2015 was an exceptionally expensive year for action figure collectors. There were just so many outstanding releases by so many companies. I was surprised to not only be delighted by newcomers like Mecha Workshop and TruForce, but retailer friendly companies such as Hasbro, Diamond Select Toys, DC Collectibles, NECA Toys, and Mezco Toyz all had exceptional releases. The 1:6 scale manufacturers did pretty well this year with my favorite releases being Marvel characters, and I am happy to say Sideshowís Deadpool was a win!
One thing that I loved about the releases this year, was that we had some great 1:12 scale vehicles. I have to say Hasbroís Elite TIE Fighter and the DC Collectibles Animated Series Batmobile were both home runs!
As I had mentioned in my Top 10 Figs of 2015 video, I will not include vehicles in my list. Keep in mind that this is an incredibly subjective list. The figures in this list were chosen based off of my personal enjoyment and the all-around quality of the figures. Durability, functionality, articulation, sculpt, paint applications, scale, price, and even my exceptions and satisfaction of those expectations are also included.
If you think anything was left out of this list, check out my video to see my runners up. Unfortunately for the video, I did forget to mention one outstanding figure . . . Marvel Select Carnage. I love this figure and I donít know how I missed it, however I did manage to wedge it into a revised list that youíll see right here. So instead of Top 10, I have a Top 11 list.
Okay, letís get to it!
#11 - Deluxe Winged Otachi from the Pacific Rim Film by NECA Toys
Iím a big fan of the Pacific Rim film, and Iíve always had a soft-spot for winged creatures. The bat being my favorite animal, how could I not fall in love with Otachi. Not only that, but this incredible Kaiju has a seemingly limitless number of abilities; crazy tail with a snapping claw at the end, acid spit, and those wings! The wing span on the action figure is very impressive in size, and not only that, but painted in great detail. The choice of using transparent plastic for the wings was just brilliant. The fact that NECA made parts interchangeable for the winged and regular versions just kicks up the enjoyment of the figure to another level. Not only that, but this figure comes with a stand where you can attach a Gypsy Danger and replicate the scene where Otachi carries Gypsy into the stratosphere. Not only can you interchange parts with the previous Otachi, but it opens up all kinds of killer display options. Currently, my Winged Otachi is hanging from the ceiling by fishing line, and gracefully soars in the air with the tail from the regular version and acid spit firing outward.
#10 - Deadpool from Marvel Comics by Sideshowís 1:6 Scale
How could you not love the "Merc With A Mouth"?! Not only is the character unpredictable and hilarious, but he just looks really freaken cool! I first picked up a Deadpool comic at the age of 10 solely based on the design of the character, and Sideshow fulfilled my expectations in what I think a 12Ē scale comic version of Deadpool should look like. Heís loaded to the brim with weapons, interchangeable hands, two heads, speech bubbles, and POUCHES!!! So many damn pouches to the point where itís not funny after the first hour of posing the figure around. Terrible? No. Annoying? Hell yes! So annoying to the point where Iíve just given up on a bunch of them and left them aside. The other reason this figure is so low on the Top 11 List is because of the belt that loves to detach as soon as I elevate the legs more than 45 degrees upward. Also, Iím not a big fan of adhesive stickers for speech bubbles. It felt like not enough thought was put into that. Everything else is outstanding, even the seemingly baggy suit, which Iím grateful for because it does allow a lot of movement and tightens up with dynamic poses. As much as I complain about this one, I still have a hard time putting it down.
#9 - Marvel Select Carnage from Marvel Comics by Diamond Select Toys
You might be thinking to yourself, ďIf you forgot to add it to your list originally, then you really didnít think it was that good of a figure.Ē Well, thereís a lot of figures in my Dork Room, and this figure did come out much earlier in the year. Funny thing is, Marvel Legends Carnage was overlooked in a similar way last year. Anyway, I digest . . . my sandwich. I enjoyed the hell out of reviewing this Carnage figure! The figure photographed so well, and I loved the paint, sculpt, articulation, and accessories. Displaying it on my shelf has been a bit of a hassle because there are so many cool display options to choose from. This figure has 3 different heads, tendrils, and the interchangeable hands are just brilliant! Snapping and switching parts is easy too. This is probably the best Carnage figure ever made, and the only serious drawback for me is the scale. Itís taller than it should be, and since itís already a Marvel Select figure, it truly stands into scale with nothing! Iíve had some success posing it with Marvel Select Venom, but getting the angles right to make them look like they fit together is tricky.
#8 - Marvel Legends Daredevil from Marvel Comics by Hasbro
This figure made my list mostly because I didnít expect to enjoy the figure as much as I do. It reuses the same old ďBucky CapĒ mold that weíve seen being reused for Hasbro Marvel Legends figures time and time again. My beloved paint shading is nonexistent on this figure as well. I love this figure because I canít put it down. Iíve had my top Marvel Legends Daredevil figures from Toybiz in mind for years, and so far nothing else has come close until this guy. The Bucky Cap mold just fits perfectly for Daredevil. It just has the right build and the posing ability for the figure is just very suiting. We get a new head sculpt which resembles the Marvel Universe Daredevil head sculpt a little bit, and I think thatís a good thing. The batons worked out really well (even with their gummy texture) connecting together nicely, they fit into the holster as well as fit perfectly into the figureís hands for a nice grip. Very fun figure, and I love that I can swap parts with the Walgreens Exclusive version as well.
#7 - X from Capcomís Mega Man X by TruForce Collectibles
It is my understanding that this figure is a debut release from TruForce Collectibles, and what an outstanding debut piece this is! Backed by Kickstarter, TruForce was able to give this figure pretty much everything I want in an action figure. Just the aesthetics alone are very pleasing. While this was an unfamiliar design, it was designed by Capcom, and that settles the nerves and makes the figure feel more legit. The plastic is very high quality, and die-cast is included to give it some good hefty weight to make it easier to pose. Interchangeable hands, faces, and beautiful energy effects are included. The light-up function for the buster looks great and the clear stand it comes with is very easy to work with. The articulation is quite exceptional as well. The only reason this figure made it so far down the list is only because Marvel and Transformers hit my geek-spot a bit harder than the Mega Man franchise.
#6 - One:12 Collective Dark Knight Returns Batman from DC Comics by MezcoToyz
If Hot Toys and Marvel Legends made sweet love and had a baby, it would be the ONE:12 Collective line from MezcoToyz. We get the combination of soft goods, great sculpting, great paint, incredibly functional articulation, and accessories galore! The stand alone wins the figure some high scores too. You can attach the edges of Batmanís cape to these wires with clips at the end of them. This allows for posing options for Batman that I just havenít seen before. The likeness is dead-on! This Batman figure looks like he jumped right out of the comic. I also love the number of variations of the figure that were released. The number of outstanding images people have taken on Instagram and the Articulated Comic Book Art group almost seems endless. As soon as I thought the figure reached itís limit, someone posts a new picture of the figure doing something incredible. This figure is not higher up my list due to the fact it comes from the Dark Knight Returns comic. Itís just not my favorite design for Batman.
#5 - Bellerophon from the Armauraders Comic by Mecha Workshop
Transformers comic book illustrator and Transformers toy designer, Don Figueroa, teams up with Mecha Workshop to bring us a new comic series and a new action figure to go with it. Armauraders takes place in a futuristic world where alien invaders need to be stopped with nothing more than GIANT ROBOTS!!! The design for Bellerophon interests me because it has so many rounded off edges. Most giant robots have more hard edges, but this mech has a very soft look to it while still maintaining a badass attitude with itís onslaught of weaponry. You get shoulder cannons, riffles, blades, cartridges, an articulated base that has many display options, and then a tiny articulated pilot that fits in the mech while he has his own weapons and clear display stand. Mecha Workshop also hooks up the buyer with a comic book, motion-comic DVD, and incredible packaging that can be used for display backgrounds. While this is a new and unfamiliar franchise, it satisfies my giant robot fix splendidly. The articulation is amazing, the die-cast parts are much appreciated, and getting myself to put the figure down is very difficult.
#4 - SH Figuarts Captain America from Marvelís Avenges Age of Ultron Film by Bandai Tamashii Nations
Captain America is one of my favorite heroes, and to have seen the character in the new costume for Age of Ultron was very exciting. Previously, the costume had left out red in the design from the Winter Soldier film. This new design is my second favorite look for Cap while in the MCU, and SH Figuarts did not disappoint. They sculpted out a very bulky and intimidating looking Captain America figure with 2 interchangeable faces and 3 interchangeable sets of eyes. The paint is clean, and the articulation is just outstanding. What really sets this Cap figure apart from most is the shield. While they designed the shieldís underside incorrectly, they created a very smooth system for removing the shield. It has never been so easy to pose Cap throwing his shield and this figure deserves a hight spot on this list.
#3 - Hot Toys Groot from Marvelís Guardians of the Galaxy Film
Paint applications, sculpt, and articulation are the three characteristics that I look for in action figures, and this one delivers on all three so well. The paint and sculpt work so well together on this figure that it feels like youíre looking at real wood. The details involved are so delightful to look at that I often find myself staring at it minutes at a time, peel-eyed with my face only millimeters away. ďWhoa.Ē The branches were made out of a soft, yet durable material. This is important because they protrude away from the figure, leaving them exposed for potential breakage. It has been months since I received the figure, and no breakage yet! The articulation was very well executed to the point where I felt like I was holding an action figure. Sometimes Hot Toys gives me the feeling of holding a fragile doll thatís waiting to break any second. This Groot feels like a legit action figure that was meant to be posed and displayed. I would love to get this feeling from more Hot Toys figures in the future.
#2 - Marvel Legends Spider-Man from Marvel Comics by Hasbro
With Marvel Legends being one of my favorite toy lines ever created, and Spider-Man being my personal favorite super hero, the Spideyís made it to number two. Yes, the ďSpideyís" and not just ďSpidey". Iím cheating and including the infamous Scarlet Spider along with the Pizza Spider-Man. This is the first time we have seen a satisfactory execution of the Scarlet Spider in action figure form. The original Toybiz figure was a bit of a disappointment (but not a total Let-Down), and then Hasbro released one during the ever-so dreadful ďDark Period of Marvel LegendsĒ. Aside from paint shading, a blonde Ben Reiley head, and armpit joints, this Scarlet Spider has it all! The Pizza Spidey is great too! While it still isnít my favorite Marvel Legends Spider-Man, I have not seen a Marvel Legends Spider-Man figure worth comparing to heavy hitters from Toybiz such as the McFarlane Spidey, Fearsome Foes Spidey, and Sinister Six Spidey. People will argue that the Pizza Spider-Man bests all 3 of the previously mentioned figures. While I disagree, I think thatís a perfectly fair call to make. The figure is very fun to pose, and the added interchangeable hands for both of these figures pushes them over the edge with very high fun-factors. I have two opened copies of both of these figures, and their high rank on my list was well deserved.
#1 - Transformers Combiner Wars Devastator (retail ver.) from Transformers IDW Comics by Hasbro
G1 Devastator was one of those toys I always wanted when I was a kid, but it was always out of reach. Getting this massive monstrosity in my collection for such a reasonable price was a dream come true. In previous years, 3rd Party Hercules made it to the #1 spot in my Top 10 list, so it shouldnít be a surprise that Devastator hit #1 here. While the SDCC and Unite Warriors versions may seem like better Devastator figures than the retail version, it still amazes me that we got everything we did with this figure for only $150. ďOnly $150??!!!!Ē you say? Itís all a matter of perspective, i.e. one 3rd Party combiner figure costs about $100. So yeah, Iím thrilled not paying 600 freaken USD for a monster-sized Devastator. This thing towers over all other Devastators (3rd Party included), as well as all of the other Combiner Wars combiners. The articulation on some of the robot modes is a bit annoying, however the articulation on Devastator himself is outstanding! I canít believe how well the ratchet joints for the hips hold the figure up. And yes, it has ANKLE PIVOT!! I have been able to get the figure in some very satisfying dynamic poses, which is an incredible feat for Hasbro and Takara. Just looking at Devastator makes me very happy. The contrast between the different colors works out very well and just makes for a very complete look. I agree itís not a perfect figure, and I would expect more if I paid more. While some may disagree, the figure does not feel cheap to me and it just gives me an overwhelming feeling of joy. Since I purchased this figure, it has stayed in my bedroom at the top of my bookshelf . . . making sure my wife and I sleep soundly.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my favorite figures of the year. As I mentioned earlier, itís all about how these figures made me feel and how happy I am with them. There were a lot of figures that I wish I could have included on this list, and I canít explain how difficult it was putting this together. 2015 was a great year for action figure collectors!