The nexus of all that is molded, sculpted or stitched – Toy Fair – has descended upon collectors once again. With enough wonderful toys to send Jack Nicholson’s Joker into cardiac arrest, crowning this year’s most exceptional collectibles is no easier than a buying Hot Toys product on a budget. But tough choices must be, and were, made. From sickeningly cute plush dolls to monolithic statues, here are the 2014 Toy Fair items worthy of even Valhalla’s display cases.
1) DC Collectibles’ DC Designer Series
For a while there, it looked like we would be forever subjected to homogenized New 52 DC action figures. Not anymore. Starting with Greg Capullo’s trademark style on Gotham’s finest, DC Collectibles will once again deliver action figures based of specific artists and story arcs. We’re hoping for a lot less errant lines.
2) Super Alloy 1/12 Scale Iron Man Armors From Play Imaginative
Remember the dozens of insane armors from Iron Man 3 that were on screen for maybe half of a second? Yeah, us neither. Luckily, Play Imaginative is doing the design department justice with 1/12-scale figures of Iron Man Marks 1-42, War Machine, Iron Patriot, and all the armored baddies. With up to 90% of the statues made of metal alloys, it’s the closest to a literal Iron Man that we’ll get.
3) Diamond Select’s 24” Mr. Stay-Puft Bank
It’s almost like Diamond Select wants people to cancel their savings accounts. Indeed, interest rates pale in comparison to the visceral joy of plunking your hard-earned dough into an iconic behemoth of nerd culture. But for $125.00, filling the bank up might take a little longer than expected.
4) Dark Horse’s Legend of Zelda Figures
Has Nintendo axed your hopes of ever enjoying The Legend of Zelda franchise again? If so, at least find solace in these fantastic Link and Ganandorf figures. They won’t make the Wii U suck any less, but they should satisfy any cravings for a high-quality Hyrule experience.
5) Archer Action Figures and Collectibles From Factory Entertainment
It’s about time that everyone’s favorite alcoholic, murderous super-spy transcended the medium of television to some high-quality collectibles. Factory Entertainment is bringing the debauchery with 6” action figures, statues, plush dolls and even the infamous dolphin puppet. Your toy shelf just entered the daaaaanger zone.
6) Playmates Toys Ninja Turtles Lineup
No matter how much turtle power you posses, Playmates has you covered with every possible Ninja turtle toy imaginable. From pocket sized action figures honoring the original cartoon, to a zip-line series featuring the current CGI Nickelodeon series, no Turtle fan should feel left out. And while no press photos were allowed for the upcoming Ninja Turtles movie line, let’s just say that everything we shouldn’t have seen a few weeks ago wasn’t inaccurate.
7) Diamond Select’s Batman ’66 Busts.
Now that the merchandising rights have opened up for the classic sixties series, everyone but Marvel is licensing Adam West’s likeness. The true frontrunner in the Batusi infested pack, however, is Diamond Select’s series of busts featuring Batman, Robin, Riddler and the Joker. Before you even ask, yes – they kept Cesar Romero’s paint-crammed mustache intact.
8) McFarlane Toys’ Walking Dead Statue
Don’t mess with Rick Grimes. Just Don’t (especially you, Andrew Lincoln). This massive statue, which is still in the prototype stage (though colorless actually works well for it), sees comic-book Rick blasting zombies away like a bad syndication deal.
9) Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics
The latest wave brings characters like Scorpia, Hydron, Modulok and the newly revealed Rio Blast into the fold. At this rate, you’ll never have to re-watch the classic cartoon series again (even though you will). Also expect some Skeletor and Princess of Power action (PoP gets its own mini-subscription featuring cartoon-only characters Madame Razz and Light Hope), along with a mystery Unnamed One that was – surprise – covered in a black sheet with a question mark on the show floor. Oh, Mattel, how you tease. We already know how terrible the figure underneath actually is.
10) NECA’s Aliens Series 3 and 4
It’s safe to say that somebody will definitely hear the screams of devout Aliens fans with these articulated, highly detailed action figures that delve deep into the Aliens cannon. A Power Loader is also on the way, for more xenomorph-busting goodness, though Ripley, alas, will not likely be piloting.
11) NECA’s Simpsons Greatest Guest Stars Series
Let’s be honest. We’d never normally have a Tom Hanks, James Brown, Yao Ming, Hugh Hefner (ok, maybe), or Kid Rock action figure on our shelves. But when they’re yellow and only sporting eight fingers? Count us in.
12) Kidrobot’s DC Comics Series
Not ceding any ground to Marvel (movies excluded), DC Comics is jumping in on the Kidrobot party with a Labbit and Muni line of their own, scheduled to hit shelves this October. Nothing will haunt one’s dreams worse than an evil clown-rabbit hybrid. But fret not, as Batman, Green Lantern, Red Hood and Bane Labbits are also en-route. This line does NOT have our permission to die.
13) Funko’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer Pop Figures
In what must be the new benchmark for pop cultural relevancy, Funko’s Pop line is waving its magic wand on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. With the core cast of Joss Whedon’s series set for this June, even monster-killing can now look cute.
14) Capo’s Street Fighter Line
New Street Fighter licensor Capo proves that sometimes, less really is more. With simple, yet detailed and accurate action figures of Ryu and the gang, Capo does the brawlers right. No frills and no gimmicks? Sold. The first wave includes Ryu, Sagat, Blanka, Chun-Lee and Guile. Sorry, Jean-Claude Van Damme couldn’t make it this time around.
15) NECA’s Planet of the Apes figures
Thanks to NECA and their high quality renderings of classic movie characters, the damn dirty apes actually look pretty fresh. Eat your heart out, Caesar.
16) DC Collectibles’ Batman: The Animated Series Action Figures
You could practically hear the Internet snapping in two when DC Collectibles announced a high-end version of action figures from Batman: The Animated Series. No longer subjected to the gaudy Piranha Blade Batman or offensive Ninja Robin, these figures are what we’ve wanted since 1992. Expect New Adventures Batman, Mr. Freeze and Two-Face with Batman The Animated Series Catwoman in Wave 1. Don’t worry if you didn’t get your preferred version of a character just yet; DC confirmed that future waves will offer both New Adventures and classic looks for Gotham’s inhabitants. Fingers crossed for both versions of Baby Doll.
17) Dark Horse’s Game of Thrones The Hound Bust
Seldor Clegane Sandor Clegane, a.k.a. The Hound, is finally unleashed in a collectible worthy of his disemboweling stature. As a neat little party trick Clegane’s helmet hinges down for a truly murderous experience.
18) Mattel’s DC Super Powers Collection
The nostalgia train keeps chugging with Mattel’s quality-but-barely-affordable DC Comics action figures, with a final ’80s tribute wave going for $30 a pop online. Highlights include a golden Superman, Collect and Connect Kalibak, and – yep – Green Lantern as the Riddler (a throwback to a foreign knock-off from year’s past). Lowlight: a tiny Mxyzptlk that costs just as much.
19) DC Direct’s Deadman Plush
First Marvel’s Rocket Raccoon swept us like a warm and fuzzy virus at New York Comic Con, and now this. It must be safe to say that we are enamored with ironically cute plush dolls of not-so-cute characters. Would it be too much to ask for a plush Swamp Thing next?
20) Dick in a Box, from BiffBangPow
Yes, now you can impress your loved ones and/or face charges just like Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg with phallic-supported gift boxes. Sure, the joke’s almost 10 years old, but that won’t make that next special occasion any less memorable. For less open-minded fans – or maybe those who prefer the taste of dick on their food – there are also Dick in a Box salt and pepper shakers.
And all that’s not even the half of it. We posted a lot more on the Topless Robot Twitter over the past couple of days, so be sure to check in and scroll back to see what you (and we) missed in the list.