If you are a devout collector of action figures or statues, the name Sideshow Collectibles should not be a stranger to you (or your collection). Each time the company announces a new product it makes news, and their depictions of much loved franchise characters can be jaw droppingly screen accurate. First joining the collectible market in 1994, Sideshow Collectibles set out to “connect people with their favorite characters and icons from the worlds of film, television, comic books, and popular culture”. If the devotion of fan websites and social media groups is any indication, they’re certainly well on the road to achieving that goal.
How did they become the company they are today? Sideshow began life (for the first five years anyway) making toy prototypes for companies like Mattel, Galoob, and Wild Planet. In 1999, that changed as they began marketing their own line of collectibles and firming up the Sideshow Collectibles (formerly Sideshow Toys) brand. Starting out making Universal Movie Monster action figures which were sold through Toys “R” Us, the company showed an interest in moving beyond traditional retail marketing and began experimenting with direct sales to customers. The model worked and allowed the company to slowly raise the bar in terms of detail and quality (along with cost). Establishing a pre-order model, allowing for payment plans, and serving up a solid return policy helped them claw their way to the respected status of the higher end collectibles market. Now partnered with product lines ranging from Marvel to Disney to Blizzard to DC Comics and beyond, they mark a spot on most fans’ “want” lists. Add to that their exclusive distribution deal (for the United States and Europe) with Hong Kong based Hot Toys and you have a company that represents the best of the best when it comes to celebrating the characters you love. I certainly know I’m lusting after more than a few myself.
As a fun sample of what this company makes, I though it would be interesting to run through what’s currently the ten most desired items (up voted through “wants”) here on CompleteSet. Of course it’s a regularly shifting list, but this snapshot gives you a look at some of the most loved products from the history of this company according to our user community.
10 & 9) Stormtrooper Sixth Scale Figure Set and Single
You don’t need a Jedi mind trick to go about your business here, but your business had better be snagging up these amazing sixth scale Star Wars Stormtrooper figures. Available as a set or as a single, the detail here is phenomenal as these stalwarts of the Empire snag our #10 and #9 spots in the countdown. Highly-accurate collectible figures, these were specially crafted in 2015 and based off of images of the Spacetroopers seen in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Now move along… move along as there is much more to see since our list continues!
One of the coolest characters in the Marvel Universe (if you ask me) was represented very well by Anthony Mackie’s screen presence in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This version deserves every “want” it’s scored on CompleteSet. From the intricately detailed costume (give that image a second and third look) to the LED enhanced flight backpack that lights up to the Falcon’s equally impressive wings, this figure just begs to be posed. The likeness of the face alone here is a credit to figure design if you ask me.
7 & 6) When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth and Exclusive
Every list needs a T-Rex and this 2008 collectible celebrating Jurassic Park titled “When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth” is filled with visceral fury! As it was available in two versions, love for this one snagged two spots in our countdown, and it deserves the attention. Here the T-Rex is locked in combat with raptors presenting a stunning (and just a little bloody) diorama. These collectibles were cast in holystone, hard finished and hand painted before heading out to the public. Don’t be surprised if there are micro tremors in your coffee each morning if you plan to keep this one on your work desk. It recalls the T-Rex so well, you can almost hear it slowly stomping your way.
Created by Bill Mantlo and Keith Griffen for Marvel Comics in 1976, the character of Rocket Raccoon only appeared in a total of ten comic books during his first thirty years of existence. That said, he made many a gag list for silliest Marvel creations during that time. Over the last ten years there was a slow rise in Guardians of the Galaxy stories and respect culminating in the 2014 film. As a long time reader, it’s been interesting to see how a lower than low tier character can rise to become so iconic to the overall brand. This figure set depicts him with his partner in adventure, Groot, and most certainly does the duo justice.
Begone all other contenders! If you are looking for a throw down with Batman, his franchise of characters is the clear winner within our community of collectors. Superman doesn’t appear once in this countdown (though honestly neither does the caped crusader), but Batman’s cast of characters hold spots #4 to #1. Okay, we have officially tipped a hat to the recent Superman v Batman film, now let’s do equal justice to Suicide Squad as love for Harley Quinn is ever present these days. This first entry (of two) for her, though not tied to the upcoming film, is still stunning in its detail, articulation, and feature options. Heck, even the tassels atop her head are posable. Magnificent!
Is there any better presentation of the Joker than Heath Ledger under that comically twisted makeup in The Dark Knight? It would be hard to argue anyone has ever done a better job in the role and, in my eye, it would be equally hard to argue that there is a better homage to the film than this figure. What makes it so perfect for me is the way it captures the body language that Ledger brought to the film. The slight slumped over, almost relaxed vibe in the heart of mayhem was one aspect of the character portrayal that worked so well. Here, they simply nail the presentation. There is a soul in what they’ve created and it’s delightfully menacing.
Maniacal joy anyone? This premium figure serves it up in black and red patterned glee as Harley Quinn giggles her way into the countdown once again. Released in 2014, the representation here harkens back to her classic days in animation and comic pages. Balancing the mallet on her shoulder, she’s just begging (sometimes quite literally) to get into trouble. Can you believe the character has only been a part of our life since 1992? It feels like there has always been a Harley Quinn, and maybe that’s just the way she would like it to seem.
There can be only one, and for this countdown top honors go to the Batmobile as re-imagined in the 1989 Tim Burton film Batman, the film that many could argue started the slow roll that picked up steam to become the modern superhero film juggernaut Hollywood leans into even today. Though not as dark as the later Batman films, it had us all asking (in our best Jack Nicholson voice) “where does he get those wonderful toys“? The best toy in the lot has always been the Batmobile, and this version has been loved since the moment its tires squealed onto the screen. Sideshow does it proud here!