Friday, December 14, 2018

Best of 2018

It's that time of year again! Time for the year end summaries!  With a lot less purchases this year compared to previous years, the options were slim. With that being said, there were still some stellar figures released this year, that definitely warrant accolades.

Best 3rd Party figure:
Ocular Max Riot/Furor
These little cassette baddies really are technological marvels. Flat, compacted tapes become fully articulated little warriors with all the personality of their cartoon counterparts. Occular Max really did a wonderful job. I look forward to more cassette robots in the future!

Runner up:
Maketoys Skycrow/Lightning
As cartoon accurate Seekers, these evil Decepticons really look the part of the evil bruisers they are. Vivid colors, great articulation, and sturdy builds. These make an excellent alternative for folks looking for a Masterpiece level figure but don't want the blocky MP11 design.

Fanstoys Rouge

Rouge definitely looks the part of G1 Arcee, but with some questionable design issues, and a transformation that causes nightmares, she is sadly more of a placeholder rather than the definitive version of Arcee.

Best official Transformer:
Masterpiece Sunstreaker

This year's best really streaked past the competition. Sunstreaker (which technically came out the last week of 2017, but most didn't get him til 2018), really blew the door wide open on what a Transformer toy could -and should- be.  This figure has phenomenal articulation, beautifully expressive face, realistic car mode, and a bajillion accessories.  He really is a must-own figure. Even those who don't collect Transformers would do well to pick this guy up. He really must be held to be truly appreciated.

Runner up:
Leader class Studio Series Grimlock

This guy really managed to capture the look of the movie beast and still be transformable.  Even more amazing? This figure made people realize that the movie Grimlock model actually did have two complete dino heads on his shoulders in robot mode!  The lack of articulated hands really brought the figure down a peg or two.

Best Action Figure:
NECA Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990 movie edition
This set totally took my breath away.  NECA took their 18" tall line and shrunk it down to 7" without losing a shred of detail, or compromise the paint.  These just look amazing. They really look identical to the puppet suits designed by Jim Henson and his company in 1990.  Really a true work of art.  Even more of a miracle:  NECA announced these will be released as single pack figures exclusively to Gamestop in 2019!  These will be available to more collectors, and should definitely be owned by ANY fan of the Lean Mean Fighting Machines.

Runner up:
Creative Beasts Dromaeosaurus

One of the results of a successful kickstarter project, this figure is scientifically accurate (aside from coloration, which is based on the Kestrel - a tiny falcon-like bird). The articulation is fantastic, and the size is perfect for those wanting a proper scale with 12" figures, or for those who want the Jurassic Park scale with 6" figures. Either way, there is a great variety of "raptors" available now, and soon: Ceratopsians! Exciting future!

Storm Collectibles Goro
 Yes, that dreaded sub-boss, the evil Goro!  With four arms ready to pound unsuspecting 7" figures, this monstrosity comes with plenty of posing options to recreate epic battles. He's huge, so he'll stand out on even the most packed shelves!

Well, that's it for 2018!  While from a transforming robots standpoint 2019 looks to be slim for my personal collecting, there will definitely be an amazing Optimus Prime released, as well as a few third party robots I might be picking up. Might grab a few action figures along the way as well!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

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