It’s that time of year again for another installment of our annual Top Ten Toy List here at MTV Geek! Last year’s list was far easier to make with the standout toys being easily prevalent, but we also excluded the high-end section of the market. This year that all changes! After much drinking deliberation, we decided that the only rule for this list would be that only one figure per toyline could be represented, i.e. only one Masters of the Universe Classics figure, Marvel Universe figure, etc. As you’ll see, it turned out to be a very mixed bag. Will you be surprised? Will you balk at our pics? Will your rage cause you to projectile vomit blood all over your keyboard?! Only one way to find out–read on!
10. Lion-O (Bandai ThunderCats Classics)
The king of the ThunderCats clocks in at number ten on our list with his larger Classics version. While his scale sets him apart from the rest of our action figure collection, that doesn’t take away from his fine sculpting and articulation model. Granted the paint on the regular version was a little glossy, while the SDCC-Exclusive’s was too washed, the excitement for this release, after years of ThunderCats toy drought, was too much for fan’s to pass up. Also, accessories like the Claw Shield that can not only hold the short Sword of Omens, but also be attached at Lion-O’s hip make this figure one that will sit proudly on our desk for a long time to come. He’s an oddity in that even when we pick out his faults, we still can’t help but pick him up and move him around. He’s fun, and that’s about as big of an endorsement we can give a figure.
For the full rundown on the SDCC version of Classics Lion-O, you can read our in-depth review here.
9. Cable (Hasbro Marvel Universe)
Who’d have thought a 90’s abomination like Cable would be prancing his partially cybernetic ass into out Top Ten Toy List? Anyone who read our review of this guy, that’s who! Cyclop’s favorite son features not only an impressive sculpt, but some of the best articulation and character-specific accessories in the entire Marvel Universe line to date! Oh, and he even comes equipped with an infant Hope. If the rest of the M.U. line was more like Cable, we wouldn’t even need Marvel Legends to make a return– but we do.
Here’s a link to our toy review for more on the time travelin’ surrogate daddy and why we love him.
8. Master Chief (Square Enix Halo)
The Halo franchise is nigh unstoppable when it comes to merchandise, and while McFarlane Toys action figure lines are very well done, Square Enix Play Arts version of the toughest Spartan around takes the cake as the ultimate version and steals away the number five spot on our list. All of MC’s armor detailing is present, and has even received a little of the Japanese flair Square Enix is known for. also, thanks to their unbeatable articulation model, Master Chief can be posed with any weapon and in any fighting stance you can imagine. Pit him up against Square’s Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker Battle Dress Snake figure and you’ve got yourself on helluva fight!
7. Jonah Hex (Mattel DC Universe Classics)
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. While DC Universe Classics is known primarily for superheroes and massive body reuse, Jonah Hex steps out from the crowd as a totally sculpted figure based on one of DC Comics’ best ongoing series (before the New 52 in Jonah Hex and after in All-Star Western). From his scarred face to the shotgun holster on the back of his bandolier, this figure looks the part of the infamous bounty hunter and doesn’t shy away from the details on his Confederate soldier belt buckle– a bold move for a mass market figure. The total package of sculpt, paint, and articulation push Jonah past his DCUC brethren and three other entries on this list and almost, ALMOST, makes us forget about that horrible film.
For a closer look on Hex, check out our review here.
6. Mongrol (ThreeA Toys ABC Warriors)
Okay, you’re seeing that picture, right? Yeah. That should be explanation enough right there. However, Mongrol also just happens to be the first of the ABC Warriors from 2000 AD’s classic strip and is made with the same amazing quality, paint, and articulation that fans of ThreeA Toys have come to love– and spend all their hard-earned money on. He’s a big, rusty mess of a robot that surprisingly is made out of plastic and not metal, although the fine ass paintjob hides that fact. Clocking in at almost five pounds, this guy could conceivably be used as a weapon… but we’ll let you decide on how best to use Mongrol. We just know that he’s an easy pick for this list.
5. 19″ Predator (NECA Predator)
This thing scores our middle spot for being creepily realistic. This predator is just big enough that if it attacked us while sleeping (or awake, we’re wimps) it would have our skulls as trophies in no time! Not only is the stripper-esque fishnet body stocking mad eof actual cloth, but the airbrushed paintwork is truly a sight to behold. NECA has been progressively getting better and better with each action figure release, but paintwork is always a complaint– not on this alien hunter! The larger size allows for NECA’s top-notch sculpting to shine through and makes this affordable large-scale figure look more akin to the high-dollar Premium Format Statues from Sideshow Collectibles. What sets it apart from those statues though is the addition of action figure articulation. Yes, you can pose up this Predator stalking your cat or leering menacingly from your mantle… but don’t put him in your bedroom. No one needs to wake up to that nightmare staring at them in the face.
4. Vikor (Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics)
Of course there was going to be a Masters of the Universe Classics figure on this list (last year Battle Cat was our Toy of the Year), but which one? With monthly figures, quarterly figures, and large-scale beasts, there’s a lot of half-naked barbarians to choose from. However, it wasn’t even a contest–Vikor was the cream of the shirtless crop! Based on an original concept for He-Man, Vikor is now a part of MOTUC canon thanks, in no small part, to the incredible sculpting skills of the Four Horsemen. Not only does Vikor look the part of the original art, but his Conan-esque visage instantly gave him crossover appeal with fantasy fans who would normally not take a second glance at He-Man and his brightly colored cohorts. From his pelt cloak, to his real metal chains hanging from broken wrist shackles, to being the first MOTUC with hidden ankle rivets, Vikor was the best MOTUC had to offer and locked him up at number four on our list.
For the full rundown on Vikor and his badassery, be sure to read our full review here.
3. Snake-Eyes (Hasbro G.I. Joe)
The silent Snake-Eyes has held a couple of definitive looks over the years as both a commando and a ninja. Fans generally prefer one or the other, but are agreed that Snake has an intangible amount of awesome regardless of his look. Thanks to the latest release in Hasbro’s Pursuit of COBRA line, there’s no longer a reason to choose. After not only being packaged with extra heads, and tons of weapons, Snake-Eyes also sports some new wrist articulation which allows for properly holding his swords. This is truly not just the best Snake-Eyes figure ever released, but is easily one of the best 3 3/4″ Joes of all time.
For more of our gushing love of this figure, feel free to check out our previous review here.
2. Scarabus (Four Horsemen Design Gothitropolis)
This is The Four Horsemen’s third showing on our list, and it’s only fitting that this entry comes from their very own line of figures. We got our first glimpse of Scarabus during last year’s Toy Fair and were blown away by all of the variants, accessories, and downright amazing attention to detail upon his full release through StoreHorsmen.com. Not only is this guy sporting an extremely intricate sculpt, but he’s been made for full poseability– and you all know how much we like our toys to move. If you don’t think he deserves this spot, then you obviously don’t have a Scarabus of your own!
1. Christopher Reeve Superman (Hot Toys)
Was there ever any doubt? This figure is the pinnacle of licensed toy making. Whatever strange occult magic Hot Toys utilized to bring this Christopher Reeve-inspired toy to market was surely enough to damn us all– totally worth it! While Hot Toys’ previous releases from their Dark Knight and Iron Man II lines have been beautifully done, this tribute to the late actor also has a nostalgic factor that will tug at the heartstrings of any child who grew up with this version of the Man of Steel. Besides the spot-on sculpt, the figure also takes our number one slot thanks to Hot Toy’s articulation model and the extreme quality used in the construction of the classic Superman costume from the Richard Donner films.
There you have it, MTV Geek’s Top Ten Toy List! Hopefully we’ll see some contestants for next year’s list when we attend New York Toy Fair in February!
Any toys you think we missed? Would you have numbered them higher or lower? Feel free to politely disagree, vehemently argue, or just talk up your favorite toys in the Comment section below.
Stay tuned to MTV Geek! for all your toy coverage in 2012 and beyond!