The Good: Bunny suit! Interesting sculpt, Generally good poseability, Decent base
The Bad: Light on articulation (terrible head articulation), mediocre accessories, Balance issues, Recycled figure!
The Basics: Hardly the most playable or pliable figure, the kitsch factor makes Anya in her bunny outfit a real must-have toy!
Every now and then toy manufacturers truly get something completely right. Diamond Select Toys Buffy The Vampire Slayer toy line has a lot of near misses for really right, even perfect, toys. The standout of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer toy line would have to be the "Fear Itself Anya" from the Series 4 Anya toyline. It doesn't matter how bad the initial sculpt is, Anya in her bunny outfit makes for a great toy!
Utilizing a body of Season Five Anya - despite the fact that "Fear Itself" was a season four episode - the figure attempts to capture who Anya was in the final moments of the episode "Fear Itself" when she comically arrived in a fluffy bunny costume as a representation of something scary. The whole figure is an inside joke and it's a good one.
Fear Itself Anya is one of the exclusive -released via Previews - action figures from the Buffy The Vampire Slayer Series 4 figure line from Diamond Select toys. She is a 5 3/4 inch tall action figure featuring a sculpt of Anya the ex-vengeance demon as she appeared in the fifth season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Yes, the basic action figure is the Season Five Anya (reviewed here!).
The sculpt is a tough one to evaluate, though. First, the figure does not scream "Anya," save the packaging. If the figure were standing by itself in the blue jeans and ruffled tube top somewhere, I would be at a loss to place it. The face is very angular and it does not honestly look like Anya. This might be because the sculpt of the hair is flattened on the sides and it frames the face in a very awkward way. It almost looks like Anya's hair was wet and flattened out instead of having the bounce and buoyancy the actual hair did on the show.
Also, the figure is disturbingly thin and this gives Anya more of a scarecrow/stickfigure feel to her than she had in reality on the show.
Outside that, the detailing looks good. Diamond Select Toys has a way of capturing details with a realism that is wonderful and the the recycled Season Five Anya is no exception: The fingernails are carefully sculpted, the feet are visible in the sandals with matching toenail polish and the detailing on the jeans is great. One might be disturbed by the detailing on the bust of the Season Five Anya, though; the stick-figure Anya is well endowed and the detailing on the plastic clothing holding back her bosom looks like it is stretched to the breaking point and it lacks - for want of a better term - realistic lines of force. Fortunately, the primary accessory for this figure makes that a moot point.
The other problem with it, though, is the coloring. Anya's hair is presented as a flat brown that it never was in reality and the skin tones make Anya seem much more tanned than she appeared on the show. So, basically, the fundamental problem is that Anya does not look like a recognizable incarnation of the character in any real way.
What makes "Fear Itself Anya" "Fear Itself Anya" is the primary accessory; the bunny costume! The fluffy suit comes in two pieces; the main body and the hat with the ears. The bunny suit slips over the Anya figure with minimal tugging and prodding. This is a good way to loosen up the figure's joints, though.
The hat piece with the bunny ears slips on over the head just fine, but it is a real trick to tie the bow underneath the head so it stays on without the ribbon slipping and becoming a knot. "Fear Itself" Anya, so accoutered, is a joke and she's cute and funny. And after minutes of struggling against the joints to make this happen (the last time I had to dress one of these figures up, I tore out her elbow!) collectors and fans will be ready for a good joke.
Anya comes with two other basic accessories: the base and a little plastic bunny! Also, around the figure's neck is the necklace bearing the amulet used to endow Anya with her wish-granting powers. The necklace does not come off her and this seems odd as she did not have the amulet any longer by the fourth season. The other items fit the figure well in that they are emblematic of items from the episodes that Anya appeared in. They are not exciting accessories, though.
The base is a decent plastic base that is 4 1/2" inches in diameter and represents the floor of the Magic Box. The base has a foot peg and the peg which fits easily into Anya's right foot, providing ample support for the figure. There's only ne problem: in the bunny costume, Anya's foot is no longer exposed. As a result the peg cannot possibly fit into her foot! Thus, "Fear Itself" Anya falls over an awful lot.
The little plastic bunny is cute and one imagines Anya screaming at the site of it. It does not do much, though.
"Fear Itself" Anya is generally well balanced, though the toy does not allow for much of a range of motion to stay balanced. In the bunny costume, Anya must remain flat footed and the way the costume hugs the character severely limits Anya's poseability.
Anya is hampered in poseability by her limited articulation, both before and after being put in the bunny costume. Anya is articulated at only ten points: knees, groin joint, shoulders, elbows, waist and head. The head is kept on via a ball joint, so the figure's head can move with incredible articulation and range of motion. Or, at least, that's the theory. I've gone through one Season Five Anya and one "Fear Itself Anya" which share the same basic figure because the head has not been articulated. Turning the head tears it right off (this is also the only way to get the amulet from around Anya's neck, it appears!
With the bunny costume on, "Fear Itself" Anya pretty much just raises her arms and puts them down as far as poseability goes.
It is difficult, then, to see how this Anya would be fun for play. Truth be told the Buffy The Vampire Slayer audience that is likely to purchase "Fear Itself" Anya is much more likely to leave the figure in the package or set in on a shelf in a pose as a display piece than actually sit and try to play with it. The economically motivated Anya acts more as a support piece than a battle action figure.
"Fear Itself" Anya is limited edition and fans have pretty much gobbled her up, driving the price of the figure up! Consumer interest in this Anya figure has been high, due in part to the popularity of the moment and recurring theme she represents with the bunny suit. Collectors are lucky to find this figure in the $25 range and it has pretty steadily been going up in value.
The Previews Exclusive "Fear Itself" Anya makes for a worthwhile collectible for fans of Buffy The Vampire Slayer!
Fans of Anya and Emma Caulfield will likely be disappointed by the sculpt, but happy to cover up that poor showing by putting her in her bunny costume. The limited articulation and inability to get the figure to stand on the base using the peg are disappointing oversights, but it is doubtful that would keep fans from adding this figure to their collections!
This figure represents Anya as she appeared at in Buffy: The Vampire Slayer - The Fourth Season, reviewed here!
For other action figures, be sure to check out my reviews of:
Blackest Night Nekron
Watchmen Dr. Manhattan
The Lord Of The Rings Galadriel Entranced
For other toy reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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