For years since I started blogging about toys, I had always wanted to do a "Top Ten"-styled "list" (I like "lists"), commemorating and commending the best toys of each and every year, but could hardly scrounge up a complete list, as I do not necessarily own a lot of toys! And to be utterly fair, I would rather do a list based on my own personal assessment and interaction with them, rather than via peeks at online images of (but that's just me … and there are other folks out there who has this in the bag anyways).
Instead of 'agonizing' over it again this year, I decided instead laud the Top Ten Art Toys I had in my own Personal Collection, added in 2012! A mix of indie-self-made figurines and production collectibles both art and kaiju, this was indeed a memorable trip for me, at the very least. I hope it will be entertaining a read for YOU, my dear readers!
#10 - FIEND by Josh Pierce
WHY: Who could resist the 'derp'-face of these hand-made and hand-painted resin figurines from Josh Pierce aka fplus? I certainly could not! As well I have this certain weakness for chubby-girth toys, so this bottom-heavy critter could crawl it's way to my toy-heart, easy-peasy!
Managed to purchase both the DCon Purple and Autumn Fiend via Josh's online shop, these are one of only 2 self-made toys in this list, Fiends fly high with placing #10 in TOP TOYS of 2012!
#9 - DESTER COMMANDO by StarCase
WHY: I discovered this Kika Rider-themed Dester Commando quite by accident actually, having stumbled across the item on the StarWars dedicated-retailer StarCase's website (via a video promo) and decided to go for the lottery buy, and managed to get on the list surprisingly! The item has since been sold out.
This is the second edition of Dester Commando released exclusively, and is StarCase's in-house release product, which to me is already commendable.
The sticker attachments, the frilly tassles within, the sheer bootleggery-feel of the sofubi, made holding it a real treat and delight, while transporting me back into my childhood - ironically with this piece vibing a heap of retroliciousness I utterly missed when I was a toddler playing with Matchbox-cars and Playmobils instead! … and what's that about the 'Black'-edition Dester Commandos? … *twitch-twitch-WANT*
[View my Video Review of Dester Commando HERE]
#8 - YUM YUM by Yum Yum
WHY: These came silently but potent they remained, with the series consisting of limited articulation figurines ranging from a hot dog, to a cactus, a kungfu granny, a nekkid-dude with a popcorn box for a head, to a zombie. The aesthetics parallel universes of James Jarvis, Pete Fowler, and all those whose lines are simple and character design direct with no frills necessary, or needed. And I love "food-toys", so the Hot Dog wins out :)
One of the classiest packaging with minimal graphics (reminds me of Sticky Monster Lab and product design stuff) this series was a sleeper-WIN, as far as I'm concerned! Check out more on my blogpostHERE, and go find out more about the London-based design studio at www.yumyumlondon.com. And yes, you can still purchase the figures (in a set of 5 or individually) here!
#7 - KAIJU NEGORA by Max Toy Co
WHY: Kaiju Negora would undoubtedly have been one of the more exceptional additions to the art toy scene, with it's kitty-kuteness and kaiju-isque double tail both endears fans and delights even non-toy-collectors! And while Mark Nagata of Max Toy Co has designed numerous modern-kaiju characters, Kaiju Negora is designed by artist Konatsu, sculpted by Makino-san of TTToys (and cast by Shimizu-san in Japan), and is perhaps the most accessible in the line-up, IMHO.
…my only "regret" of 2012 was unable to release a TOYSREVIL-edition for STGCC … Nevertheless, looking forward to further editions of his sofubi from Mark!
[I review a Kaiju Negora on video HERE]
WHY: I've been eyeing this figure since it was launched by KusoVinyl, but frankly could not take the plunge. The design and aesthetics was distinctively KaNO, and it was more of his style I would have considered procuring this figure, than the influence of Bruce Lee (for that, it would have been the Green Hornet / KATO figure, without a doubt).
What tipped me over the edge, was this 5th red-track suit edition released circa SDCC, from a lesser-famous movie, "Longstreet" (which I rather appreciated actually). And that I could purchase direct from the artist, was a plus, as was that autograph that came in the box inner cover. Yes, I am greedy, but only for things I like :)
#4 - ANDROIDS SERIES 3 from DYZ Plasic
And while Series 1 was pretty placid to me, I had fallen in toy-love with these collectibles by Series 2 (I even have a dedicated Facebook page for them). And courtesy of Taken Shop, I was able to review them, and had adored at least half of the series hahahaha!
Kudos need to be given to DYZ Plastic for the swell treatment done for these collectibles in the 3rd series. A definite step-up from straight-up print on vinyl toys from the past, and well appreciated!
[I unbox and review Androids Series 3 HERE]
#5 - RO-JAWS from 3A Toys
And while I might have loads of 3A Toys in my collection, the irony was, most of the pieces I have purchased online, are still boxed and unopened! As well this is not a "Top Ten 1/6 Toys" list, so RO-JAWS comes out tops in this field!
From British comicbook 2000 A.D.'s line dedicated to "A.B.C. Warriors", comes this robot poop scooper in two editions: Regular and "Black Hole" Edition, with both editions a firm fav of mine! The mecha-design is spot-on in this incarnation, making the diminutive robot pretty much a rocker-n-roller of a robot in my book!
Uber-cool production values and quality, plus the allure of a childhood fav comicbook growing up in, makes for an awesome toy-cillecting experience, methinks! Kudos, 3A!
[More pics HERE on Facebook / My quick REVIEW]
#3: BlackBook Toy Exclusive DEATHSHEAD by David Flores
WHY: Managed to score my one and only piece from Japanese brand BlackBook Toy, of their dark olive-green + sepia accented colorway produced by BIC Plastic. I had surprisingly loved this particular edition, with said colorway reminding me of twilight cartoons past, and the design which surprisingly drew me in (when other David Flores-designed pieces had not, truthfully).
Besides this, I had been eyeing both the OG and TAG White colorways, but in reality, this would be the only edition I would need to have purchased and own, IMHO.
[More images HERE on my Facebook / Toy Reviewed HERE]
#2 - "GLITTER" LADY MAXX by Max Toy Co
WHY: 2 x Max Toy Co toys in the Top 10? Hey, I calls it when I sees it LOL
I had really liked Max Toy Co's Lady Maxx, in all it's killer-kawaii-ness, and large anime eyes! But nothing could prepare me for this "Glitter" version! What enamored me to it more, was that this was an "NG" edition ("No Good") and was a prototype and remains un-produced, which to me makes it even more awesome to have! And yes, I pick her over Lady Darkness' ample evil bosoms anytime!
#1 - NINJA ROBO by Peter Kato
WHY: From first seeing images of it online, to purchasing it and holding it in my hands, I had adored Peter Kato's ROBO NINJA resin figurines. The aesthetics drew me in deep, the character design stirring up comicbook action sequences in my imagination, and I am hoping this gets made into a 7" action figure with multiple articulations, so I can pose and play with them, because they DEMAND to be played with! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Self-illusions of-play-aside, the deceptive simple lines (somewhat reminded me of "Micronauts", but that's just my own frame of reference) in form, and style reminiscent of retro-anime while possessing firmly it's own indie-art-toy-values = these are the qualities that pushed Ninja Robo to the top of the hill in TOYSREVIL's TOP TEN ART TOYS on 2012!