Originally I went into this article attempting to make a top ten list of my favorite toys throughout the year. As I schemed it out I found a couple instances where I loved a line as whole, and like with my children there is no way I can in good conscious pick a favorite. I’m also not all that big on rating these things best to worst this time around.
This year we are going to be like that Applebees appetizer sampler and give you all a good taste of everything I felt was great about 2015! Only not with the shitty Applebees food.
Mastermind Creations Reformatted Line:
While most of the third-party Transformer world has moved on to Masterpiece, MMC has continues to put out some of the best figures on the market in the good old Generations scale. I rarely buy in that scale but characters like Kaon, Vos, and Impactor are really hard to pass up. Especially when they look this good!
MMC is keeping the original spirit as to why I got into third-party Transformers. They are filling holes in the collection with high quality figures. There is so much character overlap in the 3P Masterpiece market, and they’ve even shifted into directly competing with Takara to some extent. Is anyone else out there doing the Decepticon Justice Division? Nope. Not only are they making the figures, but they are knocking them out of the park.
In the last year or two my collecting has shifted almost exclusively to MP scale. However, Mastermind Creations is doing the best third-party work on the market and I won’t miss a release.
Hasbro Marvel Legends:
Is it Pizza Spider-Man? Or Rhino? Ghostrider? Comic Gamora? Hulkbuster? Magik? There was absolutely no way I could single out one or two Marvel Legends figures for my top ten list this year. Marvel Legends as a brand is stronger than it has ever been. This year they released more product than they have in the entire decade and a half it has existed as an action figure line. Not only that but a FOURTH Spider-Man wave is being delivered to me today (the Absorbing man wave) … and sure I’m speculating but it may be the best one yet.
Sure there are always going to be filler figures and characters I’m just not interested in. But I can’t deny Marvel Legends may be one of the most prolific lines currently on the shelves. It’s amazing how Hasbro turned it all around, and I can’t give them enough credit for doing my favorite toy line justice.
NECA’s Heroes of the Storm:
I’m still getting over the heartbreak of NECA’s Team Fortress 2 line never getting completed. These Heroes of the Storm figures were like my rebound to that breakup. But they ended up being more than a rebound, and possibly the love I was looking for from the beginning!
I’ve culled and cut back on a lot of the Alien and Predator stuff, so NECA took a major hit as part of my hoarding habits this year. Thankfully they still have some interest in video game action figures and released two and a half waves based on Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard’s new MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) that includes characters from all of their licenses like Diablo, Warcraft, and Starcraft.
I played World of Warcraft for almost ten years, so getting fully articulated figures of Arthas and Illidan early on was amazing. It also helps that NECA really learned from their experiences with the TF2 line. Quality control has been much better with sturdier figures and better paint applications. These figures look they jumped out of the game and I hope to see many more in the future.
Masterpiece Star Saber:
Until I got a robot that turned into an electric chair, Star Saber was the single most fun Transformer I owned.
Fans Toys Tesla:
I love my Fans Toys Dinobots (or Dibots) more than anything. However, at this point I just expect the best out of them. Tesla, on the other hand, kind of came out of nowhere to very little fanfare. He’s a perfect representation of a cartoon and movie character in both bot and alt mode. Yet, I know like one other person who owns him. What’s up with that? With all of the overlap in the 3P MP market I’m also a little shocked no one has or is even working on Perceptor.
I feel like Tesla will be one of those figures that will all but disappear in the coming year causing his demand to shoot up. He’s just too good not to have, and I think people will catch on as we get closer and closer to all the car robots being complete. If you may have skipped this figure I would suggest taking a second look.
Star Wars Figuarts:
After my disappointment with Hasbro’s Star Wars Black six-inch series I thought I was officially done collecting Star Wars. Hasbro’s six-inch figures never really clicked with me like their 3 3/4″ ones did. I went into The Black Series hoping it would be my four-inch replacement but it wasn’t.
I was out. I was saving money. And then I got my first Bandai S.H. Figuarts Star Wars figure: Darth Maul. My world was completely changed! I wasn’t sick of Star Wars, it was just that I hadn’t found the right toys. I started off with Darth Maul, and then came the Battle Droid and Clonetrooper. Finally, I decided that I just needed to have them all. I don’t regret it one bit. These are the best made figures on the market, and the most fun to pose, play around with, and photograph.
Some other great releases this year worth mentioning: TruForce Mega Man X, Maketoys Rear End (IDW Tailgate), NECA Pacific Rim Otachi, First Gokin Cerebral (TMNT Krang), Snake Armor He-Man, and Figma Solid Snake.