We save the biggest category for last. It's always difficult narrowing down all of our reviews for the best vinyl toy of the year. But I think these ten figures were the strongest of the past year. You disagree? Let us know about your favorites.
#10 - Pierce and Dogboy by Carnival Cartoons
Yeah...we might be a little biased on this pick (since the Plastic and Plush Exclusive Pierce and Dogboy are still available through our shop...wink, wink). Nonetheless, the two figure pack from designer Jared Deal is a perfect addition to the rest of the Carney family.
#9 - Secret Agent Titus (IWG Movie Icons) by Rocket World
Patrick Ma released a trio of IWG characters - in all new sculpts - featuring poses and weapons from iconic action hero films. Titus, sporting his silenced Walther PPK, is reminiscent of the Timothy Dalton version of James Bond.
#8 - Medusa - Black Mamba by ESC-Toy
Straight from Greek mythology to vinyl, Erick Scarecrow released his version of the evil Gorgon sister. While she definitely won't turn you to stone, the snaked-up vinyl figure is definitely the most stylish Medusa you'll ever see. And as with a majority of ESC products...it's all about the shoes.
#7 - Drazoran by Max Toy Company
Mark Nagata went old school with this original Max Toy Co. kaiju. Made in Japan, the vinyl piece is a great example of why Japanese vinyl is superior to all others. Fans of Godzilla and the like will obviously be impressed.
#6 - Boris by U1 Toy Arts
We already mentioned the first toy from artist Nathan Hamill in our sculpting roundup. The rather small (2.5" tall) piece holds true to its source material. A purple raccoon? Yeah, it's probably the best figure under 3" that we've seen this year.
#5 - Pugzee (Street Version) by InuArt
The Street Version of the cigar-smoking, kneecap-bashing pug was our favorite of the three that were released. Dave Cortes, known for sculpting other people's characters, had the chance to sculpt his own. And Pugzee, with his bevy of accessories, is just a fun character.
#4 - Carl (UP) by Hot Toys
Hot Toys not only produces amazing 1/6 scale figures, but they've shown that they're adept at the rotocast vinyl game. With the Disney/Pixar license, they went crazy on this movie likeness of the film's main character - Carl. And with UP being such a popular movie, it only makes sense that this well-produced vinyl should be equally popular.
#3 - Armodoc by Onell Design
Onell continued to release their traditional PVC plastic figures...but the decided to experiment and expand the Glyos line by adding the rotocast vinyl Armodoc. And if you picked up one of the first few, you were treated to a PVC figure tucked away inside. Here's hoping that they continue with the rotocast figures.
#2 - YHWH by Necessaries Toy Foundation
The day finally arrived...fans of Mark Ryden saw a vinyl toy, based on his artwork, released to the masses. Ryden teamed up with NTF, who we had been sorely missing, to create the monster YHWH figure. While we heard mixed reviews of the piece, we had nothing for love for YHWH. I mean...it's Mark Ryden!
**WINNER** #1 - O-No Sushi by DYZPlastic
The first time we saw Andrew Bell's bento box full of vinyl goodness, it was fairly apparent that we were looking at a potential toy of the year winner. Was it the innovative packaging? Or maybe that the sculptor was able to pull off the exact look of Bell's Never Look Back print? Could it be that you get a little creature, bowl of soup and piece of sushi...all for under $25? Umm...all of the above.