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Pop culture to you we bring.

Since 1996

The heo story

A long time ago in a small town far, far away ...

... our story began in a kid’s bedroom and rapidly evolved into an unimaginable world of adventure. A box of Star Wars trading cards was our very own singularity, the tiny and impossibly dense starting point for heo’s Big Bang.


This is the story of three teenagers, definitely more immature than grown up, who in 1996 in a small town in Germany’s Southern Wine Route region turned their passion for gaming, collecting and trading into a business. Driven by this passion, the business grew over the years into a global distributor of licensed products, collectibles and games from the world of pop culture.


Without a doubt, the journey from humble beginnings has been incredibly exciting. Full of ups and downs, experiences and events. And full of trial and error. Many lessons were learned, but there was also plenty of success. Throughout it all, we have remained true to our passion and our values here at heo. And we’re happy to admit that we feel quite proud of that.

he + o = heo

But what does heo actually mean?


It all started in the mid-1990s. We had almost shed the wild naivety of the 1980s and were keen to embrace the spirit of the 1990s – the Millennium was just around the corner and the internet was really taking off. What we needed was a name that reflected all this.

After about seven seconds of brainstorming, we agreed on ‘hellfire entertainment’. Sure, it might not sound so hip these days (or maybe it does again?), but back then it was really cool!


Towards the end of the 1990s, we were looking for an internet domain for our online shop, but it had to be three characters long and memorable, if possible. So we bought an ‘o’ to go with our ‘he’. A rather expensive ‘o’ as it turned out: even back then, cost a considerable five-figure sum, a huge amount given our finances at the time. But it was meant to be.


The ‘o’ stands for ‘online’, so heo means: ‘hellfire entertainment online’

hellfire entertainment online

Okay, so it’s a bit of a monster. It’s too long, in fact it’s much too long. But nobody actually used the full name in day-to-day business. Almost everyone just said heo. While it took our customers and partners just a few weeks to embrace this pragmatic step, we stubbornly carried on for another eight years before we had the sense to rename our company ‘heo’ in 2008. But don’t worry, we were much more on the ball in other areas :)


It feels like a lifetime ago, but some friends and partners still call us ‘hellfire’ or the ‘hellfire boys’. We don’t mind. In fact, it’s quite nice.


There have been many fun interpretations of the heo acronym, such as ‘Herxheims erster online-shop’ (Herxheim’s first online shop). That only really works in German, of course, but imagine something like ‘Hagrid eats oranges’ or ‘heroic excellence online’ and you get the idea. In any case, the only correct interpretation is the one we just told you about.


And now that you know all about this part of our history, and the mystery of heo’s name has been solved, you can continue checking out what we do best: heroic excellence!

Hello world! We come in peace, we just need a little space.

The great thing about being young is that you don’t have as many worries, and risks are what make life fun. You certainly don’t give a second thought to risks that you’re unaware of.


That leaves more room for spotting opportunities. And we spotted many!

What probably helped us was a dose of wide-eyed enthusiasm and Bobby McFerrin’s 1988 classic Don’t Worry, Be Happy (possibly the most influential catchphrase of our youth).


Over the years, we would expand our global network wherever we could, opening a total of nine international sites in the USA, the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China, Hong Kong and Japan. In addition to our sales offices, we also have three global logistics centres in Europe, China and the USA, some of which we operate with partners.


The amount of space we needed, particularly for our logistics centres, increased rapidly over the years, and that small box in a bedroom now has more than a million siblings.

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