Packaging - ***
The packages are extremely attractive. Each figure is clearly
visible along with the accessories, and along the sides of the window are
an attractive gothic design. On the back of each box is a specific
description of the figure, with additional pictures.
The only other thing that Sideshow needs to do is
develop more collector friendly packaging. I realize that as some
companies move from the specialty market into the mass retail market, they
need to tighten up their packaging to reduce theft. But Sideshow is
moving in the opposite direction, and if they plan on being purchased
specifically by collectors, as limited editions, they need to consider
developing packaging that can be opened and then repacked later with no
Sculpt - ***1/2
This is easily the best Buffy sculpt so far. While MAC did a decent
job with series two of their figures, the scale of these lends itself to
greater detail and accuracy. I think they've captured her face,
particularly her nose and chin, extremely well. The hair sculpt is
done in a soft rubber in back, allowing the coat and shirt to be removed
and put on easily, and allowing the head a little more range of motion
than would have been possible with a stiffer plastic.
Gentlemen sculpts are all excellent, and appropriately spooky. This
was an excellent episode, and these villains were standouts for their
visual creepiness. The hands on these three are also well sculpted,
and can hold accessories appropriately.
knock here is the fact that Buffy can't hold the stake in either
hand. Perhaps an extra set of hands would have solved the problem.
Paint - ***
Some people have complained about Buffy's face paint. Mine has very good
facial tones, and the hair color, while a little light, is cleanly
done. The lips, eyes and eyebrows are all painted very well, with
very clean lines. The only flaw is the heavy eye liner, which isn't
a Buffy trait.
The paint ops on the Gentlemen is
even better, with some very creepy eye and mouth work. They've done
an excellent job capturing the look of these unique monsters.
The clothes on Buffy are simple, but well done. The jacket is the
standout, made of high quality material, nicely stitched and with a great
fit. The shirt and paints are also well done, albeit very plain.
costumes on the Gentlemen are even better. Somewhat more
complicated, they include shoes, socks, paints, shirt, coat and tie.
The clothes are well done, with good stitching and quality
materials. Again, it's a terrific fit.
Wow. Simply excellent accessories! Sideshow does with
crossbows and human hearts what Dragon does with military weapons.
comes with a crossbow, two stakes, and the book Vampyr. All are
excellent. The book is large, heavy and ominous. The crossbow
doesn't work, but looks excellent and fits well into her hands and across
her back. The stakes look good, but as I mentioned they don't fit
into her hands well.
Gentlemen come with a small scalpel, a fantastic glass (plastic) jar, a
human heart (which fits in the jar), the strange wooden cube that was
central to the story, and a soft pleather handbag. This handbag is
the nicest of the accessories. The handle is hard plastic, and a
metal top like many purses. It closes well, and looks absolutely
terrific. The strap that goes across the top could have been a
little better, but that's the only negative.
four figures come with bases as well. The base with Buffy is fairly
average, but the three bases with the Gentlemen are used to hold them up
in the air and 'float', as they did throughout the episode. The
effect works, and the stands seem sturdy enough to hold them up over time.
Each of the three bases for the Gentlemen are slightly different in
appearance as well.
Ah, but not all is well in Sunnydale. There's no surprise on the
bodies used for the three Gentlemen if you've bought any other Sideshow
figures. The body is highly articulated, and the joints work
well. They can hold a great number of poses, and stand well on their
own even without the 'floating' stand.
what of Buffy Summers? She isn't quite so lucky. This is the first
female figure that Sideshow has produced, and while she is highly
articulated, that articulation didn't work out so well in practice.
nekkid Buffy to the left is kind of disturbing. She has a ton of
joints - neck, ball jointed shoulders, cut joints at the biceps, and
forearms, double jointed elbows and knees, both cut joints and pin joints
at the wrists, chest and waist articulation, hips, cut joints at the
thighs and ankles, double jointed knees and another joint at the ankles!
these all aren't perfect. The cut joints at the biceps stand out
first - they seem quite weak, and both arms on mine don't line up
correctly. The double jointed knees and elbows don't work very
smoothly, and trying to get her elbows and knees to bend at the top joint
was very difficult. And then there's the ankles - if you think
you'll be standing Buffy up without some sort of additional stand, think
ankle joints on her are very unique - I've never seen anything quite like
it. Not only do they look odd, they are very weak, causing Buffy to
fall repeatedly. I will admit that these ankles can do almost any
position, certainly more than my own ankles can. But the weakness of
the joint means it's pretty worthless.
you purchase directly from Sideshow,
they will cost $30 each, or $107 for a complete set of four. Many
stores are selling these for $25 on-line. At thirty bucks, you're
pushing it - I can only compare this value to something like the bbi
F-15 Pilot or even one of the 21st Century figures. But at $25 it's
a decent value, and certainly worth it for the die hard BTVS fan.
have to be honest - while I'm thrilled with the Gentlemen, and I think the
Buffy sculpt is terrific, I'm a little disappointed in her. The
ankle articulation really is a huge deal, and is something that Sideshow
has to fix before they produce another female figure.
you're a huge fan, than these really are a must buy. The Gentlemen
don't differ that much, and even I only ended up opening one. The
other two are still in the boxes, displayed behind Buffy and the one other
dude. If you're looking to save cash, just buy Buffy and the one
Gentlemen that strikes you the most.