#1958: Eighth Doctor & Dalek Alpha

EIGHTH DOCTOR & DALEK ALPHA

DOCTOR WHO (CHARACTER OPTIONS)

“Passionate about life and the beauty of the world about him, this Doctor’s love of humanity drove him to fight his old foe the Master deep within the heart of his own TARDIS.  It remains unclear when, how, or why exactly he regenerated into his Ninth body, but he had clearly done so shortly before meeting Rose Tyler on Earth.”

Well, that information’s not totally up to date.  We actually know exactly how the Eighth Doctor regenerated, though we also know it wasn’t into the Ninth, but the “Other” Doctor.  Of course, that wasn’t revealed until the very year this figure was released, and they probably didn’t want to go babbling about that on some toy package.

Of the many incarnations of the Doctor and all the merch there is fore them, there isn’t a whole lot for the Eighth Doctor.  To be fair, it’s largely because his on-screen appearances are limited to an unsuccessful TV movie and a prelude short for “Day of the Doctor,” meaning there’s substantially less to work with.  However, the Eighth Doctor actually had a rather extensive career of adventures that ran through the Doctor Who magazine, and one of those very adventures was source for a third of the Eighth Doctor sets out there…which is to say, you know, just this one.  But a third sounds more impressive, right?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Like the Fourth Doctor and the Genesis Dalek, this pair was one of the 11 “Doctor & Dalek” two-packs released in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the series.  They were originally exclusive to the UK-branch of Toys R Us, before finding their way to the specialty market in the US.  The two figures here are based on the comic story “Children of the Revolution.”

EIGHTH DOCTOR

While he would eventually get a rather altered look, the comics had the Eighth Doctor more or less keeping the same attire he sported in his movie appearance, allowing for Character Options to keep the same mold they’d used in the Eleven Doctors boxed set for this guy.  Oh, boy, the flashbacks.  That was a rough day.  I don’t remember much of it, but I do seem to recall being generally fond of the Eighth Doctor’s sculpt. I’m still fond of it here, and the mold quality seems to have slightly improved, so some of the details aren’t quite as soft.  The head is also a lot easier to pop out on this guy, likely to give collectors an easy body for the Eighth Doctor head included with the War Doctor not too long after.  The main change here is the paint work.  He’s a little simpler than the first Eight figure, since the comics required a slightly easier to print color scheme.  He’s also more bright and colorful, which helps to make him a little more eye-catching than the first release. Application is also a lot cleaner and sharper, so the figure just looks more put together.  Eight included no accessories, not even his sonic screwdriver, which is a little sad, especially if this was your first Eight figure.

DALEK ALPHA

Dalek Alpha was noteworthy for being one of the first examples of an individual Dalek, with a name and everything.  The show would eventually follow suit with the Cult of Skaro, but these guys were there first.  Pretty nifty!  The actual figure is another repaint.  Remember the Genesis Dalek? Great, because this guy’s the exact same sculpt.  It was a solid sculpt the first time I looked at it, and it remains so now.  Of course, now it’s also painted up in that pretty sweet red color scheme, which is super fun, and he’s even got a little alpha on his head to signify his individuality.  Noice!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Upon making my way through as much Doctor Who as I could get my hands on a few years ago, I gathered a very serious appreciation for the Eighth incarnation.  At this point, he’s my favorite.  And, as with all my favorites, that translates to a desire to have all the toys possible.  I actually wasn’t sure I needed this one, but a series of unfortunate events led to me having to return a different item to Yesterday’s Fun on my last vacation, and I didn’t want to not buy something from them.  They had this set, and I felt a serious urge to grab it, so I did.  There’s not anything new or super notable, but Dalek Alpha’s a neat concept, and this version of Eight is a better figure than the one from the big boxed set, so I ultimately was pretty happy with my purchase.  And now I have all of the Eighth Doctor figures!

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#1917: Doctor Who Series 6 set

ELEVENTH DOCTOR W/ COWBOY HAT, CORRODED CYBERMAN, & SILENCE

DOCTOR WHO (CHARACTER OPTIONS)

Hey, remember yesterday when I reviewed some Doctor Who figures?  Wanna see me do it again?  I sure hope you do, because…uhh, well, that’s what I’m doing.  But these Who figures come from way later in the franchise, because timey-wimey-wibbly-wobbly something or other.  Yeah, that’s it.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The three figures featured in today’s review make up the Series 6 boxed set, which are all based on the second series of Matt Smith’s run as the character.  There’s a variant of Eleven, a variant of a Cyberman, and a variant of a Silence.  It’s just variants all around!

ELEVENTH DOCTOR

Hey!  It’s another Eleventh Doctor.  But this one’s different!  He’s got a new hat!  No, really, that’s the big difference.  They took the basic Eleven from the 11 Doctors set, slapped a Cowboy hat on him, and called it a day.  If you want to know my opinions on the sculpt, go read that review, because, yeah, just the new head on this one.  The hat’s decent enough; it’s molded in place, since that’s really the only way to handle it with Smith’s big mop of hair.  The paint is actually a fair bit different, and not really in a good way.  There was a lot of subtle work going on with the prior figure that I really liked, but this one ends up stripping it down to just the basics.  The shirt, for instance, is straight white, despite the fact that I don’t believe Eleven ever just wore straight white.  Oh well.  He’s packed with his standard sonic screwdriver, which is the only accessory in this set.

CORRODED CYBERMAN

Hey!  It’s another Cyberman!  But this one’s different!  He’s got a new corrosion!  …Yeah, umm, so they kind of did it again.  This figure is built from the same base parts as the Cyberman from the Doomsday set I looked at back during the site’s first year.  There’s a tweaked torso simulating the damage, and then a really mucked up paint job, giving him that extra corroded feel.  I’ve always liked the Cyberman sculpt, and I certainly like seeing it here with some slightly different accent work.

SILENCE

Hey!  It’s another Silence!  But this one’s…actually not really that different from the last one.  Yeah, it’s one of these reviews.  This Silence is virtually identical to the prior Silence figure I reviewed.  The difference between the two is the head, which on this figure is sporting a sort of a screaming expression, I guess.  The Silence would do this from time to time.  I don’t really find it to be as versatile as the basic figure’s expression, but I guess it works well enough.  Beyond that, he’s the same figure, just minus the electricity effects, which is kind of a shame.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like yesterday’s set, this trio came from my Super Awesome Fiancee’s parents.  It’s not the most exciting bunch of figures.  Eleven’s non-standard, but not distinct enough to really feel worth it.  The Cyberman and Silence are nice enough figures, and technically army builders, so they aren’t a waste, but they do feel a little redundant if you already have the single releases.  Ultimately, it’s a set that probably should have been split up and packed with more exciting figures, because as it stands, it lacks any real hook.

#1916: The Fourth Doctor & Dalek

THE FOURTH DOCTOR & DALEK

DOCTOR WHO (CHARACTER OPTIONS)

So, I was all prepped to kick this review off by remarking how freakishly long it had been since I’d reviewed anything Doctor Who…and then I realized I totally reviewed a figure of the Tenth Doctor back in August.  I mean, that’s still five months and all, but hardly a cause for exclamation, really.  An area of the franchise I’ve only just touched on is Classic Who.  My introduction to the show was with Eccleston, and a lot of the merchandise was driven by the Tennant and Smith eras, but there’s still a healthy helping of merch for the older doctors as well, especially for Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor, seen by many as the definitive take on the character (not by me, but that’s a whole other thing).  I’ll be looking at variant of Four today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pairing was one of 11 “Doctor and Dalek” two-packs released in 2013 as exclusives to the UK-branch of Toys R Us, before being distributed through specialty shops in the US.  This pair of figures is based on “Genesis of the Daleks,” one of the most popular serials from the Fourth Doctor’s tenure.

THE FOURTH DOCTOR

This isn’t the first time I’ve looked at the Fourth Doctor, since I also did that mammoth-sized review of the 11 Doctors boxed set, which nearly killed me.  This one seems less death-inducing.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation, keeping consistent with the line as a whole.  The Doctor’s sculpt did surprise me slightly, since it’s not just the same as the prior figure I looked at.  It’s still a repaint (because all of the figures in the “Doctor and Dalek” line-up were), but this Fourth Doctor is actually wearing a rather different outfit from the last one.  It’s the same overall appearance, of course, and the two share a number of pieces between them for consistency’s sake.  The main differences are the jacket, tie, and shoes.  While I like the new shoes, which feature some nifty detailing, the much smoother jacket doesn’t seem quite as cool to me, since the detailing on the jacket was one of my favorite parts of the last figure.  Paint’s another area where the figure slightly changes things up, with a few color swaps here and there.  For the most part, it’s about the same quality as the last one, though the skin tone on this one seems a little less organic than the last one.  The Fourth Doctor’s one accessory is his Sonic Screwdriver.

DALEK

Obviously, a “Doctor and Dalek” set needs a Dalek.  So, here he is.  He’s a pretty straightforward “classic” Dalek.  He’s about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 4 points of articulation, like most Daleks do.  This one is pretty similar in construction to the Dalek Sek figure I looked at way back when, just with slightly different “horns” on his head to show that he’s not from the RTD era like that one was.  It’s a very nice sculpt, filled with lots of in depth details, which really make him look like a scaled down prop from the show.  This Dalek is somewhat less colorful than others have been, with a sort of grayish-blue as his main hue.  It does the sculpt well, though, and ends up being pretty eye-catching.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This pair were a Christmas gift from my Super Awesome Fiancee’s parents, based on some suggestions from Super Awesome Fiancee herself.  I think they may have been part of a bulk buy of some other Who stuff.  I don’t know that this Fourth Doctor really out-paces the 11 Doctors one, but he’s a decent enough offering.  The Dalek, on the other hand, is a lot of fun, and will likely end up nearer the front of my Who shelf.

#1514: Mystery Inc

SCOOBY DOO, SHAGGY, & VELMA

SCOOBY DOO (CHARACTER OPTIONS)

Almost a year ago, I took a look at a few Scooby Doo figures, which are a little bit outside of my usual reviewing bubble.  Not super far or anything, but just outside.  Of course, as anyone who reads this site with any regularity can probably tell you, all it takes is one figure and the next thing you know, I’m getting a whole set.  So, I had Fred, I had Daphne, and I had the Mystery Machine.  But the Mystery Machine needed the rest of its passengers, right?  I certainly thought so.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The figures included here are all part of the “Mystery Solving Crew” boxed set, which is part of Character Options’ overarching Scooby Doo line.  All of the figures available here are also available a few other places, but this is the most convenient way of getting the whole gang.  Included in this set are Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, and Fred, all based on their slightly modernized appearances from Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated.  Daphne and Fred are the same ones reviewed here and here.

SCOOBY

This is quite a landmark for me, because this is actually my first Scooby figure.  Handful of Scooby Doo figures, and not a one of them’s been the main character.  Yeah, I know, I’m weird.  Anyway, Scooby’s Mystery Inc design was one of the least changed; mostly he just had a few sharper angles.  The figure stands about 3 inches tall (since he’s on all fours) and has 10 points of articulation.  He gets a whole extra point thanks to that tail of his.  His sculpt is a pretty decent translation of the design from the show; I think Scooby’s design translates better to three dimensions than some of the others.  This results in a slightly less wonky looking figure than some of the others.  And when you really get down to it, it makes a bit of sense that Scooby’s figure would be the best, since he *is* the title character.  His paint is fairly basic, and there’s not a ton going on, but it’s certainly clean, which is better than the last two figures I looked at.

SHAGGY

You can’t have Scooby and not have Shaggy.  It’s just wrong.  So, here’s Shaggy!  His figure stands a little over 5 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation.  He’s the tallest of the five, and also the scrawniest, both of which fit the character, so that’s good.  His sculpt is also a pretty decent translation of the show design, with only minimal changes being made to help him work in three dimensions.  I can’t really point to anything in particular being different on him the way I could with Fred and Daphne, and I think he’s second after Scooby in terms of a successful translation.  I like that they’ve carried over his distinctive posture, since the other four humans just got fairly generic standing poses.  Shaggy’s paint is also pretty decent, but it’s once again pretty simple, so there wasn’t a whole lot to screw up.

VELMA

Last up is Velma, the perpetual fifth wheel of the group.  Her figure stands about 4 inches tall and has the same 9 points of articulation as Shaggy, albeit with far more limited hip joints.  Velma’s redesign for Mystery Inc was actually one of my favorites, as I felt it injected some new life into the character.  I’m not sure how successful the figure was in that venture.  She’s rather similar to Daphne in that regard.  I think she still ends up looking decent, but it’s not as strong a sculpt as some of the others, that’s for sure.  Her head’s a little big, and the glasses seem a bit misshapen.  Also, her right hand is sculpted to hold an accessory of some sort (I’d guess a magnifying glass), but no extras are included, which is a little weird.  Velma’s paint is passable, and for the most part pretty clean, but it ends up missing a few details (such as the barrettes in her hair, which are just left brown), which is a little annoying.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

In my review of Daphne, I noted that I just needed to resist the urge to finish off the gang.  I’d like it to be noted that I managed to do so for a whole 10 months.  Kudos to me, right?  I found this set at one of the last K-Marts in the area, priced at $9.99, which I’m fairly certain was an error, since the two-packs with the monsters were $7.99.  Regardless, I wanted to finally have the whole gang, and even with the extra Fred and Daphne, this was the cheapest way to go about it.  None of these figures are amazing or anything, but they’re kind of fun, and I’m happy to have the set.

#1289: Doctor Who Series 5 Set

RAGGEDY DOCTOR, PRISONER ZERO, & RORY WILLIAMS

DOCTOR WHO (CHARACTER OPTIONS)

Okay, let’s take a small break from all the Marvel stuff for a little bit (but fear not, dear readers, it’ll be back soon enough), and flip over to a slightly less frequent subject of review here, Doctor Who!  I know some people might not agree with me, but my favorite era of the show is the first season of Smith’s run on the show.  The figures I’m looking at today hail from that particular period of the show.  Let’s see how they look!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These three make up the Series Five three-pack from Character Options’ Doctor Who line, which was released around the time of the show’s anniversary.  All three figures are re-released from earlier in the line, with Rory and Prisoner Zero being single releases and Raggedy Doctor being in a two pack with a basic Eleven.

RAGGEDY DOCTOR

This marks the fourth figure of the Eleventh Doctor I’ve looked at on this site, which pulls him into the lead, just past Ten, who’s sitting pretty at three figures.  This particular figure is based on Eleven’s appearance in his debut episode “The Eleventh Hour,” prior to his selecting a new outfit for himself.  As such, he’s still sporting the tattered remains of Ten’s clothes from “The End Of Time.”  The figure stands about 5 1/4 inches tall and has 16 points of articulation.  This version of Eleven was a mix of old and new parts.  The head is, of course, just the same standard head used on the basic Eleven from the Eleven Doctors set (among others).  It’s not a perfect Smith likeness, but it’s got a passing resemblance.  The legs are just the basic Ten legs, which makes sense, since it’s the same outfit and all.  The upper body is new; it does a pretty good job of capturing the Doctor’s raggedness, which is kind of the main point of the figure.  That being said, for some odd reason, the torso section of the shirt is an overlay, on top of a more basic torso piece.  It looks okay overall, but there are some pretty obvious joint lines, especially at the neck.  On the plus side, at least the details are still pretty sharp.  In terms of paint, Eleven is pretty much on par with most of my other Doctor Who stuff.  The work is generally pretty clean, and the colors are sharp, but there’s not a whole lot in the way of accenting.  Still, it’s pretty consistent with the other stuff from the line, which is good.  Even though his hand is clearly sculpted to hold a sonic screwdriver, this figure includes no extras.  To be fair, his screwdriver was broken for most of the episode, so he shouldn’t technically have it, and at least this way he *can* have one if you want him to.  Still, something extra would have been nice.

PRISON ZERO

A perfect pairing with the Raggedy Doctor, seeing as it’s the primary antagonist for “The Eleventh Hour” and all. To be honest, it’s less a figure and more a glorified accessory.  It’s about 6 inches tall and moves at three places along the “body.”  The movement is mostly there to help you get the best possible balance for the figure, but I suppose you could get some slightly more inventive poses if you so choose.  Prisoner Zero sports a unique sculpt, which does a halfway decent job of capturing the creature’s CGI-rendered natural form from the episode.  In fact, I’d say it even looks a little bit more frightening than the creature seen in the episode.  I will say, not only are the joints on this figure rather obviously placed, they’re also not super sturdy; my figure already snapped off of its base at the joint, and I hadn’t even had it out of the box for more than a few minutes.  In terms of paint, Prisoner Zero is somewhat sparse; it’s mostly molded in clear plastic, with its joints molded in red so as to give it a nifty other-worldly quality.  There’s still paint on the teeth and eyes, which is all pretty good.  Prisoner Zero includes no accessories, but, like I said above, it’s more of an accessory itself than anything.

RORY WILLIAMS

Rory’s the one figure in this set I already have (reviewed here).  The other two figures are clearly from “The Eleventh Hour.”  While Rory was introduced in that episode, he doesn’t wear this particular get-up, which makes him seem a little out of place.  It seems a little odd to me that they chose to put him in this set, rather than giving the basic Amy a re-release, especially since she carries such a hefty value on the secondary market.  I mean, I own two Amys arleady, so I don’t have a real dog in this fight, but it just seems slightly odd.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set was given to me by Super Awesome Girlfriend’s mother, in exchange for doing some IT work for her.  Nothing like a good old fashioned barter system, right?  This isn’t really a set I’d have picked for myself, if I’m honest.  The Doctor included is non-essential, Prisoner Zero isn’t really an action figure, and I’ve already got a Rory figure.  With that being said, the Raggedy Doctor is a pretty fun Eleven variant, and Prisoner Zero is an entertaining backdrop for my Who collection.  Not a super thrilling set, but a decent one.

#1206: Daphne Blake

DAPHNE BLAKE

SCOOBY DOO (CHARACTER OPTIONS)

daphneblake1

Hey, remember last week when I reviewed Freddy and the Mystery Machine?  Yeah, well, I bet it’s not a huge surprise to find out that wasn’t the only Scooby Doo purchase I’d made in recent history.  Scooby Doo has always operated by pairing characters off; Scooby and Shaggy, Fred and Daphne, Velma and…one of the other pairs, you get the point.  Anyway, since I had Fred, it just seemed wrong to not at least pick up his better half, Daphne Blake!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

daphneblake2Daphne was released a few different ways.  She was included in a five-pack of just Mystery Inc, a ten-pack with five classic ghosts, and in one of two two-packs, with either the Skeleton Man or the Witch-Doctor.  Since my figure was picked up loose, I can’t actually say which particular release it is.  Regardless, the figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 10 points of articulation (though the hair makes her neck joint essentially useless).  Like Fred, Daphne is based on her design from Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated.  It’s not a huge departure from her classic look; essentially, the main difference is some sharper angles here and there.  The figure’s sculpt does an okay job of capturing her design, though I’d say she’s definitely got a look that just doesn’t translate so well into three dimensions.  The head (especially the face) seems rather on the large side, as do the hands and feet, and her limbs just seem a bit stubby.  Where Fred’s design is a lot of hard angles, and is therefore a bit more forgiving of some slight slip-ups, Daphne’s is a bit more of a careful balance, which causes her to look a bit more off when one or two things are out of whack.  With all that said, her sculpt is certainly passable, and you can very easily tell who this is supposed to be and even which iteration of the show she’s based on without too much trouble.  In terms of paint, Daphne’s decent enough.  There’s a bit of slop here and there (and my figure’s exhibiting a bit of wear), but the application is pretty solid overall.  The purple on her skirt doesn’t quite match the rest of the figure (purple is a really hard color to work with), but aside from that, the colors look quite nice; she’s quite vibrant, which is always a plus.  Daphne included no accessories, but aside from her own ransom note, what exactly would you give her?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After picking up Fred and the Mystery Machine, I knew I at least wanted a Daphne figure to go with him.  I was planning to track down one of the two-packs, but I was at Yesterday’s Fun and they had her loose for $3, which was good enough for me.  She’s not going to be winning any awards or anything, but for the price point we’re looking at here, she’s more than acceptable.  Now, I just need to resist the urge to finish the gang…

daphneblake3

#1199: Mystery Machine (w/ Fred Jones)

MYSTERY MACHINE (W/ FRED JONES)

SCOOBY DOO (CHARACTER OPTIONS)

mysterymachine1

In addition to being a comics geek and a sci-fi geek, I’m also quite a bit of an animation geek.  Obviously, I love the cartoons of the ‘90s, being the ones I grew up with and all, but access to the likes of Boomerang and Cartoon Network also afforded me an appreciation for a number of older cartoons.  Of course, it hardly takes an animation geek to be familiar with today’s subject of review.  Scooby Doo hit the airwaves in 1969 and there’s been at least one new iteration of it every decade since, keeping it pretty squarely in the public eye.  As I noted in my previous Scoobybased review, I actually don’t have a particularly large selection of Scooby Doo items in my collection, but as with just about everything there isn’t enough of in my collection, I’m working on it.  Today, I’ll be looking at one of the fixtures of the franchise, the Mystery Machine, along with perpetual driver of said machine, Fred Jones.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

mysterymachine5The Myster Machine was released as part of the latest iteration of Character Options’ Scooby Doo line, which hit last year.  While lots of places seemed to have the two-packs featuring the one member of the gang each packed with a ghost, the Mystery Machine seems to be a slightly rarer find (for me anyway).  The vehicle is 6 1/4 inches tall, 5 inches wide, and 9 1/4 inches long.  In terms of design, exactly what version of the Mystery Machine this is supposed to be is a little hard to place.  Near as I can tell, it’s not actually based on any specific design for the MM, but is instead a somewhat stylized take on the classic design.  I think a lot of this may be due to some mold re-use, as it appears this mold initially showed up as the “Goo’busters Mystery Machine,” which was a playset designed to go with a line of Superhero Squad/Galactic Heroes-style line of Scooby characters.  That would mysterymachine6explain the harsher stylization present here.  It doesn’t look awful, provided you aren’t looking for a really faithful recreation of the original vehicle.  The biggest complaint I have is that it’s rather difficult to get the full-sized figures into the front, since it wasn’t designed with them in mind.  Aside from that, it’s actually remarkably well-scaled, to the point that it was only after a considerable amount of digging around that I realized it was originally made for the smaller guys.  It’s worth noting that it’s clearly designed as a playset first and a functioning Mystery Machine second.  There aren’t any functioning doors (the figures are placed in the front through the hatch at the top), there’s no actual seating in the back, and the steering wheel doesn’t turn.  It does at the very least have actual moving wheels on the bottom.  From what I’ve read online, this mysterymachine3is a change from prior releases, so I guess they’re learning.  Yay!  The back of the van folds out into a…thing.  Not really sure what.  I guess it’s supposed to be a crime solving lab or something? The original release had some traps and stuff built in, but this one leaves those out, so we just end up with a lot of flat surfaces with printed on details.  It’s kind of cool, but a little confusing.  Also, the fold-out feature results in some rather ugly hinges running along the middle of the van, which is really unfortunate.  Could those not have been worked into the interior of the design?  The paint on the Mystery Machine is rather on the sloppy side, especially around the edges of the green sections.  Of course, actual paint is minimal; most of the details are decals.  By and large, this is a perfectly fine way of handling the details (since they’re mostly on large, flat surfaces anyway), but there are some peeling edges and, in the case of the flowers on the side, some issues with underlying paint showing through.  There’s a valiant effort to ignore a few of the sculpted elements to bring the design closer to the classic look, which works about as well as anything else on this thing.  For accessories, the Mystery Machine includes one main extra, and that’s….

THE FIGURE ITSELF

mysterymachine8….Fred Jones!  Fred (who, fun fact, was named after CBS executive Fred Silverman, who was a driving force for getting Scooby Doo, Where Are You? on the air) is the leader of Mystery Inc, the owner of the Mystery Machine in at least a few versions of the story, and above all, the guy usually seen driving the Mystery Machine, making him quite the sensible inclusion here.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation.  Fred is based on his slightly updated design from Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated, where he was given a slightly more brawny physique and a more pronounced lantern jaw of justice.  I actually quite liked his redesign from that show, so I’m happy it’s the version they went with.  It’s transition into three-dimensions isn’t too terrible; he looks a little off from certain angles, but that’s the sort of thing you expect with action figures of two-dimensional designs.  The legs could stand to be a little longer, and the torso a little less tubular, and his chin should probably be a little less pronounced.  He sort of reminds me of the Kenner Batman: The Animated Series figures, being slightly off-model, but still pretty solid as an action figure.  The paint on Fred is a good deal cleaner than we saw on the Mystery Machine.  While he’s still not devoid of sloppiness, especially around his hairline, the overall appearance is a lot cleaner.  His eyes are also kinda goofy, thanks to no one really being very sure of how exactly this style of eye should be done in 3D.  He looks a bit surprised.  While my figure is pretty decent, I should note that I had to pick through four of this set, and finding a combo of good paint on both Fred and the Mystery Machine was pretty much impossible.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Fred’s my favorite character from Scooby Doo.  Prior to picking up this set, he made up half of my Scooby Doo collection (granted, it was a collection of TWO figures, but still).  So, when I spotted the two-packs last year, I immediately flipped through the rack to find the set Fred was in.  Imagine my dismay when I discovered they doubled up on Scooby instead of including him.  Now, all of my issues would have been resolved had there simply been a picture of the Mystery Machine and the included Fred figure somewhere on the packaging for the two-packs, but Character Options didn’t see fit to actually inform their customers what was actually out.  So, instead of tracking this set down early last year, I ended up stumbling upon it at the K-Mart near where my family vacations for Christmas.  It was even marked down to $15.  There’s a whole extra $10 they could have gotten out of me if I’d known this thing existed (to say nothing of me forking over the cash for the rest of the gang).   Ah well, I got my Fred figure, and that’s really what matters.  Ultimately, this is a more toy-etic set than I tend to go for in modern toys, but I can’t say I’m unhappy with the purchase.

mysterymachine2

#1176: The Eighth Doctor

THE EIGHTH DOCTOR

DOCTOR WHO

eighthdoctornotd1

It’s Day 10 of the post-Christmas gift reviews, and today I’m getting back to a franchise that no special occasion would be complete without.  Yes, it’s time for another Doctor Who figure!  I haven’t reviewed anything Who-related since January of last year, if you can believe it.  That’s okay, I’m making up for it by looking at a particularly cool figure!  This one is yet another figure of the under-appreciated Eighth incarnation of the Doctor, as portrayed by Paul McGann (who slowly, but surely has become, like, my favorite Doctor).  Let’s have a look!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

eighthdoctornotd3The Eighth Doctor is part of Character Options’ long-running 5-inch Doctor Who line.  While the line was supposedly abandoned in favor of the smaller 3 3/4-inch line, they seem to have kept is going, just a figure at a time instead of series by series.  Eight follows the current model, being a special single release, similar to the “Time of the Doctor” Eleven and the War Doctor.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall (a little taller than his last figure, thanks to CO’s slowly creeping scale) and he has 22 points of articulation.  I really appreciate the steady increase of usable articulation in these figures, and this version of Eight really benefits from the extra mobility.  The last Eight figure was based on his appearance in the TV-movie, but this figure is based on his much cooler look from 2013’s “Night of the Doctor,” the short that showed Eight’s final mission and the origin of the War Doctor.  The McGann head included with the War Doctor figure was initially supposed to sort of bridge the gap between the first Eight and War Doctor figures, but somewhere along the way, CO realized that the NotD look and the War Doctor look really aren’t that similar.  I’m really glad they opted to release this look as a proper figure, because it takes Eight’s rather stuffy and sort of boring look and adds a nice flare of elegant adventurer to it, which really helps to redefine the character.  This figure’s sporting an all-new sculpt, which is very nicely handled.  It’s obviously very similar to the other Doctor Who  figures I’ve looked at.  There’s not a ton of texturing, but that actually results in a rather clean, and very consistent look.  He has some very nice fine detail work on the clothing, especially on the boots.  Seriously, I don’t really talk boots much, but those things are just a work of art.  The head is yet another new sculpt for Eight.  This one is definitely the best McGann sculpt we’ve gotten so far. The pictures don’t quite do it justice; it’s definitely one of those sculpts you need to see in person to truly appreciate.  The paint work on this figure is decent, but perhaps not as detailed as the sculpt deserves.  To be fair, the work is certainly very clean (perhaps too clean; Eight was a bit of a mess in the short), and the colors are all pretty good matches for the on-screen appearance.  The best work is once again the boots, which look quite lifelike and oh my god I’m talking about the boots again.  I swear, I don’t usually fixate on such things, but they’re just so nice.  Whoever was on boot duty at CO was on point when it came to this figure, that’s all I’m saying.  Eight includes the usual sonic screwdriver, the chalice given to him by the Sisterhood of Karn (which regenerates him into the War Doctor), and a bandolier.  Technically, he doesn’t put on the bandolier until after regenerating into the War Doctor, but who am I to complain about extra accessories?  Though, on that note, I wouldn’t have said no to a young War Doctor head, however unlikely that was.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Three guesses who I got this figure from.  First two don’t count.  Yep, this came from Super Awesome Girlfriend.  I’ve actually been eyeing this figure up since last January and ever so subtly (read: not at all subtly) bringing up that I wanted it when talking with Super Awesome Girlfriend.  I actually gave her a bit of a hard time on our anniversary when she gave my K-2 instead of this guy, since he would have continued the anniversary theme.  Needless to say, she gave me no end of (well-deserved) crap when I opened this guy up on Christmas morning.  I like this figure quite a lot.  I’d even go so far as to say it’s my favorite Doctor Who figure (though the War Doctor and Eleven give him a run for his money).

eighthdoctornotd4

#0815: River Song, The Narrator, & Donna Noble

RIVER SONG, THE NARRATOR, & DONNA NOBLE

DOCTOR WHO

DWHOS4a

It’s day 14 of the Post-Christmas gift reviews. Fun fact, 14 is one more than the number of cannon incarnations of the Doctor. That’s not really related to anything, but there it is. Anyway, I’ll be doing one last Doctor Who-based review for this gift-giving season. This time, I’ll be looking at three figures (sort of…), none of whom are the Doctor. So, let’s dive right into looking at the three “R”s: River, Rassilon (aka the Narrator), and… Rdonna…

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These three were released as the Series Four boxed set. All three are re-releases of single-packed figures from earlier in Character Options’ Doctor Who line.

RIVER SONG

River Song is a favorite character for a lot of Who fans. She is not really a favorite of mine, however. I liked her fine enough in her first appearance “Silence in the Library,” but in all subsequent appearances, I just found her incredibly…grating. Fortunately, this figure is from her initial appearance, back when I didn’t dislike her. Yay. The figure stands a little over 5 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation. As she’s from “Silence in the Library,” River is depicted here in her compression suit she wore for the entirety of the episode. The sculpt does a pretty nice job of translating her look from the episode into figure form. The suit has a nice amount of detailing and texturing, which makes the whole thing look pretty realistic. The proportions do seem just a touch skewed, though, especially if there’s supposed to be a normally proportioned person inside the sculpted suit. However, it’s not too far off. The head sculpt does a decent enough job of capturing Alex Kingston’s likeness. It’s not perfect, but you can identify who it’s supposed to be. Her hair is a bit perplexing, though; her hair in the episode is rather messy, but it didn’t quite look like this. She’s got this two-piece construction going on, which has a somewhat obvious seam. It looks alright from the front, but just looks odd from any other angle. The paintwork on River is decent. Nothing stands out as particularly good or bad; it’s just kind of there. Her eyes do seem a bit on the lifeless side, even more so than usual on a Who figure. Other than that, the paint generally goes where it’s supposed to. River is packed with a gun, and what appears to be a small sonic screwdriver (it’s been forever since I saw the episode, so I can’t remember what she has). It’s a bit perplexing that she doesn’t include her helmet for her suit, but the two included pieces aren’t bad.

THE NARRATOR

DWHOS4bRassilon is a rather minor character in the grand scheme of the show. He’s only in the last two episodes of Tennant’s run, and only actually plays a role in the story in the second part. Sure, he’s kind of involved with Ten’s death and subsequent regeneration into Eleven, but only kind of. Heck, his figure doesn’t even get his actual name! He’s just called “The Narrator.” I think most people remember him for being played by Timothy Dalton, which is probably one of the best things about the character. The figure stands 6 ¼ inches tall and has 18 points of articulation. There are parts of Rassilon’s sculpt that are pretty good, but there are also parts that are not as good. The underlying body is pretty decently handled; the torso’s a little flat, but the texture work on his outfit is pretty nice. His coat/robe is probably the weakest part of the figure. The main piece of it is reasonably handled (though lacking in texturing), but the arms are just very awkwardly constructed, and pretty flimsy to boot. At the very least, his metal hand is pretty well done. The headsculpt is overall pretty good, but not quite perfect. Looking at this guy, you can definitely see some of Dalton’s likeness, but it feels almost a little squashed, making the figure look more like Dalton’s lesser known brother. The paintwork here is pretty much on par with the rest of the line, which is to say it’s good, but not great. The detailing on the front of the robe is pretty nice, but the skintone used here feels a bit too yellow to be right. The Narrator includes a staff, which was a fairly key accessory for the guy.

DONNA NOBLE

Donna is the figure in this set I’ve looked at once before, as part of the Companions set. This figure does appear to have slightly better paintwork than the last one, but other than that, this is the same figure as before.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This trio was given to me by (who else?) my Super Awesome Girlfriend, who is deadset on getting me just as many Doctor Who figures as possible. I’m not the biggest fan of River as a character, but this figure is a pretty decent one. The Narrator could probably be better, but I like Timothy Dalton, and he’s really not that bad. All in all, not a bad little set.

 

#0813: Silent

SILENT

DOCTOR WHO

Silence1

It’s day 12 of the Post-Christmas gift reviews, and today I’ll be jumping back over to the world of Doctor Who. Amazingly, the 11 Doctors boxed set has failed to break my spirit in reviewing these guys! My collection of Doctor Who figures is made up mostly of incarnations of the Doctor, as well as a handful of companions for doctors 10 and 11. I’ve looked at a few of the Doctor’s otherworldly foes, but they are definitely in the minority. Today, I’ll be looking at one of the more recent additions to the Doctor’s rogues gallery, the Silent, who were added to the show during the second year of Matt Smith’s tenure. …Hold on. Sorry, was I saying something? I can’t quite remember….

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Silence2The Silent was released in Series 6 of Character Options’ Doctor Who line of figures. This figure is meant to represent one of the many generic Silence we see in the show. The Silent came in two different configurations: open and closed mouth. Mine is one of the closed mouth ones. The figure stands 6 ¾ inches tall and has 20 points of articulation. This figure towers over the rest of my Who figures, which surprised me at first, but a quick double check on shots from their appearances show that this height is fairly accurate. The Silent had a fairly basic look on the show, being another alien race that just went around in normal suits. The actual creatures look not unlike the main figure of Munch’s “The Scream,” which is certainly an appropriately eerie look. The figure’s sculpt does a pretty admirable job of translating the design to toy form. The proportions of the figure all look about right, and the main “alien bits” are all decent matches for what we saw on the screen. The sculpt would probably benefit from a bit more texturing overall, but he’s no less detailed than any of the other Who figures. The paintwork on this figure is Silence3decent all around. The best work is easily on the head and hands, which feature a nice bit of texturing and such, to make him look real. The suit is a bit less impressive, mostly because, for some reason, they opted to make the black rather glossy, as opposed to the slightly more matte finish it should have. Still, nothing about it is outright bad, so that’s good. The Silent includes two electricity add-ons, which attach nicely to his hands, as well as a packet of “flesh.” That last thing has nothing to do with the Silence, but is instead meant to be the stuff that made up the gangers from “The Rebel Flesh.” Each figure in this series came with a packet of this stuff. Yay?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Silent was given to me by my Super Awesome Girlfriend, who is dead set on getting me as many Doctor Who figures as she can. The Silence have never been my favorite Who foes, but this is a pretty nicely done figure. Plus, I got to mess with people by pretending to forget what figure this was every time I turned the packaging over.