Hot Toys

All posts tagged Hot Toys

The Imperial Stormtrooper is one of the most iconic and distinctive movie soldier designs ever, which is instantly recognizable to even non-fans of Star Wars. The elite soldier us the main ground force of the Galactic Empire and an ever-present reminder of the power of Emperor Palpatine. 


Name: Stormtrooper
Line: Movie Masterpiece Series
Product Code: MMS267
Manufacturer: Hot Toys
Released: 2015
Price: $190.99 – 199.99 USD
Scale: 1/6
Accessories: Various hands and weapons.

I initially wasn’t going to buy this particular figure, don’t get me wrong, I do love me some Stormtrooper figure goodness, but, 1/6 scale figures do take up more space than their smaller action figure counterparts.

However, as luck (or fate) would have it, I happened to be picking up some orders from a friend, who just received the two pack set among some other goodies. After watching him unbox them, I knew then and there, I must have them!  They just oozed quality, it was plain for me to see even with them sitting in the box, these were lovingly made figures.

So, I went home and did just that, ordered at least one figure for myself. Self-control be damned! ( Thanks, Ev! Damn it all! Haha)

LIST OF PARTS

Inside the box you get the following items:

One Stormtrooper figure
Seven interchangeable hands
One blaster rifle
One blaster pistol
One display stand

SCULPTING

As far as sculpting goes, this figure is excellent. I would never consider myself an expert when it comes to Stormtrooper helmets but, in my eyes, this is the best version made in 1/6 scale to date, it looks like Hot Toys used the “hero version” of the helmet for their reference material too as it matches that version the best. Everything is just the right size and shape. All the armour fits nice and snug on the body, it’s really like it walked off the screen and into your hands.

PAINT

Well, we all know by now that Hot Toys do an excellent job with their paint application; and this particular figure is no exception. The paint on this figure is mainly small details on the helmet and chest armour. As per usual, it’s nice and neat. I really love the gloss finish on the armour, it makes it look and feel amazing in hand.

ARTICULATION

The Stormtrooper presumably has the standard amount of articulation that the normal True Type body would have, being: Ball jointed neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, double jointed elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, ball jointed chest, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, double jointed knees and ball jointed ankles,

Now, the outfit can restrict this articulation a little bit, especially around the shoulders and crotch. Otherwise, you can get him into plenty of Stormtrooper type poses with little-to-no difficulty, in most cases the “standing to attention, museum pose” works best and looks so damn cool.

OUTFIT

Technically, the whole figure is the outfit, I’ve already raved about the armour, the black body suit underneath is fine, it’s stretchy, well tailored and doesn’t restrict the joints.

ACCESSORIES

Just a small amount of accessories with this figure, something that’s really becoming the norm for Hot Toys releases as many fans and reviewers alike have made mention of.

You get a number of hands in different poses and two types of blasters, the standard one we all know and love and one only seen in promo shots, so Hot Toys attention to detail is pretty good in this instance.

I like the variety of hands they are all pretty useful to get a good variety of different poses and expressiveness out of the Stormtrooper.

Lastly, you get what I’ll call the “standard Star Wars base” with the figure, I’m not a fan of it, it’s the classic black display stand for me.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

Not really too many things to watch out for, perhaps the odd factory paint blemish? Perhaps the pleather holster tearing or deteriorating over time? The quality in this particular figure is top notch.

PRICE

I paid about $190 USD plus shipping from Animarket, and I was happy with that, he’s a little bit more expensive on the secondary market these days, but if you can find a deal, more power to you!

OVERALL

If you want that classic Stormtrooper in 1/6 scale, then this is the figure to get, it’s simply put, the best 1/6 Stormtrooper to date and puts all other attempts to shame. I’m pretty sure if you are a Star Wars, Stormtrooper and Hot Toys fan, you already have this figure and you know what I’m talking about; if you still haven’t scratched that Stormtrooper itch then what are you waiting for? Buy this figure! It’s that simple.

 

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In The Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger is an unstoppable cyborg killing machine sent back in time from the year 2029 by the artificial intelligence network, Skynet to terminate Sarah Connor, the woman who will give birth to the future’s Resistance movement leader, John Connor.
The original terminator movie was released in 1984 and is considered one of the best sci-fi films ever made, It featured terrific action sequences, a well-written story, and incredible special effects for its time.

 

Name: T-800 Endoskeleton
Line: Quarter Scale Series
Product Code: QS002
Manufacturer: Hot Toys
Released: 2013
Price: Then: $399.99 USD, Now: $570 – $730 USD
Scale: 1/4
Accessories: Plasma Rifle as well as a display stand

You’d think being a Terminator fan I would have bought this figure the day it was released, well I didn’t, main reason being, where was I going to put this beast? I had seen my friend’s Enterbay Battle Damaged T2 T-800, and was obviously impressed with the sheer size and amount of detail on the figure. (Not really impressed by Enterbay’s choice of materials or their ‘hit and miss’ factory paint application.)

So at this point the thought of potentially owning the Hot Toys 1/4 scale Terminator Endoskeleton was in the back of my mind, I did come very close to picking it up the year before when I was in Japan as the price was still very good and brand new in box, I couldn’t complain. But alas, I had no space in my suitcase by this point and nowhere to put it.

However, the year after I was better prepared for such a potential purchase. Two suitcases devoted to mainly toy purchases, you can’t go wrong! ( I ended up sandwiching The Endoskeleton box with Hot Toys Godfather’s box in the one suitcase, another great deal on that one too!)

So finally I had this figure in my collection, but I still have no way to display it properly, so it just sits in its box for now. This review was the first time I was able to take the figure out and have a good and proper look at it and a good play around. Which probably worked out better that way as it makes it almost like I bought it brand new and hadn’t opened it before. Still, that sense of wonderment and excitement you get from your first couple of Hot Toys’ figures was definitely there as I removed this figure from the box, it’s easily one of Hot Toys best figures they’ve released so far!

LIST OF PARTS

Inside the box you get the following items:

One 1/4 T-800 Endoskeleton figure
One Plasma Rifle
One display stand

SCULPTING

One of the best aspects of 1/4 Scale figures is the amount of extra detail that is applied to each figure, being much larger in size you can really take in the subtle skin texture on a figure, for example. But, this review is about the Terminator Endoskeleton. The extra detail you get to appreciate here is all the tubing, pistons and other mechanical like details of the Endoskeleton design in general, and boy is it detailed!

This is easily one of the best versions of the Endoskeleton in any scale and unlike Sideshow’s statues, for example, they haven’t given it funny looking teeth.

This figure just oozes awesomeness! The only very minor nitpick is that on the neck, there’s a very obvious mold line in the middle at the front. But, besides that, the sculpting is great!

PAINT

I’m going to assume the Endoskeleton parts have all be chromed or vacuum metalized, however, this isn’t some shiny ‘fresh off the production line’ T-800, this one has been out in the battlefield for a bit and has a fair amount of wear on the surface of that chrome. The overall effect is quite nice. But, it’s that shininess that sets the figure apart from other Hot Toys releases of Endoskeletons and makes it really stand out.

ARTICULATION

I don’t know if I even want to try and work out just how much articulation this figure has! But there sure is a decent amount and a lot of it well thought out and also well hidden, that it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb either. Being a mechanical looking skeleton, it’s quite easy to hide some joints and other joints, obviously being just part of the design.

Things like the neck and hips are restricted a bit by the pistons and hoses, but overall he’s very poseable. You can at least get him in all the Terminator type poses you would want, and without the aid of the display stand as seen in the photos, but, I wouldn’t recommend leaving him displayed without the stand, however! The last thing you want is this expensive big figure taking a tumble!

OUTFIT

Well, it’s an Endoskeleton, so there’s no outfit to speak of.

ACCESSORIES

You get one Plasma Rifle and that’s about it. If you bought the Special Edition version of this figure, then you got two Plasma Rifles, which would be pretty sweet. But, one is enough for me.

As expected, the usual focus on detail and craftsmanship is ever present here. I was impressed back in the day with the 1/6 scale version of the Plasma Rifle that came with the original 1/6 scale Endoskeleton, But the larger scale means more detail and the ability to appreciate that detail more so as the scale is increased.

I can’t fault the rifle, with the exception of perhaps the colour as movie stills and some props lead me to believe the rifle is silver and black, but I actually prefer the all black/grey/gun metal grey colour, I think it makes the rifle look that much nicer in hand.

The other accessory is the display stand, I really don’t like the look of it, I think it looks quite boring and lame actually, I would have preferred some kind of simple black cover as an option and be able to swap out between the two. But, the paint and sculpting on the base aren’t up to the high standards of the Endoskeleton itself and that’s a little disappointing.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

The only real problem I can think of is, that I reckon the arm and/or ankle joints might loosen up over time, especially the arm or arms holding the Plasma Rifle, even if it isn’t that heavy, those arms look like they would have trouble over time. Other than that, finding space for the damn thing!

I’m not devoting a whole shelf in my cabinet just for the terminator, but if I were to get one of those large acrylic boxes, I’d have found my solution to the problem, so alas, the Endoskeleton stays in its box for now.

PRICE

I was lucky enough to pay around $350 AUD for this guy back in 2014 thanks to the many second-hand toy stores in Tokyo. The plus side to it being second hand is you are encouraged to inspect the item before you pay, so if there are any problems, hopefully, you can spot them!

I was happy with the price and it was my big splurge on that trip as I hadn’t really bought anything notable up to that point of my holiday.

OVERALL

If you are in the market for some 1/4 scale goodness, then you can’t go by this amazing figure from Hot Toys, even though I don’t buy many 1/4 scale figures (This being my only purchase in the scale so far) I needed this guy in my collection at some point, as I am a big Terminator fan and besides 1/1 scale stuff, it doesn’t get and bigger or better then this!

If you can find one for a decent price these days, all the better as the prices only seems to go up for all 1/4 figures, be it Hot Toys or Enterbay. If you are a Terminator fan and have the space and the budget I’m sure you already have this, if you don’t I wouldn’t sit on your hands too much longer as it lives up to the hype. It may have one or two minor nitpicks, however it is still truly an extraordinary figure to have and own!

 

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Hot Toys recently posted on their official Facebook page an update of what figures are to be released soon!

We know all of our fans have been waiting, so today we are filled with much excitement to share great news on a number of upcoming releases that will surely be one of the most eagerly anticipated news for Hot Toys fans and collectors!

In order to bring amazing collectible figures with high standards, fans have grown to love over the years, Hot Toys’ dedicated team is constantly working diligently to ensure our collectible figures can capture all the movie-accurate and remarkable fine details of the characters in our products.

The following collectible figures are expected to come soon:
– Captain America: Civil War – MMS Diecast Mark XLVI
– Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Wonder Woman
– Guardians of the Galaxy – Drax
– Suicide Squad – The Joker (Purple Coat Version)
– Suicide Squad – Harley Quinn
– Star Wars – Snowtrooper
– Star Wars – Yoda
– Alien – Ripley
– Terminator Genisys – Endoskeleton

For more news on Hot Toys product updates in the future, please continue to stay tuned!

The two figures I’m most looking forward to are: Drax and the Endoskeleton from Terminator Genisys.
But, there is pretty much something for everyone in that picture! It’s going to be an exciting couple of months, that’s for sure!

 

Marvel Studios Captain America: Civil War continues the story after the events of The Winter Soldier and Age Of Ultron. After a series of unintentional accidents where the Avengers actions have lead to collateral Damage, Iron Man and Captain America take different sides on deciding what direction should be taken to oversee the Avengers actions. Leading to a climatic battle between the two sides, Scarlet Witch joins the side of Steve Rogers battling against her former teammates. 

Name: Scarlet Witch (Civil War Version)
Line: Movie Masterpiece Series
Product Code: MMS370
Manufacturer: Hot Toys
Released: 2016
Price: $199 – $250 USD
Scale: 1/6
Accessories: Various hands and items as well as a display stand

I’ve already reviewed the first version of Scarlet Witch from Hot Toys here. I’ll be repeating myself a little bit as this figure has a few things in common with that release. However, it does improve on some of the lacking aspects of the previous release (quality of hair, boot articulation etc.)

This is the first Scarlet Witch figure that I bought for myself, I waited for one to come up for the right price and promptly made my purchase and soon enough she was on her way from Japan via EMS and the price wasn’t half bad either.

Even if I’m a little behind on the release schedule (Scarlet Witch was released in December 2016 after all!), the wait was worth it, now that I have her in hand.

LIST OF PARTS

Inside the box you get the following items:

One Scarlet Witch figure
Seven interchangeable hands
One necklace
Four Scarlet Witch power flame effects
One Tiny Ant-Man figure (in running pose)
One display stand

 

SCULPTING

This is the same head sculpt that came with the first two versions of Scarlet Witch and some collectors aren’t happy about that. It’s almost like they expect Hot Toys to make a new head sculpt with every new release. I’d rather they do what they are doing now, where they nail the head sculpt the first time and keep using it, just keep improving the paint application with each new release.

They have done a great job capturing the likeness of Elizabeth Olsen, so why ruin it by trying to improve on perfection? The body is pretty much the same too, but the hands and boots are not.

PAINT

I don’t think there’s anything new I can really say here as far as paint applications go. Hot Toys continually put out the best mass produced painted figures in the market, no one can come close to surpassing them yet, they are all still struggling to keep up and it’s not just the heads, it’s the whole package! A lot of companies don’t bother to paint things like hands or bodies properly, not Hot Toys, it’s things like this that make them the best.

The care and attention to detail is second to none. Civil War Scarlet Witch is another shining example of this. The paint application on the face is extremely realistic and brings an unparalleled level of realism to the figure and excellent job by JC Hong and his team.

The head sculpt maybe the same, but the paint apps aren’t, I feel out of the three heads released thus far, this is the best version to date, just something about it looks a little stripped back, but it somehow makes the sculpt look even better, perhaps Scarlet Witch was just hiding under too much makeup the first time around.

They’ve even fixed up the flat flesh tone issues that the first Scarlet Witch had (the hands now having gloves on them helped in this instance.) Hot Toys have brought their usual paint application A game with this figure.

ARTICULATION

Scarlet Witch uses what I guess we can call by now the standard Hot Toys female TrueType body, which appeared around the release of Jill Valentine, Baby Doll, and Resident Evil Alice figures. Which we haven’t seen a release of it by itself yet, either, but we can only hope and pray for that!

It’s a great base body and has a few different leg, arm and bust variants to make it quite versatile. This particular version has the following articulation:

Ball jointed neck, ball jointed chest, ball jointed shoulders, double jointed elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, ball jointed waist, ball jointed hips, double jointed knees and ball jointed ankles.

You can get Scarlet Witch into a good number of poses and she’s not hampered too much by her clothes, like the first figure, the only part where she struggles are her boots, this time, though, it’s not a bad thing that she has extra added articulation where the ankles are, instead of solid boots, its that said articulation makes her a bit more unsteady on her feet ( I think the shin/calf part of the boot makes the ankles become a little looser than they should be), but at least this version of Scarlet Witch can now do much deeper stances, I’d recommend using the stand for her, however. Otherwise, it’s all good, nice and tight joints, she is a pleasure to pose.

OUTFIT

Yet another category Hot Toys by default excels in.  They have mass produced 1/6 clothes down to a fine art. Now there are other companies that are catching up. (in my opinion, Blitzway are the closest) But Hot Toys still consistently nail it with each new release and keep pushing that envelope more and more.

I’m very impressed with Scarlet Witch’s outfit as a whole. The long red coat is the stand out for me, it just looks amazing, it’s incredibly detailed and it also has some wire in the ends so it can be posed flared out and even some tiny buttons to keep it pinned to her body at the waist!

I also like the look of the corset and ‘leather’ tights visually, for whatever reason, I find this outfit very appealing compared to the previous releases, even if it’s a bit more subdued than say, her Avengers outfit. So kudos the film’s costume designer and Hot Toys for replicating it in 1/6 scale.

ACCESSORIES

You aren’t getting a lot of accessories with Scarlet Witch. A few extra hands and four “power effects” it’s a little bit more I guess then the first Scarlet Witch and the extra “power effects” are great and add a little bit more variety to your display options.

I feel the choice of hands is great, there is enough variety to get a lot of cool looking poses from Scarlet Witch and I did have a lot of fun trying different combinations out and playing around trying to get the best poses out of her.

The included mini Ant-Man is a nice touch as well.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

There aren’t really too many things to watch out for with this figure, handle her carefully and read the instructions are two good pointers. Also, take care changing the hands out, I haven’t had a problem with the female figures wrist joints yet, unlike some of the males ones, but it never hurts to heat up the hands a little to make them a touch softer, if you want to be extra careful!

PRICE

I paid about 24,000 YEN for Scarlet Witch and I’m pretty happy with that, beats the local price here ($340 -$ 360 AUD, you are kidding me!) Obviously, shop around and try to get the best price you can, but don’t delay too long as she appears to be quite popular. (When the price is right of course!)

OVERALL

This is my favorite Scarlet Witch figure from Hot Toys to date. If you haven’t picked up a Scarlet Witch figure yet, I’d say go out of your way to get this one. Otherwise just choose the one with the costume you like the most, either way, you won’t be disappointed. I feel this version has the best paint applications on the head sculpt and best rooted hair (out of the three releases) too. She’ll look great with the rest of your Avengers figures and better still look great with Quicksilver too.

 

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Finally, the last 1/6 scale Iron Man exclusive to the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower Marvel Age Of Heroes exhibition has been revealed by the Hot Toys Japan website!

After a slow trickle of information on each exclusive Iron Man armour, the final suit has been revealed at long last! A repaint of Mark 41 in retro colours! The details of the upcoming event are:

Hot Toys Pop-Up Store @ Marvel Age of Heroes Exhibition
Date: April 7 – June 25, 2017
Time: 10:00 – 22:00
Venue: 50/F, Roppongi Hills Mori Tower
Address: Roppongi Hills 6-10-1 Roppongi , Minato-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://hottoys-store.jp/marvel/

If you are in Tokyo during this time, be sure to check the exhibition out, normally most Hot Toys exhibitions in Japan are quite amazing to see in person!

I’ve been on the Poppies Judging Panel (under media) for the last couple of years, I’ve contributed to a list of nominees from various categories to determine which toys/collectibles/props were the best for that particular year, where the judges decide and the people also get to decide. I really enjoy being a part of that as it’s great to see the sometimes varied results between industry and public.

However, it got me thinking that I’d like to do my own list of toys I thought stood out to me the most in 2016. Because with many people voting sometimes you don’t get to see your favorites get the number one spot.

Firstly, I have imposed upon myself the condition that the toys must have either been bought or reviewed by yours truly, if that hasn’t happened, then they don’t make the list ( so no Hot Toys Deadpool, even although I technically did buy it when I was in Japan, it was for a friend and not for me.) Secondly, I’ve tried my best to keep the list as varied as possible, even If I really didn’t buy a lot of new toys this year (I did, in fact, buy plenty of old ones) and thirdly, if I didn’t buy the toy but either my father or brother did and that makes it technically in the same house as me, it’s still up for consideration.

 

I’d also like to make the following honorable mentions:

 

Hot Toys AOU Quick Silver

Takara Tomy MP-30 Ratchet

Hot Toys Terminator Genesis T-800 Guardian

Takara Tomy MP-11NT Thrust

Mattel Defining Moments Ric Flair

 

 

 

TEN – Mattel Emma (WWE Basic Series 65)

This might be a bit of an underwhelming choice for number ten spot on what should be a very important list of the best of the best toys of 2016. But after going to the WWE’s NXT event here in Sydney and seeing Emma sitting on the toy store shelf when out and about with my family and passing on her, when a second chance came up to buy her from my local hobby store, I didn’t think twice about it.

I do love my wrestling figures and I do love purchasing the occasional toy based on an Australian actor etc. (Thor comes to mind right now) and after having a bit of a play with the figure once I got home and teaming her up with Zac Ryder (her current real life boyfriend) I was pretty happy with the figure.

It’s a fun figure, with plenty of play value and a great head scan to match her current gimmick perfectly and that was enough for her to score a spot on the list, sometimes it’s nice to be able to buy a toy you do not have any real desire to own, but find plenty of things you like about it after your purchase. (Impulse buying be damned!)

NINE – NECA Private Vasquez (Aliens Series 9)

NECA are slowly but surely lifting their game and doing a great job with the licenses they have, putting out a great number of figures and strong offerings in plenty of different scales, one of the few NECA figures I did buy this year was Vasquez to go with Hicks and Hudson. It was no easy feat to track her down either. I was over in Japan in November and tried my best to find her (being released just recently before I left) But had no luck what-so-ever.

That was until one of my last days there where I decided to check out a few stores in Akihabara that I normally pass by. I found a store with her, but they only had the display one left, then I asked if they would sell me said display stock, to which the clerk said “yes” (or in this case hai!) I did have to buy her as a set with the albino Aliens warrior but why not, sometimes you have to make compromises when out hunting.

Once back in Australia I was able to have a good look at the figure and a bit of a play and could see why I had trouble finding one, it’s one of NECA’s better figures they have made in a while and as of this writing the best Vasquez figure to date by any company, Strong likeness, great articulation and excellent accessories make for one kick ass figure!

EIGHT – Fujimi Kumamon Bear (Ptimo Series 002, Plastic Model Kit)

It’s not that often I buy a model kit, but from time to time I do make the exception. The Japanese character mascot Kumamon, created by the government of Kumamoto Prefecture to increase tourism, its popularity exploded in 2011 and he started appearing everywhere. I had seen this bear around during my travels in Japan and I’m always on the look out for Japanese mascot or character toys which are quality toys or action figure versions of the character.

Upon visiting my local Lala Port shopping centre and hobby store contained within, I noticed in their case shop section, they had this particular Kumamon bear for sale (already assembled too), so, of course, I bought it straight away! ( If I have learned anything from my travels in Japan, it’s if you see something you want, don’t hesitate to buy it or someone else might buy it before you do!)

I was very impressed with it once I had it in hand, multiple mouths and eyes that can be changed out as well as a good amount of articulation makes Kumamon very posable. It’s pretty much a perfect example of what I would want from a mascot toy.

SEVEN – Hot Toys Scarlet Witch –  Age Of Ultron VER. (MMS 301)

I’ve already reviewed Scarlet Witch last October, so if you want to read about my thoughts on her, check out the review here. I wasn’t expecting to like Scarlet Witch that much, but after having her in hand and having fun taking pictures of her for my review she won me over. I haven’t bought too many Hot Toys figures this year, but she is definitely a standout for me, the excellent head sculpt and outfit coupled with great articulation and accessories, for Hot Toys first release of this character she was a home run.

SIX – Takara Tomy Laserwave (Transformers Masterpiece series MP-29)

Like Scarlet Witch I don’t actually own this toy, my brother does. However, he’s still up for consideration and deserving of being ranked number six. As far as Takara Tomy’s Transformers Masterpiece Series is concerned after a shaky start they have now hit their stride and are releasing numerous and quality toys from the G1 series, that have been designed to match both the cartoon and toy, almost perfectly. Laserwave is a solid addition to the line, even if a lot of fans complain about the height and colour of the toy, in hand, it’s an amazing figure and it’s great to get more Decepticons to help fill out the ranks. Laserwave comes with only a few accessories compared to other releases, but in my opinion, he’s still value for money (third party can GTFO).

FIVE – Hot Toys Stan Lee (MMS 327)

I had fun tracking Stan Lee down when I was over in Japan, I didn’t think he would be so hard to find, yet somehow he was. I ended up picking him up from Osaka’s Entertainment Hobby Jungle of all places and even more surprisingly for a good price (20,000 Yen) MISB. (Still cheaper than Australia by at least $100 after currency conversion!)

Then I went to Toy Sapiens and they had plentiful Stock, but the price was not worth it, (28,000 Yen) and I managed to spy one more in Akihabara for around the same price I paid in Osaka so at least I didn’t feel ripped off.

Another figure I have in hand but am yet to review (see what happens when you wait until November to make a lot of purchases you’ve been holding off on!)

This figure is truly a work of art, especially the head sculpt and as you know with Hot Toys that is one of the most important aspects of their figures. The amount of detail is amazing and it’s an excellent likeness to Stan Lee, for me this is easily one of Hot Toys best efforts.

You also get a number of accessories and various hands, but the best part about this figure is it’s potential and by that I mean for funny photos or posing with your other Marvel figures, much like Deadpool he’s comedy gold and that’s what makes him so great as the possibilities are endless, just think of it as an extension of the cameos the real Stan Lee makes, the figure is just that fun.

FOUR – Mattel Harlem Heat – Booker T and Stevie Ray (WWE Elite Series 46)

I’m going to lump these two figures together because they are a team and they are both from the same series. When Mattel announced these figures I was excited, being a WCW/nWo fan from the 1990s, the more WCW era figures Mattel makes, the happier I am.

I knew there was a good chance they weren’t going to stuff them up, they had already made Booker T when he was in WWE so at least we weren’t going to get that version of him again. I was really hoping we were going to get just what I thought we would, classic WCW era Harlem Heat figures. Mattel have done an excellent job and even taken queues from Toy Biz with the singlet top construction. But the most important part is they both have the same tights design and same colour tights, so they actually look like the legendary team that they are! (which Toy Biz, unfortunately, didn’t do)

From head scans to the details on their costumes these figures are near perfection, they even have new torsos and they are both different torsos for each figure too. They come with some different bandanas/hats and sunglasses to complete the look. I couldn’t ask for anything more from Mattel which is why these guys are so high on the list, they are executed exceptionally, easily some of Mattel’s best work in 2016.

THREE- Takara Tomy Inferno (Transformers Masterpiece series MP-33)

I already knew this particular figure would be somewhere in my top ten, even from the prototype pics I knew Takara were going to make something special, it wasn’t until I had him in my hands, no less than two days until I flew out of Japan (Thanks, Amazon JP!) that I knew this was an amazing figure.

Upon opening the box, the quality and detail blew me away, I was most impressed with the size of the fire truck and then I transformed him, the transformation is a joy and really well thought out, I love the fact that the whole ladder hides inside Inferno’s back!

He looks just like the animation model and much like previous mp releases you get a number of accessories, to cater to toy and cartoon version of Inferno, personally I’ll be keeping him with cartoon head and toy truck parts as I think that’s the best of both worlds and it’s nice that’s an option! I’m finding it very hard to find anything beyond minor nitpicks to be negative about. Takara Tomy have done an excellent job and had a great year as far as their Transformers Masterpiece line is concerned, in my opinion, and another case of third parties GTFO.

TWO – Hot Toys Black Widow – Civil War VER. (MMS 365)

Yet another figure I put off purchasing initially upon release or even pre-ordering, after the two sub-par head sculpts for Black Widow I wanted to make sure Hot Toys did a good job and didn’t stuff it up.

Thankfully they didn’t, this is their best Scarlet Johansson head sculpt to date. They’ve had a lot of attempts, but this one suppresses them all quite easily. Coupled with excellent rooted hair and a plethora of accessories this figure is almost the definitive Black Widow from Hot Toys, they’ve come a long way with the body suits as well and I think the material used works well not hindering the articulation too much and hopefully won’t deteriorate over time.

I was really impressed with this figure out of the box, I’m sure some collectors are suffering from Black Widow fatigue, but seeing this is my first purchase of a complete Black Widow figure (Winter soldier doesn’t count as I sold her as soon as I received her) besides buying a loose head sculpt, I was quite pleasantly surprised. This is easily the best Black Widow so far, it will be interesting to see how Hot Toys plan to top it.

ONE – Bandai Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (SH Figuarts)

Out of the three released turtles (Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael), it was just too hard to choose just one, so like Harlem Heat they are together as a team.

I had fun hunting all three of these figures down while I was over in Japan, it’s definitely a great feeling going from store to store on the hunt and ultimately being rewarded.

Bandai normally does a pretty good job with their SH Figuarts releases (the Monster Arts figures come to mind about now)  and when these cartoon versions of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were announced a lot of people were excited, me included. The sculpting is spot on when compared to the 1980s cartoon.

With plentiful articulation and metal shins and feet these figures are extraordinary, not to mention the numerous accessories and additional head sculpt for each turtle, Bandai have really set the bar high and come out tops against anything Playmates and even NECA could hope to achieve with their TMNT figures in my opinion (NECA really need to include some more accessories with their 1/4 scale offering, plus it seems like they are still using cheap and brittle plastic for their 1/4 scale figures joints, if the pictures and stories are to be believed, but they are still head and shoulders above Playmates).

So that sums up what I thought about the figures I purchased in 2016, sure there were a few big names missing and my opinion might differ greatly from yours, but like I said, this list had a few particulars to make it a little different from the standard “best of 2016 list” with the upcoming Poppies everyone can have their voice heard loud and clear about which figures were the best for this past year.

 

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