The People's Choice for Best/Worst of 2002
The voting is done, the tallying complete...it's
time for the announcement of the People's Choice for Best and Worst of
Lest you get confused and think companies don't
notice, let me point out that last year's winner of best overall line -
Playmates for the Simpsons - included it in their display at Toy Fair.
What you pick does count!
If you'd like to take a trip in the way back
machine, check out the People's Choice awards for 2000 and 2001. Some
things change, and some stay pretty much the same!
This year there were between four and five hundred
unique voters, depending on the category. One lucky voter,
Greg Method, got to take home the cool Dynamic Forces Spider-man life
size bust as well! Now on to the results...
The Best Overall Company
This was a tight race, particularly between the companies in first and
second place. Only a handful of votes separated them, but
only one can be on top.
Third place, with 15% of the vote, was McFarlane Toys.
Not a huge surprise, considering how solid the Spawn 22 line was, as
well as the Movie Maniacs assortment this year. Their
percentage is similar to last year's results (when they had 18% of the
vote), but they are the only returning winner.
Second place, right on their tail with 22% of the votes, is Palisades.
Obviously many folks are happy with the new Muppets line, along with
the rest of their products this year.
And finally, just squeaking them out with 25% of the overall votes, was
my pick, Toybiz. The improvement in the
LOTR lines, and the fan love for Marvel Legends is clearly being heard
Best Overall Line
As you might imagine, you see some reflection of the best overall
company in the best overall line. Not surprisingly, a couple
of the companies above managed to get their better lines into this
category as well, but also as usual, someone else slipped in.
Third place goes to that long standing line, the World
of Springfield from Playmates. With 14% of the
vote, it showed that it's still got some legs.
The second place line comes from our big winner of
for best company, Toybiz. Marvel Legends
used all that articulation to grab 15% of the vote.
And the big winner is no surprise - the Muppets.
With almost 24% of the vote, it's clear that the line was a fan
Best Male Figure
The voting was extremely spread out for best male figure.
That's not surprising, considering the large number of voters, and the
large number of great stuff that hit last year.
With 6% of the vote, Ironman
barely slips into the top three. Right behind him with only a
couple votes giving him the second place honors, is Hank
Scorpio, one of the best Simpsons figures of the
year. And finally, easily taking first place with 11% of the
vote, almost double the second and third place winners, is Sauron
Best Female Figure
Things weren't quite so spread out on the female figures, due to fewer
female figures released this last year.
The third place winner had a 12% of the overall
vote - Valkyrie. The second place winner
is Miss Piggy, with 16% of the vote.
That's fairly surprising, considering how much Muppets collectors
complained about her! And the big winner, right out of the
re-released MOTU...Teela with 18% of the vote!
There's a trend here - the best male was a very spread vote, the best
female slightly less. There's no doubt about these next two
categories though, with one big winner coming forward in each.
In distant third for best articulation at 10% of
the vote is Sideshow Toy. That's a little
surprising, considering that this category is normally dominated by
sixth scale products. But this year, a couple companies
stepped it up in the 6"-7" market.
The second place winner, with 14% of the vote is Palisades.
They found plenty of ways to give us unique and creative articulation
in smaller figures.
But the big winner, with practically a landslide
43% of the vote is Toybiz. There's no
doubt this is due to the increased articulation in the latest LOTR
figure and the exceptional work on Marvel Legends.
There's another distinct winner here, and it should be absolutely no
surprise who it is. They've won this category all three years!
Sideshow Toy comes in with 11%
of the vote. With all their great work on actual human
likenesses, they are a regular winner in this category.
Second place goes to Palisades with 23%.
They've shown with the Muppets how fantastic their
sculpting can be.
But the obvious winner is once again McFarlane
with 33% of the vote. It's interesting to note however that
this is the lowest percentage they've gotten over the last three years,
as more companies are coming up from behind.
Weirdly enough, this category turned out to be a match for the previous
Third place here also went to Sideshow, with 14% of
the vote. They deserve better than that, considering
packaging like Monty Python.
Again, second went to Palisades. Hey, all
that work on the box art really paid off! They had 17% of the
And somehow McFarlane pulled off first with 20% of
the vote. That's a big surprise to me! Maybe folks
like the clamshells better than I had thought.
This is the only category this year where we had a tie!
The third place play set is the Electric
Mayhem from the Muppets line. With an excellent
Animal figure and great details, it's no surprise the line is doing so
Our only tie is for second place. Both
Muppet Labs and the Alien/Predator set
picked up 15% of the vote.
And the big winner, with 23% of the vote, is the
huge, expensive and very cool Main Street set for
World of Springfield.
Best New Idea
There were a ton of interesting and innovative products this year, not
to mention some pretty smart marketing techniques. Folks had
no trouble picking out their favorites.
Third place goes to Heroclix,
with 18%. It's always great to see a new game take off, and
the DC and Marvel fans love it.
21% of the vote was enough to take second place for
Folks are pretty excited about the Batman/Superman license going to
them, and they are looking forward to the fresh blood.
With 27% of the vote, the World of Springfield
takes first. They won for the cool mail away offers
this year, including Cooder and Sinclair and the Be Sharps.
Now on to the Worst of 2002.
Voters are often spread out even further in these categories, since
very few things are universally awful. But there's always a
Worst Overall Company
There wasn't much contest this year for Worst Company, but it's a bit
like beating a dead horse.
Third place dishonors go to Jakk's,
with 10% of the votes. Many people are growing even more
dissatisfied with the WWF/WWE lines.
Second place goes to a regular in this category, Hasbro.
They picked up 14% of the votes this year, and never do seem to be able
to make the buyers completely happy.
And the winner is...N2.
They picked up 22% of the votes, and it's no surprise that they are no
more. We won't have them to pick on next year - I wonder who
will take their place?
The best company/best lines are often very close, and so are the worst
companies/worst lines. This year is no different, with two of
the three worst lines coming from two of the three worst companies.
In third with 7% is the WWF
(now WWE) line of figures from Jakk's. They need to breathe
some fresh air into the line.
In second, with 10% of the vote, is Big
Trouble in Little China, a line originally developed by N2.
And in first, with 20% of the vote is a dark horse
- the Simpsons Blockos. It's no wonder
they received this dishonor considering the number that are still on
Worst Male Figure
The voting for worst male was widely divided this year, but three manly
men did manage to find their way to the bottom of the pile.
Third place, with 8% of the votes, goes to Jorge
Sacul. I think most people agreed with me and felt
he was nothing more than one major suck up.
Second place, with 14%, goes to the Austin
Powers figure from Mezco. I didn't think they were
THAT bad, but clearly lots of folks were disappointed.
The winner is unusual because he wasn't a poor
quality figure, but a controversial figure. Hitler,
from Drastic Plastic, picked up 18% of the vote to take the top
spot. He is a very high quality figure, but the controversy
surrounding his existence is his downfall.
While worst male was fairly well distributed, there's a huge winner (or
loser) for the worst female category.
Sarah Connor was almost a third
place winner for best female - she was just a couple votes
short. Instead she got enough votes (10%) to take third in
the completely opposite category. Obviously, you love her or
hate her, with nothing in between.
The second place winner took 16%, and disappointed
Smallville fans everywhere. Yep, Lana Lang
grabbed the number 2 spot.
But the winner was clear - with a whopping 43% of
the vote, the 12" Zam Wessel from Hasbro.
There were lots of companies that stepped up the articulation this
year, but there's still a few hold outs that don't quite seem to get
One of those is our third place winner, with 15% of
the vote. Hasbro is getting better with
the 3 3/4" Star Wars figures, but everything else, including their 12"
figures for Star Wars, is way behind the pack.
Although they won lots of 'bests' this year, McFarlane
managed to snag the second place trophy for worst
articulation. It surprises me a bit, since I think they are
getting better most of the time, but 17% of the voters didn't agree.
The company that really missed the articulation
boat is a big surprise - Playmates. They
picked up 18% of the vote, just barely making it past
McFarlane. Of course, this is because of the standard 5
points that the WOS figures have and will always have.
Don't worry, nobody voted for McFarlane in this category. But
the voting was spread pretty evenly.
With only 9% of the votes, Jakk's
takes third. Clearly, Real Scan isn't doing them much good.
Hasbro got 16% and second place,
further proving that Star Wars collectors are still dissatisfied.
And with 26%, our dead horse N2
takes first. Who are we going to kick around next year!
Most people don't care about the packaging, but plenty of folks still
found someone to vote for in this category. It was another
that was fairly spread out.
Third place goes to Playmates,
with 9% of the vote. They've updated the WOS packaging now,
but will it do any good next year?
Second place goes to N2 with
13%. I'm not sure why, since it usually wasn't their
packaging that made you look away. Maybe it's easy to hate
them for the whole package.
The first place winner, with 14% of the vote, just
beating out N2, is the perennial favorite, Hasbro.
Dull and uninspired is the best thing you can say for most of their
There were tons of play sets this year, and two of the three winners in
the worst category come from that background.
The Great Pumpkin set, with
Snoopy and his dog house in the pumpkin patch, took third with 20% of
the vote. Let's hope the rest of the sets in this series are
more like the Classroom.
Second place is snagged by the Springfield
School Bus by Playmates. Considering how poorly the
Family Car sold, it's not surprising the bus shared a similar
fate. It had 23% of the vote.
And the big winner, the top dog, was the Guardians
of Gotham Batcave. Actually, it was released twice
this year under different names, and had been used about five times
before that. Hasbro strikes again with the ridiculous
There was a lot less confusion over the worst ideas of the year, and
one, a favorite every year, came out clearly on top.
But there was a contingent that's not happy about
the limited Muppets figures. 11% of the
voters picked what has become a big part of the line.
Another 27% despise Bobbleheads.
With the damn things lining shelves all over, and in every goofy
license imaginable, I'd be surprised if someone didn't go on a
The thing that gets everyone's goat though is increasing
prices. While I didn't think it was that bad this
year, 38% of the voters disagreed with me.
Most looking forward to in 2003
That's it for the negative - now on to the positive for 2003!
The voters had pretty strong feelings about the lines they were
In third was a big line for this year - Masters
of the Universe. This new line of an old line of a
new show picked up 14% of the votes.
The second place winner was the Muppets
with 27% of the vote. With the Chef/Kitchen set, and several
very solid waves for 2003, it looks like a big year for Muppets fans.
And the top line for next year, the one everyone
has their eyes on, is Marvel Legends.
With 31% of the votes, it looks like Toybiz has a big winner on their
hands for next year too.
That's it for 2002 - see you in 12 more months for
our next round of voting!