2015 was one of the best years on record for gaming, and publishers didn’t want to let us forget that.
There have been loads of great merchandise and collector's editions released in the last 12 months. From the limited edition swag given out at events like E3 and Gamescom to some of the amazing pre-order bonuses with this year's releases, we've seen collectbles big and small as well as arguably some of the best and most creative to date.
I could make this list a mile long, but after some difficult and somewhat heart-wrenching decisions I've narrowed down ten of my favourite collectables that have been released and/or announced this year. They are:
Call of Duty Black Ops 3 – Juggernog Edition
Originally unveiled by the Treyarch team at San Diego Comic Con 2015, this special collector’s edition literally screams out to you. The collector’s edition fridge releases a harrowing and iconic zombie scream from the franchise when it’s opened, which is guaranteed to you’re your drinks bone chillingly cold.
Players of Call of Duty Zombies know how valuable Juggernog can be in game, and this collectable makes that true in real life as well.
Related reading: Nick's review of the game.
Majora’s Mask (Limited Edition 3DS AND collector’s edition game)
It didn't seem fair to give this two spots on the list (even though they’re both really awesome!), so were making this a combo.
With the exception of Triforce Heroes, Nintendo’s standard protocol for major Zelda releases in recent times has been to release a limited edition console alongside it. They’ve done this with Ocarina of Time 3D, A Link Between Worlds, Wind Waker HD and the one for Majora’s Mask 3D this year was stunning.
We don’t often see Nintendo do steel book cases either, and for Majora’s Mask 3D customers in Europe and the US were able to get their hands on that as well as a beautiful pin. However, Canadians were the real winners because their pre-order bonus also a limited edition Skull Kid statue.
Related reading: Matt's review of Nintendo's masterpiece.
SEGA All Stars – Lan Di statue (by First 4 Figures)
In early November, we found out that Lan Di from Shenmue will become the sixth addition to First 4 Figures’ SEGA All Stars line-up.
F4F is known for its remarkable craftsmanship and attention to detail, such as that seen in the sold out Darunia and Metroid Prime Gunship statues. The Lan Di exclusive is no exception, with a silky gloss finish with an embroidered effect on his robes and a dragon mirror base. The statue also comes with two different right arm pieces, which can be swapped out to change his pose.
Halo 5 Guardians - Limited Collector's Edition
The last time we saw a box as big as the Halo 5 collector's edition, we were preparing to plug in the guitar, drum kit, mic for Guitar Hero World Tour. Short of a Spartan saxophone, what we got in the collector’s edition of Halo 5: Guardians was a fantastic two part statue of Master Chief and Spartan Locke alongside with a steel case, download codes and more.
Related reading: Nick tackled the review of this game, his full review here.
#Xboxpins @ E3 and Gamescom
@gskyace I managed to collect all the #xboxpins at E3! I'm eager to check yours out (: pic.twitter.com/O1nM2ztY2T— Justin Anaya (@sly22tuff) August 11, 2015
From the biggest collectable, to some of the smallest. At E3 and Gamescom this year, the Xbox team bought some serious swag to the party in the form of collectable pins. For each event, they produced a limited edition series of nine pins that highlighted some of their great games line-up, including Minecraft, Halo, Gears of War, Forza, Tomb Raider and more. These quickly went up on eBay and were snapped up by the few lucky people that were able to get their hands on them.
Blizzard Series 2 Trading Pins
Following in the footsteps of Pinny Arcade, game publishers have really caught on to the fact that people love collectable pins. Blizzard was quicker than most, releasing its first series in 2014. In 2015, we got to see Series Two of Blizzard’s Trading Pins debut at Blizzcon and as part of the online store for virtual ticket holders. The pins featured 10 new characters to collect from across Heroes of the Storm, WoW, Diablo, Starcraft and Overwatch.
What made these pins extra special was that in addition to the standard full-colour set (which were already hard enough to get!), there was also the chance of opening up a pack to find a super rare full gold variation – #want!
Super Mario 30th Anniversary… everything!
Anniversaries are magnets for collectable merchandise and Mario's 30th Anniversary has to be one of the biggest on record. You probably saw the 30th anniversary Amiibo figures, and the Super Mario Maker Collector’s edition. But did you see the skateboard? Or the dinner plates? Or the plush “?” blocks?
These were only a handful of the mountain of merch that Nintendo created to celebrate. Hopefully the merchandising team will get this creative for the Legend of Zelda’s 30th anniversary in 2016!
Darth Vader PS4
You can't talk about collectables without including Star Wars. We’ve seen an ungodly amount of merchandise hit store shelves to promote the force awakens Our pick for the best gaming collectable has to be the limited edition Darth Vader PS4 that Sony and EA games released alongside Star Wars Battlefront late this year. The only thing that could have made this better is if the console made breathing sound effects.
This year we’ve seen a whopping 58 new figures and 200 amiibo cards released during 2015. For all you collectors out there, getting them all will burn some serious holes in your pocket but for all you Nintendo fans out there, there has never been a better time to get your hands on your favourite characters.
The great variety, quality of the figures and gameplay experiences earn amiibo the number two spot on our list this year. If Nintendo keeps up production at the rate it has been, we might even see them on next year’s list too!
Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition
Bethesda did - hands down - the best job of crafting a collectable that was as practical to use as it was beautiful to look at. As a staple of the Fallout series, the chance to own your own Pip-Boy was reason enough to hand over that pre-order money. But Bethesda didn’t stop there. The crate that was designed to go with the Pip-Boy, as well as the music, illustrations and everything else included in the Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition earned the top spot on this year’s list of best gaming collectables.
Related reading: And Nick also handled the review of Fallout 4. You can read it here.
Let’s all hope that publishers keep the bar as high as it has been and we get our hands on more great collectables in 2016. Do you agree with our list? Any honourable mentions you’d add to the list? Tell us in the comments below!
- Dave G.