Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Missing in Action: Toylines That Didn't Make the Cut in 2019

   Since 2015 I've supplemented the lists of My 10 Favorite Toylines and 10 Favorite Individual Toys with a list called Missing in Action, a list where I look back at last year's Top 10 Toylines list and determine why some of the lines from last year failed to return for the current year's list.  2019's top 10 list only had two toylines returning from the 2018 list, which is the lowest retention rate for toylines on any of my yearly lists to date!  I find it interesting to look at the lines that failed to show up again and attempt to diagnose why they are missing. There are usually three reasons why a toyline makes this list:

Missing in Action: This is a toyline that gets cancelled, ends, or just doesn't have any releases during the year. It happens a lot, unfortunately.

Demoted: Sometimes a toyline just gets outdone by others. This isn't specifically related to the quality of the demoted line and more reflective of the quality of the lines that supplanted it or of my interest in other things.

Drop in Quality: This is when a toyline has a severe drop in quality that causes it to fall from grace. While most toylines get better as they go, some do indeed get worse and worse due to cost cutting, mismanagement, and quality control issues.

Let's jump in and check these out after the break...

DC Nano Metalfigs by Jada Toys- Missing in Action!

Jada Toys' DC Nano Metalfigs line made my Top Ten Toylines list in both 2017 and 2018. They disappeared from shelves around the middle of 2018, however, and on last year's Top Ten I speculated that there absence wasn't a good sign. Now they're Missing in Action. For $1 each these things seemed to sell quite well, but I wonder if folks got burnt out on too many boxed sets with duplicates in them? It's too bad because these were some really fun little minifigures and I enjoyed collecting them. It seems that Jada Toys has largely dropped the product range overall.

Imaginext Collectible Figures Series by Fisher-Price- Demoted

   These little figures made my Top Ten list in 2014, 2015, and 2018, but this year they just didn't cut it. There was only one series released in 2018 and half of the figures from it were kind of boring. While the DC Comics and Jurassic World lines keep getting more and more releases, the generic and unlicensed Imaginext lines seem to be diminishing. We're quickly approaching a full year with no new releases, either, so that's never a good sign.

Marvel Legends Series by Hasbro- Demoted

   Hasbro's Marvel Legends have made my Top Ten Toylines list 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018, but this year they didn't. I still think Marvel Legends is one of the best lines around and Hasbro continues to show off great product, but its absence from my list is simply reflective of my changing interests. Marvel Legends has never been a line I've "focused" on collecting and this year too many other lines caught my attention. I think I only purchased three Marvel Legends figures all year. 2020 looks to be another great year for Marvel Legends, though, so maybe they'll show back up again next year?

Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel/ Super7- Demoted/ Missing in Action

   MOTUC made my list from 2012-2015 and in 2018. It's my favorite toyline of all time, but it didn't pop up on the list for 2019. While Super7 didn't release any MOTUC figures in 2019 (the William Stout figures arrived in January 2020), Mattel actually released two items at PowerCon 2019: Slamurai versus Snake Troopers and Horde Zombie He-Man. They were both cool sets, and I'm glad to have them, but they were overpriced, repainted items and definitely not worthy of inclusion on my Top Ten Toylines of 2019 list.

Matchbox: Jurassic World by Mattel- Demoted/ Missing in Action

   I really liked Mattel's Matchbox: Jurassic World vehicles last year as they were inexpensive and fun to collect. The line kind of disappeared in 2019, though. I think they had some releases, but I never saw any of them and, to be honest, I just wasn't interested enough to track them down.

M.U.S.C.L.E. by Super7- Drop in Quality

   Super7's M.U.S.C.L.E. line made my best of list from 2016-2018 but last year the few lines they put out were pretty bad. The only one I can remember off hand are the Shogun Figures, and they were really awful. Rarely do I give out Crap ratings on my rating scale, but those little turds ended up with a Crap and a 1/2 rating. I don't believe Super7 has the M.U.S.C.L.E. license anymore (they're using the Keshi Surprise brand and blind boxes mostly) so it's doubtful we'll see this line make a resurgence.

One:12 Collective DC Universe by Mezco- Demoted

   Mezco's DC Universe based One:12 Collective figures made the Top Ten Toylines list in 2017 and 2018, but last year they were demoted. While they still make some nice figures, I've mostly dropped off the Mezco One:12 bandwagon. Some of this is due to the fact that the prices keep going up and rarely do I find them worth the price tag, but it's also reflective of my focusing my collecting efforts in other areas. I do have a few figures I'm waiting for (Conan, both Harley Quinns, and Halloween 2 Michael Myers come to mind) but overall I've not only stopped purchasing these but I've sold off most of mine.

Vynl: Masters of the Universe- Masters of the Universe- Missing in Action

   This was a really small series (I think we only got four 2-packs over two years) but I really loved these guys. Funko was pretty quiet overall on the Masters of the Universe front last year with hardly any POP! vinyls and no releases from the VYNL series. Funko has revealed a bunch of new stuff for the MOTU license for this year but no more VYNLs, unfortunately.

What toylines went Missing in Action for you this year? What toylines that you once loved lost your attention? Any new interests that excited you this year? Let me know in the comments below!

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