Thursday, December 22, 2011

The 2011 J\/\/ Awards

So you sat through that Slammy Awards deal a few weeks ago, eh? Here on the blog we give out a different type of honor this time of year, that being The J\/\/ Awards. The honors began in 2010 and each year the design of the "Joshie" award has a bit of a different flavor. While in the inaugural year the award had a "classy" flare to it, this year we've said our prayers and taken our vitamins thus bringing you somewhat of an "immortal" look.

In 2011 not only does the look of the award itself change, but so do some of the categories. While Best Product Line, Best Figure, and Future Holy Grail all remain intact, two of our other awards will go under a bit of a makeover. The Best Magazine and Best Cards awards have been changed to Best Publication and Best Buy (Non-Figure/Publication) respectively. Since fewer and fewer wrestling cards and magazines are being produced each year this greatly widens the span of products under consideration. Now any book, magazine, or similar material will go up against each other for Best Publication while virtually anything that a fan can purchase will vie for Best Buy (Non-Figure/Publication).

Enough with the rules, explanations, and other nonsense...let the ceremony begin!

2011 Best Figure

Although both Mattel and Jakks put forth solid efforts in 2011, it's actually a figure released in the final days of 2010 that gets the 2011 award. Due to its very late release and my own inability to review it until 2011, the figure was notably disqualified in 2010.

Mattel's WWE Defining Moments "Macho Man" Randy Savage wins "The Joshie" for 2011 Best Figure. I predicted in both the 2010 awards entry and in the review in January that this figure would be the 2011 winner. Sadly, another prediction of mine regarding this figure did not come true. That prediction was that Savage himself would finally make the convention rounds to sign this beautiful piece. As the world knows by now, Savage passed away in May. The Macho Man did in fact do a promo piece for Mattel with the figure and seemed to like it very much. His fans the world over echoed those sentiments. While other Savage figures were released this year and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, none match the detail of this wonderful commemorative.

Dig it.

2011 Best Publication

2011 seemed to be a slightly slower year for wrestling related publications than in years past. That being said, the winner of this years award would've had more than a fighting chance against even the highest rated wrestling books.

The Last Outlaw By Stan Hansen wins "The Joshie" for 2011 Best Publication. In his long awaited autobiography, Stan "The Lariat" Hansen gets the chance to pull back the curtain on one of wrestling's most legendary characters. Fabled tales are confirmed or denied regarding the rugged Texan, but the book is most notable for an intimate look at the world of Japanese wrestling. Stories from the inner workings of pro wrestling in the land of the rising sun were few and far between until Hansen, a key player in Japan for years, wrote this barn burner with co-author Scott Teal.

2011 Best Buy (Non-Figure/Publication)

A new category that virtually anything other than an action figure or book/magazine can win. This award will highlight just exactly what gave the wrestling fan the most bang for his/her buck. At times, including this year, the award may be given to something just a bit outside the box.

The 2011 NWA Legends Fanfest wins "The Joshie" for 2011 Best Buy. I would go as far as to say that each year this particular award is given out, NWA Fanfest will take it home. There isn't a better value for your wrestling dollar than Fanfest. This is a fact that I've driven home in many previous entries. It's more than just a meet and greet, it's the single best experience that a fan of classic pro wrestling can have. 2012 is being talked about as the final edition of Fanfest, but I can almost guarantee that the final event will go out with a bang...and "The Joshie" for 2012 Best Buy as well.

2011 Best Product Line

This is another award where many different items and companies can be considered. Although Mattel took it home last year, various distribution problems plagued both wrestling action figure companies so much in 2011 that it nearly took them out of the running.

WWE Home Video wins "The Joshie" for 2011 Best Product Line. Although the offerings in 2011 were just a tad less interesting than previous years, WWE Home Video still takes the cake in this category. The company took a deeper plunge into Blu-Ray in 2011 by first offering DVD/Blu-Ray combo packs starting with the Royal Rumble and subsequently producing each and every pay-per-view event on Blu-Ray. This practice ended before Money In The Bank 2011 could reach the shelves on Blu-Ray much to the disappointment of many fans.

With the upcoming demise of WWE Classics On-Demand due to the 2012 launching of the WWE Network, the home video department may have their hands full. At this point it seems that very little classic content will be offered on the network. If this is so, WWE would be wise to feed classic fans with more vintage DVD and Blu-Ray releases.

2011 Future Holy Grail

Another category in which the winner can come from virtually anywhere, this year the winner could be considered a subset of sorts.

Jakks TNA Knockouts Figures win "The Joshie" for 2011 Future Holy Grail. Although there have only been three such figures so far (Madison Rayne hit online stores right before press time) this terrific trio have been the crown jewel among Jakks 2011 offerings. Filled with detail and relatively difficult to find right off the bat, these figures are already fan favorites. While Velvet Sky and Angelina Love were short packed per shipping case, I'm not sure that Daffney (released in a 2-pack with Dr. Stevie) ever made it to store shelves.

Amazing likenesses, popular never-before-released characters, and automatic "rarity" upon release all add up to be a "Holy Grail" in any collection. Hopefully Jakks will continue to expand upon their Knockouts releases as figures of ODB, Gail Kim, Traci Brooks, and So Cal Val are long overdue in my book.

Congratulations to all of the 2011 J\/\/ Award winners! Once again "The Joshie" bodyslams Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Espy, and even the Slammy right to the mat. Agree? Disagree? Let us know here on the blog or on our Facebook Fanpage where a gallery of both the 2010 and 2011 winners will soon be going live.

And of course...


Johngy said...

Great job!

Halpernia said...

And to think you almost didn't make it to Fanfest this year, either!

Since collectibles can cross into the realm of simply meeting people, have you considered adding a "best interaction experience" category? That way, people could be primed to approach certain people about whom they might have otherwise been on the fence (and by extension, grab a collectible or two). I know it's not exactly the same as collecting, but it can definitely be related, and your choice of Fanfest brought it to mind.