BEST OF 2011 - Best Horror Toys
Creepy cool collectibles we dared to collect...
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#4 MCFARLANE TOYS' THE WALKING DEAD
While smaller (and a tad more expensive) than fans had hoped for, McFarlane Toys' stab at The Walking Dead was a welcome horror addition to the action figure aisle. The AMC series is sizzling hot, the Figures.com team not missing an episode, but McFarlane's ambitious project went beyond the show to also feature the hit comic. With two assortments to choose from, horror hounds had plenty of zombie and zombie-slayer action to choose from. The proposed action features had us initially concerned, but after getting our hands on the awesome Zombie Lurker that gruesomely pulled apart, we were sold. A great zombie TV series AND action figures? What's not to love?
#2 NECA'S GREMLINS
Unless a movie is a current blockbuster with loads of planned product tie-ins (ie: Star Wars, Transformers, et al), the chance of collectors receiving action figures of all their favorite secondary characters is very slim. Odds for an '80s movie, no matter how classic it has now become, are even worse - borderlining on zero. NECA defied the odds this year by returning to Gremlins (specifically Gremlins 2), Joe Dante's tale of mischievious monsters run amok. Originally released as a four figure assortment way back in 2005, NECA's new batch of Gremlins featured today's state-of-the-art sculpting and paint. Even their articulation has been vastly improved with the adorable mogwai's now sporting moveable eyeballs! The best part is that NECA didn't just stop at four characters. Already fans have six of the cool creatures in mogwai and gremlin form (7 if you count the SDCC exclusive Gizmo!). Even more are planned for 2012, including Combat Gizmo (ahem, Rambo) and the unique Lightening Gremlin (as well as Lenny in Gremlin form!). Our fingers are crossed that the planned Spider Gremlin sees release.
#2 DST'S UNIVERSAL MONSTERS/ MUNSTERS
Diamond Select Toys hit a horror doubleheader this year with the continuation of their classic Universal Monsters and the debut of one of the craziest families to grace TV: The Munsters. Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster and The Bride picked up where The Creature, Mummy and Wolfman left off in 2010, treating fans to a trio of silver screen scream legends that no collection should be without. Most exciting was the introduction of the new Legacy Series, returning Series 1's popular monsters as they were meant to be: in classic black and white. More retro thrills could be found with Jean St. Jean's faithful recreations of the Munsters. Grandpa, Herman and Lily looked like they stepped off the television screen. The deluxe "Select" Munsters were the ones to pick up for loads of excellent accessories, the bonus electric chair further incentative to collect them all. Here's hoping we get the rest of the Munsters family and hey, we'll take The Addams Family while you're at it...
#1 NECA'S A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
Much like their dedication to Gremlins, NECA went all out with Wes Craven's dream-slashin' creation A Nightmare on Elm Street. Fans of the stripped sweater, bladed glove wearing boogey man Freddy Krueger delighted in receiving numerous action figures from his many movie appearances. The most movie-accurate Krueger collectibles yet, NECA's first assortment starred Freddy from his film debut with creepy outstretched arms (details like no stripes on the sweater sleeves suprising even to us) and an amazing figure of his more defined look from the sequel, Freddy's Revenge. Series 2 went even deeper into Freddy's many twisted incarnations by taking on his soul-swallowing "Chest of Souls" look and equally demented "Dream Master" appearance with his hapless victims squirming to escape his body.
While the new Nightmare on Elm Street action figures were like a dream come true to many horror collectors, it was NECA's faithful prop replica of Freddy's original 1984 bladed glove that blew us away. Value priced at around $60, this stunning recreation of the iconic weapon was pop culture collecting nirvana; the answer to all those that attempted to make their own crude Freddy glove over the years. With real leather and metal construction and an eye for film-accurate detail (like the resoldered broken index blade!), this amazing prop replica was like stepping into Freddy Krueger's shoes... or rather, slipping on his glove. #1 horror collectible of 2011? It doesn't get any more real than this.
Re: BEST OF 2011 - Best Horror Toys
Diamond gets my top vote this year for both The Munsters and Universal Monsters S2.
The Munsters weren't 100% perfect, but what the sculpts lacked in accuracy (I'm talking especially Lily's head sculpt here) was more than made up for by the OUTSTANDING and well thought-out accessories. They really hit it out of the ballpark in that dept!
And Uni. Monsters S2 had some problems too like sloppy paint getting in the joints. My Frankie's arm fell off due to paint fusing the joint and his head was stubbornly frozen in place due to paint too.
But I liked the sculpts and the lab table was a very cool accessory.
And when I finally tracked her down, The Bride of Frankenstein fig has turned out to be one of my most fave figs of the whole year!! Beautiful fig and definitely the gem in this wave. Too bad she's so hard for some people to get a hold of...
Now I can't wait to complete the Munster family with Eddie & Marilyn, and I'm looking forwards to more Universal Monsters too (I would love a Dr. Praetorius fig to work on my Mr. & Mrs. Frankenstein!)