Friday, February 24, 2023

The Best of the Rest: My 10 Favorite Individual Toys of 2022

   While the list of my 10 favorite toylines from the past year is always the main event for my annual awards, I've always liked to recognize that not every great toy is part of a larger toyline or a toyline that I fully collect. As a collector, I'm naturally driven to lines where I can build a large roster of diverse characters or where there is a steady stream of releases, so those tend to be my favorites. It seems kind of unfair, however, to never acknowledge figures from smaller toylines or one off releases. Sometimes I just grab one figure or toy from a larger line because it really appeals to me in some way. What to do? That's where the list of my Top 10 Favorite Individual Toys for the year comes in. So who is eligible? Most any toy or collectible released in 2022 could have made this list. Who isn't eligible? Any toy from a line I picked in my 10 Favorite Toylines of 2022 list. Remember that these are listed alphabetically, not in order of merit. Last year I definitely spent a lot of my focus on more expansive lines with lots of releases and picked up fewer "one off" releases.  Like last year, most of the entries here tend to be one-off horror themed items or Masters of the Universe items from lines I enjoyed but that didn't make my best of the year list. There are also a couple of pop culture icons that I picked up and just loved. In some ways, this list might be seen as more prestigious as these figures aren't part of a larger group that kind of build each other up but must stand on their own merits. I'm going to go through these alphabetically, as usual, so let's take a look at the best of the rest list for 2022 after the break...

Battle Cat from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Mattel

   I really like the Netflix CG He-Man cartoon and while the toys are fun, especially when we get new designs for characters, most of them are just so so action figures. Battle Cat is a pretty incredible release, quite possibly the best in the line. He's so much fun; bright, colorful, and just fun to play around with. He's a great toy and a really fun version of Battle Cat reminiscent of the 200x version but with sleeker armor. 

Frank Costanza from Seinfeld by Culturefly

   My wife and I are huge Seinfeld fans and my daughter loves the show too (the episodes she's allowed to watch at least; they're not all kid appropriate), so we hold an annual Festivus celebration. It was made extra special this year with a special gift from my parents: This Frank Costanza vinyl figure from Culturefly. It's just so wonderfully representative of Frank Costanza and his legacy. I just love the likeness, too. It's an excellent, caricatured likeness of the late Jerry Stiller.

Headless Horseman from Figura Obscura by Four Horsemen Studios

   I've loved The Legend of Sleep Hollow for as long as I can remember and while there have been a few cool figures based on the Headless Horseman, most significantly from the McFarlane Toys line based on 1999 Tim Burton film, the Four Horseman have surpassed all previous efforts with this release from their Figure Obscura line. If you missed out on him, fear not; there's a new one coming out with a new color scheme for the Horseman and green flames.  

Leprechaun #1245 from POP! Movies by Funko

   One of the best things about Funko's "obtain ever license under the sun" approach is that they do make the characters other companies won't. I've wanted a figure of Lubdan the Leprechaun for quite some time and while I still have a bit of hope that NECA will introduce one into their Ultimates range of figures (they do go quite obscure sometimes), Funko's Lubdan is really nice. He has an excellent headsculpt and is instantly recognizable as not just your average Leprechaun. He's also sporting some strong sculpted detail and paintwork, especially for a POP! vinyl. He's fun, goofy, and quite novel, which is definitely what I'm looking for when I pick up a POP! vinyl. How many of these little guys do you think Warwick Davis has autographed at this point?
   It's been a few years since I last picked up a wrestling figure but Mr. T was a must, especially since I found him on sale. The body is good, the accessories are good, the outfit pieces are good, but those headsculpts are absolutely amazing! I really wanted to use Mr. T as B.A. Baracus with my G.I. Joe Classified Series and Action Force figures, so I used the alternate head to craft a pretty cool looking tactical version of the character. Mattel can do some great portraits when they want to and while I'm not collecting them, their WWE offerings just keep looking better and better. If you're a Mr. T aficionado and don't pick up this figure then I pity you. 

No Limits Tashin' Pumpkin from Madballs by Premium DNA

   Y'all know how much I love characters with jack o'lantern heads (there are two of them on this list) so you probably expected that I'd be picking this fellow up. He's crazy and loaded with some amazing accessories like a pitchfork, a piston, and a tire iron with an eyeball attached. It's always interesting to see product from a new company and Premium DNA has definitely impressed me with this release. The paint work really accentuates the high level of detail on this gross gourd.

She-Ra from Masters of the Universe by Mondo

   I don't collect too many 1/6th scale figures but I do make exceptions for Masters of the Universe and I really like Mondo's Masters of the Universe line. She-Ra is the only figure from the line I picked up in 2022 but she is, without a doubt, one of the highlights of the year for me. I've been a fan of Sideshow's 1/5th scale She-Ra statue for a few years but, in my mind, this is now the definitive She-Ra collectible. Well armed, versatile, and gorgeous. She also comes with Kowl as a companion figure, which is super fun. 

Snake Mountain from Mega Construx

   This is the only item on this list that I didn't review as I didn't get it until Christmas and it took me quite a bit to build as I only built a bag or two a day. This is a pretty amazing set, though, and it's packed with some really cool elements from different versions of Snake Mountain and some really impressive little details. i love the rubbery pink vines and the various spikes that cover the surfaces of the set. It's a pretty impressive piece.

Teela (Tweeterhead Exclusive) from Masters of the Universe Legends by Tweeterhead

   I'm not sure how many more of Tweeterhead's Masters of the Universe Legends statues I'll have space for but I absolutely made sure to have space for Teela in my collection. As one of the main characters in the franchise and a long time favorite of mind, Teela is truly necessary for my collection of MOTU statues and Tweeterhead did an amazing job. She's an impressive statue with some nice swappable parts as well: Two portraits and the choice of wielding her sword or the Staff of Ka. Her base is really impressive as well. I love the style of this line and I really do hope I'm able to add more to my collection but it's going to be truly tough to top Teela. Tweeterhead did an amazing job and it looks like they have many more statues on the horizon.

Ash Williams from The Evil Dead by NECA

   Ash from the original film in the Evil Dead series has long been a dream of mine and I'm thrilled that NECA finally has delivered this version of Bruce Campbell's most beloved character into plastic. The portraits are wonderfully expressive and the accessories are top notch. I don't buy as many NECA figures as I used to but sometimes they put out a release like this that I just cannot resist. 

What were some one off favorites that you picked up in 2022 that really impressed you? Share them with the rest of the class in the comments below!


  1. Wow - that Tweeterhead Teela is phenomenal.

    1. Ash would be good if he could grab the shotgun better, because seems he has rhe same issue as Gunslinger Spawn and his rifle.

      About Tweeterhead Teela, the figure looks really cool, but i would bet my PlayStation 2 that the face look a lot like a famous person. I don't know if it's an actress or a model, but i swear that face feels familiar to me.

    2. The elbows on Ash definitely would have been better with a greater range of motion. You can't get much more than a 90 degree bend.

      And about Teela, hmm...She does look vaguely familiar. Maybe a little like Amber Heard?

    3. Then yes, you confirmed me the Ash issue is the same as Gunslinger Spawn's issue, the 90 degree elbows.

      And no, Teela doesn't remind me of Amber Heard, Teela is way more beautiful and doesn't have legal issues with Jack Sparrow nor Willy Wonka, ha, ha! I still can't remember who she reminds me, but somehow reminds me of a famous person, i think an actress, but still can't get the name. Can be my mind too playing too much with famous faces, who knows.

  2. It seem to be dropping a bit. What's frustrating, though, is that I accidently dropped it last night carrying it from my desk to my hobby room/ Master of the Universe museum. Time for a partial rebuild!


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