Disclaimer: First off, before we get started, thank you to everyone who voted in all of the polls. TFW is nothing without it's members, and your voices on the 3P thread do get seen and heard by the majority of 3P companies. Remember, the end results presented here are the end result of almost a months worth of polling. These are your choices and are presented here because of that. Please do not attack the choices as being "wrong", biased, or in any way of my choosing. I always like to start these things off with a very quick recap, as we've been doing this for a few years we can show a bit of legacy. 2012 was the year of Hercules Vs Giant. 2013 was the year Fans Toys hit the scene with fan favourite MMC Hexatron taking second place to the game-changing Quakewave. 2014 was the year where MMC finally took the coveted top spot with Toy of the Year in Feral Rex and Company of the Year, narrowly beating out Scoria for Toy of the Year. Unique Toys took most improved, and Warbotron took newcomer of the year. 2015 was a busy year, with MMC narrowly missing out on company of the year to Fans Toys by just two votes. With MMC Spartan, UT Ordin and XTB Apollyon winning in their respective categories. So what was 2016 like? Fractured is the answer. In the nominations it seemed that there was a real divide between MP style collectors and the rest, with an awful amount of company vs company fighting (this year saw the battle of Infernos, Megatrons, another Reflector, Trailbreakers, Devastators, Dinobots etc...), teaser land-grabbing, confusion over what was released which year, and which companies were newcomers. But hey, we got there in the end! But amoung all that fractured landscape, there were some phenomenal figures released, with 68 different figures nominated by you guys, and 29 different companies getting recognition in one form or another in the polls. Thanks for all your feedback, nominations, and votes. Here we go... Third Party Toy of the Year results. This year we split 3P Toy of the Year into four sub-categories. CHUG style, Giant / Combiners, Small / Legends Scale, as well as the always popular MP style. The top results from each were then put to a Battle Royale public vote. Lets see the winners of each category. 3P MP Style Category 1) Fans Toys Stomp 2) Maketoys Despotron 3) Fans Toys Willis FT Stomp was huge this year, a clear stand out from the rest. Given how well Scoria and Sever have done in the last two years, is this any surprise? FT have themselves a winner with the DiBots series, can they keep this momentum after the line is completed with Grinder? It's interesting to see MT Master Series Despotron rank so highly, considering last year XTB Apollyon won the MP vote. I wonder how many people replaced Apollyon, and will we see this repeated next year with Takara's official V2 of MP Megatron? Other worthy contenders were Badcube Sunsurge - who possibly missed out my being released late 2015 and missing last years voting stage, Gigapower Grassor, and KFC's offerings Simba and Crash Hog did very well too – will this be reflecting in the company rankings I wonder? Read on. 3P CHUG Style Category 1) MMC Carnifex 2) Maketoys Cross Dimension Striker Manus 3) Maketoys Cross Dimension Rioter Despotron Nothing else came close to Carnifex this year during the nominations stage, it was a super popular release, no doubt being bought and voted on by the same people who pushed the awesome Spartan up to Best “other figure” last year. Amazing to see the two debut offerings from a new toyline and aesthetic do so well, I guess there is always room for more Prime and Megatrons, so nice work Maketoys! The rest of the votes were very split, with no real stand outs, but it's nice to see people voting for FP Dai Z and Trianix and the Planet X FOC style offerings. 3P Citybot / Combiner Category Replacing the “Combiner” category by incorporating Citybots, these expensive toys are usually very popular with collectors, with both Giant and Feral Rex winning toy of the year in previous years. 1) Maketoys Pandinus 2) Toyworld Constructor 3) Generation Toy Gravity Builder Pandinus was a huge stand-out toy this year and was reflected in the nominations, but it seems the Devastator Wars of 2012 are not over, with Toyworld and Generation Toy getting involved with two very impressive figures, even in a world where most everyone bought official CW Devy last year. The Dinobot combiners haven't fared so well as people predicted, the so called “War of the Dinobot combiners” amounting to little more than a pub garden shove and shout, with last years Toyworld Dinobots and this years Shuraking getting very few nominations or votes. Other completed combiners including FP Saurus (just getting completed very late in the year) and Maketoys Guardia proved popular as well. I'm guessing next year will see TFC do very well in this category with Poseidon. 3P Legends / Small Scale Category Possibly the most confusing category, so this might need to be more defined next year, however, it's clear that Iron Factory are dominating this category and making it their own, with 15 different figures released in 2016. 1) Iron Factory Lord Scorpion 2) Master Made Apollo 3) Iron Factory Ashura Knights And Lord Scorpion took the win. Master Made have been ticking over nicely with their Super Deform style figures. Given the scale of these toys, they definitely fit into this category in my book, and it's nice to see a different style this well received. DX9 placed fourth with their impressive Hulkie combiner, showing that there is room for Devastators in every scale, and Maketoys Rear-End received several votes too. XTB received many votes in this category, but their Boost and Arkose are clearly intended to slot into MP collections and I carried their few votes over to that category. OVERALL 3P FIGURE OF THE YEAR 2016 So we took those top nominations and took it to the public, and the winner was: Fans Toys Stomp, by quite some margin. This very quickly became a two horse race, with only Carnifex offering any real challenge. Okay, lets take a look at the companies. Most Improved Company of the Year 2016 KFC Following on from the success of XTB last year, sister company KFC took the Most Improved Company this year. With MP parallels such as Simba feeling like an official quality release, and the Crash Hog Junkion line both faring well, as well as Opticlones winning the Reflector wars for many people – no easy feat considering they were up against Maketoys and Fans Toys! It's nice to see the quality of the toys live up to the ambition of Cassy Sark's designs, given how popular his MMC released designs are. It's especially nice to see given the reputation of this companies QC in previous years, but if we've learned anything with 3P companies it's that things always change! Toyworld, TFC, Maketoys and XTB did very well in this category. Curiously, previous Company of the Year winner and contender Fans Toys also received votes in this category. I guess some people really liked Stomp. Newcomer of the Year Spark Toys This vote is always tricky, with companies coming and going all the time, turning out to be sister companies (like Ocular Max, Mech iDeas etc...). Spark Toys won the vote, with their arguably MP quality, MP scaled, War Within styled Alpha Pack. Well done for trying something new, and getting it right out of the gate. Generation Toys got the second most votes, with the extra visibility with their completed combiner and MP sized modern styled J4ZZ figure, however they also ranked second last year. Still new to us all apparently, as I voted for them too. Strangely they received barely any votes in the most improved category, which is probably where they belonged. Transformission placed 3rd, as you can always count on Combiners to bring attention. So, this is the big one... Company of the Year 2016 So the nominations this year bought it down to Maketoys, 2014 winner Mastermind Creations, and reigning champion of 2015 Fans Toys. We took this to the public with a vote, and I can announce this years 3P Company of the Year is... MAKETOYS. Well done to Maketoys for truly offering something for all collectors, by offering Masterpiece style, Citybots, Combiners, minibots and an all new aesthetic and subset to collect with their hyper stylised Cross Dimension. Amazing work, and all of the figures have been great quality throughout. There was a time when we'd consider ourselves very lucky to have one company operating at this level, to have MMC, Fans Toys, Maketoys and many others offering us so many quality toys, no-one could argue that we've had another very special year. Iron Factory we're a clear fourth on the write-ins which is amazing for such a niche series and it shows the dedication of their fans - most of whom are super hardcore, followed by KFC in fifth place. Runner Up Fans Toys A stunning year for last years winner, and with Stomp winning 3P Toy of the Year in the public vote, they can't be too upset. Perhaps only offering figures in that one, fixed, MP style - their very strength - has counted against them to a small degree this year? Other honorable mentions Where was Badcube this year? Disappointing given the quality of Sunsurge (or Rubik's Sunstreaker as it's sometimes known). It may seem with the addition of Ocular Max to the MP style scene, Badcube is being more irrelevant? Are the Trailbreaker wars over before they've begun? Perfect Effect only had one figure released, a repaint of their Leo Convoy as Xerxes which looked very smart, but continued their heavy success with their mainstream accessible Combiner Wars add-on kits, making them arguably the king of add-ons for another year. Unique Toys and DX9 both did okay last year with Best Combined figure and Best Newcomer respectively, but this failed to evolve into anything bigger this year. A shame, seeing as Carry was my personal favourite item in 2015. DX9 are competing in a crowded MP market, and in the Iron Factory dominated legend-scale marketplace albeit with Earth mode rather than Cybertronian mode figures. Predictions for 2017 Already 2017 is shaping up to be a strong one. With MMC's Kultur, Maketoys Contact Shot very anticipated, and Fans Toy's output especially looking strong with Grinder, Phoenix, Sovereign and Biggus Dickus Terminus Giganticus on the way, who knows if a few of these releases would have changed this year's Top Company results? Will they all make it out next year? I'm going out on a limb and saying Fans Toys won't get all of these out in 2017. I expect to see even more in-fighting, especially with the six or so Springer analogues we're expecting, and I think we'll see certain figures cancelled before release (does anyone want or need KFC Dante at this point?) Ultimately, more than ever before, I think 2017 will be the year people decide whether 3rd Party are just offering Masterpiece stand-ins or if they're straight up competitors to Takara, we've seen signs of this with people liquidating various Infernos from their collections, and we have reason to expect several 3P Megatron's being sold off to make way for the official V2 of Megatron. But that doesn't mean it's doom and gloom, as we've seen with the success of Maketoys, Iron Factory, and Spark Toy's debut, there is room for 3rd Party to return to it's roots with new ideas and styles that Hastak might never approach, filling in gaps, or offering replacements where official toys have been less than optimal. Ultimately, 3rd Party makes Takara and Hasbro bring their A game, which makes 3rd Party have to step up, and so on. All of which helps make transforming toys across the whole spectrum better for all of us. And isn't that the point? Please feel free to leave your thoughts about the results, and predictions for 2017 below. Thanks for reading. Massive thanks to Maz of TFSquareOne and Boastful Manfish of Drinking About Robots for the amazing photos. - C Z Hazard is part of the team behind Mayhem Mekanics, as a freelance writer - having written profiles, stories, and comics for more than half a dozen 3P companies under a variety of guises – he crafts the universe of the Unrustable Bastards. He's done the 3P year in Review for a few years now, and has three novels and a short story offering available on Amazon Kindle, he continues to write about his collecting on his blog and the Kapow blog, where he is relieved he doesn't have to write in the third-person.