Figures & Speech: All I Want for Christmas
By Luke Y. Thompson on November 28, 2012
Toy collectors know the deal. Friends and relatives aren’t going to shop for you because (a) what you want is sometimes hard to find, (b) you probably found it for yourself at some point, and (c) they have no idea which figures you already have, nor do they care, except inasmuch as it humors you. That’s why you send them to me. I’m not going to read minds here, and this is not a gift guide full of stuff that I’m giving away – for that, I urge you to check out our mega-mega-massive gift guide giveaway currently running over at Nerdist News.
No, this is a list of stuff I want, or would want if I had the space, which I don’t. This may not be an issue for you. At the very least, it should give you some ideas.
If price is no object, I suggest Enterbay’s 18″ Heath Ledger Joker figure. With more than 25 points of articulation and a cloth costume, he’s bigger than your average Hot Toys figure and more intricate than the typical NECA 18-incher. He’s also around four hundred bucks, and if you have that to spare in this economy, squirreling it into savings might not be amiss. But if you want to give it as a gift, you’ll earn some collector’s undying gratitude.
Cheaper, but just as big, is NECA’s quarter-scale City Hunter Predator, the sequel to last year’s big vagina-mouthed hunter figure from the first film. If you missed out on that one, or even if you didn’t, the Predator 2 version has a new head, color scheme, weapons and armor, and you can probably pick it up for under $100.
In a similar price range, Mattel presents the largest Masters of the Universe figure ever – Granamyr the Dragon King, as seen in the mini-comics and Filmation series. He would stand at about 30 inches if he could stand up, but much like Todd McFarlane’s Malebolgia, he’s meant to be posed seated. If you want this guy, though, you have to be very specific – and trust me, my fiancee has been given step-by-step details on this one. He’ll be up for purchase at Mattycollector.com on December 15th, while supplies last. As a big, expensive item, he should last a day or two, but you CANNOT count on that; this is a long-requested character who has never been made before.
Downscaling a bit, and bringing it back to NECA, we have the Prometheus figures, which are a must-have addition for anybody who collects Aliens, Predators or similar critters. Two versions of the Engineer are available single-carded, but the jewel is the Toys R Us exclusive Engineer versus Trilobite battle set – which does happen to be one of the many items in our massive giveaway. Proto-human versus proto-facehugger, and unlike John Hurt, the big white dude won’t go down easily. Speaking of not going down easily, NECA also has a TRU exclusive 2-pack of Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed in “beaten the shit out of each other” postfight mode. Set that on your desk to remind you that, as stressful as work can be, there are tougher battles.
Wrestling figures have a very specific demographic, but it should be noted that even fans who don’t normally collect toys don’t mind getting little plastic likenesses of their faves. This season’s hot ticket on that score is also a TRU exclusive series – an Elite-style Mattel set based on pay-per-view appearances. The Miz in “Team Johnny” shirt, C.M. Punk with the title belt, camouflage Big Show, and referee Shawn Michaels comprise the series – buy them all to complete a fifth figure, namely Alberto Del Rio’s ever-annoying ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez.
Todd McFarlane’s Walking Dead figures have gotten mixed reviews, but while the humans aren’t much to write home about, the zombies in series 2 bring some old-school fun with pull-apart features and such. RV Zombie, Well Zombie, and Bicycle Girl would be better at a larger scale, but I still dig ‘em at the smaller size. Oh, and… wait for it… they’re in our big giveaway, too.
I’d be totally remiss if I didn’t put something more girly on the list – folks, if you’re buying for a girl geek who isn’t totally gender-neutral when it comes to collectibles, Sanrio has Hello Kitty playsets aplenty, and in my unstudied opinion they’re significantly better than the Mega Bloks attempts at the same idea. If I can adjust my headspace to counter the fact that these are insanely testosterone-repellant, I do have to admit that sets like the castle and the amusement park are pretty cool if you’re into that sort of thing. And hey, after Bronies, isn’t about time we saw a movement called “he-Hellos” or something? (If there already is such a movement and I’ve misnamed it, please accept my apologies and set me straight in comments below.)
Finally, it’s not too early to start thinking about next Christmas, especially since the best thing you could possibly give ends its preorders January 4th. Castle MuthaPhukkin’ Grayskull – the Barbie Dream House of the space barbarian world – is going to be the coolest toy anyone receives next year, but you need to preorder it now. Yes, I know – some relationships won’t last that long. But if you promise your significant other a $250 fortress of mystery and power, there’s no way they’ll break up with you till they get it. Not that you should bribe them – bribery is wrong. But Grayskull has THE power.