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The Hacksmith brings comic book-inspired creations to Cambridge

Waterloo Region inventor and YouTube content creator bought a large property, with plans to construct his own version of the Stark Tower from 'Ironman'

Taking fictional ideas from comic books, movies and video games, Hacksmith Industries brings them to life by making real, working prototypes. 

The YouTube content creator, which has more than 12 million subscribers, will be setting up shop on an 18-acre Cambridge property in the coming months, with plans to build a version of Stark Tower from Ironman

Inventor, entrepreneur and CEO of Hacksmith Industries, James Hobson, is excited to be able expand the company at its new facility.

“We’ve been looking for space to grow and we needed a decent bit of property size to do that and ideally no neighbours because our projects are kind of like myth busters, and noisy.

“We used to run jet engines in my backyard which my neighbours did not really appreciate.”

They bought the property on Beaverdale Road in May of last year. Renovations are currently underway, and they hope to be all moved in by the end of summer. 

Hobson, sometimes referred to as The Hacksmith, employs 20 people who help him create real life versions of things like the lightsaber from "Star Wars," Han Solo’s blaster, Thor’s hammer, a hoverboard, and many more, all found on their YouTube channel. Several of its videos have been viewed millions of times.

“Another big one is the Captain America shield, that’s what really started the YouTube channel, and got us our first subscribers,” says Hobson, holding the shield.

Currently they are working on some pretty big projects like the world’s largest Thor Hammer and a "mega hex walking spider," all of which are being taken with them to their new location. 

“I don’t know if the crane company is going to let me do this but I think it would be a really cool shot if we could get me standing on the hammer up in the air with a drone or something.”

Hobson has some big ideas for where to take Hacksmith Industries next and he needed a large space like the one in Cambridge to be able to do it.

He wants to be able to put on events for not just the community but bring more tech creators to their new location, creating a common space where they can explore new ideas.

“I want it to be a hub where other creators from around the world can come visit and work on really cool projects together and build things that push the envelope.”

The planned expansion would be home to a large filming studio for their YouTube videos with a usable rooftop. Hobson is thinking it would be a great spot for a helicopter pad. 

The expansion was designed after Stark Tower from the Ironman Marvel comic books. It would be seen from the highway and could become a focal point for anyone driving by. 

If the City of Cambridge approves the site plans for Hacksmith Industries, they think they could get the expansion built by the end of next year. 

“As long as things go well with the channel and we are able to pull the trigger and put the money towards doing such an ambitious expansion, it could be built by next summer but likely end of next year. We'll see.”

Hacksmith Industries have been at its current rental location since 2019 and picked something with a short lease, wanting to buy a property.

They lucked out and were able to get a good deal on the Beaverdale site as some of it is protected land.

The new property has large windows and plenty of green space for the team at Hacksmith Industries to use.

“I think it will just be a healthier work environment for the whole team.”

Hobson has become the face of Hacksmith Industries, starring in their YouTube videos and taking a step back from the creating role. He is looking to change that and build gadgets again.

He’s dedicated a large room as his own personnel shop space, complete with multiple levels and his own exit into the parking lot. 

The new space will have a large store room at the front where they will let people come once a week to purchase Hacksmith clothing and other items they sell. 

It will also have secret rooms, a gym, private chef and a comic book theme throughout. 

Tucked away in their new location is an old YouTube favourite waiting to be used again, a spy car Hacksmith Industries created with electric door handles and a flamethrower that comes out the back license plate. 

"There is a chance that people driving by are going to see some interesting shenanigans in the future.”