How’s that for a clunky article title? Anyway, we have been taking some time to reflect on the year that was for toys in 2021, but I am now ready to shift gears and look squarely at 2022. I am positive there will be a lot of new lines that I will want to start collecting, but I am into a LOT of things right now as it is – so fun times ahead to be sure. I have been thinking about what I want to see from the lines I currently collect, and to no surprise, I have a list!
This isn’t anything fancy at all, but I have tried to shake out what I want to see most from some of the lines I am into, so here it is. Please note, these are not the things I find to be most important to those lines overall, simply the things that I personally want. It makes my eye twitch and my wallet sweat that this is not comprehensive either as I actually collect more things (oy vey), but these are definitely top of mind this time of year. I have tried to keep things contained to (mostly) one pick from each line, but it is sometimes necessary to go a little further. Such is the case with…
MARVEL LEGENDS: THE INHUMANS
I cannot make a list with just one of them. I simply cannot. I am actually at the point that I am fairly flabbergasted that there has not been more progress here. I am getting close to putting on my tin foil conspiracy hat, so now is the time for the Marvel Legends team to prevent that. We have gotten a couple of cracks at Black Bolt and Medusa from Hasbro, but with the Fantastic Four Retro Series having been handled so perfectly, and with the precedence from vintage line for them, let’s get the core team in their CLASSIC looks. Repaint Blackbolt. Get Medusa a new head. BUT, we are ready for Gorgon and Triton, too. Karnak would be a simple addition, and Crystal might be the most overdue of them all at this point. I won’t even cry for a Lockjaw Build-a-Figure yet (even though he has been my most wanted for over a decade now) if I can knock the basic figures out first. Let’s make this happen. Then I can focus squarely on Dr. Bong.
STAR WARS BLACK SERIES: WICKET W. WARRICK
This one could have been a laundry list. There are still so many Star Wars characters to make in this line, and with new media happening all the time, the list just keeps growing. I could have named Nien Nunb, Ki-Adi Mundi, Bail Organa, Mon Mothma, pretty much the entire undone cast of Rogue One, Solo, and Mando here. I chose Wicket though because I really want him, and the Ewok figures in this line have been absolute bangers – some of the best figures of the past couple of years. I am all for more Ewoks in general, but let’s start with the most beloved.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (CARTOON): ROCKSTEADY’S GANG
Get ready to hit a trifecta of TMNT, because, well, I collect a LOT of TMNT stuff. NECA has delivered so much good stuff over the past year that the cartoon collection is already something to behold. But that does not mean we sit back on rest on our laurels, right? We have gotten a few teases about what we are getting in 2022 (NEUTRINOS!!!), but I am willing to bet there is going to be even more in ’22 than there was last year. I am going right for the “cantina aliens” of the animated TMNT universe and I want the rest of Rocksteady’s gang to go along with soon-arriving Scrag. I have wanted figures of those characters ever since I saw them the first time, and having the swappable mutated features would be just perfect. C’mon Grunt, Dopey, and Dumbo – now is your time!
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (COMIC): ARCHIE
No, this is not a singular, or even a group pick, but with more TMNT comic figures already confirmed to be on the way, I am just going to go for it. We know Mirage is happening, but good lord do I want some Archie, too. This would be a way for me to get my guy Ray Fillet from NECA, and do I dare dream about the rest of the Mutanimals as well? I DARE. This could open up so many new possibilities for characters and character variants that we would be running for years to come. So, let’s go with Archie, and lemme at that Ray Fillet.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ULTIMATES!: HOTHEAD
Okay, this one I can bring back to down to a more manageable expectation within the parameters I set myself. The TMNT ULTIMATES! line is cruising along nicely, and with four series in the books, and two more revealed, the future is looking GREAT. I have been fortunate here as Super7 has already dusted my four favorite TMNT characters – Donatello and Muckman arrived a few weeks ago, and that boi Ray Fillet will be here soon with Ace Duck following in series six. So I am sitting pretty. Hothead is my most-wanted now because he is a friggin’ DRAGON, and the Four Horsemen could go absolutely nuts with his already awesome design. This could be “figure of the year” territory here.
THUNDERCATS ULTIMATES!: WILLA
Like TMNT, I have already been pretty well covered when it comes to some of my favorite TCats characters in the ULTIMATES! line. Most of my favorites from ThunderCats are more monstrous and outrageous, like Slithe and Snowman, but damn, I love the Warrior Maidens as an offset to that. I am starting with their queen, Willa, but I would love to have her sister Nayda as well. They have a very Kamandi/Kirby vibe to their designs, and as human characters, they would stand out nicely amongst the rest of the inhabitants of Third Earth. They can give anyone a run for their money in battle, so Willa would make a very valuable ally to Lion-O and ThunderCats. After them though, right back to the monsters with Mongor!
SILVERHAWKS ULTIMATES!: HARDWARE
When it comes to Rankin/Bass produced animation, I certainly have a type. I love Slithe from the ThunderCats, and the goblins from The Hobbit, and I also love Hardware from Silverhawks. Like ThunderCats, I am big time fan of the villains from Limbo, and Hardware’s goblin-esque design just speaks to me. The rogues of Mon*Star’s gang are quite diverse, and even though I am positive Melodia is (rightfully) taking many most-wanted slots, I need to get Hardware ASAP.
DISNEY ULTIMATES!: MR. TOAD
Or J. Thaddeus Toad if ya nasty. I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of Disney ULTIMATES! series one, but with such a large and diverse pantheon of characters, it is hard to not wishlist a Disney line. The first couple of series are firmly establishing Robin Hood as a priority, and that is an awesome thing (I hope to see Little John ASAP), but the cast of Mr. Toad is most certainly my priority. I LOVE that movie so much, and Toad, Rat, Moley, and Badger are such a fun group, they would make for awesome action figures. You gotta start with Mr. Toad though, so I am anxious to (hopefully) see him in series three.
GI JOE CLASSIFIED SERIES/GI JOE ULTIMATES: CHUCKLES
The race is ON! Chuckles is my favorite Joe character (it’s a long story) and while I want to see him soon in both Classified and ULTIMATES (and ReAction, for that matter), I will give the crown to whomever gets there first. ULTIMATES is doing a great job delivering those classic animated looks for the first time in toy form, and Classified has hit an amazing stride with the updated designs – I cannot wait to see Chuckles. I am aware of the fact that there are many, many characters to get to in both lines, but this is a selfish wish, and the world definitely needs new Chuckles figures anyhow.
TOXIC CRUSADERS ULTIMATES!: BONEHEAD
Okay, to be perfectly honest, I would usually put Major Disaster here, but Bonehead is a close second to him, and frankly, I want a villain to fight the three Toxies we already have. I want this property to turn into an all-out ULTIMATES! line so we can get all of the characters, so let’s gooooooo! Brian Flynn has hinted that more characters are coming, so I hope they are really successful so we can continue to get more and more. The vintage line was rather finite, and even if we were able to delve into some of the un-produced figures, this would still be a relatively compact line, but man, it would look horribly beautiful. I love Bonehead because, who doesn’t love a radioactive skeleton dude, so let’s see him. Then on to the rest!
UNIVERSAL MONSTERS: THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON /GILLMAN
NECA’s Universal Monsters line is a dream come true for me. I love those classic designs, and so far, NECA has been (expectedly) delivering on these guys. Frankenstein is already on my shelf with the Wolfman and Mummy on the way, and with Dracual being teased, the Creature from the Black Lagoon MUST be next. He has such a perfect design, it is no wonder it has been so enduring, with so many of his like since taking direct influence from that look. The design plays to so many of NECA’s strengths that he stands to be the best of the bunch yet, so hopefully we will see him in 2022.
MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ORIGINS: SPIKOR
This was a close race between Spikor and Mossman, but in the end, I had to go with villain because the bad guys are cool. After Mer-Man, Spikor is my favorite MOTU character, so not having him in Origins yet is making me antsy. I know his spiky “armor” is done, as it was featured on the WWE/MOTU Junk Yard Dog figure, so a lot of the unique tooling is already in place. Having swappable tridents of various lengths like the Classics figure would help retain the updated articulation, so that is the way to go, I think. Let’s, uh, get to the POINT in 2022, Mattel.
WORLD OF NINTENDO: ROY KOOPA
Yes, the Jakks Pacific World of Nintendo line is still chugging along. It has been a VERY long trek to get to four of the original seven Koopa Kids in the 4” line, but hopefully we will see at least one more in 2022. Roy is still outstanding, and the one I want the most, but I would take Wendy and/or Morton as well. The 2.5” is already repping this dude, so it is time for the ACTION FIGURES to catch up. There are still many characters to get to in the Mario line, but until all the Koopa Kids are done, they will stay atop my most wanted list.
WWE LEGENDS: HAKU
I only collect the old school/Golden Age guys from the Mattel WWE(F) line, so things have been a bit slow over the past few years. There have been figures, for sure, but the “first time in the line” heavier hitters have slowed down considerably. I know it is a rough balance trying to get those Legends deals in place and whatnot, but not having Haku in the line at this point is really aggravating. He and Bad News Brown certainly top my list, and he was such a presence during my time with pro wrestling, he is glaring omission in my collection. Plus he is the real life toughest dude in the biz, I hope the deal can get done.
GHOSTBUSTERS PLASMA SERIES: ANYTHING REAL GHOSTBUSTERS
I am not even getting specific here, Hasbro. I am telling you: THE PEOPLE WANT RGB PLASMA SERIES FIGURES! The Kenner throwbacks have been fun, but getting updated figures of those awesome Buster designs and Ghosts are what we really need. There is an incredible amount of potential here, and with everything else out there these days, not having a robust and modern Real Ghostbusters line feels like a Containment Unit-sized void in the collector space.
ALIEN: NOSTROMO CREW ATTIRE DALLAS, LAMBERT, AND/OR KANE
NECA, my dudes, I NEED these three figures to complete my Alien collection. I am not into any of the subsequent films, but getting Dallas, Kane, and Lamber in their jumpsuits is just essential for me. I am very thankful that we have everyone from the crew accounted for, but I want them the way I remember them most (aside from being dead), and that is in their outfits that match the rest of the crew. Let’s make it happen, or people are gonna hear me scream, even in space.
LORD OF THE RINGS SELECT: SAM GAMGEE
Yes, we cannot even come close to feeling complete until we get, at MINIMUM, the entirety of the Fellowship in this line, but Sam certainly needs to be next. This line as gotten better and better as it goes on, so I hope it has plenty of steam left. I am quite happy with my Aragorn and Frodo, and Gandalf looks great, too, so let’s complete the nine companions ASAP. Sure, there is still Saruman, Elrond, Galadriel and ton of others out there, and then let’s not forget Thorin and Company, but the Fellowship of the Ring must be done, and Sam should be next.
DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS: ZARAK
This pick could have been anyone from Strongheart to Elkhorn to Kelek and beyond. I am beyond stoked for the NECA Advanced Dungeons and Dragons line, it might be my most anticipated of the year. Again, this one where we haven’t gotten any figures yet, but since I have already thrown down a pre-order, it counts! I am going with Zarak because his design rules, and he is a half-orc assassin, which is RAD. I am looking forward to seeing an update to this design with the more realistic touch, so it will be a fun figure.
GENERAL MILLS CEREAL MONSTERS: BOO BERRY, FRUIT BRUTE, AND YUMMY MUMMY
Jada! Jada Toys you came out of the gate with some action figure offerings last year and instantly won my heart. I have been wanting REAL action figures of Frankenberry and Count Chocula for pretty much my whole life, so having those guys is an absolute dream. BUT… let’s not stop the music! I must, MUST have Yummy Mummy, Boo Berry, and Fruit Brute, too! I love the designs of these character so much, I hope that then entire gang can be put together for one artificially flavored awesomefest of ad icons.
Okay, I think I am going to stop there. Sure, I could continue and talk about the Gremlins I need, and all of those other ULTIMATES! lines I collect, but I have gone on for quite a bit at this point. It is plain to see that there need be no slowing down in 2022, there is a TON of stuff to get to in the lines I already collect.
I will leave you with a cheat and say that if I could pick one line that does not exist yet that I hope to see in 2022 it would be…
SESAME STREET ULTIMATES!
It is in a near-deadlock tie with Mega Man ULTIMATES!, but the more I think about getting a line like this, based on the classic 70s and 80s aesthetic, the more I REALLY want them. All of them. ULTIMATES! SS would very much feel like a spiritual successor to the old Palisades Muppets line, so you know it would be pretty darned amazing. Yes, I want my boy Bert, and the Count, and Telly and other core characters, but I talking Don Music, The Amazing Mumford, Sherlock Hemlock, Forgetful Jones, Fat Blue, Roosevelt Franklin and all the rest of they amazing and eclectic cast from those days. It would be so much fun.
What are you hoping to see in 2022?