The 2008 Poppies!

Welcome to the second year of the Poppies! I know what you're thinking - what the Hell are the Poppies?  Other than a flower, obviously.  A couple years ago, as I was pondering the ominous yearly task of putting together both my favorites figures, busts and statues of the year, AND putting together the People's Choice voting process for readers to select, I started thinking that perhaps we needed something more.  Or at least, different.

Other industries have 'industry' awards, like the Oscar, or the Woody.  The pop culture collectibles industry has nothing of that sort, and instead, each website and magazine dedicated to the topic does their own picks, or their readers picks.  But wouldn't it be interesting to see the picks from the actual people inside the industry? Think "Academy Awards" of pop culture goodies.

And so were born the 'Poppies'.  Get it?  Pop culture?  Yea, but name Oscar has an even lamer origin.  Jeff Parker was nice enough to whip up a nifty logo for me, and it was off to figure out how to pull it off.

For the inaugural year, I decided to select 100 judges from five categories - the Companies themselves, the various Artists (sculptors, painters, etc) that work on the collectibles, the Retailers that sell the products, the Media that report on the products, and a group of vocal and well known Collectors that buy the product.  On top of that, I wanted to ensure that it had an International flavor, with these judges coming from all around the globe.

This year, I increased the number of judges to almost 150, boosting the number in each category. It's a plethora of well known folks in the industry, from folks at large companies like Mattel and Hasbro, to new companies like Cast Away Toys; from collectors of designer vinyl to sixth scale to statues and busts; from the small online retailer to mass market retailers; and from media outlets that cover a single area with a blog to a giant like Toyfare magazine.

There are 140 current judges covering these five areas, and you can see who they are with a short bio (unless they requested to remain anonymous) right here.  This number may grow by two or three more in the next week, as I'm still waiting on a couple late bios, but these 140 are locked and loaded.

Not only do they represent all five categories, but the have a great International flavor, with judges from Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America.  All of this should add up to some very interesting results.

The Poppies process will work like this - I've sent out a call for nominations to the judges.  They'll be working over the next couple weeks to get back to me their nominations for products in one of fourteen Best Of categories: Best Overall Company, Best Overall Line, Best Figure (male or female) 18" and larger, Best Male Figure 12 - 18", Best Male Figure 5" - 11", Best Male Figure under 5", Best Female Figure any size, Best Build A Figure, Best Vehicle or Playset, Best Statue, Best Mini-bust, Best Vinyl/Designer figure, Best Prop Replica and Best Misc.  Readers who paid attention to the 2007 Poppies will notice that there are four new categories this year.  I've broken up the Best Male Figures a bit more due to the large number of figures released in the under 5" scale, and added Best BAF, Best Prop Replica, and Best Vehicle or Playset.

Once the nomination process is complete, probably around December 20th, I'll get to work going through them, breaking ties, and putting together the top nominations in each category.  The Judges will then come back and cast their final vote, with the top vote getter winning the prize.  And what's their prize?  Why, the privilege to say they won a Poppie of course!

I'll keep everyone appraised as to how things are going, and once I have the nominations put together, I'll let readers see the list so they know what made it into the top ten.  Obviously, what Judges vote on individually will remain anonymous (in fact, I've set up this process so even I won't know what a specific individual actually nominates or votes for), but I think it's important you see the interim steps.

So take a few minutes and review the list of judges, and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to drop me a line. If you feel you would be a good judge in the coming years, drop me a line as well, as I plan on this industry award program to be a yearly on-going ritual, and each year it will be important to bring in fresh blood.  Thanks!



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