Our Top 5 Favorite Figures of 2019

There are any number of deserving figures that were released in 2018 that are not on this list – Mezco Toyz Koike-inspired Lone Roach & Grub, Hot Toys diecast Iron Man Mark 7 – but these 5 high-end figures are the ones that really stood to me as the absolute standouts in what will go down as a magnificent year for collectors.

Let’s begin with the one and only 1:12 scale entry on the list.

Mezco One: 12 Collective – Blade

Mezco once again released a fair number of action figures in their One:12 Collective line in 2019 and, once again, most of them wowed collectors. From the surprisingly awesome Diabolik to the insanely fun and well-done Green Lantern and Aquaman to the aftermarket juggernaut that is Gomez, hit has followed hit. Now, that’s not to say there haven’t been some stinkers like Vigilante Daredevil, but we’re not here to discuss those. We’re here to talk about the best of the best, and for my money, that release is the Daywalker himself, Blade. You know that you’re having a difficult time coming up with any complaints about a figure when all you can think of are how skinny their forearms are. Blade was an absolute masterpiece that doesn’t really get the recognition he deserves. Two killer head sculpts, some great tailoring and soft good design, new accessories like his stakes, muzzle flash effects and magnetic sword sheath, and sunglasses for days pushed this guy swiftly up the ladder for me. In the end, Blade’s true superpower was his steady pace in a year where other, flashier figures like the multiple Gomezes and mutants with light-up features made their debut. Blade didn’t need hype or gimmicks; he just needed to be fun.

Sideshow Collectibles – Magneto 

The mutant Master of Magnetism barely made the 2019 cutoff, but I’m including him here since he’s as impressive in in-hand photos as he looked to be from the promotional shots. I’ve admittedly not received him yet, but those who have are singing his praises and I’m sure I won’t be any different. Having had a chance to see this in person in New York Comic-Con, the craftsmanship is impressive. Sideshow’s adherence to Magneto’s classic look while adding minimal flourishes like the lines on the red of his costume was a smart choice. It’s easy to want to spice up what might seem to be a simple design but it’s just as easy to push a red and purple color scheme over the edge with too much complication, so I’m glad they erred on the side of simplicity. The un-helmeted Magnus head sculpt is such a beauty, especially while levitating the empty helmet that I almost wanted to buy two of these. Sideshow Collectibles did some solid stuff this year, but Magneto has appeared at the eleventh hour to grab the crown.

Toys Era – The Cyclopstech

Another figure that came late in the year but for me easily stole the top spot. Despite some solid earlier entries from Toys Era this year like The Nightmare, The Parasitic and The Mechanical, The Cyclopstech really impressed me. Maybe it’s the costume that harkens back in some clever ways to Jim Lee’s 1990s design for Cyclops or the excellent Tye Sheridan likeness, but this thing is great in hand. While there are certainly some small nits to pick with the figure, such as the seam running down the side of the head or the alternate outfit being basically impossible to use without a second body to put it on, I still think this entry is an example of Toys Era at their best.

ThreeZero/ThreeA Toys – Optimus Prime DLX (Bumblebee Movie)

Detail is the word when it comes to this figure. This Optimus Prime is a beautiful piece that does a truly amazing job of recreating the Autobot’s style from the Bumblebee (2018) film, which is a fantastic mix of modern design and classic cartoon. Being able to gush over the intricate parts that make up Optimus’ spine, joints and torso is a Zen-like experience that I never imagined possible. The paint application, which can often make or break metallic figures like this, is excellent. I marveled at the dirt in the grooves of the tires and the grease and rust on Prime’s arms and legs. It’s not always the case that a 1/6 figure has the same level of care applied to it as an expensive statue, but it is certainly the case here. The gang at ThreeZero /ThreeA Toys has simply outdone themselves with this release, which is obviously a labor of love by the company. Well done.

Hot Toys – VGM 34 Spider-Man (Scarlet Spider Suit)

When you put the words “Hot Toys” and “Spider-Man” together, you’re guaranteed a reaction from me. Spoiler alert: that reaction will look a lot like a grown man jumping up and down in delirious and all-encompassing joy.  Releases based on films like Homecoming or Far From Home will do this to me, of course, but give me something even remotely comic-inspired and I am going to lose my sh*t. I’ve already gushed over this figure in my Hot Toys Scarlet Spider Suit review, so I’ll spare you more of the same. The short version is that in a year of several Sixth-Scale Spider-Men being released, the Scarlet Spider has proven himself triumphant. This triumph is certainly owed to fun accessories like his camera and pizza pie just as it is to his outfit that allows for the type of articulation that a Spider-Man often needs but rarely gets. However, I think it all comes down to the shelf appeal. Scarlet’s unique color and costume design makes the figure pop in a Spider-Man collection, constantly drawing your eye back to him. It’s that almost irresistible charm that makes the Scarlet Spider my favorite release (Hot Toys or any other) of the year. 

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