top five

Hey there! My name is Brandon S Bowker. I’m a Singer/Songwriter from Lexington, Kentucky. I am also a writer, a maker, and a collector of everything from MotU Classics to game-worn sports jerseys to race-crashed Nascar sheet metal! When the call went out for additional DoomKick contributors, I jumped at the chance! I could hardly wait to get started, and I figured that a Top Five list would be a great way to introduce myself. So, by way of introduction, these are my Top Five favorite action figures:

5JC1
5JC2
5JC3
I really expected it to be difficult to choose five, but the list just sort of fell together. My number Five figure was the first figure I thought of. He HAD to be on this list. ThreeA’s Action Portable line is perfect for me. I absolutely love the aesthetic of Ashley Wood’s designs. I dig evil robots and samurai girls. I almost exclusively collect 1/12, and 3A AP figures offer all the amazing detail and fantastic articulation of their larger 1/6 counterparts, but in the smaller scale. I have a few others, and even more on preorder, but Fightin’ JC is easily one of the coolest figures that I own. It’s arguable whether or not this guy really is Jesus Christ, or if he simply borrowed the persona of a vengeful Christ, in his endless battle against Zomb(ies) and evil robots. Son of God or no, this figure is awesome, in the Biblical sense.
4Ram1
4Ram2
4Ram3
Number Four on my list is Ramathorr, from the Four Horsemen’s Seventh Kingdom line of anthropomorphic action figures. Much has been made of the tale o’ woe that is Ramathorr. The first batch of figures were plagued with loose joints and brittle plastic. From what I understand, the Horsemen had to physically get the molds from the original factory and move them to a new factory, in order to have the figure done right. I don’t know if my Ramathorr came from the first or the second factory. His knees are a bit loose, and I could easily pop him apart at the middle if I tried. That being said, this guy is absolutely amazing! First of all, he’s huge. He’s around 9″ tall, and every inch of him is covered in the fantastic detail that the 4H are famous for. His skin is rough and leathery, his armor is intricately crafted. The paintwork on my Rammy is basically perfect. And dat sculpt! The well on these guys has essentially dried up, as the last few remaining Seventh Kingdom anthropomorphs were sold off at clearance last year, to make room for the incoming Gothitropolis Ravens. I have a feeling I will need to make more room in my Top Five.
3Keldor1
3Keldor2
3Keldor3
I really could have put any number of Masters of the Universe Classics figures into the Top Five. For some reason, Keldor was the first one I thought of. Number Three in my Top Five, he is, in fact, a perfect representation of the line. He has all the articulation that you need, more fantastic Four Horsemen detailing, bright colors, and he fits the aesthetic perfectly. That’s one of the greatest things about this line: it’s a scifi/fantasy smorgasbord, with knights, barbarians, robots, mutants, aliens, princesses, cowboys, monsters… and this dashing m*ther f*cker. Keldor really is Skeletor-gone-Dumas. Having had (and lost) a face this pretty, you can really understand why ol’ BoneHead is so uptight and aggravated all the time. Hard to get your rocks off when your face has been melted away by your own vial of acid.
2FL1
2FL2
2FL4
Number Two. I don’t collect a ton of Transforming robots, but I have a soft spot for G1-style with updated engineering. And so, a few years ago I picked up an MP10 on eBay. This isn’t him though. MP10 was great! Fantastic, really. But, he was huge! I know that “scale” is laughable when it comes to Transformers, but MP10 was just way too big to scale with my “deluxe” robots. Enter iGear’s Faith Leader. I put my MP10 back up on eBay and turned that sale into this guy. “Faith Leader”. For all intents and purposes, he’s identical to MP10, just a few inches shorter. He stands around 10″, and fits in perfectly with the likes of Classics Kup and Henkei Hound. It really is amazing what many of these third party companies are able to do, and with Hasbro now moving towards simpler, more kid-friendly designs, the collector market may have to move elsewhere for good.
1Jitsu1
1Jitsu2
1Jitsu3
1Jitsu4
1Jitsu5
At the end of the 200x line of Masters of the Universe figures, after the show reboot was off the air, and long before Classics, Neca picked up the license. They had the Four Horsemen sculpting wonderful designs, and were producing some of the best MotU figures to date. Sort of. You see, Neca wasn’t able to make “figures”, since Mattel had the license. So Neca was making 1/12 action statues, or “stactions”, with all of the quality, detail, and sculpt of any 4H figure, just none of the articulation. What you got were designs that were built to be action figures, but didn’t have to sacrifice sculpt for joints. In my opinion, some of the Staction designs are superior to even their Classics updates. Webstor, Kobra Khan, and 200x Sorceress are some of my favorites. And this guy. Staction Jitsu was my Grail for a long time. When I finally graduated college in 2012, I treated myself to the first Jitsu Staction I had seen available for a long time. I was not disappointed. This thing is amazing. The amount of detail here is just insane. From his huge mechanical hand to all the baubles and tassels on his belt, this is the Four Horsemen at their best. His face is hard and chiseled, his sword and his armor are a grand mix of ancient Japanese art and futuristic cyber styling. The paint is crisp, and light washes bring out even more detail. I know he isn’t technically an “action” figure, but he is just so awesome. Too awesome not to be my Number One. Masters of the Universe Jitsu Staction: Number One, with a bullet.
You can find me on twitter @brandonsbowker and fb. My brand-new music blog is here: http://thisroughmagik.blogspot.com/, and my simple diecast blog is here: http://amodestdiecast.blogspot.com/