Jordan Hembrough Talks TOY HUNTER Season 2, Prototypes, LEGO, TMNT, the Difficulty in Landing a Great Toy, Celebrity Clients, and More

     April 10, 2013


As a recovering toy collector, watching Toy Hunter on the Travel Channel is a constant battle not to open my laptop and go on eBay.  If you’ve never seen the show, it follows Jordan Hembrough, a more than twenty year collectibles veteran, on his cross-country travels seeking out hidden gems of toys which he can then turn around and sell for a profit.  If you’re a regular WonderCon/Comic-Con attendee, the show should be considered “must see TV.”

With season 2 premiering tonight with back-to-back episodes at 9pm and 9:30pm ET/PT, I recently got to speak to Hembrough.  During the extended interview, we talked about how the show came about, the difference between season 1 and season 2, celebrity clients, the best toy collection that he’s come across, LEGO, how the show has helped expand his business, the best toy in his personal collection, how he had a Boba Fett wax sculpt that is now in a museum, the popularity of Jurassic Park toys, the balance of maintaining a huge inventory, selling vs. commission, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Before going any further, here’s a preview for season 2:

Toy-Hunter-Jordan-HembroughJordan Hembrough Time Index:

  • :18 What’s the experience been like having a show about what he loves to do?
  • :45 How did the show first come about?
  • 1:30 Talks about the experience of filming the pilot and how the casting agents knew they had found the right guy for their show.
  • 1:56 What’s the difference between season one and season two? Says everything is bigger and they have celebrity clients.
  • 2:32 Talks about how he lands celebrity clients on the show. A lot of people reach out asking for help with their toys.
  • 3:13 How long are the filming schedules? Says he didn’t have any downtime between the Christmas special and filming season two; he’s traveling 22 days out of the month.
  • 3:55 What was his typical travel schedule before the show? Says he’s now traveling all over the country and even overseas thanks to the Travel Channel.
  • 4:35 Says this gives him a new opportunity to go after more toys.
  • 5:01 How has the show helped to expand his business?
  • 5:34 Does he have one toy collection that he’s come across that’s the best he’s found? Says season two has one of the largest toy collections he’s ever seen in his life.
  • Toy-Hunter-Jordan-Hembrough6:26 What is it about the northeast area that has the best toy collectors?
  • 7:05 Does he sell any LEGO?
  • 7:42 Talks about the demand for older LEGO sets.
  • 8:26 What’s his favorite convention? Says there’s nothing like New York Comic-Con.
  • 9:06 Talks about pricing and haggling at a convention.
  • 9:31 Talks about going to Puerto Rico for season two and how it’s the first time he’s gone overseas to sell.
  • 9:50 What’s the best thing in his personal collection?
  • 10:30 Selling vs. commission.
  • 11:30 The difficulty in landing a great toy and what happens when he finally sells it.
  • 12:25 Has he found a switch in collectors in people wanting sealed boxes vs. slightly opened?
  • 13:22 Talks about the value of yellow-bubbled Star Wars toys and how you get a clear bubble.
  • 15:02 Talks about how quickly an older toy line becomes popular. Says it’s the 15-20 year mark normally. Talks about the popularity of Jurassic Park toys.
  • 16:01 Will we see more prototypes in season two? Talks about how hard it is to collect prototypes. Talks about his Boba Fett wax sculpt that is now in a museum.
  • jordan hembrough toy hunter star wars18:05 How has the internet affected how he gets and sells collections? Says it’s a double-edged sword.
  • 19:31 If he were to get a season three what would he want to do that he hasn’t done yet? Says he wants to go international and they’re looking at more things than toys.
  • 20:31 How many toys does he personally own?
  • 20:49 How does the storage work for the business? Says they have three units full of toys.
  • 21:29 Does he ever take a step back and wish that he had bought such-and-such toys on clearance at Toys-R-Us?
  • 22:25 What toy lines have surprised him over the years and which ones did he peg as being big a while ago that didn’t pan out? Says he’s really surprised at TMNT and he thought Stargate would be the next Star Wars.
  • 23:27 Talks about the balance of maintaining a huge inventory.