Here we go, Toyhounds… Most everyone does “Best of” lists this time of year, but I can’t stress enough how this isn’t really one of those lists. On the contrary, it’s a very personal list representing nothing more than ten of my favorite purchases in 2014. It’s compiled more as a fun exercise wherein I uncork a rather special bottle of Jameson and peruse my features from the past year, taking note of which purchases were really great and which ones turned out to be sour turds, and we’ll get to the turds in the second half of the week. And so, without further jibba jabba, let’s take a look at a selection of the stuff I blew money on last year that still gets my nod of approval…
Masters of the Universe Classics Modulok by Mattel: 2014 was the first year I subbed Club Eternia and contrary to what seems to be the popular concensus, I think it was a pretty solid year. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, that I knew something from the line was going to make it on my Favorites List, but it was hard for me chisel it down to just one figure. In the end, I really wanted to give props to Light Hope, Eldor, and New Adventures Skeletor, which were all excellent figures. Nonetheless, Modulok stood head and shoulders above last year’s best mostly because of his gimmick alone. I mean, just look at all those parts! He’s creative, he’s ridiculously fun to play with, and he’s the perfect homage to the vintage figure. Mattel totally knocked this one out of the park and I found myself fiddling with Modulok at my desk for quite a few weeks before I finally retired him to my MOTUC shelves. Great stuff!
Street Fighter Bishoujo Cammy by Kotobukiya: Between the Bishoujo and ArtFX lines (not to mention some of the anime statues), Kotobukiya got a lot of my money in 2014 and there wasn’t a single piece that didn’t live up to or exceed my expectations. Choosing one best piece for the year was pure agony. I was eventually able to narrow it down to something from the Bishoujo line and even from there I was looking at some amazing statues like Mara Jade, Armored Wonder Woman, Spider-Woman and Chun-Li. In the end I went with Cammy because, while all these statues were fantastic, I think Cammy and Chun-Li came the closest to perfection and it just so happens that I have more of a thing for Cammy than I do Chun-Li. But really, ladies, you’re both winners… NOW FIGHT!!!
Marvel Legends Star-Lord by Hasbro: 2014 was the best of times and the worst of times for Hasbro’s Marvel Legends. It saw some really cool figures like Superior Spider-Man, STRIKE Suit Cap, Drax, and the Groot BAF. It also saw some total shit, which we’ll be giving some dubious honors to in a few days. In the end, though, I gave the nod to Star-Lord. This guy isn’t a perfect figure, not by any stretch of the imagination. The likeness is a bit soft (figuratively) and the joints are a bit soft (literally), but I think the good really outshines the bad here. The detail on his outfit is outstanding and he comes with enough goodies and a swappable head so that you can practically get two figures out of him. Seeing Guardians, which was easily my favorite movie of the year, made me feel like a kid again, and that kid would have loved to have had this figure to play with after seeing the movie. I can think of no greater praise than that.
Figma “Attack on Titan” Mikasa Ackerman by Max Factory: 2014 was the year I made my first Figma and S.H. Figuarts purchases. I actually bought several Figuarts (mostly from Sailor Moon) and only one Figma. I was so impressed with these figures, I knew one had to make it on the list and while I cannot deny the sheer awesome factor of my growing Sailor Scouts display, this is more about the quality and impressiveness of a single figure and so I had to give the nod to Figma’s Mikasa Ackerman, which is absolutely incredible in every discernable way. The base figure is superb enough, but her Omni Directional Mobility Gear is the real star of this magnificent set. Even the effect parts are wonderfully executed. I spent two nights of glee just posing and shooting this figure long after I had everything I needed for the feature.
Quarter-Scale 1989 Batman by NECA: I added some great NECA figures to my collection last year, including their Classic Planet of the Apes, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Bioshock Infinite figures, just to name a few. Nonetheless, there were two figures that stood out, partly because they were huge and partly because they were so wonderfully executed, and both of them were versions of Batman. Trying to decide between Quarter-Scale West Batman or Keaton Batman was really tough. They’re both superb sculpts, but in the end, I just had to give the nod to Keaton Batman and I think a lot of it has to do with how imposing he looks with his cape spread and the clever rods that were included to make that happen. Even as a collector who is rapidly running out of display and storage space, I had to buy this figure against my better judgement and I certainly wasn’t sorry I did.
And that’s where I’m going to wrap things up for today. Join me again tomorrow as I count down the Final Five in 2014 Favorites, Part 2…