Yeah...nothing like posting the final segment of our 2007 Toy Awards well into March. But we've wrapped up collecting our readers' choices for several of the biggest categories. So without further adieu....
1. David Horvath 2. Joe Ledbetter 3. Kozik 4. Kaws 5. Erick Scarecrow
Here's our last and biggest category...the Vinyl Toy of the Year. The competition was brutal. Dogs and cats living together...mass hysteria! Now, what was I saying? We narrowed down our list to only 10 vinyl figures from the last year. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it.
#10. Mellow from Wheaty Wheat Studios
Wheaty Wheat has introduced us to the first two characters from Christopher Lee's series of figures - The Urbanites. Mellow might be simple looking, but he was one of the most popular figures of '07.
#9. Liberty from Kaching Brands
Erick Scarecrow's Liberty vinyl figure gave a graffiti-like spin to America's symbol of freedom. While there were a number of colorways, we chose the traditional look.
#8. Hell's Proprietor from Dark Horse
Glenn Barr's giant bug shows us that Dark Horse is serious about producing quality vinyl figures at an affordable price.
#7. Combat Mod Squad Titus from Rocket World
Patrick Ma tweaked his Titus sculpt to fit on their newest ride - an Italian style scooter. We like the new sculpt a little better than the original...and plus, you get that cool scooter.
#6. Skullboy from Dark Horse
"What?!", you might be saying. That's right, we're choosing this fun little figure from Dark Horse as one of our favorites. It sort of flew under the radar, but it's nice, simple, clean and affordable.
#5. Happy Beaver from Jeff Pidgeon
This self-funded figure from Pixar artist Jeff Pidgeon gives us a retro cartoon feel. It's always great when a big-time toy collector can produce his very own figure.
#4. Legend of Plaseebo from Plaseebo Custom
Who can forget the baby doll mummy in the sarcophagus? It either really creeped you out or made you think "brilliant!" We love this unique figure.
#3. Drinking Luey from STRANGEco
Bob Dob's iconic figure was transformed into rotocast vinyl and released in two different colorways (three figures each). Since we had to choose one of the characters, I went with the Drinking Luey.
#2. Seamour Sheep Illuminative Edition from Crazy Label
Metin Seven's comic character was released in the original colorway, but out favorite is the Illuminative Edition. You can plug it into a USB port and it lights up the room using LEDs. Amazing!
#1. Bossy Bear from Toy2R - WINNER!!
David Horvath's newest hit character is a little blue bear who believes everything is his. It launched a book from Hyperion as well as vinyl figures (in varying sizes) from Toy2R. Mine!
How difficult is it to narrow an entire year of plush toys down to the top 10? Well, we've been up for hours, maybe even days, contemplating who's in and who's out...and who goes where.
#10. Shiitakes from ESC-Toy
These little mushrooms won't hearken you back to the days of frat parties and all nighters. But the clip-on plushies were one of the tastier releases of 2007.
#9. Moonie from Sok-O
Everyone enjoys a sock monkey. But how about a sock plush who drinks coffee by the gallon? They love him with a little more caffeine.
#8. Cloud Xmas from Bytedust
While a Christmas themed plush not be a good gift, say in July, it made a great Xmas present. And Bytedust is always out there combining plush with hazardous chemicals.
#7. Yeti & Sasquatch from Steff Bomb
Why is it that Yetis and Sasquatches are always attached at the hip? (or in this case the hand) And why is it that they're always chugging down cheap swill. Sheesh!
#6. Uglyworm from Uglydolls
Uglyworm was one of the new Uglydolls introduced to us at Toy Fair. Is this guy the only Uglydoll that doesn't have arms and legs? I'd have to guess so. I'm also guessing he's the only one who eats dirt.
#5. Bunny Boyd from Rocket USA
Gus Fink's Boogily Bunnies are poseable and displayable plushies, and Bunny Boyd is our favorite in the line. The little character is stuck in his rabbit suit. I have pajamas that look just like that!
#4. Big Toe from Uglydolls
I'm not sure how Big Toe got his name, because I can't see any toes. He does have a big nose. And somewhat big ears. But we like his bright blue color.
#3. Cabello from DGPH
Boy...I'm not sure exactly what the heck Cabello is. Do you know? It translates as hair, but it looks like a rabid goat. The DGPH plush was produced with help from Big Shot Toy Works.
#2. Toofhairy from Spök-spök
Toofhairy is our favorite character in the Spök-spök line. A giant molar? Yep. And it's a soft and friendly tooth to boot. Look ma! No cavities.
#1. Mousey Micci from ESC-Toy - Winner!!
Erick Scarecrow's Mousey Micci is a soft, cuddly plush with a giant head. That makes the alien equally appealing for adults, kids and even pets...who like to go into your office and gnaw on your toys.
When we select the Best Line of the year, we have to make sure that there is an abundance of quality as well as quantity. Just having two or three figures released in any given year, probably won't qualify you as a "line". Check out what we've chosen and voice your opinion in the comments section.
#5. Star Wars mimobots from mimoco
What a great license for mimoco to grab! Now, those of us who are computer geeks and Star Wars nerds (myself included) have a great option to store those files.
#4. I.W.G. from Rocket World
In 2007, Patrick Ma and Rocket World released Series 4 (snow monkey, penguin, elephant and platypus), 5 (Combat Mod Squad) and 6 (Baby Cubs) as well as a mini Rocket Ship. Plus, there were a number of exclusives, including the FreeBento Nahanda pictured above.
#3. DC Stars TCFs from Tonner
Tonner's DC Stars line reproduces the classic look of some of the most popular DC Comics characters. In 2007, they gave us Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Aquaman and Poison Ivy...with several more revealed for '08.
#2. BUDs Series 2 from Jamungo
The first series of Blow Up Dolls won our award for Best Mini Line last year. This year, they ended up in second place, but the 2nd series of BUDs was even more impressive than the inaugural launch.
#1. UMA from Wonderwall - Winner!!
In 2007, Sun-Min and David introduced UMA, which stands for Unidentified Mysterious Animal. They sorta look like the babies of some of the most mysterious creatures - Chupacabra, Flatwoods Monster and Mothman.
We divided the 1/6th scale* category by gender. Since we've already chosen our favorite male figure, we're now looking at the female figures. What are we looking for? A great sculpt, quality clothing and plenty of accessories.
#5. Wonder Woman TCF from Tonner
While it's not Lynda Carter, Wonder Woman is the spitting image of the classic comic book character. Would anyone pay for Lynda Carter - circa 2008 - as Wonder Woman?
#4. Ellowyne Wilde Red, White and Very Blue from Wilde Imagination
The Ellowyne Wilde line gives a stylized flair to the normal designer doll. It's the wide eyes and an oversize head that make the line stand out.
#3. Princess Leia Episode IV from Sideshow
Who doesn't remember the iconic opening scene from Star Wars? Well, Sideshow recreated the white dress wearing Leia with perfect buns...on her head.
#2. Leia as Boushh from Sideshow
Does this really count? I mean...we didn't really know that Boushh was a female until she ripped off the helmet to reveal her true self and make out with a frozen Han Solo. But the figure includes the Leia head sculpt as well as the Boushh helmet.
#1. Mary Jane Watson TCF from Tonner - Winner!!
The Mary Jane figure also won our award for best sculpt...because it looks exactly like Kirsten Dunst. In case she doesn't want to be in a Spider-Man 4...try using this figure and stop-motion. Bingo!
*And while Tonner is slightly larger than 1/6 scale (unless humans are
about 8 feet tall), we're including their products in this category. A 17/72 scale category just doesn't have the same ring to it.
We decided to divide the 1/6 scale category into two - male and female figures. A battle of the sexes, if you will. A lot of you might be thinking to yourself (or shouting at your computer screen): "What does 1/6 scale mean!?!" You'll see...
#5. Spider-Man TCF from Tonner
While a number of companies could have gotten away with placing a blank body within the Spider-Man suit...not Tonner. They went all out and included the Toby Maguire sculpt underneath the mask.
#4. Bespin Luke Skywalker from Sideshow
Sideshow's Star Wars line is a definite favorite of collectors. And who wasn't excited to see they'd be packaged Luke's severed stump of an arm with the Bespin figure?
#3. Jango Fett from Medicom
There were a few bright spots in the prequel Star Wars trilogy, and Jango Fett was definitely one of them. Medicom's done a great job with the outfit, accessories and the head sculpt underneath the helmet.
#2. Boba Fett from Medicom
Back to back Fett's from Medicom. They were both quality figures, but we gave Boba Fett the edge because we're fans of the originals.
#1. Captain Jack Sparrow TCF from Tonner - Winner!!
Disney has released a boatload of licensed Pirates of the Caribbean toys. But Tonner's line stands out in both quality and attention to detail. An amazing piece and our favorite figure of 2007.
Choosing the best artist of the year is almost always our most difficult choice. Having one great figure might get you nominated, but it takes a consistent year of quality releases to win this award.
#5. Bob Dob
Bob Dob's Luey figures were some of our favorites of 2007. And for that (and his great artwork), he makes our list.
#4. Patrick Ma
The Insurgents Wilderness Gruppo line grew by several new characters, some old characters were reinvented and we got to meet a number of baby cubs.
#3. Amanda Visell
Visell's Drunky McSkunky and Carnivorous Giraffe figures brought a new look to the designer toy scene. We're looking forward to seeing more of her unique work in '08.
#2. David Horvath
We received a huge dose of Uglydoll plushies in 2007. Plus...Bossy Bear, Kaiju For Grown Ups, books...and he was on The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.
#1. Erick Scarecrow - Winner!!
Not only did Erick Scarecrow release plush (Mousey Micci and Shiitakes) and vinyl (Liberty), but he has shown off a number of impressive products for next year (Old Skool Kaiju, Soopa Coin-Up Bros. and more Mousey Micci).
The mini line field rarely sees as many entries as the larger variety. Only those figures that are shorter than 4" in height and are part of a released line are eligible. This year, there were a number of worthy candidates...but we had to narrow the field to only five.
#5. Glyos System Series from Onell Design
These little action figures recall fond memories of the 1980's. Yet, they are collectible and limited enough to be considered an art toy.
#4. Spider Baby Boom from Toy2R
Sun-Min's Spider Baby character is always one of our favorites. And now that she's had some offspring, we had to give these little guys equal love.
#3. Finders Keepers from Kidrobot
All of those collectors who had been clamoring for new Joe Ledbetter figures were given an entire series full of new sculpts. And Kidrobot came through with some quality figures.
#2. BUDS Series 2 from Jamungo
The second series of Blow Up Dolls was even more impressive than the initial release. The participating artists created a great array of characters. Is there a better platform toy available?
#1. IWG Baby Cubs from Rocket World - Winner!!
Patrick Ma, aka OtterX, introduced collectors to the offspring of the original Insurgents Wilderness Gruppo line. Thankfully, there's been no breeding between members. But they're cute, nonetheless.
As always, we like to give custom artists their just rewards for work well done. So we've chosen five of the top customizers from the last year for our annual rundown. You might see a few of the same names as last year, which shows you that these artists are consistently producing great customs.
Tony Shiau, aka Nakanari, branched out with some new characters and designs in '07. He's also using some new color schemes...but has stuck to that fun, cartoon look.
#4. Bob Conge
Conge is one of the primary designers at Plaseebo Custom. His custom work is just as impressive as his original designs. And they seem to feed off of one another.
#3. NVC Crew
Bao and Spive, the duo that make up the NVC Crew, create amazingly creative customs that are always complex and relevant. Their next step is to produce their very own designer toy.
M.Heisler is known for his Slobot customs. These little robotic creations were essentially the earliest robots, but as technology raced on...they were left all alone. And you gotta love the above pictured Plastic and Plush Slobot.
#1. Doktor A - Winner!!
The above custom completely sold me on Doktor A as #1. Amazing! And the rest of his stuff is equally as impressive. When will the good Doktor release his own figure?