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2011 PAPAs: Vinyl Toy of the Year

Our final category for the 2011 PAPAs is the Vinyl Toy of the Year. With so many deserving toys, how were we able to whittle it down to only five? Try locking yourself in a room with a bunch of toys and a six-pack.

5. Bellicose Bunny (Nathan Hamill - 3DRetro)

Vinyl TOTY 3DRetro Bellicose Bunny

Nathan Hamill's second vinyl toy release teamed them up with veteran online toy shop (turned toy producer) 3DRetro. An oversize astronaut rabbit riding a carrot-esqe rocketship? I'm pretty sure that was a part of a recurring nightmare I had when I was six.

4. Seahorse and Rider (Amanda Visell - Tomenosuke Exclusive)

Vinyl TOTY tomenosuke seahorse

We saw several different versions of Amanda Visell's Seahorse and Rider, but the white and gold Tomenosuke Exclusive was our favorite. The weathered paintwork is excellent. And there's a little girl with a trumpet who's dressed like Colonel Sanders.

3. Inspector Cumulus (Jonathan Edwards - Crazy Label)

Vinyl TOTY inspector cumulus

I had been looking forward to Crazy Label releasing Edwards' Inspector Cumulus vinyl figure for a while. And they didn't disappoint. As far as originality...I'm going to doubt you'll see many other trench coat wearing cloud detectives who smoke pipes.

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2011 PAPAs: Plush Toy of the Year

We're finishing off our 2011 Plastic And Plush Awards with one of the big categories - Plush Toy of the Year. Last year was a pretty big year for plush toys. It seems like more plush toys were reviewed than any other category...making it one of the most competitive.

5. Wince (Andi Green - Worry Woo Monsters)

Plush TOTY worry woos wince

The newest Worry Woo Monster - Wince - is the Monster of Worry. So he's pretty much the namesake of the Worry Woos. No? And Andi Green's illustrated book is the perfect complement to the cuddly plush.

4. Easter Cavey (A Little Stranger)

Plush TOTY cavey easter

The special edition Easter Cavey, designed and produced by Holly from A Little Stranger, looks a little different from your usual Cavey. (It has those long bunny ears)

3. FluffyBooBoo (Jordan Owen - OhNo!Doom)

Plush TOTY ond fluffy boo

You probably remember FluffyBadBad from OhNo!Doom. That plush won this award back in 2005. FluffyBooBoo is the ghostly glow-in-the-dark plush that has a chompin' mouth. Just watch your fingers.

2. Plunk Lion (Anna Chambers - Burgerlog)

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2011 PAPAs: Sixth Scale/Articulated Toy of the Year

It seems like we reviewed more Sixth-Scale/highly articulated figures over the past year. Companies have definitely stepped up their games producing better sculpted, more accessorized, and higher quality pieces. So here are our top five picks of 2011:

5. Jayne Cobb TCF (Tonner Doll Company)

6th Scale firefly jayne

One of Tonner's better male facial sculpts, this version of Adam Baldwin as Jayne Cobb from the cult show Firefly. Including that hat gets this piece into our top five favorites of 2011. (Really...it wouldn't have been the same without it)

4. G.I. Joe - Stalker (Sideshow Collectibles)

6th Scale sideshow stalker

Sideshow's G.I. Joe line is one of the best accessorized series of figures out there. It brings a retro feel, from Hasbro's 1980's action figure line, to sixth-scale. And Stalker was one the better sculpted, accessorized and dressed figures from the series.

3. Tarrant - The Mad Hatter (Tonner Doll Company)

6th Scale tonner tarrant

Tonner's second figure to make it into our top five is their version of Johnny Depp playing Tarrant (The Mad Hatter) from Tim Burton's version of Alice in Wonderland. This is quite possibly the best figure that Tonner has produced, combining spectacular clothing with a solid face sculpt.

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2011 PAPAs: Resin Toy of the Year

Over the past several years, resin has been the medium for many artists to produce their limited run art pieces. It's cheaper than vinyl production. The artist can monitor every aspect of the creation...even producing them in a garage. And it's much easier to meet that supply/demand equilibrium. So...here's a look at five of our favorite resin pieces from 2011.

5. Pharoah Hound (Argonaut Resins)

Resin Argonaut

The Tuttz's long-lost canine brother was released in several small quantity runs by END and Argonaut Resins. And while I don't believe we've seen everything the Pharoah Hound has to offer, just seeing a glimpse of him made me add him to this list.

4. Zombie Chuck (Brian Fyffe)

Resin zombie chuck

Zombies were fairly popular over the past year. Even the designer toy world got involved. Artist Brian Fyffe brought his Zombie Chuck character from the pages of his comic book to resin form. And it's the spitting image of the illustrated undead Chuck.

3. Turret - WWXXVII Collection (The Krillman)

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2011 PAPAs: Best Toy Line

While we already recognized some of our favorite new toy lines of 2011, there's still our overall toy lines to go over. So here are five toy lines that 

5. Uglydolls (Pretty Ugly)

Toy Line uglydoll vinyl

In addition to the popular Uglydoll plushies, Pretty Ugly released Series 3 of their Uglydoll Action Figure vinyls. Plus, there were the Lucky Uckys and a vinyl collaboration with Funko. And 2011 was one of Pretty Ugly's biggest in terms of apparel.

4. Glyos System Series (Onell Design)

Toy Line onell glyan

The introduction of the Glyan character highlighted Onell's Glyos line in 2011. There were customizers and artists who added their own spin on the Glyos System...plus various collaborations with companies like Real x Head.

3. Iron Man (Hot Toys)

Toy Line ht iron man bust

One of Hot Toys' most popular lines of 2011 was their Iron Man license. Makes sense with the release of Iron Man 2 was released the year before. In addition to the bust shown above, there were a number of new sixth-scale figures released from the film (Whiplash, War Machine, Iron Man, Black Widow).

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2011 PAPAs: Biggest Disappointment

Even though we saw a number of toy releases in 2011 that we loved...there were a few disappointments. Here are five of those that disappointed us...for various reason:

5. MINDstyle's NBA Vinyl Line (MINDstyle)

Dis mindstyle kobe

The rise and fall of MINDstyle in the designer toy scene was quick. But the NBA line designed by CoolRain looks an awful lot like a Michael Lau or Eric So figure.

4. Smell Me Marshalls (64 Colors - Rotofugi)

Dis Smell Me Marshall

The lone disappointment with the Smell Me Marshall scented vinyls is that they lose their smell within a few days of being opened. Since that's the main attraction of the line, it's a little disappointing.

3. 4-LOM (Medicom)

Dis medicom 4 lom

The colors on Medicom's 4-LOM figure just seem a little off. But it might not be that bad if this figure didn't run just under $250.00.

2. Yankee Pig Dog Labbit (Kidrobot)

Dis kidrobot kronk labbit

Apparently, Kidrobot received a number of poorly produced Yankee Pig Dog Labbits...so instead of getting them reproduced to the company's standards, they lowered the price by 31%.

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2011 PAPAs: Best New Line

Every year, we see a number of new companies and lines released...and we also see a number of them drop off the map. Here's a look at five of those new lines:

5. Bling Squared

New Line bling squared

Bling Squared makes handmade glass sculptures that you can collect, wear as jewelry, or hang off of your cell phone. And while the final product is cool...watching the artists make these is what's really entertaining.

4. AJ's Toy Boarders

New Line Toy Boarders

What would happen if those little green Army men decided to go skateboarding? That's the question AJ's Toy Boarders tries to answer. One of the most affordable series we reviewed this year, they're a must-have for mini figure collectors.

3. Xoddo

New Line xoddo plush

Xoddo is another one of those made to order plush sites. You design your buddy, using a ton of options, and they send you the plush version. The difference? Well...Xoddo's final product looks great!

2. Crappy Cat Mini Figure Series (VanBeater - UnaCat)

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2011 PAPAs: Best Blind Box Series

Yes...those blind boxes. Love them or hate them, they're still a big part of the designer toy world. I had to whittle them down to our top five choices:

5. Hello Kitty Blotz (Sanrio - Mimoco)

Blind Box mimobot hk blotz

Mimoco released their own blind box line - the Blotz - of USB flash drive. The series featured Hello Kitty characters...although we would like to see a Star Wars Mimobot series.

4. House of Liu Contemporary Series (Veggiesomething - Crazy Label)

Blind Box house of liu

Crazy Label released a blind box series of miniaturized House of Liu figures. Veggiesomething's characters were done up in "Contemporary" attire in various colors.

3. Burglars Dunny (Saner - Kidrobot)

Blind Box burglars dunny

In what was our favorite 3" tall Dunny released this past year, the Burglars Dunny was also a blind box piece. There were only two designs, with one being the chase (not pictured above). Who couldn't love a creepy, undead Santa Clause.

2. Treeson and Other Stories Series 2 (Bubi Au Yeung - Crazy Label)

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2011 PAPAs: Customizer of the Year

Customizers make the designer toy world go 'round. They put their own unique spin on platform toys or use bits and pieces of other toys in their maniacal creations. Here are our top 5 choices of 2011:

5. Dan Small (DMS-One)

Custom dms

In addition to creation his own resin figures, it seemed like DMS was busy throwing everything into carbonite.

4. Sam Millen (Tesselate)

Custom Tesselate

Tesselate is another artist who not only customizes toys but produces his own resin characters. above is one of our favorite Dunny customs from the artist.

3. Keith Poon (Keithing)

Custom keithing

Keithing, who releases a number of his custom pieces via Toy Qube, has customized some of our favorite 3A Toys...toys. For example, mashing C-3PO, R2-D2 and some Armstrongs.

2. Daniel Yu (Dory)

Custom daniel yu

Who else can take a simple Playmobil figure and create the above? Not many. Daniel adds a number of sculpted elements to his custom creations...making them truly one of a kind.

**WINNER**
1. Mikie Graham (Zombiemonkie)

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2011 PAPAs: Artist of the Year

So...how do I choose the Artist of the Year? I look at the entire art scene to see who had some of the most productive/influential years. The five chosen for 2011 are:

5. Holly Stanway (A Little Stranger)

Artist Holly Stanway

Holly, from A Little Stranger and Hey Cavey, was extremely busy during 2011. In addition to growing her Cavey plush line, she produced a number of customs and collaborated with the likes of The Tarantulas. Our favorite? The craziness that was Cavey's first birthday.

4. Marty Hansen (The GodBeast)

Artist Marty Hansen

Marty (aka The GodBeast) works with all sorts of artists producing and casting their art. If it wasn't for him, a number of other artists wouldn't see their pieces come to reality. Oh...and he also creates his own resin customs that are oftentimes compatible with the Glyos figures.

3. Shawn Smith (Shawnimals)

Artist Shawn Smith

The Ninja of the Month Club was an entertaining monthly release, showcasing a new character each month of 2011. Add in a pair of Shawnimals' apps for your iPhone, and you could take the land of Shawnimals on the go...and create your own characters.

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