MWC's Picks for Best/Worst of 2005

The ballot is now closed on the People's Picks for Best and Worst of 2005, and that means it's time for me to a) get tabulating those results and b) post my picks.

I always wait of course til the voting is complete to avoid tainting the process. I wouldn't want my choices to sway anyone's vote. But the results are now safe from my evil influence, so let the praising - and complaining - begin!

One again this year I'll be doing it Olympics style, with a bronze, silver and gold medal in each category. And once again this year, I'm betting no one will agree completely. But isn't that most of the fun?

The Best Overall Company
We've seen quite a few more companies fall this year, and I expect to see at least one or two major players die in 2006 as well. It's a dangerous world out there, and only the strong (and lucky) survive.

Of course, doing things well doesn't automatically mean you'll survive (although it helps), and God knows that doing them wrong doesn't mean you'll find yourself in bankruptcy court, at least not in the short term.

It was tough coming up with my top three, but after much gnashing of teeth and wailing of voices, I decided. The bronze medal goes to Mcfarlane.  They moved back into some interesting licenses - not all popular, but certainly interesting - and produced a greater variety than we've seen in some time.  And in every line there was at least one or two figures that could vie for a top honor in one of the other categories.

Silver is Sideshow's this year. They continue to crank out a TON of product, with a MUCH broader and more varied product offering than any other small manufacturer out there. On top of all the usual kudos, their hard work really paid off this year, as they landed the very lucrative Star Wars sixth scale license to add to their Premium Format license. This is going to be huge for them, and if they manage it right, it could catapult them to the next level.

The gold was actually a pretty easy choice - Mezco. Sure, their caricature style on some lines drives me nuts, but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing if it sells. They were fairly quiet during the first six months of the year, but had a hell of a good second half. The comic Hellboy line was excellent work, followed up by the amazing Goon series. The Family Guy line is really starting to take off, and they also managed to get the Pirate and Ninja Mez-itz out, even though they have no retailer support at this point. Throw in the popularity of their Warriors and Scarface lines, and how well the first series of South Park turned out, and you have a very good year.

Best Overall Line
I suspect you'll see some surprises here - my choices are not necessarily going to run similar to the masses.

I would expect lines like Marvel Legends or the comic Hellboy line to do well with the overall voting, but neither show up here for me. Instead, I've picked lines that showed promise, were complete surprises to me, or were simply unique and interesting ideas.

For bronze, my pick this year is largely driven by my own personal collecting tastes - it goes to Family Guy from Mezco. No, it's not the best articulated, but Mezco has managed to take the mantle of best company for animated lines away from Palisades, and this line is a terrific example. A great mix of characters in each line, easy to get variants, fan favorites along with core characters - they've got the formula down to make it through at least 4 or 5 more waves.

My silver medal goes to Hasbro for the Sigma Six line. Collectors haven't been happy about the scale change, but these are classic toys, first and foremost. They have tremendous play value, with great accessories, and some truly unique and useful packaging. Hasbro stepped outside their usual paradigm in working on this one, and the concept definitely deserves recognition.

And finally, there's the gold. This was really, really tough for me.  Not because there aren't great lines, but because there were so many this year, that it was tough for one to stand out amongst them all.  But one line consistently provided great sculpts with excellent articulation and accessories - Nightmare Before Christmas from NECA.  With the extra bonus' of the Oogie Boogie set and the 13" tall Jack, this turned out to be a great line for the fall holiday season. 

Now, you can make a case for some other terrific lines this year, including Marvel Legends and comic Hellboy. Suffice to say, there are quite a number of series that really gave their fans what they were looking for this year.

Best Mini-Figure Line
It looks like the golden age of mini-figures has passed at this point, and those still standing represent the best in breed. With so few left, it was pretty easy to pick my three.

Bronze is going to the now apparently defunct C3 line from Art Asylum. Too bad they never took off, because the building sets were pretty damn cool. The Batcave has some structural issues that hurt it, and kids just weren't going to buy into a new construction set even if it did have a very cool mini-figure with it.

Silver goes to their kissing cousins, the Marvel mini-mates. Unfortunately, it looks like 2006 will see the end of these as well, but it's been a great run. And they never resorted to silly marketing gimmicks to get them out.  EDIT:  I could swear I read a news report someplace that the Marvel Mini-mates were to be cancelled during 2006, but I can't figure out where now.  I double checked with Art Asylum, and the official word is that there are no current cancellation plans.

Finally, the clear winner in the mini-figure battle - Mez-itz. We didn't see a ton of them this year, but the Pirates and Ninja sets make up for that. Hopefully they'll get the Pirates into mainstream stores next year, and take a piece of the Pyrates pie.

Best Male Figure (18")
This was an easy one for me this year - there were some clear standouts from the pack. And I do mean pack, as the number of 18" figures continues to expand. Picking my three favorites took about 5 seconds...determining which ones went in which order was the tough job. All three of these guys could have easily been gold!

I gave bronze to the 18" talking Gandalf from NECA. This is perhaps my favorite quarter scale figure from NECA so far, and was an amazing head sculpt. Considering the price, you got a heck of a value.

The silver goes to a slightly more expensive figure, the Premium Format Phantom of the Opera. Sideshow released several other PF figures in 2005, including the long awaited Jason and Luke Skywalker, but the Phantom blew even them away.

My pick for gold, tough as it was, goes to the 18" comic based Hellboy from Mezco. A great follow up to the 18" movie based version, this guy looks champagne fantastic on beer prices.

Best Male Figure (12")
There were some tough choices again this year in this category, but after much nail biting, I finally decided.

Bronze goes to a figure that isn't a 'traditional' sixth scale design - Jack Skellington from NMBC. This guy came with a dozen interchangeable heads, along with good articulation. It's a cool, unique idea that worked well in execution too.

Silver goes to a figure that's sort of a 2004/2005 figure, because he hit some places just at the end of the year (if I remember correctly). But I didn't snag him til early 2005, so I'm counting him in my pile for this year. It's Christopher Lee as Dracula, from Product Enterprises. This was one of the best likenesses produced this year, on a quality body with a great outfit and excellent accessories. They did Mr. Lee proud with this figure, and it's one of my favorites on the monster shelf. 

And finally, gold goes to those guys at Sideshow. They produced a lot of nice 12" figures this year, including several versions of Jason and Conner Macleod, but I went with one that just hit me right - the Metaluna Mutant. I love the goofy old rubber monster costumes, and they managed to bring this one out in sixth scale perfectly.

Best Male Figure (under 12")
Unlike the 18" choices, picking three top figures in this category was almost impossible. Picking 10 would have been far easier. There were a ton of great male figures released this year, but if you put a gun to my head...

Bronze goes to the Rainbow Connection Kermit. Now, keep in mind that this figure hits a chord for me, and I'm deeply impressed by Palisades desire to do something special for children. Sure, it was just about a perfect version of a classic pose for Kermit, but it was the thought and motivation behind it that thrust it into the top three.

Silver goes to an unlikely candidate - the Hush Scarecrow. Lots of folks won't agree I bet, and I was surprised myself. But the longer I had this figure, the longer it was on the shelf, the more it's style and quality grew on me.

My choice for gold was an even bigger surprise - the Zombie Priest from the Goon line. I was taken by surprise by just how cool this whole line is, but the level of quality in sculpt and paint on this particular figure really blew me away.

Best Female Figure (12")
You'll notice there's no 18" category this year for the ladies. That's because there were no ladies in that scale, sadly.

However, there was a nice group of females in the sixth scale arena. My bronze goes to the Toybiz Sue Storm. It was a surprise to see her in the larger line, since finding her in the smaller line was a bit of a trick. The work on the larger figure was superior to the 6" scale as well, and the price was just impossible to beat.

Sideshow gets to pick up both silver and gold this year. Silver is Vampire Buffy, the first time I think I've ever picked a Buffy figure in one of these categories. It's the monster version of Buffy, and let's face it - monster versions always come out better.

That holds true for my gold pick as well, Drusilla. I'm glad we got the vamp face, if for no other reason than the fact that it came out better than they probably could have done the normal version. The costume was smokin' as well, with some good accessories.

Best Female Figure (under 12")
This was a category with a surprising number of really strong contenders this year, from multiple companies. While there weren't really more female figures released this year, the ones that were tended to be much nicer than past years.

I'm going to give bronze to Sakura from the latest Street Fighter line. She's the first SF female I really liked this much, and that was helped by her costume hiding some of the less attractive articulation. Put together that costume with excellent articulation and a ton of accessories, and you get a winner.

Silver goes to a figure that readers didn't get to vote for - she came out too late in the year, just a week or so ago. It's the Elseworlds Thrillkiller Batgirl, my favorite female from DC Direct this year. The paint ops are much better than some past DC Direct work, and that funky 60's look just works perfectly for her.

And gold is given to the Corpse Bride herself. This entire line sported amazing sculpting, although there were a few other minor problems here and there. But the Bride stands out, and together with Victor, looks amazing on the shelf.

Best Articulation
Ah, back to the purely company based choices. The articulation category is always an easy one for me, because only a handful of companies really do it well.

This year, bronze goes to Palisades. They didn't produce as many figures this year, but they did add as much articulation whenever possible to lines like Invader Zim. Also, the smaller 4" bodies on lines like Army of Darkness have some of the best articulation in that scale, once the breakage issues were fixed.

Silver was another easy pick - Toybiz. How can you not love a Marvel Legends figure? Okay, so sometimes they suffer from weak joints and bad pins, but considering that they are a mass market line, the work they've done is pretty amazing. They've extended that articulation to other lines like Spider-man and Fantastic Four, so it's definitely working for them.

And finally, there's gold. SOTA continues to amaze me with the Street Fighter line, and I'm hoping we see them include that kind of articulation whenever appropriate.

Best Sculpting
Everyone continues to improve their game when it comes to this category. Still, there are some leaders out there showing the way for others to follow.

SOTA is getting the bronze this year, but I have high expectations that they'll do even better next. Their work on the current lines is extremely nice, but next year we'll see even more movie based figures from them, giving us a better chance to see what they can do in this category.

Mezco gets silver, coming up fast on the top dog. While I'm not a fan of the caricature work, they did an amazing job with SOuth Park, Family Guy, comic Hellboy and The Goon.

Finally, the gold goes once again to Mcfarlane. They manage to just barely stay ahead of the rest of the pack nipping at their heels, and with work like Corpse Bride, Napolean Dynamite, and Mandarin Spawn, they set themselves apart.

Best Packaging
Everyone seems to be going clamshell these days, but there's a few standouts when it comes to originality in packaging.

Bronze goes to an old favorite, Palisades. They didn't get super creative this year, but they were consistently interesting. Also, the specialty package on things like the Rainbow Connection Kermit or Jim Henson muppet figure were terrific.

Silver goes to a company that knows how to package - Sideshow. They continue to do an amazing job with their sixth scale boxes, combining text and graphics with a collector friendly containment scheme that works great.

And gold goes to Hasbro, the big surprise for me. The Sigma 6 packaging was the most innovative and creative of the year, and easily deserves special recognition.

Best vehicle/play set
The number of playsets to choose from dropped a bit this year, since neither Playmates or Palisades did much in this area. Other companies stepped up though with some interesting dioramas, and there were some great choices in various vehicles.

My bronze goes to Peter vs. The Giant Chicken from Mezco. While not an exact scene from either battle, it captures the essence of this timeless feud, and is just plain hilarious.

I'm giving the silver to NECA's Jack vs. Oogie Boogie. The Nightmare Before Christmas line was a close runner up for one of the best lines of the year, and this playset looks terrific with the rest of the line.

And gold goes to...a vehicle. Actually, a whole bunch of vehicles - the Corgi Batmobile line. I'm particularly happy with the smaller scale vehicles, both in terms of quality and variety. These are some of the best diecast Batmobiles to be produced in years, and if you haven't checked them out, you don't know what you're missing.

Best New Idea
There were actually several extremely good new ideas this year, and this was a very difficult category for me. Ideas like the K-9 Corps and the M&M Mpire really deserve mention, but were edged out by some ideas I happen to like just a hair more.

I'm handing bronze over to the Cubes. This is one of the most innovative uses of mini-figures we've seen, and the quality and construction of the little office cubes and accessories is top notch. This stuff comes from Accoutrements, a company that generally does fairly forgetful stuff like the Librarian figure or Albert Einstein. The Cubes is a terrific idea though, and a ton of fun.

Next up, the silver goes to the FANtastic Exclusive 2006 concept from the Four Horsemen. If you haven't been paying attention, this is where YOU get to chose the concept, figure, accessories, etc. for a convention exclusive for summer of 2006. If you've been wondering what goes into the actual production of a figure, this will teach you all about it, as they will be taking us step by step through the process. A fantastic idea to be sure!

Finally, I'm giving gold to the Build a Figure concept. Now, this isn't a new concept, and it wasn't only done by Toybiz this year. But Toybiz did it up like no one ever has before with their Galactus, Sentinel and Apocalypse figures packed in with various Marvel Legends waves. This is a concept I hope to see other companies exploit as well, looking to create figures in other scales.

So that's it for my bests. Yes, I know you don't agree with all of them, and I might...MIGHT...have picked a few just because I knew you wouldn't agree. I can be that way sometimes. But let's move on to the worsts, those dogs that disappointed or disillilusioned or just plain dissed.

Now it's time for the worsts.  Some folks don't like to talk about worsts, but constructive criticism is the only way people improve.  So let's give those companies some ways to improve!

Worst Overall Company
In the past, I've had a tendency to pick on JAKKS. You'll be happy to hear - or maybe you won't care - that I'm leaving those guys alone this year. I suspect the readers will beat them up enough.

My tarnished bronze goes to a company I truly love, but have to be honest about. It's Palisades. I'm not giving them this bronze because they produced bad product, but because they made too many bad moves, miscalculations, and just outright wrong decisions. While their current situation isn't all their fault, it is in large part due to their mistakes. You have no idea how much that pains me to say, because they are all great people. I have my fingers crossed that they can still pull it out.

The blackened silver goes to another company that can't seem to avoid the blunders - Mattel. Every time they take two steps forward, they manage to take three more back. The ridiculous convention exclusives are bad enough, but they added in the Hal Jordan controversy just to keep things interesting. Hal Jordan - or the JLU line - isn't a big deal to me personally, but the attitude is. Thirty seconds after someone at Mattel came up with the idea, someone else pointed out that it would piss off their collectors. And within 30 more seconds someone said "So what". For a company trying to court collectors, it was a bad move.

The crusty gold belongs to one company though, and that's the Stevenson Entertainment Group. SEG gave us the newest set of awful Alias figures this year, once again butchering Sydney and the rest of her posse. I heard the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang figures were better...but they were Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Worst Line
You might think I'd pick on Alias, since I just smacked on SEG for the awful line. Nope. You won't see any King Kong complaints either, although the line was less than stellar. Nope, my three choices were all very much based on my own personal disappointments this year.

My muddy bronze goes to the DC Direct 13" line. The Batman Begins version was a huge disappointment, and in general the line is not any where near the caliber necessary to command a $70 - $80 price point. It looks like that's going to change though, as releases for 2006 should be more in the $40 - $50 range. At that price point, they'll manage to avoid this list next year.

The sickly silver is handed to the Serenity line. I loved the show, I loved the movie, what the hell happened to the figures? Diamond Select has done a great job with the Angel and Buffy lines, and it was even more disappointing that things didn't work as well here.

But the nicked and dented gold belongs to Willy Wonka. I'm not talking about the 18" NECA version - that one wasn't perfect, but was far superior to the smaller line. The smaller figures were produced by a new company, Funrise. The sculpting was done by Gentle Giant though, and that's unforgivable. They phoned it in and it clearly shows.

Worst Mini-figure line
Some of the worst categories are tough, because the choices aren't really 'worst', just not best. They aren't as ugly as a baboon's butt, but more like Uma Thurman's feet. Not exactly great, but not a deal killer.

That's how the choices in this category work out. All three of these 'worsts' are really just not up to par with the bests in the same category.

Beaten bronze goes to the Smitis. These never really captured my attention, and from the looks of things, they never did much for the buying public either.

Slapped silver is handed to the Shockinis. The guys at Shocker Toys were nice enough to send over a batch of the new ones (which I'll be offering up in the January giveaway!), but they still don't do much for me. The blocky nature and weirdly proportioned limbs don't lend themselves to the customizing that they are really intended for. And as base figures for licensed lines, they really don't mesh very well.

I feel bad about doing it, but gored gold goes to the Palz this year. In previous years, these mini-figures would have ranked in the top three, but with the move to blind boxing for most of the lines, I simply lost all interest. Don't be surprised when you see me mention blind boxing again further down in my picks.

Worst Male Figure (18")
Here's another category that was more 'not good enough for best' rather than truly bad figures. But if there's a best, that implies there must be a worst.

Belittled bronze goes to the Premium Format Jason. Oh, he's not an awful figure, and once I get my basement refinished, he'll take a place of honor on a large shelf somewhere. But he was a disappointment for me, after seeing just how good the prototype looked. The final product really didn't come close enough, especially at the price point.

Slighted silver is awarded to Hartigan, from the Sin City line. The sculpt didn't translate quite as well into the larger scale, and the pose seemed awkward when blown up as well. He's not a terrible figure - and had I found one for $20 on clearance I would have snagged it - but he's not up to the quality of something like the LOTR releases from NECA.

And gilded gold also goes to a NECA 18" figure, the Patrick Bateman. Unfortunately, the sculpt on the small version had problems to begin with, and these problems were only exaggerated by the increase in scale.

BTW, 2006 is looking like a stellar year for large scale figures, with figures like NECA's Balrog, and SOTA's Darkness and Pumpkinhead.

Worst Male Figure (12")
Okay, we're getting back into babboon butt territory again.

Bashed bronze goes to the DC Direct 13" Batman Begins. I suspect the Medicom version would be fighting for this spot too, if I had gotten it in time, but right now, this turkey holds the spot for overpriced Bat merchandise. A pin head, poor wrists, goofy rubber fingers, and an exorbinant price tag add up to a bronze in this category. Fortunately, the price will be dropping on future releases, helping them stay off this list next year.

Slimey silver is handed to Frank Black from Sideshow. They experimented with rotocast heads. The results turned out very similar to experiments by a certain Dr. Frankenstein.

Gooey gold is given to the Hasbro 12" Darth Sidious. Ugh. The sad part is that he's an improvement over the previous version.

Worst Male Figure (under 12")
Now those baboons are lining up and shaking what their mommas gave them. There's no doubt there were some serious dogs in this category for 2005.

I'm giving boogered bronze to Sub-Zero, from the Mortal Kombat line. With the Street Fighter line raising the bar so high, it was awful tough for Jazwares to meet expectations. Still, the good news is that later figures have already improved, so they are working on it.

Snotty silver (you know how much time it takes me to come up with these names? Okay, none, but that's not the point) is awarded to Malcolm Reynolds from the Serenity line. This one was particularly disappointing to me since I'm a big fan of the show and movie. Ah well - let's keep our fingers crossed that Sideshow listens and picks up the license to do some sixth scale figures.

Goober gold goes to Humpty Dumpty, the only truly awful McToys figure this year. And I'm not talking 'awful' in some moral way, implying that he's improper or too disgusting. No, I'm talking awful in just a waste of plastic. An uninteresting concept that didn't improve with execution. You could do a truly intricate sculpt of a pile of dog crap, and it would be a) shocking b) gross and c) realistic, but it would still just be a pile of dog crap.

Worst Female (12")
Oooo, the ladies always seem to get the worst of it every year. There's always a higher ratio of bad to good female figures - perhaps the beauty of a woman is just harder to capture.

I'm going to give bashed bronze to Sideshow for the 12" Willow. Alyson Hannigan is just too damn cute to end up looking like this in sixth scale. The vamp version turned out much better, but here's to hoping Sideshow gives it another shot with her at some point in normal form.

Sodden silver is awared to Hasbro for the Bariss Offee. They actually did a pretty nice job with Shaak Ti, but something happened to poor Bariss. The sculpt isn't awful, but what happened with the paint?

And gashed gold goes to Pamela Voorhees from Sideshow. Now, it's not like Betsy Palmer was Farrah Fawcett, but she certainly deserves better than this head sculpt. The sculpt wasn't helped any by the paint job either, and it was a disappointing release.

Worst Female Figure (under 12")
Unfortunately, this was another really easy category. Those poor ladies just can't seem to cut a break.

Now, I could pick on NECA for their Pam Voorhees sculpt too, but I'll let that dead (and really ugly) horse lie. They don't escape though, because boring bronze goes to their Shellie figure from Sin City. NECA did more female figures than most other companies this year, and did some nice ones, including Beatrix, Elle and Miho. But Shellie could scare the hair off a bear.

Sucky silver (Sucky? Can you tell I'm getting desperate at this point?) belongs to Sydney Bristow from SEG's Alias line. It's one thing to do a lazy job - it's another to go out of your way to make a beautiful woman look like a baboon's butt. And not just any baboon butt, but one that even baboons find repulsive.

Gassy gold goes to an easy pick - the ML11 Scarlett Witch. You know you're ugly when the company claims to pull you from the release because you're so bad.

Worst Articulation
Now we're back to one of those really tough categories. In past years, it's been easy - not so now. Companies like Hasbro, who usually did a terrible job, have stepped up their game, and other companies are adding in more articulation where appropriate.

Still, I'm going to give the beleagured bronze to Mcfarlane. I suspect a lot of folks will put them at the top of the list, but that's not really fair, since they do try to add articulation wherever they can - just not at the cost of sculpt. As long as you know that going in, you're a lot less disappointed.

Slinky silver is handed to DC Direct. Again, I'm being a little rough, because they HAVE improved. However, it's just not enough to get out of the list yet. Let's hope we see some further improvement where possible in 2006.

And finally, gluttonous gold goes to Yamato. Not that it will bother them much, since they are looking to be plastic statues, but you can't ignore the fact that some of their work would greatly benefit from a few points of articulation.

You'll notice I left NECA and Graphitti Designs alone this year. NECA was in a close running with McToys for that bronze spot, but they were just barely edged out. They do add ball jointed necks quite often, a hugely important joint. And while Graphitti continues to provide us with the classic 'inaction' figures, you can only beat that dead horse so many times before it just gets boring.

Worst Sculpting
Thankfully, this was a tougher category as well this year. While there was the occasionally stinky line here and there, few companies were persistent in their desire to produce crap.

Jazwares is going to end up with the busted bronze, predominately for the Mortal Kombat work. While that first series was bad, as I said earlier, things are looking up for the figures released after. Thankfully, they listened and corrected.

Playmates ends up with the snarky silver, again predominately for one line - Kong. The production quality here was pure 1980's, and kid's have become far too sophisticated at this point to go for it. One of the issues often cited for the demise of action figures is video games, but it's not just the existence of video games that causes the problem. It's the quality, and if toy manufacturers can't match that quality with physical product, they'll lose.

Finally, the big winner (or loser) that gets the glaring gold is SEG. I hope that the improvements that some saw with the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang line end up being their future, rather than the disappointing work with Alias.

Worst Packaging
Usually this category is more of a situation of uninspiring packaging, designed for purely utilitarian aspects and not for shelf advertising.

I was really on the edge with the bloody bronze, but DC Direct managed to snag it. Why was I on the edge? Because they have improved over past years, but just not quite enough yet. They still tend to be terribly dull, and don't bring your eye in on the peg.

Shoddy silver was much easier - SOTA. As much as I love their sculpting and articulation, for a creative company their packaging always suffers. The Now Playing line was oversized, and the Street Fighter stuff is just dull. Let's hope for a turn around in 2006.

Garish gold goes to Disney though. Again, here's a company that's really improved their action figure offerings, yet the packages remain awful. Usually huge and much bigger than they need to be, the generic mass market look just doesn't work well. Considering how cool many of the licenses are, the creative possibilities are endless, and they need to work on exploiting that a bit more.

Worst Vehicle/Playset
Oddly enough, all my choices weren't even on the ballot this year, because they came in so late. Or maybe I just forgot about them.

Okay, I lied. I do that occasionally. My battered bronze belongs to the DEVO set from NECA. I'm betting this set was rushed, since it sure looks like it. Fans of the band are unlikely to be thrilled.

However, shifty silver does go to one not on the ballot - transforming Star Wars. I'm not big on transforming toys to begin with, but combine it with Star Wars, and you get about the most idiotic idea out there.

Almost. The most idiotic idea gets the God awful gold in this category. It's the Star Wars motorcycles. You can actually see a big hat full of all the things kids think are cool sitting in the middle of a room full of suits, as they pull them out one at a time and come up with ways to combine them with Star Wars..."Yea, motorcycles, kids love motorcycles! Let's put Vader on a big black Harley!"

Worst Idea
Fortunately, there weren't too many truly boneheaded ideas this year, but there were still a few. And some come from some mighty smart companies. Usually, anyway.

The baboon butt bronze (I had to say 'baboon butt' at least one more time) goes to the Marvel Megamorphs. Will anyone (other than the originator of this idea) be surprised when these things fill the clearance shelf at Target and TRU?

The sickly silver is given to Mcfarlane this year, for the 3D posters. Ignoring that this isn't a new idea, contrary to claims, you still have to wonder who's going to regularly shell out twenty bucks for an itty bitty plastic poster? This line will be dead in a year - if not, I'll eat my hat. Or at least a cake shaped like a hat.

And the last ghastly gold goes to blind boxing. Palisades wasn't the only company to flirt with it this year, but they were the most vocal. It's a bad concept stolen from the Japanese (that stole it from the baseball card market) that should have stayed with the Japanese. I suspect this one is going to be a landslide.

Most looking forward to in 2005
Ah, but no one wants to end on a negative note, so let's talk about what I'm most looking forward to in 2006. Sideshow tops the list there, with new 12" lines coming out for both LOTR and Star Wars, the new PF line for LOTR, and the continuation of the PF line for Star Wars. They're going to end up with a lot of my moola.

Also high on my list are the large scale figures in the Now Playing line, Legend of Darkness and Pumpkinghead, along with the NECA Balrog. It's going to be a great year for large scale releases.

On the smaller side, DC Direct has some great stuff coming, as does Mattel with their DC Superheroes line. Family Guy should be hitting it's stride for Mezco, and I have hopes that we'll see Mez-itz make it big. Hey, we can all dream, can't we!


Reading over my choices, I'm shocked at how many golds in the best categories Mezco pulled this year.  If you had asked me who would do the best overall, I wouldn't have bet on Mezco.  Not because they don't do good work, but because I simply don't buy a lot of their product. The caricature stuff doesn't do a lot for me, but they made up for it this year with a ton of lines and figures that were really amazing in a number of categories.

Sadly, Palisades was missing in many of the bests, and ended up with a couple worsts.  That saddens me, because this was a company that in the past was at the top of their game.

So that's it for me.  I should have the People's Picks ballots tallied up in the next few days, and I'll get those results posted asap! 

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