We weren’t about to let PWMF’s first full year go by without a “Best of” round-up! (Even if it is *ahem* a week late.) My staff got together and elected the top 5 action figures who joined our ranks in 2011. And they picked the best vegan food – that’s “food”, singular.
Here they are, in no particular order – Hey! You Jawas in the back – no crying! There are no small parts, only small action figures.

• Black Widow – This Russian hussy made the cut for a buncha reasons. No, not those. There’s only been one BW made in this scale before, and she was hampered by bad articulation and a hairdo that looked like, well, a spider’s nest. We liked that this version has a unique, feminine face without going all Barbie. Hasbro could’ve gotten away with a simple black paint job for her jumpsuit, but they gave it a metallic finish for that extra oomf. Hmmm, what else? Oh yeah, she’s a she! You non-action figure collectors have no idea how hard it is to get companies to make women characters for toy lines that are traditionally aimed at boys. When they are produced, it’s in small quantities and with poor design.
Now before you accuse us of choosing winners based on their bust size, be assured that we brought some beefcake, too –

• Catman – Lame name, totally bad-ass character. This furball came on the scene as a D-list Batman villain. Then in 2005, he was re-invented as a member of the supervillain team, the Secret Six. A bad guy with a heart of gold and a penchant for protecting endangered animals, he was a shoe-in for our best of. We just never thought an action figure of him would actually get made. Mattel captured his costume purrrfectly, but the physique is a little too super-human. This guy has no super powers. Unless you count being awesome.

• Jabba the Hut – We’ve lost count of how many versions of everybody’s favorite Huttese gangster have been produced. But when this version showed up, we knew they broke the mold. (literally – ba-dumDUM!) This naughty alien’s got it where it counts: great paint apps, proper scale with other Star Wars figures, just enough articulation to find his way around a length of chain, and talk about attention to detail! He comes with pillows, people. Pillows! This guy really knows how to show a slave girl a good time.

• Justice Society 3 pack – We’re huge fans of the toy line based on the Justice League Unlimited cartoon. The simple, stream-lined look of the show really lends itself to three-dimensional design. So it was that much more of a nerdgasm to get 3 classic DC superheroes from the Golden Age of comics in JLU style. The original Green Lantern, Hawkman, and Flash have never shown up on the cartoon, but Mattel was smart enough to imagine them as they would have appeared and serve ‘em up as an exclusive online release.

• Leela – Dr Who fans will remember 2011 as the year we finally got an action figure of a companion from Tom Baker’s era in the 70s. Leela is certainly one of our all-time favorite companions from the show, and the episodes that featured her were some of the very best stories. Like Black Widow, Leela scores points for being a female sculpt that’s true to the character. The British toy company, Character Options, isn’t known for amazing articulation, but Leela does okay. This is one savage we’re happy to have on staff – just watch out for any stray Janis thorns.

Well, that does it for the action figure selection. We’re sure you’re all wondering what the big surprise is for the best vegan food of 2011. We can’t keep it a secret any longer – ladies and gentlemen, for the 39th year in a row, the winner and still champion – call it a fruit, call it a vegetable, it still makes a sauce that’s boss – the bottle that you love to squeeze – KETCHUP!!

We’re not shy about it, we put ketchup on our ketchup. Always vegan, always will be. And just when you thought they couldn’t reinvent the wheel, here comes organic ketchup. Whether it’s Heinz or *ahem* something else, we’re thrilled to find the organic styles tend to be thicker and less sugary. Tomato, tomato – there’s always tomato. Getchyer stinkin’ french fries outta my ketchup – don’t call it catsup! – and the sun’ll come out tomato.