I don't believe Sideshow did any special exclusives with either of these
two, but there's a limited Spike and Faith. These are long sold out of
course, and there isn't a special version of Vampire Willow. The
regular versions of Faith
are still available, as is Vampire
Packaging - ****
These boxes combine everything that makes Sideshow packaging great.
Excellent graphics, not of the toy but of the actors, right from the specific
episodes, great background text on both the characters AND the actors, and
completely collector friendly to boot. It doesn't get much better than
Sculpting - Angel ***1/2; Buffy ***
Both of these actors are extremely hard to do well. Sideshow and Moore
have tried in the past, and the results have been mixed to say the least.
This Buffy sculpt is a slight resculpt of the original Sideshow
version. I have a comparison shot of the two heads at the bottom of the
review. Unless you compare them very carefully, you might be inclined to
think they are identical (other than the hair of course). They aren't
though, and there's been changes to the nose, cheeks and even eyes. They
are very subtle, but all the changes are slight improvements, making this Buffy
much closer than the original was.
The hair helps there too, and this style will remind you much more of the
character than the original long haired version. They also dropped the
neck joint at the bottom of the neck, making her look more realistic.
However, there's still one major problem I have with this sculpt - the
expression just so slack. She has a wide eyed, almost zombie look, as
though she's staring out the window in class, lost in thought. She
certainly doesn't look like she's ready to kick vampire booty. It's a
solid effort, and hits the look of the actress right on the, er, stake, but
misses capturing the personality of the character.
Angel is certainly better in this department. The sculpt looks exactly
like Boreanaz, although he really looks more like David from a couple years
later on his own show, at least in the face. It's a little thicker and
heavier around the jaw line, looking more like he did after he beefed up a bit
with age. But there's no doubt it's him, and they also managed to do a
good job with the tough sculpt on the hair.
He's blessed with plenty of hair, and when he was on Buffy he had a rather
funky, spiky, don't own a comb but love to use gel sort of thing going on.
That's tough to translate into solid plastic, but Sideshow did an admirable job.
The hand sculpts are the other big area for Sideshow, and here they did a
good job on both. Again, Spike is slightly better than Buffy, if for no
other reason than we've seen her hands before (almost).
While they aren't exactly the same as the original - thankfully, since this
time they can hold her accessories - they do have the same general sculpt,
including the rings.
Angel has all his rings as well, including the "Claddagh",
considered the traditional Irish ring of love and friendship. This ring is
very key to the whole story, as Angel gave it to Buffy the night they did the
deed. After sending Angel to Hell, Buffy starts off the third season by
dropping the ring back at the scene of the crime. While it's never spelled
out, this appears to be the action that pulls Angel back from Hell, as he
appears moments later. The details on the rings aren't perfect, but still
pretty damn good for this scale, and you'll certainly be able to tell them
Paint - Angel ***1/2; Buffy ***
In general, the paint ops on both figures meet the usual high Sideshow
standards. With sixth scale figures, the majority of the paint work is on
the heads, hands and accessories.
Here, the paint application on the heads and hands is excellent. The
skin tone is appropriate and consistent, at least between the hands and face,
and the work on the eyes and small details is finely done. I've heard of
some stories of lazy eye and/or red eye on Buffy, but mine had no issues.
The coolest aspect of either paint job is the inclusion of Angel's tattoo on
his back. We only got to see this tattoo a few times on Buffy, and I don't
ever recall seeing it once he started his own show, but Sideshow has done an
amazing job both with the look of the tattoo and with the exact placement.
The one major paint issue that both figures have (although it's much more noticeable
on Buffy) is in an inconsistency between the skin tone of the face and hands,
and that of the molded body. The body is much lighter, although it's a
little tough to show in the photos. This is a bigger problem for Buffy -
and hence, the lower score - because you can see her wrists and neck quite
easily under normal circumstances. Angel's jacket covers his arms much
better, and his neck is part of his head mold.
Articulation - Angel ****; Buffy ***1/2
Both figures sport the terrific Sideshow bodies, but Buffy's is a new female
version. This is not the same body that we saw with the previous
version, but has a similar level of articulation.
There's cut joints and double joints all over the place, and even a couple
nipples I hadn't expected. I have a feeling that I'm going to get a call
from Miss Gellar's representation this week asking me to pull the photo on the
Buffy scores slightly lower than Angel again because she has a few loose
joints, and he had none. Her ankles were a bit weak, and although you can
correct for this by turning the joint to the inside, that means you can't pose
the feet the way you'd like. To do much of any action pose, she really
required the display stand.
Angel didn't, and stands just great on his own. Of course, part of that
is due to his huge boots, but it's also due to his tighter joints.
Accessories - Buffy ***1/2; Angel ***
Sometimes Sideshow skimps a bit on this department, although the quality of
what's included is always top notch.
Fortunately, they gave Buffy a nice number of weapons. Unlike the
toothpicks that the original version had, these two stakes are well scaled and
fit in her hands perfectly. There's also a great battle axe, and the 'Hunga
Munga', which we saw in the episode 'Anne'.
Angel comes with the sword from the 'Becoming' episodes which Buffy used to
send him to Hell. The hilt isn't as intricate or detailed as the actual
sword (and just check out the picture on the back of the box to confirm that),
but it's still a fairly decent sculpt. He also comes with three bottles of
Holy Water, a tad odd, but not unheard of. That means though that there's
an awful lot of reuse here, and something else additional would have been nice.
If Sideshow really wants to take these to the next level, they'll consider
providing second heads with each of the vampire characters. A vamped Spike
or normal Willow head with those figures would be an excellent additional
accessory, and an Vamp Angelus head here would have put this figure over the
Outfit - ***1/2
Buffy's outfit consists of three pieces - her red pleather jacket, black
sleeveless shirt, and black pleather pants. The tailoring on her clothes
is excellent, although I don't think you'll be posing her without the jacket
very often. The arms might be highly articulated, but they ain't pretty.
Everything fits great, especially the pants, and she'll look good in just about
any pose - as long as you keep her clothes on. Ironic, isn't it?
Be careful if you remove her shirt, as the black dye from it will rub off on
her face and hair. The dye is also prevalent on her torso, although you
probably won't worry too much about that.
Angel, on the other hand, needs himself a new tailor. He has his heavy
wool coat, black silk shirt, and pleather pants. He also has boots in his wardrobe
(Buffy's shoes are actually her feet), and a nifty pair of socks to keep his
I'm probably making the fit sound worse than it is however. The heavy
coat fits and looks great, and the silk shirt isn't bad either. His pants
ride awfully high on him though, and that belt is a tough one to put back on
once you've removed it. I had to take it off due to a funky hip problem -
his right leg was twisted around the same way as his left, making him look like
he'd broke his hip and it never healed right. The only way to get it
turned around correctly was to strip him down, but it took me quite awhile to
get that belt just right again.
Value - **1/2
I'm grading these at Sideshow's suggested retail of $40 each, and at that
price they are a little steep. The head sculpts are great, but overall
they still feel more like a $30 - $35 figure. Most of the on-line
retailers are carrying these in that range though, so you can bump this slightly
if you buy from them.
Overall - ***
I'm a huge Buffy and Angel fan, and have loved the shows since the first
season. Angel is still one of only two shows that I watch religiously -
the other being 24 - and its cancellation was disappointing. I'm hoping we
see a great run of figures from Sideshow before the line runs dry.
This Buffy is definitely an improvement over the original, although her
overall score is the same. See, the problem is that it's been three years,
and when that much time passes, you have to improve just to keep up.
Where to Buy -
I bought mine through Sideshow. There are lots of on-line choices:
Toys has them of course, along with pre-orders for Faith,
- Alter Ego Comics has them for $32
each, along with pre-orders for the others at $32 each.
- Aisle Sniper has them as a pair for
$75, plus preorders for the rest at $35 each.
- Southern Island has them available
at $35 each, with pre-orders up for the other three.
- Killer Toys also has them at $35
each, with pre-orders available for the others.
- and last but not least, Time and
Space Toys has them available as a pair for $76.
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