Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Best Of 2018 part 1

Another year has come and gone. And before we move on to 2019, it’s time to look back at my favorite toy purchases of 2018 and do the near impossible task of picking out my top ten out of all of them.

This time around, I decided to try something a little different. Instead of waiting for the entire year to pass before picking out my top ten, I opted to run an ongoing top ten list throughout the year updating it every 3 months. This way I could keep better track of all the new toys I purchased...and give a shout out to a lot of my favorites that would ultimately not make the final top ten cut at the end of the year.

In case you missed it, you can read the first three parts of my ongoing top ten list of 2018 here: First Quarter, Second Quarter, Third Quarter.

Anyway let’s get down to business shall we? As always, before we get into the actual top ten of 2018, here are some honorable mentions that I purchased in the 4th quarter (Oct to Dec) of the year.

Power of the Primes Punch/Counterpunch

To be honest, I was never really a fan of this character as I always thought the whole concept of a Transformer double agent was kinda dumb. But regardless of how I felt about his gimmick, I have to tip my hat off to Hasbro for pulling off a pretty fun modern update of the character.

Star Wars Mei Sho Movie Realization Kanreichi Ashigaru Snowtrooper

I am a real huge fan of Bandai’s Movie & Manga Realization lines wherein Star Wars and Marvel characters are reimagined as ancient samurai. And because so few are actually released in a year, each new figure is usually big thing for me. The only reason this particular one doesn’t really crack the top ten of 2018 is that because as fantastic as he looks, he’s basically just another Stormtrooper with some slight but important tweaks to his design. Had it not been for his amazing cannon and distinctive snowtrooper mask, I may not have even gotten him.

Marvel Legends Kingpin

Kingpin is literally and figuratively too big of a classic villain NOT to have on your shelf. At first sight there was no doubt that I would get him despite being a BAF of what I initially thought was a rather lackluster Spidey wave (I was wrong….the wave itself is pretty fantastic). While in hand he definitely doesn’t disappoint, even I have to admit though that compared to all the other fantastically detailed BAFs I got in 2018, his rather straightforward and clean design makes him look a bit...plain.

Super 7 Club Grayskull Chopper

Despite never being mentioned by name in the lone Filmation episode he came out in, and being referred to as “Chopper” in the series bible, there no mistaking that this guy was meant to be the evil warrior Jitsu. He was never used again in the series because producers thought his look would be offensive to Asians. Well, I’m Asian and I love Jitsu and I was over the moon when Super 7 decided to immortalize this obscure version of Jitsu in plastic form. It cost quite a lot since he was released as a Powercon exclusive but it was well worth it.

X-Transbots Savant (Masterpiece Skids)

Ok so this was one of the most anticipated toys of the year. Although I wasn’t excited over getting a masterpiece version of Skids per se. While as a character, he’s perfectly fine, I’m not really that huge of a fan. What I was really looking forward to with acquiring Skids was finally completing my 1985 lineup of Autobot Cars, a minor collection goal achieved in 2018. Of course it helps that Savant is a fairly decent and solid toy too.

Marvel Legends Vintage Vision

This year, I didn’t get just one significant Vision release, I got two! At the start of the year, Hasbro finally released an MCU version of Vision to complete Civil War’s Team Iron Man. And to end the year, they also finally produced a proper CLASSIC Vision. For such an iconic look, I find it quite amazing how long it took Hasbro to finally release this version of Vision. While a white ghost Vision, a modern Vision, a Marvel Now Vision and an MCU Vision are all great….what I really wanted was just a plain old regular classic Vision. And to close out 2018, I finally got one!

MP-42 Cordon

Masterpiece Sunstreaker was my top toy of 2017 and is still in my opinion probably one of THE best Transformer toy produced by Takara to date. So it’s really not a surprise that we got Cordon this year, which is a repaint of that masterpiece based on an early Diaclone police car deco. While Cordon is every bit as good as my top toy of 2017, with a lot of distinctive tweaks to differentiate him from Sunstreaker, I just couldn’t place him in the top 10 this year as well since, well he’s basically the same toy. Still, he’s definitely one of my favorite purchases this year.

Marvel Legends Ultron

While I initially passed on the original BAF release of this MCU Ultron, when I eventually decided to fill out my MCU villains display, adding Ultron became a priority. Unfortunately by that time, Ultron had become quite pricey on the secondary market. Which is why I was so happy when Hasbro decided to re-release him as a single figure for their 10th Anniversary MCU line. To make things even better, this newer version had an even better paint job than the original release which made this purchase all the more sweeter.

So that’s about it for the honorable mentions for 2018. I’ll get to the actual Best of 2018 in the next part.