It was a busy month in toys and while making the AFJ TOP 10 HOTTEST list, it only took a few minutes to come up with the top picks because it was pretty obvious who the winners were! I wish every month was like this where I don't have to wade through tons of eBay and AMAZON listings to see the cost differentials for what the figures would cost at retail and what they are going for on the evil secondary market. Still, November came and went and it was New Jersey (NJ REPRESENT!) based NECA that threw the gauntlet down nabbing three of Top 10 places including the top spot. HASBRO and their STAR WARS franchise took an unprecedented six places in the Top 10 and DC Collectibles hung in there with a late entry that has Bat-fans in a frenzy. So without any further adieu, here are November's TOP 10 HOTTEST FIGURES OF NOVEMBER from AFJ!
10. WALMART EXCLUSIVE KYLO REN BLACK SERIES 3 & 3/4" ($25)
HASBRO is capitalizing on the whole BLACK SERIES STAR WARS craze by using their shrink rays and turning the wildly popular 6-inch line into a WALMART Exclusive 3 & 3/4" line. Actually, this is the second wave to hit WALMART's with the first being Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker & Chewbacca. Although those were not that coveted amongst Junkies and it wasn't until EPISODE VII's breakout character, Kylo Ren was made that has sent fans into a fever. All things Kylo Ren seem to be hot with just 17 days until TFA hits the multiplexes. The highly detailed and articulated 3 & 3/4" Kylo Ren is already up to around $25 on eBay while if you are lucky enough to find it in store, it will run you just shy of $13.
9. MARVEL INFINITE SERIES 3 & 3/4" DEADPOOL ($25)
DEADPOOL figures are always popular and are sure to be lightning hot before the feature film is released in February of 2016. Although a lot of Junkies jumped ship when the MARVEL UNIVERSE (MU) figures evolved into the INFINITE SERIES line with less articulation, I still very much dig them and we are getting some rare characters that we never got to see before. Now, available for the first time in this form when the X-MEN hired DEADPOOL to capture CABLE, I have always really dug this costume as an alternate to the black and red which I always think is too similar to Spider-Man. Just my opinion, relax! I still think its a dope costume! So I had to snatch this up for $12.99 when I saw it on the pegs. However, the Scalpers are enjoying selling this for $25 on the secondary market and making a tidy profit for themselves. Comes with an alternate head which is a nice bonus. I just wish that HASBRO could go back to the articulation that was so popular with the MU figures. Still, a must-have figure for you Dead-Heads.
8. TOYS R US EXCLUSIVE STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS BLACK SERIES SNOWTROOPER ($33)
Everything STAR WARS EPISODE VII is hot right now but tack on the word "Exclusive" and you know you've got a winner. Toys R Us knows what they are doing at this point and are offering up this new FORCE AWAKENS SNOWTROOPER. Sleek and stylish with an updated look for thirty years after the Empire fell, this is a very nice BLACK SERIES 6-inch figure to add to your collection. I love the way this trooper looks with the very cool looking futuristic gun and the mashed up look of the old Snowtrooper with the new First Order Stormtrooper, this one is a winner that a lot of Junkies are stockpiling to make their own armies with! A definite purchase for all Jedi's and Sith's.
NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA, BAT-MAN! NJ based NECA had a huge month and here is the first of three on the TOP 10 AFJ HOT LIST. The 7-inch Adam West BATMAN from the campy 60's classic live-action show quickly became an absolute must-have for Bat-fans with die-hard Gothamites picking up as many as they could find at their local TRU or on Warner Bros. Exclusives eBay page. I actually have the 1/4 scale version that I keep in the Well of Souls (my storage unit) and always hoped that they would make a smaller version. Brilliantly realized with NECA's signature style, amazing likeness and attention to detail, fans of the series that never seems to die can finally stop complaining because an affordable Adam West Batman in 7-inch form is at long last available for non-card carrying JLA members. This is a beautiful figure and I bought three just to have one for display, one for storage and one in case of a zombie apocalypse. Plus, a lot of Junkies tell me how they are showing their kids the old TV series on streaming devices and they love it as much as we did. Just $20 if you can find it in stores but a little extra on the secondary market.6. NECA HEATH LEDGER JOKER THE DARK KNIGHT 7-INCH TRU EXCLUSIVE ($40)
In the role that redefined Batman's arch-nemesis for the 21st Century, Heath Ledger never got to enjoy the spoils of his Academy Award-winning role. It changed the way we looked at comic book movie villains but sadly, Ledger passed in an apparent accidental overdose. Still, the actor's death somehow made the new Joker that much more popular with fans picking up anything that had the Ledger Joker likeness. And action figures were the number one priority for most. Finally, we have a HOT TOYS style accurate 7-inch Ledger Joker at an affordable price that is truly epic. NECA scores again with this awesome figure that is realized in a way no other figure company has managed to do. From top to bottom, all of the details are there and there is no mistaking that this is Heath Ledger's legacy. It will be hard to top his portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime next year when Jared Leto tackles the role in Suicide Squad. To tell you the truth, I don't think anyone remotely thinks it is possible. They nailed Ledger's signature smirk that he has on his face for most of The Dark Knight. Having this figure is like owning a piece of Batman history and needs to be on your shelf or in your climate controlled storage unit with retinal scan!
5. DC COLLECTIBLES ARKHAM KNIGHT 7-INCH FIGURES WAVE 2 ($100)
The ARKHAM figures continue to thrill and astonish me as with each successive wave, DC COLLECTIBLES somehow manages to make them better than the last. This new wave of four is their tour de force with more streamlined packaging and each going for about $22.99 on popular online retailers, these four figures are not going to stay at that price point for much longer. Catwoman seems to be the runaway hit and is already hitting the $40 mark on the secondary market. The set comes with Catwoman, Robin (my favorite Robin yet!), Nightwing & an awesome Commissioner Gordon. For the gamers out there who conquered the most recent ARKHAM video game and are figure collectors as well, this new set will take far less time to purchase than it did to beat the game!
4. WALMART EXCLUSIVE BLACK SERIES SHOCK TROOPER ($40)
At just a little over two and a half weeks old, the new Walmart Exclusive Shock Trooper threw STAR WARS fans for a loop with a new piece associated with the hit video game BATTLEFIELD. So not only are we trying to get every EPISODE VII BLACK SERIES figure, now we have to pick up video game figures too?!? Well thankfully, WALMART was pretty decently stocked for this one in preparation for the masses that were picking up the new video game. I love this figure because it has that cool battle worn look and comes with some pretty dope accessories. If you are a Stormtrooper collector, this is a no-brainer to add to your collection plus it will liven up the color palette in your army of troopers.
I am hearing rumors now that Drugstore.com pulled the trigger too fast and did not have the right to sell this figure super early right before the Thanksgiving holiday. Well, they did, beating out Walgreens to market and selling out as fast as Darth Vader cuts off hands. No word yet on the repercussions for Drugstore.com but I am glad I got my order in ASAP because this is probably my new favorite Vader. From the final battle with the Emperor in ROTJ, you can see through Vader's helmet in a purplish see-through plastic that show's Anakin's skull from being zapped before offing Palpatine. Plenty of pics have already gone up on AFJ of Junkies posing their new Emperor's Wrath Vader holding their Black Series Emperor over his head. This is one of the best "reenactment toys" that has been released and hopefully is a sign of things to come.
2. HASBRO STAR WARS BLACK SERIES EPISODE VII CAPTAIN PHASMA ($50)
Numbers one and two were a no-brainer all month with the top two battling it out punch for punch like Rocky and Apollo. Easily the most elusive BLACK SERIES figure from the upcoming blockbuster has been the female villain, CAPTAIN PHASMA! I don't think anyone could have predicted that Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones would one day be a top-selling action figure. I am amazed at how difficult it has been for some Junkies to locate Captain Phasma and the lengths that some members have gone to acquire it! Online retailers like Amazon have had it in stock at cost for five minutes and then boom, its back up to close to $60. Craziness! The only time I have seen it on the pegs is when I acquired it for myself at a random Target I stopped into. Not even on the pegs, the red shirt had to go in the back and pull one out for me. And, the figure is still posing to be a problem to acquire as the movies release date draws nearer. Hopefully, all the Junkies can get one before the opening crawl of THE FORCE AWAKENS and the hint of John Williams epic score starts.
"You will believe a man can fly" was the tagline for Richard Donner's classic SUPERMAN film back in 1978. We should change it now too, "You will believe Junkies will hip check a soccer mom to nab a NECA Superman at retail price!" All of November was about one thing and one thing only in the action figure world and that was NECA's 7-INCH Christopher Reeve Superman. With its scary likeness to the late, great Reeve, this figure is awe inspiring with the most exact features I have ever encountered in all of my years of collecting. While the NECA Joker & Batman are amazing, their faces are relatively covered. However, with the Reeve Superman, there is no hiding and it is an exact and perfect likeness to the actor that put a face to the most iconic superhero in history. From the suit down to the boots and the brilliant flowing cape with the yellow "S," this is now my favorite Superman figure in my collection. Henry Cavill is fine as the 21st Century Superman but to me, as a kid born just before the original Superman movie was released, there is only one Superman and that is Christopher Reeve. Thank you NECA!