The last few weeks have been full of vague stories of comics publishers downsizing, but Eaglemoss, once a Diamond top 10 publisher, is definitely gone. Eaglemoss — you may know them as Hero Collector, one of their brands — went into administration last month. That’s Brit-speak for “the company’s days are numbered.” That’s what happens when a company is insolvent, which means there are cash flow problems and more creditors than the ability to pay.
Hero Collector is best known to comic shop customers as the publisher of various magazines that come with collectible figurines. Earlier this year, for example, they put out, among others:
- DC Batman Automobilia Magazine, which came with batmobile replicas
- Star Trek Starships Collection Magazine, which came with various spaceships
- Doctor Who Figurine Collection Magazine, which came with … guess what
They have also published magazines with Harry Potter figurines, Marvel Comics figurines, Battlestar Galactica ships, Rick and Morty figurines, and, believe it or not, Beatles Cross-Stitch Hoops. (Personally, I’m a little sad to have missed out on the Doctor Who cookie cutter and tea towel sets.)
They worked with a lot of very well-known brands, and they put out some impressive collectibles, as one of the world’s leading companies in that area. Eaglemoss has been publishing since the mid-1970s, but lockdown wasn’t kind to a company who depended on newsstand sales. They were attempting to pivot to direct-to-customer sales online and through direct marketing, but revenue had dropped off drastically. Their most recent public filing reveals that in 2020, they lost 10 million pounds, in spite of distributing more than 150 collections in more than 30 countries.
Former employees have made mention of hopes that someone else will take over various of the model lines as “bits of the business were still functional and are still attractive to somebody else… there’s a lot of legal messes to be tidied up from the Eaglemoss side of things first, though.” Given that the staff has been let go, it’s clear that the current version of the company will not be able to recover — but some of the projects and merchandise might become available if picked up by new ownership.
They will be missed. They put out an amazing Doctor Who advent calendar last year with all kinds of unique, fan-focused goodies. They knew their stuff, and fans appreciated that kind of detail. I regret not buying their adorable pin badges when I had the chance.