It’’s Top Ten
Action Figures of 2013!

And we’re back! Our apologies for that little too long post-holidays hiatus there. I tell ya, reviewing a Castle really takes it out of you! I keed, I keed. 2014 has been marked by being under the weather so far (both outside and in, I can’t shake this cold and I don’t know who asked for all this snow). But we’re ready to get back to work and we’re going to kick things off with a look back at 2013.

Both Vault and I have prepared a list of our 2013 Top Ten Figures (that we reviewed!). That’s right, no pesky toys without links to fun reviews here (we’ll shoot the ‘best toys we didn’t review’ past you tomorrow), just twenty links to some of the toys we got the biggest kick out of this year!

Before we dig into the list, I do have to give one shout out to an Honorable Mention. He wasn’t one of the best figures of the year, but I loved him all the same. He found his way to the front of my MOTU Classics shelf and he probably got one of my best reviews all year: Batros! I still can’t explain why he was so much fun, but he’s joined the ranks of Faker & Scareglow as my favorite MOTUC figures even if he’s not really at home on a 2013 Top Ten List!

I’m writing this part before I’ve seen Vault’s finally choices, but we did agree to stick to “figures” specifically instead of including vehicles and playsets. We might do a separate list for those later this week too! Now, on to the list!

Noisy No. 10 – Power Lords: Elite & Power Soldiers! Vault No. 10 – MOTU Clasics: Lord Dactys!
I knew the Four Horsemen’s Power Lords figures would be good, but what I didn’t expect was just how fun they would be once they arrived! These early colorways already show that the line is going to feature some terrific craftsmanship and smart engineering – I really can’t state how much I love the ability to mix-&-match parts! I can’t wait for the main character releases! It was a long wait for Lord Dactys, but it was worth it. With some creative engineering and a few new pieces, Matty was able to produce a figure that towered over most of his predecessors and sported some cool backwards-bending chicken legs. Dactys is a perfect example of how the MOTU Classics line can stretch boundaries without breaking budgets!
Noisy No. 9 – Hive Wars Predator! Vault No. 9 – DC Classics: Mallah & the Brain!
I don’t know if Vault & I are doing a Top Toy Company list for 2013, but I’m pretty I’d give my top honors to NECA. They already upped their game by producing vastly improved versions of the the basic Predator & Alien characters, but they took things a step further with some fun, less famous versions like the Blue Hive Wars Predator! I love the movie figures, but I can’t get over the awesome Kenner figs! With a light brown color and a few new pieces, Matty transformed Grodd’s body into a fantastic Monsieur Mallah, But he wouldn’t be perfect without a newly sculpted Brain to lug around & smooch. Enemies of the Doom Patrol, and just great Silver Age villains, these two were definitely high on my want list. Even though we’re getting bound Doomsday, these two are my last big DC Classics hurrah.
Noisy No. 8 – Marvel Legends: Rocket Raccoon! Vault No. 8 – Transformers Prime: Ripclaw!
Marvel Legends rocky return wasn’t the best thing that happened in 2013 (there are still figures I haven’t even seen) and I was skeptical of the Micro-BAF concept, but Hasbro had me with Rocket Raccoon! I bought the full set online just to get the little guy. He looks great on my shelf and getting him as a figure has me that much more exciting for the upcoming film! Ripclaw was probably one of the more interesting Transformers I got this year. With a menacing head sculpt and armored body, you’d never expect she’s one of the few female bots in the line. Her transformation is simple yet well designed, making her much more thought out than Predacons that just stand up. Aside from her head she’s also got super articulation, making her an all around nice figure.
Noisy No. 7 – G.I. Joe FSS: Big Boa! Vault No. 7 – Nightstorm Predator!
I still can’t say if Fun Publications G.I. Joe subscription is something I should keep buying (I sold more than half of the figures, unopened), but some of the figures I kept have been among the best Joes in years. Big Boa was the crown jewel of the first subscription earlier this year! With smart reuse, some great new parts, and the inclusion of unreleased accessories, Big Boa easily makes this list! Out of all of NECA’s Predators, Nightstorm is my downright favorite. The fact that he was inspired by the old Kenner line really does a lot for me, but it’s not the only thing. This guy is top notch in sculpt, paint, and articulation. He even has a removable mask so you’re not stuck with one look. He’s the perfect update to a favorite childhood line.
Noisy No. 6 – MOTU Classics: Ram Man! Vault No. 6 – MonsterArts: King Kong!
If Batros didn’t make the list, what MOTUC would? Here’s a hint: He came out the very first month of 2013 and I don’t think a single subsequent figure topped him. Still not sure? Look left. Ram Man was a terrific all-new sculpt that managed to keep most of the articulation in order despite the bulk. It was a long wait to get Rammy, but I can honestly say Mattel made sure he was worth the wait. Unfortunately I’ve had to cut back on MonsterArts this year because of budget, but I still love the line. One of my last purchases was King Kong, and he’s a perfect example of how this line can rock a figure. The combination of a great sculpt, three different faces, four sets of hands and super articulation allows for a huge array of monkey posing and pure fun picture taking.

Continue to Page 2 for our Top Fives!


36 thoughts on “It’’s Top Ten
Action Figures of 2013!

  1. Ha! I knew Noisy would pick Dutch for the top spot! 🙂 He’s my number one choice as well!

    In fact, I bought quite a few figs from your top tens: Jungle Extraction Dutch, (and all the other versions) Black Series Boba Fett & Sandtrooper, MOTUC Ram Man, & Lord Dactys, (and Batros!) G.I. Joe FSS Big Boa, DC Classics Mallah & the Brain, Marvel Legends Rocket Raccoon, (unwillingly, after getting the required figures to complete him) and both the Elite & Power Soldiers. I didn’t get Masterpiece Soundwave or Marvel Select Wolverine, but they’re still on my want list. So yeah, as Frank Sinatra would say, it was a very good year.

    Hard to top most of this stuff on my own… I was impressed with a lot of product from MOTUC, the G.I. Joe FSS, Transformers Generations, Star Wars Black Series, NECA Predator, Marvel Legends, Marvel Universe, Marvel Select, and the late, lamented Club Infinite Earths.

    I would toss in there the Marvel Select Rhino and NECA’s Robocop figures. Those were sweet. I didn’t pick up the Batman ’66 TV show stuff mostly due to the negative reviews regarding messy paint apps, but the concept was a worthy one and long awaited to boot! And there were a ton of Marvel Universe figures which carried over from 2012 such as Angel, Nighthawk, Hercules, Nova, Puck, Professor X (which took me forever to get at retail) Blastaar, the Rhino, Mysterio, a new version of classic Cap, Abomination, Aurora, Northstar, (not yet released) and my favorite, the Black Knight, which I feared would never make the cut before the line ended. As you can tell, I’m going to miss Marvel Universe most of all out of the various lines which wrapped up their run in 2013.

    One of my biggest disappointments was Marvel Legends Puck. He’s way too small for his scale, especially when compared to other BAFs such as Rocket. Wish Rocket had more articulation as well since he is a BAF, not a pack-in.

    But Jungle Extraction Dutch is easily the Figure of the Year for me, and Marvel Universe Black Knight takes the prize for those unlucky ones who weren’t reviewed here at IAT during 2013. Put more effort into it this year, ya bums! 😉

    1. I had to go Dutch for the top spot… wait… no, that’s right. 🙂

      I wasn’t sure if Rhino was a 2012 or 2013 figure. And MU had a pretty good year, but my attention has been mostly diverted from it. I’ve been buying the Thor-related figs like Hercules & Beta Ray Bill, but that’s been about it. I still haven’t seen the Black Knight…

      1. I had to go the ebay route to get Black Knight before the year was over. There’s a final refresher case with him in it on the way. No chain mail texture on him and some parts reuse but he’s got a spot on classic style head and looks very much like he did in the excellent 80’s Stern/Buscema/Palmer Avengers run. I’m very happy to have him standing next to his buddy Hercules.

        The first wave of the new Avengers line for 2014 (which replaces Marvel Universe) is now up for order and it includes classic versions of Grim Reaper and Hyperion, plus the very first 3 3/4″ inch Wasp figure! (At one per case….ugh!)

        1. I’ve been looking at those… for some reason, I’m less inclined to the little guys this last year. I do love the ones I picked up like Hercules though and GI Joe is reeling me back in pretty well with the club releases.

  2. Well like both and hard to pick cause I didn’t do much buying for myself this year. The Tyrano, Dragon, and Ptera rangers of Zyuranger are ones I would like to find but have had $$ issues. (Kicking myself cause missed GokaiRed lastvyear cause never saw packaging to know.what looked like and it had the duran for $50) Kiba for Diaranger (if goes well.I may order Ryuu if find a Kiba at retail or some seller cause they go together well)

    That MS Venom I saw but my toy show money was low and was keeping a budget so I had to skip (shoulda said.screw it)

    Ramman = easy buy if see

    The Preds I wouldn’t know where to start.

    Well thats basically it. I wish could think but its too.darn cold out. Heat is working but its that cold so can’t think.

    1. Can say Star Wars Black started off great. My tdebating took too long and missed the Sandtrooper but did get Han and Leia. Awaiting wave 3 and the Stormtrooper.

      I could never find the MU Rhino, Mysterio, Elektra, Abomination, Abomb, Cloak & Dagger, Black Knight, or any of the other finals but glad a wave with all of these will hit this.year so hope can play catch up.

      MLs I only found She-Rulk none of the others. Kept seeing rehash boxes pop up here. Only ML.wave I completed was the Iron Man 3 one. Not bad but we need the other Dark Avengers. (Only have 2) doubt see any more. Wonder if we’ll see a new Dark.Spidey (Hyperion Mold), Dark Ms. Marvel, that Sentry, and Dark Hawkeye

      I did get Fire but waiting to see a Final Ice and truth probably keeping this JL team and selling the other DCUCs diwn the road. I may keep the Bat Rogues and a few others I have (sub figs) but have to go thru them.

  3. Missing out on MP Soundwave is so frustrating between canceling online orders to it NEVER showing up at retail. It looks amazing and inline with all of the other MP releases.

    1. It’s complete BS how much of a pain it is to collect Masterpiece figures from Hasbro. They simply seem unable to meet the demand they have for whatever reason.

      1. “Hmm. People are buying these Masterpiece figures faster than we can get them to the shelves. What should we do to cash in on that?”

        “Repaint Transformers Prime Bumblebee again?”

        “I like your style. Hasbro, ho!”

      2. I don’t get why it’s so difficult, or at least why TRU/Hasbro makes it so difficult. Heck, if they can make that much money on that limited of a release, surely TRU can make Mattel some MOTU money…

  4. Great top tens!

    No question my number one of the year was MP Soundwave. He basically capapulted me right back into Transformers. My collection went from Soundwave to a whole mess of figures. But the nice thing was that he was so well done, it gave me a really high standard to judge other Transformers on so I really only grabbed Masterpiece and the 3P figures that would pretty much double as MPs.

    Put in my preorder for Soundblaster the instant he came up on HLJ! Black variants own!

    Love Dutch as your #1 pick, until they make a red polo variant that is the best Arnold figure to date.

    MOTUC didn’t really scratch that collector itch for me like it did last year. It was especially so with Ram Man. I got him and was happy to have him, but eh he just kind of sits there. The oddball figures like Fang Man, Karatti, Sky High, Plundor, Strong-Or, Icer, and Batros were the ones that really stuck with me this year (omg the Filmation sub makes up most of my loves!). The Castle has been a blast though.

    1. The quality of MPs has been fairly consistent, but seeing the decline in quality of Voyager/Deluxe class figures, it makes me hesitant to collect anything but MPs from this point on.

      1. Completely agree. Springer was the only non-MP official Transformer I picked up this year. I think we live in a pretty good time now where the MP’s are coming out consistantly and turning out great. Meanwhile the 3P figures are coming down to earth in price while the quality is outstanding.

        I’m very excited this year to hoist up completed Feral Rex as a “Figure of the Year” contender.

        1. Springer and Blitzwing were the straw that broke the camels back. Actually, Trailbreaker was, but it was crushed under their weight. All of the above were utter garbage, IMO. Also, Generations Grimlock just felt cheap and was utterly disappointing. The only good Hasbro Transformers I picked up last year were Fall Of Cybertron Soundwave Transformers Generations and Blaster… both were built fairly solid and absolutely felt like you were getting your money’s worth with them.

          Oh, and I did pick up a handful of deluxe Prime figures from Five Below that I thought were pretty good, but I’m not really counting them cuz they were released 2012.

          1. I love Sandstorm so much. I think he uses Springer’s mold better than Springer. Easily the best retail TF this year for me. But, that was the extent of it. MP or Bust.

      2. I really don’t anymore. Nearly all the FOC stuff I bought was bland and quickly resold. Springer & his superior mold-brother Sandstorm were all that survived that purge.

    2. Thanks! MP has changed my TF habits quite a bit. I only bought two TFs at retail and even my 3P purchases have been “cut down” to the combiners and the Function series from FP. And, yes, Soundblaster! Curse you, Takara! LOL

      MOTUC didn’t really have a banner year (outside of the Castle) and DC went out with a whimper.

  5. hard to beat dutch at number one. as noisy said, feels like a 6inch hot toys fig, he was just amazing. i’d have gone muddy dutch, but i get why he went w/ JED. but of course, there’s more to NECA than aliens and preds… that upcoming ED 209 will be mine… oh yes, it will be mine… their jasons rocked out with their cocks out, and for vishnu’s sake, they gave us the da vinci flying machine from assassin’s creed… what other toy company is giving you vehicles for 7 inch figs? none. if you’d have asked toy guru about that, his eyes would have filled with blood and his abdomen would burst.

    for me, i think marvel select gets the next “holy crap, where did this come from?” award, as the sudden jump in accessories and pack-ins made the smaller figure stature incredibly easy to forgive. and they continue to crank out some of the best of the really huge beastly guys as well. and you can afford half the year’s product for the cost of one of the DCC giant guys. (seriously, giant clayface looks cool, not 90 dollars cool though!)

    then motuc… they plugged along, they produced some nice figs (looking straight at mantenna) but they felt much more “par for the course” than did the releases of marvel select or NECA. it still smazes me sometimes, the things motuc “can’t do” but it managed to plod along anyways.

  6. Pretty solid lists dudes!!

    Add me to those missing Mantenna though. 😉

    I forgot that Venom was ’13, for some reason I thought he was older!! Excellent excellent fig though!

    Also, this might be the first year I can remember that won’t have much 4H DC stuff on these year end lists.

    DKR Bats was a highlight for me personally, but I think the massive disappointment that has been DCUC’s swan song will be heavily reflected in the TOTY lists. :/

    1. DKR Bats… I totally forgot about him! LOL He might not have made it on the Top Ten though, but he was a heckuva cool figure.

      The rest of the DC line just dwindled away really. The subscription figures were never once exceptional. What a way to go.

      1. DKR was the only DC figure I picked up, and with the exception of Lead and Tin from last year to complete the Metal Men, I’ve passed on the entire DCIE offerings. Who’da thunk that possible when just a few short years ago I was 100% completist with DCUC?

        And “Containment Suit Doomsday” instead of the one people actually want as their big last hurrah? Sad trombones at the ready.

        Hope to see you cook up a Truetorial style retrospective article giving PROPER to due to that awesome line as soon as those last figs finish staggering out. Really deserves a nice tribute like that, as one of the few bright spots in the mainstream toy aisles during its day, especially in spite of Mattel’s worst efforts to make us hate buying it. 🙂

        (That Hook Aquaman is awesome, I totally woulda jumped at the chance to get him a couple years ago!!)

  7. I don’t think I’ve had this many figures on a Best Of The Year list before. While Mattel dropped the ball completely and Hasbro’s Marvel Legends efforts were touch-and-go with missing variants and broken promises, NECA and Marvel Select REALLY stepped up their game. Overall, 2013 was a good year for toys.

  8. I’d have to be able to remember 2013 clearly in order to come up with a ten best. As it is, my top ten would probably be most SH Figuarts and Star Wars Black (except R2-D2. What a lame figure). So let’s try it:

    10) SH Figuarts Kibaranger/MMPR White Ranger – The only reason this guy’s not higher up on the list is because he was seriously shortchanged in the accessories department (only two sets of hands) and the hip articulation on mine is among the loosest I’ve ever encountered on a Figuart.
    9) Iron Man 3 Mark 42 – ML may be a pain in the ass to collect, but the figures themselves are usually pretty stellar. Leave it to be film tie-in lines that are actually hitting shelves, even if Hasbro’s inexplicably filling out the over-produced first waves with comic characters and barely getting the actual movie figures to shelves. At least the figures show how far Hasbro’s come since acquiring the license. Iron Man figures than can actually hit the three-point-landing are always awesome.
    8) Star Wars Black Han Solo – Narrowing down what SWB figures are best is dicey. Some can easily be discounted, like R2-D2. That figure was cheap, and not worht anywhere near $20. Some, like Luke, are really nice figures, but aren’t the most iconic representation of the character. And some are Han Solo, which is not only iconic, but comes with tons of accessories to make a number of other variations that, i nthe 3.75″ line, would all see separate releases.
    7) Star Wars Black Sandtrooper – We’re going to be seeing a lot of this body, so it’s a good thing Hasbro made it worthwhile.
    6) SH Figuarts Tyrannoranger/MMPR Red Ranger – It’s the original (to the US fans, anyway) Red Ranger. The design is still classic and stylich, with a ton of accessories and superb articulation/engineering, per Figuarts’ usual standards.
    5) SH Figuarts Ryu Ranger – I’ve long been a sucker for the Dairanger costumes (not as clean or iconic as the Zyurangers, but somehow very intriguing), so having at least a couple members of the team to proudly display with my Rangers is awesome. This guy is one of those figures that bothers me with his accessory count, not because it’s low, but because it’s so high, it breaks my heart to know I can’t display him with all his pieces at once.
    4) SH Figuarts Pteraranger/MMPR Pink Ranger – Anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for lady warriors. My Figuarts collection is pretty light on them, as they’re a rare bird in this line, and usually they’re expensive online exclusives, but I’ve at least got this one. Some fans are frustrated by her accessory count (she has half the versions of the Ranger Stick/Blade Blaster as Tyranno/Red), and I can see that, but since I’m probably never going to display her (or any of the other Zyurangers/MMPR Rangers) holding anything but their primary weapons, it doesn’t bother me as much.
    3) SH Figuarts Hurricane Red/Red Wind Ranger – Objectively, this is one of the better figures in the Figuarts line. He’s based off a pretty cool design, and his articulation is just a little more stable (without being overly tight, a problem for this line) and a little better blended with his sculpt than most other releases.
    2) SH Monsterarts Kiryu (Mechagodzilla v3) – I’ve waited years for a figure like this. Kiryu is one of my favorite robot designs, and features in two of my favorite Godzilla movies. The figure is up to the usual standards of articulation, engineering, and accessories. Weirdly so, that last one. He’s got three sets of interchangeable eyes. One is his standard yellow, one is red, to represent when he went nuts, and the third is… also yellow? Why does he have two sets of yellow eyes?
    1) SH Figuarts Dragonranger/MMPR Green Ranger – Still hands down the coolest Ranger design in the history of Sentai/Power Rangers. This is the guy who will forever be at the head of my Rangers collection.

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