Saturday, February 11, 2023

Missing in Action: Toylines That Didn't Make the Cut in 2022

   Since 2015 I've supplemented my Top 10 Toylines of the Year awards with a list called Missing in Action. This is a reflective list where I look back at the Top 10 Toylines list of last year and determine why some of the lines from that year failed to return for the current year's list.  2022's top 10 list only had seven toylines returning from the previous year, which is a pretty good number. (2021 only had four toylines returning from the 2020 list). I find it interesting to look at the lines that failed to show up again in order to diagnose why they went missing. It's also fun to whine and complain a bit. There are a few reasons why a toyline might make this list:

Missing in Action: This is a toyline that gets cancelled, ends, or just didn't have any releases during the year. It happens a lot, unfortunately, and often to some of my favorites it seems, though not as much as in the past.

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 shifting to 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. Sometimes the price just gets higher, too, making a once impressive toyline now seem less so, and that can cause it to end up here as well.

Let's jump in and check out who went missing in action in 2022 after the break...

Halo: The Spartan Collection by Jazwares/ Wicked Cool Toys- Demoted

   At the end of 2021 I really got into Halo: The Spartan Collection by Jazwares. The figures themselves are pretty solid but it really does appear that this is the Spartan Collection, and hardly anything else will be released. The Arbiter came out and there was a version of the Weapon included with another release of Master Chief, but it was too little too late. They're decent figures but hard to find and quite repetitive.

POP! Retro Toys by Funko- Demoted

Funko was not kind to He-Man and friends this year, and that's what I collect from the POP! Retro Toys series. Other than a few repaints packaged with expensive backpacks and one or two exclusive versions of He-Man, I can't remember anything else coming out at all. Funko was really releasing a lot of Masters of the Universe product over the past couple of years, so it's really a bummer to see them largely ignore the brand.

Vinyl SODA by Funko- Demoted

   Here's another Funko line that ignored Masters of the Universe this year. There's plenty of other Vinyl SODA releases out there but since I'm really only concerned with MOTU stuff, this line gets demoted from the list as well. Snout Spout was the only release I grabbed in 2022. There wasn't anyone else, right?

This year's list was a lot smaller than those of previous years. That's definitely a testament to the companies who made the list and how they're keeping those lines running and keeping the quality up. Funko made up 2/3rds of this list and that's just because they seemed to largely ignore Masters of the Universe in 2022. That's never a good move in my book. Ignore Skeletor at your own peril. Nyeeh!!

   What toylines did you love previously that vanished or went missing in action in 2022? What toylines did you fall out of love with? Let me know in the comments below.


  1. Fun fact: I was going to buy a Jazwares Master Chief (The deluxe edition that even had a Halo DLC on it) on Amazon for 30€.

    After seeing too many conplaints of loose joints, arms that end breaking in yout hand and missing DLC packs, i decided to get the Black Series Deluxe ROFJ Boba Fett instead for 35€, and i am still glad that i changed opinions because Boba Fett is really solid and nice to pose.

    1. Yeah, that Boba Fett is definitely a really nice figure. I didn't have any breakage issues on my Halo figures but I definitely had some loose joints.

  2. Wonder if Funko Pops have just peaked? They still grab a lot of great properties but many of their lines have come to an end and I don't see much new stuff at Target when I do go in. Like MOTU, I'm actually surprised Funko hasn't released my GI Joe Funko Pops. I mean, the character list is huge. Oh well. Funko did go public a few years ago, and I'm sure there is plenty of pressure on them to expand or retract based on what is and isn't selling.

  3. I think things have definitely cooled down a bit but, yeah, they're also seeming to have some corporate restructuring. Maybe they're focusing a bit more? They did release a few G.I. Joe POPs this year (I know they released Profit Director Destro, Sgt. Slaughter, Cobra Commander with the FANG, and Serpentor) but they were mostly exclusives.

    Funko has had a MOTU lapse before, too, between 2014 and 2018, so maybe they like to operate in cycles if they see a year or so of downward sales. They have so many lines I wish they'd continue. They never should have stopped Resident Evil, but no company seems to be able to keep a Resident Evil line going. Seinfeld needs another series or two, but some of those seemed to sit a bit, so maybe that's purely a number thing.

    The odd thing with MOTU is that it wasn't even just POPs. No Pez dispensers, no Vinyl SODAa release, nothing. While Mattel is definitely licensing the high end stuff out, they might have some ideas of their own for designer figures or something?


What'chu talkin' 'bout?