The Top Ten Toys of 2012


Remember how I said I didn’t feel qualified to list awards for the best toys of the year? Well, I was asked by the new Topless Robot editor Luke Thompson to come up with a list of the top ten toys of 2012, so I went ahead and did it anyway.

Topless Robot’s Top Ten Toys of 2012

TR is an entertainment website, and the term “top” isn’t exactly precise, so don’t interpret this as the most “critically acclaimed” toys, but rather the most popular/interesting/notable toys of the year. When writing a list for TR I try to write for geeks of all stripes, not just toy collectors. Oh, and the addition of S.H.MonsterArts Spacegodzilla was a pure indulgence on my part, I’ll admit (though it is a great figure and worthy of being on the list).

For the record, ThreeA’s Metal Gear Solid Rex nearly made the list, as did the Avengers SDCC Helicarrier and Figma Link. It was a tricky list to write. 2012 may have been one of the best years for toys since the early 2000s.


Pic of the Day > Lugnut by rodpowley952


Pic of the Day > dont mess with The **** Off Bear by Shindanrod


  1. DavetheBrave

    Kudos on a great list. I always find it interesting whenever 1/6 stuff is listed alongside other, more mass market stuff. Although some collectors (like me) collect both, there tends to be a divide between the two collector communities, especially the guys who collect the cheaper stuff and look at 1/6 people as crazy for blowing so much money on man-dolls. Still, I love to see the acknowledgement of some of the really incredible 1/6 stuff outside of the 1/6 community, and perhaps the best representative in years is old Iron Monger. I really am not exaggerating when I say that this figure will blow your mind if you ever see him in person, anatomy be damned. Hot Toys figures are the closest thing I can get to that pure wide-eyed awe of a new toy that I would get as a little kid when I would be handed a new Transformer or something of the like.

    • Every time I see a Hot Toys figure in person my mouth always starts to water…

      I don't see why you can't have a mass market toy on the same list as an indie-"7th market" toy and then high-end collectables. Its all relative anyways.

    • ridureyu

      I have yet to see a Hot TOys figure in person, but THE PICTURES!!!

      Though that $500 price tag is kind of horrible.

    • ridureyu

      I've seen the Iron Monger in person. it's amazing, but… $500.

  2. Dead Man Walking

    I admit that I'm not a Gylos fan in the least–I mean, fan-started companies are always cool, but the figures still look and amateurish to me, and I'm not sure why they get a pass from the articulation-obsessed denizens of the action figure collecting world. I do think the Amovor is the coolest Gylos I've seen, but it still seems RIDICULOUSLY incongruous for it to be on a "bests" list that includes really any MP Transformer or Hot Toy.

    • Again, "top" can be interpreted many different ways. I was going for a mix of toys that were critically acclaimed, popular, funny, particularly geek-related, or had an impact in some way on the collector community. (Otherwise I could theoretically fill the list with Hot Toys and ThreeA figures, but what's the fun in that?)

      The Armorvor sells out within minutes every time it goes up and has attracted many non-Glyos fans, so I felt comfortable putting it in there.

    • stack32

      You're right that it's incongruous to have the Armorvor on the list with those others, it's so much better that there really isn't any comparison. I kind of feel sorry for the other toys.

    • At that point why not argue for that it should be all MP Transformers and Hot Toys then? Obviously MP Optimus Prime is a superior toy to the NICK TMNT figures, right? Then they have no business being on there either.

    • Dead Man Walking

      PrfktTear is right, this list should be all MP 'formers and Hot Toys. Thanks for the support, buddy.

  3. Black Arbor

    I don't think the Iron Monger should be Number 1, and do you know why? Because, the Obadiah Stane figure sits way to low in the torso to be believable. Granted we're talking about a 10 foot tall battle suit, so being believable is kind of tough , but even in the movie he was placed properly in there.

    • Does the fact that I didn't notice that at all count for anything?

      I knew I should have put the ThreeA Rex on the list…

    • ridureyu

      I just saw the Ironmonger in person. It really is a thing of incredible beauty, but…

      …I'm sorry, the price tag ruins it for me.

    • DavetheBrave

      Collecting Hot Toys is a weird thing when it comes to money. If you are serious about collecting them, and enjoy them enough, you find a way to pay for it, be that saving or a payment plan or whatever. If you can't imagine spending that much on a toy, then you don't, and that totally makes sense cause holy crap 500 dollar Iron Monger. They are most definitely not for everyone, and the price is the reason why. I'm not trying to justify the prices as much as I am trying to explain how I have kind of grudgingly accepted that they will always be very expensive, like if I was collecting something more expensive like car parts or comic art or something. To me, at least, they are worth it. I'd rather pass on a wave of Marvel Legends with only 2 characters I care about and instead put that money on a masterpiece of a character I do really love, like a T-800 or '89 Batman. I guess I am just highlighting the diversity of collector bases this article covers!

    • I don't think anyone would argue that Hot Toys are some of the finest high-end collectors items out there. Even calling them "toys" almost seems innacurate. By definition a "toy" is an object for a child to play with, and lucky be the child that gets to play with a Hot Toys figure.

      I think the Masterpiece Transformers can be put into the same category. They are high-end, very pricey, but there is a reason why they have the moniker "MASTERPIECE" — Most Deluxes cost in the range of about fifteen bucks right now, which all things considered, is still pretty good compared to what most 6" figures are costing these days.

    • Cont'd

      When the TRU MP-10 Prime first hit shelves he was $99.99, of course then they got greedy and some places he went up to around $120 or so. So you can either have 6-8 "deluxe" figures (which these days are barely passing for "deluxe" by defintion and in comparison to their ilk just a few years ago) or you can have 1 MASTERPIECE.

      I think at the end of the day it all comes down to what sort of collector you are, how much you like a certain character and of course how much you are willing and/or able to pay. I just hope people aren't putting themselves into serious debt over this stuff, but thats another subject entirely.

    • ridureyu

      The figurers that cost $100-$200 are holy wow expensive, but possible and reasonable and affordable. It starts getting sketchy at #300, but then… wow, $500.

  4. Harrig

    I love the reference to Dr. Pretorius – that was a fantastic performance and an interesting, very, very creepy character – horror could do with more like him!

    Good list!

  5. But Poe… the Armorvor isn't a real toy. Remember?


    • Uh oh, did I say something dumb at some point…?

    • ridureyu

      No, Yo did on OAFE. It caused a mini board fight for a bit, but was kinda funny. basically:

      -Someone nominated the Armorvor as toy of the year.

      -Yo said "No, I meant real toys, not the venjo-thingy."

      -First guy got offended, asked why eevrybody hates glyos.

      -Monkey boy said that, while glyos stuff is cool, it's not his cup of tea.

    • Bigbot

      I didn’t get offended, but to just dismiss it as not a toy at a site that’s motto is “buy the toys, not the hype” seems counter-productive to that. Monkey boy’s response was well put though.

    • ridureyu

      Thanks for the clarification. And don't worry, I thought Yo was being silly, too. That's why I mocked his "It's not a toy!" response.

    • What the hell does "venjo" mean?

    • ridureyu

      Who knows. I'm pretty sure they just mash their knuckles on a keyboard when it's time to name a repaint, so the first Armorvor was "Venjorun," or something like that. The recent gold one is "Aurustell."

  6. Misterbigbo

    My son got that Leonardo for Christmas and he loves it. Totally playable and sturdy, and a nice design to boot.

    And if I ever won the Power Ball I’d have a room totally devoted to Hot Toys; tiny little stern-faced celebrities in glass cases to freak out my guests.

    • And I would be one of those people freaked out by it.

      Yeah, the Leonardo is great. Dave's son Aaron has a bunch of those too. BTW, you should have seen Aaron mesmerized by the Filmation He-Man at our house a couple of weeks ago. He watched two hours of it via Netflix.

    • misterbigbo

      I've got some He-Man DVDs at the house, but I'm not sure if Ben's quite ready for that just yet; a tad young still, but honestly I'd have to re-watch them it's been so long. He really doesn't like intense action and gets nervous. I had to shut off Disney's Cars halfway through because he was too worried about the well-being of Lightening McQueen. . . he's a lover, not a fighter.

      I was at least two or three years older than him when I first saw Masters on TV. He knows all about many of the characters from the vintage figs I've given him and from the MOTUC I have lying around, so it would be interesting to see what he thinks of the Filmation stuff.

      Since nobody asked me, I'd have to include some NECA stuff on my list for 2012, like Rocky or Robocop, and definitely Snake from Play Arts Kai Metal Gear Solid. Bestest toy for me for 2012.

    • Brings back memories… I was that kid who'd have to look away or turn something off anytime there was some sort of conflict.

  7. ero

    Before I even read it, I just want to say that I'm glad you did it. You've been taking all of this waaay too seriously lately. I want to see Poe having fun again!

  8. antoine

    i don't know man , that's kind of a lame and not very playfull top 10…

  9. Bigbot

    I've never seen the film with Space Godzilla, but I thought his design looked familiar. Now I know since I did beat Super Godzilla when it was the last cool looking game on the shelf when I rented it. Now I'm kind of kicking myself for not ordering it as well when it was for sale on HLJ.

    Glad to see the Armorvor get some love. Even happier to see that Iron Monger. If there was one Hot Toys figure I'd get, it'd be that one.

  10. dayraven

    is that MLP really called "derpy" or is that you taking a dig at them? cuz the idea that they'd name it derpy in house is kinda… derpy.

    gotta say, i agree w/ your list pretty much with one exception (and it would be my pet project vs yours, so it's merely a matter of taste) i'd put the cleatus 2.0 robot over space godzilla. he's huge, he's well made, and he's reasonably priced… and if noisy ever gets my guest review posted, you can see that for yourself :). i already snagged a second bot, and am heavily considering a third. he blows away anything jazwares has done in their entire time as an action figure company. he's a giant robot, what's not cool about that? and he comes in any team color you like from the NCAA or NFL, so finding one you like is not tricky. personally, while the 1.0 bot may have a slight edge in unique sculpting, i think the 2.0 was in every other respect the much superior toy, and when more customizers get wind of the figure, and discover how available he is, i think we're going to see a lot of that frame. he just hasn't gotten the press he deserves yet.

    • I was really tempted to get the Patriots 2.0 bot, but I don't like the colors very much – the Patriots never have that much red on their uniform. If I see it for a good price I still might cave, though.

      And yes, as JG notes above, Derpy is all too real.

    • dayraven

      dude, is currently running 30% off everything and free shipping on orders over $75… and the last time i checked, bed bath and beyond is still running 50% off their NFL merch, cleatus included… that sale might be over, i last checked last week, and mine was out of cleati, but the sale was still going.

    • Yeah… I can't say I like that color scheme… just doesn't look very Patriots-y.

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