Plastic Spark's Top 10 of 2016
Hey guys! With the year end fast approaching I thought I would try my hand at a top ten list this year as I've picked up, reviewed, and photographed a lot of toys this year! I am mainly looking at figures that I have acquired in 2016, meaning that some will be releases from past years however I believe the majority of the list are figures released in 2016. I had a hard time picking a solid 10 so there are a few Honorable Mentions and a couple tied positions.
I will not be including any figures that were loaned to me for review, as I am sticking to figures I actually own. Unfortunately this does disqualify some serious contenders like Ocular Max Jaguar (Who actually had a top 10 spot until I added this rule) and the Fanstoys Insecticons. Everything that will be presented on this list was either purchased by me, or was given to me as a gift, and is currently still a part of my active collection. The large titles above each entry are clickable links to the original gallery or review for the figure if available. I also will not be including any toys that I may have gotten over the Christmas holiday, despite getting some real winners like Mezco Batman (DKR), Figma Yu Narukami, and Figuarts Ant-Man, as I haven't spent enough time with any of them to have any sort of valid opinion. I've got a lot of new galleries and reviews to come in the new year but for now let's take a look at the past year!
I'm pretty good when it comes to picking figures that I think will be decent, so I didn't get many toys this year that I didn't enjoy. Honestly most of what I've reviewed in 2016 could qualify as a runner up, and putting this list together was a bit overwhelming. I guarantee I missed some great figures that I added to the collection this year while trying to come up with a solid 10, but I tried to narrow the honorable mentions to my top 6 toys that were a great experience but not quite top 10 material. Let's get into it.
Yume makes the runner up list mainly on aesthetics. Her articulation is average and the joints need some work right out of the box but I loved shooting this figure and I'm still very happy with how the gallery came out. I don't think that I will follow the line religiously but there are a few releases from Daibadi in 2017 that are looking interesting. I still wish I could figure out how to get my hands on the Gurren Lagann Yoko and Nia kits they made... Seriously if you have a lead please let me know I am willing to drop some serious cash on those guys.
Both of these toys are great representations of different style third party masterpiece-alike figures that have just a few too many compromises for me to consider them for a top 10 spot. Sunsurge looks incredible with a G1 accurate bot mode that compliments MP-12 Lambor beautifully. His accessory load out is insane compared to similar figures in this price range and the option to swap chrome for painted silver is a lovely gesture. Unfortunately this doesn’t make up for his frustrating half ratcheted double knee joints, flat head, and moderately frustrating transformation. Willis is another fantastic representation of the G1 character with a bountiful accessory kit, rubber tires, and die-cast in all the right places but his lack of articulated hip skirts, randomly ejecting tailgate pieces, and clearance issues during transformation coupled with a terrifying method for head swapping give me concern regarding his longevity on my shelf. Had the year ended in September I highly believe that both of these figures might have made the top 10 but November and December brought nuclear warheads to a game of snakes and ladders, leaving these 2 out in the cold.
#4 - Hasbro Combiner Wars Bruticus /
Takara Tomy Unite Warriors Computron
These 2 sets represent, in my opinion, the best that Combiner Wars has to offer. Both teams are made up of great individual figures and the combined modes are a lot of fun. I would have liked to pick up the UW Bruticus set but for under $100 CAD I am more than satisfied with the domestic release. UW Computron was a must for me after seeing how many impressive modifications Takara made to the set.
Iron Factory's Pink Assassin is a fun toy. Plain and simple. She's affordable, and has articulation in a legends class figure that puts main line deluxes to shame. She would have made the top 10 if her vehicle mode was less slapdash. Despite that I highly recommend this figure, Iron Factory is the undisputed king of Legends scale and I plan to add more from them to my collection in 2016.
#2 - S.H. Figuarts Bruce Lee /
Mezco One:12 Collective Judge Dredd
2nd place is a tie between 2 figures that I really didn't spend enough time with at all. SHF Bruce Lee was an early release in 2016 and for whatever reason I never got around to anything more than a quick preview gallery. The figure is top notch and I honestly couldn't tell you why I didn't do more with him. Mezco One:12 Judge Dredd is a similar story, he's an incredible figure but I un-boxed him and put him straight onto my shelf without much play time. The Hot Toys like details on such a small figure really impress in hand.
Anarchus just barely missed the top 10, He's a fantastic figure but there were a few strange limitations and design choices that kept him from a top 10 spot. Still a highly recommended figure and I'm looking forward to completing my MMC DJD collection hopefully in 2017.
Now that we have the honorable mentions out of the way, let's get into my Top 10 Toys of 2016!
I still haven't had a chance to check out Rogue One but I knew from the first time I saw K-2SO that I wanted to add this unique looking droid to my collection. His lanky proportions and surprisingly impressive articulation for a Black Series figure make him an incredibly satisfying desk toy that fits any collectors budget.
The first Deluxe Headmaster I picked up from Titans Return thanks to the SDCC exclusive set. He set the bar high and in my opinion he is still the top deluxe figure from Titans Return, at least until I get my hands on a Triggerhappy. I've got the Walgreens version incoming as well but for now the SDCC version is a good stand in.
A gorgeous static piece from one of my favorite franchises of all time. While I suppose she doesn't count as a "toy" per se, I do feel she is one of the most gorgeous pieces in my collection and an incredibly faithful recreation of one of my favorite characters. I kept her lower on this list due to the fact that she's a statue but in my opinion she still deserves a top 10 spot.
#7 - Takara Tomy Masterpiece Shockwave, Masterpiece Rodimus, Masterpiece Ironhide and Masterpiece Ratchet
7th place is a tie between Masterpiece Shockwave, Masterpiece Rodimus, and Masterpiece Ironhide (and by extension Ratchet) Ironhide and Shockwave were the first figures to adopt the new, more cartoon oriented Masterpiece design aesthetic. Despite standing out a bit next to the existing MP figures, these four are incredibly well built and fun to play with and transform. The accessory load out for Ratchet and Ironhide is just incredible. Yes it's a cop out to have 4 figures tie for 7th place, but I feel each one of these figures sits exactly the same in terms of pros vs cons, and general enjoyment to me. I enjoyed each one but I don't feel like any one of these 4 stands taller than the rest so they're going to occupy this spot as a happy little family.
The undisputed king of Mirage Masterpiece-alikes. Incredible articulation, great aesthetics, fantastic paint and deco work and a joy to play with. What's not to like? Smart use of Die-Cast and Rubber, and articulation that rivals S.H. Figuarts in a fully functional transformer I couldn't be happier with this blue beauty. I'm looking forward to checking out Mastermind Creations Terraegis soon and I'm hoping he is similar in quality.
The final, and arguably the best, release of TruForce Collectible's Mega Man X figure. X-Boost is a solid figure with incredible articulation and a killer color scheme make this release a must have in my collection. Add in an awesome LED feature and limited availability and this is a highly coveted piece for any Mega Man collector.
One of my most anticipated figures of 2016, I've been desperate to add this figure to my collection ever since seeing the prototype photos and he did not disappoint at all. The Legend of Zelda franchise has been a staple since my childhood and this figure satisfied the need for a Link Between Worlds representation as well as a classic Link to the Past/Link's Awakening representation in my collection. The DX version is absolutely the way to go if you can get your hands on it but the standard version is still worth a pickup for anyone interested!
I was late to the game with Spartan, He wasn't released in 2016 but I just picked him up a couple months ago and quite frankly he's one of the best Transformers figures, third party or otherwise, that I have ever handled. Big, beefy, and oozing bad-ass personality. He was a serious contender for the top spot but I knocked him down a couple pegs in favor of some newer figures that are ranking a little higher to me at the moment.
What more can I even say about this release? Absolutely phenomenal, a game changer in every sense of the term. This is the crown jewel of my Third Party Transformers collection. Mastermind Creations continues to be one of my favorite companies as every release seems to be more and more impressive. That should come as no surprise seeing as how they've dominated 2 of the top 3 spots, and 3 total spots in my top 10 (Not to mention #1 Honorable Mention) between their Reformatted and Ocular Max sublines.
MP Optimus Primal has to take the top spot for me this year. I was raised on Beast Wars, I watched the show religiously and collected as many of the toys as I could get my hands on. It was my first real experience with the Transformers mythos and Optimus Primal has always been one of my absolute favorite commanders from any Transformers series, so of course there's a bit of a Nostalgia factor here. The sculpt, and build quality are top notch. The toy is solid and fun to play with. I'm never scared of damaging the toy. He looks incredibly on point to his CG model and I honestly couldn't be happier with this figure. If you told me a couple years ago that by the end of 2016 I'd have an official Masterpiece rendition of Big-Bot himself I'd have given you directions to the loony bin. Now with 2016 wrapping up, Optimus Primal is sitting in a place of honor on my figure shelf and Masterpiece Cheetor isn't far behind! I can't wait to see who else makes the cut, I'm personally hoping for a Masterpiece Dinobot, and Terrorsaur although I won't hold my breath for the latter.
Well, that's it, my Top 10 Toys of 2016! Thanks for checking it out and let me know in the comments below what your favorite toys from this year are! There are a ton of figures that I had to cut from the list so if your favorite didn't make it let me know, I'd love to hear why certain figures hold a higher spot in your personal rankings! I know I would have loved to include some more figures like Marvel Legends Deadpool, or Fanstoys Willis, but quite frankly there was only so much room on the list.
I want to take a moment to thank you guys for your support this year. I had some personal goals that I wanted to achieve in regards to my photography and one of those was to hit 1000 likes on the Plastic Spark Facebook page. Right now we're sitting at 1,037 likes and growing so I want to give a huge shout out to every single one of you who have liked the page, and who have supported my work! I want to thank Blast Off Toys for giving me the opportunity to review some new figures that I did not have the chance to pick up, and I also want to give a shout out to some of my fellow photographers and reviewers who have encouraged, supported, and inspired me including; Kuma Style, Foibles Toy Chest, Projekt ZeroThree, Tallus76 Photography, and many others. Check out the "Site Partners" link at the top of the page to find links to some of my friends pages and show them some love too!
I've got a huge stack of new figures to help kick off 2017 so look forward to plenty of reviews and photos in the new year! In the mean time I want to wish each and every one of you a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year! I'll be taking the next few days off to spend time with friends and family and I'll be back in the new year to get back at it!