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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Series 4
by yo go re

Remember vamp Rule #3: never stick your fangs in crazy.

Driven insane from the torments that her sire Angelus had once visited upon her family, Drusilla now exists only to serve evil. The sire of Spike, her prophetic visions coupled with her senseless ramblings prove that this vampire is a force to be reckoned with. She likes to play with her dolls and she loves to kill. To quote her best, "I met an old man. I didn't like him. He got stuck in my teeth. And then the moon started whispering to me. All sorts of dreadful things." Enough said.

When Spike and Dru were first introduced in Season 2 of Buffy, they were intended to be one-shot characters, dusted and forgotten. However, they had such chemistry and on-screen presence, Joss scrapped that idea and made the pair two of the biggest, baddest vampires around.

We got a Spike in Series 2 of MAC's Buffy line, and we now have Dru in Series 4. I'm quite impressed with Moore's dedication to fans of the show - rather than go the Hasbro route and churn out variant after variant of the main character, MAC produces other heroes and villains. We haven't had a Buffy since Series 2, and the already-announced Series 5 doesn't have her, either.

Dru is, naturally, a beautiful sculpt. Proving that it doesn't take skin-tight clothes or a thong to make a sexy sculpt, Drusilla is wearing an ankle-length black skirt and detailed red top. The skirt is a solid piece, meaning that she has no articulation below the waist. She does still move quite a bit, with joints at the neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, and wrists.

While Dru herself may be unbalanced, the figure is anything but; she's sculpted well enough that she can stand without her included base - an important feature for any action figure, and one McFalane Toys seems to have forgotten recently. Rather than the graveyards that graced Series 2 and 3, Drusilla stands on two short stone steps, flanked by pillars of stones and skulls. It's a bit more haphazard than an ossuary would be, so you get the feeling it's a decoration she made herself (or had Spike make for her). It's 4¼" tall, 4" wide and 2¼" deep.

The figure's accessories are top-notch, as well. Rather than the axes, crossbows and stakes the good guys have, or the ornate armory her bleach-blonde boyfriend came with, Dru's offerings are nicely understated. She has a large khukuri knife, a wilting rose, a small blood-stained silver pitcher, and her favorite doll, Miss Edith. The doll is a solid piece of plastic, but sculpted to look like she's wearing a ruffled dress and has real hair. It's hard to tell, thanks to the pale paint, but she's properly blindfolded (creepy!), and the bow on her hair is crooked.

The standard Dru is a fairly good figure, but her variant is even better. Clad in a white, blood-smeared gown, the variant figure is, like all the variant bloodsuckers so far, "vamped out" - in other words, she's got her game face on. But we'll get to that in a second.

Her dress is now pure white, like the wedding gown of an abandonned bride. Think Miss Havisham, but less reclusive and more vengeful: that would explain the splattered blood all down her front, and the two bloody smears on her thighs (which, judging by the way her palms are painted, are a result of her nonchalantly tring to wipe her hands clean on her dress). She probably didn't even realize she was doing it.

The vamp face looks terrific, in both the modern (excellent) and original (frightening) senses of the word. Those sunken yellow eyes, that crinkly brow, and those big pointy fangs give this face a lot more personality than "human" Drusilla had. Maybe when she lets the demon inside her take control, she has an easier time focusing on the task at hand.

It's actually kind of a shame the face looks so good, because she has new hair, too: you may want to display her facing backwards. While the normal version just has her hair pulled back in a flat clip, the variant has it sculpted into a classical 'do, with big thick curls cascading from her crown. It's quite ornate, and very much matches the character's style nicely.

Finally, to help set her apart, her accessories have been repainted. The knife is now bloody, telling more of the story that began on her hands and dress. The pitcher is white with small blue flowers painted on the surface, like fine china - it still has the blood running down the side, of course. The rose is black instead of red, and Miss Edith is now a blonde and wearing a pink dress and blindfold.

Out of the two figures, the variant Vamp Dru is much better. It's not that there's anything wrong with the normal version - she's another fine addition to the Buffy lineup. But the changes made for the variant really stand out, delivering a great monster.

-- 09/23/02

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