Good morning! Today is Black Friday -the REAL Black Friday- and we realize most news would be sales-related for the weekend (unless there’s a surprise, we’re looking at you, Uncle Todd).
We’ll start off by recommending following our Facebook page if you are on the platform. We send out new in-stock alerts along with deals and we expect the page to be pretty active during this time. So far, this season’s “Black Friday” has been going on for more than a month, so we’ll see if there’s anything new worth noting at the last minute.
With all of that in mind, we’ve jumped into the “holiday spirit” and decided to create a Christmas wish list to help you -our awesome readers- possibly find new cool things to ask for during this holiday season. And don’t forget, it’s not only about receiving presents; these could be great gift ideas for all of your action figure-collecting friends. Regardless, we hope it’s a fun read for everyone, and maybe you’ll discover something cool along the way!
Our rules for creating the lists were kept very simple: the toy must be released this year, and be somewhat available (so you can put them under the tree on time!). That’s why we’re discarding hard-to-find releases, completely out of stock, or pre-orders! With those in mind, we’ll start out by checking out Ashley’s selections.
I am primarily a “DC guy” so my list consists of DC items that I would want for Christmas (but let’s be honest, I am probably going to be getting these outside of Santa Claus anyway.) Here is my list of five must-have DC figures for Christmas!
McFarlane Toys – DC Multiverse – Frankenstein Mega Figure
Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist, becomes obsessed with the spark of life and soon creates life of his very own. However, he’s immediately disgusted by the monstrosity and abandons it. Shunned by Dr. Frankenstein and any other humans he meets, the creature decides to enact vengeance on his creator. Upon finding Victor, the creature demands the scientist make a partner for him, but Victor refuses and tries to destroy the monster. After a long pursuit and confrontation, the creature is assumed dead, but that could not be further from the truth. Now, centuries later, the creature has returned! Donning his creator’s name, Frankenstein fights the forces of evil as an agent of S.H.A.D.E. (Super-Human Advanced Defense Executive).
I know this is based on the Seven Soldiers of Victory comic from Grant Morrison, but what really made me fall in love with this character was the Flashpoint mini-series Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown by Jeff Lemire. That book was phenomenal. Since then, I have been wanting to see a version of this character in plastic form and finally, McFarlane Toys delivers!
MAFEX – Batman: Knightfall – No. 144 Azrael Batman
Grab it here: Amazon
Based on the Batman: Knightfall storyline from DC Comics, this MAFEX Azrael Batman is a fully articulated figure with several features and accessories. Batman features a poseable wired fabric cape and 2 head portraits.
While the McFarlane Toys DC Multiverse Azrael is one of my favorite releases of the year, the paint job on this particular figure is miles ahead of anything we have seen in the McFarlane world, making this action figure a must have for any fan of Batman or specifically the whole Knightfall story arc.
McFarlane Toys – DC Multiverse – Superman (DC Future State)
One of the surprise best stories I have been reading over the past few months is the current Warworld arc in Action Comics. I am a Superman fan, but over the past few years, the books haven’t been to my liking. That all changed with Warworld. The story is fantastic and gives us a different look at a de-powered Superman. McFarlane Toys has even provided fans with a Superman action figure based on this storyline.
Sent to Earth from the dying planet of Krypton as a baby, Kal-El was found by farmers Martha and Jonathan Kent and raised as their son, Clark. As Clark grew up, the radiation from Earth’s yellow sun gave him extraordinary powers, which he kept hidden. Now fully grown, he uses his powers to protect his adopted world as Superman. After years of adventures, however, Superman is missing and presumed dead. In actuality, the Man of Steel is across the galaxy, imprisoned on Warworld by the new Mongul. Forced to fight for his life in an arena and lacking his powers, Superman must stay alive and somehow find a way to return home.
Hot Toys – Wonder Woman 1984 – Golden Armor Wonder Woman
Grab it here: Amazon
While Wonder Woman 1984 might be my least favorite DC film (the first Justice League is on a different level awful so I don’t even consider it a DC film), Wonder Woman’s golden armor outfit was killer! Hot Toys brings it to life in a way that it is probably a must-own figure for DC fans.
Sideshow and Hot Toys present the most detailed look of Diana Prince’s sparkling armor with the Golden Armor Wonder Woman (Deluxe) Sixth Scale Collectible Figure. Crafted with special attention to the authentic details found on the Golden Armor and neutral wings, the outfit is painted with the fine metallic gold color that flaunts a subtle metallic shimmer, giving the incredible design greater texture and visual interest.
Skillfully crafted based on the image of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in the movie, the movie-accurate Wonder Woman figure features a newly developed head sculpt with long curly dark brown real fabric hair, a specialized body tailored for Wonder Woman, a set of armor wings in neutral mode, a shiny helmet, Wonder Woman’s signature weapon “Lasso of Truth”, and a specially designed dynamic figure stand for display.
NECA – Batman Returns – Mayoral Penguin
Grab it here: Amazon
This all-new version of the Penguin from Batman Returns is ready to hit the campaign trail like a ton of bricks. This is based on my favorite Batman film from the 80’s/90’s, Batman Returns. The 1/4 scale action figure features the likeness of actor Danny DeVito, whose memorable performance as the twisted Oswald Cobblepot in the 1992 movie still defines the character.
The fully poseable figure stands 15″ tall and features synthetic hair and a movie-authentic sculpt. Penguin comes with an all-new removable fabric coat, removable top hat, “Cobblepot for Mayor” mini-poster, monocle, cigarette in holder and half-eaten fish accessories. Loaded with extraordinary detail, this figure is a must-have for Batman fans!
Coming after Ash, I tried my best not to turn my picks into a “gifts for a Batman fan” list… but I failed. Well, not entirely, since I decided to add some flavor with one of my favorite figures of the year, plus a toy maker that may be flying under the radar for some of our US collectors.
I also tried to keep in mind that these could be purchases made for you or for a geeky recipient.
NECA – Disney’s Gargoyles – Ultimate Goliath
One of my favorite franchises as a kid, Gargoyles has laid dormant for decades until somebody remembered those were damn good toons, with designs so cool that I could not believe they hadn’t been picked for figures or statues sooner. Luckily, NECA is the master of our nostalgic wallets, and in 2022 they jumped head-on with a whole line of “ultimate figures”.
Granted, the ultimate monicker is an excuse to charge us extra, but at around $35, this Goliath is the stuff of dreams (or nightmares, depending on which expression you pose him with); a decent articulation, 2 faceplates, reaaaally big extended wings, a semi-flexible tail, and some nice accessories all packaged in a MIB friendly package. The figure itself is the perfect middle ground between respecting the original cartoon design and offering us a truly detailed release; the whole line of characters released so far is amazing, but let’s be honest, Goliath’s purple goodness is a must for any fan of the show!
JoyToy – Warhammer 40k – Space Wolves Hunter Pack
If you read my review on this line, you’ll understand why I have to put them on my list. Any fan of the Warhammer 40k lore should know about these collectibles, and probably jump ship from McFarlane to them immediately!
Now it was very hard to pick just one item because first of all there are so many! and second, it’s a very personal choice when you choose a faction or a chapter to follow and collect; but I decided on this one because it’s great to get familiar with the line strengths for an amazing price when you consider it’s a pack of 4 figures plus a bunch of accessories, and besides, the Space Wolves are popular enough to be a safe bet (sure they’re not the amazing and obviously superior Ultramarines, but nothing is perfect -or in-stock- in this life).
DC Direct – 3in Page Punchers – Batman + Batman #608 Comic
Ok, now it’s time for Batman, but WTH! you may think, just give me a moment to explain.
The Page Punchers line is one oddity after another, but at its core, I think is Todd’s love for the medium that saw him rise, and more than that, an attempt to bring comic books to a wider audience. While the 7 inches line has better figures, it’s the smaller ones that actually focus on giving you a quality story with a small collectible token; and I urge you to give it a chance because I’m sure you’re not going to regret it. Even more, this is my top pick if you’re planning to be the cool uncle, or have small siblings: one of the top Batman stories of all time, with a toy that it’s cool enough to adorn any desktop without breaking the bank -they’re 10 bucks a piece-, or even (and I don’t usually endorse this) display it as it is, on its blister.
MAFEX – The New Batman Adventures – No. 137 Batman
Animated versions of Batman are instant classics, and with the recent passing of the icon Kevin Conroy, I’m sure these are going to be in demand for the season.
Now, while there is a wide assortment of options (and certainly cheaper ones) Mafex excels on a couple of fronts: considering that it has to respect the design aesthetics, this figure has a ton of articulation to play with and pose, and it offers the flexibility of both a cloth cape and a flexible rubber one; also a galore of hands. Bonus points go to the Bruce sculpt, which I consider to be the best one yet on any brand. Now granted, the suit is from The New Batman Adventures, rather than BTAS that’s the generally favored one, but still, let’s be honest… you’ll grab both in the end, once the OG one is released.
McFarlane Toys – DC Multiverse – The Dark Knight Returns BAF Batman
Finally, as the “McFarlane guy” I couldn’t end this without a DC Multiverse release, and while I still need to sit and consider which figure was my favorite from 2022, this one definitely falls into the Top 10.
Originally a release for 2021, it got delayed, and even sort of sidetracked behind the artist-proof variants debate; the promo pics didn’t do it justice either, but once I got it on my hands I was speechless. The sculpt on this one is beyond stunning, there’s texture, with wrinkles everywhere on the suit. The muscles are amazing, ripped, and the sheer bulk of his stature is absolutely menacing. There’s the awesome tight articulation sorely missed in most of the McFarlane figures. And the headsculpt… oh my, it’s just raw rage: the brow, the mouth, the tiny teeth. It doesn’t hurt that the paint app is some of the best on the line, with perfect use of skin tone, some subtle stubble, and even perfectly painted lips.
If you’re a fan of TDKR, this is the absolute best you can get in plastic form, and usually for less than its $25 retail price! (it’s on sale in a lot of places all the time).
You can’t put a dollar value on love, but you can base your Christmas budget on it. Got a lot of toy fans on your Christmas list and trying to stick to a budget this holiday season? These are my picks for the 5 types of gifts you might be shopping for, that should help keep you from breaking the bank.
Pass the trash ($10.00)
DC Direct – 3in Page Punchers – Green Lantern Hal Jordan with Green Lantern: Rebirth #1 Comic Book – $9.99
It’s a figure. It’s a comic. It’s a deal! Hal Jordan in all of his Green Lantern glory, in a 3 inch package that should delight any DC fan. There’s currently several different 3 inch Page Punchers, but Green Lantern is my pick.
The Friend ($20.00)
McFarlane Toys – Mortal Kombat – The Batman Who Laughs – $19.99
Got a friend who collects, and you’re not sure what they have already? Well, chances are they may not even know about this one. It’s The Batman Who Laughs but from the McFarlane Mortal Kombat action figure line. It’s not just a re-pop of the McFarlane Multiverse figure. He’s different, he’s weird, he’s in scale to all the other DC Multiverse toys, and he’s friggin’ awesome.
The Good Friend (<$50.00)
McFarlane Toys – DC Multiverse – Booster Gold & Blue Beetle Two-Pack – $41.99
A lot of passive or casual collectors won’t know who they are, but if you have a real comic book enthusiast on your list, this 2-pack will hit the spot. Blue and Gold, complete with smirks and smiles, accessories, and a base.
Super7 – ThunderCats Ultimates! – Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living & Ma-Mutt Two-Pack or Lion-O – $45.00-59.00
Got an 80’s cartoon nostalgia itch you need to scratch? ThunderCats HOOOOO! If you haven’t seen Super7 figures up close, you’re in for a surprise. Both of these figures are beautifully sculpted, meticulously detailed, and loaded with accessories, and they display great in the box or out.
The Significant Other ($100+)
Creative Beasts – Beasts of the Mesozoic – Adult Triceratops action figure – $139.99
Includes (1) 1/18th scale adult Triceratops horridus action figure. This figure measures 18″ long and features 20 points of articulation. It’s huge. It’s detailed. It has an amazing paint job. It will look great on a shelf but is rugged enough to be played with. A centerpiece for any dinosaur enthusiast’s collection.
So I get the last spot, no pressure! For my picks, I decided to spread the love and choose one figure from five different lines. While I could easily do a list of 100 choices or more, here’s my five. These are not necessarily the best figures released this year but each is definitely worth adding to an action figure collection for its own reason. Let’s begin with…
Super7 – TMNT Ultimates – Scratch
Scratch has long been a “grail” figure for the original TMNT line and now’s your chance to own him for a whole lot cheaper and in Super7 Ultimates format. While not a replacement for the original, the chance to add this character to your TMNT collection is still tough to pass up. Comes with a load of accessories including his sidekick Jail Bird.
Mattel – Masters of the Universe Masterverse – 40th Anniversary He-Man
Grab it here: Target
While I had some difficulty locating this in stock online beyond Target, these are definitely out in stores and still shipping. It’s the 40th Anniversary of He-Man and what a way to celebrate by adding this classic look of the main man in Masterverse format to your collection. This is a great one for that MOTU fan on your list as well! Classic look, classic weapons, swap out hands, 7″ figure, and all for under 25.00.
Hasbro – Marvel Legends Series – 90’s Animated X-Men Wolverine
Grab it here: Hasbro Pulse
Hasbro Pulse launched an exclusive line with Disney Store for cel-shaded Marvel Legends X-Men. The cel shading is to give the look of the beloved 90s animated series and in my opinion, the releases have been hit or miss on how well they work. Wolverine is easily my favorite from this series to date as his paint apps photograph extremely well in re-creating scenes that appear directly from the cartoon. I’m sure if you are into Marvel Legends at all you likely own more than one Wolverine already. If you initially passed on this version, do give it another look – especially while it’s part of Hasbro Pulse’s Black Friday sale.
Hasbro – G.I. Joe Classified Series – Croc Master & Fiona
If you are into the GI Joe Classified series at all the odds are you are aware of this deluxe set, #38 in the line. From the moment it was revealed through the initial rush of collectors finally securing one or more for their collections, this set has been straight fire. But with this line, like most others, when the next latest and the greatest thing comes out a lot of people move on. So if you haven’t yet, do pick up the Croc Master and Fiona set. But I also bring this up as the gift potential is pretty high as well. Surprise a kid on your Christmas list or even a friend who used to love G.I. Joe: they’ll both be equally excited.
NECA – Elf – Buddy The Elf
While this isn’t a new release by any means, ’tis the season! Elf has become a regular holiday staple for me and my family and I’m guessing many of you as well. If you don’t own this action figure of Buddy the Elf, complete with bag of spaghetti, snow globe, and maple syrup and dressed in a soft goods outfit, give it a look. It would be a great figure to bring out every holiday season to display for collectors and non-collectors alike. Grab one for your display and one for the friend who isn’t into action figures. Buddy the Elf will save Christmas once again!
Aaaaand that’s a wrap on our picks for 2022!
We hope you enjoyed the article and maybe even discovered something new and fun along the way. And most important of all, we wish you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving weekend. Christmas is just around the corner…