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Oz

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Series 2
by yo go re

This is one laconic lycanthrope!

Oz is a brainy slacker guitarist possessing trademark stoicism. Adding to all the chaos that is the Hellmouth, Oz also has to deal with his monthly metamorphosis into a werewolf.

Now Oz is one cool cat. He's got that quiet, measured thing going for him, he plays guitar, and (best of all) he's played by Seth Green (Austin Powers, Greg the Bunny). Why's that so good? Because Seth is an action figure fan, big time; he's made custom figures for his friends and has teamed with ToyFare magazine veteran Matt Seinrich and Sony's Screenblast.com site to create "Sweet J," a series of stop-motion action figure movies. Sounds like our kind of guy.

Recognizing his innate coolness, Moore Action wasted no time in bringing Daniel "Oz" Osborne to plastic life. A lot of the toy-buying community was looking forward to Oz's release, and not simply because it's a cool figure. When McFarlane Toys had the Austin Powers line, they put out a figure of Scott Evil; as the two top toymakers at the time, McToys and MACToys were finally going head-to-head (literally - facial sculpt was one of the points of contention). Which company could create the better Seth Green? Whose cuisine sculpting would reign supreme?!

[Here's a hint: Scott's on clearance at KayBee; three different versions of Oz sold out. Draw your own conclusions. --ed.]

Part of Buffy Series 2, Oz comes with a detailed graveyard base; stones and dirt at the bottom, sculpted grass on top, and a textured tombstone that plugs into place. Now, MAC could have saved money by just creating a generic base, but instead they gave everyone a unique thematically appropriate piece. In keeping with Oz's lupine tendencies, the stone has a crescent moon on its face, claw marks all over, and is bound with a real metal chain.

Oz came with the type of accessories he'd need to survive a typical quiet Sunnydale night - two mini-crossbows and a pair of stakes. Perfectly normal, perfectly natural. Has he ever dual-wielded crossbows on the show? I certainly don't remember. Since he's in a band (Dingoes Ate My Baby), he's also got an electric guitar with a strap and an amp. He has interchangeable hands, so he can hold whichever accessories you prefer. He really does look quite nice with the gutiar, either playing it or just slung over his back.

The figure stands 5¾" tall, since Seth Green is a biton the teensy side himself, and has 16 points of articulation: peg neck, peg shoulders, peg biceps (where the arms emerge from the sleeves), pin elbows, peg wrists, peg waist, v-crotch, swivels in the thighs, and pin knees. This is pretty much the same assortment that Giles had, and while Oz still has the poseability limitations, at least his "at rest" pose is more neutral.

Oz is wearing a T-shirt, slightly baggy jeans and a pair of flame shoes. Those things are a fashion disaster. The shadows on the legs are a bit heavy, but the shirt's logo is done with a sticker, rather than paint. The image is a cartoon baby, the famous Sweet J. What does "Sweet J" mean? Well, other than the fact that it's not about drugs, no one seems to know. Well, theoretically Seth knows - the toy's shirt is based on one he actually used to wear with some regularity - but he's not saying.

Out-stripping the rest of his class, Oz had two variants to be found. First was an Oz with color scheme designed by Seth Green himself: with a green shirt, blue jeans, and darker brown hair, it was available from Entertainment Earth and had an EE logo sticker on the chest. Then, in khakis and tones of red, we had Werewolf Oz, caught in mid-transformation: he has a new head (of course) as well as new and appropriately furry arms, with claws on his fingers; this variant was a "Previews Exclusive," which meant you could order it through Diamond Distribuition's comicstore catalog. Both variants came with all the same accessories as the original (though the wolf didn't have replaceable hands).

If you can find Oz, you won't be disappointed. This is one cool, laid-back toy. An action figure of an action figure fan? Excellence!

-- 09/07/02


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