Well, I want to start out by wishing the sincerest of Happy New Years to everyone who continues to stop by this silly little Toy Blog! 2022 was all about getting back into form after a couple of personally devastating years of loss for me, and while I missed a day of scheduled content here and there, I was more or less consistent a majority of the time. Last year marked the 12th anniversary of doing this stuff, and it was nice to finish the year with the most visits, views, likes, and follows that I have seen since I started it all. I’m not going to bore everyone with a best and worst list this year, instead I’ll just bore everyone with some general collecting and blog talk! I don’t usually set out with any new plans or objectives each year, but 2023 may be a little different, as I’m going to be tightening up some of my collecting habits and, by association, what I write about.
The main theme I’ll be going for in 2023 will be working through backlog and cutting down on buying some of the toy lines that have gotten out of control. The biggest of those is Marvel Legends. That may be a surprise to some, since I devote nearly every Monday to it, but if you’ve been reading between the lines this year, than maybe it’s not so surprising. Since the line returned, my collection has ballooned to a ridiculous number of figures, and I have to admit that at times keeping up with the releases has seemed more like a chore than an act of passion. A couple of years ago, I managed to break the cycle of being a completist, and that showed me that I could skip figures now and then and still sleep at night. The truth is that as 2023 begins, I find myself with very little interest in future MCU projects. I’ve only enjoyed a couple of the movies since Avengers: Endgame and couldn’t make it through nearly any of the Disney+ shows. I just don’t feel like the tone and quality is there any longer, but I have some fleeting hopes for a few, like Guardians 3 and the new Ant-Man. As for the comics, well with a few exceptions, I haven’t enjoyed a new release Marvel book in over a decade, for really the same reason. The quality of characters and storytelling just isn’t there. Add to that Hasbro’s crazy price hikes and declining QC on the figures, and it seems like the perfect time for me and Legends to part ways. So, I’m not putting Marvel Legends as entirely off limits, but I hope to make my selection standards a lot more rigorous and purchases will be few and far between.
I’m going to take a similar stand with the Star Wars Black Series, and this is something that I’ve already started to put into practice. Hasbro has been choking this line with carbonized, credit series, and holiday repaints, none of which I’m interested in. And even the anniversary releases for Return of the Jedi are nearly all repacks on vintage style cards, when I could easily come up with a wave of six or eight brand new figures that should have been released as part of the anniversary. At this point, I’m mainly interested in Original Trilogy characters that we haven’t seen yet, and I think Hasbro really squandered the ROTJ anniversary by not giving us more new releases from that film. If Hasbro starts to deliver on more OT characters, it could be a busy year for me buying Black Series, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I loved Andor, but it’s not the kind of show that makes me want to buy a lot of figures from it, and we’ll see what else we get from The Mandalorian.
As for Transformers, it looks like Hasbro is interested in pursuing updates to a lot of The Unicron Trilogy figures, and that’s something that just doesn’t interest me a lot. I’m glad they’re doing it, because there are a lot of collectors who grew up with those lines, and I think it’s probably time for them to give the Generation One stuff a rest. I will say, that if they do more Armada updates, I’d be interested in looking at those. I’m also not at all interested in any toys from the Rise of the Beasts movie. Right now I’m keen to complete my Legacy Stunticons, I’d like to see them finish off the Insecticons, and then we’ll see what happens, but I suspect I’ll be passing on a lot of this franchise next year.
I’m curious to see what my Sixth-Scale collecting will be like next year, since a lot of my past purchases in that area has come from the MCU and I’m off that train. Although, I may pick up Mantis to go with my Guardians of the Galaxy collection and I do still have Green Goblin on pre-order. Otherwise, the only two Hot Toys I have on pre-order are Doc Brown from Back to the Future and the K2SO from Rogue One. I am all-in on the Clint Eastwood Legacy Collection, I have a number of EXO-6’s Star Trek figures on pre-order, and I’m hoping one day Big Chief may actually ship the Roger Delgado Master from Doctor Who. And I’m always up for considering any of the original concept figures that TBLeague puts out.
What am I excited for in 2023? I’m certainly interested in seeing my Super7 pre-orders start rolling in. I’m still in love with their ThunderCats line and I’m excited to get the Thunder Tank, and the new figures coming in that line. I’m a bit apprehensive about the final product shots for the Silverhawks, but I’m reserving judgement until they’re in hand. And obviously, I can’t wait until they’re Sunbow style GI JOEs start rolling in. I’m still actively collecting Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Origins, but sticking to just a few figures from the Masterverse line and I’m still all over G.I. JOE Classified, which has proven to be one of the consistently best toy lines of 2022 for me. I’m morbidly curious about Hasbro’s Indiana Jones line, and I’ll be buying it, but I don’t expect it to last long, and I have a feeling that new movie is going to be a train wreck. And of course, I’m very much looking forward to The Four Horsemen shipping Cosmic Legions, as well as the rest of the Mythic Legions pre-orders, although I’m even starting to get a little more selective on the Mythic Legions releases, because that collection is growing way out of control.
So, what’s all of this mean for FFZ this year? Well, Marvel Mondays will be going away sometime after First Quarter. I’m going to keep it going for at least a month or so to get through the last waves I bought, and then I’ll probably just throw the remaining Marvel Legends figures I look at into the normal rotation and phase out any dedicated days this year. Maybe I’ll shoot for getting rid of it by March. Apart from that, I’m going to try to do an even mix of old and new. There’s stuff that’s been kicking around here waiting to be opened for a while, and it always seems to get pushed back by the newer stuff. FFZ has never been about being first in on a review, but at the same time I’m often excited to talk about new purchases. So, you may see some really old stuff pop up from time to time, and I hope that interests some people out there.
And that’s all I’ve got! Thanks again for all your support, kind words, and valued criticism, and we’ll see what the new year brings!
Yeah I feel like I am echoing a lot of your sentiments for the coming year: (1) Calling it quits with Marvel Legends because of the exact same reasons you cited, and (2) also calling it mostly done with Star Wars Black series, although in my case I think I have essentially completed my Star Wars shelf. I will continue to buy GI Joe Classified figures, and I’m looking forward to Jada’s Street Fighter line and maybe Jazwares’ Star Wars Micro Galaxy Squadron. Indiana Jones may be an interesting sidetrack as well!
But keep up the good work here and putting out fun reads! Don’t forget informative either; one good example is the Star Wars Micro Galaxy Squadron line, which I didn’t know existed until your reviewed it.
Thanks so much for reading!
I’ve got a Micro Galaxy Squadron review set for Wednesday!