Every year Michael Crawford organizes the People Choice Awards for Toys, known as the Poppies. It’s the most prestigious toy awards there is in my view. Michael’s MWCToys gathers 138 industry professionals, from reviewers, to creators, to designers and has them vote on what they feel is the best. I was invited to partake this year and hopefully I’m not breaking any rules here, I thought I’d share what I voted for and why. A look behind the Poppies.

The first category is best overall company. This is probably the hardest category because you’re not judging one particular item, but a whole plethora of toys and products. Little companies like Cast-A-Way have an almost impossible task here in creating a couple of products so good that they outshine bigger companies that make hundreds of toys. In the end I went with Hasbro. I wouldn’t say it was an “easy” choice, but it certainly was a convincing choice. Hasbro put out a ton of product this year in Star Wars, GI Joe, Marvel Universe and a handful of other brands. All of their product was easily found at retail and often provided the best “bang per buck” of any toy company out there. Some other companies did particular individual things better than Hasbro, but no one is even close overall.

I don’t buy a ton of high end figures. So when it comes to judging them, I have to only go on my impressions from the photos I’ve seen and the reviews I’ve read. That said, I think Hot Toys is far and away the best company out there in the 12 inch market in terms of likeness. Their work on the Iron Man movie line had me wishing I could spend that kind of money on toys.

In terms of low end, I’ve dealt with nearly every toy line up for debate. It was a very tough choice for me. I really like Mattel’s MOTUC and other companies like Mezco and NECA did some cool stuff as well. Had Character Options made the final cut here, I would have voted for them because I think the Doctor Who line is one of the best out there, but in the end I went with Hasbro’s ROC GI Joe line. As I said in my recent GI Joe review, they were able to draw me in on Joes that I had no nostalgia for and buy guys I never thought I would. That’s a mark of a successful toy line.

Probably the weakest field and the most uninformed choice. I quite like the Abe figure though and I went with him. There wasn’t a lot of logic behind it, just seemed to fit.

There are a ton of great options in this category. Hot Toys regularly makes the best figures in this scale with Sideshow right behind them… But I defy you to point me to a better figure than that Bruce Lee. He has a great sculpt, tons of articulation, multiple outfits and accessories. Plus his hair comes off and you can choose a couple of hairstyles and HIS EYES can even be positioned. Tough choices, but clear winner.

I own, have reviewed or played with just about every toy in this category. It turned out to be one of my hardest choices. I lobbied hard for some Doctor Who figures to get into this area, but sadly none made the final cut. Regardless, MOTUC is probably the star here. It’s tough to pick just one, but for me, Mer-Man is the best choice.

Choosing the best figure under 5 Inches wasn’t easy either. I went with Firefly, but I expect Snake Eyes to win. It’s a personal preference thing. One thing is for clear, Hasbro OWNS this category. Thankfully no one was foolish enough to lobby for any of Mattel’s lackluster 2 2/4 DC efforts.

I wanted to vote April, but NECA has screwed the turtles line up so bad that I feel a little resentment towards them. Mattel put out quite a few great female figures this year, but I can only really judge the ones I was able to buy and that’s why I voted the way I did. Something I’ve had leaves a bigger impression on me in this field.

The AT-ST is probably the better toy, but the Back to the Future Delorean wins out in my book. I reviewed it back in October (Delorean Review) and I still think it’s a really cool toy. Even without a toy line to support it.

Mattel took a commanding lead in this category this year, but ironically I haven’t been able to complete a single one of these BAFs because of their inability to get the products to retail. Judging purely on what pieces I was able to get of different BAFs, I went with Atom Smasher. PS, still waiting on the Giganta wave to show up at retail around here.

As a kid I spent countless hours recreating the chest busting scene from Aliens. To be able to have this to recreate that would be golden.

Looks like she has the best bust to me. See what I did there?

The Brambles are great so I hear, but I also hear they break pretty easily. And given that they’re impossible to find and some are way overpriced, I went with the Stay Puft Man. I reviewed this guy Around Halloween and I love everything about him. He’s a perfect rendition of what he’s supposed to be.

Life size, 90% accurate C-3PO “figure”… SOLD!

I’m not sure why Buzz didn’t fit into another category, but I’m almost glad he didn’t. Thinkway’s Buzz Lightyear deserves some credit as one of the coolest toys made this year and I suspect he’ll sweep this category. It’s an excellent toy for all ages. To infinity and BEYOND!

So there you have it, that’s my ballot. Be sure to stop by MWCToys and vote in the peoples Poppies picks yourself. The results should be up sometime after the 25th. Hope you enjoyed my look inside my ballot and my thought process.

2 Responses to Inside The Poppies – My Ballot

  • DrNightmare says:

    Now it's my turn to feel left-out xP

    Congrats for being asked to do this!

  • Wes says:

    Ha ha, I didn't get invited to participate either! Not that it would've mattered — I didn't even fill out the regular ballot since I had no idea what most of those figures were.

    But Crawford knows who you are, so CONGRATULATIONS, Newt! Next thing you know, you'll be prom king. 😉

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