When did Sideshow Begin? A Brief History

Throughout history, humans have collected objects. While we won’t go as far back as the days that we collected leaves and berries, it was just the other day that collecting stamps and coins were all the rage. There’s only one thing missing from stamps and coins: a fandom. When it comes down to the art of collectible figures based on popular entertainment properties, the fandom is what drives this economy of devoted pop culture lovers and collectors.

Sideshow Collectibles was founded in 1994 to create prototype models for larger toy manufacturers. By 1999, Sideshow was on its way to becoming a large toy manufacturer itself when they released their first original line of products. Today they are partnered with more than a hundred brands to bring you quality licensed figurines, statues, and prop replicas.

From their inception as a prototype-maker to their diverse range of licensed and original offerings today, Sideshow has always been dedicated to their craft. Their history is a brief one, but one that is filled with passion for pop culture and the characters that shape it.

The Sideshow Origin Story

They say that every superhero needs an origin story; sometimes, the manufacturers and distributors of collectibles based on your favorite characters need them too. Sideshow Collectibles was founded in 1994 with a mission to create prototypes for larger toy companies. However, within just five years, their mission shifted when they released their first original line of figures, the Universal Classic Monsters line.

Since that first original offering, their mission developed even further to the one the company upholds today. That mission? Bringing you closer to your favorite characters from film, television, comic books, and more. Today, Sideshow offers licensed collectibles of more than 100 different brands, from Disney to Marvel Studios to Star Wars to World of Warcraft, and everything in between.

It is becoming harder and harder to declare our love for our favorite characters as our entertainment experience becomes more digitized in the age of streaming. When the majority of streaming content will never see a DVD release, it becomes more difficult to show our love for our favorite films, series, games, and characters. That’s where Sideshow steps into the rescue like a true hero! With their statues, film prop replicas, and more, Sideshow allows you to take a piece of pop culture home with you to display proudly.

In the two and a half decades since their inception, Sideshow has prided itself on producing only the highest quality collectibles. Sideshow boasts an incredible team of creatives behind the scenes, from conceptual artists to sculptors to painters and more. Sideshow and its creative professionals are fueled and driven by the passion of the global community of figural art lovers. While it took passion to get this business off the ground, it needed even more passion from the fans and collectors to sustain it!

This passion from the fans has proven the worth of these collectibles time and time again. This enthusiasm from the collectors has allowed Sideshow to cultivate collaborative relationships with different brands, filmmakers, and special effects studios. Having a direct line to the minds behind our favorite character means that Sideshow can go the extra mile in crafting detailed collectibles fans want to display. 

While their first original offering in 1999 was sold through Toys R Us and other large retailers, Sideshow envisioned a different path forward for their company. Not only would they be the manufacturers of these collectibles, but they would also be the distributors thereof! By cultivating an online shopping experience in addition to other distribution channels, Sideshow was able to communicate with collectors more closely.

Sideshow’s connection and commitment to their customer base is evident in their product line and the quality of their shopping experience. Whether you want to go big and buy a life-size Iron Man statue or go for a smaller 8” model, Sideshow knows what their customers want – because you can tell them through their forums! If you’re going big, their flexible payment options might be for you; if you’re going small, there’s always their 30-day return policy in case you want to go bigger!


The Sideshow Collectibles community is thriving. It is a community that feeds off one another’s love for these characters that define pop culture. A collectible figure is not a toy that is played with (unless you really want to!) but a symbol of that film, series, or game that you love so much that is yours to display proudly. From their days making prototypes for other manufacturers to their endless list of figures, statues, and prop replicas available today, Sideshow has come a long way.

Sideshow Collectibles’ history is one filled with the passion of their creative team and the energy of the collectors that spur them on to greatness. This same passion for pop culture that has allowed their company to grow will continue to push them to new heights. Sideshow’s history is one that is still being written… and then conceptualized, designed, sculpted, painted, and more. Until that piece of their history arrives at your doorstep to be put on display, that is.

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