#1844: Buffy Summers

BUFFY SUMMERS

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER PALZ (PALISADES)

It’s always somewhat fascinating to peer back at the failed toylines of yesteryear.  Perhaps none are more fascinating than those produced by fan-favorite Palisades, a company that made a huge smash in the toy collecting world before succumbing to financial troubles, and a few questionable business strategies.  At the height of the block figure craze, they introduced their own line, PALZ.  Perhaps the most expansive line of PALZ produced were the Buffy The Vampire Slayer PALZ.  I’ll be looking at one of the variants of the main character today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Buffy was released in Series 2 of the Buffy PALZ line.  Each series of the line was based on a season of the show, so this is a Season 2 Buffy.  She’s specifically based on the episodes “Surprise” and “Innocence,” two rather pivotal episodes that deal with the fallout of Angel’s loss of soul.  The figure stands 3 inches tall and she has 14 points of articulation.  As with the three prior PALZ figures I’ve looked at, this Buffy is built on the basic female body (Four figures in and I still haven’t actually reviewed the male body; that’s kind of amusing), or should I say “bodies,” since Buffy’s got two them.  The one she comes wearing is based on her “Innocence” appearance, and it’s pretty straight forward as far as Buffy looks go.  She’s got an extra light jacket piece, which I don’t recall getting any other use, as well as a hair piece with her hair more pulled back, which I believe was another unique piece.  Both pieces replicate Buffy’s look from he episode pretty well.  PALZ were known for their plethora of swappable pieces, but Buffy doesn’t so much swap pieces as she does come with a second figure.  Her second look is based on “Surprise” and requires only the swapping over of her head, hands, and feet to complete it.  She gets another hair piece as well as a slightly heavier jacket piece, both re-used from the previously reviewed Vampire Buffy.  Again, they match the show appearance pretty closely, though this look’s a bit less distinctively Buffy than the other one.  The paintwork on both bodies is pretty solid, though not terribly involved.  The “Innocence” look ends up with the most interesting work, with the pattern of her shirt and her necklace being handled nicely.  There are two different faces to choose from on the head.  They aren’t as divergent as some of the faces were, but offer up a happier/angrier selection, which complements the chosen attire well.  In addition to the whole extra body, Buffy is also packed with the rocket launcher she uses to dispatch the Judge, as well as the torso of his aforementioned Judge-iness, which is perhaps one of the most clever Build-A-Figure ideas ever.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Buffy, along with Drusilla from the same assortment, is my first introduction to PALZ.  I came across the two of them at Baltimore Comic-Con and they were fairly cheap, so I figured I’d give them a shot.  I was fortunate in getting what I feel is the best version of Buffy right off the bat, and it was because of how cool this figure was that I ended up tracking down an almost complete set of the line.

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#1338: Vampire Buffy

VAMPIRE BUFFY

BUFFY: THE VAMPIRE SLAYER PALZ (PALISADES)

Wow, two Palisades reviews in a row.  Isn’t that upbeat?  Wanna hear about another failed line?  It’s okay, this one was marginally less of a failure.  Back when they were in the swing of things, Palisades was grabbing the license to all the cool cult-followed properties that they could.  While the master license for Buffy action figures was elsewhere, they managed to snag the rights to produce a line of block figures.  Initially, they had attempted to strike up a deal with Diamond Select in order to produce some Buffy Minimates.  For whatever reason, the plans fell through, so Palisades decided to tweak the design sheets ever so slightly and create their own line of block figures, dubbed “Palz.”  They were actually pretty darn awesome, and ended up introducing some nice ideas that would later be adopted by Minimates proper.  Today, I’ll be looking at one of the variants of the line’s title character, Buffy Summers.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Vampire Buffy was released as an exclusive through ToyFare magazine, and she hit around the same time as Series 1 of the main line.  She’s based on Buffy’s appearance during the first season episode “Nightmares.”  It was actually pretty nice, because Willow’s alt look was from that episode, and there was even a club-exclusive Xander, so the main trio were all represented.  The figure stands about 3 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  Like the previously reviewed Willow, she’s built on the female body (because Palz actually had gender specific bodies), with an add-on for her hair.  The hair is somewhat reflective of her look from the show, though it’s not quite spot on for Season 1.  It’s still a nice piece, though.  The paintwork on her is decent enough; it’s certainly vibrant, and I always appreciated how Palisades added depth to the faces, with shading and the like.  It works particularly well for the vampire design.  As was common with these figures, she’s got a second face on the back of the head; this one gives us a standard Buffy face, for those that just wanted a basic Buffy out of this figure.  Buffy is lighter than a lot of Palz when it comes to accessories, but she still has her fair share.  There’s a tombstone (the same as the standard Series 1 Buffy, but this time with writing on it), two books, a purse, and a jacket with a pair of sleeved arms.  The jacket’s cool in theory, but due to the fragile nature of the plastic used for the figure, I wasn’t willing to risk putting it on her, lest I break one of the shoulder joints (this was actually my second of this figure; the first broke in several places).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I mentioned in my review of Willow, a sizable chunk of my Palz collection was courtesy of a very, very nice member of the Minimate Multiverse forum.  Both Vampire Buffys I own are from that chunk.  I wasn’t really dying to track her down on her own, since there are plenty of other Buffy Palz to be had, but it’s nice to have her to round out the set.  She’s okay, but does suffer from being one of the more lackluster entries in the line.  She’s decent enough, but the other Buffys all had a little extra to offer, which makes this one a little more “meh.”

#1012: Buffy Summers

BUFFY SUMMERS – GRADUATION DAY

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (DST)

BuffyGD1

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a fairly popular show in the ‘90s. Though it hasn’t aged super well, it’s still the show that got Joss Whedon recognized, and it did a lot to shake up how TV shows were handled. It also moved a fair bit of merchandise, which included action figures. The earliest figures were by sculptor Claybourne Moore’s company, Moore Action Collectibles. MAC’s earliest figures were little more than glorified statues, and even when they started adding more articulation, the actual usefulness of said articulation wasn’t superb. When MAC went under, Diamond Select Toys took over the license. Their initial figures were somewhat similar to MAC’s in movement, but they eventually expanded their line to include a few better articulated figures, in order to compete with Toy Biz’s Marvel Legends. They kicked the line off with a few versions of the title character, Buffy Summers.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

BuffyGD2Buffy was released in the first series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Deluxe Figures, which first hit in 2005. There were three Buffys offered in the series, based on her looks from various points in the show. This figure is based on her appearance in the first half of the Season 3 finale “Graduation Day.” It’s probably the most basic look we got for Buffy. The figure is just shy of 6 inches tall and has 31 points of articulation. With the exception of the shoulders, which were just cut joints (due to the design of the jacket), she was comparable with any Marvel Legends figure of the time, which wasn’t bad for a company that had, at that point, not attempted such an articulated figure. The sculpts of these figures were done by Gentle Giant Studios, who currently handle Star Wars: The Black Series and Funko’s Legacy Collection, so it’s no real shock that Buffy resembles the figures from those lines in terms of quality. The overall sculpt is actually quite good. While the head isn’t a perfect Sarah Michelle Gellar (nor is it the best likeness of her that DST would produce), it’s still got more than a passing resemblance. Perhaps my only real complaint would be the somewhat bland expression, which was a common problem with GG’s earlier figures. The body is a bit on the skinny side, but not horribly proportioned. The clothing all has nice detail work, and she certainly fits in with the rest of DST’s Buffy figures. Buffy’s paintwork is fairly basic, but it’s clean, and all of the colors match up pretty well with what’s seen on screen. Buffy included a spare set of bare arms, which allowed for the jacket to be removed, and even afforded the figure a bit of extra posability. She also had a pair of handcuffs, her diploma, and a Sunnydale High yearbook. Curiously absent is any sort of slaying equipment. They couldn’t even give her a stake?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Buffy ended up being one of the last BVS figures I got, despite being the only version of the main character I’ve ever owned. I ended up getting her on clearance from a KB Toys. She’s actually a pretty fun figure, even for just a basic person in basic clothes. It’s a shame that DST didn’t do more figures in this style from some of their other lines.