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2011 Retrospective:
Our Five Favorite Figures

Vault’s Picks

#5 Embo (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Hasbro)

Between the extensive Clone Wars line and the highly detailed Vintage Collection line, I definitely had a hard time choosing which Star Wars figure was my favorite this year. I narrowed it down to Embo and the new Ahsoka, but ultimately Embo won out. The miniscule details in his sculpt and paint job, along with a decent amount of articulation makes him a fantastic figure. But it’s his many accurate accessories that make him fun to play around with. For more on Embo, click here!

#4 NYCC Exclusive Arcee (Transformers Prime, Hasbro)

Number four and three on this list are really a tie for me. The Transformers Prime cartoon isn’t for everyone, but if nothing else it produced one of the best Transformers toy lines I’ve ever seen. My first example of his is Arcee. Not only does her robot mode dwarf her vehicle mode, but her articulation is also on par with your average GI Joe or He-Man figure. Plus, this is the first time we’ve gotten a truly feminine robot form. The sculptors/engineers definitely put in the overtime here. For more NYCC Arcee, click here!

#3 Starscream (Transformers Prime, Hasbro)

Just to prove how good this line is, I’m not even a Starscream fan and I had to buy this figure! Like Arcee, his robot mode towers over his vehicle. His articulation might even be better than hers, or maybe it’s just that he can be posed with character accurate gestures that make him look devious. Even his facial expression is giving off a sly smile with a twinkle of an underhanded plan in his eyes. It’s hard to ignore a figure with this much personality. For more Prime Starscream, click here!

#2 Scarabus (Gothitropolis, Fantastic Exclusive, Four Horsemen Design)

Scarabus is a shining example of what a true “Adult Collector” line should look like from a U.S. toy company. Each of the twelve Scarabus figures has excellent sculpting, articulation, and quality control. But what really makes them shine is their innovative head/face and hand swapping systems that has been limited to Japanese toy companies until recently. This is the type of novelty and quality that will sustain the toy industry into the future and allow for the growth of a real Adult Collector market. For more on the Dark & Light Talisman Scarabus figures, click here!

#1 Skeleton Army (Sci-Fi Revoltech, Kaiyodo)

Scarabus was so close to being my number one pick this year, but I ultimately had to give it to the figure based on the skeleton warriors from Ray Harryhausen’s Jason and the Argonauts. Not only is this little guy an incredible portrayal of human anatomy, but he also has the articulation to move and pose in any position like a real person. An achievement most toys can only accomplish in a limited range, much less with such tiny feet. This skeleton is also the perfect army builder since each figure comes with enough accessories to arm three warriors. My Scarabus looks fantastic on display, but when I see one of my skeletons laying around I just can’t help but to pick him up, pose, and play with him. For more on the Revoltech Skeleton, click here!

Well, those are my Five Favorites for 2011. Let me know if agree or disagree in the comments section. And don’t forget to check out Noisy’s Five Favorites on Page 1!

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31 comments to 2011 Retrospective:
Our Five Favorite Figures

  • Shadow_Contact

    Great List Guys! Sorry Vault but I’m gonna back Noisy’s list a little more. (Hey he put a Joe figure in his list)

  • Nik

    Damn, I still need that skeleton…

  • manekochan

    I was surprised to see the new Aegis didn’t make the cut. Since she’s little changed from the original and that’s your all time favorite, I figured she’d be a shoe-in.

    • dayraven

      you mean “one of the aegi” don’t you ‘neko? the dude had three tries to get one he liked, and none of them made the list? i’d be outraged if i were you. 😉

      scarabus definitely takes my number one spot for the year, w/ the new gears 3 figs taking a close second… man those things are executed well. and i’d likely have included the MU sentinel, the mcf halo reach brute chieftain, and the gears skorge and kantus figs for my personal list. if the sword of omens wasn’t made from soft turkey skin, maybe that 8 inch lion-o could have made the list… maybe.

      • manekochan

        Well, the first one was from 09, I think, technically. Something like that. The second one was the one he didn’t like much and the third one is the first one with a vest on and different faces.

        • dayraven

          three buys is three buys my dear. but yes, only 2 of those were this year.

          BTW, no one else has said it so i will… why is there an eerie skull reflection on superwoman’s right titty? cuz is that spooky as balls man.

          • AdventureVault

            Yeah, the second Chogokin Aegis isn’t that great compared to the Figma. I do love the second Figma Aegis, but she’s still mostly a retread of the first and I feel that part of being a “best” figure is also being original. That’s why I cut her from the list.

          • Clay

            … and something that might be Ben Grimm or a Goomba on the left one…

            • Brainlock

              Donkey Kong?

            • LOL The comments page on the blog admin is in chronological order instead of being threaded, and your comment totally threw me…

              I struggle with reflective services and Superwoman was very shiny. I don’t know how I managed that skull though.

              For my last OSM review, I built a black box for the shoot:

  • Vikor is prolly the best MOTUC figure in ’11, next to maybe Icarius.

  • Evil Ed

    I’m surprised none of your S.H. Figurarts reviews made the lists. Those reviews were solely responsible for my growing addiction to Kamen Rider.

    • AdventureVault

      My Gokai Red and Kamen Rider Skull Crystal were on my long list because they are great figures, but their body styles were just so similar. That’s definitely not a bad thing since it’s an awesome design, but it’s the same reason I couldn’t pick a MOTU figure. Because I was also looking for originality in my final choices. If I were to pick “best buck system”, Figuarts would probably win it for me.

      Also, sorry about getting you into the addiction but glad to have the company. 🙂

      • Evil Ed

        My two greatest regrets so far are my inability to find a Kamen Rider Skull Crystal for myself and the fact that since the Gokai Blue review picking up some ranger figures. S.H. Monsterarts are looking great, too. What have you done? 😉

  • lists! everyone loves lists!
    Great job guys!
    That also reminds me that I need to buy about 5000 of the skelingtons myself!

    • AdventureVault

      lol, Tell me about it. I think I ended up with 5 all together, but they’re scattered about the house so I can’t say for sure. But I think three were from the first release, and two more to carry the two new shields for the second release.

  • Lay Ze-Man

    Cool lists!

    I think I side a little more with Noisy’s, but I definitely would like to get a couple of those skeletons at some point. Wish they were bigger though!

  • Joseph Tages

    Although it’s the first I’ve seen of them, Embo and the Skeleton look cool. I can see how you guys would have a hard time choosing just five items for each list.

    As a 100% nostalgia-based collector, I have to admit that 2011 knocked it out of the ballpark. No way could I limit myself to just a few, but going by what’s here I have to agree on Scourge, Cable, Vikor, and Low-Light since those are the ones I own. Vikor doubles as the first great Conan figure for me and Low-Light would top the list based on the care and attention that went into both the figure and his accessories.

    • It was tough! I think my initial list was around 18 and then I had to trim it down from there.

      I loved Low-Light. I think that some of the Wave 4 Joes might have unseated him, but I still haven’t had a chance to open the case my wife got me for Christmas. It’ll be awesome when I do though.

  • […] Yeah, Scarabus. That guy’s topping Top 5 lists for a […]

  • StrangePlanet

    The Scarabus/Anubos variant Is my #1 for 2011 easy. That thing is awesome.
    My #2 is the Figma 100, Miku Append. M favorite Figma, and those toys are superrad.
    You guys have some great picks, but yeah, picking a 5-pack as one figure is cheating.