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.

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.

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