Saturday, January 3, 2015

Dark Lord Dungeon Toy of the Year 2014

Presenting the Toy of the Year 2014 of the Dark Lord Dungeon. 

This is the FOURTH year that we've done this award. We started in 2011 and the survey responds to the following criteria:
  • It must have been purchased in 2014
  • It must have ranked extremely high in page views in the month that it was purchased
These two criteria answer which toys rule each month of the year. 

The final winner of Toy of the Year though goes to which among the 12 gave us the most joy. 


Previous winners include: The Cobra Iron Grenadier (2011); The Star Wars Republic Attack Dropship (2012), and; Springer (2013).

Our finalists for 2014 are:

January: Arkham Origins Batman Unlimited Action Figure

Our January 2014 entry is the The Arkham Origins Batman Unlimited Action figure.

Batman was hailed for having very high detail - we're particularly fond of those shiny rivets all over his armor. We also love that wonderful cape, and for the action figure's success in truly capturing the intimidating "armored bat" essence of Batman from the video-game Batman: Arkham Origins.

We were also pleasantly surprised that he had high articulation  - despite having been created by DC.

It was cited though for lacking articulation in the chest area and having really weird wrists.

February: Transformers Year of the Horse

We were also pleased with the fact that we got him for US$ 24.88 rather than the Amazon price of US$ 69.99

Transformers Year of the Horse Optimus Prime

The Transformers Year of the Horse Optimus Prime was definitely one of the nicest things that kicked off the lunar calendar of 2014.

We loved the Year of the Horse Optimus Prime for the simple fact that it was lighter, smaller, almost as articulated and far easier to transform than an MP1, MP4 or 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime.

We're also fond of its MP10 gimmick - a folding ion cannon that folds into his back.

Yes, the Year of the Horse Optimus Prime is a redecoed MP10, but we do kinda prefer the gold-tint on Optimus over his usual silver. There's something much more regal about it.

Optimus was cited for being unable to kneel, having low hand articulation and for having a transparent trailer - that's an acquired taste.

We later fixed that hand problem with a hand upgrade - however, as of this writing, we are still waiting for a Year of the Horse Optimus Prime Hand upgrade specific to this toy to arrive.

March: Marvel Universe: Wasp

The Winsome Wasp who in the 616 Universe recently married Havok, had a child, who they lost to Kang the Conqueror and who now has to have sex with Havok at a specific time in order to recreate that child, ruled March - the Avengers are really F*#ked up.

The Marvel Universe Wasp was loved for being almost perfect: Wasp comes with
incredible articulation, great detailing and a original pixie-ish facial sculpt that we fell in love with.

Given that the 616 Wasp can theoretically maintain her wings at the height of 3 feet, this figure is a fine addition to any Marvel Legends 6" figure collection.

It also helps that the Marvel Universe Wasp has a wonderfully sculpted behind.

The only thing the Marvel Universe Flash was cited for was having excess plastic flash throughout her body.

 April: Lego Flash KO

We're not sure how, but this Lego Flash Knock-Off from Decool did rule the month of April.

This Lego Flash KO was purchased for less than a dollar in the black market of St Francis Square here in Manila, Philippines.

We thought he was cute and we are fans of the Flash.

We love this KO because he is extremely well made, well detailed and there isn't anything cheap about him. He has absolutely no 3rd party cheap feel at all.

We're not even sure how to tell he's not Lego.

He was however cited for probably having cheaper lead paint that's killing us slowly and for.... well being a fake.

Not that we mind.

May: Transformers Evasion Mode Optimus Prime Platinum Edition

The Transformers 4 Evasion Mode Optimus Prime is still hands down still one of THE BEST - in our opinion - Optimus Primes ever made.

Why? It's challenging - though not TOO challenging to transform - has extremely high articulation and is a very fine tribute to the G1 roots of Optimus Prime.

It's just too bad that Transformers 4 Age of Extinction SUCCKKEED!!

We actually never got the regular Hasbro version. We instead got the AD02 Takara version and the Platinum Edition Evasion Mode Optimus Prime that came in a two pack along with a sadly less impressive Grimlock.

The Evasion Mode Platinum Edition Optimus prime was cited for being....welll... small for a Voyager class Transformer; Having a weak looking weapon;  having spindly arms, and; For having some joints hard to move because of the chrome.

June: TF4 Autobot Hound

the Transformers 4 Autobot Hound ruled June. Voiced by the lovable John Goodman, this is one of the strangest Autobots to come from the twisted mind of Michael Bay: Not only does this cybernetic being have facial hair, he also smokes AND, during his last stand in Hong Kong, Hound finally fell not because he was injured and dying, but because he was fat and tired.

How does a cybernetic being become fat?

TF4 Autobot Hound was loved for having very high articulation, especially in the upper torso; The plethora of fire and forget weapons at his disposal, and; for having a very very nice truck mode.

TF4 Autobot Hound was cited for having stubby legs; Being unable to kneel, and; for having an bearing an uncanny resemblance to Transformers Prime Bulkhead rather than to the G1 Hound.

July: Pandoras Box PB02 Mekbuda Optimus Prime Upgrade

The Mekbuda Optimus Prime Upgrade or PB02 from Pandoras Box ruled the month of July.

A lot of people - including us- really do not like the FOC Optimus Prime - AKA Prime with the boobs. To begin with, there was no need to change the design of Optimus Prime between the War For Cybertron and the Fall Of Cybertron games. A lot of players found the new design less regal and far simpler than the original WFC Optimus Prime.

So someone built him an upgrade. OR to be more precise, Pandora's box built Ultra Magnus an upgrade then released one for Optimus Prime - what with them having the same body molds.

The Pandora's Box Mekbuda armor was praised for solving big-boobed Prime's problems and making him more kick-ass; For providing him with a ton of built-in and hand held weaponry; and; For its storage compartments.

It was cursed repeatedly for having extremely loose joints; The inability to kneel; For having a really, really weird and tiny waist, and; Because unlike other armor upgrades, the Pandora's Box Mekbuda transforms into nothing - literally.

August: Marvel Legends Gamora - Guardians of the Galaxy

We bashed the Marvel Legends Gamora from the Guardians of the Galaxy toy line from one end of the galaxy to the other, so we don't quite know why she's here. Maybe it's because we bashed her too much that people wanted to see what we were talking about.

This Marvel Legends Guardians of the Galaxy Gamora was bashed for: Not looking anything like the beautiful Zoe Saldana; Having such a dead-pan face; Being barely able to grasp her sword; Having a head that's too large for her body, and; For Having poor leg articulation.

The Marvel Legends Guardians of the Galaxy Gamora figure  was praised for being able to kneel.

That's about it.

September: TF Generations Windblade

Windblade was created by fans, wields the mighty Stormfall blade and has the honor of guarding the brain of the mighty Metroplex.

Transformers Generations Windblade is without a doubt one of the most beautifully designed and detailed Transformers in the Dungeon.

We praised Windblade not just for her design, but for her posing options; high articulation, and; the beautiful sword Stormfall.

Transformers Generations Stormfall was however cited for having a gaping hole in her side, for being a paint in the butt to transform thanks to the high articulation, and; for actually having quite poor articulation in her leg/feet area.

Still, Windblade is a fine example of what a Fan's choice should look like.

October: AOE Snarl 

The last of the Dinobot Power Ranger Team, the Green AOE Snarl never made it into the Michael Bay Transformers Age of Extinction movie. We theorized that he wasn't.... aggressive enough failing to note that G1 Snarl was the most powerful of the Dinobots and the Solar Powered Snarl has not only stood toe-to-toe with the mighty Grimlock, but has knocked him down for the count.

We love AOE Snarl for his translucent parts which adds to the solar powered theory; That remarkably unnerving sneer AOE Snarl has; The immaculate design that went into his torso; The fact that his transformation is very very close to his G1 transformation; a wicked hand-axe; the ability to kneel; and his wonderful dinosaur mode.

AOE Snarl's only sins are his inability to twist at the waist; the fact that Snarl sometimes feels like he can be transformed into a "cleaner" version of himself if he was not forced into a 15 steps transformation, and; the fact that AOE Snarl looks like a Dinobot Green Lantern.

November: FWI-4 Optimus Prime Jetwing Upgrade Kit

The FWI-4 Optimus Prime Jetwing Upgrade Kit is one of the nicest movie-accurate upgrades for the fast growing scarce DOTM/ROTF Leader Class Optimus Prime.

We loved this upgrade kit for it's movie accuracy, great poseability - shooting him actually became a problem because of the FWI-4's wingspan - and the fact that the FWI-4 Upgrade can become a mobile gun platform.

The FWI-4 was cited though for its manufacturers actually advertising FWI on the product or the first time. While they are not visible when attached, the idea that it's there doesn't sit well with us.

We also had a bit of a problem with the FWI-4's plastic which feels a bit weak.

December: Dr Wu TF4 Hound Belly Add-On.

Hound is back - in a fashion. We initially reviewed the AOE Hound before the movie was released so when we saw it, we wondered why Hasbro and Takara decided to give Hound liposuction since he's soooo... rotund in the the movie.

So we were happy to get our hands on this upgrade kit from Dr Wu.

We loved it for how it made the AOE Hound movie-accurate and the fact that it did not interfere with the wonderful articulation of AOE Hound.

The AOE Hound Dr Wu Hound Belly Add On was cited for making his legs look even smaller; for being made out of shoddy plastic; and looking complete ridonculous when attached to Hound in his truck mode.


In behalf of the Dark Lord Dungeon Staff, thank you for a wonderful 2014! 
Let's all have a wonderful and prosperous 2015!!!

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