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Top 10 Action Figures of the Year

Did your favorite make the list?

By Robert T. Trate     December 19, 2008

12 inch Deluxe Jason Figure
© Trate/Mezco


This year I saw a lot of toys. Most of which had their debut at the International Toy Fair (February) in New York City only to premiere to the public at the San Diego Comic Con (July). Probably the toughest thing this Toy Maniac had to do was look at them and not be able to buy any of them (they don’t sell toys at the trade show). I have done my best to get the word out to all you Toy Maniacs who simply must have your tiny plastic action figure collectibles. Here is my list of the top 10 Action Figures that I saw this year. To be fair the following list is in no particular order.
Jason Voorhees is set to make a huge comeback in February of 2009. Mezcotoyz has been making variations of him from his different films for years. By far their best, this year, was their 12 inch deluxe Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th Part 7 The New Blood. With over seven points of articulation and details from the stuntmen and actors that have portrayed him Jason is an action figure worth going to the ends of the Earth for (see header picture).
DC Direct had two exclusives at the San Diego Comic Con this year. One was a Batman and the other was a Joker both were to commemorate DC Direct’s 10th Anniversary. Complete with straight jacket and maniacal grin, the Joker sold out on the first day. For some reason the white feet do it for me. The fact that he really has no arms makes leaving him in the package even easier. Thus, he will forever retain his value.

Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof was not the box office block buster the studios hoped it would it be. It is a shame because both Death Proof and Planet Terror were great films and perfect homages to the genre they were imitating. When movies like this don’t do so well their action figures and collectibles disappear off the radar. NECA toys produced an amazing likeness of Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike and it easily makes the list. If I were ranking them on a scale from 1 to 10 I would have placed Stuntman Mike at number one. That is, if only he came with his car. 



The Mighty Muggs line has boomed over the last year, encompassing characters from the Marvel, Star Wars and Indiana Jones universes. By far my favorite from the entire run is the Mola Ram Mighty Mugg from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Not really a fan favorite villain as villains go but this action figure comes with a maniacal smile and a burning heart! I was on the hunt for this bad boy for a while. He now sits proudly on the toy shelf.


Now I know the Watchmen action figures aren’t out yet but the Rorschach action figure has to make the list. Never have I wanted to smash a display case more and make a run for it then I did when I saw this toy. The great thing about Rorschach’s figure is when it does hit the toy stores and specialty shops he will be in overabundance. He is the fan favorite so there will be tons of them packed in the boxes. He won’t be the variant or the short ordered figure. If the Watchmen does do a huge belly flop this March the best thing to come out of it will be the action figures. Finally we’ll have a Rorschach of our very own. 

G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra will hit the big screen in August of 2009. With Brendan Fraser as Gung Ho and Stephen Sommers directing its outcome does not look good. Thankfully Hasbro has been releasing tons of G.I. Joe figures to stir up the hype for the film. With a George Lucas mentality Hasbro is making every character and every likeness from the comic book and TV show. The best Cobra Commander to date (the Mighty Mugg came pretty close) is the SDCC exclusive hooded Cobra Commander in the black suit. It reminds us all of how sinister and diabolical Cobra Commander was in the comic and erases the memory of the bungling fool from the cartoon. Cobra!
He’s big, bad, beautiful and stands 18 inches tall. The original Alien was given a whole new sculpt by NECA toys and the details are unbelievable. You can probably order him from one of the numerous toy sites online but look for him to be sitting somewhere at Spencer’s Gift or Hot Topic. It is the translucent skull that does it for me. Perhaps he and Jason will go toe to toe in their next film meeting? Well, at least they will on my toy shelf.

His price tag maybe a bit steep ($100) but if you rationalize it that you are getting four figures and they don’t take up any additional space then the 1:6 scale Hal Jordan Green Lantern with three additional interchangeable heads is totally worth it. Now you can be Tomar Re, Abin Sur or NautKeLoi if Hal Jordan is getting to be a bit of a bore. For me the Abin Sur head is the clincher and makes the figure. 

Sure Superman Returns didn’t really return Superman to his former movie glory. It did however remind us all how great Christopher Reeve was as the man of steel. DC Direct will release a Superman Christopher Reeve Statue Limited Edition next year. Having seen it up close I have to say it the best likeness of Reeve as Superman. The perfect tribute to the man and the character he brought to life.  

Hellboy returned to the big screen this year in an original tale by Guillermo del Toro. Mezcotoyz created an 18 inch deluxe Hellboy action figure that is at Sideshow Collectible standards but a price we can afford. His details are unbelievable and with his 12 points of articulation and Big Baby Gun shotgun he easily belongs on the top ten list.

There are my top ten action figure collectibles of the year. Rest assured Toy Maniacs I will continue, diligently, to bring you all the latest figures in the coming year. The International Toy Fair is going to be awesome with new Star Trek, Watchmen, Wolverine and G.I. Joe figures set to debut. Check out the Toy Maniac column every week for all the latest.

RETRO Toy Commercial of the week:
There were so many Toy Commercials in the Eighties that many of them blur together. There was one that always stuck with me and thanks to YouTube I actually found it. Now it looks bad but the sound is superb. In this short commercial/ adventure a Star Wars Snowtrooper gets wounded and the rebels’ medical droid heals him! Sure they were the good guys but you can bet the Imperials never did that. Don’t believe me? There was never an Imperial medical droid action figure, was there?



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JoshGordon 12/19/2008 3:33:23 AM

Love those toys! Those Hal Jordan and Chris Reeve figures are awesome! If I only had more room and more money, I would be awash in toys.

AMiSHPiRATE 12/19/2008 7:06:13 AM

 What about the Cylon Toaster?  Shouldn't that count as a toy?  um...  maybe not for little kids, but toast enthusiasts, surely!

themovielord 12/19/2008 8:22:15 PM

If it bakes bread it is not a toy. I also left off voice changers from this list. THe bloody cylon from SDCC came awfully close from joing this list. ~ Robert

darkheart00 12/19/2008 9:23:31 PM

 The Mezco "Cinema of Fear" Jason is probably numero uno on my list for this year.  I have a high quality prop Jason mask and the two look fantastic side by side in one of my display cases.



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