Top 10 Toys of 2017 - Plastic Spark Photography
Well, it’s the end of another year of collecting, photographing, and writing about toys! 2017 saw some great figures added to my shelves as well as plenty of figures released that I would love to have been able to pick up. For my top 10 I will be focusing on toys that I purchased for my collection this year, with a focus on toys released this year when possible. There may be a few items from past years that were late pickups for me on this list. I may not have reviewed every item featured but they are all toys that I feel I’ve spent enough time with to be confident in my selection. This list will contain primarily action figures, as transforming figures will get a separate list. For the figures in this list that I have reviewed you can click on the header image to check out the full review and gallery.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at my choices for top 10 toys of the year!
These three were just barely edged out of the top ten but still deserve a bit of recognition.
Quite possibly the greatest figure I’ve ever purchased or owned. The only reason I’m excluding it from the top ten is because it was released over 5 years ago! It’s crazy how advanced Sen-Ti-Nel was and still is compared to a lot of manufacturers in the business.
A gorgeous representation of Sora from the second entry in the franchise. Bandai did right in a lot of ways but there are limitations that the Bring Arts was able to overcome more effectively in my opinion. On his own he’s an adequate figure but I feel his value is going to greatly increase once the rest of his team is released in 2018.
Image is a stock asset from Overwatch. I will add a photo once my Figma arrives.
A last minute release of 2017, so last minute in fact that mine hasn’t even arrived yet! Still, I’ve seen plenty enough from friends who have her in hand to be confident that this is one of the nicest Figmas yet. Obviously there’s no way I would give her a top 10 spot when I don’t even have mine in hand but I still think the figure deserves some recognition.
Top 10 Toys of 2017
Marvel Legends releasing X-Men characters used to be a far off dream for many of us. The X-Men lineup had been relegated almost to obscurity thanks to the juggernauts that are Disney and the MCU. Luckily someone at Hasbro HQ decided we needed some mutants on the shelves. The X-Men waves had a brilliant selection but for me the two standout characters were Cyclops and Wolverine as they are two of my absolute favorite mutant characters. They score low on this list due to a lack of accessories, especially Cyclops who they couldn’t even be bothered to pack an extra fist to replace his left hand with.
2017 was a huge year for Play Arts Kai with an absolute mountain of releases. The team from Final Fantasy XV was produced in astonishing quality and the presence of the team standing together on one shelf is absolutely undeniable. I still wish PAK figures came with optional faces and the fact that Prompto only includes a single pistol is a let down. I haven't played with these guys very much as they are really more display pieces than toys. The Play Arts Kai line has shown a lot of improvement but I’d be lying if I said they don’t still scare me to pose. You don’t really get over that first broken Play Arts elbow or knee joint.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Was a huge part of my childhood. I watched the series, read the books, and spent so much time and money on the card game that I’m surprised my parents didn’t check me into an institution. Figma Yugi is an expertly realized version of the iconic main character in his “adult” form when the Pharaoh Yami is in control. Honestly the only reason he’s down a bit lower on this list is the choice to not include a casual upper body option or a face plate with the glowing eye on his forehead. This may sound greedy considering his plethora of accessories but I feel that at the very least the casual jacket was a necessity.
Bandai knocked it out of the park with this release. The MCU Ant-Man costume lends itself to an articulated toy so well and the greatest part about him is that he is kind of in scale with the real world! The photography opportunities are endless and I’ve seen no shortage of creativity in the community! It certainly helps my opinion of him that he looks at home on a shelf next to any of Bandai’s Kamen Rider figures as well.
A damn near perfect classic Harley Quinn to pair with any number of Batman figures. Looks great with Mezco, looks great with other Icons, looks great on her own or in a collection of Harley figures. Her included accessories are all topical and work well and her articulation is quite satisfactory given the limitations of her design.
Mega Man Legends is one of my favorite games of the Playstation/N64 era. If you had told me that in 2017 I’d have a highly articulated figure of Volnutt from one of the best companies in the business I would not have believed it but let me tell you the geniuses at Sen-Ti-Nel have done it. This figure is absolutely incredible. The only marks against are that it’s so small due to being part of the 4Inch-Nel line so mixing with other figure lines is a bit tricky and there are very few accessories.
Ok, this one is a bit older but he was released in 2015 so it’s not as much of a stretch. This figure is one my absolute favorites in my collection. Cloud has been produced to an almost photo realistic level by the PAK team and every time I walk by the shelf I have him on I find myself slowing down to stare. The attention to detail, the inclusion of soft goods and layered costume pieces, and the sheer number of accessories all contribute to one of the absolute greatest action figure experiences I’ve ever had.
Kingdom Hearts III still hasn’t arrived on our consoles but that hasn’t stopped Square Enix from releasing no less than 3 figures of Sora in his new design. I was beyond excited to hear that Square was planning on starting a smaller figure line as I’ve long wanted Final Fantasy characters closer in scale with Figma and Figuarts. For the first figure of the line Sora is an absolute bombshell with killer articulation and great sculpt and paintwork. If I could change anything I’d add a smiling face and a classic keyblade… that’s about it!
Figma has been bringing their A-Game this year with a huge boost in articulation, balance, paint and overall quality to their figures. The first figure from them where I really noticed a massive improvement was this guy, Twilight Princess Link. The core figure is incredibly poseable and it seems like they learned a lot of lessons from their previous Link figures and did their best to work around some of the limitations of his core design. The plethora of accessories included with the DX version make this is absolute must have for any Zelda fan. I liked it so much that I bought two! Double Clawshot for the win!
I’m sure this comes as no surprise to anyone who’s been following me or my page. Figma Deadpool is, to me, an absolute masterpiece of toy artistry. The character of Deadpool just oozes from the figure the minute you open the package and the additional accessories of the DX. version sweeten the deal beyond anything I could have hoped. Articulation is damn near perfect and every included accessory is perfectly executed. If the alternate faces had been full head swaps instead of plates this would be a practically flawless Figma.
Well. that's the end of the list friends! Thanks for checking out my top 10 toys of 2017! Let me know what you think in the comments! What was your favorite toy of 2017? Don't forget to check out my top 10 transforming toys list as well! Happy New Year everyone! Thank you for all your support throughout this year! Here's hoping for more awesome figures in 2018!