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Buffy Summers

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Series 2
by yo go re

Buffy Series 1 was a rousing success - the line was even picked up by Toys Я Us, a huge coup for a small company. As good as the first ones were, Series 2 took everything to a new level.

As the one girl in all the world with the strength and skill to hunt and slay vampires, Buffy Summers constantly juggles the life of a typical young adult while battling forces of evil and saving the world.

By now, everyone knows how Buffy Summers is creator Joss Whedon's reaction to a world in which the girls are always the victims in pop culture: for the most part, if there's a blonde in a horror movie, she's going down. And after she does that, she's going to get killed. [HAR! --ed.] If a woman is the last one standing, she mostly gets through on luck and the sacrifices of her friends, not her own abilities. Buffy is a subversion of that: she's the hot chick, and she lives, but she does it on her own.

Just like Series One, this series comprises four figures: Buffy herself, stuffy old Giles, laconic Oz and the villainous Spike. Oh, and all of those had at least one variant, too. Buffy's standard version had red pants and a black spaghetti strap top. She's got those completely illogical high-heels of which she's so fond, and a rather distant look on her face.

Here's an action figure fun-fact: Sarah Michelle Gellar has a notoriously difficult nose to capture in a sculpted likeness. Or, perhaps more accurately, she's very picky about her nose (no pun intended); she's notorious for requesting revision after revision, until she's happy with the way the sculpt looks. Now, normally that would be fine, but apparently SMG doesn't actually know what her nose looks like, and so the one she approves will often look nothing like her. Clayburne Moore himself has described the process as a nightmare, and now she insists upon being RealScanned.

Rather than stone logo bases, like Series 1 came with, Series 2 figures each came with a unique detailed graveyard base; stones and dirt at the bottom, sculpted grass on top, and a textured tombstone that plugs into place. Everyon'e clod of dirt is different, as is the grave maker: Buffy's headstone has a very art-deco rising sun on the front, signifying the time of day when she can finally let her guard down.

As always, Clayburn Moore's done a wonderful job with the figure's sculpt. Buffy manages to look tough and feminine at the same time, and her clothes stretch, wrinkle and bunch as they should. She's pretty heavily pre-posed, with her right leg held forward and permanently bent at the knee. In fact, even getting her to stand without her base is a dicey proposition - a real no-no for any action figure. She comes with a crossbow, sickle, ax, and of course a few stakes. She's articulated at the neck, shoulders, upper arms, elbows, wrists, hips, thighs, and knees.

As we mentioned above, all the figures in this series have a variant - Buffy's is sort of a mixture of sources. She has the shorter hair she was sporting at the beginning of Season Two, but is wearing the lavender top and black pants seen in some of the Season One promo shots. The articulation is the same, but the accessories are different; she comes with a sword, dirk, stake, and the sledgehammer she used to grind the Master's bones. There are also two versions of the packaging - one in a window box and one on a blister card.

So how, if Sarah hated the likeness Moore Action Collectibles came up with, does the toy manage to look so much like her? Well, it's a secret. If a star has approval rights in their contract, then what they say goes. A clever company would never ever ever do something as sneaky as creating two sculpts: one to be approved by the actor, and the other to "accidentally" be sent to the factory and used on the toy. That would be underhanded and wrong and you can be certain that nothing of the sort happened with these Buffy figures, no sir! Wink.

-- 09/05/02

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