#1013: Angel




While I like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I can’t say it’s my favorite Joss Whedon show (actually, it’s probably nearer to the bottom of the list).  It’s spin-off series, Angel, however , is one of my favorites.  Angel himself started on Buffy of course.  Early on, he’s not much more than a generic love interest, but when it’s revealed later in the first season that he’s a vampire with a soul, he starts to get a bit more interesting, prompting him to become one of the show’s breakaway characters come the second season (something that turn to villain towards that season’s end all the more shocking).  Angel was popular enough to be amongst the first characters to get an action figure, and I’ll be looking at that figure today.


AngelMAC2Angel was released in the very first series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer figures from Moore Action Collectibles.  He’s based on his look from most of the second season, which is pretty timeless as far as Angel is concerned (the hair is really the only giveaway that he’s from earlier on).  The figure’s a little over 6 inches tall and he has a resounding 6 points of articulation.  Yes, he’s from before MAC started adding articulation.  His articulation is there, but it’s really only good for slight tweaks to keep him balanced (and oh boy is that a chore).  There’s really only the one pose for this figure.  On the plus side, it’s a decent enough pose.  It’s not too specific, nor is it too rigid.  He looks fairly natural, and that’s what really matters.  The sculpt on Angel is quite nice.  The head features a good David Boreanaz likeness, and the body has some great detail work.  He feels a little on the skinny side, but it is supposed to be a younger Boreanaz, so it’s not far off.  The paint work on Angel is pretty decent overall.  Everything’s cleanly applied, and there’s no real slop to speak of.  However, for some reason, his skin tone is very orange, which isn’t at all appropriate for a character like Angel.  Dude literally gets no sun.  Ever.  He should be pretty pale.  Angel was packed with a sword, a stand, and a life-sized version of his ring.  Not quite as impressive a selection as later figures would get, but it’s not bad.


Angel was the first BVS figure I got, but it was a little bit after they were first released.  At the time, the whole first series was on clearance at Toys R Us, so I got Angel, in part because Angel is pretty awesome, and in part because he’s the best figure in the first series.  He’s not the greatest figure ever, but he’s decent enough.


#0113: Spike



Today, I venture into an area I haven’t really looked at before:  Buffy the Vampire Slayer!  Back in the 90s and early 2000s, Buffy was pretty much THE show to be watching in the fan community, so I was definitely watching it.  While I don’t think it holds up to most of Whedon’s other works, it definitely helped to put him on the map, and get us all those other great shows we all love.  And for that, I can certainly appreciate it.

One of the breakaway characters from the show was the evil-vampire-turned-unwilling-ally-turned-legitimate-hero, Spike!  So, of course, there were quite a few figures of him over the years.  Today, I’ll be looking at the very first.


Spike was released as part of Moore Action Collectables’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer line.  The figure is based on Spike’s red shirt/black leather jacket combo, which works well, seeing as it was his most prominent look on the show.  He stands a little over 6 inches tall and features 15 points of articulation.  The sculpt is pretty decent, I suppose.  The head definitely looks like James Marsters, who played Spike on the show.  The rest of the body is a bit of a mixed bag. As a whole, it looks the part, but it’s a bit odd in a few places, and despite his 15 points of articulation, he really only looks right in a single pose.  Unlike on most modern figures, the jacket is big, solid piece of plastic, which makes the figure pretty heavy, and pretty much negates all of the leg articulation.  The paint on the figure is pretty decent overall, though the skin has a particularly shiny sheen to it, which makes him look a bit off.  The denim texturing on the paints is actually really nice, and they even went the extra mile and painted his shoe-laces, so they definitely put in some effort.  Spike continued the line’s tradition of packing all of the figures in the line with display stands that depicted a section of cemetery.


I picked up this figure at a convention while he was still fairly new.  I paid a rather large amount of money for the time, given the character’s popularity, but I don’t feel like I was ripped off.  He was a good offering for the time, and he’s an okay figure over all.  He looks really nice when placed on the shelf in his one intimidating pose, and he encapsulates the character pretty well, so he serves his purpose, I suppose.  When Diamond Select Toys took over the line, they had a few superior offerings, although they never directly rereleased this particular version of the character. So, if you want this specific look, this is about your only option.  I am desperately attempting to bring a little levity to this review so it’s not the most boring thing I’ve ever written.  But, I feel I may have failed.  I used to be really into these figures, but now I find them slightly on the boring side.  However, the randomized list of figures from which I work told me to review Spike, and I don’t dare argue!