Captain Toy's Picks for Best and Worst
links back to past year's picks for comparisons:
Feel free to
disagree with me - that's kind of a big
part of doing these lists and reading them. If you feel strongly
enough, let me know by emailing
me. Now let's get to those picks!
category is tighter this year...but it's still pretty close to a no
contest. C'mon, you know it's true.
start with third place though, where I'm going with a company that a
lot of people really, really, really hate, and yet I think they're
doing some things that put them on the right track. Who? Why Mattel
of course! I'm as pissed as the rest of the collecting world when it
comes to the snafus around Matty Collector ordering and the total
disaster that is Digital River. And the distribution woes continue for
Mattel and their DCUC series. But when it comes to a huge toy company
actually getting it when it comes to collectors, I can't argue with
some of the work Mattel has done, especially around Masters of the
Universe Classics, DC Universe Classics, and Ghostbusters. Not every
decision was a smart one, and not every move was a good one, but it's
rare that a company of this size (and with a general bend towards kids)
will actually try to provide the collector community with quality
second place comes a dark horse - threeA Toys.
I haven't been a big buyer of their product, but I have noticed how
happy their fans (and the fans of the property World War Robot) have
been with their work. They mixed things up a bit this last year with
different scales, and the quality of the paint and sculpting is top
notch. Buyers are very happy at this point with pretty much everything
they're producing. They might be small, but you should keep an eye on
then there's the top spot. Do I really need to espouse all that is
great about Hot Toys?
Their production paint work remains the best on the market, and their
sculpting has only improved. With continued improvements to their
TrueType bodies and even better accessories and costumes than in 2009,
2010 was an excellent year for them. They continue to make great
licensing decisions (almost always, anyway), and when they announce
they've picked up your favorite movie, you know two things - they'll do
an excellent job, and you'll have to sell your soul to afford them all.
Worst Overall Company
I'm going to give another third place trophy to Mattel,
but this time
it's for Worst Company. I know, I know, how can I give them a third
place in both best and worst? That's the Sybilesque nature of the
company. As much as I love what they've done with MOTUC and DCUC, as
much as I truly appreciate the uber-cool PKE Meter, and as much as I
applaud some of their risky choices, I have to admit that the ordering
of their product remains a huge annoyance, as well as the
inaccessibility to some of their DCUC waves. This last year also saw
soaring costs for DCUC, a trend that could easily end the series.
for my second place, but it was a hard decision. There's some good
people there, really good people, but I can't ignore that they gave us
the Percy Jackson and the Robot Chicken lines, two that
disappointed me in terms of quality. If these awards were about the
people working for the
companies in question, there'd be some very different choices, believe
me, but this is really about their execution during the year.
gold spot goes to McFarlane Toys,
not for what they did this last year, but for what they didn't do. It's
sad to see the once great leader of the industry reduced to so little
output. While their Sports lines continue, their other licensed and
unlicensed action figures have all but dried up. McFarlane made action
figures cool - it's hard to envision a market without them. I've
included a photo from several years ago as a reminder of days gone by.
Evil Frosty might return each year with the arrival of magic snow, but
I fear McFarlane won't be so lucky.
Overall Line - High End
Overall Line - Low End
Wires Award for Outstanding Paint
Male Figure 12 - 18"
Male Figure 5 - 11"
Male Figure under 5"
Female Figure over 11"
Build a Figure
Vehicle or Playset