Ok, folks, you got the preamble yesterday, so let’s not dilly-dally too much. Let me just say that after reviewing this year’s features, my original list of Favorites was HUGE. And even after I singled out the really great stuff, it was still more than twice what it needed to be. In the end, even I was surprised about a few things that landed here. There’s a lot of stuff that deserved to be on this list, and in some cases entire toy lines that deserved to be represented, but my self-imposed rule set for this nonsense can be a fickle bitch. Also, these are not necessarily in any order.
Starship Legends: Klingon Bird of Prey by Diamond Select: I should start out by saying that the re-issue of The Enterprise-D was also vying for this slot, but to be fair the outcome was never even close partly because of The Enterprise’s stand issues and partly because the Bird of Prey is just so amazing. This was the first time we saw the BoP in the Legends line and Diamond Select knocked it out of the park. The sculpt and coloring are gorgeous and the vibrant LEDs could burn out the retinas of a small child. Also, hearing Christopher Plummer’s pithy quotes as General Chang never gets old for me. Sure, the landing gear was held back for a later release, but I can’t hold that against what is otherwise a stunning display piece. It’s no wonder that Diamond has milked this mold for two more variant releases and is still planning on a fourth.
TMNT Anchovy Alley Pop-Up Pizza Playset: We all know that playsets are a dying breed. Retailers don’t want them because they’re too expensive or take up too much space on the shelf. Playmates found a work around with this ingenious release. It’s a playset that collapses into something small enough to hang on a peg and unfolds into a really cool set big enough to display all your Turtles. I love this concept, and while Playmates was able to make it uniquely TMNT by having it fold out of a pizza box, other companies really need to look at it and adapt it to their own lines. Imagine if Hasbro knocked out some of these for their 3 ¾” Star Wars figures! Anchovy Alley is a fun toy and a great display piece, but it earns its place on this slot for innovation alone.
Doctor Who: The Three Doctor’s Collectors Set by Character Options: CO had some great releases in 2013, many of which deserve mention here. In the end, however, there were two stand-out figures tied for consideration: Ace and The Brigadier. Ace is an amazing figure with a ton of accessories, but The Brigadier is… well, he’s The Brig for chrissakes! Plus, he came in a three-pack with Jo Grant, so no matter how cool Ace was, there was no way I could overlook the addition of two classic companions in one box for this list. They’re both great figures and extremely important releases in the 5-inch line. I’m only thankful that the other versions of The Brig didn’t make it out in 2013, so I didn’t have to choose between them.
Bishoujo Wonder Woman by Kotobukiya: Koto released a number of great Bishoujo Statues this year, many of which deserved mention here. Unfortunately for them, I was late in picking up Wonder Woman and so while she was actually released the prior year, she still claims victory. She is not only my favorite Bishoujo Statue to date, but she makes for a gorgeous stand-alone piece for non-Bishoujo collecting Wonder Woman fans as well. Had WW not been in my catalog of features this year, I’m pretty sure The Huntress would have taken the spot, as both are exquisite statues and I never grow tired of admiring them on my shelf.
Function X-2: Quadruple-U by Fansproject: In sticking with my rules, I was only going to allow one Not-Transformer on this list, despite they’re being made by different companies. I was really tempted to allow a second slot for Third Party combiners, but in the end I held fast and stuck to my guns. It was an insane year for Not-Transformers and I added a lot of them to my collection and loved them all, but there was never any doubt that one of FP’s Function series was going to make it on this list. I got all three this year so it was a tough choice. In the end, I went with Q-U because of three reasons: First, the engineering of the transformation is absolutely brilliant. Second, the deco on this guy is gorgeous. Third, of the three characters, Weirdwolf held the most nostalgia for me as a G1 toy. I was originally intended to just list the Function series as a whole, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that Q-U was able to edge out the others. Either way, they all deserve mention. Special recognition to MMC’s Bovis as he was my clear runner-up.
Alrighty, folks, that’s enough awesome for one day. Swing back tomorrow as I’ll wrap up the Final Five!