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Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Sideshow Buffy Vs Dracula mini-bust - Moviepoopshoot.com Review

Michael Crawford

Wednesday 26 October 2005, by Webmaster

So they asked me to write about Buffy’s bust today. My first thought was that Freddy Prinze is probably a better candidate for the job. My second was that I wish I was a better candidate.

Yes, I always had a thing for Ms. Gellar. Considering I was in high school when she was born, it’s a tad creepy, I know. But I still have an eye for beauty, and she’s still got that damn restraining order.

If you’re a fan looking for Buffy product, I think you’ve got far more options these days than when the show was actually on. Palisades is doing mini-figures, Sideshow Toys is doing 12" figures, and Diamond Select is doing 6" action figures AND a series of busts and statues. Tonight we’ll look at the Buffy vs. Dracula mini-bust, the latest release.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, you can always reach me at mwc@mwctoys.com. If you enjoy this review, take a minute to check out my other site at Michael’s Review of the Week, and let me know what you think. Now on to the review!

"Buffy Vs Dracula mini-bust"

Yes, this bust is called the "Buffy vs Dracula" bust. Why? I don’t see any Dracula...well, that’s because it’s simply based off her look in that particular episode. You know those teenage girls, constantly changing their outfits.

These are hitting specialty stores and online retailers - I have my usual suggestions at the end of the review - and you can expect to pay around $40. The next ones coming up is a regular Spike, due in December, and the "Becoming" Buffy, which should hit first quarter of 2006.

Packaging - ***

The box shows photos of the actual bust, so that although there is no window, you can still get some idea of what you’re buying. Scale is always tough to tell though, and that’s why I still prefer windows whenever possible.

DST also always includes a pretty nifty Certificate of Authenticity, and this one is no exception.

Sculpting - ***

Capturing the look of a ’real’ person is so much more difficult than the average monster. Perhaps it’s because monsters have so much more ’personality’ in their appearance, or maybe it’s because so much of the recognizable features of a real person are in the small movements, gestures, and constantly shifting expressions that a 3-D photo just never quite does it.

Whatever, the case, people are tough to do. Scanning was going to solve all that, a process in which the subject is scanned in by some very cool geek equipment, and then this computer generated sculpt is cleaned up by humans. That’s not quite the case though, for several reasons. First, human perception is a tricky thing. Stuff that look right at 1:1 - the size of a nose or head, position of lips or ears, etc. - may no longer look right if it is scaled exactly down to 1:6. It might technically be right, but our eyes won’t judge it so. Second, all this scanning and scaling is done by tasty little algorithms, written by somebody who just spent the last hour arguing whether Hulk or Superman would win in a cage match. Believe it or not, they aren’t always perfect. Third, there’s the actor themselves. They often have a misconception about their own appearance, as we all do, and may force changes to a sculpt that actually looks like them, to make it appear more they way the THINK they appear. And finally, there’s the paint, which can make or break a sculpt.

The point of all that is simply to say that capturing Sarah Michelle Gellar has proven exceptionally tough. It’s improving, that’s for sure, but it still has a way to go. This sculpt is decent, and certainly recognizable. It appears that most of the problems with the sculpt are actually paint issues, but that’s not to say the sculpt is without it’s problems. The forehead is too wide for example, and the cheeks just a little too chipmunky. But it’s one of the better resin versions so far, and we can only hope they continue to improve.

Paint - **1/2

The paint is where the biggest issues lie, although they still aren’t huge. The work on the body is great, with clean lines, a nice, even tampo on the shirt, and a good use of gloss on the pants to give them the look of leather. The tampo is slightly glossier than the tank top though, so you can see the square shape clearly if you’re looking for it.

The face is where the issues lie. Again, it’s not in quality of application, but in artistic rendition. All the masking was done cleanly, and the facial tone is consistent and even. But all you have to do is look at the prototype on the box to see that there are enough differences to throw the sculpt off. The eyes are way too sleepy, with drooping lids, and the eyes themselves don’t quite track together. The lips are just slightly off, and these slight differences add up to make one larger difference to your perception.

Design/Quality - ***1/2

I like the design of the sculpt, with a nice fluidity to the pose. It’s also a fairly reasonable pose for her, and the use of the tombstone as the base is a great touch. The different textures between the human and stone areas give it more visual impact, and the inclusion of the vine that is crawling down the tombstone and up her body (I’ve never envied a vine before) makes an for an interesting connection.

I do have to point out one issue I have with it though, but this is one of personal preference. Most of the Buffy and Angel busts that have come from MAC and now DST have been true busts - head and shoulders, rarely any arms. That means the head and body have been larger, usually sixth scale in size. With the greater inclusing of the lower body and both arms, the newer busts (including both versions of Oz) have moved in a new direction. The big problem with this is that they no longer go well with the previous busts on the shelf. A minor gripe, but one that may effect your purchase.

Value - **1/2

At $40, Miss Gellar isn’t cheap. This seems to be a pretty standard price though for the mini-bust market, and has risen very little over the last couple years.

Overall - ***

This might not be a steller gellar, but she’s a better than fairah Sarah. I probably deserve to be slapped for that.

Some day we’ll get the perfect Buffy sculpt, but for now, this is the best resin version I’ve seen. It has some room for improvement, and the early photos of the "Becoming" bust look good, so I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Where to Buy -

This one is supposed to be a ’Previews’ exclusive, but that means anyone that buys through Diamond (which includes folks like Media Play) could have it. Online suggestions include:

- Amazing Toyz has the bust for $37.

- CornerStoreComics has her for just $37.

- Alter Ego Comics has her for $38.25.

- Time and Space Toys has her for $40.

- Buffy Collecctor’s Club has her for $36, but you have to be a member. However, if you’re a big Buffy buyer, it’s a good deal, since you get a freebie with your membership (I think it’s the Angel puppet right now).

- Yikes Comics has her for $45.

Related Links - I’ve reviewed a TON of Buffy product, no doubt about it. But here’s a few highlights in case you’re looking for what else is out there:

- DST is also doing a regular series of action figures for both the Buffy and Angel licenses, along with a super articulated series.

- Palisades is doing the mini-figures, called "Palz".

- And Sideshow just released the latest figure in their 12" series, the Vampire Buffy.