Covering so many different figure platforms and types, the sculpting work is likely to vary dramatically. For example, sixth-scale collectibles often have very important face sculpts when they are an authorized likeness of an actor. With vinyl, it's often how close the toy is to the (illustrated) basis...and, hopefully, it doesn't fall over. With resin and injection molded pieces, oftentimes, the sculpting work can be a little more detailed. So it's a tough process putting everything on the same playing field...
5. Uncharted Nathan Drake (ESC-Toy)
Erick Scarecrow's vinyl version of the classic video game character - Nathan Drake - put a stylized spin on every gamer's favorite adventurer/explorer. And while it's a very simple looking Drake in the face, you know at first glance who the character is. A plus...he's a vinyl sculpted in an awkward pose and doesn't have any balance issues.
4. Armorvor (Onell Design and Jason Frailey)
Sculptor Jason Frailey was the man behind transforming Matt Doughty's vision into reality. Armorvor is very different (chunkier) from other Glyos figures. Each one also comes with various heads, with that wolf head shown above being the most complex. And, most importantly, they've kept that retro-feel of a Battle Beast figure.
3. Pirates of the Caribbean - Angelica (Hot Toys)
It's nearly impossible to have a "Best Sculpting" category without Hot Toys being represented. While the head sculpt of Penelope Cruz not being the best we saw from the company in 2012, it's probably the best female head sculpt we ran across this year.
2. OMFG Series 1 (October Toys - Multiple Sculptors)
Sculptors Charles Marsh, Daniel Yu, Ralph Niese, Dominic Campisi, and George Gaspar each deserve credit for putting together an excellent M.U.S.C.L.E. inspired mini figure series. For 2-inch tall figures, they have a whole bunch of intricate sculpting work - especially the King Castor and Multiskull.
1. Pirates of the Caribbean - Captain Jack Sparrow DX (Hot Toys)
Not only did Hot Toys produce the best Jack Sparrow sculpt that passed our eyes (and let me tell you...there are lots of POTC toys), but this might be the best sculpted likeness of Johnny Depp to date. The DX figure features a pair of interchangeable face sculpts, with both of them being excellent, and the hair is perfect as well.