With 2013 quickly coming to a close, it’s time to look back on the year, and shine the spotlight on the best things that came out of it. We've been doing that all week long here on FEARnet, and we've thus far taken a look at the best horror movies, television episodes, albums, board games and video games of the year.
Today, it’s all about toys. 2013 was a huge year for the world of horror toys, and quite frankly I don’t think I’m out of line in saying that it was one of the very best years us horror fans/toy collectors have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. My personal collection is looking better than ever as we round out the year, and that’s all thanks to the incredible releases we were given this year.
In no particular order, here are my picks for the 10 best horror toys of 2013!
SUPER 7 – ALIEN RE-ACTION FIGURES
This year was all about retro-inspired toys, and nobody hit a bigger home run in that department than collectibles company Super7. To make a long story short, a line of 3 ¾” Alien figures was supposed to hit toy shelves way back in 1979, courtesy of Kenner, but the line was pulled amidst complaints about a larger size Xenomorph figure that the company had released prior. Back at the 2012 San Diego Comic Con, Super7 announced that they were partnering up with 20th Century Fox to finally release those figures, based on reference materials and original prototypes from the Kenner vault. 34 long years later, the figures were finally made available this month, and housed inside of period authentic packaging. Truly never thought I’d see the day where I got to hold these toys in my own two hands!
MEZCO – 15” CHUCKY DOLL
2013 was a huge year for Chucky, the movie franchise getting a big time shot in the arm with the brand new sequel Curse of Chucky, and news of another impending sequel following in its wake. On the toy front, the pint-sized killer doll was given the Mega Scale treatment by Mezco, a 15” offering that is in my opinion one of the very best Chucky collectibles we’ve ever seen. Featuring real clothing, glass-like eyes and 11 points of articulation, the doll was packaged inside of a yellow Good Guys-inspired box, sealing the deal on this being one of the most must-own toys of the year.
MEZCO - PSYCHO LIVING DEAD DOLLS
Mezco’s Living Dead Dolls line added a few new horror icons to the mix this year, including Chucky and his Bride, Frankenstein and his Bride, and even the well-dwelling Sadako (or Samara, if you prefer). Though it should by all means be a difficult task to pick a favorite release of the year, the hands down winner of that prize is this double dose of Psycho treats, both Norman Bates (as mother) and the ill-fated Marion Crane being given the adorably sinister Living Dead Dolls treatment. Packaged separately, but available as a set, Mezco whipped up incredibly clever packaging for the two dolls, which you can see above.
MCFARLANE – DARYL DIXON 10” FIGURE
Like many Walking Dead fans, I wasn’t exactly impressed with McFarlane’s original Daryl Dixon figure, which was included in Series 1 of their TV line – and quickly became one of the most sought-after toys on the market. The likeness wasn’t all that great and the company’s Walking Dead figures are just a tad bit too small for my liking, but they won me over in a big way this year with this new 10” Daryl Dixon figure, which is more than double the size of all the other McFarlane Walking Dead toys. It’s also the most impressive looking figure they’ve made in the entire line, and the likeness is absolutely incredible. If any character on the show deserves the deluxe edition treatment it’s ole Daryl Dixon, and he sure as hell got it with this awesome figure.
NECA – SPIDER GREMLIN
No company impressed more this year than NECA, who are responsible for all the rest of the toys on this list. In addition to Series 4 of their Mogwai line, comprised of three characters that were based on Rick Baker’s unused concept designs for Gremlins 2, NECA also put out this massive figure of the sequel’s Spider Gremlin, which is the biggest Gremlins action figure they’ve ever produced. Measuring over 10” tall, 15” across and 12” deep, Spider Gremlin features over 30 points of articulation, and is no doubt the coolest and most impressive Gremlins figure of all time. I think it’s safe to say that no Gremlins collection could ever be complete without this massive beast of a figure.
NECA – HICKS VS. XENOMORPH WARRIOR TWO-PACK (ALIENS)
Aliens was another license that NECA did a bang-up job on this year, releasing six individual figures of characters like Hudson, Hicks and of course, a handful of different Xenomorphs. This year also saw the release of this totally badass two-pack, featuring a brand new figure of Corporal Dwayne Hicks (Michael Biehn) as well as a battle-damaged Xenomorph Warrior - bringing to life the scene in the film where Hicks blasts a Xenomorph’s head to bits with his trusty shotgun. Too cool. Private William Hudson (Bill Paxton) will be found in a similar two-pack next year, doing battle with a brown Xenomorph Warrior.
NECA – ¼ SCALE DUTCH SCHAEFER (PREDATOR)
After releasing a handful of series’ of different Predator toys, NECA spiced up the line big time this year by adding Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dutch Schaefer to the mix. Series 8 saw the release of the very first action figure ever made of the character, and Series 9 and the upcoming Series 11 continue the Schwarzenegger love. As if a 7” figure of Dutch wasn’t awesome enough, NECA went even bigger and even more badass with this ¼ scale version of ‘Jungle Patrol Dutch,’ which measures a whopping 18” tall. As happy as I am that this bad boy is now in my life, I can’t help but be bummed about the fact that I never got to play with it when I was a kid!
NECA – POWER GLOVE FREDDY
Two brand new Freddy figures comprised Series 4 of NECA’s Nightmare on Elm Street line, which was released over the summer. First we had Springwood Slasher Freddy, which depicted Krueger before he became a burnt-up dream demon, and then there was Power Glove Freddy, which is in my opinion the coolest Freddy figure we got this year. Based on one of my favorite scenes from Freddy’s Dead, Freddy is rocking his very own version of the Nintendo Power Glove in this figure, which features a highly unique new head sculpt. The sculpt has been criticized by many fans for being far too goofy, but when you compare it to a screen grab from the scene, it’s a pretty damn accurate representation of the look Freddy had on his face when he busts out the Power Glove. NECA seems hell-bent on releasing as many different Freddy figures as possible, based on as many iconic scenes as possible, and that’s a mission I fully support!
NECA – RETRO-STYLE JASON VOORHEES
Though by no means the coolest Jason figure released this year (more on that in a second!), I was highly impressed by NECA’s retro-style rendition of the iconic masked maniac, which was released alongside a similar Freddy figure last month. Based on the old MEGO toys that dominated and revolutionized the action figure market in the 1970s, both figures made for fun additions to the toy collections of us horror fans, but it was Jason who won this battle. Packaged with his machete, axe and even a harpoon gun, NECA’s retro Jason is dressed in real fabric clothing and features a removable mask, revealing an impressive and stylized head sculpt underneath. I can’t say I ever wondered what it’d look like if MEGO made a Jason Voorhees action figure, but I’m damn sure happy that NECA showed me!
NECA – NES JASON VOORHEES
The coolest Jason toy of the year, and in fact the coolest horror toy of all the 2013 releases, is of course NECA’s NES-inspired figure, which took Comic Con by storm this past summer. An exclusive to the event, the highly unique Jason figure soon became the talk of the internet horror community, and can still to this day be found selling on eBay for several times the price it was available for at NECA’s Comic Con booth. Based on Jason’s colorful appearance in the 1989 Friday the 13th NES game, the glow-in-the-dark figure is far and away one of the most unique toys we’ve ever had the pleasure of adding to our collections, and quite frankly well worth every penny of the inflated eBay prices. NECA released an NES-inspired Freddy figure soon after this one, though it was another battle that I’d have to crown Jason the winner of.
Did I leave any toys off that you feel should be included in this list? Comment below and let us know!