And so, here we go! You need only wade through the 250+ Features that I published in 2015 to know that I bought a lot of figures last year. And not just figures, but also statues and maybe some ships and vehicles along the way too. Hammering all that plastic into just ten particularly impressive releases was not at all easy. It never is. But here are the first five acquisitions that made me particularly happy in The Year of Our Lord Two-Thousand and Fifteen! And the first item on the list is…
Doctor Who Quarter-Scale RC K-9 by Character Options: The release of quality Who toys was few and far between in 2015, mostly because of Character Options’ questionable decision to go to that crappy 3 3/4-inch line. Nonetheless, there was one piece that I picked up, which I feel was not only essential for my collection, but met my wildly high expectations. Originally released many years ago, CO re-released this glorious quarter-scale version of K-9 with a new set of sounds and voice clips from the Classic Series. It was a double blessing, as the original had gotten crazy expensive and hard to get. And I actually prefer this classic version anyway. While I haven’t given up my dream to one day own a full sized replica of The Doctor’s faithful companion and best friend, this sure makes for a great place holder until that happens. This K-9 looks amazing and it’s so awesome to have all the voice clips from John Leeson. Bonus… It’s fun to chase the cat with it! I wouldn’t quite call it a grail piece, but it’s one that I was longing after for many years.
Legends of Cthulhu by Warpo Toys: Some may cry foul and say listing four figures in one slot is a cheat, but considering this wave of figures was offered as a single Kickstarter Reward and I reviewed them all in one shot, I’m going with it. Still got a problem? Take it up with The Great One himself. Besides, if I were really cheating, I’d have thrown the 12-inch Great One in here too and even though it fully deserves to be, I’ll try to adhere to my own arbitrary rules. This wave of figures is like a Perfect Storm of Awesome and while I’m still waiting for product from other earlier Kickstarter’s (*cough* Boss Fight Studios *cough*) Warpo’s Kickstarter ran like clockwork and delivered promptly. Everything came together perfectly, from the sculpts to the packaging and the wonderful ret-conned world that Warpo spun around them. It’s a pity their Krampus Kickstarter didn’t get funded, but I have a feeling these folks are going to spring right back into action with something even better.
Transformers Masterpiece Ultra Magnus by Takara: 2015 was not a busy year for me and Masterpiece Transformers. The only two releases on my radar were Ultra Magnus at the beginning of the year and Tracks, which I have yet to pick up. Nonetheless, even if there were a dozen releases to contend with, it’s hard for me to believe any one would have beat out Magnus. I originally thought I might have to pass on this guy for budgetary reasons, but I was ultimately able to squeeze him in with some money I got for Christmas last year and I’m so very glad I did. Sure, at close to $200 he was expensive, but in every way he lives up to the name “Masterpiece!” I may have picked him up just a few weeks into the year, but he’s been lighting my darkest hour ever since.
Guardians of the Galaxy Star-Lord by Hot Toys: I added a number of great Hot Toys figures to my collection in 2015. All were from Marvel properties and all but one from either Guardians of the Galaxy or Winter Soldier. The odd figure out was the Diecast Iron Man Mark III Armor, but since I haven’t reviewed him yet, he will fall in with next year’s contenders. In the end, the Hot Toys slot came down to a battle between Falcon and Star-Lord, both superb figures, and it was damn close, which is fitting because my love for these two movies is so damn close as well. I went with Star-Lord in the end, mostly because he’s just more of an iconic character to me and they nailed him perfectly, but it could have gone the other way. Had I been willing to be a little more lax on my own rules, I would have gladly included Falcon on this list too.
Warbotron by Warbotron! While I have since toned down my 3rd-Party Changebot buying, the first half of 2015 saw some truly great releases. Close runners up for this slot were Fansproject’s Volar and Sigma-L. You could argue it wasn’t a fair fight, with Warbotron being the sum total of about $500 worth of figures, but how the hell could I not pick Warbotron as the one shining example of 3rd party awesome in 2015? This figure is huge, reasonably solid, and makes for an awe inspiring display piece. There were a few hiccups along the way that made my faith in this project wobble a bit, but in the end Warbotron delivered and this was one gestalt that did not disappoint.
And that’s the First Five Favorites of 2015. Come on back tomorrow and we’ll polish off the list!