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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 looks like we can see the innards of this Tuttz.

REVIEW: 8 Little Zombies Plush

8 Littles Zombies 01


Eight Little Zombies, rising from the dead. One got shot and lost his head. Neighbor called the Sheriff and the Sheriff said, “No more zombies rising from the dead!”

John LaFleur and Dave Metzger have taken to Kickstarter to get their 8 Little Zombies hardcover book produced. The story is a zombified spin on the classic children’s tale about eight little monkeys jumping on someone’s bed and then falling and being brutally injured.

The 8 Little Zombies plush - one of the backing rewards - is available at various funding levels. Hopefully, it will also be able to be purchased following the successful completion to the Kickstarter project.

The Facts

8 Little Zombies Plush
Artist: Dave Metzger
Material: Plush
Dimensions: 12” tall
Edition Size: 2,500 pieces
Pricing: $20.00 each

8 Littles Zombies 02


The swing tag is shaped like a tombstone. It features the 8 Little Zombies logo and one of those zombie’s undead hands poking out of the ground. Inside, there is a sketch of the zombie character as well as part of the story (reprinted above).

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Our Opinion

With Kickstarter becoming a viable option for raising funds to self-produce toys, more artists and companies are taking that route to get their projects rolling and/or completed. And that’s where Dave Metzger (artist) and John LeFleur (writer) are looking to raise funds to get their 8 Little Zombies book produced.

This self-produced Zombie plush (made in China) features a large green zombie head on a much smaller body. The zombie has a large, open mouth with three teeth (one on the top and two on the bottom) in it. There are also six strands of hair on the top of its head. You get one regular eye and one with an X. And there’s one green zombified hand and one yellow bone hand stump.

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As you can see from the book previews offered on the Kickstarter page, they’ve chosen one specific Zombie (out of the eight) to turn into a plush. They all appear to differ slightly (outfit, eyes, and teeth). The “chosen one” has a tattered red/white striped shirt and black pants.

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As far as the plush go, this is one of my favorite toys reviewed on the site over the past few years. I like the way the large, bowling ball like head looks against the much smaller body. And I’m a fan of the cutout mouth. They could have taken the easy route and done a simple stitched smile, but the movable mouth lets you chomp some brains (if you’re so inclined). Great to frighten the little ones to sleep with.

And while the book that they’ll be releasing is a children’s book, I think that both adults and kids will love the 8 Little Zombies plush.

You can pick one up at the following: pledges starting at $25.00 (includes plush and print)

8 Little Zombies Grades
8 Littles Zombies 03
8 Littles Zombies 07
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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 enormous resin horse.

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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.

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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.


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.


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.


**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.


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 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.

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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...

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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.

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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.

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

First off...i swiped this photo from 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 Iguess you can just keep it in your attic.

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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'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.

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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...

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**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.  

REVIEW: Uglydoll: Eat Dat!

Uglydoll Volume 3 EatDat

The third Uglydoll graphic novel from VIZ is called Uglydoll: Eat Dat!. The 80 page full color comic focuses on a central theme - food. Like the first two, David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim have brought it some guest artists to lend their art and narrative to the Uglyverse.

In Volume 3, they are joined by Travis Nichols, Ian McGinty, Phillip Jacobson, Dave Cooper, Joe Ledbetter, and Michael E. Wiggam. With 16 individual stories ranging from a single page to eight pages, the visual and narrative feel of the comic is constantly changing.

For $7.99, and at 80 pages, Uglydoll: Eat Dat! has more of a graphic novel type feel to it (maybe more of a compilation of graphic novellas). Uglydoll fans will be glad to get their hands on the third book in the series, and collectors/fans of the featured artists will enjoy seeing how they tackle someone else's characters.

REVIEW: Mystical Warriors of the Ring Series 1

Mystical Warriors 01


The Mystical Warriors of the Ring toy line was created by Mark Vasquez and Fantastic Plastic Toys, with help from artist Jazyl Homavazir, sculptor Simon Grell, and prototype-master Marty “The GodBeast” Hansen. While the line had been predominantly produced as small run resin figures, late last year they released the first PVC series.

The Mystical Warriors of the Ring Series 1 features three characters - Kayin Kungaa, Sheldon Sabre, and Widowmaker. Each figure is designed in the 1980’s M.U.S.C.L.E. style, which is fitting since this line also revolves around crazy creatures battling it out in the squared circle.

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The Facts

Mystical Warriors of the Ring Series 1
Series: Mystical Warriors of the Ring
Manufacturer: Fantastic Plastic Toys
Artist: Mark Vasquez
Material: PVC
Dimensions: Around 2" tall
Points of Articulation: Zero
Designs: Kayin Kungaa, Sheldon Sabre, and Widowmaker
Pricing: $9.00 per 3-pack


The three figures are bagged in a simple, clear plastic bag.

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Our Opinion

The Mystical Warriors of the Ring Series 1 is made up of three characters. Kayin Kungaa is the large gorilla sporting and Andre the Giant singlet. Sheldon Sabre is the lion/tiger/cat thing with a tail hanging out of the back of his trunks. And Widowmaker is the creepy giant spider Luchador.

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It’s an interesting assortment of characters. To me, it looks like Widowmaker would fit right in with your old M.U.S.C.L.E. collection. Kayin Kungaa is probably my favorite of the group. The sculpting work on the figure is what really makes it incredible. It’s one of those times where I think some paint would allow you to better recognize just how good the sculpting work is. Probably my least favorite of the trio is Sheldon Sabre. His tail makes it a little difficult to stand, and the figure is slightly smaller than the other two.

Producing these in PVC allows collectors to actually play with them. With a Mystical Warriors of the Ring wrestling ring available to purchase, you can now use it to your full advantage. I would have been a little tentative with the resin figures.

Currently, Truecast Studios has four different colorways (Flesh, Candy Apple Red, Pearl Blue, and Glow In The Dark) available. There’s also a Pearlescent Black version exclusive to Jay’s CD & Hobby. The only version that eclipses the $9.00 price point is the GID, which sells for $10.00.

You can pick one up at the following:

True Cast Studio: $9.00 per 3-pack

Mystical Warriors Grades
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Mystical Warriors 06
Mystical Warriors 09
Mystical Warriors 04
Mystical Warriors 07
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