Josh Coldiron's #toptentoysof2017!



Today we take a look at the selection from Josh Coldiron (www.noritoy.com / Instagram @noritoy / Twitter @NoriToy), with images and words for toys ranging from robots to cartoon characters! Josh also has a YouTube channel where he talks MORE about his toys, so you should check it out here on YouTube.com/norimovingpictures, and SUBSCRIBE!
"Another year goes by, and its time to reflect on this past years toys I have acquired. I had been quite busy this year, and had actually cut back on grabbing every new toy that caught my attention. As space has grown tighter in my collection of a couple thousand figures on display, I have actually let go of some of my figures. I sold off doubles and some figures that didn’t feel necessary in my collection to make a few spots for new items. While it was difficult to let go, I found it was a necessary evil to this hobby, unless I someday plan on opening a museum. Even with letting some go, I will likely need to get another cabinet, but it's the sacrifices we must make in this toy life we lead. I also tried to branch out some this year. Transformers are a really easy thing to collect. Many are inexpensive, and they are carried everywhere. Even though I did get quite a few of them this year, some other things really stood out for me over those. So onto my top 10 of 2017!" - shared Josh Coldiron.

#10 - Sentinel Mechatro WeGo X Hatsune Miku: "While I never jumped on the Hatsune craze, I can understand some of the appeal to her design. I was however a fan of adventure time’s style, in which she is depicted in this release as well as fan of robots. I have wanted a WeGo for a while, but considering the price here in the west for a three inch tall figure, I wanted to get the one I found the most interesting. This came with a nicely design Hatsune Miku figure, as well as some add-ons for the robot that are inspired by her look. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the robot. It had diecast, and could fully disassemble down to the frame. While this is a neat gimmick on its own, it actually encourages you to get at least one more (which I did) as you can swap part out and make your own pattern with a variety of colors and parts. I did not feel the interchangeability warranted me to buy a slew of these, however it was something fun to mess around with. What puts it on my list? Its unique design, play factory and build quality. Once you handle one, the price makes a lot more sense. It can make a neat desk toy, especially since it comes with its own mini display case."


#9 - DC Bomb Shells Harley Quinn: "Is this a toy or a plastic statue? That debate could be applied to many rotocasted figures. If you think back to non-articulated pocket toy soldiers, or wooden dolls that we accept as toys, then the lack of moving parts does not decide the argument. Regardless of your stance on this, about all my toys are display pieces, as is this. So I will accept this as a something that fits that category. Out of all the bombshell sculpts I liked this one the best. I have been burned out by the HQ hype train for some time, but I still like the look of this figure and how it references 50s bomber plane decals. It’s nicely detailed, and seems well made for the price. It’s also nice to see a depiction of Harley that is not modeled after the Suicide Squad design."


#8 - Transformers Master Piece Artfire: "Ideally, Masterpiece Transformers are the ones a collector should go after. As of late, they have been coming out at such a furious pace that they are sort of hard to keep up with. They are expensive, and yet sometimes flawed in their execution. Many times they are repaints, and I personally have lost interest in owning a variety of the same toy in different colors, so I choose the one I like best for my collection.

This mold was a real change in the MP aesthetic. The robots are streamlined to appear more like the animation models. For myself, I had chosen the 3rd entry of this mold. First there was Inferno, which I had always liked. My issue with him was his legs were so solid with red that nothing much broke them up visually. Next came out was Grapple, whom I always liked the rendition of in his G1 incarnation. He had a better leg design as well as the color was broken up. His design suffered a similar issue, but it was his head that seemed like it needed more color. They both looked good, and had loads of interesting accessories, but it wasn’t until the release of Art Fire that I felt I needed to snag him right away.

I was not familiar with his character as I was with the previous two. He was a Japanese based character. While he seemed to have the major components of Inferno, and the arms of Grapple he had his own interesting set of colors to break up the design as well as tampo graphics. I liked these graphics as they captured the retro feel of the transformers figures. While he did not come with the other interesting accessories like his brothers, he did come with a gun that turned into another robot. He was a sharp looking bot, with a cool fire truck mode. What really makes him a brilliant toy is his transformation. The way parts shift, and collapse to hide much of what was a detailed vehicle into a very streamlined robot. The vanishing ladder has got to be one of the better-done pieces of engineering in recent Transformers history."



#7 - Master Made Destroy Scorpion Statue Series: "Jesus, another statue? Well yes, sort of. This is actually a part of another toy. If you read last years entry, and the one before that—Master Made has made figures two years in a row that has been in my top 10. And while they released another figure this year, I actually passed on it. I was cutting down on what I bought, and the pictures hadn’t sold me. Well black Friday rolled around, and two add-ons they also released this year happened to be on sale. So I bit.

They are busts from figures they made, but rather than looking super deformed, they have a more traditional proportion. The busts light up, and look cool as is. In actuality, they come apart and replace components on the main figures to make them have a more serious aesthetic. I got the one from last years top 10 Omega Supreme tribute, as well as the one for the Scorponok tribute I had not yet bought. I was a little let down by the Omega version. It looked good, but could have used some dark colors or elements to break up the muted colors. The scorpion version however was brilliant. The entire design was so fresh, and something I had been longing for quite some time. It is so awesome in fact; I think I am going to have to pick up the main figure to combine this with."



#6 - Matrix Monster Fiery Dragon: "What a surprising find. I had been familiar with 3rd party Transformers for a while, like no7 on this list. I have even seen 3rd party Gundam to an extent. This the first one I had come across that I was not sure if it was 3rd party or first party. If not apparent at first, this is inspired by the Monster Hunter video game. My first experience with the franchise was the great figures Touma had designed for it. Since that was a stylized take on the game’s characters, I thought this might be as well. I was sort of torn between this figure and 52Toy’s beast box for this spot. Both figures have a similar style, but the Matrix Monster packed in a whole lot more engineering and playability in their figure. I love the sculpt, as well as all of its features. It was great enough to where I picked up one of the cats from the line. The whole line is clever, and has neat gimmicks. It seems the line is long dead, but I would love to see more figures come out of it."


#5 - Seaspray: "Oh the hunt! This is one of the things fans love about collecting Transformers. They are carried at many retailers, but it seems the greatest figures in the line either have spotty distribution or are poached by scalpers upon release. In my hectic life I have grown tired of the hunt. Even to the point where I have a differential increase for what I am willing to pay for certain figures. I calculate the amount of time and fuel I would waste hunting store to store to come up with my top price. If I see it online for less than that, I jump right away. This was one of those figures. A few 3rd parties figures had come out at the same time of this same character, but there is something Hasbro is doing with these legends figures that are making them some of the best transformers in recent memory. Their simple, yet fun transformations, as well as their wonderful bot modes have made these my favorites. I never had ties to this character as a kid, but I think it is one of the best legends Transformers to come out, perhaps ever."


#4 - Wendy’s Creative Characters: "I had not been so excited about a blind box sort of toy in a while as I had with this latest release from the fast food chain Wendy’s. At least I thought it was a blind box figure until we figured out there was a small number on the bottom of the box to let you know which you were getting. It was a plus that my daughter was digging them too as she happily took my extras. The designs are nice, and incorporation of paper is clever. The printing quality is far better than expected for something that costs $1.50, and nearly every design was a solid concept. These are worth the hunt. I feel these will go down as being some of the best kid’s meal toys released in the US of this generation, even though they may be lost to obscurity by not being from the big “M.” These certainly feel more geared towards older collectors than kids."


#3 - Funko Scroodge McDuck: "I present you a challenge. I will be talking about a toy from 90s cartoon that had one of the catchiest theme songs of all times. You’ll have to try and resist, but I expect your brain will do what it must. When I tell you about this great toy from “Duck Tales” your brain has likely already put the needle on the record and added a woo-oo after that. Resist all you like, but that is likely in your head the rest of the day. I don’t mind myself. I love the theme song. And I love this toy. This is the sort of toy the Disney Afternoon cartoons deserve, and now they finally have them. Funko has branched out and are now doing a more detailed well-sculpted figure. This figure looks like it jumped right out the screen, and is excellent executed. Nostalgia isn’t the only factory at play putting this toy so high on my list. It’s also a really nice looking display piece— woo-oo."


#2 - Commemorative Edition: Powermaster Optimus Prime: "There are two toys in this photo. Well actually a few, but there are two main characters depicted. Super Ginrai, aka Power Master Optimus Prime. I had the Hasbro original release as a kid. Even then I thought it looked a little goofy. The fact it was a giant brick didn’t faze me so much as the overly large head. I think about 30% smaller, and the head would be proportionate to this mode. The thing I didn’t know when I was a kid is there was another upgrade in Japan that made his body even bigger. Looking at it now I actually don’t mind the large head. Its still a pretty cool display piece, but this was my first real fidget transformer. It has one of the most satisfying clicks of any Transformer I own, and I own a few hundred of them. I showed this to some non-collectors who didn’t get what I was saying, but when they dropped his cab into the armor, they “ah’ed” in response.

So why are there two versions here? I hadn’t held a PM Prime since the late 80s. I always wanted a modern version. I had owned a few third party nods to the figure, but nothing that really captured it. For Hasbro’s Titan’s return line they released a somewhat derpy retool of the Ultra Magnus figure they had. It had some cool features, and was a headmaster now, but the feet were awful, and the cab didn’t turn into a separate robot. Takara announced they would release a retooled version in Asia. It had better hands, new feet, and a more G1 inspired chest. It was an improvement, but I was still on the fence about it. A third party company called Perfect Effect came along and made an excellent transforming replacement cab.

The robot mode looked much more like the animation model, and convinced me this could be my modern PM Prime. The Takara version was over twice the price, and was only going up. Hasbro announced they would bring over the figure in a box set at a cheaper price and call it Magnus Prime. I didn’t care about the name; it was essentially the same figure.
The preorder seemed to take forever for both Magnus, and the PE replacement cab. During that time I decided to find myself a second hand version of the PM Prime.

This version was a Toysrus import of the Takara Ginrai. Like the modern version, it too was a retool. It has diecast, better hands as well as the addition God Armor add on. It was a slightly different gray for the trailer, but it would not suffer from fade like the original did. I was happy with it. It still had that glorious click, and was a nice hefty retro looking block of robot goodness. When I finally got my new version I was happy at first. It looked cool. The cab upgrade, and new head were excellent. The reality was though it was fiddly. Not so much the PE upgrade, but the Hasbro armor. It didn’t stand well, it was a pain to make into a trailer, and it didn’t look great enough for the trouble it brought.

I bought this toy, telling myself it would be my last toy for a while. That was a lie, but it was an attempt at convincing myself. Its not a terrible toy, but it didn’t do for me what I really wanted out of it. As it turned out, the old version scratched that itch better. And while I don’t care about the God Armor, and I would like a slightly smaller version of the head, it still makes me quite happy."



#1 - Cyberbots: "The top of my list for ‘17, was something I always wanted, but for some reason was always hesitant to pull the trigger. It was also my last purchase of the year. From the time I first saw this wicked looking robot arm enter the screen on Marvel vs Capcom 2, I had to know what the rest of it looked like. I was not disappointed.

I learned it was a mech from the Saturn game Cyberbots: Full Metal Madness, which was a spin off of the Armored Warriors arcade game. The mech was a nice design. It had elements that reminded me of Votoms, all the while it still had its own flare. Sentinel has released the figure in the Riobot line, and yet I still didn’t grab it. I was already buying other sentinel figures, but something about the pictures didn’t push me into this figure. After getting to see some videos I decided to give it a chance, and I am glad I did.

Sentinel are masters of engineering. When you move joints other parts move or are designed in a way to make it look like a mechanical joint is there. Not just something on a ball joint or ratchet. There are loads of poseability, and even more loads of diecast. This mini gokin is something that is so well made, I can mess with it with little fear of breaking. It has so many elements I can appreciate; poseability, fit and finish, excellent engineering, as a great aesthetic. It certainly earns the top spot in my list of toys I got in 2017."

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