Merch That Slays: A Buffy Redbubble Haul
**Please note I am not affiliated with any links in this post.**
My hunt for even more Buffy the Vampire Slayer merch began after rewatching the entire series during quarantine. I wanted a new phone case showcasing my favorite fandom, and searched on Redbubble for one that could accommodate my phone model and a popsocket. I found a case with a pattern of the logo of the show, which was great because then the popsocket wouldn't cover up any essential pieces of the artwork.
When I received the case, the design was extremely blurry and I reached out to Redbubble for support. They were incredible and discovered that the artist uploaded a file that was not of the correct resolution. I received a voucher the very day I alerted them of my issue, and began my phone case search once again.
I could not find another case that would work with my phone and pop socket, but I did discover an awesome artist whose Buffy-inspired designs blew me away. I knew exactly what I wanted to spend some of that voucher on.
The 3 items I purchased were all from the artist Sanshodelaine. (As an artist you upload your designs to Redbubble and choose what kind of products it can be printed on.) My thoughts on the actual products themselves are aimed at Redbubble, whereas the print quality and design content reflect the artist. All of the designs seen in this post can be printed on multiple items.
I was drawn to this design first while I was still searching for a phone case (I decided to search by design rather than product to find Buffy stuff). I explored the rest of the artist's page and couldn't help but fall in love with all of their designs. I saw that this one came in a dress and thought that was cool and different. You can't see the entire design in the photo, but can check it out here.
So why am I so obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer? I discovered Buffy when I was in grade school, a few years after it ended. FX used to show it in the afternoon and I would catch episodes here and there when I was home sick. It was a very formative time for me, and I was extremely inspired by seeing such a strong female character on screen. Flash forward to now, almost 15 years later. Having now gone through all the phases of life that Buffy experiences in the 7 seasons, I have an even greater appreciation for the characters. I have found many more episodes that I connect with on a very deep level that have helped me navigate some difficult personal/family issues this year on top of the pandemic. It truly is amazing how fiction can be so cathartic and help us realize things about ourselves that we were too down on ourselves to see. Buffy merch is wearing that badge of strength for myself. There are so many other topics I can get into, and I hope to do a post just on Buffy and the impact it has had on me, and what I hope it can give to others.
The weapon Buffy is holding is the axe that ultimately saves the day at the end of the series. Key characters surround her in circles and each has a beautiful design and expands the color palette throughout the dress. Since you can't see them in the photo they are: Dawn, Spike, Willow, Xander, Giles, and Angel. Their expressions are accurate representations of the show, which is a running theme with the artist.
I didn't give this dress a perfect score for how large it is. But that is partially my fault. The reviews say you should order a size down from what you normally wear. They are correct! I was just nervous because the fabric is a little stiff and I wanted the garment to breathe a little. I have not washed it yet, so I can't speak to that, but the design in vibrant and as advertised.
"The Poet" Acrylic Block
I could not decide between this design and the one I ultimately chose for the laptop sleeve. So I figured, why not get 2 Spike-related products? I have a Funko Pop figure of Buffy at my office, which is currently off-limits due to the pandemic. My home office needed something to spruce it up and this pre-vampire illustration of one of Buffy's ultimate "Big Bads" was a must-have.
Spike was formerly a poet named William, and as shown through flashbacks in "Fool for Love" (season 5, episode 7), not a very good one. Nicknamed "William the Bloody" due to what his peers considered "bloody" awful romantic poetry, Spike reclaims the name for his ghoulish deeds after becoming a vampire in 1880.
The design speaks to me as a "what if" branch of William's life. As if the flashbacks seen on the show had a better outcome for him. His face is backlit with a warm glow as he reads and does not seem to care about his fellow colleagues' thoughts on the matter as they make faces at him. The soft pinks and oranges signal an ethereal warmness that expresses creativity.
The block itself has a nice weight to it without being too heavy. It can definitely be used as a paperweight if I so choose. It arrived in pristine condition and without a scratch on it. The cube catches the light beautifully and I love having it on my desk.
Spike Laptop Sleeve
I recently purchased a new Galaxy tablet and wanted a sleeve to easily transport it, a charger, and a flat keyboard all in one bag. I chose a 12 inch laptop sleeve for the 10.5 inch tablet. I keep the tablet in a protective Speck case so I am not using the sleeve as its only form of protection.
After becoming a vampire, William changed his to Spike and eventually became the wise-cracking Billy-Idol-esque love interest fans know and love. It is extremely hard to go into details of why I like Spike without spoiling a lot of the series. Spike starts out as a very dangerous and demented vampire, then becomes a full-fledged member of the "Scoobies" (what Buffy and her friends call themselves). His part in the musical episode "Once More with Feeling" (season 6, episode 7) is a can't miss singing performance by James Marsters.
If you have seen the show, the items in the circles around Spike appear familiar. He is a huge fan of punk music, which inspires his look and attitude, so the Sex Pistols reference hit home. The book and quill shine a light on his poetic past. Obviously, Buffy plays a huge part in his afterlife (see what I did there?). The next circle is a necklace. You need to watch the show to find out what it is! The design is the very essence of the character and the details are spot on.
The sleeve is soft on the inside (foam padding) and fits everything I need. I feel much better about putting this in my backpack than just the tablet. The zipper doesn't stick and it is an overall great quality product.
Overall, these are great quality products for a Buffy fan of any level and Sanshodelaine creates designs with true meaning that tell a story. I highly recommend treating yourself.
If you have seen the show, comment with Team Spike or Team Angel! I bet you can guess which one I am...
These products in 1 GIF: