Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2016 Highlights

Well, here we are! My 2016 highlights! Compared to 2015, this year had so much to choose from that I had to think once or twice for certain areas. In short, before I start this collection highlight, I want to say that 2016's collecting endeavor truly was a success and cathartic! With that said, here are the winners of 2016!

Marvel Legends: I will continue the battle of wondering if the Marvel Legends line is worth it. The last couple of years, Hasbro has bombarded us with numerous Marvel Legends(BAF) left and right and it's hard to keep up. Even if I did keep up, so many repaints, recycles mediocre characters, QCs, lack of here, etc. But beyond all my gripes with ML, they continue to also impress me, compel me, and keep my drive alive with some figures and sets here and there so with that said, I don't think I  can fully set this side of my collection down. But I will continue to try and be selective so that my choices for next year's ML winners are going to be hard to pick.

Iceman, Venom, Rogue, (Miles) Spidey, Nico
There was a handful I wanted to put on this list but I had to narrow it down to these figures. Which brings me to the thought: what are my criteria in Marvel Legends and figures in general? To be honest with you, I mostly put that judgement on how much I like the figure. No semantics, technicality, or any thing like that. Once in a while I will put price or stuff like that into factor but for this, it's the characters I like and the figure that really brought out an 'awe' factor. The figures in the picture really had something to bring to the table for me. But who wins the first place?


While I am not too knowledgeable with this character, I will say that this is the Legend that had all the right stuff to make me give her this title. Beauty, character likeability, accessories, nice mold, and aesthetics--these are the reasons why the five are on the list and Nico took all of those qualities into one shell. She might not be a character I know a lot about, but now I want to know more about her after having her figure.

Honorable shout out: Iron Fist and Spider-Gwen. Because I like these figures but did not really find it in me to put them on the top five.

Build-A-Figure(ML BAF): There was a time when this list would go past the number three, but hey, that was some time ago. One can say that I only grab the ones that really interests me, and damn right. With prices on these guys hiking up every year, it's getting harder and harder to get them and the time for just getting the BAF and not the rest of the figures may be at hand. After all, I did it this year.

Dormamu, Absorbing Man, Onslaught
I technically only 'completed' two out of the three BAFs in this line up. As you all know, the ONLY figure I bought for Onslaught is Kitty Pryde; everything else about Xavier and Magneto's darker side is bought as a WHOLE without the figures on Ebay. So how does one really judge these guys? Well, I have to grade them seperately from their sets. I have to just look at them as a figure and say: 'what makes them cool'? Don't get me wrong, the figures building the BAF does have weight in the back of my mind, but I try not to let that persuade my decision. So, with that said:


Absorbing Man is not my favorite character out of the tree. He isn't even the coolest looking one. What he is though is a far more thought out and 'loyal-to-the-character' gimmick than Onslaught and Dormamu. Sure, Dormamu looks great, has a decent amount of articulation for his character, comes with some flaming skulls effect, the problem is that he isn't an original BAF; he is a repaint. And then Onslaught looks great as well but lacks mobility and that 'intimidating' factor because he is so bare. No alternate hands and the variant head we got is an Onslaught I don't care much for. Absorbing Man comes with a few interchangeable parts, two variant heads, and a lackluster but signature ball and chain weapon. He was fun and his set was cool. I have to give it to him. HE IS the BAF LEGEND for me in 2016. 

IMPORTS: Of course we will have a part for this wonderful set of toys that the east provides for us. Much like the BAF, I didn't collect as much because they aren't cheap. They're actually quite pricey but having three in my collection is a good enough comparison. Now I know it's not fair since I have two Playarts KAI and one Figuarts but an import is an import. 

Wonder Woman, Rin Tohsaka 2.0, Fran
So yes, two Playarts Kai and one Figuarts. Is it fair? I think so. When it comes down to it, minus the larger scale, I can put Figuarts and Tamashiis next to Square Enix and see what they have on the table. I might have to really consider price on the line since Playarts Kai are much more hefty in price, but with that, they should come with more details, articulation, and a ton more accessories. Or so it's expected. So the winner of 2016's import race is....


HOW, right? How could a figure that is smaller than 6 inches beat a powerhouse figures like Fran and Wonder Woman? How could TWO Playarts Kai LOSE to a S.H. Figuarts? Not to mention, I LIKE Wonder Woman and Fran just as much as I like Rin Tohsaka. So what happened? Well for one thing: I have HIGH expectations for Playarts Kai. How can I not? A Playarts Kai ONCED stood side by side with a Hot Toy for being my favorite catch of the year(2014), so when I was waiting for Fran to arrive, I was expecting that much! As the review stated, I didn't get that 'wow'... a couple of months later, Wonder Woman didn't deliver either. Lack of accessories (Wonder Woman's Lasso being just 'decoration' and Fran's useless bow and arrow), funny anatomy here and there, and very steep prices, I can't justify saying that I'm fully satisfied with my Kai catches this year. Some of their fumbles were a MUST for the characters, like Fran having some kind of bow and arrow poseable dynamic feature; I won't even get into Wonder Woman's lasso. All in all, while Jin's clothing for this figure isn't even my favorite, she delivered. We have the expected accessories for a Figuarts and it sated some of my need for a new Rin figure. Thank you Figuarts!

Statues: This is probably the most fruitful(second to MLs and POP) genre I have this year. Bishoujo came out with some good ones as well as not so common in my collection brand. I truly can say that I had some really good ones this year so let's take a look at them.

Tali Z'orah, Harley Quinn, Elsa, Rin Tohsaka
I had a few good selection on the table for sure. As I mentioned, Bishoujo definitely killed it with their line ups (the ones that I bought) and then we have some odd ball imports that I don't really know that well, but they also delivered with their attention to details. I also had some not as intricate statues, but one of a kind, ones that I will put in the shout outs. I had to sit down long and hard about who will take this spot, but it had to fall on one person.

After time adrift among open stars, along tides of light and shoals of dust, she does return where she began! Bishoujo Tali'Zorah nailed it. She was by far the most detailed, most accurate, most anticipated Bishoujo. Harley came close and so did Elsa, but I just had to really dig deep and ask myself: what would jesus do? No I'm just kidding. I really looked at the choices here and truly had to weigh in which one really symbolized a definitive product for every dollar. Tali had the details, t he character accuracy, the posing that was both sexy and dynamic to the character, the price was just right, and there's enough fan service to pay the bills. Sure Elsa was beautiful and accurate. Sure Harley was sexy. There was a ton of dynamic fan service with Rin, but in the end, this unit would not have a soul if I didn't give it to her.

Honorable Mentions: Casual Asuka -I have a LOT of Asuka figures. I have a couple of good statues too. This particular one is classy, fun, a little out of character, but in the end it offered a unique twist to the tsundere smoking red hot Eva pilot. It also helps that she IS from Japan; like handed to me from the land of the Rising Sun itself by a friend.


This particular piece should have been in the category above(Statues), but something about her just plainly blows competition out of the water so I decided to just put her by herself. She can't make "THE ONE" because I didn't spend a lot of time in her photoshoot, nor did I even consider myself EXTREMELY Elated to get her photos out. She's great, she's awesome, and she is definitely detailed, accurate, AND pricey. Here she is, the character that is probably the main reason why people can even consider Suicide Squad note worthy as a movie:
This statue came with the special preorder of the Suicide Squad Bluray online release. I never thought I'd pay that much for a Bluray, but you know, this statue was something else and it really caught my eye. The details are gorgeous, the stance is so in-character, the accuracy, and just the overall feel of it... they did great. This Harley Quinn statue should be out of the statue category because she was just not going to give a chance to the other prospects.


This is going to be unfair and may be out of the idea of what I'm doing with my collection, but considering the one I picked to sit on this throne is in my game room and something I consider a toy(on its own category), I can't ignore the fact that it is my ultimate purchase for this year. With that said, I present to you the winner:

Yes my ps4 IS the winner. It's not an action figure. I didn't pose it around. I didn't even do a review on it. I just simply bought it, got into it, played a few games, and... well... what detracted me from writing, reviewing, blogging, and gave me a sense of 'relief' when I didn't want to think too hard on things is this guy. As much as I wanted to not think of my Ps4 that way, my Ps4 IS that way. It's in my game room. It's displayed. I collect with it. It definitely deserves a spot in 2016's well improved status compared to last year's. With FFXV still in my grasp, Skyrim Remastered, Mass Effect Andromeda on the way, and much much more Ps4 has to offer, I have to say that it is the most well received investment I had this year. I got it later in the year, but when I got it, it changed a lot of my hobby endeavors.

Needless to say, Ps4 is the one.

After Word: I can't say anymore than truly express just how much I appreciate this year. It has been one of the best when it comes to collecting and I truly hope I can continue this kind of fruition as the years come. I am seriously considering a lot of things like really cutting back on MLs and BAFs, truly getting selective figures, and really consider my space. My room is finite when it comes to display options, and regardless of how many times I revamp things, I will have to put things away in storage. With that said, here's to 2017's collecting habits! I already have a few on preorders that I anticipate will have a good chance on being on 2017's highlight. Also, I imagine I will be adding POPs to the review section. Heck, I might even do a 'follow up' for 2016's POP-age since I collected so much. This year will not be any different; it might be more too! Until then! 

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