Collectors who buy Hot Toys figures know that delays are part of the deal. But why does it happen? That’s what we’ll talk about.
I have now been collecting Hot Toys figures for three years and I pre-ordered dozens of figures. Many of these have been delayed. Sometimes, more than once. When you are a Hot Toys collector, you know that delays are part of the deal. There are reasons behind it. So, I’m writing this piece to explain it to people who wouldn’t know and to new collectors who may wonder why they’re still waiting for Captain America from Avengers Endgame (that’s an example).
A Typical Hot Toys Release
Before explaining the different reasons why a figure is delayed, I have to explain how a Hot Toys release works. Firstly, Hot Toys announces a figure. When the announcement is made, you generally have to expect the release to happen 1.5-2 years later. These are high-quality collectibles, the best ones. So it takes time to make figures like these.
If you live in the United States, you can pre-order the figure at Sideshow Collectibles. Sideshow is the official distributor for the United States and several other territories. It is one of the largest US-based companies that sell high-end collectibles. Other retailers around the world sell Hot Toys figures. It’s often the better option for Europeans. If you live in Japan, you can pre-order your figures at Toys Sapiens, the official Hot Toys distributor there. As for people who live in Hong Kong, where the company is based, it works differently. You have to head to one of their stores, pre-order your figures in person, and pay them upfront. You get a slip and go back to the store when it gets released.
Secondly, 1.5 years later Hot Toys releases the figure in Hong Kong. Normally, they supply their own market first. Depending on the popularity of the figure, there are two types of releases. The first possibility – they release a first batch and one or two months later a second batch. The second possibility – they release the first and second batch at the same time. Thirdly, Hot Toys starts sending the figure to Sideshow Collectibles. And finally, other retailers like in Europe and America are also getting them.
There are figures which are delayed because there are still some things to fix. For example, Hot Toys can decide to update a headsculpt to make it more accurate. Or, they also can add an accessory late into the production, which requires more time to make. There can be lots of reasons. It happens from time to time.
Plus, in 2020, the COVID pandemic started leading China to close its factories for seven months. As you can expect, it shook up Hot Toys’ release schedule. We are still seeing the consequences of it today.
However, when everything is fine, a figure can still get delayed but only for collectors who buy from Sideshow Collectibles. When Hot Toys sends the figure to Sideshow, they send them in small batches like they do in Hong Kong. However, the quantity of figures bought by Sideshow Collectibles is ten or twenty times more than what is sold in Hong Kong. Thus, it takes a lot of time to make that many figures! It can take many months to fulfill all pre-orders from Sideshow.
For example, last year, it took 6 months for Sideshow to fulfill all the pre-orders of Captain Marvel. This gives you an idea of how big the number of pre-order was. The same thing is currently happening with Captain America from Avengers Endgame and IG-11 from The Mandalorian. Hot Toys is doing its best to make these figures. But the amount of pre-orders made by Sideshow is simply too much. So please, don’t be mad, you just have to be patient.
When it comes to pre-orders at Sideshow Collectibles, the figures are sent in random order. They don’t take into consideration when you made your pre-order. There is no certainty to be part of the first batch pre-order or the second, or the third, it’s random. However, collectors who pre-order at Sideshow and live outside the US, have an advantage. Indeed, now these pre-orders ship directly from the Hot Toys warehouse. This means that they don’t transit by Sideshow before sending them to you, unlike for American collectors.
I do hope this piece has answered some of your questions and gave you a better understanding of why there can be a lot of delays with Hot Toys figures. Feel free to dip into our Hot Toys review archive for a closer look at these incredible figures.
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