man armors from the Iron Man film; can we expect to see a Hot Toys 1:6 scale Iron Monger figure?
HT: We do not have future plan on this figure yet, the product size is the main concerns for this item.
2) Can fans expect to see Hot Toys working more with Marvel Studios to bring future Marvel comic book movie figures to collectors? With Iron Man 2, Avengers and Captain America movies already planned; can we expect to see more Marvel 1:6 scale figures?
HT: It seems like we have the same expectation as our fans . We hope to bring these well-known figures to collectors and our fans too; we wish we don’t disappoint you all, let’s see any positive announcement in 2009.
3) Can fans expect to see more Hot Toys diorama-style bases and accessories – like those included with the AvP Cleaner Kit Wolf Predator – included in other licensed figures? Will we ever see this type of base for the military figures?
HT: Sure, the diorama-style bases will be included in other licensed figure… and it’s a good idea for the military figure too!
4) When can fans expect to see the original Alien as a part of the MMS series?
HT: Not too far, we’ve planned to release it in 2009 because next year is the 30th anniversary of the original Alien movie, the release in 2009 will become much more meaningful.
5) Are there any plans to release a MMS Alien Queen figure from Aliens?
HT: Yes, but we’re still considering if it is released in 1/6th scale format or not.
6) Fans of both Aliens and Predators would like to see more human characters – like the forthcoming Captain Dallas and Executive Office Kane – included in the MMS line. Are there any plans to make more human characters from either the Predator or Alien film franchises?
HT: Yes, please stay tuned! (Editor's Note: See HERE).
7) She Predator Machiko is the first in your new line of Hot Angel figures? Tell us more about this new Hot Angel line and what type of characters and figures will be made?
HT: Hot Angel is a line features female characters in classic movies, in which using Hot Toys’ viewpoint to redesign the characters. Because of the licensing issue and newly added creative designs involved, each Hot Angel project takes much longer time in preliminary development stage then the regular Movie Masterpiece project. So, we don’t have any specific schedule of next Hot Angel release, but we’ll ensure each Hot Angel is “prefect” before announcement.
8) Are there any plans to release additional Pirates of the Caribbean figures? Collectors want a Barbossa 1:6 scale figure from Hot Toys…
HT: Currently we don’t have any plan on the additional Pirates of the Caribbean figures.
9) What other video game figures do you plan to make? Fans would love to see characters like Dante from “Devil May Cry” in the Video Game Masterpiece line as well as Nariko from “Heavenly Sword” as a part of both Hot Angel and Video Game Masterpiece. Thoughts?
HT: Fans can expect to see more figures from Videogame Masterpiece in Q2 2009, stay tuned!
10) You’ve made Robocop and ED-209, are there any plans to make a Cain from Robocop 2?
HT: Yes, we do have the plan, but still need some time to work on it.
Military Figure Questions
1) Where do you get the inspiration for your modern military figures?
HT: From updated news on TV and newspapers, military books and editorials.
2) When can fans expect to see more modern firearm sets released and will Hot Toys ever release handgun or knife sets?
HT: Sure, Firearms 5 will be coming soon in 2009 too, it’s a continuous series. But we never think about releasing handgun and knife sets.
3) Are there currently any plans to release more figures based on the classic lines like the SDU, GIGN and SEAL Team 5 VBSS figures and have you considered making anti-terrorist figures such as SAS CRW, GSG-9 or GEK Cobra?
HT: All these are our favorite military topics, fans might expect any of these military figure from Hot Toys in the future.
4) Now that you’re releasing two British soldier figures, are there any plans to release other international figures?
HT: We are also looking for a perfect topic of the international figures, but our main focus is still the US soldier figures.
Two more questions answered...
Now that you've released 1:6 scale vehicles as a part of the Movie Masterpiece line, will you release 1:6 scale military vehicles – either historical or modern?
No plan currently, but we hope to bring the 1/6scale military vehicles to the market.
Any plans for a modern handgun sets?
No plan at this moment.
*****END OF Q&A*****
To be completely fair to OSW, we included a number of questions in the interview which weren't answered by Hot Toys, and while no reason was given as to WHY these questions weren't answered, I've already followed up with Hot Toys to give them the opportunity to again address these questions or explain why they didn't answer them...
1) Is Hot Toys currently working with Sideshow Toys to replace the old female body type they're still using? The Prometheus looks to be a big improvement over the Buck male body. Can we expect that a similar female figure is in the works?
2) What has the experience been like working with DC Direct to bring your highly sought after Dark Knight line to the U.S. in greater force? How has this differed from working with Sideshow Collectibles?
3) Have you considered releasing more Colonial Space Marines in conjunction with the release of the new video game Aliens: Colonial Marines, which is billed as being a direct sequel to the Aliens movie and is reportedly canon according to Fox?
4) What other Movie Icons figures can fans expect to see besides the new Michael Jackson?
5) Since you work with Sideshow, who has the Star Wars license, is it possible fans could see Hot Toys make Star Wars droids, robots or vehicles?
6) Have you considered releasing sci-fi weapons set containing weapons (and variants) from the miscellaneous sci-fi figures previously released in the Movie Masterpiece lines? (Aliens, Appleseed, Predator, etc)
7) Are there any plans to release carded equipment or uniform sets without figures?
8) Are there any plans to release a modern forces sniper with ghillie suit?
Thanks again to all who submitted questions!