Saturday 31 December 2016

Favourite Toys of 2016 & Happy New Year!

Another year has come to an end and though it seems to have been a tough one for many people, there's been some great toy releases nonetheless. Thank you for reading the blog throughout 2016, it's been a big year as readership has grown exponentially and there's some big things in the pipeline for 2017.

But without further ado, here are my favourite ten toys I've reviewed this year on the site. There are a couple of I'm either yet to review or receive, but I'm fairly confident that this list wouldn't change either way.

10. Marvel Legends Ben Reilly Spider-Man/Spider Carnage

While this might not be one of the best toys I've gotten this year in terms of overall quality, it easily makes the top ten on what it means to me as a collector. I grew up on the 1990s Spider-Man cartoon and so Spider-Carnage holds a special place in my heart, not just because Carnage is my favourite Marvel character but also because he was the final villain of the series. My love was only cemented after reading his comic appearance. This is a fantastic toy for both Spider Carnage fans and those who simply want a really good Ben Reilly Spidey figure.

The Nendoroid Wind Waker Link is a near-perfect representation of the character, so imagine my joy when I found out Zelda would be joining him in 2016. The Wind Waker designs feel like they were destined to become Nendoroids and Zelda is further proof of that. A brilliant little toy with a ton of accessories. Fingers crossed it opens the floodgates for more high end Legend of Zelda toys that aren't just Link variants.

It's 2016 and who ever thought a Revoltech would be making it into this list? This inclusion isn't just down to Stitch being my favourite Disney character, it's just a great toy all around. Revoltech joints might seem antiquated in the wake of better lines, but they feel right at home on the stubby little alien. Clearly this wasn't just a fluke for Kaiyodo either, as the new Amecomi Marvel Comics figures seem to be going down a storm as well.

2016 was the year that GARO Figuarts came back with a bang, and that bang was especially thanks to the Ryuga version figure from The One Who Shines in the Darkness. Whereas the old Garo figure is really beginning to show its age now, this brand new one can stand with the best of them. Incredibly detailed and sporting a colourscheme that makes it unique amongst all the other Garo armour, this is exactly the revitalisation everyone had hoped for.

It's no secret that I wasn't a fan of Kamen Rider Ghost, but for me Yurusen was undoubtedly the stand-out character and this DX toy was far better than I could have ever hoped. As a Premium Bandai exclusive admittedly it's only for the diehard fans, but the quality of it is utterly superb and the amount of phrases they packed in is staggering. Give Yurusen a few Eyecons and you have one amazing Kamen Rider Ghost display centrepiece. 

As a collector I've always tried to largely avoid the Super Imaginative Chogokin line - a lot of the redesigns don't appeal to me, the scale is much bigger than I'm used to and ultimately you just have to draw the line somewhere. However I simply couldn't resist S.I.C. Kamen Rider Gaim Orange Arms, and now I'm finding it extremely hard to resist the rest of the cast as well. Gaim fully embraces the traditional Japanese armour aesthetic and the end result is simply incredible - a highly detailed figure that's not only recognisable as Kamen Rider Gaim but also fully embraces the Arms Change gimmick as well. If there's only one S.I.C. figure you ever buy, make it this one.

Shinkocchou Seihou shows off the very best of the best S.H. Figuarts has to offer and this year as been one of the best years for the line yet. This year saw them branch into secondary Riders and web exclusives, as well as updating yet another Rider who desperately needed it. The old Kamen Rider Double figure looks like trash compared to this thing. Not only is the sculpt now accurate, but Double now sports correctly coloured joints, improved articulation and a fully functional Driver! This is a must-have Figuart and well worth the upgrade to anyone unsure about replacing their original figure.

What "Best toys of 2016" list would be complete without Kirby? From the perfect design to the magnetic limbs and ton of accessories, Kirby is one of the most perfect toys I've ever come across. If this level of quality is present on Nendoroid Meta Knight next year, I fully expect that to make the "Best toys of 2017" list as well.

As much as I love Shinkocchou Seihou Double, the Kamen Rider Decade release just has so much more going for it. The suit may be divisive among fans, but the colours and design are undeniably striking and the Shinkocchou Seihou line finally shows it off in all its glory. On top of a wonderfully detailed and articulated figure you have an alternate head, a ton of hands, three versions of this weapon and a selection of scale Rider cards. As one of my gateways into the Kamen Rider franchise and one of my favourite overall Riders, Shinkocchou Seihou Decade is one of the proudest additions to my collection.

There's been a lot of impressive toys this year but none of them have blown me away quite as much as a blank grey Figuarts body has. With no armour or pieces dangling off of it, this toy shows just how much articulation is packed into the new S.H. Figuarts bodies and now my go-to toy for posing and simply messing about with. Use it as a drawing reference tool, posing practice, a nameless opponent or just a really cool display piece - the versatility of Body-kun is just incredible. However if you're thinking of picking one up be sure to make it the DX version, as the stand and wide range of accessories just make the whole package even better.

And that's it for 2016 - see you in 2017 for even more reviews!

No comments: