Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Dark Lord Dungeon Toy of the Year 2012

The Award
As we usher in the new year, we at the Dark Lord Dungeon would like to take one last look back into the year that was and award the Dark Lord Dungeon Toy of the Year 2012.

The award - that you see on your right (I wonder if anyone can identify exactly what - or who - this is?) is given to the toy that not only has "Given me the most joy" but has given the visitors the most joy as well by garnering a high-amount of page views as well.

This review will go through the past twelve months and recap the best and brightest toys that we've reviewed over the past year. At the end of the review, we will award this year's Toy of the Year.

Now the Toy of the Year Award cannot be given to the Cosplayers who have graced our pages as they ARE NOT TOYS!!! Mind your manners.

First off, let's bid a fond goodbye to our 2011 winner, the Cobra Iron Grenadier! The very first winner of the Dark Lord Dungeon Toy of the Year award regrets nothing about his reign.

He's easily one of the baddest asses on Team Cobra and not only does he have the armor and firepower to back-up his bite, but he has as his main weapon, something any true Geek has wanted strapped to his side since watching Aliens: An M-56 Smart Gun!

True, you have to steal his mounting brace/support arm from Destro, but he's still pretty bad-ass!

And so ends his reign. Off to storage now.

The 2012 Candidates:

January: First on our list of candidates for the 2012 Toy of the Year is the Voyager Class Transformers Prime First Edition Optimus Prime. Reviewed on January 27, 2012, the Transformers Prime First Edition Optimus Prime was praised for it's high detailing, wonderful articulation and better body proportions in comparison to the 2011 SDCC Matrix Prime.

He was criticized for having very little to practically no detailing in truck form - but then none of the Transformer Prime Optimus Primes really had much in terms of detailing in truck form, and for being available in such high-quantities that we recommended waiting for him to go on sale should you ever want one.

February: Flying in before the Avengers rocked the world is Disney/Marvel's Marvel Universe: Iron Man Bleeding Edge Armor. This particular Marvel Universe figure was reviewed on February 25, 2012.

The Marvel Universe: Iron Man Bleeding Edge Armor figure was praised for having an incredible metallic gold and red paint-job; having incredible articulation, and; unlike the more common Marvel Universe figures of today: Actually having a mounting stand.

It was criticized for having limited wrist articulation and that really dorky looking "drop-down" repulsor blast accompanying the figure that really made no sense.

March: March saw the welcoming of an.... oddity into the Dungeon. The Star Wars Republic Attack Dropship. It's an oddity because no one could tell - at the time - if it was an official release or a mistake (Though now it's available on Amazon for US$ 29.99 - Roughly PhP 1,259.58 plus shipping); it was so rare - at that time - that someone actually went to the extent of accusing me of stealing it from Hasbro in China, and; it was featured in jeditempleatchives.

It was praised for the sheer boldness and audacity of its design - sacrificing protection and delivery capacity in exchange for firepower - Both in terms of the trooper's firepower and the Dropship's firepower - and speed (Especially when it switches to fighter mode).

April: April saw the influx of Marvel/Disney's Avengers action figures, including the fine reproduction of what I do believe will someday become one of the most iconic villains in movie history, Loki. The bearer of the Cosmic Spear was reviewed on April 18, 2012.

Cosmic Spear Loki was praised for the incredible tiny detailing that went into his armor, horns and spear. Truly he is a work of art and for that reason alone, you should get one.

He was however criticized for his severe lack of articulation  - a trait that will prove to plague almost all - if not all - of the Marvel Avengers series figures.

May: Move over Avengers and welcome the new Ultra-Poseable Spider-Man. While Spider-Man did not quite do in the box-offices what the Avengers was able to accomplish thanks to the comparison between Tobey Macquire and Andrew Garfield, they did give us one of the most - as advertised - pose-able action figures in the market today. Reviewed May 19, 2012.

The Ultra-Poseable Spider-Man was praised for, of course, the high articulation. In fact were it not for the grainy texture of the new Spider-Man's outfit, he would be a perfect tabula rasa for custom figures.

I did however criticize him for wearing rubber shoes.

June: Half way through the year we featured another classic-icon, the Movie-Masters Dark Knight Rises Batman. Reviewed June 24, 2012.

The Movie-Masters Dark Knight Rises Batman features the 2nd Batman outfit - lighter, more mobile, less armor - introduced in the Dark Knight - the sequel to the Batman Begins movie.

The figure was praised again for the intricate detail but was also criticized for being nothing more than a reissue of the Movie Masterpiece figure from the Dark Knight movie - down to his vambrace scallops being covered in excess plastic that needs to be cut away.

July: July brought out the second Prime in this list, the Weaponizer Optimus Prime. Not quite my favorite Prime - which is saying a lot since I'm a fan of the over-the-shoulder mounted weapons system. Reviewed July 15, 2012.

I really bashed this figure so I'm not so sure why it was so popular. The only thing it had going for it was that it was big and had over-the shoulder mounted weapons. Other than that, it's bulky, has a huge backpack, a slit that travels the length of his torso like a sword strike, empty legs and ball joints at his hips which make him top heavy and reduces his pose-ability.

But he's a popular read apparently in the Dungeon.

August: August was an interesting month. The Dungeon had its first exhibit for the year thanks to the folks at Cybertron Philippines during the Toy Kingdom Toy Expo at the MOA:

August also saw the Dungeon's review of the Daredevil from the Marvel Universe 2-pack that also featured Bullseye. Reviewed August 16, 2012.

I do believe I said that this was the best Daredevil to come out of the Marvel Toy Machine. It's near perfect and better than the Daredevils that have come from the Marvel Legends line. We hailed Daredevil for it's exquisite facial sculpt and inspired red/blood red paint scheme.

The only things that we could site as wrong with him was that the holster for his billy-club tended to hamper the articulation of his left leg and his DD logo tended to disappear.

September: FOC Bruticus - nuff said.

October: In October, I lucked upon the Vintage Edition of Ahsoka Tano, Jedi Padawan to Anakin Skywalker. Reviewed October 11, 2012.

Ahsoka was praised for being an acceptable non-jailbait and less pedophile feeling action figure than the normal Ahsoka Tano figures that we're accustomed to. We also praised the detailing that went into her bodice and head-tail jewelry.

On the downside, she's surprisingly not as pose-able as most Star Wars Vintage action figures should be. 

And I had such high hopes for this figure. Especially after seeing the high-articulation of the Vintage Editions of Boba Fett, Luke Skywalker and Darth Maul

October also had me in another exhibit at Robinson's Manila: Collecticon 2012 thanks to my brothers in Star Wars Knights:

November features another Star Wars figure, the Star Wars Vintage Edition General Obi Wan Kenobi. Reviewed November 4, 2012 - my birthday.

What we have going for General Kenobi is a wonderful set of armor backed by high-articulation and nice, rugged detailing. We have to definitely give him points for coolness (Hey! It's an armored Jedi Knight!)

What's wrong with him? His articulation is not as high as that of the vintage editions of  Luke Skywalker and Darth Maul. His articulation is more akin to that of Boba Fett. Also, he has big feet.

December: Sadly my real job has reduced the amount of time I have to blog, so there's not much there. But we did feature the Fall of Cybertron Ultra Magnus! Reviewed December 20, 2012.

Well everyone did comment how the FOC Optimus Prime looked like Ultra Magnus, so here he is. But they just didn't upgrade Prime, they made Ultra Magnus really bad ass!

You have to love the new facial sculpt and the Sword! How could you not love that sword! It's perfect as it is, but you can actually break it down even more or expand it to make an even more powerful weapon! truly Inspired.

The only thing wrong about him? LIke his brother, he has huge sagging breasts.



Since he was such a pain-in-the ass yet such a blessing to begin with. Congratulations to George Lucas and more power to all the Toy manufacturers in 2013!!!! 
I'd like to thank you all for whatever the hell this is. If you don't like the results, talk to my guards.

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