Navigate / search

2011 PAPAs: Best Sculpting

Sculpting can often make or break a toy...especially when it comes to an authorized likeness. But it's also important to transferring an artist's two-dimensional work into a 3D piece. Here are five of our favorite sculpts of 2011.

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

Sculpting tomenosuke seahorse

While I think the antiqued paintwork on this piece is more impressive than the actual sculpt, I like that they were able to replicate the look and feel of Amanda Visell's illustration.

4. Inspector Cumulus (Jonathan Edwards - Crazy Label)

Sculpting inspector cumulus

This articulated rotocast vinyl toy has a lot going on. There's that cloud-shaped head that goes along with the human-like body. I actually like the shape of the hands, which really capture Jonathan Edwards' illustrated Inspector Cumulus.

3. Hermees (Gary Ham)

Sculpting gary ham hermees

Gary Ham's self-produced Hermees is a very large vinyl toy...but it probably tricked a number of people into thinking it was made of wood. The sculpting work makes it look that way. And you can actually touch what feels like wood grain on the vinyl.

2. Bruce Lee 70's Casual (Hot Toys)

Sculpting hot toys bruce lee

There are a number of Sixth-Scale Bruce Lee figures out there. However, I'm fairly confident that there aren't many of him just being himself. (Most are taken from one of his films) Hot Toys' version of Lee takes an iconic photo of Lee from 1970's and yields one of the most realistic Bruce Lee sculpts I have seen.

**WINNER**
1. Whiplash (Hot Toys)

Sculpting hot toys whiplash

Really, the top honor could have been taken by either of the Hot Toys figures that made this list. The company continues to lead the pack when it comes to realistic sculpting. I went for the Mickey Rourke (Whiplash) sculpt because of the difficulty of sculpting his realistic hair.

2011 PAPAs: Best Packaging

Whether you're a mint-in-package collector or you like to take your toys out to put on the shelf, everyone can appreciate well-made, attractive packaging. Here are our top five picks for 2011.

5. Bruce Lee - 70's Casual Edition (Hot Toys)

Packaging hot toys bruce lee

Hot Toys went for a subdued look with their Bruce Lee (Casual Edition) Sixth-Scale packaging. The front of the box has a picture of the Lee figure done in light blue...really offsetting the dark blue box.  And Hot Toys does an excellent job of protecting the figure inside.

4. Priscilla & Rango Set (Hot Toys)

Packaging ht rango set

On the other hand, Hot Toys went with a rather large image of Rango and Priscilla - straight from the film - on the front flap of their Priscilla & Rango Set. Or you could just flip it up and check out the toys underneath.

3. Lunartik in a Cup of Tea Series 2 (Matt JOnes)

Packaging lunartik in a cup

The Lunartik in a Cup of Tea vinyl is well-presented, with that oval window front. All of the flavors are displayed on back , and - inside - there is an information booklet in the shape of a tea bag.

2. Popbot (Ashley Wood3A Toys)

Packaging 3A popbot

For the artwork on the front alone, the Popbot packaging is a keeper. You could just frame the outer sleeve like it's an Ashley Wood print.

**WINNER**
1. The Black Doll (Edward GoreyNecessaries Toy Foundation)

Packaging NTF Black Doll

NTF consistently produces some of the most outstanding packaging out there. Oftentimes, like with The Black Doll, the packaging outshines the actual toy. You get to see Edward Gorey's artwork on all side of the box, and there is an informative postcard inside.

2011 Plastic and Plush Awards: The PAPAs

You know...I can rarely make up my mind. Some things are a given:

1. I'll never be satisfied with the site's logo. (Plastic and Plush has had around two dozen logos in our existence)
2. I'll probably end up changing the name of our yearly toy awards. (There's just something about Plastic and Plushies that sounds disturbing)

So I am keeping it simple this year. The newly renamed PAPAs (Plastic And Plush Awards) will be presented in the categories below. Remember, for the toy categories, the awards are based on pieces that have been featured in a review on the site or that I have purchased (which, unfortunately, have been few and far between).

• Customizer of the Year
• Artist of the Year
• Best Packaging
• Best Sculpting
• Best Blind Box Series
• Best New Line
• Biggest Disappointment
• Best Toy Line
• Sixth Scale/Articulated Toy of the Year
• Resin Toy of the Year
• Plush Toy of the Year
• Vinyl Toy of the Year