What Is The Difference Between Hot Toys & Sideshow?

When starting out as a 1/6 scale collector, there is always a debate on which to purchase first. Should it be a Sideshow Collectible or a Hot Toys collectible?  Are there any differences between the two?

What Is The Difference Between Hot Toys & Sideshow? Sideshow is based in the USA, creating 1/6 and 1/4 scale statue-like collectibles (minimal articulation) made from Polystone resin and other high-end pieces. Hot Toys based in Hong Kong create 1/6 and 1/4 scale collectibles made from diecast metal and modeling clay with many points of articulation and accessories.

Let’s look at the two companies in detail, comparing their similarities and then focusing on their differences to determine the differences between the two companies, if any.

Who is Sideshow Collectibles?

Sideshow Collectibles is a specialty manufacturer (based in the USA) of collectibles based on characters from media such as film, television, comic books, and video games. Besides manufacturing proprietary collectibles, they also produce statues and high-end pieces.

Starting out in 1994, they originally created toy prototypes for major toy companies. After creating specialty products and selling them through major toy retailers such as Toys R Us, the company then began to create sixth-scale collectible figures and changed their branding, which was then Sideshow Toys to Sideshow Collectibles.

Over the years that have followed, Sideshow’s mission is to create highly detailed statues, possible figures, fine art prints, and prop replicas.

Sideshow’s core comprises a dedicated team consisting of passionate artists and fans who dedicate themselves to creating and celebrating the most beloved characters from fictional universes, both old and new.

Who is Hot Toys?

Hot Toys is Hong Kong-based production house that specializes in making 1/6 scale collectibles. Hot Toys was established in 2000 and has arguably grown to become the manufacturers of the most sought-after 1/6 scale collectibles in the world to date.

Just as with Sideshow collectibles, they also specialize in producing characters from film, television, comic books, and video games. The team at Hot Toys is lead by talented Korean artists, with the lead sculptor being Yulli and the head painter being JC Hong.

Check out our Brief History of Who and What Hot Toys areOpens in a new tab.

What are the differences between Hot Toys and Sideshow then?

This section will discuss the differences between the two collectible companies because, on the surface, they do seem the same; however, many facets make them different.

Hot Toys – Sideshow General Comparison Chart

Hot Toys and Sideshow have produced many of the same characters with different variations. So, for this reason it is hard to compare the two clearly. See below for a general comparison chart, where you can see that some figures maybe die cast, larger in scale, have more bendable and possible joints, or be of a limited edition run or of a premium format of some form.

Hot ToysSide Show
Darth VaderOpens in a new tab.

SKU: 906190
UPC: 4895228605061
Darth VaderOpens in a new tab.

SKU: 1000763
UPC: 747720234222
The ChildOpens in a new tab.

SKU: 905871
UPC: 4895228605078
The ChildOpens in a new tab.

SKU: 400369
UPC: 747720250611
Kylo RenOpens in a new tab.
Premium Format
Limited Edition: 2000

SKU: 300423
UPC: 747720231269
Kylo RenOpens in a new tab.
Sixth Scale

SKU: 905551
UPC: 4895228603470
The Mandalorian (& Child)Opens in a new tab.
Premium Format
Limited Edition: TBD

SKU: 300786
UPC: 747720250642
The Mandalorian & ChildOpens in a new tab.

SKU: 905873
UPC: 4895228604774
Boba FettOpens in a new tab.
Sixth Scale Figure

SKU: 100326
UPC: 747720229839
Boba FettOpens in a new tab.
Sixth Scale Figure

SKU: 906324
UPC: 4895228605221

Which to choose

There are many variables to consider, if you with you should purchase a Hot Toys or Sideshow Collectable. These could be

  • Your Budget
  • Figure Quality
  • Edition
  • Possibility
  • Who has the figure you want

where the price and quality are generally higher with Hot toys, Sideshow has been known to compete with this by bringing out a limited edition figure, like the Kylon Ren premium format figure.

But, there are also figures your collection can’t go without, where you don’t have the choice to choose from one or the other as only one manufacturer produces it.

For example, Hot toys never produced an: R2-D2, 3-P0, or Jabba the Hutt, yet Sideshow did. So you see, by having more manufacturers producing more characters, quantity, and scalability of figures, the consumer, you, and I have more choices and options to purchase there piece we need to complete our collections.

We all know a completed collection is always just 1 purchase away from complete. It’s called Plastic CrackOpens in a new tab. for nothing. lol


One of the primary differences is that Sideshow collectibles are based in Thousand Oaks, California, in the United States, and Hot Toys is based in Hong Kong.


One may think that Sideshow has a license to manufacture Hot Toys, but this is not the case. In fact, they are the official distributor of Hot Toys in the United States, North and South America, Europe, Australia, and many Asian countries.


Even though all the design and production of the prototype collectibles are made in California by Sideshow and their talented team, they have a company based in China that manufactures mass production runs of their collectibles.

Hot Toys have their production house based in Hong Kong, where all designs and manufacturing of their collectibles occur.

The collectibles

Both Sideshow and Hot Toys specialize in designing 1/6 scale collectibles. However, in recent years, Hot Toys have surpassed other companies producing 1/6 scale collectibles due to their incredible attention to detail, the accessories that come with the collectibles, and their many points of articulation. Hot Toys also specialize in making diecast metal collectibles as well as 1/4 scale collectibles.

Considering Sideshow, their talent lies in creating collectibles based more on a statue aspect and with less articulation. Hence one could say that Sideshow collectibles are more statue-based while Hot Toys collectibles have more articulation.

Furthermore, Sideshow also produces original pieces, whereas Hot Toys keep to a rigorous representation of the characters they are trying to create from various media types.

The materials used for the collectibles

The last thing that separates the two companies is that Hot Toys used to make their collectibles out of plastic but have since moved towards diecast metal and modeling clay. They do also have collectibles that feature accessories made from other materials.

Sideshow collectible statues are made primarily from PVC and Polystone resinOpens in a new tab.. Furthermore, their collectibles sometimes feature great detail in their accessories and clothing, which is designed and manufactured by the cut and sew department.

However, please note that both companies use high-quality materials to manufacture their collectibles and do not always use precisely what we have stated here. They may sometimes use the same or similar materials as each other to create their collectibles.


Sideshow Collectibles and Hot Toys have been around for more than two decades, creating collectibles from fictional media enthusiasts love to collect. Both companies have built a name for themselves over the years, demanding respect for being the business’s best.

They both have pros and cons when it comes to the collectibles they create, and one is not necessarily better than the other; it will just depend on what collectible you want and usually the amount of money you have. At the end of the day, you will always find a collector with figures from both manufacturers.

Source list

Sideshow collectiblesOpens in a new tab.

Sideshow.comOpens in a new tab.

Hottoys.comOpens in a new tab.

WE ARE SIDESHOWOpens in a new tab.

Confused…Sideshow and Hot Toys

One Sixth Scale Showdown: Hot Toys vs SideshowOpens in a new tab.

Hot Toys vs Sideshow CollectiblesOpens in a new tab.

Sideshow Collectibles VS. Hot ToysOpens in a new tab.

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