by Chris Troy
And we’re back! By now you’re probably all expecting me to start creaming my pants over the 2011 Marvel Universe offerings, and this WILL happen, but let me address my other picks for the year first.
NECA had a rad year, releasing some really solid figures based on a variety of video games series like Gears of War 3, the Assassin Creed series, Dead Space 2, Bulletstorm, & Crysis 2, as well as several film properties. The Gears 3 figures are my favorite, as they’re a mixture of solid sculpts, accessories, and plentiful articulation. NECA also won me over with their Heroclix releases ranging from comic stuffs like Marvel & DC (including some of their movie counterparts) to game franchises like Street Fighter & Gears of War (popular series is popular), as well as sci-fi/fantasy properties like Star Trek and Lord of the Rings. Truth be told though, the NEXTWAVE figures that dropped this past year are the reason I care the most about Heroclix, and I really don’t think I can be faulted too much for my excitement .
Since I’m already on the topic of comic-related stuffs, let’s talk DC. We’ll start off with DC Direct 2011, which had a nice catalog of figures for the year, most of them being Batman, or at least Batman-related. I kid, there was a ton of Green Lantern love as well, between the Blackest Night/Brightest Day/GL proper series lines. I’m real glad that I now own a complete series of modern version of the Green Lanterns in scale with one another thanks to DC Direct. But if I’m going to have to pick a favorite DC Direct figure this year, it’s going to be the Commander Shepard figures from the long-delayed Mass Effect 2 wave, which was canceled after the 1st set because Bioware was upset with the delays of it’s release. Despite it not being NECA quality, it’s still the ONLY Shepard figure to date, something I hope changes in 2012 with the release of Mass Effect 3. NECA, Square Enix, one of you need to make this happen.
Avoiding the train-wreck that was the Green Lantern movie figures, Mattel did a solid job of releasing some cool figures in the DC Universe Classics line during 2011. There were a ton of hard to find re-releases, two separate comic-based Green Lantern lines, some classic Batman figures (CATMAN!), as well a couple of waves of non-lantern figures. Mattel did a fine job of covering the entire DCU, although I’m probably going to have to sell an organ if I want to find that Zatanna figure anytime soon. The line is getting retired/retooled for 2012, dropping the classic aspect and focusing more on modern favorites, as well as integrating some of the new 52 redesigns. Also expect a ton of Batman stuff to tie into the movie and Arkham City.
Surprising no one, we’re wrapping up this recap with Hasbro’s 2011 Marvel Comic Releases. The company did a fine job of representing the Marvel Universe, as well as its movie counterpart with the Thor and Captain America movie-based waves. There were even some Legends-scale Iron Man stuff too! And oh sure, while there was a decent amount of Wolverines, Iron Mans, & Spideys on the shelves this year, we also got some obscure characters like Darkhawk & Skaar, as well as some long-due characters like X-23, Storm, & Falcon. 2012 promises more awesomeness between the PROPER return of the Marvel Legends line, the Avengers figures, as well as more Marvel Universe figures!
That wraps it up for the 2011 review! We have plenty of the figures/toy lines mentioned today still in stock in store and online if you’re interested on picking some up, so swing by before they’re replaced with the 2012 releases!