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July 03 2010

'Ultimate' Spike Available for pre-order. Latest release from the Tooned Up series.

Comes with interchangeable heads, human and vamp.

I'm really not keen on this 'tooned up' line in general I'm afraid. I think that only the Willow version even had a hint of the real character in it. and with the Spike version, well I think it's quite ugly. The vamp head looks like Alfred Steptoe, and the human head isn't much better imo.

Also why do they always concentrate on portraying Spike as a one dimensional villain when it comes to these things? I mean If you went by the summary on there you'd think this character had stayed a evil for the entire series run. A little niggle I know, but it always bugs me. *sigh*

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-07-04 09:37 ]
Here's the regular version, with black shirt, grey pants.
Also why do they always concentrate on portraying Spike as a one dimensional villain when it comes to these things?

Market research indicates that's what sells?
I find it hard to believe this will sell. I am a collector of Spike stuff. I don't want this. It doesn't look like Spike. It looks like Spike's grandpa of Spike 400 years from now maybe when he starts getting fruit batty like the master.
When I first saw the tooned up Spike picture a long time ago, I didn't like the way it looked and hoped they would fix it. Instead it looks even worse.

Honestly these tooned up things aren't worth their high price to me anyway, but I probably would have bought this one if I liked it, I really really don't.
"Market research indicates that's what sells? "

Really? And how do we know that then? I've seen other Spike figures mention in their packaging preamble that Spike became a champion at the end of the show, and so adding that wouldn't exactly kill off the product would it?

Also $129 for this ugly thing? An easy miss for me I'm afraid.
Really? And how do we know that then?

I would imagine like most companies they did some sort of research into who would buy it and what would be needed to sell it. Or maybe they got the info off 20th Century Fox (abandon all hope).
But that's just speculation on your part. Nobody actually knows do they?
No they don't but it's not an unreasonable assumption. A company isn't going to bring out a product that costs $129.99 without doing some sort of research into what will take to sell it. If they didn't, they've got a bit of a clunker of their hands and it's been a complete waste of time.
Somehow I doubt they went any further then looking into whether the character sells or not, but couldn't be arsed to look into what actually went into that character as he was portrayed on screen.

Gotta say one thing for this lot. It's take a lot of talent to make a character such as Spike look so pug ugly. *g*
Well, wouldn't it take someone who really loved Spike to pay $129 for this? As it stands, the Spike fans I know don't seem all that interested. I know, not enough to prove a point. But I'm not a huge fan of the style and it doesn't really look like Spike to me.

I'd rather hire a customizer to do a piece that looks like the characters I love. Here's a few faves: One Two Three and Four.

The level of detail and accuracy really make these incredible pieces.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-07-04 17:44 ]
I think thats meant to be the fire axe from School Hard he's holding. Lord only knows why they chose that.
Well, at least, they got his eyes right.
I think this whole Tooned Up series isn't meant to fully capture a photo realistic portrait of the character so nitpicking the fact he looks a little off is a little much.

Also it's just a piece meant to be a 'moment in the life' of the character when he WAS evil and first debuted. The fire axe is a nice touch IMO. Still I'm not tempted to buy it.
I find this line kind of cute. I bought myself the Buffy from "End of Days" as a gift for myself when I was going through a rough time, and now it makes me smile every time I see it on my shelf.

It's Tooned Up. It's not supposed to be overly realistic. This isn't the best one they've done by any means, but I would consider buying it.
I understand exaggerating features for cartoons, but they added features that never existed! Spike has a very strong bone structure and high cheekbones, but what's with the chin? And the scar? Its not an "X." They make him look like a vampire grandpa, its just not worth the $129.99.
I have many friends who work in the animation field in the UK, and so I know full well that just because something is 'tooned up' doesn't mean that the elements/essence of the character can't be in there. And lets face it JM has a very distinctive features that lend itself very well to this sort of thing.

I'm afraid always take the idea that to make something into a cartoon version means you don't have to bother to do that has more to do with the fact that the artists aren't capable of doing it half the time rather then any artistic decision on their part.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-07-04 19:37 ]
Okay. Think I understand what you're saying, just wished you said it better. Dang, now I'm falling into the same fold.

So, you're saying that artists should express their minds? Hmm, that sounds reasonable.
For $129.00 this should be awesome! I wouldn't expect it to be an exact replica of the actor because of the tooning up, but I wouldn't expect it to be ugly either. Spike isn't ugly, so this shouldn't be.

I own the Premium Format, expensive, but excellently done, totally worth it.
The Eaglemoss figurine is so tiny but perfect!
And only 20 dollars. For the price, how can you compare?
I have no Buffy/Angel figures because I just don't think most of them look right enough for me to spend the money (I have the best Angel puppet, but that's different). I did some looking around just now out of curiosity and would love to have this:
Oh thats a great little figure. Superb likeness (it was taken from a scan of JM and re worked by Oluf W. Hartvigson who also did the Premium format figure). That 12" figure used to fetch big prices on eBay, ($100 and up) but now you can pick one up for far less then that.

I have more then one copy myself. Well worth the money. *g*
Boy that's ugly. Not going to get that one for my Spike collection.
Electric Tiki is a pretty small outfit from what I've heard--basically one person named Tracy Mark Lee designing the figures in 2D and a few sculptors producing from his designs. The Buffy Tiki line is basically just Tracy's preferences, if you read the notes and behind the scenes stuff on his website. He's a fan of Buffy so he went after the license, but he's a fan of later Buffy seasons more than early high school Buffy and he doesn't have a lot of experience with Angel. So for his first Buffy figure he liked the idea of her Once More With Feeling outfit rather than something more iconic, for his second figure he went with a Chosen look. Neither look screams "Buffy". He also liked Willow from season five, and Glory. If he did market research at all he would've known Glory is maybe about number 40 on most fans' list of preferences but we got her before Spike, Angel, Giles, Xander, Dawn, Tara, Dru, Oz, Darla, the Master, the Mayor, and a million other more interesting candidates.

I do like the Tiki "style" but not so much with the Buffy figures as I think it's been hit or miss and there have been a few bad design decisions. Buffy in the OMWF outfit, for example, means that if you don't hit Sarah's likeness then you can't fall back on her outfit for help and since he most certainly didn't hit her likeness, his first Buffy figure is basically a girl in a red turtleneck top and black pants with a stake in her hand. He did a nice job with Willow though, both season five version and dark, they both have a definite Alyson vibe, and I think he managed to capture Faith's attitude pretty well (and I applaud him for choosing her to produce) though I wish she had been slightly less Betty Boop cutesy. Still, her outfit is iconic and Faithy, we got her Mayor knife, and the leaping into action pose is great. I skipped Glory, not just because well, who cares? But also because she's not a great figure for the line--he's not giving us likenesses so much as "essences" of characters and there isn't anything about Glory's look that stands out, she's just a pretty woman in a red dress. Someone like Dru would have been a far better choice because she is so specific and her outfits are so interesting. I'm not a Spike person but I think his Spike is a miss--too ugly, even in non-vamp mode, Xane was right when he compared him to the Master. Tracy has said in some posting somewhere that he prefers the females to the guys and I'm applauding this because those are the Buffy characters I want too--give me Dru and Tara to go with Buffy, Willow, Dark Willow and Faith and I'll be on cloud nine. Actually give me a better Buffy too.
Sueworld, I'm not a Spike person and even I was nearly tempted to buy that Sideshow Spike premium format figure, that's how very, very impressive it was. I have their first Buffy PF and it's still the best Sarah likeness ever done, anywhere. Too bad we never got a Willow or Faith. (Also too bad the Angel PF looks like George W. Bush.) I ordered the "Throne of the Slayer" statue, and I have high hopes for that line.
I highly recommend the premium formats. I have both the exclusive versions of Spike and Angel. Poor old Angels human face is rather odd looking, but his vamp face is superb.

I'm still trying to get hold of the Buffy as one day (when I've robbed enough banks) I'd love to complete the set.

Electric Tiki does seem to be appealing to a more male audience with this line so far, and maybe that accounts for the poor rendition of Spike. They probably have no idea that there's a large female following for the wee fella.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-07-05 00:26 ]
TabulaRasa, they could have refered this episode when designing the scar:

There it looks kind of like and X. Wish they could have made it more like a biblical cross shape tough. I don't remember his scar being that big later on in the series.

I like this piece. Tracy could probably have done better, but I've really fallen for his style.

Good for me that people seem to dislike it, then I should be able to pick up the regular later on without having my wallet angry at me. Right now I'm not even sure I can afford the ex.

sueworld2003, you really think sideshow & Tracy don't get that Spike has a huge female fanbase? Who could not see that?

I have no idea if you're right about the line appealing more to men than women. Not sure why men would like them more. It's not like a lot of flesh is showing (too be fair, that's very prejudiced of me. Let's not forget about the gay males who doesn't care about female flesh and the gay females that do care).
Speaking as a man, I simply prefer the female characters to the males because of who they are. Willow is more interesting to me than, say, Angel, not because she's female but because she's Willow. Dru is more interesting to me than Spike. It's not because of their gender specifically. The only male characters I'd be interested in Tiki statues of would be the villains--the Mayor (though he'd be tough to produce in an eye-catching way) Angelus (but not Angel), the Master, maybe Adam or the Judge or an ubervamp.
Eek. That is all. Just eek.
"sueworld2003, you really think sideshow & Tracy don't get that Spike has a huge female fanbase? Who could not see that?"

Very easily judging by how both Sideshow and Tiki seem to be aiming at. I mean I belive more men then women seem to buy these highly expensive pieces judging by what I see going down on places such as the Sideshow Freaks forum.

Buffy was a female led show and so having more female characters released is fine, I'd just find it a tad weird If that's all we got beyond Spike. That's If the line continues of course.
sueworld2003, you didn't answer the question you quoted, just the mainly-appealing-to-men-thing. Which I have no idea if you're right about of not, since I don't assume all buyers post in forums, or that I know what goes on in the mind of the designer and sideshow. No offence, I just don't think that's a fair assumption.

Actually, considering how cute the sideshows are, I kind of assumed people would call them girly. Not a great guess either, I admit.

And about Spike having a huge female fanbase, I seriously doubt that Tracy and Sideshow missed that. It could be because I'm part of that fanbase, but I don't think it's that hard to miss We drool over him in forums, at conventions, here at whedonesque, livejournal, there's articles about how women fall for bad boys like Spike(here at whedonesque too), etc etc. I just don't think they missed that Spike appeals to the ladies.
Well If thats the case then maybe they should improve their merchandise then, co ugly Spike just doesn't cut it imo. :)

And as I said going by how these collectibles are worded and merchandised and how many more males then females seem to have more disposable income then women to pay for these luxuries, then I think it's fair to say they're targeting more towards young men.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-07-05 22:17 ]

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