Monday, December 26, 2011

Top Ten Toys of 2011

Hello toy fans! With the end of the year quickly approaching I have been doing some time reflecting upon some of the best toys from 2011. Needless to say 2011 was a good year for toys, not a good year for everything else, but toys were totally wrapped up in awesomeness. There was more royal '80s toy revival treatment, some nice surprises, and of course a lot of cute. So let's start counting down and looking at the Top Ten Toys (this includes toylines) of 2011!

(I am in no way the ultimate authority on something like this, but just go with it. You'll be glad you did!)

10. Marvel Products

A few years ago the Marvel brand would have been closer to number one on this list thanks to the Marvel Legends line, quite possibly one of the best toy lines ever. However 2011 saw Marvel fans with the Marvel Universe line which has been so-so. Thankfully there were two really cool Diamond Select Marvel Minimates sets. One featured an awesome looking Betsy Braddock who many of you know as Psylocke. I love this version of Betsy. I also was glad to see X-Men First Class have a figure related release with a Marvel Minimate set as well. Emma Frost is one of my faves. In the middle is Polaris from Hasbro's Marvel Super Hero Squad, a really cute line of Marvel heros that stopped making new product this year.

Let's go to the sidebar real quick shall we? I love Polaris. Since I am a bit neurotic and quick to go cray in a flash I love strong female characters that are also one breath away from boiling a rabbit or eating a star. I'll never forget the X-Men arc where Polaris finally finds Havok and they plan on getting married, only Havok is hot for this homely nurse. This doesn't sit well with Polaris who sort of snaps on her wedding day (and in her wedding dress no less) and really just tears a lot of shit up. I loved it.

What's in store? Here is hoping that 2012 will be a better year for Marvel products. One thing I know for sure that will change the Marvel tide is that Hasbro is bringing Marvel Legends back! I see great things with that bit of information!

9. Princess Peach

It is no surprise that I am a fan of Nintendo. Princess Peach is one of my favorite characters. A) She is a princess and B) she knows how to be a damsel in distress. Princess Peach makes her man work for her rescue. Mario hopped and stomped through how many castles just to end up always saving Toad? Homegirl made him work for it, that is all I can say. Plus she has a lot going for her; a kingdom full of strange beings that wear fungi as hats. She can float in the air. Peach even had her own really cool video game, which is why I am glad that 2011 saw this really cool figure come out.

Now there had been a smaller version of Peach released as well, but she was too small. I like that this Peach was slightly taller. I'm not four years old. If I were four I wouldn't mind having some small two inch figure, but I'm old folks. I need to see what I'm buying. I can't keep buying these tiny little products with my old vision trying to make out all the tiny details. There is a reason why companies make big television remotes for old folks right? We need to see our crap. Listen up toy companies, you all need to make bigger action figures.

What's in store? I'm not exactly sure what Princess Peach will be doing in 2012, but since Nintendo has always been this huge marketing machine, I am sure there will be plenty of Peach in the new year.

8. Disney- I'm a sucker for Disney movies. This should come as no surprise because my inner child never really grew up. She just sits by patiently waiting for the next new Disney movie to come out and then with some sort of mind control trick tells me, "M, I know you are totally getting up there in age, but we are soo going to watch The Little Mermaid tonight. Cool?"

Anyways enough of that awkwardness, let's look at why Disney toys made it on this list. A couple months ago the fabulous folks at Funko released a series of Disney characters from their POP! line. This line of toys features various properties from the Wizard of Oz to superheros in this cute bobble head like vinyl mold. They are simply the cutest things ever but also are oozing street cred. This Disney series just happened to feature two of my favorites, Maleficent and Cruella De Vil.

Don't these just look so cool? Word of warning though, the paint applications are crappy on some of them. It took me a couple hunts to find the perfect two. I have major issues with messy paint applications. If I wanted a toy to look like a child had painted it, I'd just go ask my baby cousin to make everything for me. Anyways, Maleficent has always been such a great villain to me. She can turn into a dragon and practices magic. In Once Upon a Time she is also played by Pam (Kristen Bauer) from True Blood. So much awesomeness I can't stand it.

And then there is Cruella. Oh Cruella. How do I even begin? I mean first off you can't be mad at her, she is just a slave to fashion. It isn't her fault that she just really enjoys wearing puppy fur coats, hand bags, and shoes. Sure PETA may want her dead, but in all reality doesn't Cruella just represent that fashionista in all of us that just wants to look stylish and classy? Though riddle me this toy fans, why was her coat always yellow? I thought she hunted down dalmations? Either she needed a new dingy-less coat or that pelt was something else altogether. Grody.

What's in store? Well since the back of the box says Series 1, let's hope that Funko will be gracing us with more Disney series. I could really go for a POP! Ursula.

7. DC Lego- Ok let me be very clear, I am a Marvel girl through and through. I was born a Marvel girl and I am going to die a Marvel girl. Nothing is better than a good issue of X-Men except maybe All My Children and One Life to Live. However, DC has two things that Marvel does not. (1) Catwoman and (2)a partnership with Lego. With a new Batman movie rising this summer, toy fans should be lucky to see a ton of new Batman product. This will hopefully include Catwoman. I have Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman to thank for learning how to be a vixen. Catwoman is just a great character! Here is hoping that the latest version of the people's vixen will be great, because we all remember how terrible the last Catwoman was on film. (Halle= hot, Catwoman movie= mess)

How much fun is this Batman Lego set though? Out at the very end of 2011, this toy makes the list for the sole purpose of featuring a Lego Catwoman minifigure with a bright purple catbike. I love it. I also love that Lego is releasing this new set, because a couple years ago Lego released a similar set that is now reaching astronomical prices on the secondary market.

What's in store? More Batman and DC themed Lego sets I'm sure. There is also a set with Wonder Woman! Now if only Marvel could get in on this...

6. Rita Repulsa- Some of you may remember me posting about Rita awhile ago, and here she is making another appearance on this list! This toy completely caught me by surprise this year and though she is a little too small, I am still happy to have her.

What's in store? I doubt we will see another new Rita in 2012, but if we do, I hope we see a larger sculpt with a better face application. Dots for eyes only really work on Lalaloopsy ok?

5. Lego Minifigures- Actually here are some toys that are perfectly fine having dots for eyes! 2011 was a fantastic year for Lego Minifigures. With five series already in our greedy hands, Lego Minifigures pulled out all the stops this year. My favorite was the Cleopatra knock off and the work out girl with boombox. So much fun, though I have to say, I miss the days when each different minifigure had its own unique barcode. Now you have to work to find the ones you want. Of course I wouldn't have it any other way.

What's in store? I predict that 2012 will see blockheads with even more Lego minifigures. No I am not a psychic, I just happened to come across the latest series on the Lego site. They just keep getting better!

4. Final Fantasy Dissidia Terra- A long time ago in a decade I like to call the '90s, there was an epic game that crashlanded into the Super Nintendo. Called Final Fantasy III in the U.S. the game was actually Final Fantasy VI in Japan. This game was filled with amazing characters and an opera scene that makes me cry to this very day. One of the main characters (Terra) from Final Fantasy VI also made her way into a newer game called Final Fantasy Dissidia. This year finally saw her released as a figure thanks to a line of toys from the Dissidia series. Terra has finally arrived.

This toy pays total respect to her original debut and I was so thrilled to finally have the chance to see her in plastic form. Such a beautiful figure. Old school Final Fantasy fans will also be glad to know that other Final Fantasy characters are also covered in the line!

What's in store? I don't know what to expect in 2012 in terms of Final Fantasy characters. I would like to see more figures made from the older Final Fantasy games though. I think that Celes from Final Fantasy VI is long overdue for a figure. Right?

3. Zarana- I wasn't a huge collector of G.I. Joe growing up. I watched the cartoon and it was good, but G.I. Joe was not something that was particularly driving girls crazy. I have come to appreciate the Joes more as I have gotten older and my love for all things '80s has simply evolved. There were some really strong kick ass females in G.I. Joe that I absolutely love. And I think when I was younger I was maybe slightly aware of that. Zarana was one of the few vintage G.I. Joe toys I had, and that was mostly because she was wearing hot pink. I remember thinking, "Why is she in the boy aisle? Shouldn't she be a part of My Little Pony or something?" Only Zarana is not sweet. Don't let the pink fool you, she is vicious and will cut your eye balls out.

So this past summer Hasbro decided to make a whole new Zarana and make her an SDCC exclusive. I instantly knew she would be one of my most sought after toys of 2011. She is such a great figure! Basically they took the old design and just updated it, and maybe toned the pink down a bit, but I guess that is ok. She looks a little rough, but what else would someone expect from a member of Cobra?

What's in store? With a new G.I. Joe movie blowing up theater screens this summer, I have no idea what to expect by way of releases. I am hoping that Zarana makes an appearance in the film. That would be pretty cool as it would also mean another release. Fingers crossed!

2. Thundercats HOOO!!! I swear if I didn't know any better I'd think we all went back in time in 2011. Thundercats clawed their way back into our hearts with a new cartoon and toyline. I was over the moon with this, because it has been a long time since we last saw the 'Cats. The cartoon is really good, but the toyline is  icing on the cake.

Even though there were some slight issues with the line, Bandai did everything in their power to really make some great Thundercats products. I am loving the 4 inch line (and you all know how I feel about small things.) I also like the 6 inch series along with the 8 inch Classics line. The Classics series is just amazing. The dedication made to remaking the original vintage figures is just perfect.

What's in store? I have no sight beyond sight, but I'm going to guess that 2012 might be interesting for Thundercats. Bandai has already announced that they are trimming their Classics line down to 6 inches instead of 8. However there will be a 6 inch Cheetara soon, and that will be more than enough to make me happy while Bandai figures out what they are going to do with everything else.

1. Masters of the Universe Classics- This toyline had quite possibly the best toys of 2011. Now I know I am biased on this because of my love for He-Man and She-Ra, but how could anyone not like this line? Yes there are issues that are not going to be addressed here, but the fact still remains, if you are a fan of He-Man and She-Ra this line is seeking to give fans every character possible in the best sculpts poseable.

This year saw the release of Bow, a huge improvement over his vintage counterpart. The Catra release had some fans calling her the Catra they had wanted all along. Bubble Power She-Ra has been one of the best She-Ra figures to be made, and finally Swiftwind. A large flying unicorn. Simply the best.

There were of course many other great releases from the MOTUC line this year, but I can't mention them all. I'm just glad that this line brought out some amazing stuff this year. From beginning to end, I was experiencing every dorky emotion possible!

What's in store? More MOTUC! The full 2012 lineup has not been mentioned yet, but there have already been some great release information consisting of Shadow Weaver all the way to the Star Sisters. (Naysayers can talk the talk, I love the Star Sisters.) I only hope that 2012 will also see the release of some more members of the Great Rebellion. She-Ra is getting a little lonely fighting the Horde all by herself, well that and Bow keeps makin' the moves left and right with his harp.

So that is pretty much it for the Top Ten Toys of 2011. There was a lot of great stuff made this year and I hope that everyone out there has been able to find the items and characters that they have been clamoring for. I am off to catch up on One Life to Live. The show is pure brilliance and I am dreading the final air date on January 13th. Anyways folks, enjoy and keep it here. There is still some more dorktastic posts to come before 2011 takes its final bow. And then it will just be a new year with even more dorky stuff.


  1. Love the Maleficent, Zarana, and POP Classics! You have great taste!

  2. Thank you! As do you, your site is great!