Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Part 2 transcript of conversation with Howard (Hot Toys)

(I must say the final approved transcript was not heavily edited and 90% complete; they did remove some specific questions I had posed to Howard regarding Sideshow products but otherwise the conversation was pretty complete.)

Q: Regarding your “DX” series, what criteria applies before a character gets the DX treatment? To be frank, your recent announcement for Michael Jackson “Bad” as the next DX figure took most of us by surprise.

Howard: It’s good that we can still surprise the public!

As you know we started the DX series featuring the new Parallel Eyeball Rolling System (PERS); plus we make sure we give extra details and more accessories in the whole package.

Q: Have you already decided what will be in “DX04”? Any hints, whether it is a movie character or based on a real person?

Howard: Yes, we have decided on DX04 but I can’t tell you now! No hints, sorry!
But you can expect an announcement within the next 2 months. And, I believe this time you all will like the choice of character!

Q: Howard, I must congratulate you on Hot Toys incredible success in the 1/6th scale category; you must be very proud of how far you have come – has it been 10 years since you started Hot Toys?

Howard: Yes, this year we celebrate our 10-year anniversary; and we are planning to publish a 10th anniversary bible book and considering big-bang events in Hong Kong and Japan to celebrate with our fans and industrial leaders. Please stay tuned with us for update. Thank you.

Q: So what is your vision say in the next 3 to 5 years for Hot Toys? Will you explore in other scale categories for articulated figures? How about statues?

Howard: Firstly, we want to continue to maintain our present expertise in the 1/6th scale category and continue to produce products that excites the buying public. At the same time we are aware of the cost and pricing challenges, say when we introduce new techniques like the DX series.

As for other scales, I feel personally that the 1:6 line is best suited for representation of fine details with articulation possibilities, that collectors will support and is a good scale that meets both the “play” factor and dynamic sculpting and detail features. We will continue to cater to the collector market (as opposed to the mass market for the 3 ¾ inch line like Star Wars and GI Joe).

As for other products like statues, we will continue to explore, in speaking with our dealer network and design team and our OEM partners / suppliers, we will continue to challenge ourselves in making these exciting products; we are also mindful to not entering an existing market just for the sake of doing it for example Sideshow Toys’ Premium format line of statues, we don’t want to copy this and try to compete in this directly, and we are also not sure if our dealers will necessarily want to see this offering from us.

Oh, we mentioned earlier that Hot Toys turn 10years old this year in 2010, so we are already planning something special to celebrate this event! You can look forward to some special events and activity, like what I talked about just now, I can’t say too much now but watch for it!

Q: Thank you very much for your frank answers. Finally, something about yourself? You started out as a toy collector yourself right? Do you still collect toys?

Howard: Yes, I am still a collector but I guess the difference is now I am not so die-hard and not like “die-die” must get that one particular toy! The thing is I am surrounded by toy designers and toy enthusiasts everyday in the workplace – is like 24 hours a day I am in this business! So while I am still a toy collector, I remain first of all a toy lover myself and I get more satisfaction in my team producing a first class item than in owning and collecting something for myself.

What do you think guys ? Please feel free to question or comment; I personally find Howard easy going and one thing I notice - his enthusiasm for toys and collectibles shine through; although he runs a business, in his responses I get the feeling that he cares very much for the product and not just the $$ / profit, as when I asked him for his vision for the next 3 to 5 years, his first response was centered on producing excellent products, not growing sales or sales position. If the founder and creative director of Hot Toys have this motivation, we can be assured of greater things to come from Hot Toys.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Bro, thank you very much for all your efforts and sharing!! You have my support :)

  2. Did you ask them about the DX Batman quality control problems? Going by your admission that some questions were not approved for the final transcripts, were inquiries about DX Batman's defects not allowed?

  3. yeah... how about the oily abs???

  4. Ahh nice interview. Am so glad that I started collecting Hot Toys figures. The only problem is once you start collecting you can't stop !!! Looking forward to the DX04....here's hoping its a Chris Reeve Superman !!!

  5. Hi all, david here... actually it did not occur to me to ask about the Batman DX "oil" problem! The thing is, I was allotted 15 mins (and I ran 10 minutes overtime!) so I had to limit the conversation to what I thought would be most informative... and what they asked me not to print was mostly my attempt to get more inside info on what Sideshow Star Wars figures were upcoming, but I guess this was private and between Hot Toys and Sideshow so fair enough I did not print those;