Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year - Toy Wishes for 2013!

Happy New Year everyone! We're three days into 2013 and it's about time I get around to revealing my toy wishes for the next 365 362 days. Last year presented some challenges in toy collecting, making me re-evaluate what exactly I was most passionate about and the answers surprised me. This year I feel I have a stronger focus on where my collection is going and I think I understand much better why I collect what I collect.

So what is 3B looking forward to the most in 2013? Find out!

Easily making up nearly half of all my purchases last year were figures from the various Transformers toy lines including Prime, Generations and unlicensed "third party" figures and accessories. Here's a breakdown of what I'm hoping for by series:

We know that the newer toys will be focusing on the "Beast Hunters" storyline, which may end up being captivated, however, I won't be rebuying the same figures I already scooped up this year with the addition of spikes and different colors. The actual beast characters (which are completely new) may entice me. My one big wish for TF Prime is a Voyager-sized Shockwave.

This one is a big old question mark. In 2012 we saw two versions of this line return to shelves: the Fall of Cybertron series and the previously Asia-only "GDO" series. I'm not much of a fan of the former, but if we get new Gen. figures along the line of GDO, THAT could prove very promising. At this point I know there aren't many "classic" G1 characters left to update, but we need an updated Trailbreaker damn it! And a newly tooled figure could be justified because there's a fairly easy retool possibility in Hoist. The way Hasbro's been downsizing (and hollowing out) their new FoC & Prime figures makes me think this is a longshot, which brings me to...

Third Party
The unlicensed Transformers market massively expanded in 2012 with not just plenty of add-on accessories, but full-on original figures. It's shocking that no one has released a Trailbreaker, yet. I believe Head Robots had a prototype back in late 2011, but nothing ever materialized. Will '13 be the year of Trailbreaker (and Hoist)? Who knows, but he's the one I'm hoping for above any other G1 character.

Marvel Universe
I don't have any one specific figure I want in MU (no, I have FIFTY!), but more than anything I hope the line keeps going. I started collecting it last Summer, right when Hasbro started introducing better articulation to more of the figures. Let's keep it going!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
I skipped the Classic figures, but picked up and loved the 4" toys based on the new cartoon. I have the four turtles, Shredder and two Foot soldiers and that's pretty much it for me. As much as I like the line, those six represent the core elements of TMNT I'm into. I may still pick up Splinter and a few more Foot soldiers. I'd absolutely love a "deluxe" version of Shredder though, with more leg articulation and a cape. Improved Foot soldiers would be nice, too.

If Transformers purchase made up almost half of my buys in 2012, it's safe to say the rest were almost all WWE-related. Legends & Defining Moments were basically non-existent last year, but the Elite Collection more than made up for the loss. It's funny to think that early last year I thought I was done with modern WWE, selling off figures of Drew McIntyre, Beth Phoenix, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston, Big Show, Michelle McCool and extras of CM Punk, Randy Orton and even Shawn Michaels, deciding to only focus on the classic Superstars.

However, I found a new appreciation of the WWE's current product and gave the modern roster another chance. I'm glad I did because some of the coolest figures came in the middle and back half of 2012.

Basic/Battle Packs series
Mattel stepped up their Divas output this year, finally debuting a female in the Elite series, but there were plenty of gems to be found in the basic series: a new Beth Phoenix, Alicia Fox and AJ Lee were all released last year. In 2013 it would be nice to see Brodus Clay's "funkadactyls", Cameron and Naomi.

Also due to the Elite line cutting costs by cutting elbow pads and quality control, I've turned to Basic figures as a source for missing ring gear. For example, Kane's newest Elite figure does not include his elbow pads, but both his single & battle pack release do. The upcoming E20 Cody Rhodes has a similar issue, albeith with his knee pads, but in this case, buying his upcoming basic figure in conjunction with the Elite release works out better because it also features a different headsculpt giving you some display options. I'm hoping Mattel continues this trend with alternate headscans on coinciding basic releases.

Elite Collection
Well, like I mentioned above, Matty's been dropping the pads on many newer Elites. Kane's one of them, but Jerry Lawler's missing his right elbow pad (thought I wouldn't notice, did you Matty?), so were Kevin Nash/Diesel, Brodus Clay and RSC-exclusive Bret Hart. It's still open for debate whether R-Truth should have included at least one or not.

I understand why they're doing it and I appreciate the efforts in trying to keep the retail cost down, but it kind of defeats the purpose if I have to go and buy an additional basic figure just for the pads... or does it? Maybe that's the plan all along and I'm just playing into their hands.

Oh, well. Anyway, back to wishes for the Elite line...

I really want the following Flashback figures: Degeneration X (Triple H, X-Pac & New Age Outlaws), "Bad Blood" Undertaker, and Jim Ross. There are lots more, but I'm trying to be conservative. I think DX is a given, during Ringside Fest, the lead designer alluded to them working on a wave that may include four Flashback figures which are related. Given that DX reunited at the 1000th edition of RAW recently, I think it's a shoe-in. I don't want them all dressed in army attire, though, I want them in their ring gear.

The BB Undertaker would accomplish two goals: first, we'd have a pre-"Ministry", Attitude-era Taker and second it, along with debut Kane & E19 Shawn Michaels, would complete the "Hell in a Cell" match from that pay-per-view. Hell, you can (sort of) recreate the HIAC match against Mankind, too!

As far as modern figures go, I'm surprisingly eager to see Elite versions of Damien Sandow and Antonio Cesaro. I think they're both fantastic heel characters and have very unique looks that would standout in the display.

Surprise Me!
As focused as my toy collecting goals are for this year, I still want to be surprised. I want to see stuff that makes me stop in the toy aisle and say, "wow, this looks great!". NECA has some amazing stuff coming out soon from the Predator series and I'm sure G.I. Joe will get back on track soon.

Here's hoping everyone is burning on all cylinders this year and 2013 turns out to be another great year for toys!
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