Val’s Toy Chest- 2016 Top 10 Figures of the Year

Note: This article was written before Carrie Fisher’s untimely passing and will appear as follows in the print edition of the Weekly Planet. I am leaving this unedited and will discuss more about the beloved Ms. Fisher in my next column- Val

Hi guys- it has been a busy season here at the Planet and this being the last week of 2016, I thought I’d close out the year with my 10 favorite figures (5 Male and 5 Female) of the year. I have three criteria- one: nothing above 8 inches tall, two: the figure had to have been available to purchase at Forbidden Planet sometime this year, and three: I must OWN the figures in question. Without further ado:

Top 5 Male figures of the year:

5. Star Wars: The Black SeriesC-3Po (Hasbro): Coming in late in the year, the C-3Po figure features the (mostly) golden droid as he appeared in last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The sculpting on the figure is pretty well done and though the articulation scheme is limited by the sculpt, C-3Po moves exactly as you would expect a figure of him to move.

4. Marvel Legends: X-MenWolverine (Hasbro): Hasbro has really upped their game with the Marvel figures this year and several of them made this countdown, gone are the days of abysmal sculpts. In its place we get beautifully sculpted figures like this Brown Costume Wolverine figure which puts Wolverine at his rightfully smaller size and includes cool extras like hands with both retracted and exposed claws.

3. Star Wars: The Black SeriesLuke Skywalker (Hasbro): A lot of people will knock this figure for the soft cloth goods that don’t necessarily sit where it should when posing, but the Luke figure for me is a decent enough representation from A New Hope that I can forgive that aspect of the figure. Star Wars has been back with a vengeance in my toy collection this year and I can’t wait to see what next year will hold.

2. Marvel Legends: X-MenDeadpool (Hasbro): I will confess right now, I’m not the biggest fan of the character, but this figure is beautiful. From the color scheme of red and black to the sculpts on both masked and unmasked heads and the impressive arsenal of weapons, this Deadpool figure should be in any Marvel fan’s collection.

1. Marvel Legends: Spider-ManVenom (Hasbro): I’ve always been a sucker for the black costume Spider-Man and though that figure didn’t make this list(as I haven’t bought him yet), the version of the symbiotic costume that became Venom makes an impressive looking figure with his larger build and menacing facial features. The best part is you can interchange his head to have either the sharp teeth look or the slimy tongue look, as well as clawed hands or fists.

Honorable mention: Marvel Legends: X-MenJuggernaut Build-A-Figure (Hasbro): I rarely ever complete Build-A-Figures in the Marvel Legends line, but the Juggernaut figure was too good to pass up. Cain Marko has an amazing look to him and the heft is unbelievable. Definitely a good investment for my figure shelves.

Top 5 Female figures of the year:

5. DC Comics MultiverseSupergirl (Mattel): Melissa Benoist certainly made an impression on TV audiences with her portrayal of the Girl of Steel, first on CBS and now on the CW. This figure has a soft but decent likeness of Melissa and has definitely been a favorite on my toy shelf this year.

4. AliensPrivate Vasquez (NECA): Ripley made last year’s list and the next obvious female figure choice for Aliens would be the awesome Vasquez. Featuring the likeness of Jenette Goldstein, the Vasquez figure is pretty darn impressive from her sculpt all the way to her heavy artillery. If NECA makes a decent female figure, she will most likely be on my list. (Still keeping fingers crossed for a NECA Nancy Thompson from A Nightmare on Elm Street).

3. Star Wars: The Black SeriesPrincess Leia Organa (Hasbro): Featuring some of the same issues as her twin brother, Leia also features a cloth outfit and though her sculpt isn’t the most accurate Carrie Fisher likeness, she works well enough as a figure for me that she makes it on this list. I haven’t really stopped playing with her since I got her, which is a definite sign of favoritism on my part. On a related note, I am keeping as many good thoughts for Carrie Fisher as I can. Hope she recovers from her medical emergency ASAP.

2. Marvel Legends:  X-MenRogue (Hasbro): The Southern Belle known as Rogue has never had a decent 6″ Marvel figure until now. Beautifully sculpted and rendered in her Jim Lee-designed outfit, Rogue makes an awesome addition to the toy shelf and was one of the most popular figures in the Legends line this year. Featuring an additional ungloved hand, Rogue was an awesome release for this fan.

1. ArrowBlack Canary(DC Collectibles):  Laurel Lance and her fans have been through a lot this year with her death on the TV show, the subsequent backlash and her to be determined storyline for this current season. Go back to a simpler time when Katie Cassidy was still a series regular and was busting heads and shattering glass with this Black Canary figure based on the 3rd season of the show. Sculpted in her likeness, this one was my most anticipated and she didn’t disappoint. I’m gonna get Katie to sign a packaged one for me the next time I meet her.

Honorable Mention: Marvel Legends: Spider-ManSilk (Hasbro):  I could put so many of the Marvel women on the list this year, but this one stands out as she had a great sculpt on her masked and unmasked heads as well as a decent color scheme that makes this figure a stand-out.

All-in-all, it’s been a pretty decent year for toys. Lots of cool looking figures including several I haven’t bought yet and even more that didn’t make the list for one reason or another. Here’s hoping next year’s releases are half as good. Catch you next year!

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