We’re going to go on a limb here and assume that if you’re reading the PCHOF, you’ve played with one toy or another. You may have had a dusty toybox, haphazardly layered with different figures, vehicles, and parts thrown together like geologic layers documenting the years of your childhood. They were scuffed up and missing a few parts, because they were about play. In the world of toys, sometimes there’s a higher goal. Sometimes creators make figures to exacting, beautiful detail to capture the best stories and moments of pop culture. Sideshow Collectibles pursues the latter. With their dedication to producing the most faithful recreations of our favorites, we’re happy to announce Sideshow Collectibles’s place as Toy Brand of the Year.
Sideshow started in 1994 with the idea of creating premium figures to bring fans closer to the pop culture characters and worlds that they loved. In the following 25 years, Sideshow has grown to include all the biggest and most niche areas of nerd culture, from Star Wars and Marvel to Conan the Barbarian or Escape from New York. The company works on a range of products, including clothing, busts, pins, portraits and the truly standout figures known as Premium Format.
In creating it’s figures, ranging all scales from 1/6th all the way to 1/1, Sideshow employs a talented team of artists, engineers and sculptors, who don’t just work an assignment, but get to know their characters (often times real people, after all) studying their body movement and mannerisms to create truly photo-realistic, lifelike creations. What emerges, as Sideshow’s Creative Director Tom Gilliland describes, are “multimedia presentations”, figures created not just in one material or another, but incorporating fabric in clothing and other materials to make the results truly feel real, not just look real.
The process takes months, moving from hand drawn, hand painted templates into something that can be produced on a larger scale. When the figures reach collectors, Sideshow wants to make sure that characters embody the media they emerged from, evoking and remaining faithful to the lore and even the habits of particular characters.
Sideshow can certainly nail that accuracy, but their own creations can be just as compelling. Sideshow’s artists, bringing together skills from industries like film, architecture and comic book art, are collectors and fans themselves. They sometimes use figures as a means to tell their own story, like physical fan-fiction. With their Star Wars Mythos figures, Sideshow artists interpreted how characters would look different time periods in between the Star Wars films, like Obi Wan-Kenobi wandering the deserts of Tatooine.
Sideshows presence continues to expand, with totally new scales, new proprietary creations, a Youtube channel, a blog covering pop culture and plenty more. With nerd culture becoming truly mainstream and the dominance of Superheros and sci-fi, Sideshow is emerging more and more as the starring show in toys and we’re proud to welcome Sideshow Collectibles as Toy Brand of the Year for 2019.