How are Hot Toys Figures Made – A Detailed Look Inside in 2021

Hot Toys are revered as the best collectibles in the world for reasons because their collectibles offer such life-like realism and attention to detail. How do they achieve this? Read on.

Hot Toys can take up to a year to be made, with countless hours being spent on choosing a character to manufacture, then obtaining the merchandising license,  research and development, manufacturing the collectibles out of specialized clay, and finally, detailed painting all done by a team of professional Korean artists.

This article will cover how the Hot Toys sort after collectibles are made and manufactured, from selecting the correct model to research and development to licensing, production, painting, and worldwide distribution.

How Hot Toys are Made – An Overview

Hot Toys have a specific formula in terms of their design, implementation, and manufacturing of their highly sort after collectible figures. Renowned as a company and producing the mot life-like 1/6 scale collectibles from movies, comic books, tv shows, video games, and more, these collectibles can take anywhere from 3 months up to a year to be produced.

It is not uncommon that the company will start the design, including the research and development, even a year prior to a movie release just so that the collectible can be ready in time for the worldwide premiere release.

 A Detailed Look inside making Hot Toys

Selecting the Correct Model is Key

There are hundreds of films, video games that include heroes, villains, sidekicks, and more that come out each year, and the company has to base which character to build their models on based on prior knowledge to what has been popular in the past and then pure speculation. Over the years, the Hot Toys team has mastered this art in a sense choosing trendy characters and sort after.

This is quite a stressful task because if they were to base a collectible on a character from one of these media that the public will not flok to in droves and fall in love with, they have essentially wasted their time and money. This spans thousands of hours of design, character creation, molding, painting, not to mention a vast sum of money. Furthermore, this will impact their profits due to the collectibles not selling, which could dramatically affect the company.

Obtaining the License

Due to their collectibles being so lif-like and portraying such realism, the Hot Toys company has to obtain a license to sell them. Since 2003 they have obtained merchandising rights for these collectibles in order to produce and sell them under the official names. This is no mean feat because if a company wants to create toys and acquire merchandising rights, they have to spend a lot of time and money going through the correct channels, unlike companies who make toys that are essentially a parody (similar but not exact). Companies who build collectibles based on the parody principle of “fair use” are not obligated to pay any amounts of money or answer to anyone.

Research and Development (R&D)

If you have seen a Hot Toy, then you know precisely how life-like they are. Achieving this can be considered a phenomenal feat, and it all starts with research and development. The research team spends countless hours studying concept artwork, movie stills, photographs, and more.

Once research and development are complete, the Hot Toys team knows exactly what they will create, taking detail to such a superior level that even details such as beard hair, scars, iris color, exact proportions, and everything in between are considered. 

Production (Moulding and Sculpting)

The Hot Toys Chief painter, J.C. Hong talks about the work process

If you look on their websiteOpens in a new tab. you will notice that they have a team of Korean artists that specialize in head sculpting, painting, and art direction. With crucial members like JC Hong, Yuli, and Kojun, they manufacture these toys to a new level. They use a specialized form of modeling clay that has to be baked for it to harden. Before this process, however, every detail is sculpted into the clay, not leaving a hair out of place using many fine art tools.

Costumes, Weapons, and Accessories

Not only do the head and body have to be sculpted, but the weapons and costumes have to be manufactured as well. Hot Toys uses specialized clay and other high-quality materials to do this, which includes diecast metal and high-quality fabrics to portray the utmost realism.

Painting and Finishing Touches

Once the toys have been sculpted and baked in the oven, it is time for the team of Korean artists to magically transform the collectibles into realistic lif-like creations with the use of paint and color. They have to incorporate the help of some of the most delicate paintbrushes that are available to paint the tiniest of details.

Worldwide Distribution of the Collectibles

After the collectibles are complete, they are sent to the license owners for a final confirmation to give them the go-ahead. Once they have the green light from the license owners, they are able to start selling and shipping them worldwide.


The process involved in a Hot toy takes months and even up to a year to design, develop, and manufacture. The process is a detailed and complicated one, with a team of Korean artists spearheading all of it. From using specialized molding clay to spending hours looking at movie stills to painting life-like realism, Hot Toys are sort after due to the astounding attention to detail that comes from a whole lot of hard work.

Source list

Process of How Hot Toys Action Figures Are Created Revealed in VideoOpens in a new tab.

HOW ARE HOT TOYS MADE?Opens in a new tab.

How they make hot toys figuresOpens in a new tab.

HOT TOYS: HOW ARE THEY MADEOpens in a new tab.

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