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.
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.
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.