Thursday, January 01, 2009

AFB’s 2008 Round-Up

The year is coming to an end, and that calls for a round-up of the best and the rest in the superhero action figure world for 2008. I’m sticking to the figures that have been featured in the pages of AFB this year, so you may not agree with my takes in all of these categories, but hey – it’s my blog! Let’s get started:

jsanewto9Custom of the Year: Choosing between my customs is like having a favourite child, but the one that I acquired this year that my collection absolutely couldn’t live without would have to be the MA JSA Liberty Belle done by the  amazing Lars. My custom MA JSA is well on the way, and Liberty Belle is the gem of the roster and one of the absolute gems of my whole collection. Best custom I featured that I don’t own (unfortunately) would have to be the custom MA Bulleteer from the Doosh Custom Con. Love it and want it.

Picture 006 Best 6” Scale Figure: Mattel DC Universe Classics Aquaman (Series 2) The flesh tone is a bit off, but this is by far and away the best ever plastic representation of the King of the Seas, and one of the strongest efforts in the DCUC line to date. Great to see Aquaman getting such respect in plastic – now if only the same could be said about the comics! Runners Up: DC Direct New Teen Titans Jericho, Mattel DC Universe Classics Wonder Woman, Marvel Legends Ronin (great figure of a not that great character), DC Direct Justice Captain Cold. Also am a big fan of the Marvel Legends Union Jack that I picked up this year but who never made it up onto the site.

Picture 003Best 6” Wave: Mattel DC Universe Classics Series 2: A diverse line-up, solid sculpts, good QC and a kick-ass Collect & Connect figure, DCUC Wave 2 had it all, even if some of the variants didn’t come until the end of the year. This wave is where DCUC really began to show what it was capable of. Only a blue-faced, slightly wonky Harley Quinn kept it from absolute perfection. Gorilla Grodd, Superman Red & Blue and an amazing Aquaman more than made up for it. Runners Up:  DC Direct New Gods Series 1: In all their Kirby goodness, who could go past Orion, Mr Miracle, Darkseid and Lightray for the one of most enjoyable 6” wave of the year? DST Battlestar Galactica Series 2 gave us Starbuck, Kat, Helo and an amazing Cylon for some great, non-superhero fun. Mattel DC Universe Classics Series 3 could have taken the prize if not for scale issues: a less tall than intended Sinestro and a worryingly small Robin, but this was still an excellent set of figures.

Picture 002Best 1:6 Scale Figure: Sticking with what I’ve collected, I’m going to have to give this to the recent DC Direct 1:6 Scale Black Canary, a favourite character and by far the best female in the DCD 1:6 Scale line. The extra screamy head was a huge bonus. If the headsculpts just looked a bit more like Dinah and bit less like Michelle Pfieffer, it would have been near perfect (still would have had those pesky thigh cuts though). Naturally, the clear overall winners are the amazing 1:6 scale figures that Hot Toys is putting out at the moment, like the Batman range and their Iron Man. Oh to have the funds. Runner Up: DC Direct 1:6 Scale Joker.

picture014ut6Best Roster Completion: DC Direct New Teen Titans Series 2: We love having complete teams on our shelves, and few sights could be sweeter than seeing the Wolfman / Perez New Teen Titans all together in one place. The addition of Robin, Terra and Jericho made that possible, and DCD has to get some thanks for that. Not only were these much wanted characters almost perfectly sculpted, they were also in scale with the original NTT series from DCD’s much smaller years. A job well done.

    3037227905_ebe2d653d1_oAnnouncement of the Year: Mattel DC Universe Classics Series 8: Any questions that I had about just how far the DCUC line could go were answered when Series 8 was announced. Gentleman Ghost? Adrian Chase Vigilante? The sky is no doubt the limit here. Now it’s going to take a Legionnaire or ten to make me totally happy of course, but the announcement of Series 8 actually made me believe that just might happen. Runner up: the Mattel Justice League Unlimited Legends of League 6-packs announcement: Vibe, Steel, Crimson Fox and B’wana Beast?? Hello!!

Mattel_logoLine of the Year: DC Universe Classics. Like I said earlier, the sky really does appear to be the limit with this line. Distribution and a few pesky QC issues aside, this line carries the hopes and dreams of a great many DCU fanboys and girls on its plastic little shoulders.

Company of the Year: Mattel. DCUC, JLU, Infinite Heroes, Brave & the Bold. Mattel has taken the DC license and given us DC fans more loving than we could ask for, with some honey thrown in for Masters of the Universe collectors as well. The level of fan interaction and the launch of all just add to justification, if any more was needed. Long may these halcyon days last!

An epic post for what really has been an epic year. Thanks for sharing it with me, and I look forward to bringing you more fun in 2009!

1 comment:

Shaun said...

nice list, Scott. :)

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