Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Best of the Rest: My 10 Favorite Individual Toys of 2017


   For a few years I always selected my 10 favorite toylines from the past year but a year or two ago I realized something: Not every great toy is part of a larger toyline or a toyline that I fully collected. It seemed kind of unfair to never acknowledge figures from smaller or one off lines. Heck, sometimes I purchased a spectacular action figure from a line while I had no intention of buying anything else. What to do? I finally decided to do a list of my Top 10 Favorite Individual Toys for the year. Who is eligible? Any toy released in 2017. Who isn't eligible? Any toy from a line I picked in my 10 Favorite Toylines list. This one is a bit more eclectic as it captures product from lines I may not fully collect but that still contain a figure or two I wanted.  Simple right? Let's check these out alphabetically, after the break...

1. Deathstroke (The Judas Contract) from DC Comics Icons by DC Collectibles

   While it is incredibly disappointing that DC Comics Icons ended in 2017 with a number of anticipated figures being cancelled, that doesn't mean that DC Collectibles didn't put out some great figures. There were some excellent releases this year but Deathstroke stood out from the pack. DC Collectibles presented a great classically designed version of Slade Wilson from one of the best Teen Titans stories ever with all of his weapons and two interchangeable portraits.

2. Elsa from Figma: Frozen by Good Smile Company

   Having a four year old who is obsessed with Frozen it is only natural that some of her love and enthusiasm has rubbed off on me. I actually like the movie quite a bit myself and I love Elsa. She's a great character with a rather interesting design. While most of the toys based on Frozen have been made for children (as they rightfully should be), Good Smile Company released a great version of Elsa with Olaf in their Figma range of products early in 2017. With all of the extra hands, portraits, and fun little accessories you would expect from a Figma release as well as an Olaf figure with movable eyes, this is an exceptional figure of Elsa for Frozen fans who are also action figure collectors to put on their shelves.

3. Elvira from Rock Candy by Funko

There was no way I was passing up a Rock Candy version of Elvira. I love Elvira but it's tough to find a lot of affordable merchandise based on the iconic horror hostess with the mostess. That's why I'm so glad to have this cool Funko Rock Candy Elvira to add to my horror collection. She works so well in this stylized format!

4. Jareth the Goblin King from Labyrinth by McFarlane Toys

    I'm both surprised and feeling a bit nostalgic that McFarlane Toys has made its way onto one of my top 10 lists for 2017. While I was excited that McFarlane was moving back into releasing action figures from multiple licenses in a 7 inch scale, there really weren't any licenses they announced that intrigued me until Labyrinth. I love Labyrinth and was super excited to see how McFarlane's version of David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King turned out. I think he turned out very well! He definitely feels like something that could have come out as a continuation of Movie Maniacs with a killer sculpt, McFarlane styled paint, and limited articulation, but I can appreciate that. He looks great and has headsculpt that's so good it will make you want to do a magic dance.

5. Katana from DC Comics Bishoujo by Kotobukiya

   Kotobukiya's DC Comics Bishoujo line usually makes a consistent appearance on my top 10 list as it's one of my favorites. It didn't make the list of my 10 Favorite Toylines due to only having two figures released this year but I'm still acknowledging one of the releases, Katana, because of how good it is. Katana is an excellent statue showcases Kotobukiya's typical perfection in this line. This was a big year for Katana as she appears on this list twice! 

6. Katana from DC Comics Bombshells by DC Collectibles

See! Here's Katana again! While I love the Bombshells statues I only purchased one 2017 release this year: Katana. Katana is a statue that was too gorgeous to pass up and it seemed like it was going to sell through pretty quickly as well. The paintwork and sculpt on Katana is just exceptional and she easily is within my top 5 favorite Bombshell statues. 

7. Mr. Freeze from Gotham by Diamond Select

    There have not been many Gotham releases from Diamond Select Toys this year and the line's future seems a bit uncertain but what has come out has been pretty cool. While I've only watched a few episodes of the show I definitely appreciate having a variety of versions of Batman villains and the Gotham Mr. Freeze is a real winner. Whether you're a devotee of the show or have never seen a single episode, this is a pretty slick version of Mr. Freeze that is still instantly recognizable while also offering some cool, unique features. I love the accessories on this one, too. 

8. Nemesis #157 from Resident Evil from POP!: Games by Funko

   Funko's POP! Games line almost made it onto the list of my 10 favorite lines based solely on my love of Resident Evil but because Funko's Resident Evil offerings were pretty limited it didn't make the cut. I'm definitely hoping for a series 2 to arrive as I really enjoyed this series, most of all the very cool POP! Nemesis. It's tough to make a POP! vinyl look genuinely frightening but Funko did an excellent job here. The sculpt, paint, and overall design of this guy is wonderful.

9. Sam from Trick 'r Treat by Mezco

  Mezco took two spots on my top 10 toylines list thanks to their One:12 Collective lines and they also have taken a spot here because of their extremely cool stylized Sam from Trick 'R Treat. Sam has one of my favorite character designs of any horror character and I'm a sucker for any merchandise bearing his likeness. This is a very cool figure rendered in Mezco's signature exaggerated style and complete with some cool accessories.

10. Stone Cold Steve Austin from WWE Zombies by Mattel

 I really love Mattel's weird WWE lines, particularly the WWE Zombies line. Not only are these really funny figures of current and classic WWE Superstars but they're just darn good zombie toys, too. There were some great figures in series 2 but the zombie version of Stone Cold Steve Austin is my favorite. I love how Mattel wove in elements of the WWE Legend's character into the design: The missing middle finger and the literal smoking skull are nice touches. Some folks think these figures are obscenely silly but I can't help but love how over the top they are. I didn't buy a single "legit" wrestling figure in 2017 but I sure did stock up on WWE Zombies and WWE Mutants.

 So what do you think? Leave a comment below and let me know what you would have added to the list!


  1. Really cool post, good Sir... !!
    and really like the Sam figure...!

    1. Thanks bud!

      Stay dry today! We've got wet, chilly weather here, too.


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