White Space
Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week
Review Header Bar
White Space

The Poppies Awards for Best of 2015!

Poppies 2015

Dividing Bar

Dividing Bar

It's time to sit back with a big old beverage, maybe some chips and tasty dip, and spend a few reading the results of the 2015 Poppies! This is the ninth year of the awards, and the 150 judges spent time first nominating and then voting on their very favorite collectibles in 19 different categories.  The judges come from all aspects of the industry - companies, artists, media, retailers and collectors.  You can check out the list here before you begin your perusal, or just jump right on in. If you're looking for my personal picks (including some worsts), just head over here. I also run the People's Picks each year, in which readers and collectors vote using the same ballot as the Poppies judges, allowing us to compare results. The People's Picks results for 2015 are also live, having been posted a couple days ago. Enjoy, and feel free to drop me a line with any comments!

Please share with your friends!

Here are links back to past year's picks for comparisons:

My picks:   People's Picks:   Poppies:  
2015 2015 2015
2014 2014 2014
2013 2013 2013
2012 2012 2012
2011 2011 2011
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

Dividing Bar

Best Overall Company:
There are a lot of companies doing work in the collectibles market, some specializing in a particular scale, some in a particular item (bust, figure, statue), and some producing a wide range of goodies across all makes and models. Picking just one can be a tough task, and I know I always spend a lot of time considering this award. Interestingly enough, the judges and the people matched up this year scary close, right down to the percentages.

The third place winner is Hasbro, with 12% of the vote. In the People's Picks, they took third with 9% of the vote, and that's pretty consistent.  While they still have their ups and downs, I think everyone is psyched over the new film and the products we've seen so far.

In second is my pick for favorite - NECA. They did best with me (since I picked them number one), slightly better with the People, where they took second with 20% of the vote, and only slightly worse with the Judges, where they received 13% of the vote and the silver medal.  They had an amazing year in 2015, and I'm looking forward to another great year in 2016.

And the winner is...drum roll...Hot Toys. They were more dominate with the People's votes though, where they grabbed 39% of the vote. Here, they took first with a very respectable 33%. Lots of companies are gunning for them, and I expect to see both NECA and Mezco vying for this award next year, but it's going to take a Herculean effort to unseat the dominant force in high end collectibles today.

Award 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Captain Toy NECA Hot Toys Star Ace
People's Picks Hot Toys NECA Hasbro
Poppies Hot Toys NECA Hasbro

Rocket and Groot sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

Dividing Bar

Best Overall Line - High End:
While it's rare for my picks to line up too closely with any of the other results - I tend to walk to the beat of my own drummer, which is a nice way of saying I'm weird - the Poppies and People's Picks often do.  That's super obvious again with the matching results for this category. The difference - the winner wasn't nearly as dominate.

Third place goes to the new kid on the block, the One:12 Collective line up from Mezco. They took 12% of the vote, and a solid bronze.  If they can produce at the level of quality we've seen so far with their Star Trek, Batman vs. Superman, and Marvel licenses, (not to mention the Universal Monsters, which I'm partial too), they will be a very strong contender to take this spot away from the more traditional sixth scale properties. 

Hot Toys takes over after that, but it was neck and neck for two of their lines. Getting 27% of the vote is their overall Marvel line up.  We should see figures based on a several different movies this year, from Ant-Man to Civil War to Doctor Strange. The Marvel license will certainly remain strong for them, but even with all that fire power, I don't know if it will be enough to pass the winner next year.

That winner, with 28% of the vote, is Hot Toys Star Wars line. It beat out the Marvel series by the tiniest of margins, but I suspect that with the volume of product getting released in 2016 based on both the old films and the new, this gap will widen next year.

Award 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Captain Toy One:12 Collective Star Ace Harry Potter 1966 Batman Tweeterhead
People's Picks Hot Toys Star Wars Hot Toys Marvel One:12 Collective
Poppies Hot Toys Star Wars
Hot Toys Marvel One:12 Collective

Star Wars Chewbacca and Han Solo action figure by Hot Toys

Dividing Bar

Best Overall Line - Low End:
The streak continues with the third award, as the People's Picks and the Poppies line up in perfect formation.

Taking third with 13% of the vote is the amazing Alien(s) line up from NECA.  Thanks to overall top quality work, the line had nominees in just about every applicable character. Will they win one?  Read on to find out!

Getting 14% of the vote is Hasbro's 6" Star Wars Black series. Once upon a time, this series was supposed to have a very limited number of releases, with only a few characters each year.  With the release of the new film and the new found interest in the 1/12th scale across the industry, it looks like the series will be expanding quite a bit in 2016.

The winner snagged 17% of the vote, and there was complete agreement with this one across all three awards. The big winner is the DC Collectibles animated Batman series, thanks to their amazing translation of the old cartoons into plastic idols. I'm not a completist on a lot of lines any more, but this is one that is well worth it.

Award 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Captain Toy DC Animated Batman Marvel Legends Star Wars Black
People's Picks DC Animated Batman Star Wars Black Aliens
Poppies DC Animated Batman
Star Wars Black Aliens

Batman Animated action figures by DC Collectibles

Dividing Bar

Eddie Wires Award:
It took four categories to get there, but we suddenly have a MAJOR divergence between the awards voters. Even though I didn't vote for the winner, I have to say I think the Judges got it right. Remember, this category honors an amazing final paint job, an application that takes a statue, bust, or figure to the next level.

Third place took 11% of the vote, the exact same percentage as third place People's Picks third place finisher. But it wasn't even close to the same figure - this time, it's the beautiful Hulkbuster ArtFX statue from Kotobukiya.  I have to say, that's one pretty paint job.

The second place winner snagged 23% of the votes - the 1/4 scale Iron Man MK43. Here's an Iron Man that can go toe to toe with any high end statue in this scale without fear, thanks to a stellar paint job.

The winner took a solid 28% of the votes to grab first - the beautiful Marylin Monroe. Homina, homina, howwa...while the sculpt is clearly fantastic, it's really the paint work that sets the final production statue well above the rest of the market. Ms. Monroe deserved this sort of collectible, as do her fans.

Award 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Captain Toy Whiplash MKII Marylin Monroe Hulkbuster ArtFX
People's Picks Iron Man MK43 Marylin Monroe Whiplash MKII
Poppies Marylin Monroe
Iron Man MK43 Hulkbuster ArtFX

(Photo courtesy Blitzway)
Marylin Monroe statue by Blitzway

Dividing Bar

Best Male Figure - 1/4 scale and Up:
If you're dying to know, no, NECA did not win this category. They did better however than they did with the People's Picks.

The took third again, this time with 8% of the votes going to their Chris Reeve Superman. Lots of us remember the actor and the movie very fondly, and NECA has done a great job paying both proper respect. 

Second place was highly unusual three way tie. NECA did get in here with their Batman Returns Penguin, and the Hot Toys 1/4 scale Iron Man MK43 also had 12% of the vote. A dark horse in the race, the Hasbro Transformers Generations Devastator, also got 12% to share in this second place spot.

With that many figures getting so much of the vote, there was no way any single one was going to take down the big winner. With 38% of the vote, Boba Fett from Hot Toys took home the gold.  I just received mine, and I'm going to be replacing my Sideshow Premium Format statue on the shelf with this guy, which is quite the honor if you know me.

Award 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Captain Toy Batman Returns Penguin Boba Fett Battle Buddy Vader
People's Picks Boba Fett Iron Man MK43 Batman Returns Penguin
Poppies Boba Fett
BR Penguin/Iron Man MK43/Devastator Chris Reeve Superman

(Photo courtesy Sideshow Collectibles)Star Wars Boba Fett 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys

Dividing Bar

Best Male Figure - 12" - 17":
It's pretty rare for me to be outright shocked by the results of any one category.  It helps that by the time I get to tallying the Poppies, I've already completed the People's Picks, and while there's always a little variation, the one is often a pretty good indicator of the other.

And that was pretty much true for 2015, at least until I got to this category.  And my mind was blown.

But let's start with the third place spot, where no surprise existed. He shipped pretty late in the year, but 11% of the voters went for Darth Vader as their favorite. Sideshow actually won this category last year with their own version of Vader, so I was slightly surprised by his lower showing. But you can easily rack it up to 'been there done that', always a dangerous syndrome.

Coming in second with 17% of the vote is another Hot Toys Star Wars ANH release: Tatooine Luke Skywalker. The People also selected both Luke and Vader, although the placement was swapped.

And then we get to first, where we had a tie.  Now, a tie might not seem like a big deal, since I never mind it with second and third place finishes, and we always get a few.  But I personally feel that each category in the Poppies should have one winner and one winner only, and I think the winners prefer not to share as well.  It's never actually been a problem before that I remember - while second and third place spots have had plenty of ties, I don't recall a tie for first in recent years.

There's another reason this particularly matters this year. I'm working on the possibility of presenting these awards to the winners at SDCC this summer as a panel, Academy Award style, with some of the judges doing the presenting.  I still have to get it approved by the fine folks running the con, but it looks promising, and I think it would be a ton of fun. Of course, this also works better if there's one winner in each category.

And so the judges and I had to scramble at the last minute and come up with a way to break a tie that seemed fair and unbiased.  It was suggested I could do something similar to the Senate, and as grand poobah simply cast my vote to break the tie.  Another suggestion was to flip a coin, with the reasoning that if it was good enough for Iowa it was good enough for us. Various other ideas were floated, but the majority consensus was to put the two 'winners' back up for a vote by all judges. Each of the two figures had taken 19% of the vote, and the theory was that now without any other choices on a ballot, the other 62% of the judges could weight in as well.

The two finalists were the Hot Toys Battle Damaged Robocop with the Murphy portrait, and Sideshow's Deadpool. As I said, each got 19% of the vote. I put the two contestants back out to the judging panel for final consideration, and the result was... a tight race, winning 53% to's Robocop! Clearly Deadpool got some serious love, and I have no doubt it's a combination of Sideshow's work and the current popularity of the character, but Hot Toys battle damaged Robocop was the final winner in the vote off. A well deserved win too, with a lot of tough competition in 2015!

Award 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Captain Toy Chewbacca Murphy BD Robocop Ned Stark
People's Picks Murphy BD Robocop Tatooine Luke ANH Vader
Poppies Murphy BD Robocop
Deadpool/Tatooine Luke ANH Vader

(Photo courtesy Toy Haven)
Battle Damaged Robocop sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

Dividing Bar

Best Male Figure - 5" - 11":
Another big surprise here, but I think there will be a large faction of collectors who are very happy with the results.

Third place was won with 10% of the vote. Hasbro's First Order Stormtrooper, from the 6" Black Series, takes the bronze thanks to the excellent translation of the new trooper design.

Surprisingly, at least to me, both NECA and DC Collectibles got shut out of this category by the Poppies judges. Taking the silver is the One:12 Collective DKR Batman, a favorite of both the voters in the People's Picks and yours truly. He grabbed 12% of the vote with the Poppies Judges, and I suspect that a figure in the One:12 Collective will be vying for top honors again next year.

And now for the surprise.  I always get complaints that lines in this scale from Japanese manufacturers like Tamashii Nations or S.H. Figuarts are robbed, and deserve more kudos.  I do think they are under represented, and I've been working over the last couple years to get a broader range of judges on the panel, resulting in a broader range of figures on the ballot. This year, smaller companies like these had nominees in a number of categories, and it's probably no surprise to their fans that the Ronin Boba Fett from the Star Wars Movie Realization line by Tamashii Nations is a winner!  The series is Far East Meets Star Wars, and it's been extremely popular with collectors. It's nice to see the industry judges have also noticed and are giving it the big thumbs up.

Award 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Captain Toy One:12 DKR Batman Chris Reeve Superman Animated Joker
People's Picks One:12 DKR Batman Chris Reeve Superman FO Stormtrooper
Poppies Ronin Boba Fett
One:12 DKR Batman FO Stormtrooper

(Photo courtesy Kool Kollectibles)
Star Wars Movie Realization Ronin Boba Fett action figure by Tamashii Nations

Dividing Bar

Best Male Figure - Under 5":
The results were very, very tight in this category for 2015. I suspect things are going to get worse before they get better with this scale, at least in terms of quantity. It will be interesting to see if the 6 - 7" scale dominates at Toy Fair next week, or if we start to see a swing back to the smaller figures.

Even with fewer choices, the judges found three that were certainly worthy. With 12% of the vote, the First Order Snowtrooper figure grabbed third. While the Poppies judges weren't quite as keen on him as the People, they did appreciate the tiny beauty enough to award him third place.

Second place is a two way tie, with both Sherlock from Underground Toys and the Cultist from Warpo taking 13% of the vote. That's particularly fun because neither of these are what you'd call mainstream, so it's great to see them getting that kind of love from the judges.

Pulling in front with a mere 1% lead over the second place contenders is the G.I. Joe Gung-Ho figure from Hasbro. We didn't see a lot of Joe product in 2015, but what we did get was damn nice, and it's great to see the line manage to pull the win here.

Award 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Captain Toy Korg Cultist Carl
People's Picks FO Snowtrooper Rick Grimes Gung-Ho
Poppies Gung-Ho Sherlock/Cultist FO Snowtrooper

(Photo courtesy Lyle Movie Files
G.I. Joe Gung-Ho action figure by Hasbro

Dividing Bar

Best Female Figure over 11":
Before we get to the winners and losers of the next three categories, I want to take a moment to address a recent hot button, clickbait, issue. With the 2015 release of films like Avengers 2 and Force Awakens, a large number of people who never paid any attention to toys or action figures before in their life suddenly realized that women heroes (and villains) were seriously under represented on the pegs. They are absolutely right, but they are also about 10 years behind the curve. It's nice that they've noticed, but the industry has already been improving for years, and the choices available to the collector - or kid - at the local store or online retailer are exponentially better than what they once were.  I recently cleaned up and reformatted (for better mobile reading) the results of the very first Poppies from 2007. There were so few potential female action figure choices that year that we only had ONE category for the entire genre.  All sizes, scales and types competed against each other, because that was the only way to make a female figure category viable.  Here we are, nine years later, and we had plenty of rock solid, high quality choices across three different scales, not to mention great female choices in statues and busts.

This change isn't occurring because someone ranted on Facebook and then moved on to their next social justice cause of the day. Hasbro and Mattel aren't making this happen - they are benefiting from the right changes in society that are happening way up stream. More women are in critical decision making roles in Hollywood; more actresses are being given lead roles in action and adventure movies; and more parents are unconsciously accepting that it's okay for little Billy to play with a girl action figure, or that it's okay for little Suzy to play with action figures at all. Real cultural change like this happens through evolution, and blaming Hasbro and Mattel is a waste of time and effort.  Sure, they could have made more female action figures ten years ago, and they could have gone out of business trying to sell something society wasn't yet ready for. The good news is we're getting there - the bad news is we still have a way to go.

Which is a long winded intro into our first category of lovely ladies. There were plenty of great choices in this scale for 2015, but just like with the guys, traditional sixth scale designs took the top three spots.

Sadly, my favorite pick only managed to make it to the bronze level.  Star Ace Hermione grabbed 15% of the vote for a third place finish, and it's nice to know at least that many of the dear judges agreed with me.

Second place is a surprise to me, simply because there were so many complaints when she first hit. Perhaps time has softened some of the perception, as is often the case with sixth scale. The Hot Toys Gamora received a solid 20% of the vote, and is a terrific example of the greater number of kick ass women characters on screen.

Once again this year, for the third time in a row, the big winner is...Black Widow!  There was no contest either as she snagged 40% of the vote. She's lovely no doubt, but what I think is most interesting about the entire line up of female winners in this scale - they all have rooted hair.  I'd say the technique is definitely improving, and it appears its time has come.

Award 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Captain Toy Hermione Black Widow Hit Girl
People's Picks Black Widow Hermione Gamora
Poppies Black Widow
Gamora Hermione

(Photo courtesy Sideshow Collectibles)
Hot Toys Black Widow Age of Ultron figure

Dividing Bar

Best Female Figure - 5" - 11":
This was another very tight race, with a number of female figures getting votes.  When you have a tight race, you get ties, and we did get one for third place in this category.

Two figures received 11% of the vote: Rey, from the Hasbro 6" Star Wars Black series, and Roxy Rocket from the DC Animated line. Rey didn't really shine til later shipments when she arrived with an improved paint job, but Roxy was sweet right out of the gate. Coming with her own rocket didn't hurt, either.

Second place went to a familiar name: Captain Phasma. She took 17% of the vote for a solid second place finish, much like her situation in the movie.  I'm sure we'll see a first place attitude come next film, and I also suspect she'll make a run for another Poppies next year.

The winner here, as with the People's Picks, is Ripley from the terrific Aliens line by NECA. With 24% of the vote, she edged out all the competition in a tight field this year.  Pair her with the Power Loader and an Alien Queen, and you have one fine Aliens set up.

Award 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Captain Toy Roxy Rocket Maria Hill Ripley
People's Picks Ripley Captain Phasma Rey
Poppies Ripley Captain Phasma Rey

(Photo courtesy Preternia)
NECA ALiens Riply action figure

Dividing Bar

Best Female Figure - Under 5":
While there were fewer choices in this scale than the previous two, that's largely due to the overall industry move away from the smaller sizes last year.

A nice surprise was a third place win for the Card Captor Sakura, the Figma figure from Max Factory.  She took 14% of the vote, and 14% of the judge's hearts.

Coming in second with 20% of the vote was the Hasbro Captain Phasma.  Poor girl took second in two categories, so she might be feeling a little like 'always a bridesmaid, never a bride', but I'm betting that some of the planned releases of the character - including the Hot Toys version - will feature big in the awards next year.

It wasn't as close here as in the People's Picks, but Ashoka Tano won it again, this time with 23% of the vote. No coin toss was necessary.

Award 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Captain Toy Captain Phasma Shanna Carol
People's Picks Ashoka Tano Captain Phasma Carol
Poppies Ashoka Tano
Captain Phasma Card Captor Sakura

(Photo courtesy Yakface)
Ashoka Tano action figure by Hasbro

Dividing Bar

Best BAF:
I don't recall a four way tie before, but that's what we had in this category for third place.  Considering there weren't that many nominees overall, it shows how diverse the group was and how spread the vote was.

Getting 7% of the vote was Thanos, Rhino, Allfather, and Defenser, enough to garner the bronze. That means six of the nine nominees received enough votes to get in the top three. I'd feel pretty bad if I were left out, but even then it was close.

All it took to slip by the pack was 8% of the vote, and that extra 1% gave Ultron the silver. The character was my favorite aspect of Avengers 2, so it's nice to see him getting some love.

The winner crushed the puny competition with 53% of the vote.  It wasn't even close, and the Marvel Legends Hulkbuster left the rest of the pack to fight for the scraps. Between his size, his excellent articulation, and his terrific paint job, there really was no other possible outcome.

Award 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Captain Toy Hulkbuster Hobgoblin Ultron
People's Picks Hulkbuster Rhino Thanos
Poppies Hulkbuster Ultron Thanos/Rhino/Allfather/Defenser

Hulkbuster Marvel Legends action figure by Hasbro

Dividing Bar

Best Play Set or Vehicle:
This category had a lot of interest this year, with very few voters abstaining. In fact, it garnered more attention than even the Best Male 12 - 17", which is always a big category. The three winners match the People's Picks, but the order shifted around.

In third place, with 12% of the vote, is the Aliens Power Loader. I'm really impressed with the work NECA has been doing, especially in the 6 - 7" horror arena.  The Power Loader is the kind of vehicle that can cause a fan to go back and buy all the previous figures, just to complete the set.

Barely edging by with 16% of the vote was the TIE Fighter from the 6" Black series by Hasbro. Considering the size and price tag, this Star Wars vehicle seemed to sell quite well, at least in my neck of the woods.  Let's hope that means we'll see more vehicles for this scale in the future.

While the animated Batmobile from DC Collectibles won, it was no landslide. Squeaking by with 17% of the vote, my favorite vehicle of the year grabbed gold in a tough and competitive 2015 field of toys. I swear it was those cool lights...

Award 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Captain Toy Animated Batmobile TIE Fighter Power Loader
People's Picks Animated Batmobile Power Loader TIE Fighter
Poppies Animated Batmobile
TIE Fighter Power Loader

Batman animated Batmobile by DC Collectibles

Dividing Bar

Best Statue:
This was another category where the results were hotly contested, and the vote was spread over a pretty wide variety of statues.

There was a tie for third between the 1989 Batman Premium Format Statue, which I really liked, and the huge Sentinel maquette, both from Sideshow. The each received just 7% of the vote - shows how spread out things were.

Second place was a surprise, but mostly because she hadn't registered in the People's Picks at all.  But this time around the DC Bombshells Hawkgirl grabbed 9% of the vote and a sweet silver. She's one of my favorites in that entire series so far, and DC Collectibles finished out the year with a couple more very nice additions to the line up.

The winner took the top spot in this competitive group with 15% of the vote, the lowest amount to win a title in the competition this year, I believe.  You'll get no argument out of me though, because the Blitzway Marylin Monroe certainly deserves the honor. That's two winning awards for the same collectible, a rarity in itself!

Award 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Captain Toy 66 Catwoman Marylin Monroe Black Widow
People's Picks Marylin Monroe 89 Batman PF Smaug
Poppies Marylin Monroe Bombshells Hawkgirl 89 Batman PF

Marylin Monroe statue by Blitzway

Dividing Bar

Best Bust:
I was surprised by the results of the People's Picks in this category, and I was once again surprised by the votes of the Poppies judges.  But being surprised is often a very good thing, as was the case in both these instances.

I love what Diamond Select is doing with the DC animated characters and properties, and their various busts and statues have been a nice change of pace.  Their sweet Harley Quinn bust grabbed 14% of the vote to get the third place spot.

Another 18% of the vote went to our second place finisher - Smaug from Weta. This is a Smaug bust, not the Smaug statue although I can understand your confusion. Both were terrific, and this large bust was much deserving.

And the winner is an even bigger bust - the 1:1 scale Akuma from Pop Culture Shock. Life size busts are always impressive, if for no other reason than their sheer mass, but PCS has been producing some amazing collectibles in this style for the last couple years. Video game fans have been drooling over these, and sharing that sweetness with the rest of the collectible world only seems right.

Award 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Captain Toy Smaug DKR Batman Akuma
People's Picks Harley Quinn DKR Batman Smaug
Poppies Akuma Smaug Harley Quinn

(Photo courtesy Pop Culture Shock)
Akuma bust by PCS

Dividing Bar

Best Designer/Vinyl:
With the sort of variety there was in the nominees, it's no surprise there's quite a bit of variety in the winners too.

In third is the oh so cute Four Horsies of the Pocalypse from Bigshot Toyworks, who received 11% of the vote.  This was a Kickstarter funded project, and we are seeing more and more super creative and well done figures get produced this way.

Getting 17% of the vote was enough for the MOTUSCLE to take second! Super7 worked with Mattel to combine old school MUSCLE with Masters of the Universe, and the results were a big hit with fans of both.

While the second and third place finishers were completely different on every version of the awards, the winner was not.  The gold goes to Bruce the Shark from Jaws by Funko, who won with a solid 23% of the vote. While their ReAction line has had its ups and downs, Bruce (in both normal and bloody format) was clearly a big winner (literally) for them.

Award 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Captain Toy Bruce, Jaws Abominable Snowcone Mr. Pumfrey
People's Picks Bruce, Jaws Touma Tony Stark Hulkbuster Cosbaby
Poppies Bruce, Jaws
MOTUSCLE Four Horsies

(Photo courtesy Cardboard Connection)
Jaws Bruce vinyl figure by Funko

Dividing Bar

Best Prop Replica:
You can't be a card carrying fanboy (or girl) without a few prop replicas proudly displayed around the house.  The top three for 2015 would all make perfect additions.

With 11% of the vote, the uber cool HALO Master Chief motorcycle helmet took third. How cool is this thing? It's not only a great looking 1:1 scale replica, it's a certified helmet you can wear on the road! That's just such a cool idea...

Did I say three winners? There's actually four, thanks to a two way tie for second place. Each getting 14% of the vote is the efx Captain America shield and the FX Kylo Ren lightsaber. These were popular with buyers too, selling out at most retailers quite quickly.

The big winner is the unusual, fun, and unique USA Today Back to the Future special edition cover. It's rare to get a replica for a couple bucks, even rarer to find one at any local grocery store or Walgreens. They did a really nice job with this one, and it's the perfect edition to your BTTF collection. BTW, it took 16% of the votes.

Award 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Captain Toy USA Today BTTF HALO Helmet Kylo Ren's Lightsaber
People's Picks Kylo Ren's Lightsaber Arkham Origins Batman Cowl eFX Captain America Shield
Poppies USA Today BTTF
eFX Captain America Shield HALO Helmet

(Photo courtesy Erin Snyder)
Back to the Future USA Today paper

Dividing Bar

Best Building Set/Figures:
Back in the day, this category was for the company or brand, and surprise, surprise, Lego won consistently.  Last year we busted it up to be at a lower level, picking the specific series or set, much like the Best Overall Line categories, and the results are better for it.

That's not too imply that Lego still doesn't dominate. They battled with themselves for third place, getting a tie at 11% of the vote for both the Doctor Who set and the Scooty Doo line.  I have to say that the latter was a real shocker for me in 2015, with some really cool sets.  How can you pass up the Mystery Machine?

But Lego didn't get every spot this time around. With 19% of the vote, the Walking Dead sets from McFarlane took second.  With that many votes they almost stole first as well, and I have to say that of the winners, these were the only ones I bought personally.

The winner goes back to Lego, who received 23% of the vote for their overall Star Wars releases.  With the new film refueling interest in all the older films (the good ones, anyway), the possibilities for Lego increased exponentially, and they took full advantage.

Award 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Captain Toy Lego BBT Megabloks Minions McFarlane Walking Dead
People's Picks Lego Star Wars McFarlane Walking Dead Lego Dr. Who
Poppies Lego Star Wars
McFarlane Walking Dead Lego Scooby/Dr. Who

(Photo courtesy
Star Wars Destroyer building set by Lego

Dividing Bar

Best Misc:
That brings us to the end, the final category of the 2015 Poppies.  This is the catch all, the place where the weird toys go to be rewarded. And we have a coupe weird ones, that's for sure.

The third place spot was turned out to be a tie, with two items getting 11% of the vote. Diamond Select Toys brought us the super cool Batmobile bottle opener based on the 1966 vehicle, and every bar and kitchen in America should have one. On the complete opposite end of any sort of spectrum is the Extreme T-Rex from Imaginext.  I love pretty much all these toys, but the DC and Dino ones are my favorites.  Can you imagine how much fun you would have had with something like this guy when you were a kid?

In second place is another interesting toy trend - the Hero Mashers! While most of these were DC or Marvel characters, other lines like Star Wars and the WWE got in on the act as well.  Breaking down and building up new characters from your own imagination adds a ton of play value to the concept of action figures, and they have proved quite popular with the under 9 set.

There was simply no doubt as to the winner in this category. It wasn't a close race, and it wasn't a surprise.  NECA crushed the competition with their carton of alien eggs, getting 49% of the vote. Thank God we have the Misc category, or something this witty and fun might never get the recognition it deserves.

Award 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Captain Toy Star Walls Carton of Alien Eggs Batmobile bottle opener
People's Picks Carton of Alien Eggs Red Queen Alien Batmobile bottle opener
Poppies Carton of Alien Eggs
Hero Mashers Batmobile Opener/Extreme T-Rex

(Photo courtesy of the Clearance Bin)
Alien Egg Carton by NECA

Dividing Bar

Please share with your friends!

And there you have the Poppies for 2015!  Now for a little general discussion on my thoughts after compiling the results:

- it's interesting to see the competition getting tighter in the sixth scale market.  If you want to win that Best Male 12 - 17 category, you better bring your A game. I expect that, in 2016, Hot Toys, Sideshow, Star Ace, and ThreeZero will all be competing hard, and there's some other dark horses, like Asmus and Qmx, that could shake things up quite a bit.

- I already mentioned it more than once, but it's nice to see the broader range of female figures and statues this year.

- It's also nice to see collectibles from companies like Tamashii Nations finally getting some of the love they deserve.

- All the female sixth scale winners had rooted hair this year. With work by Star Ace and Asmus doing rooted hair on male figures as well, will we see one of the men break into the top three in 2016? Has the stigma of 'doll hair' passed?

- Another interesting development is the introduction of the One:12 Collective, and how quickly it has become a fan favorite. With the cool announcements coming out of Toy Fair, it looks like it will be a huge hit for Mezco.

Let me know if you have comments or suggestions. Thanks for your continued support of the site, and good luck finding your grail!

Dividing Bar

Dividing Bar

Back to Main Page

White Space
Review Bottom Edge
This page copyright 2000 - 2016, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Click here for copyright permissions!