It’s that time of year again. We’ve just ushered in 2020, so let’s take a look at some of my favorite figures from the past year.
These are MY favorites. I’m not saying they are better than others, these are just the 10 I was the most excited to get in 2019, and the ones I continue to mess around with even now.
In no particular order, let’s get started.
Mezco One:12 standard Popeye
I grew up watching the old cartoons on reruns, and always wanted articulated figures of him when I started collecting. I never got any of the previous lines that were made, either because I never saw them, or didn’t know they existed. Even though this is a slightly more realistic take, it embodies everything I love about the character.
Hasbro ML Beast
I wasn’t a huge X-Men fan before the Jim Lee era, and I’m fine with that, but the launch of X-Men #1 got me into the universe pretty deep. I had the old Toy Biz figure, and considered it one of the figures that held up with Hasbro figures for a while, but this figure takes that idea and throws it out window. The extra hands are great. The only thing he’s missing is a neutral head and a pair of gripping feet.
1000 Toys Hellboy
I am far from the biggest Hellboy fan, but the Del Toro movies got me into the comics, and when this figure was first shown off, I knew I had to get it. The rubber torso covering does hinder the articulation a little bit (I would prefer a sculpted body with ab crunch or torso swivel), but overall the figure can hit most poses I need it to. The bigger issue is the LEGO looking fingers on his Right Hand of Doom. He’s never looked like that in the comics, and it throws the look of a bit. I would have preferred swappable hands like his left hand, over the articulated fingers that have been known to pop off according to other people. I am looking forward to seeing the completed Abe Sapien figure and what they plan to offer him for, cost wise, as that will determine how deep in I go with this line.
Mattel JP Amber collection Velociraptor
I have always loved dinosaurs, and the Jurrasic Park movies made me want articulated figures of those dinos even more. It took many years, but Mattel started giving us some of them with the first of the 3 new JP films. I love what they’ve done with the smaller articulated T-Rexes, and the larger colossal Rex was a much needed articulated figure for 6″ scale figures. The new Amber Collection Velociraptor is the figure I’ve been waiting for seemingly forever. It scale beautifully with 6″ figures, and has most of the articulation you could ever want for one of the most action oriented dinosaurs in the franchise. I would love for Mattel to give us an Amber Collection T-Rex with the same kind of articulation, but the size of the colossal Rex.
Hasbro MMPR Lord Zedd
I was already a teenager when the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers first debuted in the states, but I did occasionally watch the show after school during my senior year, and on Saturdays when it was on then. I was also a Godzilla fan, so the rubber suits of the monsters and the Zord battles were something I got a kick out of watching, for the cheese factor, if nothing else. That said, I tried to keep aware of what toys were out, and I noticed there were never great figures of the biggest baddie on the show, Lord Zedd. I should say, none that actually looked like how he did on the show. When Hasbro acquired the property, I was hopeful we’d finally get some amazing figures, and boy did they deliver. THEN they showed off Lord Zedd. This looks like the big baddie that was nothing but muscle with tubes sticking out of him. They followed it up with the Game Stop release of Goldar, and the variant Putty with the variant Green Ranger. If they can continue to release great villain figures from the MMPR era, I will continue to be a fan.
Hasbro MMPR White Ranger
Everything I said about Zedd above, also applies to Tommy in his white suit here. I was always more of a fan of Tommy in the show, and loved him as his versions of the Green Ranger, so when he got a new suit that was inspired by a tiger, I was stoked. This figure hits all the notes I would need for the character, and he comes with extra hands, an unmasked head and a power effect for his sword.
Mezco One:12 PX Sovereign Knight Batman
I have been a fan of the Mezco One:12 line since the start, and being a huge Batman fan, I have been eagerly watching as each new version of the Mezco “Batman trilogy” figures have been revealed. I chose the black and gray version of the first Batman, and I decided to go with the blue and gray PX exclusive version of the second figure in the trilogy, since I grew up with this color scheme in the late 80s/early 90s. I could do without the appliqué, but the other details on the rest of his outfit helps to make it actually work.
NECA 1990 TMNT SDCC Shredder
I established earlier that I was in my teens in the 1990s, so I was obviously a child of the 1980s. Having said that, I was a huge fan of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon growing up, and as I got older, I started to look into the comics that inspired the toon. When I first saw the commercials for the live action movie, I just about lost it. These were realistic looking versions of the characters I had grown to love, and the Jim Henson Creature Shop suits were amazing. In the film, Shredder embodied the evil that I remembered from some of the comics I’d read, and his entire look, even though it was different, was striking and looked dangerous if you were caught off guard. This figure gives me the same feelings. I love all the figures from this set (the Foot ninja and Splinter especially), but having the big baddie from the film is great. Even better is the fact that we didn’t have to wait over 10 years like we did for the Mirage Comics Shredder.
DCC Batman VS TMNT Shredder
As I mentioned above, I have been reading TMNT comics for years now. I’ve followed a few of the different iterations over the years, but one of my favorite versions has been the current IDW run. There were a series of Batman VS TMNT comic crossovers, and this past year, WB media put our an animated version adapting the first crossover. The entire line (SDCC Mikey in Batman mask), as well as the 2 packs with a Batman character paired with a TMNT character sold exclusively through Game Stop, have ALL been amazing. Dealing with their website was an issue unto itself, but getting figures that looked close to the IDW designs, even if with a slightly animated bent, has been great. Getting the Shredder though, in one of my favorite designs, we the icing on the cake for this wave. He comes with a nice fabric cape, 3 sets of hands and a sword to boot. I hope DCC will give us a second wave in 2020, possibly with some Bat villains from the Arkham sequence.
Mafex comic Spider-Man
Besides Batman, Spiderman has to be one of my absolute favorite comic book characters. As mentioned, I was a teen in the 90s, so the Todd McFarlane, Erik Larsen and Mark Bagley runs on Spidey back then were some of my favorite runs of comics growing up. I haven’t been a big Mafex collector due to the properties they were covering for most of the last decade. I had some of the early Bale Batman figures, but QC on some of them made me sell them off, and I never saw the appeal of buying import figures of the MCU or Star Wars characters I could usually get from Hasbro. Once it was revealed they were doing comic book figures, and Spiderman and Deadpool were announced, I knew I had to get them. I don’t know the artist the Deadpool figure is based on, but this Spidey is clearly based on the Bagley Amazing Spiderman era, and hits all the notes I want in a figure from that time. Hasbro has plenty of amazing Spiderman figures, but they seem to lack a little something for me. The recent Venom is still on my radar as a potential companion to this figure, and I just got the comic Wolverine Mafex made, but that will likely be on the best of 2020 list.