Friday, January 22, 2016

My Top 10 Favorite Individual Action Figures of 2015

When it comes to creating my top 10 lists for the previous year I do one featuring my 10 favorite lines as a whole and one that features individual figures. Sometimes a toyline is so small or consist of only a singular release and it just doesn't make sense to place it in the list of my 10 favorite toylines. Other times there's a figure which ends up being a real gem in an otherwise average line. Sometimes I only wanted one figure from a larger line and I was impressed by what I picked up. Like in my top 10 Favorite Toylines of 2015 list:

First, this is a list of my favorites, and thus it's even more subjective than a standard "best of" list (which is already quite subjective). If I were doing a "best of 2015" I'd definitely be looking at the merits of figures from lines that I don't even collect. For this list, I'm factoring in the fun I had collecting these figures, discussing them, and reviewing them as well as the merits of the toys themselves.

Second, action figures from lines I've already covered in my Top 10 Favorite Toylines of 2015 list are ineligible.

Third, I try my best to present a mixture of product from different scales, styles, and price points.

Fourth, I list these alphabetically, not by merit. It's just easier that way.

Ready for the fun to start? Then let's get started after the break:

#10: Baron Dark from Skeleton Warriors by October Toys

 To start things off I've selected Baron Dark from October Toys Skeleton Warriors revival line. While I found the decision to not put this guy in the 6-7 inch scale so he'd be compatible with other lines like MOTUC, this is still a really solid figure. Excellent sculpting and beautiful paintwork really help to bring Baron Dark to life. It's a shame that the Kickstarter campaign for Grimskull was unsuccessful as Skeleton Warriors seems like a property with a lot of potential that's just waiting for another chance at life!

#9: Batgirl Premium Format (Sideshow Exclusive) from DC Comics by Sideshow

  Are you surprised to see this on here? I figured not. Sideshow's amazing Batgirl Premium Format statue was without a doubt the most expensive collectible I purchased last year. Actually, it's possible it was the most expensive collectible I've ever purchased. It's quite lovely, though. While I have no desire to own any other Premium Format statues (unless Sideshow released another Batgirl for some reason) I can't knock the quality of the work they produce. It's cool to finally own one of these and to see what all the fuss is about.

#8 Captain Marvel (Maidens of Might) from Marvel Legends: Infinite Series by Hasbro

I'm not much of a Marvel collector but Hasbro's Marvel Legends line had a heck of a year in 2015. They released some awesome product that was incredibly tempting. I managed to stay out for the most part although one of the figures that I did pick up was Captain Marvel. I'm a fan of Carol Danvers and her Captain Marvel costume is incredible. Not only is she a great figure with a cool energy burst accessory but she also comes with an unmasked head. What a great accessory! While we'll hopefully get plenty of Captain Marvel figures when her movie comes out, this one should nicely tide me over until then.

#7: The Creeper from The New Batman Adventures by DC Collectibles

 I really do purchase far too many Batman action figures so I've been trying to avoid buying all but my favorite characters in DC Collectibles' line based on the animated series. The Creeper, though, was too hard to resist. I mean, look at this guy! He's garish, well articulated, crazy, and comes with an Adam West styled Batman mask. How can you not love the Creeper? There haven't been too many Creeper figures made over the years but of the half dozen or so, this is definitely the best.

 #6: Goliath from Mystical Warriors of the Ring by Fantastic Plastic Toys

  Goliath is an articulated minifigure which uses the Glyos system. He was released early in 2015 and yet he was still quite fresh in my mind almost one year later. Fantastic Plastic Toys does some incredible work on their sculpts and adding articulation into these little guys just made things better. Goliath is an incredible minifigure (my favorite of the year) and while he's been released in a few color schemes, I personally love this metallic green version.

#5: Gracie Law from Big Trouble in Little China ReAction by Funko

 I still enjoy Funko's ReAction line and while they definitely improved things in 2015, some of their marketing decisions left me a bit cold. One of the highlights for the year was their Big Trouble in Little China line and the standout figure in the line in my eyes wasn't Jack Burton, Lo Pan, or any of the Storms: It was Gracie Law! Gracie Law was perfectly captured in Funko's faux Kenner style and it just works amazingly. The sculpt and paint are detailed and sharp enough that you can tell the quality is there, but she still has the vintage charm.

#4: Great White Shark and Quint Final Battle from Jaws ReAction by Funko

 And here's ReAction again with one of their SDCC 2015 exclusives: Quint versus Jaws! Usually I'd consider these two separate figures but I'm choosing to view Quint as Jaws' accessory. This was an incredibly fun set and definitely one of the SDCC 2015 highlights. The Great White Shark is a great toy and the fact that Quint was a full figure and not just an upper body really made this feel like more of a value. I love the juxtaposition of the faux Kenner charm with the bloody carnage presented in this scene. Brilliant!

#3: Harley Quinn from S.H. Figuarts Injustice: Gods Among Us by Bandai

   I said at the beginning that I arrange these winners alphabetically but if I had to pick one winner this year, it very well might be Harley. Bandai's S.H. Figuarts line definitely captured my attention in 2015 and this was one of the reasons why. Amazing articulation, some very cool accessories (including die cast metal revolvers), extra faces, and a gorgeous sculpt really help set this figure of Harley apart from others. There were at least three really good Harley Quinn action figures released in 2015 but this was without a doubt the best.

#2: Lucy Westenra from Universal Monsters Select by Diamond Select Toys

    While I've picked up a few of Diamond Select's Universal Monsters Select figures here and there over the years, it was 2014's reimagining of Van Helsing that really wowed me. Too bad I didn't pick him up until last summer. I was waiting for Lucy, though, and while she has a few odd issues, she didn't disappoint. She's an incredibly well designed figure. I love monsters but I love monster hunters even more and this lady is ready to kick the un out of the undead.

#1: Snake Plissken from Escape from New York by NECA

 I'm really not a fan of Mego styled figures. I am, however, a fan of John Carpenter, Kurt Russell, and 1980's sci-fi action films, which means I love Escape from New York almost as much as a man can love a piece of celluloid (I love Big Trouble in Little China exactly as much as a man can love a piece of celluloid, FYI). Anyways, this was an awesome Snake Plissken figure that doesn't feel beholden to the past in any way. It's a great modern action figure with a good outfit and some excellent accessories. I usually skip this stuff but there was no way I could pass on Snake.

And now: Some stats!

 # of action figures from toylines that have appeared on a best of list before: 4 (Marvel Legends: Infinite Series and Funko's ReAction brand appeared in my best lines of 2014 while Fantastic Plastic's Mystical Warriors of the Ring appeared made the best lines of 2013 list.)

# of companies represented: 9 (DC Collectibles, NECA, Diamond Select Toys, Bandai, Fantastic Plastic Toys, Hasbro, Sideshow, October Toys, and Funko)

# of action figures from Funko: 2

# of Batman related lines: 3

# of figures from lines based on films from 2015: 1 (While Captain Marvel wasn't from the films, Marvel Legends did feature figures from Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man.)

# of toylines based on new intellectual properties (first appearing in 2015): 0

# of toys that I never saw hide nor hair of at Wal-Mart: 9- I only ever saw Captain Marvel.

# of toys based on R-rated films: 1 (Escape from New York)

# of toys from lines featuring someone who was a co-owner of Planet Hollywood: 0

# of toys from lines that were available through Kickstarter or an online subscription method: 1 (Baron Dark)

# of toys from lines in a 1/18th scale or smaller: 4

What do you think? What action figures stood out to you this year? For more of my favorites of 2015, please check out My Top 10 Toylines of 2015.

Let me know some of your highlights in the comments section below! 


  1. Solid list - I like the diversity of figure styles/properties/price ranges you picked.

    Wish I could pull off a list like this, but I did most of my figure-buying at the end of the year, so I'm still haven't taken a good look at most of my 2015 buys (and a couple of preorders I'm still waiting on even). Next year!

    1. Thanks! I really do try to present a nice spread of figures while still ensuring that I'm picking some quality product. I find that keeping a spreadsheet throughout the year helps to track purchases. I mean, most of my January reviews are of product that technically came out in 2015, so it won't be eligible for next year's reviews. I kind of anticipated that, though, and thus held off for a few weeks before releasing my lists.


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