If you have a collector on your list, we’ve got a few suggestions as to the biggest and best stuff that 2023 saw hitting shelves.
Toys for the toy god
Already a big time hobby, collecting has exploded over the last few years in general. At this point, there’s so much great stuff out there it can be a little tough to sort through it all. It’s pretty much true for every part of the hobby too, whether you’re talking about action figures, statues and dioramas, or replicas of stuff seen on screens both large and small.
It’s tough enough to whittle down the lines you’re going to buy into if you’re a collector yourself, but if you’re not in the hobby it’s probably safe to double that confusion. People buying for someone else might feel downright overwhelmed.
Well, if that’s you, then we’re here to try to help out a tad, serving up a heaping helping of suggestions to cover a few different angles. We’re staying in our lane with this one though, so don’t expect to see strictly stuff that kids would love to open up this Holiday Season, though some of what you’re about to read through will definitely apply in that arena too.
But if you’re looking to grab something for someone who’s looking to relive the 80s, might be looking to dip their toe into higher-end stuff like Joy Toy’s Warhammer 40K, or is all about iconic games like Super Mario and Street Fighter, we’ve got some picks for you to consider.
Along with each idea, you’ll find pricing and links to the actual stuff, where available. Any Entertainment Earth links will not only take you to the piece in question, but also nab you a cool 10% off Promo Code: BRUTAL) as well, thanks to our affiliation with the shop.
Oh, and so you’re aware, if you do buy something via any link on this page outside of a BigBadToyStore one, BG will receive a commission from the sale. Just a head’s up on that. Alright, on the with the show…
For the table-topper
We don’t want to get into actual tabletop games here, since anyone who’s into those are probably already in possession of boxed editions of the Gloomhaven’s, Warhammer’s, and Dungeons & Dragons of the world. And if that person is really into any or all of the above, they’ve probably already got a good deal of in-game stuff pertaining to those titles as well.
So what we’ve done instead is to highlight a few associated items, stuff that might be nice to showcase next to all of those boxes and models.
Joy Toy Warhammer 40K
Okay, so for those who are unaware, Joy Toy is somewhat quietly making the greatest Warhammer 40K toy line of all time. It’s also one of the only Warhammer 40K toy lines of all time, but who’s counting? And besides, even if it was the sole representative of the property out there, it’d still knock you over with its sculpts, articulation, and scale.
These figures are pretty much 1:18th in that last department, so the base ‘human’ would be about 3.75″ tall. Here’s the thing though, we’re talking about a universe where there are massive Space Marines, mighty Paragon Warsuits, and even “xenos” like Orks and Necrom. And in the world of the toys, the more size and detailing the figure has, the bigger price you get.
So while there are literally dozens of options out there as to what you might pick up, we’re spotlighting one of the more inexpensive options with the Raven Guard Intercessors Sergeant Ashan figure that you see here. Priced in at $39.99 USD and standing in at 4.75″, he comes loaded with an iconic chainsword, a pistol, extra hands (for posing), and both black and white helmeted portraits to change up his look.
Want more? You can find just that here, also on Entertainment Earth. While EE’s got something of a limited collection though, there are tons more figures listed on Amazon. Fair warning though, as you’ll take a chance with the sellers. Joy Toy doesn’t appear to have an actual shop.
Hasbro Dungeons & Dragons: Golden Archive Xanathar
Traveling from sci-fi to fantasy now, comes a character who’s based on the realm of Dungeons & Dragons, and is fairly iconic to that brand. While the name “Xanathar” might not be all that familiar to the ear, the term “Beholder” definitely should be.
A representative of that fantasy monster/race, Xanathar here hails from the D&D “Golden Archive” collection. And if you’re not familiar with that, it’s kind of a catchall for the various worlds the property includes, and is produced by Hasbro. Obviously one of the biggest toy makers in the world, Hasbro has a tremendous stable of licenses, and generally does a serviceable-to-great job with all of them.
We’d love to see more along the lines of this big guy in the Archive though, as Xanathar is pretty darned impressive. First of all, he’s big, and will make other 6″ scale figures feel like they might not want to share a shelf with him. Beyond that, he’s also sporting some neat features, like an opening and closing jaw, (slightly) positionable tendrils, and a movable eye. That motion is cleverly done too, and works via a little lever in the mouth. Fans can make his giant central eyeball look in any direction they like.
And although he doesn’t have a flight stand (admittedly a huge missed opportunity), he does have a base in the form of a pile of gold that you can rest him on. That should make him into a terrific desktop option for those looking to add a little D&D to their day.
Xanathar is priced in at $49.99 USD, and is up for pre-order here on EE. If you don’t want to wait for January though, he’s also in-stock now via Amazon, HasbroPulse, and BigBadToyStore (for a buck more).
For the 80s kid
Got someone on your list who fondly remember the 80s? That might be anyone who lived through the decade, as it was a hotbed of imaginative movies and television properties, and spawned classics that are still regularly recycled by Hollywood today.
If that’s the case, then we’ve got some primo recommendations that should cover quite a few different fandoms. It starts with a series of sets from a company who’s more known for toys aimed at younger kids, but has gone all-in on nostalgia.
Playmobil 80s throwback sets
Yes, Playmobil. And no, you’re not wrong, they’re mainly a company that’s made a name with dioramas, playsets, and vehicles more in line with the young kids than adults. But that was then and this is now, as the toy-maker regularly pumps out boxes with names like Ghostbusters, The A-Team, and Magnum P.I. on them.
Some of those sets feature lights and sounds, and some can actually be pretty big, as in the case of the Ghostbusters firehouse. All of them though, are thoughtfully detailed, with plenty of nods to the classic properties that they’re based on. Even the figures, which carry the hyper-stylized “Playmobil” look, are instantly recognizable.
We found that out when we took a look at the Magnum P.I. set a few weeks back, which includes all major cast members, as well as Magnum’s Ferrari and even a palm tree to make the little setup complete. The set is priced in at $79.99 USD, and is currently up for pre-order here on Entertainment Earth. While it has a January release date there, you can probably grab one right now (albeit for a little more money) via Amazon if you poke around little.
MOTU Filmation figures
You have the power! Or at least, you can kind of have the power of the classic Masters of the Universe cartoon show if you get the newest figures from Mattel. Another huge name in the industry, Mattel has gone big on Masters over the last few years, assembling multiple toy lines with both the wide-ranging Masterverse and Origins series’.
It’s that latter name that’s seeing another expansion to close out this year too, with the “Cartoon Collection”. This new sub-series is presenting the characters of MOTU with the same aesthetic that they had in the Filmation TV show, so yes He-Man has the pageboy cut and those well-manicured eyebrows.
Right now the lineup is only two figures deep, and each one is priced at just $19.99 USD each. So if you have a MOTU fan on your list, grabbing both for them could start their new collection off on the right foot. Entertainment Earth isn’t expecting them till after the New Year, but you can get both the mighty He-Man and Skeletor-disappointing Beast Man via BigBadToyStore right now.
He-Man not providing enough 80s goodness for you? Well if that’s the case, then you’re going to want to take a look at Super7’s Ultimates! series. Not based on just one property, Ultimates! is as wide-ranging as anything sent to retail from one of the toy-giants, and covers a host of iconic (mainly) 80s cartoons and movies.
Is your giftee into Transformers? Yeah, they have that. How about G.I. Joe? Yep, that too. Silverhawks? Yes, that and a ton more, like SpongeBob, The Simpsons, Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers and more are all included under the Ultimates-umbrella.
All of the above are in the 7″ scale, and typically made to replicate on-screen designs, with the exception of the TMNT. That line is more meant to resemble the original toy line. But if you grab Duke from G.I. Joe, for example, he’s going to look like he just leapt off the screen.
Ultimates! figures usually run $50 (USD) and up, though there are a few good deals right now. There are also a few figures that clock in higher however, so make sure to check before you buy. Click here to check out what Entertainment Earth has available.
For the superhero super-fan
Okay so some of the above stuff could probably have fit into this category too, but what we’re talking about in this section is strictly superhero fare. There are bunch of great lines out there right now catering to these icons of the printed-page, and those run the gamut from retail, mass market offerings to high-end and high-priced collections.
We’ve got a bit of both here.
Quite a while ago, the MAFEX import toy line wasn’t held in all that high regard. For some reason it seemed as though the series just didn’t have ‘it’, and although priced for collectors, the figures just didn’t have much of a wow-factor.
Well, you can forget that at this point, because today MAFEX makes some of the most sought after and prized superhero figures out there. They dip into both Marvel and DC Comics, and serve up characters like Superman, Spider-Man, Batman, and Daredevil with incredible sculpts, plentiful accessories, and terrific articulation.
Yeah, they might be a little smaller in scale than standard 6″ figures usually are, but they’re typically pretty dang impressive. The prices are too, with tags usually running close to, or over $100 USD. BigBadToyStore has a bunch in stock, if you’d like to peruse, and you can find them here.
On the flip side, Entertainment Earth has several yet-to-be-released figures ready for pre-order, looking towards launches next year. So if you’d like to alternatively lock up some pre-orders for your giftee instead, click here.
DC Multiverse and Marvel Legends
At the opposite end of the spectrum from MAFEX are the superhero lines from McFarlane Toys and Hasbro. Both companies have some terrific stuff out there, and both cover a massive array of heroes and villains. Unlike with the much smaller MAFEX, if someone you know is a comic book fan (and loves the big two), then you’re probably going to find a figure of their favorite character.
Both of these lines are way more inexpensive than MAFEX with lower-end prices in the $20s (USD), and higher pieces selling for $40s/50s (also USD, natch’). And while the previously menitioned might be of the ‘collector’ variety, you don’t surrender much with either the Marvel Legends or DC Multiverse series’.
The two lines sport generally solid articulation, with a slight nod going to ML, as well as typically nice sculpting and paint application. You don’t get a ton of accessories included with figures under either heading, but that’s not the end of the world considering the prices.
One thing you should be aware of though, is that McFarlane’s DC figures are in a 7″ scale, and Marvel Legends is 6″. The result is a pair of lines that don’t look that good displayed together, which is something to keep in mind if you have a fan who likes to mingle their Marvel and DC toys.
Click here to check out the array of Marvel Legends that Entertainment Earth has in stock, and here for McFarlane’s listings. The McFarlane link is a general one for the company, so you’ll find the DC stuff mixed in with Spawn, Warhammer, and even the much smaller-scaled Page Punchers line.
For the video-gamer
No, we’re not talking about actual video games here, as we’ll be getting to that later in the week. But while you won’t see stuff that plays on a console, you will see some great looking new figures and something both unexpected and unique, and just too cool not to include here: a Mario Kart slot car set.
Mario Kart Carrera Go!!! Turbo Boost 1/43 Scale Slot Car Racing Set
We’ll dive right into that latter one right off the bat, because come on. When was the last time you heard of a Mario Kart slot car set? Yeah, probably never, although given the amount of sets that Carrera has out there, maybe you should have.
The company has a few ready now, with even more on the way, and we’ve got one of the latest to showcase here. Cast in 1:43 scale and coming complete with Mario and Luigi, the Mario Kart Carrera Go!! Turbo Boost set includes over 16 feet of overall track and individual controllers for each racer.
Players can blast their fave bro around courses that they can assemble. And although you get quite a bit of track packed-in, it’s also upgradable with additional pieces that are sold separately. So if you want to have jumps or big time loops, you can add them later. It looks like the cars follow suit too, and right now there are a few different options out there, including racers from other properties like Lightning McQueen from Pixar’s Cars, and some real-world racing vehicles.
The new Mario Kart Carrera Go!!! Turbo Boost 1/43 Scale Slot Car Racing Set is priced in at $101 USD, and is available via Amazon. Check it out here, and then peruse the rest of what Carrera has out there, via the company’s Amazon storefront here.
Jada Toys’ Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers
Did you think that Storm Collectibles’ high-priced (but awesome) Ultra Street Fighter II figures were the only game in town when it came to Capcom’s World Warriors? Well think again, because Jada Toys has been creating a 6″ line of Street Fighter II figures that’s kinda just as great, and for a fraction of the price.
Priced in at $24.99 USD, Jada’s Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers figures are just beginning their run, but so far include Ryu, Chun-Li, and Fei Long. Ken Masters is en-route, and we’ve seen some sneaky photos online of what’s an almost completed roster, with all of the characters looking nicely in scale.
That would be 6″ by the way, with each figure featuring around 20 points of articulation. Each one comes stocked with extra hands and portraits, plus an effects piece. So, for example, Ryu includes a fireball on a clear stand that you a pose with him. Hadoken? Yeahyoubet.
Listed at $24.99 USD each, all three of the currently-available figures are up for pre-order via Entertainment Earth. While those won’t be in stock till January though, you can get Ryu, Chun-Li, and Fei Long right now via Amazon. the latter option does cost a few bucks more, but it seems like they’ll all ship before Christmas.
For the Paleontologist
Is it safe to say that we all grew up infatuated with dinosaurs to some degree? It’s almost unbelievable that a species so gigantic and varied could have walked the Earth millions of years ago, and the whole dino-saga seems perfectly tailored to capture kids imaginations.
Well, if you never grew out of that, or know someone who hasn’t, now might be the single best time in history to be a toy-fan.
Okay so you may or may not like the Jurassic World movies. They’re kind of cool, building on the Jurassic Park series in some interesting new ways, though they do tend to lack the heart of the 90s films. But whether you’re into them or not, one thing’s not really debatable, and it’s that they have some awesome toys.
Spread out across a set of series’ toy-maker Mattel has created a universe of prehistoric action with Jurassic Park. From super-colossal figures, to the main 4″ scaled line that includes everything from sauropods to human characters, the scope is truly impressive.
Maybe at the top right now though, is the Hammond Collection. While they’re not all that high priced, the Hammond Collection figures feature generally better detailing and deco than any of Mattel’s other JP or JW lines. While the T-Rex is particularly cool, you can also go a lot smaller, for a figure that’s almost as neat in the Velociraptor.
The Raptor is priced in at $16.99 USD on Entertainment Earth, and might provide the perfect desk-topper for a would-be paleontologist.
Beasts of the Mesozoic
Want to go a little more expensive? Looking for a dinosaur line that’s drop-dead gorgeous? Well then you might want to set your sights on Beasts of the Mesozoic from Creative Beast. A collector-aimed company, Creative Beast just wrapped up another successful Kickstarter, and is expanding its lines by leaps and bounds.
Those lineups, while they will eventually include some fantasy and sci-fi elements, are mainly dino-centric, and feature figures that are both well-articulated and gorgeously sculpted. And while the company might’ve spotlighted specific species in the past, the main lineup is really deep at this point, covering a wide-range of drop-dead gorgeous animals.
There’s both 1:35th and 1:18th scale series’ under the line, and there are some pretty low prices mixed in, with models like the Saurornitholestes priced in at $49.99 USD, and the Protoceratops hellenikorhinus at just $24.99 USD. If you want to make an impact though, and we mean impact, then you might want to have a look at the 1:18th Tyrannosaurus rex, who comes complete with interchangeable parts and a bendy tail, and clocks in at a massive 27″ long.
Also one that caught our eye, the 1:18th Torosaurus latus might be one off the most beautiful dinosaur figures ever made, with its bright blue coloring. Just as impressive as the rex too, the Toro is 18″ in length and features an awesome 20 points of articulation.
All of the above can be found on Creative Beast’s web-shop, here.