While 2016 may have been a rough year for celebrities, it did produce a number of very cool action figures from companies such as Hasbro, NECA and DC Collectibles. So many in fact it was very hard for me to narrow it down to just 10, but that is what I have attempted to do with this list. Now keep in mind this list is based on my personal opinion, and I focused only on those figures I actually reviewed this year. I am sure there are a number of figures out there that could easily have made this list that I never actually got my hands on.
Like I said before, even with the ones I did get to play with, narrowing it down to just 10 was very difficult. So before I get to my actual Top 10, I just wanted to list a few honorable mentions such as The 6" Hasbro Marvel Legends Spider-Gwen, Punisher and Onslaught Build-A-Figure with Magneto-based headsculpt that came with Kitty Pryde. Mezco also churned out a number of really good figures this year with their 6" Mortal Kombat X line and their new One:12 Collective Line. The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Armored Batman figure with light-up eyes and Kryptonite Spear was one such figure that was very close to making this list. NECA had a ton of great figures they released this year as well, and while a few of them did make the list, a number of them did not such as their 7" Deluxe Terminator figures or their SDCC exclusive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Import companies such as Tamashii Nations, Takara, Medicom and Max Factory all created lots of great figures as well. The S.H. Figuarts Star Wars Mace Windu and MAFEX Dawn Of Justice Wonder Woman are just a few that come to mind. Even companies like Mattel managed to produce some decent figures such as their 6" Multiverse The Dark Knight Returns Armored Batman figure and ThunderCats Classic line which might have made the list had Mattel not already abruptly canceled it. Still keeping my fingers crossed that Super7 continues those in the coming year.
Anyway I could keep rambling about all the great action figures that came out this past year but instead I will tell you the ones I managed to narrow down to this Top 10 list for 2016.
Now truth be told this one might be better suited for next year's list since officially the figure won't see release for another week or so, but since Storm Collectibles did send me one a little early to review I decided to include it in this year's list. Consider it the Rookie figure of the year with hopefully more great figures to look forward to in 2017. I like this figure in large part because it features Scorpion in his classic video game costume which I really like. The figure is also made well with sturdy joints. Since Storm Collectibles is a relatively new company to the 1:12 scale game, I was really impressed with that fact. Now this is an import figure so it does cost more than most American-based action figures, but I think if you are a Mortal Kombat fan this is a figure you will definitely want to check out.
09. God Of War Ultimate 7" Kratos figure from NECA
NECA is known for giving us figures with great sculpts and paint applications and the company really upped their game this year with their line of Ultimate figures that not only feature detailed sculpts, but also good articulation and accessories. I am not even a huge God Of War video game fan, but when I reviewed this figure earlier this year, this one really impressed me.
08. Marvel Legends 6" Captain America: Civil War Black Panther figure from Hasbro
Hasbro's Marvel Legends 6" line seems to get better and better each year and this year was was probably the best year for the line since Hasbro took it over from Toy Biz. This year gave us a nice mix of both movie and comic book based figures and I think the best movie one was the Captain America: Civil War Black Panther figure. This figure had nice detail which was arguably even better than the more expensive S.H. Figuarts one and came with a nice alternate unmasked head sculpt. Hasbro continues to frustrate movie figure collectors by not producing a Vision figure, but this Black Panther was definitely a nice addition for 2016.
07. Star Wars: Black Series 6" Episode IV Obi-Wan Kenobi SDCC Edition from Hasbro
Hasbro's 6" Star Wars Black Series line has had some hits and misses this year, but one I think Hasbro did a great job with was the San Diego Comic Con exclusive Episode IV Obi-Wan Kenobi figure. Not only did the figure have some nice detailing and a good headsculpt, it also featured some pretty cool extra accessories such has the light-up hologram Princess Leia. Hasbro later released a version of Obi-Wan in the regular line minus many of the add-ons but if you can get your hands on the SDCC version that is the one I recommend getting.
06. Transformers: Titans Return Blaster figure from Hasbro
The last few years have been really great for Transformer fans who grew up on the G1 cartoon. Not even mentioning the more expensive Masterpiece line, I think we have seen a lot of great figures come out of the Combiner Wars & Titan Returns series. One figure in particular that stood out to me this year was Hasbro's Titans Return Blaster figure. The figure is very nice update to the classic character and almost good enough to be displayed with Masterpiece figures. I am not as avid a Transformer collector as I once was but this was more than happy to add to my collection.
05. Arkham Knight 7" Azreal figure from DC Collectible
Truth-be-told I have never been a big Azreal fan ever since he first appeared in the Batman comics back in the 90's so I can't say I was super excited when DC Collectibles first released this latest incarnation from the Batman: Arkham Knight video game. However when I got him to review, I have to admit that I was surprisingly impressed by the level of paint and sculpting detail this figure had. While still not a favorite character of mine, I think this is probably the nicest figure to come out of DC Collectibles Arkham Knight series of figures.
04. Marvel Legends 6" Deadpool figure from Hasbro
This new version of Deadpool was possibly one of the most eagerly anticipated 6" Marvel Legends figures for 2016, and Hasbro didn't disappoint with it. Featuring nice detail, articulation and tons of accessories, this is a must have for anyone's Marvel Legends collection. The only downside here is being able to find one without having to pay an arm and a leg for it.
03. Uncharted 4 Ultimate Nathan Drake figure from NECA
Here is one if you had asked me a year ago if I would include it on a top 10 list, I would have said no. Based on another video game I never really got into (sorry I am old), when I got it to review I was greatly impressed with the great detail of it and, like most the Ultimate figures, the articulation is decent as well.
02. S.H. Figuarts Captain America: Civil War Captain America figure from Tamashii Nations
When it comes to 6" Marvel figures I generally prefer Marvel Legends over any other line. Mainly because while sometimes the import figure sport a little nicer detail, it's not enough to justify the increase in price. This Captain America figure from Tamashii Nations is the rare exception. Very similar to the Age of Ultron version that was released the year before (which I also loved), this figure features a great looking unmasked headsculpt that actually looks like Chris Evans. It also doesn't hurt that I am also a huge Captain America fan which is likely why this one is so high on the list, but if you are a fan like me I highly recommend spending the extra money and picking this one up.
01. DC Icons 6" Burnside Batgirl Deluxe figure from DC Collectibles
Okay, you might be as surprised as I was that this figure made the number 1 spot on my list. When it was first announced, I was impressed with what I saw but not so much that I would have considered it as the best figure for 2016, but after reviewing and taking some time to reflect I felt there was no other choice. This figure by far is the nicest figure we have seen from DC for their Icons line. It features really solid paint applications and articulation, but what really puts this one over the top is the motorcycle. I think this is a really cool accessory and works well with the figure. As a display base for your shelf it allows you to show it off nicely and it has some really nice functionality as well if you like to play with your figures. I hope we continue to see more figures like this in the Icons line and that maybe other companies who make 6" figures take note as well.
So that wraps it up. Like I said before, it was really hard narrowing all the great figures released this year to just these 10, and I am sure many of you have different figures that would make your own list. Regardless, there is no denying that there are some really great figures being made by many different companies and there is no better time to be an action figure collector than now. Here is hoping for many more great figures in 2017. Happy New Year and see you in the action figure toy aisle.