Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dark Lord Dungeon Toy of the Year 2013

The Toy of the Year Awards 2013 in the Dark Lord Dungeon! It's that time again when we go through all the toys that we've featured here in the Dark Lord Dungeon and give out the coveted title to that single toy that gave us - you readers and I - the most joy in 2013.

One of the twelve toys - not counting the R2D2 bar, Metroplex and the Artwine Dark Lord Dungeon mascot, will walk away with this! This..... thing. (Oh who are we kidding? It's the Tedryn Holocron featuring the Jedi Guardian Vodo-Siosk Baas).

Sadly 2013 was not a very good year for blogging/bragging, thanks to a very hectic professional and personal schedule. But we at the Dungeon are thankful for all of your support and patronage and for taking the time to visit the Dungeon and looking at the toys that dwell inside.

Onto the winners!

First off, we want to give an honorary Toy-of the Year to Metroplex, who was never featured in the Dungeon, but who appeared in the pages of my day-job magazine, UNO - specifically UNO 89 (Kit Barraquias and Karen Bordador on the cover).

We give this award because of the sheer impact that a toy of his magnitude has made to so many toy collectors - which includes the many lost girlfriends, wives and relationships thanks to the creation of this wonderful Autobot.

We also love Metroplex not just because he's big, but because of the wonderful articulation that's totally unexpected from someone of his size.

May a Fortress Maximus not be far behind.

On to the awards!

January: Fall of Cybertron Starscream:

Despite being a pontificating windbag that runs around as if Megatron kicked him in the Gonads in the Transformers Fall of Cybertron video game, the toy version of Starscream was lauded for being an incredibly video-game accurate recreation, fine articulation and the ability to transform into a 3rd mode - a "Gerwalk" - if you follow the Macross terminology - that was really cool.

The FOC Starscream was cited for having a plane mode that did not quite have a boost mode and which wasn't quite nice to look at - personal slights, entirely forgivable.

Again as a sidenote though, flying was incredibly difficult.

February: Beast Hunters Commander Class Optimus Prime:

I'm honestly not quite sure how this little guy beat the Year of the Snake Omega Supreme and the bodacious ta-tas of the Red She-Hulk, but he did.

The Commander Class Beast Hunters Optimus Prime is literally the smallest finalist for the Dark Lord Dungeon Toy of the Year competition.

We criticized him for having an empty behind and being unable to turn his head - though we did admit that perhaps we were demanding too much from such a little guy that came with such high articulation.

But he is one of the better buys of 2014.

March: Beast Hunters Starscream:

Believe it or not, another pontificating Wind-Bag made it into this year's finalists.

Hands down this is one of the sexiest additions to the Dungeon in 2013. I even criticized him for being... "feminine" coz he's just that hot - but twice as deadly thanks to all those blades and spikes that adorn his Beast Hunters armor.

Like his FOC counterpart, the Beast Hunters Starscream also boasts of a third, "Gerwalk" form.

The other thing he was heavily criticized because of his "thunderclaw" which was absurd-idly large.

That and that he had the same facial sculpt as the Transformers Prime Arcee.

Let's take a break by showing a little comic strip we came up with tin March.

April: GI Joe Retaliation Lady Jaye:

Roadblock kicking Spider-Man's ass is an excellent segue to the only GI Joe to enter the finalist pool: the quite hard to find Retaliation Lady Jaye.

Lady Jaye was lauded for high articulation, a plethora of fine weapons for almost all occassions and a finely sculpted posterior that alone is worth what I paid for her.

The only problem with her is that we attacked her for looking more like Elodie Yung (Jinx) than Adrianne Palicki. That and the fact that she lacked the new wrist articulations that the was the hallmark of most of the ROC and POC lines of GI Joe.

May: TF Generations Springer:

You really know you've made it when the trolls start to appear and The Transformers Generations Springer brought our a really nasty one on the site. But admittedly we love the little troll because... well every little troll is a page-view :)

The Autobot Green Knight and potential future holder of the Autobot Matrix of Leadership received more as much criticism as it received praise. But no one could deny that Hasbro did justice in terms of looks, transformation and over-all badassedness to the Autobot triple-changer.

Springer was cited for high articulation and great looks which is usually never the hallmark for a Transformer triple-changer. However he was cited for being made out of what felt like shoddy plastic and the general inability to stand thanks to being a bit top heavy.

Might piss of a little bird again.

June: Dr. Wu's Skybreaker

This is the first time that an accessory made it to the list of Finalists. The Dungeon actually has two of these 3rd party recreation of the Beast Wars Star Saber from Dr Wu, one in it's dormant silver form, and one in its translucent blue "Energy" mode.

Dr Wu's Skybreaker was praised for being cartoon accurate and a fine addition to the Transformers Prime Optimus Prime or to the Transformers Beast Hunters Optimus Prime.

It was criticized though for having a flimsy paint job that is quite prone to chipping, especially if you use the mount that will allow you to store the Skybreaker on the back of the Beast Hunters Optimus Prime.

July: Gipsy Danger

Everytime I see Gipsy Danger, a series of fog forns sounds off in my head accompanied by that quite militant and energizing Yaeger Soundtrack from Pacific Rim.

The daunting Gipsy Danger was lauded for having fair articulation and incredible detailing - especially from behind.

But if you want really nice detail, you should skip this "clean" version of Gipsy Danger and opt for the Battle-Damaged version which comes with the darker paint-job that was sported in Pacific Rim and Gipsy Danger's swords.

It was criticized for the relatively poor articulation and the missing details - specifically the missing bomber girl image on Gypsy Danger's right breast.

August: Marvel Legends Emma Frost

The dear White Queen of the Marvel Legnds Wolverine series probably is on this list because of her: Astries Bazookas; Bazooms; Beacons; Caboodles
Cams; Cannon Balls; Cantaloupes; Dingers; Dinghies; Dingos; Ear Muffs; Eclairs; Eggplants; Flapjacks
Flappers; Flesh Bulbs; Gagas; Garbos; Gazingas; Hand Warmers; Handsets; Head Lamps; ICBMS; Jawbreakers
Jemimas; Jibs; Kabukis
Kalamazoos; Kazongas;
Lactoids; Lip Fodder;
LLamas; Macaroons;
Mammaries; Mammies; Nancies; Nectarines; Niblets; Oboes; Oompas; Orbs Apples; Padding Balloons; Pagodas Bangers; Pair Bangles; Rangoons; Rib Cushions; Sandbags; Satellites; Scones; Tahitis; Tamales; Tartugas; U-Boats;
Umlauts; Wahwahs; Zeppelins; Zingers

Nuff said.

September: Marvel Legends Wolverine:

Professor Logan, AKA the Wolverine from the Marvel Legends Wolverine series was lauded for high articulation and, with the right cajoling, the ability to remove each and every claw.

He was cited though for being the third redeco of the Wolverine line. We actually even reviewed the X-Force Wolverine from the Hit Monkey BAF line in March of 2013.

Still we love him and prefer him over that wannabe bad boy Cyclops who also came with the Wolverine Series of Marvel Legends who we reviewed in September 2013.

October: TF FWI-3 Jet Power Upgrade Kit for Optimus Prime

One of the nicest buys for the Dungeon in 2013 was the upgrade kit from "Fans Want It" that created an almost perfect replica of Optimus Prime as he appeared in the Revenge of the Fallen Movie when he canibalized Jetfire for parts to take on the Fallen.

The FWI-3 Jet Power Upgrade Kit was lauded for possessing a totally kick ass wonderful tank mode aside from creating the Prime/Jetfire Gestalt.

It was also cited for allowing Optimus Prime a high-level of articulation despite the bulk.

On the downside, the FWI-3 Jet Power Upgrade Kit was cited for being top heavy, brittle and looking like a swamp monster mating with a truck when both were combined in vehicle mode.

November: Darth Malgus

Darth Malgus made breathing through a rebreather cool before Vader thought of it. He's a walking example of just how high the price the power of the Dark Side really is.

Darth Malgus was praised for his high detail and over-all bad-assery - he wears not one, but TWO capes!!!! In full defiance of the "No capes!" rule.

He was cited for practically nothing. His articulation was still pretty high for someone bearing heavy armor. The only improvement I would have wanted was an alternate head. Darth Malgus didn't always use a rebreather.

He's a definite must for anyone who is a fan of KOTOR.

December: Marvel Universe Aurora

Sadly I got really, really busy in December, so despite the fact that Aurora is really a nice toy, there were nicer toys just sitting in the sidelines of the Dungeon that failed to have their time in the spotlight.

The brightly photoshopped Aurora was loved for the extremely high-articulation for something so thin, and the wonderful new facial sculpt - albeit being a bit big.

She was hated for the excess plastic flash almost everywhere, the inability to fully kneel, and the absence of her brother, Northstar.

TOY OF THE YEAR 2013 IS!!!!!

Because of all the fun I got out of him as a toy and as a blog post thanks to the troll, the 2013 winner is SPRINGER!!!!

I still want the Matrix of Leadership.
That's it everybody! Thank you so much for your support, love, hate and for taking the time to visit, comment and like. I truly do appreciate it. Happy New Year everyone!

Denis Achilles L. del Callar
Dark Lord 

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