What a banner year it's been....hard to believe we saw the release of another film AND got to add it to our home collections at the same time! Fantastic!
As for the toy line, it's been a great year too. Let's attempt to have a format to this year's submissions:
Top five basic figures
Top three 12" figures
Okay, here's my shot...
Top Five Basic Figures
While the "action features" and often oversized accessories were a bust for me, here are my choices:
1) Darth Vader "Bespin Duel" Yeah, it's a resculpt, but what a job! I love the outstreched hand, the billowing cape & that the action feature actually HELPS the cape billow. This is a great rendition of the Dark Lord...
2) Kit Fisto Of all the new Jedi characters that were introduced, this fellow stood out the most. Caught in a great action moment with those head-tentacles flailing, this figure's great detailing really shines. A plus is that sleek metal lightsaber hilt with it's green blade perfectly accenting him.
3) Ephant Mon Just a massive figure....fantastic detailing, great look. Keep that cane handy to help him stand. It's just so cool that this character even got made, let alone so well.
4) Clone Trooper "Deluxe Version" While we got a all white version as a preview figure, the improvements with this release are just fantastic...from the perfect form-fitting armor (which doesn't look clunky ala AOTC Threepio) to the bevey of accessories, this is a must-have. Very well-done!
5) Anakin Skywalker "Hanger Duel" Of all the versions of this lead character released, this was the only one that had a decent pose, no overdone gimmick (the arm one works well and remains hidden) & captures the essence of the character well.
Top Three 12" figures While there were some good looking entries in the Action Collection this year, my two biggest gripes with the collection almost over shadowed 'em. 1) NO CLOAKS!!! I hated that...I really wanted to see the Jedi figures with their cloaks...they look incomplete without them 2) The flimsy packaging. No shelve life to it. That said, I DID like most of the 12"ers this year....
1) Jango Fett "Ultimate Villian" set At least the packaging was handsome on this one & it was nice to see so many accessories. The head-sculpt was nice and the velcro armor worked well. Once "assembled" this figure looked daunting enough.
2) Dengar I was thrilled that Hasbro finished off the classic bounty hunters and the attention to detail paid on this character matched that on his rival Bossk. From the great detailing to the great armor/backpack uniform, this guy looks tough.
3) Ki Adi Mundi Cool head sculpt, great jedi outfit. Looks cool posed out of the box with the other Jedi.
I wanted to put Obi-Wan in the top three...but while his sculpt was great, that missing cloak just pi**ed me off....
Best Vehicle Hands-down, it goes to the Republic Gunship ! While not scaled perfectly to it's movie counterpart, the attention to detail, sturdy construction and play features make this one cool toy!
Best Playset Well, there was only one inless you count the deluxe figures and that's the massive Geonosian Arena ! It's a great throwback to the classic DeathStar playset. Not one inch is wasted...the sculpting is great, either side works as a play enviroment & two of the deluxe figure's play stands work with the set to expand it further. Plus, it makes a great diorama background. Very well-designed and thought out piece...excellent job, hasbro!
As a final comment, I just want to acknowledge that it was a great year for collecting....the distribution partnership between Hasbro & the retailers really shined...there wasn't ONE figure that stayed hard-to-find for long (although I was getting a little worried about ole' Ephant Mon there towards the end). Lookin' forward to next year....