AFJ TOP 10 HOT LIST JANUARY 2017!
By Jarrett Kruse
Well if your New Year's resolution had to be delayed a little bit, just think of January as a "free trial" month and February is when 2017 really starts. We just hope that giving up collecting figures is not your resolution because nothing good can come of that! As we prepare (hopefully) for the new AFJ website to launch to coincide with Toy Fair '17, lets take a look back at what the Top 10 of January. Realize gang that we try to mix it up each month and not have a lot of repeats. While we know that the BLACK SERIES DARTH REVAN is still pricey and VHTF, it was our number one last month so it is still on everyones radar. Enjoy and comment if you can!
10. DISNEY STORE EXCLUSIVE STAR WARS ELITE SERIES PREMIUM DIRECTOR ORSON KRENNIC ($25-$35)
ROGUE ONE was the perfect EPISODE IV prequel and I think it's fair to say that most Junkies were very satisfied with the first "Star Wars Story." Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn stole pretty much every scene he appeared in as big bad Director Orson Krennic. That is why I was so psyched when DISNEY decided to release an Elite Series Premium figure of the titular character. I have been waiting to do some live openings of one of the Elite Premium's and already have three on display here at AFJ HQ. No joke, I love this line! Its got the mix of everything we have loved (articulation, sculpting, MEGO-style cloth costumes) into an awesome hybrid. Their have been deals in the last month to get this normally $35 for just a little over $20 so jump on this underrated gem.
9. HASBRO MARVEL LEGENDS SHOCKER ($22)
I have been waiting for a new version of MARVEL's SHOCKER for years! I am so glad to see one of my favorite Spidey bad guys has finally gotten his due in HASBRO's storied MARVEL LEGENDS line. I love the sleekly styled costume sculpt on this figure and the paint apps are spot on making this one of my new favorite LEGENDS to photograph. They definitely nailed the costume and I love the "shocker effect" blast that you can use which seems to be a popular growing trend. This is a "sleeper" pick for me early this year because if he is successful as an on screen villain, SHOCKER may become a hot item. Hopefully he will look this awesome in SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING!
8. MARVEL SELECT DOCTOR STRANGE (MOVIE) $26
DIAMOND's MARVEL SELECT figures are doing something right with their uncompromising artistic freedom giving each sculpt and new figure a common universe to exist in while still maintaining the DST "look". This new movie DOCTOR STRANGE figure has been tough to come by in my personal toy hunts but Junkies have informed that it is becoming more readily available. Fantastic extras as always, top notch sculpts and of course the library book spine packaging; still the best way to organize if you are a MIB collector.
7. DC COLLECTIBLES BATGIRL OF BURNSIDE DELUXE SET ($60)
It is a rare thing for me to really take notice at a favorite superheroes change into a new costume. It used to be such a rare thing in comics but now it seems like every hero has their own personal taylor because of the plethora of "alternate" uniforms. When designer Babs Tarr's illustration of what Batgirl was now going to look like surfaced in 2014, I quickly noted that it was the best costume upgrade of the decade. Now we get a brilliant set of not just a brilliantly realized figure but you get tons of extras including a BATCYCLE! I love that the DC ICONS line is expanding into these larger packs for die hard Junkies.
6. MAFEX WONDER WOMAN ($47.99)
MAFEX is absolutely killing it right now! I am yet to be disappointed in a MAFEX purchase and these figures truly are becoming worthy of their "MAF" title. (MAFEX stands for Miracle Action Figure EX which I always assumed meant Exclusive.) This new Wonder Woman from the almost year old BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE is easily the best Amazonian Princess available right now. Outside of HOT TOYS, I think that this is a pretty good likeness of Israeli actress Gal Gadot and the extras and packaging this a must have before the solo Wonder Woman film hits later this year and prices soar...if its a hit.
5. MCFARLANE SPAWN REBIRTH TRU EXCLUSIVE ($17.99)
This not only falls under one of the first truly epic pieces of 2017 but also one that made a meteoric jump to the #3 spot. And at this price point, this is a tough figure to resist for lots of reasons. I have always been a big SPAWN fan and the way McFarlane created and branded the character and the universe. SPAWN was an antihero before it was ultra hip in comic books. However, I am not one for huge variations on characters so I never really got into the SPAWN figures from those wild worlds (SPAWN: DARK AGES, MANGA SPAWN, etc), I love that they tried it and in the process really perfected their craft. Now, this awesome new and very true to its roots figure from McFarlane has returned. The original comic cook adaptation turned into what is now easily my favorite SPAWN figure ever, contains multiple points of articulation, an assault rifle, a pistol and a truly dope looking base. The cape and the gauntlets are gravy in this seriously fun figure that will set you back less than a $20-spot. Yes, this is less than $20!
4. MEZCO ONE:12 COLLECTIVE BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DOJ BATMAN ($75)
Its crazy to think that an almost year old film with the most Razzie Nominations for a 2016 is still making such awesome figures from said movie! But its the truth because MEZCO could make a Howard the Duck figure in ONE:12 style and sell it because the ONE:12 COLLECTIVE is just that awesome. This figure, no matter what you thought of the film, exemplifies just the truly great parts in a gritty and determined portrayal of Batman. Whether you love Affleck in the role matters not because this is just an ultimately cool looking figure with enough extras to be a Hyundai.
3. NECA 1/4 SCALE DEADPOOL ($105)
DEADPOOL had his most mind-blowing year yet in 2016 with the movie worthy to the Wilson family name. Its R-Rated success is only going to pave the way for better and more adult themed superhero movies that can still be bankable at the box office. So its no wonder that the new iteration of the Merc with a Mouth has vaulted to the top of January's AFJ Hot List. As usual with NECA, this figure is billed as a "Super Poseable Bas@$$" and it truly is the Ultimate Collector's Epic Marvel figure without breaking the bank.
2. MARVEL SELECT DESTROYER ($22.99)
The prolific Jean St. Jean sculpted MARVEL SELECT's new ODIN THE DESTROYER and it's an absolute beast to start off your collecting year. Standing nearly 10-inches tall and boasting 16 points of articulation, this is really like having two awesome figures in one because of awesome one-eyed interchangeable head of the All-Father Odin himself. I like how they integrated Odin into the mix because a lot of casual Thor fans that might just know DESTROYER from the first film. But not how Odin would project himself onto the DESTROYER armor in battle and such. I am always fascinated by the picks that DST makes on who makes the SELECT cut.
1. FUNKO POP VINYLS HOT TOPIC EXCLUSIVE DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS THE JOKER (WITH KISSES, CHASE) ($75)
FUNKO has gotten a lot of press attention in 2017 as the Pacific Northwest toy giant continues to expand their empire. Bottom line is that you just cannot count out the power of POP! And they seriously keep getting better as FUNKO continues to mop up new licenses as they prep for Toy Fair '17. I also love that they take into account the Junkie mindset of collecting by making store exclusives as well as chase pieces. That feeds right into what being a part of the Junkieverse is all about--the hunt! January saw the debut of the new WWII inspired Golden Age style DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS THE JOKER with a black & white Chase available only at Hot Topic and the normally $12.99 piece skyrocketed to over a $100 on the secondary market. The feared "Beanie Baby Backlash" that some prognosticators claimed three years ago POP's were headed for is just not gonna happen. These aren't Hatchimals or a passing holiday trend, FUNKO has created the ultimate affordable toy/figure-but-not-a-figure for not just the die hard Junkies but a great gift for even casual fans. EVERYONE has a favorite TV show, movie or some kind of fictional character even if they are not embedded in geek culture. Officemates, relatives, friends, nieces, nephews, etc. Tack that on with an already rabidly devoted POP Vinyls fan base and you have the rare phenomenon that continues to hit its stride as 2017 begins.