One Reader Speaks Out

One of my regular readers, Brandon, has put together his thoughts on the current crop of action figure companies.  He asked me if I could post it here, and I'm going to do so.  I'll be doing a similar discussion within the month, as we get closer to my picks for the best of the year.  

Brandon sent this to me some time ago, but I've taken a lot of time getting it posted.  Some things have changed since he's written it, but I think he has some interesting points.  I'll expound on my thoughts on this very subject in the coming weeks.  Now on to Brandon!

Hello, my name is Brandon and I have been an action figure collector for a long time. I always look for comments and reviews of action figures and when I found Michael`s site I thought to myself "this is the legit action figure review site, there couldn`t be one possibly better".

I respect Michael just not as a kind man but an expert of reviews and just taking the time to buy action figures. As for me, I will talk about my opinions on the best action figure companies, but first let me tell you why I like action figures. 

I like them for many reasons. I just love to display them and think about them. The sculptors we have today are fantastic and it just calms me. Like for an example, I look at my collection of McFarlane`s Movie Maniacs and it just thrills me to see Jaws, the Terminator, Jason, Freddy, Michael Myers, Pumpkinhead, the Crow (Eric Draven), the Fly, and many others together. I think that is so neat. I feel the same way with all of my others like Sideshow`s 12 inch Universal Monsters. It is just so awesome to see Larry Talbot next to the original Frankenstein next to the Vampire of London After Midnight and Nosferatu the Vampyre! And I just love seeing Bandai`s Godzilla figures all displayed. It is just a treat to see. I could go on and on. Here is MY opinions of my favorite current action figure companies. Now you may be suprised by how I think but this is all my opinion.

1. McFarlane Toys
Without a doubt they have some of the best sculptors in the business. They have gone so far to make figures no other company would and they have made some of my favorites such as Movie Maniacs, Music figures, MLB and Sports Picks. When it comes to detail their action figures are nearly flawless but McFarlane isn't perfect. Their figures are fragile at the joints and this disappoints me when I pose them. Some of them break easily. This is something McFarlane needs to improve but they are still a young company and I believe they can only get better!

2. Sideshow Toy
They have become one of my favorite companies. They are arguably the best there is. They have countless great figure lines and I am so impressed with their sculpting and detailing that I look forward to every product they create! I have only noticed one flaw and that is simply some of their earlier 12 inchers have loose joints. This company has such a bright future!

3. Toy Biz
Toy Biz  is a very good company. They have some of the best likenesses and good articulation a figure collector can ask for but there are two problems with Toy Biz. 1. Some of the joints aren't made very well and are likely to break and 2. they lack a variety of figure lines. Of course they have all kinds of Marvel lines such as the marvelous Marvel Legends but when it comes to movie series` they don`t include much. Of course they have X-Men the movie line, the excellent Spider-Man film series and the incredible ongoing Lord of the Rings series but that's only three major films thus far although with the Incredible Hulk feature film, and X-Men 2 so Toy Biz will have their hands full. To me Toy Biz`s only problem is their "joint freeze" and if they worked on that and more movies they would be a lot higher in the world.

4. Hasbro
Hasbro has always been one of favorite companies because they always made interesting lines from movies and such. They have one of the biggest series any figure company could have and that is Star Wars! They have nearly done the impossible with this series and I`m sure it'll get even better as time goes on. Their sculpting is really good and I really have no problem with Hasbro.

5. Bandai
One of the largest companies in Japan and have many lines. I love Bandai because they have made two of my favorites a reality, Godzilla and Gamera! Bandai created these and other great monsters perfectly. There is only one problem and that since these monster are produced in Japan it'll take alot of money to get them especially the special box sets and the large scale figures. If this wasn't a problem I can tell you right now Bandai would be my number one figure company. I hope everything works out ok when Bandai releases their six inch Godzilla line to the U.S.A. If everything goes well then America's biggest figure companies will have competition!

6. Playmates
In the early 90s to the mid 90s Playmates was had a solid lineup with great sculpting and likenesses the included Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Trek, Exo-Squad, Earthworm Jim, Skeleton Warriors, and many more. Today they really only have one legit line and that is the Simpsons. The Simpsons is not enough for me. In fact it's too little. I am not happy with Playmates with their lack of solid lines. Hopefully they will  get better and get back on track.

7. Palisades
Makers of Reservoir Dogs 12 inchers and the outstanding Resident Evil figures. Palisades is a good company when it comes to likenesses but like Toy Biz they have the "joint freeze" syndrome and it ruins their great figures. I feel they are young and as time goes by they'll be one of the best!

8. Art Asylum
This company has come fast and their products are very impressive. Art Asylum makes Bruce Lee figures with great likeness along with outstanding Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon figures. A.A. also produces music figures and now Star Trek so it seems to me Art Asylum is going to good places with their great sculpting and articulation and I think they'll definitely be a fan favorite for years to come!

9. N2 Toys
I have no complaints what so ever about N2`s sculpting and articulation but there is one thing that really bugs me and that's their lines getting cancelled and being delayed. I can't stand that the fact that Red Planet, The 5th Element, and now the Matrix series 3. This really bugs me but if this company is handled in the right hands N2 Toys will go some where and its most likely sky high!

****Editor's Note: N2 is no longer in business****

10. Mattel
Much like Playmates they only have two legit lines and that's Harry Potter and He-Man. I have no problem how Mattel makes their figures but they just gotta have more lines. I am very impressed with the He-Man series but what is keeping me from ranking Mattel higher is the lack of legitimate series.

As you can see I only listed ten companies which these are my favorite ones. I didn't list Trendmasters because I am not to pleased with them. They were on the right track with Godzilla, Gamera, Tarzan, and ID-4 but since they took Rumble Robots, Power Puff Girls, and other lines like that I have been saddened by this.

***Editor's Note: Trendmasters is no longer in business***

X-Plus looks to be a great company with their Godzilla and Ray Harryhausen statues
so be on the look for them! I hope you have enjoyed this. It is a pleasure to know that there are more action figure collectors out there than just me :) I always have fun when I visit Michael's web site everyday and I hope you do too! If you have any questions about this or my opinions about the companies and figure lines I mention above please don't hesitate and e-mail me at

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