There’s no doubt that Disney Infinity is a fun, engaging game for kids and adults of all ages. And it’s easy to get sucked into hours, days, or even weeks of nonstop world building and mission accomplishing fun with nearly a hundred characters available to place on the Disney Infinity platform. They might have not been the first to create a sprawling, epic toy/gaming hybrid, but it doesn’t matter much when you have some of the most beloved and fun characters in the world to fill out your roster.
When I first discovered Disney Infinity, I didn’t know what to make of it. At San Diego Comic-Con a few years ago, I sat down with Vice President of Production and lead Disney Infinity fan ambassador, Jon Vignocchi, and he walked me through the basics of the Toy Box and a few of the new missions featuring the Guardians of the Galaxy. It was instantly fun, even if I’m not much of a console gamer. But that wasn’t what initially drew me to the game. It was the figures. I’m an old school collector going back a few more decades than I’m willing to admit at the moment, mostly when it came to Star Wars toys. So when I asked Jon what the next year might have in store now that Marvel was dominating the platform and Star Wars now fell under the Disney umbrella: Would we be getting Star Wars Disney Infinity figures? He could only smile and chuckle aloud, with no clear answer. But I knew. How could they pass up the opportunity? Either way, I was hooked.
Over the following months, I would grab a few random figures that caught my eye, even though I had not picked up the game itself, simply because they looked amazing. Flat colors over dynamic poses that imbued characters with a real attitude, even though they couldn’t be posed like regular action figures. These were essentially mini statues of my favorite characters. And I felt like I had the beginnings of a new collecting addiction in my hands every time I walked out of the store with one or two of them in my bag. It didn’t help that Best Buy, Amazon, Target, or Toys R Us were holding sales nearly every week, especially since last fall leading up to the holidays, when my resolve finally broke. An exclusive Boba Fett available only in the Playstation editions of the playset. I now had to have every Disney Infinity figure ever made. And now, as of the latest release of figures in March 2016, I finally have them all. Every single one. To pick a favorite is tough. To pick 10 favorites is only marginally easier, but here’s my list of the best dang Disney Infinity figures available at this moment. And in case you’re wondering, I’m not taking into account their in-game abilities or coolness factor. This list is based simply on the character and how its presented through its unique sculpt in no particular order.
Donald Duck (Disney) – This was actually the very first Disney Infinity figure I ever bought. Donald was always my favorite Disney character when I was a kid and it only seemed right to make him the cornerstone of my collection, simply because he’s PERFECT! The attitude of this beloved character drips from every inch of him. The eyes, the folded arms, the slightest tilt of his head. This is probably the coolest Donald Duck has ever looked, because he’s usually seen screaming his head off at Goofy or somebody when things don’t go his way. Whether you agree with me or not (he’s far from the most popular character and it’s quite easy to find him on clearance in most stores), this guy is a troublemaker and is right at home in the wacky world of Disney Infinity.
Black Panther (Marvel) – Outside of the trailers for Captain America: Civil War, we haven’t seen much of anything out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s newest hero, but if his Disney Infinity figure is any indication, he’s going kick some major butt. The traditional costume from the comics isn’t as accented and is usually fully black with subtle details, but its the gray highlights trimming his gloves, boots, and all over his mask that makes the Black Panther stand out from the latest release of figures, tying in with the Marvel Battlegrounds playset (see video above).
Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) – I’m probably going to use the word “attitude” a lot in these descriptions, I think, so bear with me. It’s what these sculpts were meant to evoke. She may not be an OG Star Wars character beloved by all, but Ahsoka is all sorts of badassery with this pose. The lightsabers aren’t pointed forward, ready for battle. No, she’s got them locked in behind her with a tilt to her head that says, “I’ve got this.” It doesn’t matter who she’s going up against, you believe her.
Hulkbuster (Marvel) – Disney Infinity has a number of BIG figures in their collection (Hulk, Venom, Baymax), but this one has some heft to it. And its by no means a simple sculpt. This is Tony Stark’s Iron Man armor taken to the next level. It’s bulky, it’s complex, and it’s ready for a fight. I could spend an hour or two pouring over every nook and cranny, every subtle coloring and shadow from its head to its feet. I want to press a button and have it disassemble to show a little Tony Stark inside, but I know it’s just an amazing little statue that will give me half a chance against the Hulk in a fight when set down on the pad. But that won’t make me moon over it any less. It’s a thing of beauty.
Anger (Pixar’s Inside Out) – You can almost hear Lewis Black screaming at you every time you glance his direction. The only thing missing is the flames shooting out the top of his head, but at least he, like all of the other Inside Out characters in this Disney Infinity set, has his red tinted memory crystal at his feet, which is a nice little touch.
Boba Fett (Star Wars) – The Star Wars character that finally got me to hunt down every single Disney Infinity figure. It helped that the heavily discounted set also included Ahsoka, Anakin, Luke, and Leia as well, along with a number of playsets, but it’s the exclusive I couldn’t pass up. The level of detail and color on this character is astonishing. It makes me feel sad for those who had to wait until March 2016 to get a hold of him.
Loki (Marvel) – Loki’s such a jerk. And he wouldn’t deny that. And while I’m sure the temptation was strong to make him look like a tiny, sexy Tom Hiddleston for the fans, this incarnation looks a lot more like the comic version of the character, with the impossibly loopy horned helmet and flowing cape. He’s ready to mess up someone’s day. Anyone except the lucky person who plops him into their Disney Infinity game.
Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey crystal Toys R Us exclusive (Disney) – I wasn’t sure if I was going to pick this one from the Toys R Us exclusive crystal variant collection, but he worked his magic on me. It’s the type of figure you want to surround with tiny, colored LED lights and a smoke machine churning out the Fantasmic beauty. And with that stubborn pose, you still get the idea that this apprentice doesn’t yet know how in over his head he’s going to be in a few minutes.
Kylo Ren (Star Wars) – This was a hard one. I wanted to represent The Force Awakens in this list, but all of the characters are so good, it was nearly impossible to choose. But in the end it was Kylo’s defiant pose and that wild, crackly red lightsaber that set him above the others. Had Rey been allowed to hold a lightsaber in her figure as she did in the film, I would have chosen her, because her figure is nearly as cute and dangerous as the real Daisy Ridley.
Merida (Pixar’s Brave) – The hair. Those CURLS! Sure, I loved the movie and the character, but there’s something about trying to capture that girl’s insanely animated wild curls in toy form and whoever sculpted this NAILED IT! I look at her and I can immediately see her in a windswept forest, ready to take on whatever comes her way, even if its just dinner for the family. Merida was probably my second Disney Infinity figure and worth every cent. Even if I had stopped there with her and Donald, never tempting myself with grabbing a Marvel character, which were all new, selling at full price, and in heavy demand at the time, I would have walked away from Disney Infinity happy. But that was never going to happen. Merida was my gateway drug.
Vision (Marvel) – Vision is another character from the latest lineup of Marvel figures that isn’t an exact replica of his comic counterpart, but instead leans more toward his Age of Ultron film incarnation. And that’s alright by me. The colors shouldn’t work, but they do. It’s because they aren’t done cheap and shiny over cheap hollow feeling plastic. And with his hand outstretched to fly and the other pulled back, ready to strike, you’re not sure what he’s going to do. And I like that.
Darth Maul (Star Wars) – A character so underrepresented in the movie he appeared in has had no shortage of merchandise and action figures made out of his likeness. But this is probably the best he’s ever looked. Flowing cloak, those pointy bones poking out of his head, that FACE! He’s ready for a fight at all times. I don’t need to pose him any other way. This is how he was meant to be seen. If I was 10 years old, I would have ripped him out of the package and slammed him onto the platform so fast I would have broken it. But I’m an adult and I know how to take care of my toys.
Yeah, I missed a lot of great figures. Nobody from Guardians of the Galaxy? Or the Incredibles? What about the various princesses? And c’mon, nearly everyone in the Star Wars line is dead on perfect, especially Chewie. If I was making a list of the top (almost) 100 Disney Infinity figures, they would have all made the list, obviously. I stand by and regret each of my decisions already. I could have rambled on with tireless joy about each one of the figures, but nobody has that much time on their hands.
What do you think? Have any favorites of your own? Are there any figures you’re hoping they add to the mix in the coming months? My votes are for Doctor Strange, Frozone, Hera and Captain Rex from Star Wars Rebels (to fill out the cast), and BB-8, R2-D2, and C-3PO. Feel free to share your wish list in the comments below.
All images © Disney