WHAT-IS: Was 2016 a good year for you collecting toys? JOSH COLDIRON (www.noritoy.com) shares with us his TOP TEN TOYS OF 2016 today (And you can too), in a serial feature lasting the whole of January 2017, as we look back at a year of toys! Share Your Toy-Joy!
JOSH COLDIRON SHARES: "Another year is over, and that plastic monkey on my back has only gotten bigger. So it’s that time again to pick the top 10 toys I had gotten in another year that has passed. Now that I have returned to school, my budget for toys has dropped off a little. I am still making stuff, and trying to find time to customize toys, but most of my time is doing homework these days. I am still working on some personal projects, but those are going pretty slow as I juggle my time around. If you had not seen any of my work, I do a range of mediums from digital to traditional. I also shoot a toy in my collection daily and post it on instagram. (You can check all that out here: instagram.com/noritoy).
While I am still into collecting, I am trying to be a lot pickier about what I add to my collection. I have even found myself selling off some items to make room for new ones, especially if I have doubles of certain figures. While I have a variety of things added to my collection this year, here are the top ten toys that really stand out."
TOP TEN TOYS OF 2016: #10 - Assault Suit Valken Plum Model kit
JOSH COLDIRON: "Assualt Suit Valken was a Japanese game, but you may know it better as Cybernator on the SNES. Yes, it is a horrible name, but an awesome game. I would say this classic video game was a huge influence on me. The game had environmental damage; awesome designs, and a good story with anime like cut scenes. As a kid my friends used to time me on speed runs. I would complete the game right around the 30-minute mark. They were impressed, because they couldn’t even beat it.
This kit is pretty awesome, and the only thing that could top this model kit would be a gokin release that is full of diecast, and already painted. This sort of sits lower on this list because it needs a lot of work to look right. Compared to the Gundam kits, this one needs a lot more paint and detail work. I am very excited about it though because I never thought this obscure mech would ever see any real toy releases."
TOP TEN TOYS OF 2016: #9 - Super Mario Bros 3 Gashapon
JOSH COLDIRON: "Let’s not argue, because I am right. SMB3 is the best Mario game of all time. It has so much packed into the game, and it had a bunch of 80s hype wrapped around it in the form of The Wizard. If you had this game, you likely also had the little manual included. There were all these great little character illustrations, including Mario in his Tanooki suit. This toy captures that illustration perfectly. Its nostalgic, its accurate, its awesome. "
TOP TEN TOYS OF 2016: #8 - Diaclone Reboot Dia-Battles V2 (Moon Base Ver.)
JOSH COLDIRON: "You know Transformers? Well, they derived some other toy lines. One of those toys lines being Micro Man, and another being Diaclone. Here we have a reboot of a figure by Takara called the Dia Battles from the Diaclone line.
When I first saw it, I thought it was a cool robot, but I assume it was just another transforming bot. Once you get it out of the box the price point starts to make more sense. It costs about as much as a Masterpiece Transformer figure but isn’t really that big.
What makes this thing interesting is its engineering. When I got this guy, I went in kind of blind. I thought this robot mode you see before was it, with maybe a few adjustments here and there to make other modes. My mindset was this was related to transformers, but in reality, this is a distant cousin.
Where transformers are about sentient bots that turn from a vehicle to robot, these are about a series of vehicles and components that combine to make all sorts of mechs and spaceships. Its just down to your imagination. It also includes these impossibly detailed and articulated micro pilots.
Their size is what makes them so impressive. Takara makes another more brightly colored version of this, and now they announced another configuration to come out this year. It is certainly one to keep an eye on, and it is a figure that begs to be played with as it is just so much fun to come up with different modes."
TOP TEN TOYS OF 2016: #7 - Doink Toy2R Qee
JOSH COLDIRON: "This toy is a favorite for a couple of reasons. So I post a daily photo I take of a toy from my collection on instagram. I have been doing this for a couple years and still have enough in my collection to do an image a day for a while. What was awesome about this is the interaction with the artist. So I collect a lot of Qees, and I have this great one by Doink I posted a pic of.
Well, Doink ran across the pic and liked it enough to repost it and tag me in it. We got to talking, and he said he wanted to send me a surprise. So I get in the mail one of the qees he designed that I always wanted. It was awesome to meet the artist and he like my work enough to send me one of his figures. So this will be a memorable piece, and it is very exciting how it all came about. Plus, it just looks killer."
TOP TEN TOYS OF 2016: #6 - Wei Jiang Evasion Mode Optimus Prime
JOSH COLDIRON: "Well this is an interesting figure. So Hasbro made a figure from the AOE Transformers film that was pretty cool. It was lacking though. It was short on paint details, and had a few design flaws. The overall concept of the figure was good though. Many hoped a better version would come out, but it never happened. Along comes Wei Jiang.
This figure here is an oversized bootleg, but it’s not as simple as that, as this figure is ten fold better than the original. When I say oversized, it went from voyager to MP sized Transformers. It’s loaded with diecast, and chrome, as well as many detailed paint apps. It also has better engineering and improvements to the design. It is a masterpiece quality figure, and it was crazy cheap when you consider all that is packed into it. It's a shame the official source could not have made something as good though. "
TOP TEN TOYS OF 2016: #5 - Machine Robo Tank Robo
JOSH COLDIRON: "Let’s not fight about which was better, Transformers or Gobots. We can live in a world where these bots can coexist, especially when you consider Hasbro owns the rights to both of them now. I wasn’t really allowed to have Transformers as a kid (long story), but I was sometimes allowed to have gobots. Because of this, I can appreciate that many of them were better made. Even though they had diecast, I do admit some of the designs were a little less conventional. I am sure this affected their popularity, but it didn’t hurt that Transformers was a much better cartoon.
The thing about Gobots though, is they are not toys made for the series but rather adopted from other series like Machine Robo. So what is this? This is the Machine Robo Tank Robo. This is a diecast having, transforming robot that is based on the Anime Revenge of Cronos. And while it looks just like a Gobot character, it actually isn’t because this figure was adopted by Gobots from the Machine Robo line.
Action Toys got the rights to produce these figures in the likeness of the anime. So even though these aren't officially Gobots, it doesn’t mean we won’t pretend they are on our display. By the way, they have a Leader 1 as well of some of the icon others you might have remembered. I love the engineering, quality as well as the fact they look like original, but updated enough to stand with modern Transformers figures. They are totally worth picking up. "
TOP TEN TOYS OF 2016: #4 - SDCC Fortress Maximus
JOSH COLDIRON: "Who likes two-foot tall giant robots? I sure do, even though they are a pain to find display space for. Even though I didn’t have the original figure as a kid, I always appreciated it.
This modern interpretation is well executed and has lots of nice little details not included in the retail release. This one is also the closest taste I could get of SDCC. For the second year in a row I have tried to go to SDCC, and of course I am unable to get a ticket.
If you ever tried to buy a ticket online, you know the struggle. This was made available at a later date from Hasbro Toy shop, and I was lucky enough to get one. We may have fragged the servers trying to get them, but I had a better shot here than I did on the SDCC ticket servers, that's for sure.
This figure is very cool, and has lots of playability because the head comes off and turns into a robot and its head comes off to turn into an even smaller robot. Its headception. "
TOP TEN TOYS OF 2016: #3 - Mastermade SDT-03 Apollo
JOSH COLDIRON: "If you read my list last year, you would see a toy from the same brand. Without going too much into what 3rd party is, this is a Transformers inspired character made by another company. Mastermade is a company who makes these characters in a super deformed style, but with Masterpiece quality. It transforms, has diecast, superb plastic quality, lights and engineering. They took this a step further and took some liberties with the character.
If you remember Omega Supreme, he had a gun arm, and a big claw. Well, this one still does, but they come off and form a hammer and he has normal hands underneath. That sort of thinking out of the box is just enough to be awesome and still accepted by the fan base. Many who saw these thought they were awesome, but they didn’t like SD style. Mastermade listened and made head kits that put non-SD heads on them making them more like small gokin figures. While I think those parts should had been included with the figure, I still think it is quite awesome.
This is a figure I looked forward to for a long time, and is finally an Omega Supreme for my collection. When I was a kid I didn’t understand that they don’t keep making something. I had asked my Grandmother for a G1 Omega, and she looked for a couple of years to no avail. I had never had one for my collection, and sadly Hastak didn’t do anything super great in recreating it. So this is finally one that fits in my collection and reminds me of my now passed Grandma."
TOP TEN TOYS OF 2016: ##2 - Super Robot Chogokin Gao Gai Gar
JOSH COLDIRON: "Who likes a little heavy metal in their mecha. I have yet to watch the Anime, but I always loved the designs, and this is likely the ultimate form for me. While there is a much more expensive transforming Soul of Chogokin version, I prefer this smaller stylized version. It has lots of articulation and looks brilliant in about any pose.
Many toys of this character have been made, and I have owned a few, but I have looked for a great one for the longest time, and finally I feel my search is complete. Max Factory was about the only other company that came close in getting the style right. I had owned a few SRC figures, and I was not quite sure of the higher price point on this one. It was sold out though, and the pics I saw were pretty awesome.
Once I got it, I understood why it cost more. This thing is huge, and loaded with accessories. It really is another stage above many other SRC figures, and I hope they continue this trend with more future robots. Here is hoping they do a Voltron version this year since they currently have the license."
TOP TEN TOYS OF 2016: #1 - ThreeZero Titanfall Strider
JOSH COLDIRON: "What can top all these? It’ll take something pretty epic. I am a huge fan of Titanfall. Its one of my favorite games, and it breaks my heart it can never be a classic game because someday those servers are going to shut down. Because of this I hunted down the Play Arts Kai Atlas. I thought this would be my be all figure to remind me of the good times I had playing the game, then I found something bigger.
I had been looking around ebay for the TF2 figures and discovered the Stryder by ThreeZero was actually a fair price. Everything I loved about the play arts figure is dwarfed by this massive figure. While I really love the Atlas’s design, I really only use it in game because its play style suits me best.
As far as realistic looking mechs though, I think the strider is aesthetically designed much better. This became my most sought after figure. I stalked eBay for a while because the prices started shooting back up, and one lucky night I got it within budget.
This figure is just amazing. They ramped up the detail to 11. I do wish this figure had some diecast, perhaps in the feet, and maybe a counter weight to help it hold the gun that is long as my forearm, but it is still awesome as is. Scaling up this figure has given them room to really add some details, and make this what is now the crown jewel of my collection. Next year will be certainly hard pressed to release anything that compares to this. It might make me even pickier about picking up new toys as what can compare?"