Hellmouth Darla, Angel Season 5 Spike, & Grave Spike
This Spotlight is brought to you by the letter V, for Violakitten.
BTVS: Welcome to the Hellmouth Darla Previews Exclusive
Finally, a tribute to our first Vampire Villain! Who could forget the beguiling innocence of Darla in her cute little school girl outfit? This action figure from Diamond Select is the latest in a series of new figures released this year to commemorate two of our favorite TV shows: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Angel. As a newbie collector, I rejoice in the glow of an ever-expanding shelf of plastic goodness! Welcome to the Hellmouth Darla, in my opinion, was long overdue. The sculpt itself is good, yet it doesn't quite catch the evil perkiness of the character emulated. The hair and face are a little long, the paint job -- especially in the face -- was a bit uneven. But the outfit IS awfully cute.
She comes with guns (a nice touch), a cross, a sledge hammer, a dagger of some sort, and a base that is reminiscent of the grave yard. There was a cool little iron gate that comes with the base, but darned if I know where it's supposed to go. There looks to be a slot on one side of the base, but the gate simply wouldn't fit. This base comes with all three Darlas, and they all sit on my shelf with each gate precariously balanced to one side.
click to see larger version
Still, this Darla looks rather nice next to my Series 1 Moore Collectibles (see above). Her arms won't shoot quite straight, so I keep her in the same position as the package suggests, with one gun hidden behind her back. As the first character we see on the show, I have naturally placed her at the head of my lineup. I only wish they could have also given her that famous Darla grin.
BVTS: Grave Spike Cinequest.com Exclusive
Another new addition to my shelf is the Exclusive Grave Spike. This figure hails from the Season Six finale, when Spike wins back his soul after enduring torment and torture for the love of Buffy. This, of course, sends him spiraling into madness, and, well, you know the story. This figure does a great job of capturing the pain of the episode. I personally love the paint job, and the sculpt is awesome. And I love that he comes with a little book of poetry! He also comes with a small altar, a stake, and his very own felt blanket, for that down-and-out homeless look. It took a lot of patience to get the blanket to stay on for the picture, but I think we made it stick. Whereas Darla only had eight points of articulation, Spike sports fourteen. This helps in recapturing the tortured look on my shelf! Spike is perhaps the most beloved character in the Buffyverse, and it's absolutely wonderful that we get lots of different figures to reflect all his complexities.
Angel: Season 5 Spike
Surely by now you've figured out I'm a huge Spike fan. Well, this accompanying figure from the parallel Angel line is loads of fun, and it only fuels my fondness for Spike's character. He comes with (yet another) altar, a Cup of Destiny, a cup of blood, AND a kitten (for those of you that recall his fondness for gambling kittens).
He also wears his amulet and a pair of goggles. I don't actually recall ever seeing him wear goggles on the show, but they sure are fun to play with! The details are what make this figure for me, what with the logo on the mug and all. But I don't really need another altar - I'd rather they had given us a dais for the chalice instead. I'm also amused by the packaging on the back, advertising all the Spike and Darla figures available. There's a big picture on all of these cards that put Spike and Darla together, and yet they only ever appear on the show together in the historical flash backs. Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
click to see larger version & another image
I did have fun comparing the new Spike sculpt with the old Spike sculpt from my Icon figure. Both are well done, but I think the new sculpt looks more accurate, especially in the eyes. And of course, the new Spike has lots more articulation to play with.
All in all, I'm very pleased with the new figures coming out this year. These are but a few of what's in store for all us faithful fans!
More pictures of Darla
More pictures of Grave Spike
More pictures of Season 5 Spike