The People's Pick Awards for Best/Worst of 2004

I wrapped up my thoughts last week - now it's time to see how you voted!  And vote you did, turning out in terrific numbers.  It will be interesting to see how you match up with me, since I heard from a lot of folks that didn't agree with me...on to the results!

The Best Overall Company
In case you were wondering, my top pick this year was NECA, followed by Sideshow and then Palisades.  Your choices...

- third place goes to McFarlane Toys.  About 9% of you picked them, down in percentage from last year, but taking the same place.

- second place goes to Toybiz with 14%.  Again, that's exactly where they fell last year, but their overall percent dropped too.

- so that means first place goes to Palisades, with a whopping 33% of the vote.  Their percentage is actually up from last year, although once again the top three vote getters received more than half of all the votes, even with such a crowded field.

My top choice of NECA was tied for fourth with Sideshow.

Best Overall Line
Again, as a reminder, my choices were Muppets on top, followed by SOTA and the 8" Hellboy line.  Your choices...

- third place goes to the 8" Hellboy line from Mezco, a direct hit with my choice.  Okjay, so it only took 6% of the votes to squeek him in there, but a hit it was.

- second place did quite a bit better, despite everyone complaining and whining about the shortpacks.  Marvel Legends picked up 18% of the vote to take second.

- first place smoked them all though, and again you matched up with me - the Muppets took first with 25% of the overall votes.

Interestingly enough, that's the same one and two you picked last year, with almost the identical number of votes.

Best Mini-Figure Line
There's nothing for us to compare to last year, since this wasn't a category then, but my picks were Mez-itz in first, with the Buffy Palz in second and the C3 sets taking the last spot.  For the people, this was a tough choice, and the field was really close.  Your choices were...

- in third place are the Kubricks, with 11% of the vote.

- slipping in front of them with 14% of the vote are my top choice, the Mez-itz.

- finally, taking that all important top spot with a big 25% of the vote, yes, one in every four voters picked the Marvel mini-mates.

Best Male Figure (18")
This is another category with nothing to compare to last year, but my top pick was Hellboy, followed by Jack Sparrow and Spider-man.  I was betting that Spider-man would be your top choice...

- third goes to Jack Sparrow, with 13% of the votes.  He was almost in a dead heat with...

- the second place winner, Spider-man.  14% of you picked him, far less than I had expected. and he barely edged out Jack.  If you're wondering about Hellboy from Mezco, my top choice, he was only a few votes behind these two.  And who won?  The dark horse!

- Van Helsing from Sideshow.  Paint me green and call me Gumby.  And I don't think he even hit before the end of the year, did he?  I'm not quite sure, although I was expecting him to be out by then.  He took it with a whopping, massive 44%.  There wasn't even a contest.

Best Male Figure (12")
The sixth scale market was easy for me to choose this year, and I took Blackbeard as my number one choice, followed by Mctoys Leatherface, and Ignite's Knight of Outremer.  Your choices...

- third place, with 11%, goes to the Sideshow version of Hellboy.  Hey, he wasn't one of my favorites, but clearly folks responded well to him.

- second place, edging out Hellboy with a few votes but still hitting 11%, is Batman.  Mattel did better with that figure than I had thought!

- but first place was a no brainer for folks, and 17% picked the Nazi Kroenen.

Best Male Figure (under 12")
In previous years, superheroes have always done well here.  This must have been the year for the Muppets, but I have to point out that perhaps this year there were simply way too many good figures in this category.  The voting was EXTREMELY split, with lots and lots of figures hitting about the same percentage, and these three winners barely had the votes to take it.  Your choices:

- third goes to my winner, Adventure Kermit.  He picked up 10% of the vote.

- second also gets 10%, and he's the 8" Hellboy from Mezco.  A damn fine figure, and I certainly agree he's deserving.

- finally, first ALSO gets 10% (once you round things off), and it's another Muppet - Jim Henson!  Perhaps there's some nostalgia going on there...

There were several other figures that were right in this same pack, including Sweetums, Robocop, and even Deadpool.  When other categories were decided by hundreds of votes, this one was decided by mere handfuls.

Best Female Figure (12")
My picks this year included Sideshow's Scully and Vamp Willow, with third going to Asuka.  Your choices included:

- the new version of Buffy from Sideshow took third place with 18" of the votes, but she wasn't the only Sunnydale resident to hit the charts.

- second place went to Vampire Willow with 19% of the votes.  Clearly, Sideshow is doing a good job with *some* of the Buffy ladies.

- and while I heard plenty of people complain when I put her first, the people (or at least 31% of them) also picked Scully as the top 12" female of the year.

Best Female Figure (under 12")
Tough ladies always do well in this category, and my top pick was Sally from NMBC, followed by Catwoman and Willow.  It should be no surprise that this category is once again VERY divided.  With lots of good choices this year, and lots of differing tastes, it shouldn't be shocking that the winners were close together, with many others breathing right on their heels. Your picks included:

- It only took 7% of the vote to get Phoenix from the Marvel Legends line into the top three.

- with 10% of the vote, another super heroine takes second - Catwoman from Hush series 2.

- now, maybe you should be sitting down for number one.  Even with a tight field, it was no doubt who the winner was, but I never would have guessed it.  Taking 15% of the overall voting, the Bride from Kill Bill topped the list.

Best Articulation
In past years, Palisades, Sideshow and Toybiz have always done well in this category.  This year you picked:

- third place goes to SOTA this year, with 7% of the vote.  I had thought the percentage would be higher for them, but since they've managed to break into the top three in the first big year for them, that's actually saying quite a bit.  They edged out Sideshow this year, no easy feat.

- second place goes to the old reliable, Palisades.  They took it with a nice 19% of the vote.

- and the number one slot should be no surprise - it's Toybiz once again, with a massive 40% of the vote.  No doubts there!

Best Sculpting
Of all the categories this year, this one has the biggest shake up, although two of the three winners were also in the top three last year.  Your choices are...

- third place goes to new comer NECA.  They took a respectible 10% of the vote, again showing big strides to be able to break into this category for the first time this year.

- second goes's Mcfarlane!  For the first time in ever they've been upset from the number one spot, taking 26% of the vote this year.

- and the top dogs were number two last year, Palisades.  They managed to edge past Mcfarlane, and take the number one spot with 28% of the vote.

Best Packaging
It's everybody's favorite category!  At least the graphic artists care - as do I!  I picked the surprise winner of Hasbro this year, and you didn't agree with me. Your voting was almost identical this year to last, right down to the percents...

- third place goes to Sideshow, with 14% of the votes.  They were in second last year with about the same percent, but this year the third place winner slipped by them.

- Palisades moves up from third to second this year with 16% of the votes.

- and the first place prize goes once again to Mcfarlane, with 23% of the votes!

Best vehicle/play set
This year I picked The Night He Came Home as my top set, with runners up in Kluger's Mail Truck and the Town Square.  I think I heard about these choices more than any other - how could I have left out the Backstage play set from Palisades?  Well, you have corrected what you felt was my wrong!

- the third place trophy goes to a dark horse, the Sinister Six boxed set from Marvel Legends.  It picked up 7% of the votes, just enough to slip into the top three.

- second place proves I'm not completely nuts, as almost 12% of you agreed with me, and picked the cool porch scene with Loomis and Michael as the best.

- finally, the first place trophy goes to...I bet you can guess...the Backstage Play Set from the Muppets line.  It took a commanding 41% of the vote, proving something.  What I'm not sure, but certainly it's something.

Best New Idea
Now we're down to the last best category - new ideas.  Your picks for this year are:

- the third place winner is all the new quarter scale product.  It seems like this scale, while tried in the past with little success, has hit the big time.  15% of you said this was the best new idea. 

- I wasn't completely off base about the VOTC packaging, since 22% of you thought that it was the best new idea this year.

- but the number one best new idea was no contest - the cheap yet ultra well done rotocast figures topped the list with 41% of the vote.

Now on to the Worst of 2004. We can't all be sunshine and puppy dogs, now can we?  Here's what you thought the suckiest suck of a sucks really were!

Worst Overall Company
I picked JAKKS this year, but for the People's Picks, Mattel and Hasbro always seem to do well in this category.  This year's picks includes some surprises:

- and the big surprise is in third place, with 9% of the vote.  Toybiz managed to upset enough people with the short packs and chase figures this year to land them in the number three slot.

- the number two slot goes to old favorite whipping boy, Mattel, with 11% of the vote.  No sign of Hasbro this year, with Toybiz managing to barely edge them out.

- and it should be no surprise that JAKKS hits the top spot with 21%.  Really, are you surprised?

Worst Line
Whenever you have too much to choose from, the field votes get spread.  There are lots of tastes out there, and if you give them too many choices, they'll choose them all.  That wasn't really a problem though this year in the worst line category, although the field got pretty mixed after the numer one choice.  Your picks are...

- third place goes to the Thunderbirds line, which was also a terrible movie.  Nothing better than an awful movie with awful toys.  The line took only 5% of the votes though.

- just barely above that was the Power Rangers line.  Clearly, there's no love for what is one of the longest living action figure lines in recent history.  Six percent of the voters say all those kids are crazy.

- but there was no doubt what the big winner was, with 31% of the votes going to the Van Helsing line by JAKKS.  Ugh.

Worst Mini-figure line
Another one of those new categories this year, and a mighty tough one to really pick, since most of the mini-figure lines (if you like that sort of thing) are very cool.  Your picks were:

- taking the third place spot is the I-Men from Toynami.  There weren't a lot of them this year, but it looks like the other styles are preferred, magnetic feet or not.   At least 12% of the voters agreed.

- in second, with 13% of the votes, are the Shockini's.  Guess I'm not the only one that doesn't get it.

- and finally, taking the top spot as worst mini-figures - the Smiti's!  It wasn't a decisive win though, barely edging out the competition with just 14% of the overall vote.

Worst Male Figure (18")
This category had the fewest voters, with over half of all of you skipping this one.  Tough to choose, eh?

- third and second place were separated by only a handful of votes.  The Sideshow Dracula took third, with 14% of the vote.

- second also has 14%, and it's the Legolas from NECA.  That doesn't surprise me, as I wasn't a huge fan of the head sculpt.

- first place does surprise me quite a bit though, since it's Aragorn, also from NECA.  He took 16% of the vote, perhaps just because more folks were aware of him.

Worst Male Figure (12")
Man, how many more of these categories are there?  I'm just about exhausted...okay, your picks for the worst male 12" figures are:

- third place is actually a dead heat tie at 11%, and the exact same number of votes - the DiD LOTR Gandalf, and Sideshow's Hellboy figure.  I'm not sure how Hellboy managed to make it in both the best and worst categories, but he did!

- Sideshow takes second as well with Jason from Part 2.  I'm betting it's just because of those damn baggy Levi's.  Or that bag on his head.  But 15% of you thought it was something.

- Sideshow manages to take first as well, with the other half of the best 12" female, poor Mulder.  I don't think he deserves all the bad press he got, but 16% of you disagree with me.

Worst Male Figure (under 12")
While there were a fair share of possible choices for worst males under 12", the top three seemed to be pretty unanimous choices.  Your picks include:

- third place goes to that awful Wolfman figure from Van Helsing.  I mean c'mon, who came up with that lame rubber suit? 13% of you agreed.

- another 17% of you were repulsed by the Harry Potter figure this year.  No big surprise there!

- and finally, 23% went back to the well and picked another Van Helsing figure, Van Helsing himself this time, as the worst, most awful male figure under 12".

Worst Female (12")
I think I did Sideshow a big favor by putting the Barbie Catwoman in here this year.  Let's see if I'm right:

- 73% of you pummeled poor Catwoman Barbie.  I had expected people wouldn't be happy about her, but I never figured she'd do that badly.  Hey, it's not even worth mentioning the other two place winners, because they are soooo far behind Barbie it's not even funny.

Worst Female Figure (under 12")
The final worst female category for the year, and often the toughest to choose.  Your picks this year include:

- perhaps the Bride from Kill Bill was tops on your list for good looks, but poor Go Go was not.  She picked up 9% of the vote for worst female.

- in second place comes another Bride, my top choice - the bride from the Haunted Mansion toys.  She took in 13% of the votes.

- and the big winner (or loser, depending on your view point), was another of thus super fine Van Helsing toys from JAKKS, Anna Valorious.  We all would have been better off if series 2 had never seen the light of pegs.  Anna snagged number one with 25% of the votes.

Worst Articulation
I'm betting you'll guess who wins this one - he wins every year.  Doesn't even matter if he does some articulated lines.  Still always wins this one.

- actually, second and third place are dead heat ties, with exactly the same number of votes (only 7% of the votes each) for DC Direct and Mattel.  I think that's not ultra fair, especially since both companies improved this year, but let's face it, they still have a long ways to go.

- and of course first place goes to the old favorite, Mcfarlane.  He took a whomping 41% of the votes, and voters clearly see the company as a maker of statues.

Worst Sculpting
I'm betting Mcfarlane won't be in this category, and that's probably a safe bet.  So is betting that JAKKS will be high in this category...

- the bottom two of the three are once again well behind the winner.  Disney, with their less than stellar exclusive lines, picked up 7% and the third slot.

- the middle slot went to Hasbro, with 8% of the votes.  They are just such a go to kind of company for these worst categories.

- but the big winner is...Mcfarlane!  Oh, no, I'm just kidding.  It's JAKKS of course, and there was really no contest, as they picked up 32%.

Worst Packaging
Some companies do it so well, and others just do it so poorly.  Your choices are:

- third went to Mattel with 9%.  The big companies tend to do mass market, which for whatever reason tends not to be too pretty.

- second place goes to DC Direct with 11%.  That's no big surprise after hearing many people complaining about how ugly many of their newer boxes are.

- but first place does seem a bit odd to me - JAKKS.  They took 14% of the vote, but I'm thinking that folks are just dumping on them now.  But then again...

Worst Vehicle/Playset
We're getting there...almost.  Just two more worst categories - what play sets and vehicles turned you off?

- 13% of the vote was enough to get the Chronicles of Riddick box set (you remember, the one with the dog) into the third slot.  I'm kind of surprised, although that is a set that ended up on discount pretty damn fast.

- 15% of the vote went to the Sandcrawler.  Not too many folks were happy with the scale, and even less with the price.

- 18% gave the KISS Love Gun set from Mcfarlane the top spot.  That's a bit of a surprise as well, for more than just me I'm betting.

Worst Idea
If you've been reading the boards and paying attention to the collector's, the winners in this category should be absolutely no surprise.

- There seems to be more and more con exclusives every year, and with 18% of the vote, that idea took the third place trophy.

- This year we saw fewer and fewer retailers carrying toys, and it looks like 2005 is going to be more of the same.  This bad idea - or trend in this case - got 27% of the votes.

- and also with 27% of the votes, and just a few more to take the first place spot, is the number one most talked about issue this year, the Marvel Legends chase figures.  While the line and the company did well in other categories, it's no surprise that this idea got them a black mark.

Most looking forward to in 2006
Okay, let's shake off the bad vibe, and go back to the good stuff.  What are you most looking forward to?

- even though the Muppets is on the way out by all appearances, they still managed to get 11% of the vote, enough to put them in third place.

- the late announcement of Sesame Street was a big one, and has at least another 11% of you pretty excited.

- and the big one?  Not anything from Mcfarlane, not anything from DC's Marvel Legends still, with 19% of the votes.

Whew - that was a long write, and I bet a longer read.  Thanks for all your input, and vor voting your mind again this year!  

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