It's the People's Picks for 2010!

I've posted my picks for the best and worst of the year, and now it's time to check out what the People have said. I'll be discussing the Poppies next, which are the industry judge's picks for best of the year. Once again, I'm using the same categories in all three sets of awards to allow for better comparison. It's taking me awhile to get these done this year, but I'm just about there. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to drop me a line.

In case you'd like to check the results of my picks, the Poppies or the People's Picks from previous years, check these links:

My picks:   Readers Picks:   Poppies:  
2010 2010 2010
2009 2009 2009
2008 2008 2008
2007 N/A   2007
2006 2006 N/A
2005 2005 N/A
2004 2004 N/A
2003 2003 N/A
2002 2002 N/A
2001 2001 N/A
2000 2000 N/A

I'll be adding my editorial comments of course, but I'll save my comparisons between these results and the Poppies for the end of that results page. Now let's get to those People's Pick results!

Best Overall Company

I thought that there might be a little competition in this category this year - I was wrong. Hey, it doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

Third place went to a company that was once the premiere maker of sixth scale figures, but is now better known for their high end busts, statues and prop replicas - Sideshow. I love the shift in their focus, a sign that they've recognized both where the market is heading and where their current strengths lie. The came in with 7% of the total vote.

Second place was had with just a few votes more, barely 8% of the total. A lot of folks I've talked to are very happy with the work Hasbro is doing, from Star Wars to G.I. Joe to Transformers - they've been at the top of their game this year, and I was glad to see them get some love. It also helps that they've done a much better job than Mattel in avoiding controversy.

And the big winner was...pause for suspense...not that you don't already's Hot Toys! As much as I'd like to say the other guys gave them a race, that'd be a lie. They took 62% of the vote, a huge overwhelming landslide, considering the number of companies that were on the list. I haven't tallied the Poppies votes yet, but I have a strong hunch that Hot Toys will manage the sweep of all three polls.


Best Overall Line - High End

If you needed any proof of Hot Toys dominance, just check out the results for this category, where they concentrate most of their efforts during the year.

In third place was their new series of Predators figures, which included Royce, Falconer and Berserker. Some people complained about the accuracy, but enough were impressed to put them in the top three.

They took second with the line I thought was their best of the year, Terminator 2. While Predators made it in third with just 8% of the vote, Terminator 2 pulled a solid 23%.

But most folks really appreciated the wide ranging releases for the Iron Man 2 movie, including Black Widow, War Machine, Whiplash and several more Iron Man renditions. This series took the top spot easily with 40% of the votes.


Best Overall Line - Low End

There are two low end lines that still seem to dominate this category, both from Mattel.

This year, the DC Universe Classics come in third with 12% of the vote. This is one of those rare mass market lines that appeals strongly to collectors, but I fear that the high prices and spotty distribution could be a problem.

Second place is from Hasbro, but it's not G.I. Joe or Transformers (although both were very close to slipping in): it's that long time standby Star Wars! I'm not too surprised, considering the variety and cool factor of the multiple lines this year. This line only got a few votes over the third place DCUC, coming in at 12% as well.

And in first place is my first place pick as well, Masters of the Universe Classics. With 14% of the vote, they slipped past the competition. Even with all the issues that Mattel has had with selling this series, collectors still love the figures themselves.


Eddie Wires Award for Outstanding Paint

As I mentioned in my picks, this award is new this year, suggested by the judges as a way to pay tribute to Eddie and his excellent work.

This was a tight one, with two top leaders coming in neck and neck. A big surprise to me is the dominance of Hot Toys. Of course their production paint work is legendary, but there was some stiff competition.

In third place, with 16% of the votes, is the exceptional Aldo Raine. I thought this was one of the best figures of the year, and it was very much due to the realistic paint work.

Second place goes to another Hot Toys figure, the Berserker Predator. I was pretty surprised by this, because a lot of folks complained about the inaccuracy of the look, but clearly there were enough fans to get him 26% of the vote.

In first place is another Hot Toys figure, and this one squeaks in by just a few votes over the Berserker. The big winner is their Iron Man Mark IV figure, one of the coolest they produced this year.


Best Male Figure 12 " and above

While this category says 12 and up, let's face it - most of the stuff that matters here is in sixth scale.

Galactus almost managed to squeeze into third place, but Hot Toys beat him out with their Iron Man Mark IV. The Iron Man 2 line was strong all year, and this particular version already won the Eddie Wires Award for Outstanding Paint. This version of the suit garnered 15% of the vote.

Hot Toys continued their run with another Iron Man 2 figure - War Machine. I loved this guy too, and the engineering of the suit is just outstanding. He pulled in 17% of the vote.

With 30% of the votes, the exceptional T-800 takes the top spot. This was one of the best Arnie sculpts ever done, at least until the next Hot Toys Terminator comes out.


Best Male Figure  5 - 11"

In this category I got some real surprises, particularly since not a single DCUC or MOTUC figure made it in the top three!

In third place is the exclusive Iron Man Mark IV. The 6" series at Walmart was pretty cool in general, and folks really loved this version, enough for him to pull 11% if the votes.

In second place, with 13% of the votes, is the Revoltech version of Woody. This is a figure that I have to pick up, and he looks fantastic from what I've seen.  I've been looking for a definitive Woody and Buzz, and this looks like the way to go.

First place was taken with just 15% of the votes (it was a very spread field) by Hasbro's Masterpiece Grimlock. I'm not a Transformers guy, but this one is clearly hot with fans.

Best Male Figure under 5"

This was the tightest overall race between the three winners of any category. Just a few votes separated them, and the field was very spread.

Third place went to the Marvel Universe SDCC exclusive Captain America. With the new film on the way, this is a character that's sure to get plenty of additional plastic versions, but I doubt we'll see another in this scale quite this nice. He had just under 13% of the vote.

In second place, with 13% of the vote, is the Iron Man Mark I. Hasbro has done a very nice job with the Iron Man and Iron Man 2 figures in this small scale, but the MKI was one of the best they did last year.

Finally, in first place with just a little more than 13% of the vote, is Bespin Luke. He was one of my picks as well, and it's rare that we get a great looking Luke of any style.


Best Female Figure over 11"

I already mentioned this in my picks, but the judges decided to split the female category into two scales this year. Maybe we'll get lucky in 2011 and there will be enough smaller ladies to get a third grouping as well.

This scale is usually dominated by Hot Toys, so it's no surprise that all three winners came from them. The third place honey is Sarah Connor, who was my top pick. 20% of the voters agreed with me.

Another 22% picked the Abigail Whistler figure from the Blade series. She's another excellent example of a strong female character that translated well into this scale.

The winner was a surprise to me, because there were lots of complaints when she came out (including my own) - Black Widow from the Iron Man 2 series.  I wasn't a huge fan of the rooted hair, but apparently a whopping 48% of the voters disagree with me, giving her first place.


Best Female Figure  under 11"

There's a couple unexpected results in this category as well, at least by me.

Third place is a figure I know very little about, but clearly 14% of the voters know all they need to know - it's Little Sister from Bioshock. I have seen her on the shelf at Toys R Us though, and have to admit she's pretty damn cool.

Second place goes to Mezco's Hit-Girl from their Kick Ass movie series. This was a big double take for me, since I thought the extreme pose and lack of articulation would hurt her chances. But 16% of the voters thought she was just fine the way she was.

The top spot goes to one of the Masters of the Universe Classics babes - She-ra! While I was a bigger fan of Evil-Lynn, 20% of the voters thought that the sweet good girl deserved the honor.


Best Build a Figure

There's several surprises for me this year in the People's Picks, but I don't think any of them are as big as the choices for the BAF category.

Third place goes to the dark horse from Toynami, Roberto. I loved the guy, but I'm surprised that 12% of the general voters picked him over all the DCUC choices.

Even more surprising is that 27% of the votes went to Jabba the Hutt from the Kubricks Star Wars figures. I was caught off guard, especially by the big number.

The winner is a DCUC CnC figure, but not the one I might have expected. Darkseid won this category with a solid 29% of the vote. I do have to admit that he's one of the best renditions of this character we've ever seen.


Best Vehicle or Playset

It seems to me like there were fewer potential winners in this category than in past years, but voters had a clear mind as to who the winners were.

I was shocked by the third place trophy for Battlecat, though. I was sure he'd do better than that, and he received just 12% of the votes.

The second place winner wasn't too much of a shock - it was Kaneda's Bike from Medicom. While I haven't been thrilled with everything Medicom has been doing the last couple years, I have to admit that this bad boy is sweet. It still only received 15% of the overall votes, though.

Why was third and second low in votes? Was it because of a small number of votes going to a lot of nominees? Nope, it was because the first place winner took it in a landslide with 40% - it's Hasbro's Star Wars AT-AT. This huge, updated version is well worth the $100 price tag.


Best Statue

Another shocker - at least for me - is that not only is this category not dominated by Sideshow's Premium Format statues this year, there isn't a single one in the top three!

Third place goes to the DC Direct Batman vs Killer Croc. I loved this statue as well, and knew it would be a winner when I first saw it at SDCC. It's rare to do something so dynamic so well, as usually that sort of 'moment in time' depiction ends up silly or excessive. But they pulled off this mid-battle appearance perfectly. About 11% of the voters agreed.

Second place, won with 14% of the votes, goes to the Iron Man Mark IV statue from Kotobukiya. I thought that since this was an early release in the year that voters might forget just how cool it was, but they clearly have better memories than I gave them credit for.

While none of Sideshow's mixed media statues made it in the top three, one of Enterbay's did - Bruce Lee! This is a new area for Enterbay, and they made a very big splash with this version of the legendary martial artist.


Best Bust

Some folks felt that this was a category that deserved a high and a low split, but I disagree. First, there aren't enough high end busts to make it worthwhile, and second, even if there were a few more, I think that people are capable of taking price into context when weighing one against the other. I think the results bore that out as well.

Third place was taken with just 10% of the votes, a pretty small number this year. That's because this was a situation where the voting was very spread, almost evenly across the entire field.  The lucky third place winner is the Hot Toys Iron Man Mark VI, one of two Iron Man busts they released this year.

Second place had a larger share of the pool, but not by much, taking just 14%. I'm betting some folks are going to be surprised too, since it's Sideshow's life size Darth Vader bust. Yes, this is a very cool bust, but at that price point, it's kinda to be expected. I have to admit that it caught my eye as well, and I almost broke down and bought one, wallet be damned.

So if the Vader bust didn't take first, who did? With 16% of the vote, it's another Hot Toys Iron Man 2 bust - War Machine! While there's no doubt that the paint and sculpt on these is top notch, I think the poseable heads add quite a bit to their appeal.


Best Designer/Vinyl

I'm not really the right guy to say too much about this category, since it's not an area I focus on too much. But I will say that I was quite surprised that with the variety of choices, people tended to stick with the most well known and commercial nominees.

In third place is perhaps the most obscure, and that's a stretch. Hot Toys takes it with one of their Cos Baby lines - Toy Story. Lots of people, including 14% of the voters, really responded to their cuteness.

Second place goes to another Hot Toys vinyl figure - Astro Boy. Once again, color me surprised as I had no idea that 26% of the voters were going to go for him. Clearly the fans of the show were happy with Hot Toys work.

Perhaps most surprising, at least to me, is that Hot Toys does the sweep in this category, and they do it with their Up figures of Carl and Russell taking the top spot! They received 27% of the vote, so it's no fluke either, and I can certainly understand the appeal. I suppose it was unfair to lump both of them in the voting, but I figured you really couldn't have one without the other.


Best Prop Replica

We're nearing the end now, and unlike other award shows, we won't be going over time.

Mattel tried out their first full sized prop replica this year as part of their Matty Collector store, and it was a hit. Taking 12% of the votes was enough to get the bronze for the Ghostbusters PKE Meter.

Sideshow has been doing more high end prop replicas, and they snag second with their Chopper Predator full size mask. I've been trying to decide which of the masks to get, and I think this just might be the best one. It scored 15% of the votes.

In first place is the Pulse Rifle from Aliens, available from HCG. I hadn't been paying much attention to these, but they are very high end, low run replicas that are very accurate to the source material.


Best Block Figures

Another new category suggested by the judges is Best Block figures, intended to give credit to all those cool little figures that are popping up at your local Toys R Us. The three winners here all got their spots with lots of votes.

In third is the long running Mini-mates. I stopped collecting these religiously a few years ago, but I still had to jump in on some of the Ghostbusters and Universal Monsters this year, and it looks like the series still has plenty of life in it. They grabbed 21% of the votes.

In second place, with just over 21%, is Medicom's Kubricks. They've been getting into more mainstream licenses in the last couple years, and been rewarded for it.

Guess who the top winner is. Go on, I'll give you three tries and the first two won't even count. Yep, it's the big dog - Lego! I think that the release of their single packed, blind boxed mini-figures was a stroke of genius, although they probably aren't seeing much profit off of it yet, since they're so damn hard to find. It's always annoying when you want to give your money to a company and they seem determined to not take it.


Best Misc

And that brings us to the last category, that catch all of oddballs.  

The third place spot goes to the Super Shogun Stormtrooper from super7. This is a big figure, and a rather unusual one at that, but collectors (and 13% of the voters) really love the quirky combination.

Just barely edging out the trooper was the nifty Masters of the Universe Classics Accessories from Spymonkey Creations. It says quite a bit that 14% of the voters picked these offerings from the small company over other nominees from the big boys.

The top spot, won with 20% of the votes, goes to an appropriate item for the last winner in the last category - the Star Wars Bookends from Gentle Giant. This was another shock for me, since when I reviewed them (and liked them) I heard from a lot of folks that felt they were weak. Clearly enough folks shared my view to give them a first place trophy.

General Comments

Another year gone by, with some truly amazing collectibles to add to your collection. I think that there were more surprises this time around than in any year I remember, and even with Hot Toys dominating the obvious sixth scale categories, we're seeing all the companies stepping up their game. With a number of key movies hitting in 2011 that are ripe for licensing, I suspect next year will be a bonanza as well.


This page copyright 2011, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour