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Top Ten Toys of 2000!

The year A.D. 2000 at last

By Dan Cziraky     December 31, 2000

Well, boys & girls, here it is, the last T.U. of the year A.D. 2000. To celebrate the true beginning of the new millennium, we'll take a look at the Top Ten Toys of the past year. This list was compiled by a select group of a dozen toy collectors from around the world, chosen for their years of knowledge about the hobby. Once their top fifty toys were picked, they were asked to vote for the top twenty semi-finalists. From that list, the top ten were pulled. Then, columnist Dan Cziraky very carefully and deliberately destroyed that list and substituted his own, personal picks! 'It's good to be the king!' he cackled evilly.

10) SPEED RACER: MACH 5 PLAY SET (Resaurus)
This very cool vehicle is the best part of Resaurus' vastly under-appreciated Speed Racer line of action figures. It comes with a variety of accessories, including saw blades, auto-jacks, picnic basket, and exclusive figures of Sprittle and Chim-Chim. Could've been higher on this list if it'd had working headlights!

9) KROFFT SUPERSTARS FIGURES: H.R. PUFNSTUF (Living Toyz)
Even though Sid & Marty Krofft's H.R. Pufnstuf series only lasted seventeen episodes, it was the kind of cultural icon that everyone who grew up in the late '60s clearly remembers. This psychedelic mix of puppets and music spawned other bizarre Krofft series (The Bugaloos, Sigmund & the Sea Monster, Lidsville, Land of the Lost), but the character of Pufnstuf, the lovable dragon mayor of Living Island, was the embodiment of the pure joy that was the Krofft magic.

8)SILENT SCREAMERS: Graf Orlock Just when you thought McFarlane Toys had the lock on delightfully hideous toys, out comes the first release of Silent Screamers from Aztech. This unholy quartet of figures from two classic silent horror movies, 1919's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and 1922's Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau's notorious, unauthorized adaptation of Dracula), were put through the twisted filters in the brains of those maniacs at Art Assylum. While all four are great, the Graf Orlok has that extra element of creepiness the got him on this list. While Aztech Toys is gone, a second series of Silent Screamers is being prepped by Mezco Toys. Also, be on the look out for figures based on Shadow of the Vampire!

7) KING KONG PLASTIC MODEL KIT (Aurora/Polar Lights)
When I was a kid, one of the first model kits I ever built was Aurora's King Kong. Unfortunately, that kit is long gone into the trash heap, although I did a repaint on it as a teenager, not long after the restored version of the classic 1933 film debuted at the D.W. Griffith Theater in New York City in 1975 (of course, this is the version everyone is familiar with, now). Monogram re-released the kit briefly in the early '90s as part of their ill-advised 'Luminators' series, until RKO put the legal squash on it. Now, Polar Lights has legally re-issued it as part of their new Aurora series. It hit the stores just last week, just in time to make this list! Trust me, this kit is a must-have for all true horror fans.

6) BETTIE PAGE DELUXE ACTION FIGURE (Dark Horse)
The gorgeous Bettie Page was at long lasted captured in plastic by top sculptor Steve Kiwus, from designs by Bettie Page artist Dave Stevens. At 6-1/2-inches tall, with seven points of articulation, there's a lot of detail in this mature collectors figure. A removable 'fur' bikini is sure to tempt drooling fanboys, but beware her leopard companion!

5) STAR WARS: POWER OF THE JEDIDARTH MAUL & DARTH VADER: MASTERS OF THE DARK SIDE (Hasbro)
So, of all the great, wonderful new Star Wars figures Hasbro has released this year, this rare two-pack probably best embodies the quality of this line. Great new sculpts of two characters who've already had several figures devoted to them, with innovative articulation (Maul has ball-jointed shoulders) and great paint applications. Hasbro continues to best themselves with every new POTJ wave, but this particular figure set just stood out in 2000.

4)THE SIMPSONS: TREEHOUSE OF HORROR SPRINGFIELD CEMETERY INTERACTIVE ENVIRONMENT (Playmates/Toys 'R' Us Exclusive)
While I'm not a huge fan of these talking toys from The Simpsons (I preferred the highly collectible figures Mattel put out in the early '90s that briefly flooded stores and then evaporated off the shelves), I was really tickled by this play set based on the annual 'Treehouse of Horror' Halloween episode of the long-running, animated series. Ned as Satan, Mr. Burns as Dracula, Homer as King Kong, and Bart as The Flywhat a great diversity! This might have taken the No. 1 spot if only the Homer as King Kong figure had come with a tiny Marge to fit in his balding paw.

3) GODZILLA 2000 (Bandai)
Okay, let's see if I've got as much clout as Rosie O'Donnell: This toy is great! Go out and demand it everywhereeven at stores that don't carry import toys, thereby making it hotter than those insipid 'Tickle Me Elmos' and deadly 'Razor' scooters!

2) ASH FROM ARMY OF DARKNESS (McFarlane Toys)
Do I really need to give a reason for this? This figure rocks, even if it isn't the best likeness from the Movie Maniacs 3 line (that honor goes to the Shaft figure).

1) BARBIE & KEN: THE ADDAMS FAMILY GIFT SET (Mattel)
I'm doing this because a.) nobody'd expect me to give freakin' Barbie this distinction, and b.) it really is a great gift set! Barbie looks hot as Morticia; Ken does a fine job as Gomez (make your own little cigar for him, though), and the packaging is beautiful.

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