Javier Jiménez’s TOP TEN TOYS OF 2020

Let us welcome JAVIER JIMENEZ to the annual TOP TEN TOYS-List! I've been gawking at his collection in his youtube videos for some time now, but only slid in to bug him for a TOP TEN TOYS OF 2020-List! Along with a Q&A into the mind and habits of a fellow toy-collector (although different genres - which means we'll not fight over any times LOL).

"...thank you for inviting me. When I received it I was out of home, spending the holiday with my parents and Christmas in Spain is quite long (for the sake of spreading culture, I’ll explain that it lasts until January 6th which is the day the Three Wise Kings reached baby Jesus and gave him their gifts. In Spain that’s the day when kids receive their Christmas gifts traditionally, though since the late 80s we adapted to the American way as well and receive gifts in the 25th of December too, hahaha). So after Christmas I had a lot to catch up and I still am, but I am happy and excited to join your top ten so here it goes!!!"

"So during 2020 of course I bought toys, though the year was a bit hard for us due to some health issues in the family and I wasn’t in the mood for buying as many as I would have. I got a lot of random stuff, because I always buy the things I really like without following a pattern or a particular brand/type of toy. My top would be:"

#10 TOP TEN TOY OF 2020: TMNT’s Albearto, the Animatronic!
JAVIER JIMENEZ: This action figure belongs to the latest TMNT series and has that cartoony style. It’s one of the villains, and he’s an animatronic. I really love animatronics (as you may know, I released my own animatronic version of Wananeko in late 2019!) and especially the cute and creepy ones, so it was a must buy for me.

TOYSREVIL: Can you share with us, who you are and what you do?
JAVIER JIMENEZ: I am Javier Jiménez, a self taught artist owner of the toy brand StickUp Monsters!

# TOP TEN TOY OF 2020: The Mandalorian Kenner action figure
JAVIER JIMENEZ: Like most people, I fell in love with The Mandalorian. It has this combination of western and samurai flicks, but in space and inside the SW universe. And it’s so damn well made that it was impossible for me to not like it. And who doesn’t like a badass bounty hunter? I just had to get this toy, and my wife gave it to me for Christmas.

TOYSREVIL: How long have you been buying (collectible) toys? What type/genre of toys do you prefer to collect?
JAVIER JIMENEZ: I’ve been a collector my whole life! I collect anything that I like, without paying too much attention to the toy line, artist or medium. As long as it has an impact on me (the type that makes you want to have something), I collect it. But right now I would say anything Kitaro, soft vinyl, LEGO and Warhammer miniatures.

#8 TOP TEN TOY OF 2020: Nezumi Otoko keshi
JAVIER JIMENEZ: A good friend and collector got this Japanese GeGeGe no Kitaro keshi from the 80s for me, and it’s just so good. The character is called Nezumi Otoko and he’s kinda like Kitaro’s sidekick, though most of the times he’s a bit unreliable and will do anything for money, including betraying Kitaro!

TOYSREVIL: Where do you normally purchase your toys? Online? Offline from Stores? Events? Which do you prefer? And why?
JAVIER JIMENEZ: With the COVID pandemic, online is usually the way to go but I try to buy from local shops as well. If it’s normal toys (that are widely available like LEGO) I prefer to buy from local shops to support local commerce, but of course with soft vinyl or more limited toys you need internet or events.

#7 TOP TEN TOY OF 2020: Karakasa keshi
JAVIER JIMENEZ: The same friend got me this keshi of a Karakawa yokai as designed by the master Shigeru Mizuki for GeGeGe no Kitaro.

TOYSREVIL: Do you have “toy-grails”? And did you manage to score a “toy-grail” this year (2020)?
JAVIER JIMENEZ: I personally consider any toy I like enough a holy grail and I feel grateful for having it in my collection. I treat all my Kitaro toys as holy grails, be it Sunguts releases, Max Toy or any other. In 2020 and thanks to a friend, I managed to get Johnny the Vampire as sculpted by Sunguts.

#6 TOP TEN TOY OF 2020: Johnny the Vampire by Sunguts
JAVIER JIMENEZ: Shoutout to the same friend and collector, Adrian, who helped me to get this now hard to find sofubi by Sunguts. It’s Johnny the Vampire, from GeGeGe no Kitaro, licensed, sculpted and produced by one of my favourite artists Sunguts.

TOYSREVIL: Any particular focus or toy-aims this year (2020)? Starting any new line in 2021?
JAVIER JIMENEZ: For collecting, I want to keep collecting and painting Warhammer and of course hunt down more yokai and Kitaro stuff!
For creating myself, I want to expand the Yokai Forest line I started in late 2020, as folks really liked it! I will also work on a lot of new toys, some that I couldn’t in 2020 for different reasons, and some that I came up with by the end of 2020.

#5 TOP TEN TOY OF 2020: Stagecoach Western Playmobil set
JAVIER JIMENEZ: Even though I am more of a LEGO collector, I used to be a Playmobil kid and when I found this set in the supermarket I just had to buy it. For those who don’t know, I am a BIG western fan. From movies to video games, to written fiction like The Dark Tower books, I love me a good gunslinger. This stagecoach set is so detailed, with cowpokes having different hats each (not even one sculpt repeated!) while LEGO has roughly 1-2 cowboy hats only and changes just the color on them. Also, since Western is no longer a very popular genre, LEGO hasn’t produced any western sets since The Lone Ranger, while Playmobil has kept the theme going for years.

TOYSREVIL: Has your collecting preference changed during this year? If so what are they? And why the change?
JAVIER JIMENEZ: I believe so. I went back to collecting and painting Warhammer, because I felt it could be a good way of releasing stress while improving my painting skills and learning new techniques. 

#4 TOP TEN TOY OF 2020: Kitaro model kits
JAVIER JIMENEZ: These need to be assembled and painted, but the quality is so great and they look so good! Plus the DIY process is so relaxing. I have still not started but I can’t wait!

TOYSREVIL: Do you belong to any particular or dedicated toy-groups (online or offline)? Do you have “toy-buying buddies”?
JAVIER JIMENEZ: I know I am part of some toy groups on Facebook, but they are so busy that it’s just hard for me to keep up!
I do have friends in real life that love and collect toys (not designer toys though) and some who love miniature games as much as I do!

#3 TOP TEN TOY OF 2020: Plague Demon from Creature Caster
JAVIER JIMENEZ: I bought this miniature from Creature Caster for my Warhammer/Age of Sigmar army (more on that later) because the sculpt is SO GREAT and the details in it are amazing. I assembled it and it’s waiting to be painted!

TOYSREVIL: “Toy Buying these days is a solitary affair” = Do you agree with this? How do you feel about this?
JAVIER JIMENEZ: Personally it does not apply to me, haha. I have the tremendous luck of having a wife that loves and collects toys too, so at least we two get to share our findings and purchases. We even encourage each other to buy toys we like. 

Also, with social media one can find a lot of people with the same interests so it should not be so solitary!

#2 TOP TEN TOY OF 2020: Animal Crossing New Horizons
JAVIER JIMENEZ: I don’t know if video games can fit this interview, but if they do, Animal Crossing needs to be in my top 10 for sure. It came out in a time where everything was so uncertain and people were feeling down, and it brought fun and happiness to many. Me and my wife have been fans of AC since Wild World (for Nintendo DS) and this title, though not 100% perfect, has improved in so many ways. You can customise a whole island however you like, and of course mine is inspired by Western movies!

TOYSREVIL: Where can people go to see your collection?
JAVIER JIMENEZ: I made an IG account to share more personal stuff that I plan to update more often: instagram.com/makingtoys! And of course on my YouTube channel www.youtube.com/makingtoys (where) I show my stuff and collections from time to time!

#1 TOP TEN TOY OF 2020: Warhammer / age of Sigmar miniatures
JAVIER JIMENEZ: I started 2020 with a starter set and bought quite a few books and miniatures. I’ve been a Warhammer fan since I was 12, but at some point I stopped collecting/painting and I just got back to it. Painting miniatures is so different to painting vinyl toys (though same concepts and techniques can apply of course) that I’ve been using this hobby as a way to improve my painting skills and at the same time release some stress.