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2013 PAPAs: Plastic Toy of the Year

PAPAs 2013 Plastic

Our final Plastic and Plush Awards category is the Plastic Toy of the Year. While the term "plastic" encompasses a whole array of collectibles, we are mainly looking at vinyl toys here. So here are the top five plastic toys of the year 2013...

Oliver Mortimer 3

5. Oliver & Mortimer from Artoyz Originals (Kathie Olivas and Brandt Peters)

Released in several colorways, the Oliver & Mortimer figures were released by Paris-based Artoyz. The husband/wife team of Kathie Olivas and Brandt Peters each designed a character in this set...both characters easily fitting in with other toys released by the artists.

turboPISTOLA Ion Men

4. Ion Men from AOI and turboPISTOLA

The smoky black sofubi Ion Men feature plenty of interchangeable bits and pieces. Different heads, hands, bodies, etc. And while the quality for these little guys is great, what was also special is a price point around $20.

Monster Worship Mecha Black Greasebat 2

3. Mecha Greasebat from Monster Worship (Jeff Lamm)

We've seen Monster Worship release the Real Fighting Greasebat along with the Mini and Micro Greasebats...but the Mecha Greasebat gave Jeff Lamm's character a little different twist. Looking more like an old school Japanese sofubi, it was just as popular as the other lines...like it sold out fast.

Kozik Clockwork Carrot 2

2. A Clockwork Carrot from BlackBook Toy (Frank Kozik)

This was likely the closest race in all of the categories this year. We've seen the influences of A Clockwork Orange in plenty of Frank Kozik's work, but A Clockwork Carrot is a pure homage to the iconic film. If I wasn't such a fan of Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece, I likely wouldn't have been so drawn to the vinyl...or maybe I still would have.

T CP Tide Pool Stinky Ginger

**WINNER** 1. Tide Pool Stinky Ginger from Tomenosuke + Circus Posterus (Chris Ryniak)

Another of the T+CP - Tomenosuke + Circus Posterus - collaborations was Chris Ryniak's Stinky Ginger. I reviewed the Tide Pool Stinky Ginger on the site and was thoroughly impressed with the design and execution. It's probably one of the top crafted sofubi vinyl pieces that I've seen - from sculpt to paint. Plus it's an angry chunk of ginger...it makes me scared to eat sushi.

2013 PAPAs: Plush Toy of the Year

PAPAs 2013 Plush

We haven't seen much of a change in the realm of plush toys. While some of the smaller brands have become much bigger, there still are a number of artists out there making small run releases. This year, we take a look at five of our favorites from 2013.

Uglydolls Universal Monsters

5. Universal Monster Uglydolls from Uglydolls (David + Sun-Min)

With the expansion of Uglydolls to various licenses, one of the first series to be released was the Universal Monsters. Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, the Mummy...they're all there. Scary + Ugly + Cute = so confusing.

Review Horndribbles 01

4. Horndribbles from Explorers Playground

The Horndribbles are a series of four characters that were released as plush toys. Spawning from Herbert Joel and his Zapp and the Oogah-Oogah-Nut book, the series of four very different plush toys really appeal to the youngsters.

Madknits Minis 1

3. MadKnits Minis from MadKnits

Since the face is hand-cast resin, the MadKnits Minis could technically fall under the resin category. But the plush body is enough for it to grab a spot here. MadKnits went the blind-bagged route - one that we don't usually see in the plush world.

Uglydolls Ice Bat Batman

2. DC Comics Uglydolls from Uglydolls (Sun-Min and David)

Superheroes and Uglydolls. By teaming up with DC Comics, kids and collectors are able to get an Ice Bat Batman or a Wedgehead Robin. It's one of those license deals that just makes sense.

Goodsell Vince

**WINNER** 1. Vince the Videotape from Dan Goodsell

Dan Goodsell took to Kickstarter to get his Vince the Videotape plush produced. There were 143 backers that got one of the Obsolete Vince (with X'd out eyes). From the world of Mr. Toast, Vince is a must have for anyone that remembers they need to "Be Kind, Please Rewind".   

2013 PAPAs: Best Resin

PAPAs 2013 Resin

We move on to highlight some of the best resin figures from 2013. This year, we saw the transition from vinyl to resin continue to gain speed. Since it's much easier (and more affordable) for artists to self-produce resin figures, we've seen this sub-genre take off. Here are our 5 favorites.

polyopticsLABs vera1 2

5. Vulpes: Exploration Rover Alpha 1 from polyopticsLABS

We first saw this crazy, transformable figure at New York Comic Con (and I'm assuming it's made of resin). It features lights with an on/off switch as well as removable plates and pieces.

UME Scamwave

4. Scamwave from umetoys (Rich Page)

A number of Rich Page's resin creations harken us back to the 1980's. And while this isn't Star Wars (he has produced some of those), Scamwave is a stylized take on Soundwave from the Transformers (yes, kids...we used to have big giant MP3 players that played cassettes and ran off of AA batteries). 

ESC M2 Villainous

3. Mermadi 2 Villainous from ESC-Toy (Erick Scarecrow)

2013 saw Erick Scarecrow focus more of his effort on short run resin figures as well as customs. This version of his Mermadi character figure was one of our favorites. It does sort of look like it's a fish throwing up a little girl's head...

PatientNo6 Psychiatrist 1

2. Psychiatrist from Patient No.6

Some of the craziest resin figures I've seen come from the Ukraine based artist - Patient No.6. Usually dealing with psychiatry or some aspect of the brain, his depiction of the psychiatrist in this resin is likely to make the late L. Ron Hubbard smile.

Argonaut Terminators Tuttz

**WINNER** 1. Terminator Tuttz from Argonaut Resins (Eric Nocella Diaz) and Kilroy's Attic (Leroy Wilkes)

This collaboration features the Tuttz resin from Argonaut Resins carved down to a skeleton and then cold-cast in metal by Leroy Wilkes. That piece is then set in a clear resin by Eric. And voila...it looks like we can see the innards of this Tuttz.

2013 PAPAs: Best Sixth-Scale Figure

2013 PAPAs Sixth Scale

Sixth-Scale figures have pretty much taken over my personal collection. The level of quality in this genre of action figures has made it difficult to determine if you're looking at a photo of a toy or an actual person. We've seen a ton of sixth-scale figures this past year, so choosing only five was a little difficult...

Captain Action Top

5. Captain Action by CAE

The newest version of Captain Action was released with a series of interchangeable Marvel action figure outfits, including Wolverine and Iron Man (two superheroes who each had a film release in 2013). The line gave collectors a different (retro) spin on the characters we've seen so often in past years.

3A Shadow Slinger and Funeral Horse 1

4. In Service of Him aka Super Dead Equine Set by 3A Toys

This was the second Dead Equine (Funeral Horse) and Blind Cowboy (Shadow Slinger) set from Ashley Wood and 3A Toys. It's a grey and black version with the cowboy sporting a rifle rather as well as his six-shooters. And the thing is just a beast...an enormous resin horse.

HT Joe Colton 05

3. General Joe Colton (GI Joe) by Hot Toys

Including Bruce Willis in GI Joe: Retaliation makes sense. He continues to be one of the biggest action heroes in film, even at his age. While the movie didn't earn high praise, I enjoyed it for what it was - an action flick. Of course, Hot Toys was finally able to get their hands on Willis' likeness...and they didn't disappoint.

Sideshow Boba Fett 05

2. Boba Fett (Star Wars) by Sideshow Collectibles

For the amount of face time he received in the original Star Wars films, it's funny the amount of fandom that surrounds Boba Fett. I've seen several iterations of Boba Fett in sixth-scale form (mainly from Medicom), but Sideshow's version is both detailed and includes some nice extras (yep...a light-up base).

3A Real Steel Atom

**WINNER** 1. ATOM (Real Steel) by 3A Toys

My son's favorite film of 2013 was most likely Real Steel. For a little kid, enormous fighting robots are pretty much all you need to keep them entertained. And while ATOM (the main robot character) was the third Real Steel figure released by 3A Toys, it was the most advanced to date. There are light up components, including the eyes, as well as a spinning fan on the rear.  Now...let's see what Ashley Wood and 3A can do with Noisy Boy.

2013 PAPAs: Artist of the Year

PAPAs 2013 Artist

I like to make the artist of the year category as broad as possible. From customizers to toy designers to artwork to paper to plush...they're all included. Also, I like to include new faces every year...which is probably why no on ehas won this category more than once over the past 8 years.

3A Wood

5. Ashley Wood

The man behind countless robots, fighting dudes, and scantily clad babes continues to produce amazing original and licensed figures through 3A Toys. They're definitely some of the highest quality collectibles on the market today. And Ashley puts is the man behind the magic.

Mikie Graham

4. Mikie Graham

Mikie, who often collaborates with Blamo Toys, had a fairly hectic year in 2013. In addition to another Zombie Art Project series, he released a series of Dunny Monsters vs Android Hunters customs. His craziest, and most complex piece to date, was a custom Billy the Automaton piece.

Lunartik

3. Matt "Lunartik" JOnes

In addition to producing small run seasonal flavors of his Lunartik in a Cup of Tea figures, Matt released another series of Art Pass wallets and designed the figures in the Doctor Who Titans series.

Goodsell

2. Dan Goodsell

Dan must be one of the busiest artists around. Two months into 2014 and he's already on his second solo show with just tons of original work featuring his original characters. Also, he successfully completed his Vince the Videotape plush project on Kickstarter...with some rewards being commission art pieces.

Conge

**WINNER** 1. Bob Conge

I was surprised to look back and see that Bob Conge has never won the Artist of the Year Award on Plastic and Plush. I'm pretty sure he took home the customizer of the year once (it was last year)...but that award has melded into this one.

Bob produced two of my all time favorite pieces this past year - Congress Babble and Chicks Gone Wild. Oh...and his Mars Attacks Misfits Robot was likely my 3-year-old's favorite (Why does a 3-year-old love Mars Attacks?!). And with his recently revealed Atomic Chicken piece, it looks like 2014 might follow in the footsteps of 2013 for Mr. Conge.

2013 PAPAs: Best Toy Line

PAPAs Best Toy Line

The Best Toy Line category is really about toy lines that have produced a consistently good/entertaining lineup over the past year. As we look at five of them...there's pretty much something for everyone here.

Topobots

5. Topozoo by Geared For Imagination

The Topozoo line features wooden animals and robots that you can put together (or take apart), featuring interchange parts. Want to keep a three year old busy for an hour or so....here you go.

Mystical Warriors 01

4. Mystical Warriors of the Ring

The Mystical Warriors of the Ring started out as a small run resin figure venture, but NYCC featured the unveiling of their first PVC production trio. The line features a simple premise...crazy looking monster things battle it out in a wrestling ring for your pleasure.

OMFG Series 3

3. OMFG! by October Toys

Now finished with their third series of crowdsourced Kickstarted mini-figs, October Toys' OMFG! series shows no signs of losing steam. They continue to receive solid submissions from artists looking to get their nipple-ring-wearing-pug designs turned into a toy.

Monsters University Cosbaby 01

2. Cosbaby (S) Series by Hot Toys

The Cosbaby mini figure series from Hot Toys allows collectors the ability to see their favorite film characters as little kids. Essentially, they're supposed to be kids doing cosplay as those characters. Ten year old fans of Monsters University and Iron Man who dress up and go to Cons will get me...right?

Funko GOT Jon Snow

**WINNER** 1. POP! Vinyl by Funko

Funko has really expanded their POP! Vinyl series. They've picked up licenses from Uglydolls to Game of Thrones to Disney films to Jay and Silent Bob. So, yep, they're all over the place.

2013 PAPAs: Best Packaging

2013 Best Packaging

Choosing the best toy packaging is always a different venture. Is it the most attractive? The best to display? The easiest to open? Well, here are five examples that run the gamut...

Mystical Warriors of the Ring Leo Corazon 07

5. Leo Corazon by Mystical Warriors of the Ring

This DIY packaging from the Mystical Warriors of the Ring resin series is nice and simple. But it also features a ton of artwork, various character cards, and even a ticket stub from the big wrestling match.

Monsters University Cosbaby 02

4. Monsters University Cosbaby (S) Series by Hot Toys

Here's an example of an easily displayable box that you can hoist up on a shelf and not worry about having to dust six individual figures. Also, not pictured, the rear of the box features some fun, stylized artwork of the Oozma Kappa characters from Monsters U.

Blind Cowboy 01

3. Dark Cowboy In Service of Him - Super Dead Equine Set by 3A Toys

First off...i swiped this photo from luvlifetoys.blogspot.com because I was too lazy to find the box in my attic and take a photo of it.

The Dark Cowboy is a great example of a box being a piece of art. The cover could be framed and hung on your wall. Of course, there is an actual print stowed away on the inside...so Iguess you can just keep it in your attic.
 

Captain Action 05

2. Captain Action Wave 3 by CAE and Round 2

It was a very close race for the number one slot. The Captain Action Marvel series is an excellent example of packaging that emotes nostalgia. The retro feel to the boxes make them some of the most attractive packaging of 2013.  You're probably not going to display them, but they're fun to look at.

Sideshow Boba Fett 02

**WINNER** 1. Boba Fett (Star Wars) by Sideshow Collectibles

Sideshow seems to always be on this list...but I was surprised to look back and see that their Star Wars line has never taken the title of best packaging from Plastic and Plush. It has excellent photos of the figure on all sides. There's detailed information about the character on the inside. And you get some character stills from the Star Wars films on the back. Plus, it's easy to open (not so easy to display) and features those nice magnet clasps to keep the box shut.

2013 PAPAs: Best Sculpting

PAPAs 2013 Sculpting

We start out the 2013 Plastic and Plush Awards with the Best Sculpting Award. The top five examples of excellent sculpting work are listed below:

HT Monsters University Vinyl 01

5. Mike, Sulley, and Archie Monsters University Set by Hot Toys

We've seen a whole lot of figures based on Mike and Sulley from the Disney/Pixar Monsters films. Hot Toys vinyl statuette is one of the higher end collectibles from the Monsters University film license.

OMFG Series 3

4. OMFG Series 3 by October Toys

The third go-round of the OMFG line might be the best...or it might be the third best, depending on your opinion. One thing I do know...it's another example of great sculpting work on small scale figures.

3A Real Steel Atom

3. Real Steel ATOM by 3A Toys

When Ashley Wood takes on a robot, good things happen. And even though the sixth-scale ATOM figure wasn't his own design (it was from the film Real Steel), it's one of the most complex sculpting efforts I've seen. Lots and lots of individually connected parts.

TCP Tide Pool Stinky Ginger 01

2. Tide Pool Stinky Ginger by Tomenosuke + Circus Posterus

From artist Chris Ryniak and the T+CP collaborative, the Stinky Ginger vinyl featured the best sculpting work for a vinyl figure in 2013. There's just a ton of details ,which you usually don't see on this type of platform. It really brings Mr. Ryniak's artwork to life...

HT Joe Colton 13

**WINNER** 1. Joe Colton (G.I. Joe) by Hot Toys

Hot Toys is well-known for taking this award year after year. They're one of the best at sixth-scale sculpting and providing equally excellent paintwork. And when it comes to replicating an actor's likeness, they're nearly untouchable. The Joe Colton, from G.I. Joe: Retaliation, features the likeness of Bruce Willis.  

2013 Plastic and Plush Awards: The PAPAs

PAPAs 2013 Banner

It's a little late, but the 2013 Plastic and Plush Awards (PAPAs) have been tabulated. Over the next week-plus, I will be announcing winners in the following categories.

• Artist
• Sculpting
• Packaging
• Resin
• Sixth Scale
• Toy Line
• Plastic
• Plush

The awards will recognize those artists/collectibles that shined throughout 2013.