2018 has been a great year for collectors of action figures, statues and general geekery. All the big names have been hitting them out of the park this year and picking a top 5 favourite list was always going to be tough, that being said, here are our choices for 2018.
First up has to be the Ultimate Pennywise I Heart Derry figure. NECA have been getting pretty busy with their Pennywise series and it was a close call between this figure and both the first IT 2017 figure and the classic Tim Curry 1990 version. NECA’s offerings over the last couple of years have really been ramping up in terms of their already very high levels of quality. We love the collector-friendly window box packaging that we’re seeing with their newer figures and especially the special edition 3D hologram covers that come with certain special editions like the I Heart Derry Pennywise and the Friday 13th Pt III Jason. Once again, NECA shows other companies the price to play in the £30-35 action figure marketplace.
The second NECA figure to get a mention in out top 5 is the Shin Atomic Blast Godzilla. This figure proved incredibly popular in 2018. It’s great to see real enthusiasm for the classically styled Godzilla, especially after the 2014’s homage to the original 1954 Kaiju.
2018 may have been filled with awesome additions to toy and figure collections, but it was also a bumper year for gaming fans. The latter part of the year saw the 2017 worldwide battle-royale hit, Fortnite, go supernova and McFarlane Toys teamed up with Epic Games to create the poseables that needed to be in everyone’s stocking over the Christmas holidays. The whole series continues to be immensely popular, but Skull Trooper easily steals the top ofthe leaderboard at the moment. We’re used to McFarlane producing excellent smaller scale figures with great paint, but the Fortnite series really shows what’s possible for the company going forward, and we’re excited to see what comes next!
Not one, not two, but three NECA figures have made in into our top 5 for 2018. The God of War Kratos 7in scale figure from Sony’s monster 2018 smash hit is absolutely one of our favourites of the year. Featuring over 30-points of articulation and some great accessories, Kratos remains a fantastic collector’s piece, whether your taste is to proudly display or hide away. We’re also looking forward to the arrival of NECA’s up and coming 2-pack God of War figures, expected early this year.
But finally, taking the top spot for 2018, it has to be the incredible 1/6 masterpiece that is the Wonder Woman Justice League Deluxe figure from Hot Toys. It’s not hard to wax lyrical about Hot Toys at the moment, but the Amazonian Princess just never looked so good in resin before! Featuring a still very new and shiny Hot Toys invisible-joint body and spot-on facial sculpt of actress Gal Gadot, the Justice League Wonder Woman Deluxe figure adds to the already impressive duo of prior WW figures with what we believe is the best likeness yet. How will Hong Kong’s heroes of sixth-scale improve upon this figure in her next incarnation? We can’t wait to find out…
So we look to 2019 to see what’s gotten us checking our bank balances of late, and there’s a lot to be excited about, even at this early stage of the game.
He’s small but strong and he admittedly looks ever so slightly creepy -Mezco’s One:12 Popeye is a figure that has been on many a list of top figures from 2018 for collectors and toy fans in the US, but as he’s yet to arrive on British shores, he just sneaks into our list for 2019. He’s proven to be an unexpected hit with a lot of folks online, many of which, like us, might not have actually been too excited by the idea of a Popeye figure as a concept, but everyone’s been bowled over by the awesome take on this classic character. Now, like everyone else, we want a Bluto One:12, too.
Up next is the Sideshow, full-size Venom bust. This is probably the most visually impactful Sideshow piece we’ve seen for a while -it looks downright terrifying! Based on the Spiderman villain’s recent trip to the big-screen, as portrayed by Tom Hardy, this massive bust comes in at nearly 30inches tall and, if the pre-production images are anything to go by, is features some of Sideshow’s most convincing paint to date.
With three figures in our 2018 list, it’s only fitting that NECA should feature in our roster up-and-coming desirables. For this half of proceedings the prize goes to the soon-to-be-visualised Godzilla figures for the upcoming 2019, Godzilla King of The Monsters movie. Unusually, NECA have remained very secretive about these figures and, as yet, no pre-production visuals have become available. Given the success of the previous figures, the new movie miniatures should be very popular indeed. Of particular interest to many fans will be the Mothra, announced late last year as the 2019 movie trailer features a pretty awesome rendition of this classic fan-favourite kaiju.
We ended our 2018 list with a fantastic Hot Toys figure and the new compilation not only features a Hot Toys, but a departure from their usual sixth-scale mastery. The quarter-scale Darth Vader Return of The Jedi figure looks incredible and we’re certain that this iteration of one of the greatest movie villains of all time is sure to have fans of the original trilogy contemplating the sale of a kidney or two. Vader features the un-helmeted head-sculpt of actor Sebastian Shaw, who portrayed Vader/Anakin for the famous un-helmeted scene in the movie. Needless to say, the iconic black mask is, of course, present. Hot Toys keep leaving us wondering how the bar can possibly be raised any higher in sculpt, paint and tailoring, and yet they’re still manage to blow our minds on a regular basis.
Next is another excellent figure from Mezco Toyz’ awesome One:12 Collective line, the Nightmare on Elm St. Freddy Kreuger. Talking of Hot Toys, Mezco is giving the giants of sixth-scale a real run for their money with these smaller figures. After an arguably hazy start to the series a couple of years ago we’re really seeing some fantastic figures emerging now, and Freddy is no exception. Featuring one of the best sculpts we’ve seen on any Kreuger figure, some incredible scale twelfth-scale tailoring, and a wealth of alternate heads and hands, this guy is going to be on a lot of people’s ‘must-have’ lists this year.
I know, that’s five already, but I’d also like to give an honourable mention to the NECA Ultimate Jungle Hunter Predator figure, also pencilled to arrive in January. If you’ve got one of the recent 30th anniversary Dutch figures then you’re going to want what promises to be one of the best 7inch scale representations of the Jungle Demon so far. Featuring alternate masked and unmasked head sculpts, removable armour extra hands and a few gruesomely flesh-stripped trophy skulls, this figure will look great whether proudly on display or kept safe and sound inside its collector-friendly, window-box packaging.