Saturday, 24 December 2011

My Top 11 Toylines for 2011

It's another Top 11 for 2011 list, and this list is going to be a tad difficult to write.  It's not because there are so many excellent toylines this year.  Far from it.  the Green Lantern movie line was a dud and the Thor line was boring.  So what made it to my top 11 for 2011?

Before I do that lemme recap what I liked last year in 2010.  The top 10 from last year were:
10. Ben 10 (Bandai America)
9. Strawberry Shortcake (Hasbro)
8. Floating Tardis (Underground Toys)
7. Toy Story (Mattel)
6. Scooby Doo (Character Options)
5. DC Universe Classics (Mattel)
4. Lego Toy Story (Lego)
3. Revoltech Sci-Fi (Kaiyodo)
2. Masters of the Universe Classics (Mattel)
1. Transformers Animated (Hasbro)

So what about this year?  Here's the countdown:

11. Polly Pocket (Mattel)
OK, I have to admit, Polly Pocket only made the list because of this SDCC exclusive.  Last year, Mattel used the Polly Pocket line to introduce their DC franchise.  This year, the crossover is with the Princess of Power girls which have been rolled into the Masters of the Universe... universe.  It's a neat concept and it refreshes the toyline in a "think outside the box" type.  And it's also the first appearance of Frosta in over 20 years.

10. Transformers Animated (Hasbro)
The cartoon has been off the air for years and the line is officially dead, yet this line makes an appearance on my list two years in a row... because?  Mainly because of the BotCon version of Stunticon which was issued this year.  OK, so these are not scramble city type Transformers, but are instead repaints of existing molds, some with unique heads.  Yet the overall concept and the idea of keeping the (sub)line alive is such a great concept that I just have to give it this year's number 10 slot.

9. Playskool Sesame Street (Hasbro)
Who doesn't like Sesame Street?  Hasbro through its Playskool line has reinvented Sesame Street to create a kid friendly toyline that's colourful, yet true to the educational values that the Sesame Street franchise represent.  There's little muppet statues of course, but what sets the line apart are the huge colourful playsets.  Now, why can't Adult Collectible toys be like this?

8. Dr Who Character Buildables (Character Options)
This is the first non-US toyline on the list, but rest assured, it won't the the last.  Character Options has the license for the UK series Dr. Who and have a line of figures (which sadly is still missing a Rory).  Well, they've also jumped onto the Lego minifigure bandwagon and have started a line of minifigures (which includes a Rory!).  The figures are cute and there are a few playsets as well, including the Tardis shown.

7. My Little Pony (Hasbro)
I have to confess, I'm not a Brony.  So I have no idea why there's such a huge draw to these toys to the extant that even straight heterosexual males are collecting these.  Is it because of the cartoon?  Maybe.  Is it because of the colourful designs? Probably.  Is it because it's easy to find these in stores?  Maybe.  I don't know, but I won't deny that it is probably a very successful toyline in 2011 and based on that it does deserve a spot on my list.

6. Revoltech Sci-Fi (Kaiyodo)
Revoltech is the line that puts out characters from multiple franchise.  Characters released this year include box office hits such as Optimus Prime and Iron Man, but they also have figures such as Mike and Sully from Monsters incorporated. They have been improving on their designs this year - case in point being Mike - I expected him to be top heavy and to fall over, but thanks to their weird design, he does stand rather well on his own two feet!  This is a line that's moving from strength to strength and it does have many years to continue.

5. Lego Minifigures (Lego)
This has been another runaway hit this year with two series of 12 figures.  Blind bag figures means that one doesn't know what one is getting, unless one cheats!  The design of the figures incorporates elements and pieces never before seen in Lego sets and collectors are just going crazy over them.  I'm a fan, but not a huge fan of these though, yet again it's the popularity of these that gives them a spot on my list.

4. Masters of the Universe Classics (Mattel)
OK, this is my favourite line this year, and the only action figure line that I'm actively collecting.  The designs this year has been great - from the customisable Palace Guards, Bow and Icarius to the double headed Man-E-Faces and Megator.  Mattel has even given us two torsos for King Hiss.  What's there not to like about this line?  Well, quality checking, the bad customer service and the horrible site that these can only be purchased, although improvements are constantly being made to all three.  This year has been a bumper year for MotUC, and next year seems to be shaping up to be even greater given that it's the 30th anniversary of the franchise.

3. Soul of Chogokin (Bandai)
Bandai only released three boxes in their Soul of Chogokin line this year, and all three have been winners.  The last one release was God Sigma and the toy was just all sorts of awesomeness distilled into toy form.  The toys are true to their cartoon depiction, and looks great both in individual robot mode and in the gattai or combined mode.  It's made of a mixture of die cast metal and plastic and the joints are strengthened to ensure that they last.  The articulation is where one would expect articulation to be and they don't get in the way of the action feature, which allows the individual robots to combine.  I just wish I have the money to get the figures from this line.

2. DC Universe Green Lantern Classics (Mattel)
The two pictures above should demonstrate how awesome the line has been this year.  Thanks to the Green Lantern movie (which spawned its own line that failed drastically), Mattel launched two waves of 6 figures as a subline of the DCUC line, and the resulting Green Lantern Classics allowed us to fill in the ranks of the Sinestro Corps and the Green Lantern Corps.  Sure there were problems with the figures, but the design is what we have come to expect from the line and Mattel even decided to sell these online at their store.

What's the top toyline of the year for me?  Is it the Thundercats, which debut this year?  Is it Ben 10, with which I have a fondness for? Surely it can't be Strawberry Shortcake or Scooby Doo?  Well, it's not Ben 10, because that line has been rather lackluster this year.  Strawberry Shortcake is still going strong, but they are branching off into a more dolls dominated area with the toys.  I don't think there were new Scooby Doo toys this year, at least not that I've seen.  And Thundercats has been a disappointment this year for me, and the recent announcements about changes in scale doesn't help either.  So what's the top toyline of the year for me?  In a list that's dominated by Hasbro (3 out of 11) and Mattel (3 out of 11), will they provide the top toyline of the year for me?  Nope.

1. Lego Cars (Lego)
When I was opening these this year, I was totally estatic.  These are Lego blocks, yet they are not.  Lego somehow transformed their boring bricks into the interesting anthromorpic characters from the Cars movies.  The colours are bright and colourful.  The designs are innovative.  The characters are built from bricks and some of that is apparent, yet, they are still aerodynamic and smooth and cartoon-like and nice.  This is how Lego should be.  This is how a movie should be translated into a toyline.  This is awesome.  At least to me.

What do you guys think?  Feel free to discuss in the comments below or at The Poester Gallery.


  1. There's a "Sesame St" about 20mins from where I live, but you don't want to go walking around there...

  2. LOL,is that the adult version of Sesame Street?


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