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  1. #1

    Best toys of 2002

    (I'm putting this under GD since I don't think it really fits in any of the SW toy forums or under the Toys: Other forums.)

    The year is almost up, and I think it's time to share what our favorites have been from the past year from all toy lines. Use whatever criteria you wish, post in any format, just have at it. The only rule I'll set up is that all toys had to have been originally released in 2002.

    I was going to do a top ten, but there were 24 (yeah, I know it's an odd number) that I thought really deserved recognition. I haven't gotten (or even seen in person) Ephant Mon, Orko, Teela, or the new Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets figures, all of which I have a feeling would rearrange this list somewhat. I don't collect the LOTR figures, though they look pretty nice, so I can't really include any of them in my list.

    24. Ram Man
    This is less here because of the quality of the figure (though it's very good, it pales next to a lot of other figures from the year) than as to how he completely floored me when I opened him. Seeing that he had the same gimmick that made the original Ram Man the single worst figure of all time, my expectations were zero, but the new Ram Man is a pretty awesome little figure.

    23. The Fox (KISS Creatures)
    I don't have this figure yet, but it really warms my little headbanging heart that, after Gene Simmons figures galore, we finally get the late, great Eric Carr immortalized in plastic. The best likeness of the KISS Creatures series, and worth the wait. (Now I wonder what the chances are of a Vinnie Vincent figure to round out the KISS collection?)

    22. Disco Stu
    I've gotten out of collecting Simpsons except for a few choice figures, of which Disco Stu is the coolest. This is more a case of "sweet--they actually made this!" than "this figure rocks!" But Stu's one of my favorite obscure Simpsons characters (second only to Guy Incognito), so I have to give him credit.

    21. Aloha Stitch
    Technically not an action figure, but a plush toy, this is one of the most fun toys I've ever seen. Sure, he just spouts canned responses to preprogrammed commands, but he has two different moods that determine his responses. And some of them are laugh-out-loud funny. ("Are you hungry?" "Not anymore. I ate your dinner!")

    20. Darth Vader: Bespin Duel
    I've wanted this figure for years, but was slightly disappointed by the inclusion of lame action features. This doesn't keep it from ranking, though.

    19. Preview Jango
    The best 3.75" Jango to date, and a piece that perfectly whet our appetites for the AOTC figures. Too bad most of them didn't live up to this standard.

    18. He-Man
    This is to the classic He-Man as we are to the amoeba. I probably don't need to say more.

    17. Tuxedo Kermit
    My favorite of the Muppets figures, the likeness of this TRU exclusive is spot-on and the articulation is excellent.

    16. Watto
    Yeah, he's a little statue, but I really dig this figure. Not sure if it's the stand, the likeness, the "motion capture" wings, or the perfect expression on his face.

    15. Unleashed Maul
    Another statue, but one of the best Mauls we've gotten. I know I'm in a minority, but this, Sith Lord Darth Maul, and the Deluxe Training Maul are the Mauls to judge all the many other Mauls by.

    14. Beach Head vs Dr Mindbender
    The only GIJoe 2-pack to rank. Most people prefer Snake Eyes vs Cobra Commander, but Snakes has his flaws and CC is mediocre at best. Whereas Beach Head is absolutely perfect, and the Mindbender is almost as good.

    13. TIE Bomber
    Of the vehicles from 2002, this is the best by far. It was one of the most anticipated SW vehicles, and didn't disappoint one bit. Well, unless you count the lousy pack-in figure.

    12. Samurai Man-At-Arms
    I was pleasantly surprised by all the Samurai figures, which I thought were a complete waste until I saw them. Ol' Duncan is by far the best of the bunch.

    11. Chewbacca: Cloud City Capture
    A super-articulated, good likeness Chewie on proper scale! Finally! This would rank much higher had Hasbro included a bowcaster, or if the C-3PO wasn't a cheap waste of plastic.

    10. Dr Doom
    Of the Marvel Legends I've opened, Doom is my least favorite, but, hey, it's a super-articulated, kick-butt Dr Doom! What's with the removable mask and normal-looking human face, though?

    9. Bespin Luke
    Another excellent Saga figure hampered by a lousy gimmick. Like Chewie, this could've been one of the five best action figures ever. Why can't Hasbro learn? Sigh.

    8. Clonetrooper
    The only AOTC figure better than Preview Jango. If articulation and cool accessories are gimmicks, why not give them to all the Collection 1 Saga figures? It beats quick-draw action by a mile!

    7. Skeletor
    No Spin Blades, no samurai armor, no sound chip, just a cool sword and a ram-head staff. Like He-Man, a vast improvement over the original. And Skeletor was a cooler figure to begin with.

    6. Ultimate Jango 12"
    The definitive Jango Fett, with every feature one could think of. One of the best 12" figures to date.

    5. Iron Man
    I've never been an Iron Man fan, but this figure is absolutely incredible. About the only thing it doesn't have is a removable chestplate so you can see the shrapnel in his heart.

    4. 12" Dooku
    The best 12" SW figure ever. The new body sculpt is a dramatic improvement over the older figures in both articulation and proportion, and the facial likeness is dead-on.

    3. Tri-Klops
    Wow. This figure is one of the most gorgeous of all time. His "defensive stance" sculpt is awesome, and the light pipe in his head is one of the best uses for this feature (and the best camouflaged) in any figure that's used it. Hard to find, but worth the search.

    2. The Thing
    The best of the Marvel Legends series is Aunt Petunia's favorite nephew, the cute and cuddly Ben Grimm. Like the other legends, he's articulated out the wazoo, and the likeness is the best of the series.

    1. Trap-Jaw
    In my opinion, not only the best figure of 2002, but the best figure ever. The detailing is exquisite, the paint application immaculate, and the action features are functional and don't detract one bit from the figure. I hope the MOTU line brings more figures of this quality in the future.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  2. #2
    I don't know if I could name 20, but I will just name a few I like, that I own, since I don't really collect the Joes, Simpsons, Transformers, or He-Man.

    McFarlane Sports - Michael Vick
    McFarlane Sports - Greg Maddux
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - Li Mu Bai
    Marvel Legends - The Hulk
    Marvel Legends - Captain America
    Marvel Legends - Iron Man
    SW Saga - Bespin Luke
    SW Saga - Bespin Vader
    WWE Unchained Fury - Booker T.
    WWE Unchained Fury - The Hurricane
    "Roger Nasty Butler!"

  3. #3
    what about "lord of darkness" from "legend"? this fig is amazing! or the super-articulated t-800 endoskeleton? other than that, i'm wichoo on most of the list, and i like your inclusion of li mu bai, QLD...
    Nachos are the right of all sentient beings.

    The guns... They've stopped!
    - Dan Akroyd, Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope

  4. #4
    Not much stands out in my mind for 2002, I may have bought a lot, but little has said "I am superior!!!" to me. I'm basing my list on stuff I actually kept around, added to my displays, or kept handy so I could actually play with if the mood struck me.

    So, here's my list in no particular order:
    • He-Man (MOTU - Mattel)
    • Skeletor (MOTU - Mattel)
    • Deluxe C-3PO (Star Wars - Hasbro)
    • Jango Fett's Slave I (Star Wars - Hasbro)
    • Jango Fett's Slave I (SW:AOTC - LEGO)
    • Captain America (Marvel Legends - Toy Biz)
    • Iron Man (Marvel Legends - Toy Biz)
    • Shining Gundam (G-Gundam - Bandai)
    • 11" Mega Shining Gundam (G-Gundam - Bandai)
    • Deluxe Ashura Gundam (G-Gundam - Bandai)
    • Bolt Gundam (G-Gundam - Bandai)
    • Gundam Maxter (G-Gundam - Bandai)
    • Deluxe Sazabi (Gundam: Char's Counter Attack - Bandai)
    • X-wing Adventure (Star Wars Playskool - Hasbro)
    • Enterprise 12" electronic starship (Enterprise - Art Asylum)


    He-Man and Skeletor are great figs, they'd go on the list. I haven't bought anything else in the MOTU line though.

    Deluxe C-3PO would go on my list because it's such a fun and creative set. Slave I is pretty cool too, it'd make my list... come to think of it, Lego's Slave I gets on my list as well. Not much else in SW would though, it wasn't much of a year for my tastes - it's the first year since '95 that I haven't been a figure completist. Some other SW figs and toys are "good", but not quite excellent enough for my list, toys like Jango KE, Luke Bespin, Dexter, the Jedi Starfighter, 12" Dooku, and Anakin's speeder would probably top my SW list but don't make my all-toys list. The TIE Bomber won't make my list simply because of the difficulty I had getting one.

    The Star Wars Playskool sets are a lot of fun and pull off the "super deformed" feeling nicely. I don't have the prequel ones, but the CT ones are great. While I like all of 'em, I think only the X-wing Adventure set really stands up as a great all around toy, lots of cool interactivity between the figs and the ship, plus Vader is just so neat. The Millennium Falcon Adventure set is good too, but it's not quite on the same level as the X-wing IMO, there's just something I can't put my finger on that prevents me from putting it on my list.

    Marvel Legends Captain America and Iron Man would definitely make my list, these are 2 of the coolest figs ever - well made and a good price.

    G-Gundam's Shining Gundam, both 4" and 12", would make my list. G-Gundam's Ashura Gundam, boxed Master Gundam with mobile horse Fuunsaiki, Bolt Gundam, Neros Gundam, and Gundam Maxter are all fantastic figs with great accessories. I'm not sure they'd all go on my list, but it'll be tough to decide which of those impresses me the least. It was a good year for Gundam figs.

    I would definitely have put Super Poseable Spider-Man from the Spider-Man movie on my list, but it was technically released in 2001, so I didn't include it. However, that is probably figure of the year to me... just can't figure out which year to put it in.

    Art Asylum's 12" Enterprise is probably my favorite toy of the year, it's just so dang good. Great looks, nearly perfect design, electronics that don't interfere with the toy's design, and even a cool stand make this one stand above the rest.


    I wish I had more for my list, but I haven't enjoyed the toys from 2002 very much, looking around I see almost nothing new in my collection that I really treasure from this year. The biggest heartbreaker for me is probably Transformers, the new Armada line is simply a let-down for me. Another downer has been a fairly weak showing from Lego, just not a lot of great sets this year with the company concentrating on stuff I simply didn't feel drawn to like Galidor and the Bionicle additions. There are a few toys out there I still haven't experienced yet like 12" Jango, Master Replica's FX sabers, and 11" Sazabi (which Bandai made exclusive to BJ's Warehouse club, who are nowhere to be found), so I simply can't include them until I actually get my hands on 'em.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  5. #5
    just some figs I really, really liked this year:

    Spawn Deluxe Boxed (Mcfarlane Toys, Spawn series 21)
    Skullsplitter (Mcfarlane Toys, Spawn series 22)
    Valkerie (Mcfarlane Toys, Spawn series 22)
    T-800 Endoskeleton (Mcfarlane Toys, Movie Maniacs V)
    Darth Maul (Hasbro, Unleashed)
    Luke Skywalker Bespin (Hasbro, Saga)
    Clonetrooper (red) (Hasbro, Saga)
    Count Dooku (Hasbro, Saga)
    Until The End Of Time...
    - Tupac Shakur, RIP

  6. #6
    Well, I don't know about the best of 2002, but the hottest of Christmas 2002 is the Mini RC cars, and my company's GOT 'EM!!! If you can find them anywhere, almost every retailer has them for $19.99, but here at American Peddler we're wholesaling them for $9.99 + S&H!!!!!!!!!!
    ask about qty discounts!
    Interested?
    Email me at al45sixsir@aol.com
    [FONT=ComicSansMS]"What happens in Indy STAYS in Indy!".[/FONT]
    [FONT=ComicSansMS]"The only thing you have to decide, is what to do with the time that is given to you".[/FONT]

  7. #7
    Originally posted by The 'Xir
    Well, I don't know about the best of 2002, but the hottest of Christmas 2002 is the Mini RC cars, and my company's GOT 'EM!!! If you can find them anywhere, almost every retailer has them for $19.99, but here at American Peddler we're wholesaling them for $9.99 + S&H!!!!!!!!!!
    ask about qty discounts!
    Interested?
    Email me at al45sixsir@aol.com
    Wow, that was an extremely tacky way to try to sell things.

    MTFBWY and HH!!

    Jar Jar Binks
    THE SPY. THE SPACEMAN. THE GODDESS. THE ROBOT. THE GORILLA.

    AGENTS OF ATLAS - Returns in Early 2009.

  8. #8
    Simpsons Main Street- Dear God, this thing is CRAZY!!!
    Marvel Legends- Hulk

    That's all off the top of my head.
    "Woke up at 9.55am. Soon as I woke up, I looked at Suzanne and she looked at me. I said, 'Did I tell you about the immune system?' Suzanne starting laughing, I said, 'it's amazing.' She said, 'Not now.'"

  9. #9
    I would have to review all of my figures to make an accurate list. But I can easily say that right behing the Marvel Legends line (MAN! I can't wait for Thor and Ghost Rider!) are the "The Two Towers" figures. Toybiz appears to be serious about making OUTSTANDING figures for us collectors. They need to be given big credit.

    So off the top of my head, my list would have to look like this

    1)Super poseable Spider-Man (Spider-Man) - This figure combines the very best of articulation with a sculpt that is near perfection in the scale department and a paint job that holds it's own with no effort, not to mention MY favorite feature...NO GIMMICKS! If it needed accessories it just might be the best action figure ever made.

    2)Iron Man, The Thing, Namor, Dr. Doom, The Human Torch, Captain America (Marvel Legends) - This entire line is without a doubt the best toyline ever done. Has anyone found something NOT to like about these? Even the availability is good at worst. The Toad sucks in the articulation department, but that is about the only flaw in the whole line.

    3) Legolas, Easterling, Gondorian Ranger, Sauron, Treebeard (The Two Towers) - Also nearly perfect action figures. Sculpt, paint, and articulation come together to make these figures a treasure!

    4) 12" Count Dooku (Star Wars) - The sculpt is unmistakeable and Hasbro is finally kicking on well articulated 12" action figures. But there is still a long way to go.

    5) Ephant Mon (ROTJ) - Probably the best 3 3/4" action figure Hasbro has done, but only because any more articulation would be useless. The sculpt and paint job are without equal in the Star Wars lines.

    Personally I hope Hasbro doesn't improve the figures for next year. Because of the poor quality of most of the figures put out this year, I have decided it will be a good time to take a little break from buying them. But it will hurt even more not to buy all of the TTT figures. I will trade for what I can as I do have a ton of extra stuff.
    My wife treats me like an ATM machine. She pushes my buttons until I give her money.

  10. #10
    Im very happy with my Heroclix collection, toys or game pieces you be the judge, but they're darned addictive, and fairly fun little repros of my Marvels. The Legends line is mental - so close to perfect on all fronts they deserve all the props above. Legolas from TTT looks exactly right, and I just found Saruman the white tonight - it's amazing. ToyBiz has definitely stepped up for TTT, the figures look a lot better.

    Star Wars favourites this year: R2 Coruscant Sentry with sounds, Zam Wessel with face reveal and quick draw, Bespin Luke, Ephant Mon and the wonderful Nexu deluxe figure. Yay toys!
    GOLDEN DEUCE AWARD WINNER & MABUCON ATTENDEE 2008

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