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  • Writer's pictureMephitsu

My Top 10 Action Figure releases of 2023



Those of you kind enough to follow my site will know that 2023 has been a recovery year after spending six months of 2022 in the hospital and then recovering from a serious illness. That meant we didn't do any kind of end-of-year summary last year.


This year I've been catching up on a lot of the 2022 releases I missed while in hospital while continuing to review the 2023 releases as they came in. It is from these 2023 releases that I have picked a Top 10 of 2023.


I only tend to review the figures I collect myself personally and therefore the following Top 10 selection is very Hasbro-orientated across lines like Star Wars Black Series, Marvel Legends, and Indiana Jones.


Star Wars Black Series


I have already picked a trio of Black Series releases for 2023 as part of my Star Wars Black Series 10th Anniversary Advent. So for this article, I went back and picked another two figures who I was particularly impressed with in 2023.


My first pick is the Disney Parks exclusive Deluxe release of Dok Ondar. While this was a limited and expensive item, the figure itself is impressive with a good mix of soft goods and sculpted roles over a new Ithorian body which of course opens up a release for Momaw Nadon who should be arriving (hopefully) in 2024.

My second pick is Krrsantan from The Book of Boba Fett. This Deluxe release was a big improvement on the earlier comic book version and depicts Krrsantan as the beast he is intended to be with scarred muscular body, spiked armour, and a rather large rifle.


Marvel Legends


For clarity, I do only collect MCU releases in the Marvel Legends line so my choices reflect that aspect of my collection. The first pick is the updated Scarlet Witch released as an exclusive and as part of the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness line. All of the previous Wanda figures have been impressive, but this latest version tops all of them with the latest iteration of her Scarlet Witch outfit, magic effects, and a Darkhold accessory.

My other two picks for Marvel Legends Top 3 of 2023 are figures that I have not yet reviewed, and have only had in hand since just before the Christmas Holiday. The Deluxe releases of Green Goblin and Doc Ock, as seen in Spider-Man: No Way Home, are both equally impressive both in terms of their likeness but also in their included features - with Goblin coming with his glider, and Doc Ock featuring articulated tentacles. Stay tuned for our review on these two in early January!


Indiana Jones Adventure Series


It seems that Hasbro's Indiana Jones Adventure Series was a 2023-and-done type of affair with three full waves across the year backed up with a number of exclusives. I have selected the Temple Escape Indiana Jones release as one of my 2023 Top 10 picks. While it did make those of us who'd already bought Raiders Indy pay out again, the extras included - the temple plinth in particular - are most welcome in a line that does benefit hugely from props and diorama pieces.

My second pick is Henry Jones Sr. from the final Indiana Jones wave of 2023. This final wave really saw the line find its feet on character likeness and accessories and Henry certainly emboides all of these with a great likeness to Sean Connery, removable hat and glasses, and his Grail diary, suitcase and umbrella as included accessories.


The Best of the Rest


In terms of the other lines that I collect, I've dedicated my final three picks to three of those - Star Trek, Lord of the Rings and Doctor Who.


The Playmates Star Trek figures were 2022 releases in the US, but didn't really hit mainstream UK stores until early 2023. I went almost all in on the line straight away considering the nostalgia aspect as a former Playmates Trek collector from the 90's but also the potential that the line may reach in the future. My favourite release, surprisingly, was Commander Saru from Discovery. A figure that demonstrated what level of detail a 5-inch line could reach. Sadly, the line didn't even last the year with Playmates pulling the plug on any future figures just before Christmas.

The Diamond Select Lord of the Rings line continues its slow and steady pace working through characters from The Fellowship of the Ring. We got but a single two-figure wave in 2023, adding Boromir to the ever-expanding Fellowship - but also bringing us Lurtz to lead our Uruk Hai forces. Lurtz is a very visually impressive figure but also has a good level of articulation considering the limited levels we've seen on other LOTR figures. He is also entirely new, with Diamond resisting the opportunity to re-use parts from the Uruk Hai warrior. Long may this line continue.

And I finish with a two-pack from my longest-running collection, the Character Toys Doctor Who line which itself celebrates its 19th year in 2024. In late 2022 we saw the end of the Jodie Whitaker 13th Doctor era with an explosive finale and a surprising return of David Tennant as the 14th Doctor to take us into the 60th Anniversary. Character Toys duly obliged fans with a Doctor Who 13th and 14th Doctor Regeneration Two Pack Exclusive featuring the 13th Doctor in her combined homage outfit, and the new 14th Doctor with new David Tennant head culpt. Here's to this line continuing strongly in 2024.


 

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About Me : As a child of the '70s and '80s I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force), and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licenses - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who, and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK-focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...

 

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