Like my favorite baseball broadcaster of all time, Gary Cohen says when my New York Mets rarely get a win, “Put it in the books!” And that’s what we can now say now about 2017, a fantastic year for toys. However, at our AFJ EAST year-end summit last week, we quickly realized that we were going to have to make several TOP 10 LISTS—one for the under $100 crowd with lots of honorable mentions, one TOP 10 LIST for the crowd looking to spend upwards of $150 to $300+ per figure (seen here) and of course 2017’s TOY COMPANY OF THE YEAR (seen here). So enough exposition, let’s just dig right into our lists that we fully admit were super tough to make because there was so much awesome product in 2017 for Junkies of all ages. Enjoy! #AFJ4LIFE
Editor's Note: This was one of the last articles Jarrett had started writing. I took it upon myself to finish out his "Top 10 of 2017 Over $100". Forgive me, if the descriptions aren't as long as what the "Head Junkie in Charge" would have written. This is still his list.- Robert Trate, Editorial Director
10. JAKKS PACIFIC 2017 SDCC EXCLUSIVE DARTH VADER ($50.00)
I promised myself that while covering San Diego Comic-Con 2017, I would make no random purchases for myself no matter how good the deal was. By Sunday, the last day of the Con, the situation had grown even worst as not only did JAKKS PACIFIC still have this 20" BIG FIG Darth Vader based on the 40th Anniversary of the 1977 STAR WARS POSTER in stock, based on the retro, deco vibe of the original Brothers Hildebrandt poster from 40 years older. I honestly was so busy that weekend, I had just totally forgotten to keep an eye out for any under the radar 40th Anniversary 1977-2017 Episode IV march. Man did this BIG FIG scratch my itch for a scant $50 giving Vader the Kenner look of the time period featuring a swinging lightsaber when squeezing his legs together (very 80's SUPER POWERS) and also activating the lights and sound effects. JAKKS' BIG FIGS line has never really interested me that much but they really went all out to match the classic Brothers Hildrebrand for the big 40th Anniversary theatrical release. Definitely one of my favorite "under the radar picks" of 2017! -JK
9. GHOSTBUSTERS SELECT SERIES 5 ACTION FIGURE SET ($74.99)
This Diamond Select Toys is sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios. Which means the details, as you can see, are amazing. We love it because you can really add to your Ghostbusters collection as the Library Ghost (aka The Grey Lady, Gray Lady, Librarian Ghost, or in her previous life she was known as Eleanor Twitty), the Taxi Driver Zombie, and a Terror Dog! These 7-inch figures support up to 16 points of articulation and have awesome character-specific accessories (The Library Ghost comes books, the Taxi Driver a steering wheel, and the Terror Dog has interchangeable horns so it could be Zuul or Vinz Clortho). This is a great set and must have for the Ghostbuster Junkie! - RT
ORDER THE SET HERE!
8. STAR WARS THE BLACK SERIES CAPTAIN REX 6-INCH FIGURE ($19.99)
This figure that is long overdue. When we started to see Black Series figures of Star Wars Rebels characters, I figured that actual characters, outside of basic Clone Troopers, would get the green light from Hasbro. Certainly, Captain Rex got the royal HasCon treatment back in Septemeber (seen here) but for those that couldn't make it, Hasbro has a regular version hitting stands now! What I love about this figure is that his helmet comes off revealing the character's likeness as Temuera Morrison who played Jango Fett and all the Clones! - RT
ORDER CAPTAIN REX HERE!
7. THOR: RAGNAROK MARVEL LEGENDS HELA 6-INCH FIGURE ($19.99)
When the Ragnarok BAF figure set was released, Hela was severely lacking at the brick and mortar stores. The AFJ Facebook Page, a great source for keeping up-to-date, BTW) started to report more and more sightings of her, but now she is all but gone. Why is she is worthy of this list? The details on the head and face for one. The second reason is that we may finally have a decent MCU female villain! The final reason, which goes with the first, it actually looks like Cate Blanchett! Well done Hasbro! -RT
6. NECA ROCKY 40TH ANNIVERSARY SCALE ACTION FIGURE SERIES 2 APOLLO CREED (UNCLE SAM HAT AND COAT) 7" ($49.99)
Our fearless leader loved the Rocky saga, and who can blame him. The films are nothing but inspiring and to see NECA put so much craft into this Apollo Creed figure shows that they love Rocky as well. Apollo decked out in his Rocky IV garb, made several of AFJ's Hot Lists and pre-orders in 2017. Fitting now that Jarrett placed him on our Top 10 for 2017. - RT
ORDER NECA'S APOLLO HERE!
5. NECA 1:4 SCALE 25TH ANNIVERSARY MICHELLE PFEIFFER CATWOMAN ($100)
Introducing the second action figure from Batman Returns! NECA is proud to present this 1/4 scale rendition of Catwoman, featuring the authorized likeness of Michelle Pfeiffer, whose unforgettable performance in the 1992 movie still defines the character. The figure stands nearly 18" tall and features 30 points of articulation and a movie-authentic sculpt, detailed down to the loose threads hanging from her homemade costume. Catwoman comes with two interchangeable heads (one calm; one angry, with synthetic hair escaping from a battle damaged mask) and interchangeable hands, plus Taser and whip accessories.
This incredible figure is an absolute must-have for Batman fans! - JK
Editor's Note: When Catwoman was released, earlier in the year, she was priced at $100, she now fetches far more than that on the secondary market. - RT
4. MARVEL CLASSICS X-FORCE DEADPOOL 1:4 SCALE ACTION FIGURE - NECA ($99.99)
It really does say something about a character when he has multiple releases in the same year, no new film out, and people are still clamoring for him. NECA dropped another incarnation of the Merc with the Mouth only this time he was quarter-scale and in his black and gray costume (a la X-Force)! You cannot possibly go wrong with this 18-inch tall figure and over 30 points of articulation to place him into any pose. Oh and to top it all off he comes with a plethora of accessories including katanas, sai, machine guns, pistol and knife accessories, all with working holsters and sheaths, plus interchangeable hands. - RT
ORDER NECA'S DEADPOOL HERE!
3. MEZCO PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE ONE:12 COLLECTIVE RED SON SUPERMAN ($80)
A PREVIEWS Exclusive! Mezco's One:12 Collective brings three of the DC Universe's greatest characters to life in their fan-favorite 1:12 scale format! Choose from the crimson archer, Arsenal; SHAZAM's deadly foe Black Adam; or the alternate reality Red Son Superman! Each figure features intricate tailored costuming, over 30 points of articulation, character-specific accessories (including multiple pairs of variant hands), a character-specific display base and collector's tin! - JK
2. STRANGER THINGS ELEVEN 7-INCH ACTION FIGURE - MCFARLANE TOYS ($17.99)
It is no surprise that McFarlane Toys' new iteration of STRANGER THINGS' Eleven made the top spot as NETFLIX and company have been riding the wave of popularity since Season 2 dropped on Halloween weekend. This new 7-inch scale figure stands about 5-inches and is sculpted from images of now world-famous actress Millie Bobby Brown. The new figure comes in 80's retro style themed packaging, has a removable blonde wig, radio and of course, a waffle. Eleven has 12 points of articulation for dynamic posing and even has a stylized STRANGER THINGS branded display base. Definitely going to be buying two of these, one MOC for my personal Well of Souls (that's what I call my collection in storage) and one for a full-on Hawkins, in STRANGER THINGS display as each new figure is released. - JK
ORDER ELEVEN HERE!
1. DST MARVEL SELECT PLANET HULK ($60.00)
Now, who better to take our number one spot other than the break out star of Thor: Ragnarok! Not only did we finally get to see the long-awaited incarnation of The Planet Hulk figure but we got something to scale that was nothing to laugh at. There have been multiple Planet Hulk's this year, however, the Marvel Select version (found at many Disney Stores) is our top figure for under $100. It is simply the best! - RT
ORDER PLANET HULK HERE!
This was easily my toughest list of the year to whittle down to just ten, interchanging several selected items over 20 times. That being said, I wanted to include some that were so close to being on the list that they technically deserve a spot even though they do not have a numbered designation. 2017 was just that good a year for toys Junkies...
MARVEL LEGENDS SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING 6-INCH ($19.99)
STAR WARS: EPISODE V THE BLACK SERIES LANDO CALRISSIAN 6-INCH ($19.99)
DST MARVEL SELECT SPIDER-GWEN ACTION FIGURE ($22.99)
It is hard to remember a new MARVEL character that has such a meteoric rise in popularity among the Junkieverse. Well just in time for the holidays is the newly minted, Jean St. Jean sculpted SPIDER-GWEN from the ever-expanding Spider-Verse. Standing approximately 6 & 3/4 inches, Gwen comes with interchangeable raised and lowered hoods (nice touch!), various interchangeable hands and a sculpted diorama base with a detailed fallen robot. As always with MARVEL SELECT, we get the awesome display ready signature Select packaging with side panel artwork. A must-have! - JK
BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT ROBIN PLAY ARTS KAI ACTION FIGURE SQUARE-ENIX ($99.99)
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN MARVEL LEGENDS WAVE 8 B-A-F VULTURE
HULK & BANNER FUNKO POP! TWO PACK ($40.00)
STAR WARS TAIKOYAKU STORMTROOPER MEISHO MOVIE REALIZATION ACTION FIGURE ($89.99)
DC COLLECTIBLES DC ICONS DEATH OF SUPERMAN DELUXE ACTION FIGURE 2-PACK ($64.99)
This 2-pack blew me away at Toy Fair earlier this year and it really is an amazing set when you get to see it all set up properly the way DC Collectibles did. Based on the 1992 comic The Death of Superman, this 2-pack features a bloodied and beaten Superman versus heavy hitter Doomsday who goes on to kill the Man of Steel. Both figures come with multiple points of articulation and Superman is equipped with several face sculpts and an eye blast accessory. There is even a rocky base with Superman's cape set up as a flag for the two to fight to the death. If set up properly, this is a brilliant looking set at a solid price point of just $64.99. - JK
MARVEL LEGENDS 12-INCH HULK ACTION FIGURE ($79.99)
DST MARVEL SELECT NETFLIX DAREDEVIL ACTION FIGURE ($22.99)
This NETFLIX DAREDEVIL figure made my BEST OF TOY FAIR 2017 article and I am so happy that it has finally arrived. After the Ben Affleck debacle that was the 2003 film DAREDEVIL, I honestly thought that one of my Top 5 favorite MARVEL characters of all time in comic books was never going to have the live-action figure that it deserved. I did not foresee another studio taking on another live-action interpretation of either TV or film. I am so happy that I was wrong because NETFLIX's DAREDEVIL is not just one of the best superhero shows on TV, it is one of the best shows on TV period. Now, DIAMOND SELECT brings us this awesome new figure of the Daredevil of Hell's Kitchen to life and DST's quality continues to get better with each successive figure. It seems that with each new MARVEL SELECT figure release, they continually get better and better constantly improving their 3D likenesses, paint apps & diorama style backdrop pieces. This DD bears a stunning resemblance to actor Charlie Cox, comes with 16 pints of articulation and a pair of his signature billy clubs. As if that were not enough, Junkies are treated to the aforementioned sculpted diorama piece that depicts the elevator scene from Season 1 on NETFLIX. Throw in the DST's signature "spine packaging" for easy reference and I am definitely going to buy two of these; one to save and one to display. It is just that nice of a figure and for newer Junkies just getting into collecting, buying DST figures will quickly add to their collections for one of the best pricing you are going to find on "higher end" MARVEL figures that will not break the bank. - JK