Josh Coldiron's Top Ten Toys of 2014
WHAT-IS: *Celebrating 2015 with a series of "TOP TEN TOYS FOR 2014" as picked by fellow plastic-crack-addicts … eerrr … I meant "fellow toy collectors"! It doesn't have to be released in 2014, it just has to be purchased / gifted / unboxed in 2014. Living my toy-dreams vicariously through you collections! Share Your Toy-Joy, people!* [CLICK to read all]
"This was a good year in collecting for me. I got to go to Hong Kong, Toy Mecca of the World, as well as TFCon. I ended my year with a trip out to LA where there are all sorts of toy shops. I collect a wide variety of things, but I do find myself collecting robot toys more lately. I had gotten a lot of cool things, but their cool factor isn't what got them on this list. There is something special, be it something inspiring or something emotional that made these toys stand out from all the things I collected or made this year." -shared Josh Coldiron (Check out www.noritoy.com and Instagram @noritoy)
(#10) Pez Truck
WHY: "Being a kid in the 80s I had a love of trucks. The fall out craze from all the "truckin" love in the 70s made its way into many toys of my generation. My dad was a trucker, my hero Optimus Prime was a truck, and all the other toys available at the time–I was a big fan. I found this Pez toy in a store called Grumpy Bobs for $2 and had to have it. The quality of the plastic, the use of paint, and the style all screamed 80s toy memories. While Pez had been making truck candy dispensers for some time, this was from 2004 and not all that retro, it did however capture that feel. Sometimes the feeling the toy gives is the most important thing about it."
(#9) Play Arts Kai The Flash (DC Comics Variant)
WHY: "I don't collect a lot of action figures, and not a whole lot of super hero figures are made well enough for me to consider. After seeing the preview of this Flash I wanted it. The armor and design was just so extremely well designed asteticlly. I was hoping to find it in HK, but it was delayed. My wife ended up getting it for me at a local comic shop for Father's day. Its big, its shiny, and it is oh so dynamic in its poses. That is what really draws me to it, the static figure still carries motion in its stance hardly seen since Yamaguchi's sculpts."
(#8) Perfect Effect Warden
WHY: "This was to be my last Transformer. I thought I could stop collecting them after this. Sure I was wrong, but it still remains a standard in my collection I need to compare to before I consider buying a new Transformer. Technically its not a Transformer brand robot but what is referred to as third party. A lot of characters do not get redone with modern engineering or hasbro cheaps out and we get a mediocre figure. When that is the case, the third party companies step in to usually make a lower production, high end figure. This guy is bulky, and even so engineered to make the most dynamic of poses. Plus he is a head master. So he can turn into a head for another Transformer toy called For Maximus, and his head can turn into a smaller robot. You might think of them as bootlegs that far surpass the official product. Warden may be what I consider one of the best engineer robots I own."
(#7) Nori Sushi Stackers
WHY: "It had been some time since I designed a paper toy. Actually it has been since I did the HedKase Artist Series for www.nicebunny.com. Since I was trying to get more active with Nori and start working on his toys I decided I needed a paper toy to put on the site. Even though these were really simple, I was happy with how they turned out. Nori is Japanese for Seaweed, which is of course what is used in making sushi. These turned out fun enough for me to keep them on my own desk. I enjoyed making them and they have joined the ranks of the rest of my collection. If you want to make some yourself, you can download them here."
(#6) Transformers Construct Bots
WHY: "I had no interest in these when they came out. They were too skeletal and the faces a bit too cartoony for my tastes. As my daughter got older I started collecting construction toys for her to use when she got older and for me to use now. I like to use them for concept design as seen on my blog. The reason I actually got a set of construct bots to begin with was they were on clearance. I figured I would give a couple a try as potential tools for concept design. Turns out the first generation of this toy was quite good for making large interesting designs. Of course it takes a lot of them, and luckily for me they were often on sale. More than a couple dozen sets later I found an excellent toy for being creative. You can see more of my thoughts on these toys here."
(#5) Maketoy Giant
WHY: "What is better than Things that turn into robots? Things that turn into robots that combine to turn into bigger robots. This is another third party success at a Transformer, and as far as I am concerned it is the best attempt at the Transformers Devastator character to date. It looks menacing on the shelf, and it has enough fun factor while transforming while still having lots of detail and complexity. The engineering of this figure is to marvel at, and that is what puts him on my list. "
(#4) BMO X Nori
WHY: "What time is it? Its custom time! Sadly I don't feel there are enough great toys from this show. Luckily the character I like the most, BMO, has some fair toys. I got his larger action figure, even his POP vinyl. When McDonalds announced they had Adventure Time toys I rushed there just to buy a couple BMOs. My love of video games, and the design of this character made it a perfect platform to do a mini custom with a touch of Nori. It was fun to customize, and even though there were a couple purchase requests he ended up on my shelf with the rest of my figures. Maybe I should had bought more, because this was a fun custom. What brought most of the enjoyment was photographing him. My hobby is shooting toys, and a toy that lends itself to a wide variety of photo ops makes it even more enjoyable. Had I not already made a clay Nori for traveling with to shoot, I would had been shooting this guy all over the world."
(#3) Hobbes Tiger by Animal Adventures Inc
WHY: "So this isn't Hobbes, form the Calvin and Hobbes comic. This is more or less an American bootleg carried by target. It is not even labeled as Hobbes, but if you spent enough time reading the awesome Waterson comic strip, you can tell at first glance who exactly it is supposed to be. This is just a plush that makes me happy. Holding it for a moment makes me feel like a grown up Calvin finding his old friend. Holding it makes me look back and remember reading those adventures they had and wish he was a real tiger that could go outside and help me build a snow fort."
(#2) Takara MP21 Bumble Bee
WHY: "What? An actual official Transformer toy. And its high on the list. Many might not expect this because Takara/ Hasbro put out some awesome Master Piece Transformers. For many it may be a hard choice and may be down to their favorite characters. At the same time this came out, a massive, die cast having, perfect transforming Ultra Magnus came out and I am sure many would have picked that over this. This has something special though. This toy is so full of character, and ties to the G1 Transformers that it trumps most all the other figures in pure nostalgia. For the first time since the beginning Bumble Bee is a VW Bug again. They nailed it. He even has his battle mask so he can resemble the original toy from the 80s. Thanks to the movie, Bumble Bee toys became loathed by collectors. They were clogging shelves, preventing displaying other toys, and no one was really interested in this revision of the character. This toy is a reminder of the lovable G1 incarnation, and all the things that were great about the original Transformers."
(#1) Fewture Getter Ryoma Mode
WHY: "A holy grail among Chogokin types of collectors. This became high on my list because of its sheer brilliance and how hard it was for me to get. I did not grow up with the Getter Robo series. I had no ties to it, and wasn't even really interested in it at the time. Taku Sato modernized the design as a large die cast toy so chocked full of detail it makes angles weep. When it was released it was already a high dollar figure. Anything made of this much die cast has to be. Sato passed away the year it was released, and the prices skyrocketed. Take a high $300 figure, and watch the price go through the roof. I saw my chance of getting this figure go out the window. A while later it was announced they would do a repaint of the figure. I was in Hong Kong when it was supposed to be released, however I was too early. The release was pushed back, and the figure was quickly gone. I had long given up on the figure.
Then in January of 2014 I was in Hong Kong again on a toy shopping adventure. I was lucky enough to find a new version of the Getter figure released, and at SRP even! While I had at first wanted the original color version, I found this new black Ryoma version to be even cooler. This was not the normal toy I was used to though. When you open the package, you feel like this is a gallery piece. This is the art toys of giant robot toys. I felt like I should be wearing gloves when removing it from the package and placing it on the shelf. But it was not just a figure on its own. It was packed with tons of accessories and parts to convert it to other modes. Such an attention to detail that any flaw it might had was easily looked over. This success of stumbling on such a hard to get, high end figure and the actual awe it inspires makes it my top addition in 2014. "