It’s that time of year again, kids! Time for one of my favorite annual rituals; My top ten collectibles of the year. 2016 was a banner year for toys & collectibles. I think I speak for several of us here when I say that I spent WAYYY too much last year. But you know what? We got some amazing stuff! We crossed some things off the list of “I never thought they’d make that!” But they did. And we love them for it. Without further ado, here’s the list.
10. Hasbro’s Star Wars Black Series Stormtrooper Helmet
Let’s face it, we ALL wanted one of these as a kid, and despite a few high-priced prop replicas (most of which were slightly off-model), there really wasn’t a viable mass market option available. In come Hasbro, and delivers a high quality replica for a very reasonable price. Instead of painting on details, The black “rubber” sections are co-molded, making for a very durable piece. This one was way better than it had to be, and it sits proudly on display in my home.
9. Transformers Titans Return Gnaw
What a fun little surprise this guy turned out to be! Of all the Transformers I bought this year, across multiple lines and price points, Gnaw turned out to be the most fun. He’s such a perfect representation of the Sharkiticon from my youth, and he’s going to be hard not to army build them.
8. Mattel’s DC Multiverse Dark Knight Returns Armored Batman
As a tremendous fan of Frank Miller’s seminal work, this figure was DECADES overdue. Some of Mattel’s Multiverse line are hit and miss, but other than the Mutant Gang Leader’s “nipple-gate”, all three of their offerings were stellar. The Armored Batman, using mostly new tooling, was exceptional, and just a fun version of this beloved character. Mattel seems to be going all-in on this line, so be sure to grab an extra before they’re gone, as an unmasked Old Man Bruce Wayne swap out head is coming in 2017.
7. Funko’s ReAction Aliens 30th Anniversary Box Set
I think it’s fair to say that some of Funko’s ReAction line have been hit and miss. But when they’re a hit,they’re an outside the park home run. Jaws. Alien. Gremlins. Dark Crystal. These were amazing. 2016 saw Funko seize the opportunity to make a set for the 30th anniversary of Aliens, and they killed it. Retro style 5 POA figures of Ripley,the Power Loader, and the Queen herself hit all the right notes, reminding one of a time of toys past, all while being just great toys.
6. DC Collectibles Batman: The Animated Series Harvey Bulloch and Commissioner Gordon
I must admit, sometimes these figures are not 100% on model. That said, I LOVE collecting this line! Two of the very finest examples were Detective Harvey Bulloch and Commissioner Gordon. They brought to vivid life two of my favorite characters who were never made in the original Kenner line. I mean come on, Bulloch comes with 2 versions of his donut! The look like they stepped right off the screen. Give me an Officer Montoya, and my Gotham police force is complete!
5. Re-Edit 1/12 Scale Hulkbuster
The Hulkbuster is my all time favorite Iron Man suit. While we’ve gotten some great offerings from Marvel Legends and Marvel Select, none match the quality and finish of the Re-Edit version. Let’s run it down: Super articulated. Premium glossy and matte Metal paint finish. Die Cast parts. Opening cockpit with Iron Man torso inside. Multiple light up areas. Yeah, this one was stunning. The only thing that really keeps it from scoring higher is the prohibitive price. These aren’t cheap, but you get every penny’s worth of toy.
4. X-Plus Gigantic Series 1962 Godzilla
I think those of you who know me, know that I’m a lifelong Godzilla fanatic. Of all the different versions of Godzilla shown in the films, the 1962 version (King Kong vs. Godzilla) is easily my personal favorite. It’s so unique and distinct compared to other versions, and this suit was only used one time. The gigantic series figure by X-Plus stands almost 20 inches tall, and has one of the very best sculpts of this suit ever done. The paint was near perfect, and the inset clear eye lenses matched the film’s look perfectly. Shipping from overseas is a bit costly, as the box is the size of a small refrigerator.
The Top Three
OK, it get’s harder from here, as all of my top three are so close, any one of these could’ve won, as the margins were razor-thin. At the end of the day, these were my absolute favorite purchases of the year:
3. DC Collectibles Bat Wing
Wow. Just wow. At nearly 40″ long, this toy isn’t for everybody. but let’s face facts: The sculpt is 100% on point, the finish and construction are top quality, and the lighting effects are among the best I’ve seen. It’s just jaw dropping when you see it in person. It’s got working landing gear, the claw up front, and even the canopy that covers Robin’s seat. No detail was missed, and at the MSRP of $140.00, it felt like a bargain.
2. Funko’s The Dark Crystal
Man, this one was so close to winning. It hit the nostalgia factor big time. I’ve always wanted these toys, which Kenner sculpted and then cancelled. Along came Funko, and they took their time to do it right, and it showed. These are just incredible little toys. I love that I have them so much. They used replicas of Kenner’s card art, and even replicated the “Build A Crystal” feature. As of press time, the Garthim is not readily available, as it was part of a set that was exclusive to NYCC. Word on the street is that it’s a retailer exclusive in 2017, so never fear, your set will be complete! I could buy three more waves and a couple of playsets for this line. They’re selling fast, don’t miss out.
Mythic Legions by the Four Horsemen
Man these came out of left field. For years the four Horsemen have been responsible for some of my favorite prototypes from other lines. We all are familiar with their stellar work on DC and MOTUC. This time, they’ve used their imagination to create their own medieval world of sword and sorcery, and the results are glorious. Great articulation, stunning paint apps, and fresh designs help flesh out this world of Human knights, trolls, barbarians, orcs, dwarves, and skeletons.
If this was all this line was about, that would be enough, but the Horsemen introduced a unique new form factor for this line. All of their armor and parts are fully interchangeable. You can even buy army builder sets that let you customize to your heart’s content. Once I got some of these and started playing with them, I just couldn’t put them down for weeks. Building on the first series’ success, additional figures and waves are coming soon, along with bigger creatures, like the new Trolls which are awesome! Taking everything into account, these were the best toys I bought in 2016.
…and that’s it for me folks! 2017 is already off to a great start, with toys like Playmate’s awesome Legendary Voltron series! There’s a new Star Wars movie coming, more fantastic Transformers and Marvel Legends, imports, art toys, and statues than you can count. It’s a great time for people like us, and until next time, I’ll see you at the stores!
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