In a season where other awards shows have been canceled or turned into a mere shadow of themselves due to the
writer's strike, the Poppies march on!
If you haven't been following along, the Poppies are my new industry based yearly awards. A panel of elite
judges from the industry, including representatives from
Companies, Artists, Retailers, Websites and Collectors, came together to first nominate and then select the very best
pop culture collectibles in ten different categories. That process is now complete, and the winners selected!
If you'd like a reminder on the list of Nominees, check out the original Ballot page. And as you also
remember, there's a contest for the readers that ties into this, and I'll be drawing the name of the winner from those that
guessed the most correct matches this weekend.
And just to let you know, I've already picked my bests for 2007, so the results here won't have any
influence. It is surprising to see compare them though - I should have my bests and worst's up this weekend.
So let's have no further delays, and get right to the winners...
Please share with your friends!
2015 Update - it's fascinating to go back and look at some of the new players that have become successful, and some of the
old ones that have disappeared. My comments on Hot Toys are most interesting, as well, considering their dominance that
started in 2008, the second year of the Popppies.
Also very interesting is how few female figure choices there were in any scale, particularly compared to the 2015 ballot
where there were enough to have three scales well represented. There were fewer categories in general (only 10 compared to
today's 19), and that's an area that continues to evolve to this day.
Here are links all the year's picks for comparisons:
Best Overall Company:
Since about 20% of the judges actually worked for the companies being voted on, I
expected this category to have the widest spread. It doesn't help that the category also had the most nominations, to
allow for a dark horse to appear.
Neither of those things happened. While there were 38 companies that the judges could have chosen from,
and while more than 20 different companies were represented in the Company judges, the three top vote getters took almost
70% of the overall vote. These three are the clear winners.
Which one was the very best was decided by only a vote or two, so it was neck and neck between them. The
third place finisher was Hasbro, which is probably not surprising with their strong continued support of the Star
Wars line. While they might do a lot wrong, they still have a tremendous amount of fan support for the 3 3/4" series.
The second place winner was Hot Toys. I said a dark horse didn't appear, but that might just be
because I've witnessed an awful lot of love this year for their work, and if you haven't been paying attention to the sixth
scale market, that might be a surprise to you. But they've come a tremendously long way over the last 18 months, and
are going to give every other company a real run for the top spot in '08.
And while it was close, I wasn't surprised to see Sideshow take the top honors. They had a good
year with several lines, they made some excellent decisions around importing Hot Toys and Medicom, and they continued to
provide excellent customer service and interaction.
Best Overall Line:
There were a lot of terrific lines this year, which is a bit of a surprise since the market has
been so much tighter. The trick is that while there are far fewer lines in total (especially with fewer off the wall
lines), the quality of those produced was generally high. I kept the nominations to the top 15 though, to avoid
spreading the vote too much.
Often times, best company and best line go hand in hand, much like best director and best film. That was
the case with third place, which went to Hasbro's Star Wars line. There were plenty of things people liked
about the line this year, including the McQuarrie concept figures and some of the really AMAZING sculpting, paint and
articulation that was included with figures like Bossk. Hasbro seems intent on raising the bar in this scale.
Second place also went to one of the Overall Company winners, Sideshow, for their Star Wars line.
While they had their share of complaints, this year certainly had a number of very strong figures in the series, including
Obi-wan, the Rebel Troopers and Asajj.
The winner of the category is another reason why Hasbro placed high in best company - the 25th Anniversary
G.I. Joes. While it's still not perfect or universally loved, it looks like Hasbro has finally hit on a reboot
of the classic that is resonating with many collectors.
Best Male or Female Figure - 1/4 scale and Up:
There were so few large scale figures this year, that I lumped both
the male and female versions together in one category. Also, this did not include Premium Format style mixed media
statues, as these are in a price and quality range that puts them more in line with the Statue category.
NECA was the only company doing much work in this area this year, so they dominated the nominations.
Their Michael Myers, based on the Rob Zombie film, took the third place honors, while their updated Jack
Sparrow based on At World's End snagged the number two spot.
But the number one winner by a landslide was Hasbro's Ultimate Bumblebee. I bought one
of these for my son for Christmas, and I can attest to just how damn cool this Transformer is. I don't have any photos
of it...but it's damn cool!
Best Male Figure - 12" - 17":
These are really sixth scale figures, and some might be a little under 12" tall
because some companies just like to make their stuff an odd size...
The third place winner was a bit of a surprise for me - it's Jabba the Hutt from Sideshow. Oh,
it's not that I don't think he's terrific, but rather that he's not a traditional sixth scale style figure, and I thought
that might hurt him in the voting. Apparently I was wrong.
Second place wasn't a surprise, with the votes going to Medicom's Boba Fett. There were small
issues here and there with the figure that allowed us nit pickers to have our fun, but overall it's a terrific figure.
And the big winner was no surprise to me either - Hot Toys Endoskeleton. This guy is a an
engineering marvel, and well worth the high price.
Best Male Figure under 12":
This was one of the more crowded categories, but the three top vote getters managed to
put a fair amount of distance between themselves and the rest of the pack.
Hasbro gets another medalist in the results with the third place going to the Deluxe Concept Bumblebee.
The Transformers line is one of the most successful movie related lines in years, and I'm betting we see the toys on the
pegs for some time to come.
Second place went to a Build A Figure: the exceptional Pitt from the first Legendary Comic Book
Heroes line. While this line is unlikely to be very successful in terms of pure sales, it's clearly a big hit with
critics and fans, and Pitt was a fantastic BAF.
The big winner is one that I could have almost predicted the first time I saw him - Clayface from
Mattel. The Four Horsemen really hit this one out of the park, and he was a great lead in and transition figure to the
new DC Universe Classics line.
Best Female Figure any size:
Again, there were simply so few female figures this year that I lumped the poor
ladies all into one category.
Still, I was expecting more variety in the results than we got. I know I picked figures in more than one
scale and style for my top three, but the larger judges pool were big on the taller ladies this year.
Third place went to Elizabeth Swann from Hot Toys. Personally, I thought she was the nicest
sixth scale female of the year, so I'm not surprised she ended in the top three.
Second place went to a big surprise for me - DC Direct's 13" Deluxe Batgirl. This was not a
figure I was particularly enamored with, although she does show improvement for the deluxe line. Still, the judges
loved her, and they can't all be wrong.
The big winner is Asajj Ventress from Sideshow. While she wouldn't be my top pick, I can certainly
understand why she was. Both head sculpts looked terrific, the Sideshow female body showed real improvement with her
release, and she's a bad girl. We all love bad girls.
When you think statues, you think big, expensive, and high quality. Of course not all of them
are, but the winners this year certainly fit that description.
The third place winner here is one I really wish I'd bought. It's the Premium Format Hulk from
Sideshow, who really puts the concept of 'mixed media' to the test, since it's just his tattered pants that make him a
PF. But he is truly an amazing looking statue, and well worth his price.
There's a tie for second, a rarity across all ten categories. Two ladies took the second place trophy
with the exact same number of votes - Gentle Giant's Slave Leia and Sideshow's Mary Jane. What I find most
interesting about these two is that BOTH of them were at the center of some controversy over their depiction of women.
Perhaps the fact that they were so well done is why the controversy existed.
The winner was no surprise to me - Sideshow's Premium Format Captain America. This was a PF
that received tons of kudos when it was released, and really shows off how well the mixed media format can be applied with
the right character.
Guess what - Gentle Giant dominated the nominations this year. That should be no surprise considering
the quality Harry Potter, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings busts they produced.
I think that caused them some trouble though when it came to picking THE best. People were more spread
out in this category than any other, largely because there were plenty of good choices.
This wide spread caused a three way tie for third place, all within GG's own product. The light up Ringwraith,
the exclusive Commander Cody, and the terrific Mad Eye Moody mini-busts all received an equal number of
third place votes.
Gentle Giant took second as well with their Darth Maul, another great Star Wars addition.
But this spread of great choices, especially with many GG busts, is perhaps why the winner was not a GG bust,
but rather the DC Direct Batgirl from the Women of the DC Universe. Or it could simply be because she's knock
This was a tough category. As popular as this area is, there is less consistency
and agreement, even to what constitutes the category.
But the judges were still able to do their job in nominating and then voting. Third place went to Bart
Simpson from Qee. I think he's pretty nifty myself, and a nice marriage of a licensed property with something
that can be customized and personalized by any artist.
We had another of those ties for second place here, with both the very cool Gorillaz and the rare Walter
(The Big Lebowski) taking an equal number of votes. I can't say much about Walter, as I've only seen photos, but the
Gorillaz are certainly well done.
The first place winner though had quite a few more votes than those behind him. The Medicom VCD Yoda
is much loved by Star Wars fans, and fits in terrific with the sixth scale line. Let's hope the Ewok turns out as
well, depending of course on your feelings toward Ewoks in general.
And that brings us to our last category. Miscellaneous was intended to catch the cornucopia of
goodies that came out that really didn't fit in any where else. Kinda like all of us in high school.
The third place winner was the Master Replica's uber expensive yet uber cool Millennium Falcon.
Who didn't see this guy in person and wish they had a) the cash to afford it or b) the place to put it?
It was a good year for the Falcon in general, and the Lego version took second place. My son
hasn't asked me for this yet, and considering how many pieces there are, I'm thanking God.
Anything could have been nominated by the judges for this category, so I had no idea what might end up on the
ballot. But once the ballot had been developed, I had absolutely no doubt what would win, and it did: the Aliens
Power Loader from Hot Toys. Oh, it's got a few issues here and there, but this is another home run from Hot Toys
in a year where they made some truly remarkable products.
Please share with your friends!
And there you have it - the first annual Poppies! I'd like to thank all the judges for their contribution and
assistance, and the readers for playing along. I'm looking to continue this tradition in the coming years, and I'll be
looking for judges for next year, so if you or someone you know would like to be involved, drop me a line!