It's the Poppies Results for 2010!

I already gave you my picks for Best (and Worst - sort of my own personal Poopies) for 2010, but I'm just one man - who really cares what I think? Then I gave you the results of the People's Picks, where a plethora of collectors and fans from all aspects of the market voted for their favorites of the year. And now it's time for the Poppies, the industry awards. Let the debating begin!

This is the fourth year of the Poppies, the only industry pop culture collectible awards. This year, 135 Judges from all aspects of the industry - companies, collectors, media, artists, and retailers - came together to first nominate and then vote on their favorites in 17 different categories. Yep, we added two new ones, and that's seven more categories than when the Poppies started four years ago! This is the round up of those results, with some comments from the judges, and my own personal commentary and comparison. 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've included links for each winner, in case you don't remember what they all look like or want to check them out again. Now let's get to those Poppies results!

Best Overall Company

I've mentioned this in past years, but it's always worth mentioning again - with far fewer voters in the Poppies than the People's Picks, you're bound to see much closer results and even some ties. That's pretty rare with the People's Picks, and I never have a tie in my personal awards, as I ignore the other voices in my head when completing my results.

Forget all that for a moment though, as there were no ties in this first category and the results weren't even particularly close.

Third place goes to Sideshow, who had a strong year in their busts and statues. They know where their strengths lie right now, and they're doing a good job of judging the current market. I didn't pick them this year, but the 'Peoples' put them in third as well. Here, they snagged 10% of the vote.

Second place, with 17% of the vote, was a mirror of the People's Picks as well - it's Hasbro. I'm not surprised, what with a great year for Star Wars, G.I. Joe and Transformers.

If you're looking for any big surprises with the gold medal winner, you won't find them here. As you'd predict, and as both myself and the people selected, the winner is Hot Toys. They continue to dominate the sixth scale market, and their work in busts and vehicles is making a big splash, allowing them to take this with a whopping 37% of the vote.

Some of the judge's comments:

"Sideshow Collectibles got my vote for best company in 2010. They make some of the best pieces in high end collecting. Not to mention they haven no problems bringing in other great companies like Hot Toys. That makes it win/win for all of us thats what makes them the best." - Josh Long

"Hot Toys continues to knock it out of the park.  Every year, they manage to make all the competition look like Happy Meal toys.  It's clear that they have thought everything and builds a great level of trust in future product as well." - David Yeh

"Sideshow continues to stand out as the best Overall company not only because they continue to produce amazing collectibles. Their distribution partnerships have made getting everything so much easier. But the most exciting thing they've done is share their licenses with Hot Toys to allow some of the best 1/6 scale figures we've ever seen." - D. Martin Myatt

"I think Hot Toys without a doubt blew this category away. 2010 was 'the' year for amazing 12" figures and Hot Toys was the company to produce them." - Mark Picirilli

"Hot Toys is an unstoppable juggernaut right now, repeatedly hitting ball after ball out of the park while the opposition stands with their jaws hanging in disbelief. They have this in the bag!" - Jeff Parker

Place MWC's Picks People's Picks Poppies Picks
1st Place Hot Toys Hot Toys Hot Toys
2nd Place threeA Hasbro
3rd Place Mattel Sideshow Sideshow


Best Overall Line - High End

Last year, I was expecting Hot Toys to smoke this category, but they didn't quite do it. This year however, they made up for it with a resounding sweep.

Third place, with 10% of the votes, is their new Predators line. With three solid figures, it was a great addition to their overall Predator license. I still haven't opened my Falconer, but once I do a review will be forthcoming!

In second place, with 12% of the vote, was my favorite - Terminator 2. It's nice to see that other Poppies judges felt the same way about the multiple releases under this license for 2010.

But when it came to the top spot, the judges agreed with the people - the winner of gold is the Iron Man 2 series. It's no real shock considering how many outstanding releases this line saw during the course of the year, but I was still a little surprised that it dominated with 32% of the vote.

Judge's thoughts:

"My favorite high end line was a tough call because of two participants. The GI Joe 1:6th line from Sideshow and Iron Man 2 from HT. I went with GI Joe because the sheer number of awesome figures we've received and how great they came out. They really are like small military examples." - Josh Long

"It's not easy to pick the best when it's Hot Toys, but you just have to hand it to them for what they've delivered for Iron Man.  It really is impressive work." - David Yeh

"Sideshow's Star Wars line has had a big year, and we've been treated to many awesome stand alone pieces, including the Emperor & Throne and the Premium Format Jedi Luke." - D. Martin Myatt

"I really had trouble picking between two Hot Toys lines here. Both the Iron Man 2 and Terminator lines produced numerous gems. Gentle Giant's 12" Vintage was a welcome addition this year as well as the new items from Sideshow Star Wars line but I still think this year belongs to Hot Toys." - Mark Picirilli

"For me the Iron Man range from Hot Toys has set an incredibly high bench mark, even by their standards, the engineering is a wonder to behold!!" - Jeff Parker

Place MWC's Picks People's Picks Poppies Picks
1st Place Terminator 2 Iron Man 2 Iron Man 2
2nd Place World War Robot Terminator 2 Terminator 2
3rd Place Cover Girls of the DCU Predators Predators


Best Overall Line - Low End

So far the judges and the people have been in lock step with one another, but now we get a little deviation in the best low end line.

For third place, the judges gave the very cool Toy Story Collection from Thinkway 9% of the vote. I have to admit that I loved them as well, especially the large Lotso.

Second place was won with just 11% of the vote - it goes to DC Universe Classics from Mattel.

In first place, we actually ended up with a tie. As though recognizing that there was strength coming out of both of the big boys (Hasbro and Mattel) this year, the judges awarded 13% of the vote to both Masters of the Universe Classics and Star Wars.

Some of the Judge's Comments:

"Hasbro's Star Wars collection is what started it all for me and it's also what keeps me going.  A lot of credit is owed to them for keeping the line fresh with Clone Wars and refreshed with the vintage collection as well.  There really is no better time to be a Star Wars collector than right now." - David Yeh

"Hasbro's Star Wars lines have dominated the toy aisle in 2010. The Clone Wars and Vintage offerings have brought a lot of collectors back to the line, and has pleased collectors that never left. What's more, there are more kids rifling through Star Wars figures than there has been in the last 25 years." - D. Martin Myatt

"So many of these lines had a great year in 2010, was a tough pick." - Mark Picirilli

"What makes Bioshock 2 the best of the 'Low-End' lines of 2010 is that it is the only line in that entire group that hearkens back to the glory days of even a few years ago, when lines were coming out left and right with new figures that had tons of new and interesting sculpts and innovations. Nowadays, as with most of the lines on the list, and understandably in this economy and climate, it's tons of re-used parts and re-issued figures with new deco. But Bioshock was fresh. That made it stand out."  - Ken Lilly

"It's nice to see a British character getting some love and attention lavished on him, and the good Doctor just keeps getting better." - Jeff Parker


Eddie Wires Award for Outstanding Paint

What makes the Poppies judges unique with respect to this award is that most, if not all, knew Eddie personally. I think it's great that they wished to honor him with this concept, and I was happy to be a part of it.

In third place, with 12% of the votes, is the Iron Man Mark IV. Another outstanding Iron Man 2 figure from Hot Toys, in a year filled with them. The people loved this figure enough to put it in first, but the judges had a slightly different order in mind.

In second is the Berserker Predator, with 17% of the vote. As I mentioned earlier, it looks like the complaints I was hearing about the accuracy of this figure were the loud voices, but the smallest in number, as most folks really responded to the cool deco work.

And in perfect reverse order, the Poppies judges picked Aldo Raine as the top winner with a strong 23% of the vote. I suspect it was the extreme realism that won them over - or maybe they just can't fight the shocking beauty of Brad Pitt.

Some more Judge's Comments:

"The Mark IV by Hot Toys shows the brilliance that Hot Toys comes with on 1:6th figures. Iron Man is one of those lines that seems to be an issue with the metallic paint. Well, with the way they mold the plastic and paint it Iron Man looks great." - Josh Long

"No one compares to Hot toys when it comes to paints. No one." - D. Martin Myatt

"I did not know Eddie personally but many friends did and said he was just an amazing human being. It was very nice to see an Award dedicated to him." - Mark Picirilli

"I could see Eddie painting this Berserker Predator figure and being super, SUPER, into it. I can also see some factory, a factory that didn't care, ROYALLY screwing up the work put into the prototype. Somebody lovingly babysat this mofo ALL the way through production to make sure it kept all of it's amazing subtleties that the prototype painter put into it. It is simply stunning."  - Ken Lilly

"JC Hong has taken mass produced paint apps to a level that surpasses the work of many skilled customisers... the guy's a legend!" - Jeff Parker

Place MWC's Picks People's Picks Poppies Picks
1st Place Silver Surfer comiquette Iron Man Mark IV Aldo Raine
2nd Place N/A
Berserker Predator Berserker Predator
3rd Place N/A
Aldo Raine Iron Man Mark IV


Best Male Figure 12 - 18"

If you're tired of all the Hot Toys wins and praise, I think skipping to the next category might be a good idea. Trust me, they didn't get any awards in that one...or the next. But, they won a couple. There's a huge shock though - they almost lost the gold! It was a razor thin win, something totally unexpected.

The third place spot was a tie, with 12% of the vote going to both the Iron Man Mark IV and the T-800. I was quite surprised the T-800 didn't do a little better, especially after all the love he received from the people.

Second place went to a dark horse - the Marvel Universe Galactus! How cool is that? I know that a lot of other collectors loved him, and I gave him the silver as well, but I was still surprised to see him take 16% of the vote here, just barely beat out by...

...War Machine, of course. Even though I didn't give him any love in my awards, I have to admit that he was the best of the Iron Man 2 series in 2010.

Judge's Comments:

"The Iron Man 2 Mark IV figure got my vote as best figure of 2010. Hot Toys took the way they did the figures from Iron Man 1 and made them even better. The suit looks amazing and the articulation is really great which makes it like having a man in a suit. Hot Toys has shown they know how to make impressive Iron Man figures and that he is in the right hands." - Josh Long

"Hot Toys' T-800 is freaky. It looks like Rick Moranis shrunk the real T-800 and Hot Toys just boxed him up." - D. Martin Myatt

"Another great batch of nominees, was a tough call." - Mark Picirilli

"The first and only Hasbro ML figure that was better than its Toy Biz counterpart." - Ken Lilly

Place MWC's Picks People's Picks Poppies Picks
1st Place T-1000 T-800 War Machine
2nd Place Galactus War Machine Galactus
3rd Place Drop Cloth Iron Man Mark IV Iron Man Mark IV/ T-800


Best Male Figure  5 - 11"

While the previous categories had quite a bit of overlap between the three polls, sometimes right down to exact results, this set was the much more diverse. Or at least as diverse as you could probably get - great is still great.

The third place winner in the Poppies, with 10% of the vote, is Plastic Man, the DCUC SDCC exclusive. You'll remember he was second in my picks, but no where to be seen in the People's Picks.

In second, with 12% of the vote is the polar opposite, a figure I did not pick but the people did - Grimlock! A very cool Transformer indeed.

And the big winner, with 22% of the vote, is my winner as well, but didn't even show up in the top three of the People's Picks - Trapjaw from Masters of the Universe Classics. It seems to me that the Poppies Judges ended up selecting the best of the other polls, without ever realizing it.

Judge's Comments:

"Me Grimlock kick butt!" - David Yeh

"Woody is just a sweet, sweet toy... nice!" - Jeff Parker

Place MWC's Picks People's Picks Poppies Picks
1st Place Trapjaw Grimlock Trapjaw
2nd Place Plastic Man Woody Grimlock
3rd Place Abomination Iron Man Mark IV Plastic Man


Best Male Figure under 5"

Wow - two categories in a row without any Hot Toys winners! Yea, that's probably not going to last too long...

But here other companies - actually, one - still dominate the plastic jungle. In third place, with just 12% of the vote (it was a very spread field, and all three of these winners are separated by a mere handful of votes), it's Hasbro's modern Marvel Universe Thor.

Hasbro takes second as well, with 13% of the vote going to the Hulkbuster Iron Man. I think I liked the MKI a bit better, but the judges rule, not me.

And with 14% of the votes, Bespin Luke, another fine Hasbro product, takes the top spot. While both the people and the judges gave this new version of the classic Star Wars character the top spot, it's interesting to note that out of the 9 possible winners (3 medals for 3 polls), there were seven - SEVEN! - different figures selected. That's quite a bit more diversity than we normally see in these awards.

Place MWC's Picks People's Picks Poppies Picks
1st Place World War Hulk Bespin Luke Bespin Luke
2nd Place comic series War Machine Iron Man Mark I Hulkbuster Iron Man
3rd Place Bespin Luke Captain America Thor


Best Female Figure over 11"

Guess who's back!

In third place is the Hot Toys Terminator 2 babe, Sarah Connor. I understand, as she was one of my favs this year as well. There's just something about a tough, determined woman who can kick your butt and save the world. Those qualities, along with great sculpting, paint, accessories and outfit, got her 13% of the vote.

Second place was taken with 22% of the vote, and I think it's an unusual choice - Hot Toys Abigail Whistler. It's not odd because of her quality, since there's no denying how good she turned out. But considering the love (or lack thereof) for the film, along with her relative obscurity, you might see why I was surprised.

The first place winner is one I wasn't particularly fond of, at least not in plastic. However, both the people and now the judges have proclaimed quite loudly that I have no idea what I'm talking about this time. With a solid 30% of the vote, Black Widow takes the gold.

Judges thoughts:

"Hot Toy's Marvel Entertainment figures are all amazing, but who ever thought we'd get an Abigail Whistler figure? The fact that the likeness is dead on, sold it. There really wasn't another female figure in this category in my eyes." - D. Martin Myatt

"The movie of Blade Trinity left me pretty cold, but oh my, Abi turned out to be one hot doll, best female fig from Hot Toys by a wide country mile." - Jeff Parker

Place MWC's Picks People's Picks Poppies Picks
1st Place Sarah Connor Black Widow Black Widow
2nd Place Tomorrow Queens Abigail Whistler Abigail Whistler
3rd Place Ghost Sarah Connor Sarah Connor


Best Female Figure Under 11"

Now it's time to get small once again, and leave the world of the giant figures behind, of only for a little while.

In third place we have a surprise - Hit-Girl! Okay, it was also a surprise to me when she did well in the People's Picks, but I thought maybe it was a fluke. But no, here she grabbed 15% of the vote and a bronze medal as well. I heard so much complaining about the pre-posed nature of the figure that I just assumed she's have trouble here, but I also think that fans of the film love the character SO much, that they were able to overlook any flaws and see the great sculpt and paint.

With 20% of the vote, my second place pick and the people's first place pick takes the Poppies silver - She-ra! No doubt about it, she was a babe. But she was the good girl...

...and the Poppies judges love the bad girl more. Evil-Lyn takes first place, just barely edging past her more angelic counterpart by 1%, with 21% of the vote. It's also interesting to note that this character tends to always be well loved in plastic form. I was looking back through the old polls (check them out in the table at the top - it's fascinating to look back over the last 10 years) and noticed that the Mattel 200x version that came out in 2003 won this category that year as well!

Judge's comments:

"Mattel is a company that needs to work on their customer service, web site ordering methods, and event logistics. What they don't need to work on is making their He-Man figures rock. This line is outstanding, and impresses every time they reveal a new figure. She-Ra only narrowly beat out Evil-Lyn. If I could have voted for two figures, those would be them. I hope MOTU collectors acknowledge how lucky they are to have this line, even if ordering it online is as much fun as being punched in the nose." - D. Martin Myatt

"Had to be Hit girl- OK you c**ts, lets see what you can do now!" - Jeff Parker

Place MWC's Picks People's Picks Poppies Picks
1st Place Evil-Lyn She-ra Evil-Lyn
2nd Place She-ra Hit-Girl She-ra
3rd Place Raven Little Sister Hit-Girl


Best Build a Figure

This was a surprising category in the People's Picks, but after seeing the Poppies results, it looks like I'm the only one surprised.

Third place was won with 15% of the vote. Ultra-Humanite takes the honor, and now that I finally have him complete (a friend picked up Todd for me to finish him off), I have to agree that he's pretty sweet.

The top winner in the People's Picks takes second place here: Darkseid. He grabbed 29% of the votes, and is one of the best versions of this particular character we've ever seen.

But the winner? It's Jabba from the Kubricks Star Wars series. How the Hell did I miss out on this guy completely? I blame the American educational system. Clearly he was the Hutt's pajamas.

Place MWC's Picks People's Picks Poppies Picks
1st Place Arkillo Darkseid Jabba the Hutt
2nd Place Trigon Jabba the Hutt Darkseid
3rd Place Roberto Roberto Ultra-Humanite


Best Vehicle or Play set

We had a tie in this category last year, and we have another one this year - must be something about these particular collectibles.

The tie is for third, where two vehicles each received 6% of the vote. Both were in the top picks of either my picks or the People's Picks: Kaneda's Bike from Medicom and Joker's Fun House from Imaginext.

In second place, with 10% of the vote, is the excellent Battlecat from the MOTUC line. I love this kitty, and can't wait til Panthor hits.

The big winner is the AT-AT, and I mean big in every way. The votes were big, with 52% going to this cool vehicle. And the vehicle is BIG, really BIG. Cool electronics completed the package.

Judge's comments:

"They did it.  They made a bigger and better AT-AT with so many hidden treasures that it's amazing enough that it doesn't break the bank.  You want lights and sounds, it has it!  You want room for your figures, it's got it!  You want it to poop a speeder bike? can do that too." - David Yeh

"How can you not pick the AT-AT? It was everything we could have wanted, and more!" - Mark Picirilli

"I've given this one tons of thought, and in the end, I had to go with the Warthog. In the past few years, it has become an icon, a signature vehicle in the world of gaming. It's as recognizable to most hardcore FPS gamers as the Falcon is to Star Wars enthusiasts. To think this is the first time we are getting such a detailed, scaled version for our Spartans and UNSC soldiers to ride around in is just unthinkable. As a HALO fan I have my nitpicks, but it gets a place of honor on my shelf next to the new AT-AT, which it ONLY beat because we'd had two versions of an AT-AT before." - Ken Lilly

"I still cry myself to sleep at night, imagining a world where I owned the Medicom version Kaneda's bike. :*( " - Jeff Parker

Place MWC's Picks People's Picks Poppies Picks
1st Place AT-AT AT-AT AT-AT
2nd Place Battle Cat Kaneda's Bike Battlecat
3rd Place Joker's Fun House Battlecat Joker's Fun House/ Kaneda's Bike


Best Statue

It surprised me when not one of the four nominated Premium Format statues made it into the People's Picks top three, but now that it's also happened with the Poppies, I suppose it's not quite as big of a shocker. I'm still scratching my head though.

Third place was sold by Sideshow, but produced by Electric Tiki, who are doing some terrific work. Their version of the Rocketeer is one of the coolest we've seen. He took third with 10% of the vote.

Second place belongs to a statue that technically hit in 2009, but it was so late in the year that I thought she had an unfair disadvantage last year. I didn't review the Cover Girls of the DCU Catwoman til January, and lots of folks hadn't seen her til then either, so I decided to place her on the 2010 ballot. Glad I did too, since 14% of the voters felt she deserved recognition.

The top spot also came out of DC Direct (as did Catwoman), and it's also a Bat-universe collectible. It's the Batman vs Killer Croc statue, one I loved as well, although he didn't manage to make my top three. It was a risky design, but they pulled it off almost flawlessly.

The judges said:

"I believe my vote might be against what others may think quite strongly. The Iron Man 2 Mark VI maquette to me was the best statue of 2010. Obviously, some folks received ones with paint issues. Mine did not come with the issues and it is amazing. The level of detail Legacy and Sideshow put into this piece is exceptional, and adding the light up function really just puts this piece among the best I've owned. For me as an Iron Man fan this piece looks like he stepped off the screen and right into my collection." - Josh Long

"Like HT set new standards in 1/6th, Enterbay set a new level of excellence that other 1/4 scale statue makers need to pay heed to. An outstanding piece!" - Jeff Parker

Place MWC's Picks People's Picks Poppies Picks
1st Place Mola Ram Bruce Lee Batman vs Killer Croc
2nd Place Silver Surfer Iron Man Mark IV Catwoman
3rd Place Phoenix Batman vs Killer Croc Rocketeer


Best Bust

The idea of a 'bust' has changed over the years, and esteemed judge Ken Lilly will say more about that in the comments. But whether they have arms or not, whether they're static or dynamic, most collectors still find them to be amongst the best of the collectible formats.

Gentle Giant remains a leader in this field, and they snag the third place trophy with their McQuarrie Concept Darth Vader.  All of the McQuarrie concepts do well, even in toy form, but this bust was one of the best we saw from them in their popular Star Wars series all year. Or at least 13% of the judges thought so.

They also took second place, this time with 22% of the vote, with their Faun bust from Pan's Labyrinth. I loved the film, and I thought that the judges were right on the money in giving this excellent representation of the unique character some love.

There was one outstanding 1:1 scale bust this year, and although I heard an awful lot of 'discussion' about issues with a lazy eye, the Darth Vader from Sideshow took the top spot with judges. It wasn't even close either, with 27% of the vote going the dark lord's way.

Judges thoughts:

"SSC's Darth Vader is huge... and totally awesome!" - D. Martin Myatt

"Most people these days forget what a bust really is. It's not even, technically, supposed to HAVE arms. But OK, I get it, sometimes they HAVE to have arms for whatever reason. In that case, then make at least SOME effort to do something else to make it more...I dunno...'bust-like'. Don't just cut it off at the waist like the dude is sinking in quicksand. YAWN. To me? The Hot Toys stuff fires on ALL the right cylinders." - Ken Lilly

"Anything based on McQuarries concept work gets my vote!" - Jeff Parker

"Pan's Labyrinth fans who missed out on the signed Gentle Giant piece years ago were very happy to see Faun in Mini Bust form and GG hit it out the park on this one!" - Mark Picirilli

"I personally voted for the Mark VI from Hot Toys. They had several contenders this year with the Mark IV and War Machine. You truly can't go wrong with any of them I personally prefer the overall look of the Mark VI design. Also a small thing with the Mark VI that helped out was I had no issues with the lights staying on even after turning the piece off." - Josh Long

Place MWC's Picks People's Picks Poppies Picks
1st Place Kreacher War Machine Darth Vader
2nd Place Faun Darth Vader Faun
3rd Place Pyro Iron Man Mark VI McQuarrie Concept Vader


Best Designer/Vinyl

There have only been a couple categories where all three polls - mine, the People's Picks, and the Poppies - diverged heavily, and this next one is clearly one of those cases.

In my picks, I mixed my personal tastes in with some quirky choices. It seemed to me that the People stuck with some more mainstream picks, while the Poppies judges seem to be headng some place in between.

In third place, with 13% of the vote, is the same character that took my third place spot - Beetlejuice from Mezco. I think that the upsizing of the Mez-itz turned out to be popular with folks inside the industry, even if it wasn't quite as successful with the general collector. It's probably a good thing that his name didn't show up in all three polls...who knows what would have happened.

The judges gave Bertie from the threeA Toys WWRp series a solid second place, with 19% of the vote. This is a company and a line that is really making some waves, and is finally getting the praise and recognition they deserve. I expect to see their figures show up with even more nominations and wins in 2011.

The first place winner isn't too much of a surprise, since it seems like everyone loved them: it's Carl and Russell from Up, done by Hot Toys. I loved the movie, and this representation of the characters is about as iconic as you can get.

Comments from the judges:

"When it comes to icons then Astro Boy is up there with the best, and it was a cute statue!" - Jeff Parker

"The UP figures are outstanding, but they are, in truth, figurines, and the material they are made from don't really place them into an artists figure category. They are just hollow plastic. DAMN GOOD hollow plastic, but not an 'artist' or 'designer' figure." - Ken Lilly

Place MWC's Picks People's Picks Poppies Picks
1st Place Black and White and Red All Over Carl and Russell Carl and Russell
2nd Place Carl and Russell Astro Boy Bertie
3rd Place Beetlejuice Toy Story Cosbaby Beetlejuice


Best Prop Replica

No real surprises here, but not because these picks were an exact mirror of either of the other two polls, but because there were so many outstanding nominees that almost nothing could be a surprise.

The judges gave 11% of the vote to the Sideshow Indiana Jones Fertility Idol, and I think it was a great pick. I have one proudly on display in my bar, and I suggest that if you are a big Indy fan, you give this one a look.

In second place, with 14% of the vote, is the Aliens Pulse Rifle, available through HCG. This was the number one pick by the people, and while I haven't seen one in person, I have to say that in the photos it looks smokin' hot. I just wish I could afford one!

The top spot was taken with 20% of the vote, and it goes to a company not known for their 1:1 prop replicas. Mattel grabs the gold with their Ghostbusters PKE Meter, which the judges agreed was one very cool item for a very reasonable price. This is excellent proof that voters and judges are capable of taking cost into account when voting, and lower price collectibles have a good chance of betting the more expensive ones when they are done extremely well.

Thoughts from the judges:

"In today's lean times, when I can barely afford to get all my bills paid month to month, when I can pick up a prop replica that looks this good and lights up for an Andrew Jackson? DONE DEAL, pal." - Ken Lilly

"M41A-Pulse-Rifle: "let me introduce you to a personal friend of mine." Ever since Hicks said those words I have wanted one!" - Jeff Parker

Place MWC's Picks People's Picks Poppies Picks
1st Place Freddy Glove Pulse Rifle PKE Meter
2nd Place Coraline doll Chopper Predator Pulse Rifle
3rd Place PKE Meter PKE Meter Fertility Idol


Best Block Figure

This is one of the new categories this year, and there was some debate about what was the best way to proceed. Actual sets? Specific figures? Eventually we agreed that the most sensible idea was to go with the overall lines themselves.

In third place, with 18% of the vote, is the long running Kubricks. I think that adding in more licensed product over the last couple years has really upped their visibility for both collectors and industry professionals.

It took 26% of the vote to snag second place, but the Mini-mates managed to do it. This is an amazing set of figures, and I'd love to see a completely loose, displayed collection on someones shelves some day. It would truly be a sight to behold...or the intro to another episode of Hoarders.

I doubt anyone is surprised that the top vote getter was the king of all blocks, Lego. The Danes took 35% of the vote, clearly still the top dog in this market. I gotta say I love their new single packed mini-figures, but I hate the blind packaging.

Judges comments:

"You just can't top Lego.  From the range of styles, characters, variations, there's nothing better and nothing more fun.  From Star Wars to  Harry Potter to Toy Story, there's plenty of hooks to get the newcomers into building as well." - David Yeh

"Minimates has done something no other action figure collection ever has before by producing so many licenses without altering the final product design, allowing even the most dedicated collectors a completely seamless collection of matching figures." = D. Martin Myatt

"Almost like the Academy Awards, I'm giving Kubrick the vote here as if it was Al Pacino and MiniMates was Johnny Depp. Both fine actors. Both deserving. Pacino has been around a bit longer. Depp still has some time." - Ken Lilly

"Kubricks, the original, and the best!" - Jeff Parker

Place MWC's Picks People's Picks Poppies Picks
1st Place Lego Lego Lego
2nd Place Playmobil Kubricks Mini-mates
3rd Place Mini-mates Mini-mates Kubricks


Best Misc

There were some surprises for me this year in both the People's Picks and the Poppies, but I don't think any of them were as big - or as welcome - as the one I received in this category.

It's not the third place winner though, although that is a bit of a shock. The Star Wars Bookends from Gentle Giant actually took the top spot with the people, so it's a bit less of a stunner that they took third here, with 13% of the vote. Still, with all the complaints I heard when I gave them a good review, I'm sort of taken aback by the results.

The second place winner, with 15% of the votes, is no real surprise, especially if you own or have seen one in person. I can't afford one, but I have seen the Super Shogun Stormtrooper in person, and it's a mighty cool combination, bringing together the best of shogun and Star Wars.

But my big - and pleasant - surprise came when the Masters of the Universe Classics Accessories from Spymonkey Creations took first with a solid 19% of the vote. Considering the size of the company and the limited distribution of the product, it's a huge nod to their terrific execution that folks within the industry have noticed them and feel so strongly about them.

Thoughts from the Judges:

"Bar none, one of the best robotic toys (Bigfoot) I have purchased for my kids in years. And it is a robot, just like Robo-Sapien and all that other just DOESN'T look or act like one. And THAT is why it is cool and why my kids love it. That and it is DAMN funny. You gotta make the kids laugh, first and foremost. And my fart humor only gets us so far." - Ken Lilly

"We should have had the Super Shogun line in 1978. Suck a no-brainer concept... super7 did a great job with this.Everyone needs to own this great piece." - D. Martin Myatt

General Comments

There's no doubt the tough economy over the last few years has taken it's toll. There's fewer companies in the market, and the artists all know finding work can be trickier than ever before. But there's an upside to any market shake out - as the economy rebounds, there will be room for the upstarts to rise up, small companies who are hungry to get their product out there. I think we're seeing the pendulum start to swing in the other direction, and I'm hopeful that 2011 will see new companies coming in to take the place left by their fallen comrades.

My only concern is for the mass market action figure. At the current price, I'm not sure the poor guy (or girl) can survive, and it would be a shame for him (or her) to cease to exist. Hopefuly, the industry will be able to ride out this period of excessive inflation on the back of the smaller scale figures, much like they did back in the late 70's.

I'll be looking for additional judges for the 2011 Poppies, so if you or someone you know is uniquely qualified to be a judge, please drop me a line.

Some final thoughts from the judges:

"Weta just keep making cool things you don't know you need till you see them!" - Jeff Parker

"2010 has been a great year, but 2011 looks like it will be even better!" - D. Martin Myatt

"For me I think 2010 was one of the best years I've seen for high end collecting and maybe even collecting in general. Sideshow and Hot Toys took so much of my money its not even funny with their exceptional items. We saw pieces like the Mark VI Maquette, War Machine Maquette, Optimus Prime Maquette, GI Joe figures galore, Hot Toys with all their Marvel 1:6th, and then items like the He-Man line from Mattel in the lower end items. Now, already in 2011 we've seen that it won't take things laying down. Hot Toys has come strong with their recent 10th anniversary show and Sideshow with its 12 days of Sideshow. I'm as excited as I can be already to see just the counter punch this year tosses at us." - Josh Long


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