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2006 Toy Awards: Toy of the Year's been a long time coming, but we are prepared to offer up Plastic and Plush's Top 10 list of the best toys of 2006.  This doesn't include plush toys, as we've already given you that list.  So, without further adieu...

10. Brian Taylor's Rustboy from Android 8


If we had a category for the most underrated toy of the year, Rustboy would definitely win.  It's a very cool toy that didn't garner enough press and interest.  Here's still hoping for a full-length Rustboy film.

9. Captain Maxx from Max Toy Co.


Kaiju beware!  Max Toy's namesake figure, the Captain was released in several colorways that appealed to the collector who likes his or her figures with a header card.

8. Broken Heart Robot from Genshi:Toy


Craig Perkins' forlorn robot tugged on folks' heartstrings with a sad story and a simple design.  With normal, glow-in-the-dark, solid white and soft clear figures...they had all collectors in mind.

7. Buzz Carney from Carnival Cartoons


Jared and Garnet's first figure from The Carney's line was the heavily tattooed strongman.  The character conjures up great Spumco memories.

6. Darth Maul from Sideshow Toy


This was by far and away our favorite character from Sideshow's Star Wars line.  Even though Darth Maul was an underused and unappreciated villain, he's one of our favorites.

5. Fafi's Irina from Necessaries Toy Foundation


NTF's Irina is by far and away the best looking figure based on French designer Fafi's work.  The fact that it stands around 11" in height makes it that much better.

4. Boba Fett VCD from Medicom


What's not to like about the stylized version of everyone's favorite bounty hunter?  Absolutely nothing!  Boba Fett's is the best of Medicom's Super Deformed Vinyl Collectible Dolls.

3. Mr. Bumper from STRANGEco


So how did Jim Woodring's Mr. Bumper end up on our reader's best and worst list?  We're not sure.  I guess it's a polarizing figure, but we like the wild colors and the wacky sculpt.

2. Choco and Minty from Toy2R


A duo?? can't really separate the unemployed candy bar spokesmen.  David Horvath's characters jumped right off of the candy wrapper and into fans collections...I'm still looking for the candy.

1. Treeson from Crazy Label


Bubi Au Yeung's heartbreaking story about a young boy and a creature that was raised by trees gave us one of the most popular characters of 2006 - Treeson.  The seemingly "plain" vinyl figure always attracts a smile...isn't that what toys are for?

2006 Toy Awards: Readers’ Picks

The readers had a chance to voice their collective opinions regarding their favorite, and least favorite, designer toys of 2006.  We'll list your top 5 choices (in order).  If you don't agree, we encourage you to use the comments section and let everyone know your opinion.

Favorite Artist:



1. Joe Ledbetter
2. David Horvath
3. Tokidoki
4. Tim Biskup
5. Sun-Min

Most Outstanding Company:


2. Toy2R
3. Kidrobot
4. Pretty Ugly Inc.
5. Wonderwall

Best Toy Line:


1. Uglydolls
2. Dunny
3. Qee
4. Kaiju for Grownups
5. Insurgents Wilderness Gruppo

Worst Toy:


1. Heatherette The Empire
2. Mr. Bumper
3. Sho Po Plop
4. Dunny
5. Labbits

Plush Toy of the Year:


1. Wee Ninja (Shawnimals)
2. Naked Malfi (Friends With You)
3. Fluffy Bad Bad
4. Chuckanucka (Uglydolls)
5. Peaco (Uglydolls)

Toy of the Year:


1. Treeson
2. Mothman (Horvath)
3. Kaws Dissected
4. TADO Love Dunny
5. Mr. Bumper

There you have it!  Strange that Mr. Bumper made the best and worst lists.  I guess collectors love him or hate him - personally, I love the guy!

And here are the 4 winners of the prize packs:
Jen Sparenberg
Robert Cawley
Caroline Thibault
Daniel Orosco

2006 Toy Awards: Plush Toy of the Year

Now that we're announcing the big time awards (Plush TOTY and Vinyl TOTY), we've upped the recognized toys from 3 to 10.  In order to be considered, the toy needs to be (50% or more) made of plush - whatever that is - and released in the past year (2006).

10. Naked Malfi from Friends With You


What would a Best Of Plush be without Friends With You??  Sam and Tury are veterans in the plush game...then is Malfi.

9. Evil Icecream from Lazysmash


Kerry Horvath and Darth Rimmer teamed up to make melting ice cream a little less messy...and a little more evil.

8. My Beating Heart from Banana Design Lab


A vibrating heart pillow??  Yury Gitman's innovative design incorporates a heartbeat along with a comfortable heart-shaped pillow.  I recommend this and earplugs for when the wife is watching American Idol.

Read more

2006 Toy Awards: Best Toy Line

You're probably asking yourself...what makes a "toy line"?  We like to define it as at least 3 or more figures in like-packaging under the same title.  But then again...what do we know??


3. Zliks by Andrew Bell and Wheaty Wheat Studios

Andrew Bell's "Creatures In My Head" crawled out of his head and into our collections this past year.  Wheaty Wheat went crazy producing 9 different Zlik variants, with each set made up of 3 figures.


2. Star Wars 1/6 Scale Line by Sideshow

Sideshow's 12" tall figure line had Star Wars fans clamoring for more heroes and villains from all 6 films.  The company plans to release more figures throughout the upcoming year.


1. MAD*L Artist Series by Wheaty Wheat Studios - WINNER!!

What happens when you take 6 of the top designers and allow them to design their own MAD*L figure?  Well, you get one of the hottest lines of 2006.  MAD, Sket, Mimic, Frank Kozik, TADO and Chris Lee all brought out the best in the platform toy.

2006 Toy Awards: Artist of the Year

This is always one of the most difficult choices of the year.  There are so many talented artists out there that it troubles me to choose just one.  We're not only concerned with quality...but also quantity.


#3.  Touma

Touma worked with Play Imaginative on several Trexi designs as well as the Baby Hellhound and Grabbit plushies.  There was also Mephist Festa, Knuckle Bear, Goon and Magman.


#2.  Tokidoki

Simone Legno
, also known as tokidoki, released his Cactus Friends and Moofia figures (vinyl and plush).  He also lent his unique style to lines such as Qee, Trexi, Circus Punks and the Ningyo Project.


#1.  David Horvath - WINNER!!

It's back-to-back wins for the inventor of Uglydolls.  But with 3 new Uglys (Peaco, Chuckanucka and Moxy) and the Secret Mission line released, he was well deserving.  Oh...did I mention the Card Game, Qees, Trexis, Mothman, Flatwoods Monster, Choco and Minty and Little Yoya?

2006 Toy Awards: Girls’ Picks

One thing I have learned over the past year is the increasing popularity of the designer vinyl and plush scene with the opposite sex - women.  And for that reason, we have to acknowledge that growing demographic. (Us men's better half)

#3.  Bunny Black Petite Blythe from CWC


Blythe is every little girl's dream doll, and if parent's can't afford the Neo Blythe...the Petite variety is just as cute and definitely affordable.

#2.  DC Stars from Tonner Doll Co.


We just recently discovered Tonner Doll Company, but we were obviously impressed by their work.  Their Tonner Character Figures stand at a hulking 16" in height and are amazingly detailed.

#1.  Peaco, Chuckanucka and Moxy from Uglydolls - WINNER!!


2006 was a good year for Uglydoll fans.  And who doesn't like Uglys??  Boys, Girls, Pets, Aliens... Peaco, Chuckanucka and Moxy were all released in '06.  We were also graced with the release of the Secret Mission line and 2-foot tall Uglys.

2006 Toy Awards: 1/6 Scale Figure

Almost all 1/6 scale (otherwise known as 12" tall) figures are based on some real-life individual.  Occasionally, you will come across a 12" figure based on a cartoon character, but those are few and far between.  You're usually looking for tons of accessories, realistic clothing, and great sculpting work.

#3. Clone Trooper from Medicom Toy


2006 could be known as the year of the 12" Star Wars figures.  Both Sideshow and Medicom have the Star Wars license and this 12" RAH Clone Trooper is one of our faves.

#2. Darth Maul from Sideshow Collectibles


The 1/6 scale Darth Maul already won the best sculpting award for the amazing facial sculpt (including horns), but the accolades don't stop there.  It's by far and away one of the best 12" figures of the year...with a TON of accessories.

#1. Bruce Lee: Game of Death by Arnie Kim - WINNER!!


Arnie Kim sculpted a masterpiece, and those who could pony up the $299.99 for this figure saw that.  Or if you were lucky enough to check out the Kaching Brand booth at Comic Con, you probably walked away drooling.  1045 Showroom still has some left....

2006 Toy Awards: Best Mini Line

The market for mini figures wasn't as strong as in past years.  More companies were going big rather than going small.  But we did find several impressive lines that had collectors chatting up the boards.

#3.  We All Speak Football Trexi - Play Imaginative


Play Imaginative's Trexi line took to the pitch with 25 designs from some of the top designers.  They were told Coca-Cola and Soccer and went to town with reckless abandon.

#2. UniPo Series 2 from UNKL


UNKL Brand released several series of their 2" UniPo figures.  The second series was our favorite of the lot with it's military based theme.

#1. Blow Up Dolls from Jamungo - WINNER!!


Jamungo's introduction into the designer toy foray made collectors crazy for the blind boxed series.  Due to their popularity, Ferg and VanBeater's B.U.D.s were 'blown up' to 9" tall for customizers to take advantage of.

2006 Toy Awards: Best Customizer

With a number of artists trying their hands at customs these days, we figured there should be a whole new category to give these guys (and gals) their props.

#3. Dan "Wavedog" Fenelon


Dan is definitely one of the hardest working customizers in the business.  With the use of black drawings on bright colors, his work is easily distinguishable.

#2. Doktor A


Doktor A continues to shine with his customs.  What's their to say about a talented artist such as the good Dok?  We'll just wait for his own line of figures to drop.

#1. NVC Crew - WINNER!!


Dr. Bao and Spive were hard at work with several custom projects throughout 2006.  With influences rooted in Wu Tang Clan and martial arts, they definitely have a style all their own.

2006 Toy Awards: Best Sculpting

Sculpting work is often under we give the sculptors their just due.  We've chosen 3 of the more intricate and/or interesting pieces of the past year. 

#3. Buzz Carney from Carnival Cartoons


Eric Nocella's sculpting work on Buzz Carney was lauded by collectors as being one of the year's best.  He took one of Jared Deal and Garnet Syberg-Olsen's characters and sculpted an amazing likeness.

#2. Mr. Bumper from STRANGEco


Two layers of intricate sculpting work was done on Jim Woodring's Mr. Bumper.  Not only is there a ton going on with the figure's cowl, but when you remove that...the base figure is also amazing.

#1. 12" Darth Maul from Sideshow - WINNER!!


Oluf W. Hartvigson has worked his magic sculpting another spectacular Star Wars figure for Sideshow.  Darth Maul was the cream of the crop from a company that prides itself on realistic sculpting work.