The Good: Absolutely amazing sculpt, Neat alternate heads, Good painted details, Stable base, Collectible value
The Bad: Skin tones are the wrong color,
The Basics: The Sideshow Collectibles Spike Premium Format Figure is a neat, but not flawless, Buffy The Vampire Slayer collectible!
For those who follow my reviews and know of my commitment to reviewing pretty much whatever is produced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it may appear to be a somewhat disappointing weekend for me and the blog. After all, it is Sunday and Marvel and Netflix released their thirteen episode season of Daredevil more than two full days ago now. How can I not have my episode by episode reviews of the season (along with the whole season review) done and posted by now?! The answer is simple: Netflix very thoughtlessly released Daredevil on my sixth wedding anniversary and I opted to prioritize my loving wife over my reviewing blog (go figure!). One of the ways I showed my wife appreciation for sticking with me for the past six years was by giving her the gift of the Sideshow Collectibles Buffy The Vampire Slayer Spike Premium Format Figure.
We saw the Spike Premium Format Figure on the shelf in a comic book shop six years and a month ago, when I took her on a trip to New York City (and we decided we wanted to be married). At the time, I couldn't swing the expense of the statue-like figure on top of her ring and the trip expenses, but I never forgot how she looked at that Spike statue with longing and excitement. I was super psyched to track down a mint in box one (it might well have been the last one on the planet!) and watching her open it enthusiastically on our anniversary was one of the high points of our celebration (for both of us)!
Unlike the new Wonder Woman Premium Format Figure (reviewed here!), the Sideshow Collectibles Buffy The Vampire Slayer Spike Premium Format Figure is a blend of polystone and cloth elements - like a ceramic doll. Also (fortunately!) unlike the Wonder Woman Premium Format Figure which graces my collection, the Spike figure does not have any thinner parts that can easily break off (Wonder Woman collectors, beware! If you ever try to rebox the figure . . . the hair!). Like the other Premium Format Figures, Spike is essentially a statue, not a doll or figure (he has no poseability for the body, though the coat can be moved).
And it's pretty cool, save the coloring.
The Spike Premium Format Figure presents the sexiest vampire of the Buffyverse incredibly well. This version of Spike has the vampire character in his familiar black trench coat standing in a cocky, neutral pose on a base that looks like the tiled floor of a masoleum. The blonde vampire has his human face on, with his hands at his sides, standing in an "at the ready" pose, as opposed to an action-oriented one. One of the neatest aspects of the Spike Premium Format Figure is that he has a full-vampire head that may be swapped out for the human one. The Spike Premium Format Figure is made of polystone for the body and base, a little bit of heavy steel (for the thin metal rod that extends from Spike's right heel and allows the Premium Format Figure to attach to the base) and cloth for the shirt, pants (sorry, ladies, this Spike figure is NOT anatomically correct!), belt and leather jacket. This is a heavy Premium Format Figure.
The Sideshow Collectibles Spike Premium Format Figure is cast with lifelike detailing. The hair is textured and details like the fingernails and boot laces on the boots are immaculately sculpted on. The cloth elements are impressive - the squeal of delight my wife let out when she realized that the pockets are actually pockets on the red striped shirt Spike wears was pretty delightful. The character's face looks exactly like James Marsters as Spike and elements like the cuffs at the bottom of Spike's pants are an incredible detail that helps Sideshow justify the lavish price of this collectible.
As for coloring, that is where this Spike falls down. Spike is a vampire and cannot tan. The Spike Premium Format Figure has far too much red in his skin tones to be considered an accurate representation of the famous vampire. It is ironic because when the Premium Format Figure is set up next to other Spike collectibles, this is a pretty glaring problem. There is something unsettling about this giant, sunburned version of Spike when set next to the exceptionally pale Spike in Hawaiian shirt! That said, all of the cloth elements are perfectly colored and things like the glossy black fingernails and the detail to Spike's eyes is extraordinary.
As a Sideshow Collectibles Premium Format Figure, the Spike Premium Format Figure is only accented by an alternate head and the collector’s number on the bottom of the base. The base, the bottom, is a perfect fit for the Premium Format Figure, which is nice. With his foot placed properly in the hole in the base, the right foot roots the Premium Format Figure to the base. Spike is wonderfully rooted to the base, without any play.
The head pops off the Premium Format Figure when carefully pulled and it may be replaced with the vampire head. The vampire head is equally well-detailed as the human head and it features Spike with his vampire forehead, fangs out and an active and angry expression. His eyes are, appropriately, vamped out, too and Sideshow made it very easy to replace Spike heads. Smartly, the figure's head separates at the base of the neck, so the seam that is inevitable for removable parts can easily be hidden under the character's shirt and jacket! Both my wife and I prefer the vampire head given how few Spike figures have a decent option for that face.
As with all Premium Format Figures, the intent of the Sideshow Collectibles Spike Premium Format Figure is to be used as a decorative collectible and this is well-balanced at the base. The Premium Format Figure does not wobble on its base at all. The display base is augmented with four rubber discs that keep it perfectly stable, so it does not slide, tip, lean or do anything other than stand perfectly positioned on one’s shelf or display case.
Sideshow Collectibles has been making bigger and better collectibles for decades. The Spike Premium Format Figure was a 1:4 scale statue and limited to 350 pieces. Each one is individually numbered on the bottom of the base (mine, or rather my wife's, is 265/350!). These Premium Format Figures have already exploded in value and I suspect it will continue to appreciate in value as Buffy The Vampire Slayer fans age and want more adult collectibles. Moreover, finding one that has not been out of the package, on display, is a Herculean task. Tracking down a mint, unopened one is liable to be a great investment as more collectors break theirs (inadvertently!) or suffer fading of the cloth elements by having them out in natural light. This was an extraordinary investment and still is a good one.
The 1:4 scale Spike Premium Format Figure from Sideshow Collectibles is not the perfect collectible adult collectors might have wanted. Is it good enough? Yes. It's good enough to justify its price to the 350 Spike fans lucky enough to get their hands on one, but its doubtful that the rest of the Buffyverse fans would covet it so much that they absolutely needed to get one, too.
For other Spike or Buffyverse collectibles, please check out my reviews of:
Sideshow Collectibles Spike 1:6 Scale Statue
Puppet Spike Puppet
Cordelia Action Figure
For other Buffy The Vampire Slayer toys and collectibles, please visit my Buffy The Vampire Slayer Toy Review Index Page!
© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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