|Written by Gavin Hignight|
This figure really is the ultimate Terminator Action Figure. Neca is killing it this year, you’re going to see their name a lot on this list. I love the “ultimate” figures they are releasing. These toys rule because of the package design, extra heads and accessories. The over all quality is fantastic and for an affordable price! If you are a Terminator fan, especially T2, this figure is a must!
9. Ultimate Sarah Connor
I must confess at the time of writing this, this figure has not arrived yet as I just ordered it. But based off of the press images and the quality of the other figures in the line Sarah Connor definitely makes the list of the best for 2015. It’s about damn time we get a kick ass figure of such a kick ass woman. Love that it includes the tactical cap and sunglasses head. I have no doubt she’ll be kicking some ass against the Terminators in my toy collection.
Every Transformers fan knows his name. He’s the OG Combiner when it comes down to it. When the original Devastator hit shelves in the 80s he was the buzz of many a playground conversation. Construction vehicle badguys that can all be connected to make a giant evil robot… AWESOME!
Devastator hadn’t seen much love from modern Transformers toys. Especially the classic version that we all knew and loved. Hasbro took care of that in 2015. First with an exclusive boxed version at SDCC (in original color scheme) and soon after with a retail version. I sold one of my kidneys so I could add this giant robo to my collection.
7. Space Defender
A new Star Wars film not only means tons and tons… and tons of licensed new toys and goods. It also means new Bootlegs!!! And who doesn’t love a Derpy good bootleg? Bootlegs just aren’t as cool now as the KOs (knock offs) of the 80s.
But somehow this toy (I’ve nicknamed Derp Vader) made its way to the two- dollar-bin at Toys R Us for the holidays. I kid you not I’ve gotten more enjoyment out of this than most licensed toys that came out for Star Wars this year, only because it takes me back to the bootlegs of yesteryear.
So yes, while everyone is nostalgic about Star Wars, I’ll be nostalgic about Space Defender Star Wars Knock Offs…
6. Galaxy Commanders (Starroid Raiders)
And speaking of Star Wars bootlegs, nothing is more legendary than Starroid Raiders. If you weren’t lucky enough to get your hands on these knockoffs of the 80s never fear. There are new larger vinyl figure style versions that have been released under the title Galaxy Commanders. These are pricey… but they are also just over ten inches tall. The originals, without weapons and beat up go for about the same price.
So if you can’t collect the pricey originals these new larger versions that live somewhere between goofy knockoff and designer vinyl just might be for you!
5. Doctor Who 12th Doctor Figure, 5 inch
There are two figures on this list I never thought I’d see in my collection. The first of these is the 5-inch Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who. Ever since his regeneration I wanted to add the 12th Doctor to my collection of other Doctors in the 5-inch size.
Character Options had already phased out the awesome line for smaller, less detailed, less expensive figures so the future of the 12th Doctor at that scale was not certain… even prompting groups like Save Doctor Who Five Inch to start on Facebook. Well, at SDCC last year Underground Toys revealed not one, but a few different versions of this latest Doctor in the scale. The figures finally hit in 2012 and they are fantastic!
4. Gung Ho, G.I. JOE 50th Anniversary
Another figure avid collectors were afraid they’d never get is the 50th anniversary style GUNG HO for the G.I. Joe line.
A quality version of Gung Ho hadn’t been done in the modern line. There was a 25th anniversary that came in a box set, but it was a huge disappointment. After Hasbro had displayed this version in some design vault photos, every Gi Joe collector on the planet was salivating to add this perfect version of the Marine to their team. Through the 50th anniversary line at Toys R Us Gung Ho came out in a two-pack with a great Cobra Shadow Trooper. It’s an amazing set… if you can find it. I must say, hunting down this set became a fulltime job for me for a couple months.
Well worth the hassle, but I do wish the good folks at Hasbro had put more of this set in a case. EVERYBODY wanted this figure! Many probably still do!
3. Snake Plissken
Maybe my favorite toy of the year. From John Carpenter’s Escape From New York finally a great quality version of Snake Plissken aka Kurt Russell by NECA. This is the “Mego” style figure with cloth outfit. The sculpt and accessories are fantastic! If you are an Escape fan this is perfect for your collection. And it won’t break the bank. The figure looks great with the leather jack on, or with it off revealing the iconic sleeveless Snake. Even the packing is great, the card in the blister pack has great art. This figure is the best!
2. Masters of the Universe SDCC Exclusives
Just like Skeletor sneaking into Grayskull I’m cheating a bit here and including a couple different toys. The Super7 Masters of the Universe toys for SDCC were ridiculously awesome this year.
The “Kenner Prototype” style 4-pack explored in toy form, what the line would be like if it went the traditional figure route at the time instead of becoming the figures we knew and loved. This set, with prototype solid color figures, a plain white box (that felt like an 80s mailer) and simple of the time sculpts is massively cool. I am so lucky to have picked one up.
As if the Prototype style figures weren’t cool enough Super7 mashed He-Man up with another nostalgic line… MUSCLE. The Masters of the Universe MUSCLE figures are fantastic. There were multiple sets with different characters good and evil from the Masters line… in MUSCLE form. You win Super7, the power of Grayskull is yours…
1. Sphero BB-8
Arguably the top toy of 2015. Whether you were a fan of Force Awakens or not, one thing that is unanimously agreed upon is that BB-8 was a great character and a mind-blowing practical effect.
Even better, Sphero somehow managed to get a remote control version out that has the same unique functionality as the famous droid in the film. With the smart phone app you download to control the droid, you can do tons of stuff with it. It’s fascinating. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on one of these BB8s just keep it out of reach of dogs that like to chase and chew on things… just saying, more dangerous than the First Order to this little guy!
This is the release that defines toys for 2015. In the future, if someone is ever doing a nostalgia film about 2015, the kid (or fanboy or fangirl) in the movie will be pining over getting a BB-8 to call his or her own. Totally worth it!
Honorable Mention: Takara Tomy Star Cars Darth Vader
Hot Wheels made tons of Star Wars related cars this year… but none were as charming as the small line from Takara Tomy Japan. These things are just… cute for lack of a better way to put it. They are really fun and have tons of character and play value to them. The C-3PO and Darth Vader are the best of the line. Even the small boxes they come in are super fun. You can find them on Ebay and some e-tailers, and they are not price prohibitive.
The Darth Vader car is fantastic, if you look closely you can see his helmet detail on the front. And of course his name on the rear license plate!