Another year and a whole load of new stuff bought. Sometimes I don’t even remember to review them. Check out our top five figures of 2014 along with a few honorable mentions. It’s been a good year and 2015 looks to be even better! (Name all of the figures in the title picture and you get a prize*)
* prize is my gratitude, sorry!
[h2]The Top Five![/h2]
5. Marvel Legends Jubilee Build-a-Figure – (Review) She’s one of those characters that should have had a figure long ago. Then she was finally teased at SDCC 2013, followed by another not-so-exciting tease that her wave had been cancelled. She finally found a home as the build-a-figure of an unfortunate Toys “R” Us exclusive wave. Hasbro did not make it easy by any means to obtain Jubilee, but she’s out there now which is more than can be said for a lot of cancelled Legends figures that time forgot. I had always thought I’d want that 90’s Jim Lee style Jubilee, but when I finally put the Legends figure together I was sold on the modern look … and in retrospect it made me realize that the “classic” design is kind of shit.
4. Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Modulok – (Review) Modulok is easily the most fun Masters of the Universe Classics figure this year, maybe of all time. There were endless ways Mattel could have screwed up a figure like this that has so many parts that are intended to be constantly connected and disconnected; however they didn’t. They made a beautiful update of a vintage favorite of mine, and there is barely anything I can nitpick about it (ab crunch, that’s it!). He’s one of those figures that I had to get at least two of in order to get creative building him. Modulok and I, we’ve had some good times.
Even though I’ve taken down my MOTUC display, I still have Modulok and a few other choice characters up on the shelf.
3. Takara TOMY Masterpiece Bumblebee – There were three pretty important Autobots released this year: Wheeljack, Bumblebee, and Ultra Magnus. They are all great figures. The Masterpiece line rarely lets me down, but Bumblebee is something special though.
There are a combination of things working together to make Bumblebee one of the most enjoyable MP figures of the year. Being that for years we were told Volkswagon would never allow a VW Bug Transformer toy is part of it. Bumblebee also has a really satisfying transformation, and his robot mode is just fun to mess around with and pose. Let’s not forget he also comes with Daniel (or Spike, who knows since they don’t paint faces anyway) and a set of extra face plates. He’s an all around satisfying release that’s just fun to play around with.
2. NECA Pacific Rim Cherno Alpha – (Review) Cherno is easily the best Pacific Rim figure NECA has ever made. It certainly helps that he is one of the more interesting Jaeger designs in the movie. NECA absolutely did him justice though with this fully articulated figure that has an amazing range of motion. Cherno is easily the most posable Jaeger released thus far (and I think we almost have all of them now before going into the comic’s designs). Late this year there was also an 18″ version released that looks pretty amazing, but I’ve been trying hard to stay away from that scale. It’s not easy.
NECA’s been able to make quite a collection from a movie that had fairly mediocre box office numbers. It’s funny how that works out. Some properties just connect with collectors better than others. Look at something like the Hobbit that’s raking in cash, the toys can hardly be given away.
1. Fans Toys Scoria – (Review) He’s tops! I can’t think of a toy in recent memory that I had so much built up hype for, and then when the thing arrived it still blew me away. Scoria is just so much fun. Ever since Grimlock I wanted a full set of Masterpiece scale Dinobots. The best part is I don’t have to settle for something below my expectations. I got exactly what I wanted: a definitive version of slag. I couldn’t be more happy with how it turned out.
Feral Rex – I can’t quite include Feral Rex in the absolute best of 2014 since half of him was released last year. However, since he needed 2014 to get both of his arms he gets an honorable mention. If you ever had a doubt about third-party combiners this guy should put those worries to rest. Mastermind Creations continued where they left off in 2013 making some of the best high quality third-party Transformers.
NECA 1989 Michael Keaton Batman – I guess I can include both the “8-bit” and movie version in this. However I think the movie version has a much more interesting story because it opens up possibilities for the future. Basically, NECA is able to get around certain action figure based licensing issues by packing figures with a DVD or Blu-Ray since they aren’t technically selling it at retail. If you aren’t aware Mattel has the DC master license and some pretty pathetic attempts at the 1989 movie version of Batman have come of it. NECA was able to get this figure out via bundle, so now we have a pretty amazing Keaton Batman that can stand toe-to-toe with the likes of Rambo, Dutch, Predators, Aliens … need I go on? While maybe not the figure of the year (he’s still really REALLY good!), I think the story behind it is a pretty huge thing to come out of 2014.
Unique Toys Troll – (Review) I see this as a HUGE step up in quality from Unique Toys. Considering UT also had one of my worst of 2014 as well, I’m happy to see such a vast improvement in so little time. Troll’s plastic quality is fantastic, he looks rad as hell, and he’s just fun to mess around with. I wasn’t considering getting their Ordin combiner, but Troll has certainly made me reconsider this stance (spoiler: I have Alberich on preorder).
NECA Alien Queen – I got her on the last day of the year. I’ve had a McFarlane Queen in the past, and like most people who owned one it fell apart on me so I trashed it years ago. This thing blows that away in every aspect. It’s giant, the paint is gorgeous, and the articulation is very satisfying. The Queen is something I knew I had to get as soon as it was announced, and NECA pulled through with a gorgeous figure.
Video Game Mini-Figures – (Review) I started collecting two new video game themed mini-figure lines this year: The Coop’s Team Fortress 2 Portable Mercs and DOTA2 Demiheroes. Both fantastic in their own respects. The TF2 Portable Mercs were blind bagged but I remedied this by buying a case to get a complete set. They are great little vinyl figures with huge personality. The Demiheroes have less playability but they display beautifully and they are cute as hell. Another advantage the DOTA2 figures have is that they come with in game codes, and the gold ones at one point could net you over $300. I’m a sucker for video game merchandise, and these scratched the itch nicely this year.
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