#0813: Silent




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….


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 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.

#0810: 11 Doctors Boxed Set




Welcome to day 9 of the Post-Christmas gift reviews! We’ve gotten quite a ways into these reviews without seeing any entries from a regular fixture in all gift related reviews, Doctor Who! Today, I’ll be fixing that in spades!

One of the key elements of Doctor Who’s lead character is his ability to regenerate into a new body when he is dealt a fatal blow. In the real world, this has allowed the character to be portrayed by thirteen different actors (counting the War Doctor) over the course of fifty years. It’s a marvelous way of keeping the character fresh for all that time, and it doesn’t rely on everyone looking the other way in a similar fashion to, say, James Bond. So far, I’ve looked at figures of four(ish) of the Doctor’s incarnations, but today, I’ll be knocking out the other nine! I’ll be totally honest with you all, I’ve been dreading this review just the slightest bit, because I’ve never actually reviewed this many figures at once. Let’s see how this goes!


These eleven figures were released as part of a special boxed-set following Matt Smith stepping into the role in 2011. It somewhat amusingly proclaims it “Contains All Eleven Incarnations of the Doctor!” That’s no longer as inclusive as it boasts, but it was all of them at the time. It’s not like they’re time travelers or anything….


11Doctors2William Hartnell was the one who started it all, bringing the Doctor his first life back in the 60s. He portrayed the character a fair bit different, in a much more reserved, less eccentric way than those who would follow. The figure stands 5 ¼ inches tall and has 18 points of articulation. The articulation is a bit more primitive than some of the more recent Doctors, but that’s acceptable given he’s an earlier release. Hartnell had more or less the same look for his run as the character, with varying add-ons. This figure presents him in his most basic look, without the extras, which was his primary appearance in the show, so it’s a good choice. The sculpt exhibits some pretty sharp work, in keeping with most of the other Doctor Who figures. There isn’t much texture work, but there is some very sharp small details. The head sculpt sports a pretty spot on likeness of Hartnell, giving an ever so slight smile, which feels right for the character. The First Doctor’s paintwork is quite sharp and well detailed. It’s somewhat monochromatic, but there’s a surprising number of levels to the greys, and it looks quite good. The paint on the face is decent, though he does have these odd red rings around his eyes. Maybe he didn’t sleep well last night? The figure includes the Doctor’s signature cane, which he holds quite nicely.


11Doctors3Patrick Troughton may not be the guy who originated the role of the Doctor, but he’s still an innovator in the role, being the first to emerge from one of the Doctor’s regeneration sequences. Had his introduction not worked, the very integral concept of the Doctor being played by many actors would have been lost. The figure stands 5 inches tall and has the same articulation scheme as the First Doctor. Troughton’s Doctor was to inject a bit of eccentricity into the character. He was somewhat disheveled, and embraced his goofier side with a bow tie. This figure replicates that look quite nicely. Like Hartnell, the Second Doctor’s sculpt is sharply detailed, but a bit lighter on texturing. The jacket has a ton of detailing, showing the various creases and folds in the coat, which successfully makes it look like the jacket has been rolled up in a ball before being put on. The head sculpt is a fairly spot on likeness of Troughton, right down to his mop top of hair. The paintwork is nice and clean, and it adds a splash more color than the First Doctor. There’s some pretty awesome work on the polka dots on the tie and the plaid of the pants, which gives him a bit of pop. There’s a little bit of slop around his pocket square, as well as the edges of the hair, but the ver all work is pretty sharp. The Second Doctor was the first to use the sonic screwdriver, but it wasn’t yet his main thing, so this figure includes his recorder, which is a well enough handled, but he can’t quite hold it right.


11Doctors4After the Second Doctor cleared the idea of replacing the show’s lead actor every so often, actor Jon Pertwee was the next in line, becoming the third actor to bear the role. Troughton’s Doctor was a disheveled genius, with a very goofy strain deeply rooted in him. He was ever so slightly awkward. Pertwee changed things. While he kept his flair for the dramatic, and played up the eccentricities, he was also a suave charmer, of almost Sean Connery levels. The figure stands 5 ½ inches tall (tallest in the set. Pertwee was a big guy) and has the same articulation as the prior two. One of the things about Pertwee’s Doctor, in terms of looks, was that he didn’t really have one specific look, like his predecessors. He had a style, but the specific costume pieces changed from story to story. This figure seems to do a decent job of summing up the “character” of Pertwee’s Doctor. He’s got the smoking jacket, the boots, the ruffled shirt, and the tie, as well as an add-on part for the coat/cape, which can be removed if you so choose. The quality of the sculpt is definitely up there, though like the others, he doesn’t do a whole lot as far as texturing on the clothing. The head does a nice job capturing Pertwee’s likeness, and there’s some really nice work on his crazy hairstyle. One thing I did notice about this figure is he has a little difficulty staying standing, I think due to the shaping of the legs. The Third Doctor’s paint is definitely more colorful than the previous two, but it’s not quite as complex. There’s a lot of just solid patches of color, which looks perfectly fine, but isn’t the most exciting thing. On the plus side, his gerneral design is a bit more visually interesting, so it offsets it well enough. The general application is pretty clean, so that’s good. The Third Doctor is the first to include his sonic screwdriver, which is well sculpted and fits nicely in his hand.


11Doctors5For a large chunk of people, Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor is THE Doctor. He has the longest run of any actor in the role, and held the role during one of the show’s highest points for viewership (he was also the Doctor while one of my personal heroes, Douglas Adams, was the main story editor on the show, which certainly elevates him in my eyes). Unlike most of the others in this set, this was not the Fourth Doctor’s first figure in this line, due to his immense popularity. But, that doesn’t make this figure any less cool. The figure stands 5 ½ inches tall and has the same articulation as the others. He has the most detailed sculpt by far of all the figures in this set. There’s just a ton of fantastic work, especially texture work, that’s just very well carried out. A lot of it’s easy to miss or overlook, just due to the level of detail included. The coat and scarf are both separate pieces, with a nice flow about them. Under those parts, the figure is more inline with the other figures in the set, with a bit less texture, but still plenty of detail. There have been a few figures of the Fourth Doctor, so there have been a few stabs at his likeness, with various differing zany expressions. This one is slightly more reserved, but still somewhat goofy, and it’s a pretty decent likeness of Baker. The paintwork on the figure is rather involved, and there’s some varying quality throughout. The underlying paint is really great, especially the pattern on his vest. The rest of the paint is decent, but the scarf and coat and such show a bit of slop in a few areas. The Fourth Doctor includes his sonic screwdriver, which appears to be the same sculpt as that of the Third Doctor, but with slightly different paint.


11Doctors6Replacing a fan-favorite is no one’s ideal job, but that’s what Peter Davison came into when he became the fifth main actor to take the role of the Doctor. He had the task of replacing Baker’s defining turn in the role, which he approached by taking a more subdued stance on the character. Gone were the absurdly long scarf and the loud colors, replaced with someone who wouldn’t look out of place playing cricket at a prep school. The figure is about 5 ¼ inches tall, with the same 18 points as all of the prior figures. His sculpt falls somewhere between Baker and the others. His sculpt is definitely quite sharp, and there’s a lot of nice detail work. The hair and vest have some very well-handled texture work, but the rest of sculpt is fairly smooth, much like the others in the set. I do like that the vest is a separate piece. His likeness to Davison is definitely there, but not as strongly as some of the others. His paint is reminiscent of the First Doctor’s; it’s a bit monochromatic, but there’s lots of levels to those similar colors, which help to make him a rather impressively painted figure. He includes his sonic screwdriver, which is almost identical to the Fourth Doctor’s.


11Doctors7And now we get to the two figures for which I know the least. This here is the Sixth Doctor, portrayed by Colin Baker, brother of prior Doctor Tom Baker (okay, not really). He took the more refined look of the Fifth Doctor, discarded it, and went for more the “I stole this out of a clown’s closet” sort of look. That’s all I know. The figure stands 5 ¼ inches tall and has the same articulation scheme as the others. Six’s sculpt is reasonable, but not as good as some of the others in this set. A lot of that has to do with the basic build of the figure, which is somewhat off. His chest is a bit flat and rather squared off, his hips seem too far set apart, and he’s perpetually stuck leaning just a bit forward. The actual detail work does fair a bit better. His likeness is pretty spot-on to Colin Baker, and they even managed to capture that wacky head of hair. I’m not really sure what’s going on with his expression, but it works alright, I guess. The paint on this figure is certainly an undertaking. I think that CO managed to pull it off reasonably well, but he does still exhibit a fair amount of slop. The Sixth Doctor is the only figure in the set not to get an accessory, which seems a little unfair.


11Doctors8And this here is the Seventh Doctor, portrayed by Sylvestor McCoy. He came after Colin Baker, and before Paul McGann. And now I’m out of things to say. He’s the shortest figure in the set, at just under 5 inches tall. His sculpt is reasonable enough, though I feel like the clothing is a little softer in definition than it was on the others. The coat sort of runs together with the scarf, and the tie, vest and shirt also run together a bit. He’s not a bad sculpt, just a sort of “meh” one. The head sort of looks like McCoy, but it’s a weaker likeness than the others. I think that may partly have to do with him lacking the hat that this incarnation of the character seemed to almost always have, which was certainly an interesting way to go. On the plus side the paint is really good here. The colors are nice and vibrant, and the various patterning on his clothing looks really cool. The Seventh Doctor is packed with an umbrella, which is quite a nice piece.


11Doctors9After the show was cancelled during McCoy’s run, Amblin Entertainment did their best to bring back Doctor Who in the 90s, in a slightly more Americanized form. The venture was…less than successful. But, people generally liked Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor, and the 50th Anniversary build up did a fair bit to give him a good storyline. This figure pre-dates those developments, but I won’t hold it against him. He’s about 5 ¼ inches tall and has the same standard articulation as everyone else. This figure’s sculpt also feels just a bit soft, though not as bad as Seven. There is some more definition between the parts of his clothing, but some of them do still run together a bit. His likeness isn’t too bad; you can definitely see McGann in there. However, I think the extra head included with the War Doctor might be a better example (even if it is from later in McGann’s career). The overall look of the sculpt sums up the Eighth Doctor pretty well, and this one feels like he’s better than the sum of his parts. The paint is a little bit of a step down. It’s much more drab than the others (which is accurate, to be fair), and there’s a couple of pretty obvious instances of bleed over. Eight includes his sonic screwdriver, which appears to be the same one included with Three, Four, and Five, just painted differently.


11Doctors10Doctor Who finally made its way back to tv airwaves in 2005, with Christopher Eccleston as the ninth incarnation of the main character. The Ninth Doctor was a back to the basics, no nonsense approach, in both personality and design. He had perhaps the most reserved, average look of any Doctor incarnation, which actually kind of makes him stand out, despite his rather indistinctive look. The figure stands 5 ¼ inches tall. His articulation is similar to the others in the set, but he lacks the thigh swivels. This has to do with him reusing the torso and legs of the regeneration version of Ten. He does get new arms, so he keeps the swivels on the biceps. The overall sculpt is pretty solid, and is in keeping with the better entries in this set. The best work is definitely on the coat, which has some great fine detail work and texturing. His head has a pretty good likeness to Eccleston, and it’s at least good enough that he doesn’t just look like a random guy in a black jacket. The paintwork on Nine is pretty decent overall, but he does have a few missing spots on his hairline, which are a little obvious. The best work is once again on the jacket, which nicely replicates the look of a beaten up leather jacket. Nine includes his sonic screwdriver, which is totally different from the previous one, and does a good job capturing the look.


11Doctors11After Eccleston’s rather short run as the character, David Tennant took over, and gave a turn as the Doctor that rivaled Tom Baker’s in terms of popularity. His Doctor was a bit more out there than Eccleston’s, but one of his signature characteristics was his ability to jump back and forth between comedic and serious in quick succession. He’s also one of the two Doctors in this set I’ve already reviewed. He’s roughly 5 ¼ inches tall, but he loses four points of of movement, two in his biceps and two in his thighs. This is mostly to do with being pretty much entirely a re-used figure. The torso, legs, and head (but not the glasses) are the same as the Doctor from the previously reviewed Doomsday set. Those pieces were good there and they’re still good here. As a positive, the addition of Ten’s longcoat does a good job of masking the slight bulkiness of the jacket. I also like the glasses, which aren’t as bulky and ill-fitting as most examples in smaller scales. One of the best parts of the Doomsday Doctor was his fantastic paint. This figure lives up to that, which I was definitely happy about. Ten includes his sonic screwdriver, which is the same piece as the one included with Nine.


11Doctors12Like Davison, Matt Smith had some big shoes to fill in taking over for fan-favorite David Tennant. However, unlike Davison, Matt Smith didn’t shy away from the more eccentric side of the character, and successfully earned a pretty size able fan base of his own, which was almost enough to rival Baker and Tennant. His figure stands 5 ¼ inches tall and has the same articulation as all the others barring Ten and Nine. The figure’s sculpt is definitely well done. He definitely captures Smith’s unique build, which sells who he is pretty well. There’s also some pretty nice texturing on his tweed jacket, and the basic details of his clothing are pretty sharp. The head sports a pretty good likeness of Smith; close enough that you can tell easily who it’s supposed to be. The bangs on his hair are a separate piece, and you can clearly see the seam where it joins the head, which is kind of annoying. Fortunately, that’s the only real issue with the sculpt. The paintwork on Eleven is pretty solid; the base work is all pretty clean, and the jacket has a nice wash which helps accent the sculpt really nicely. Eleven is packed with his unique sonic screwdriver, which is quite nicely sculpted.


This set was given to me this Christmas by my Super Awesome Girlfriend and her parents, who seem to have also gotten into the swing of supporting this insane habit of mine. This set is a massive set. Really. But, it’s also a fantastic set of figures. Just all around a lot of fun.

Look at that, I just wrote a 3000 word review! I’m gonna go fall down now…


#0801: The Curator




It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Okay, well, it was. Provided, of course you view Christmas as the “most wonderful time of the year.” Which not everyone does. I’m getting sidetracked. Sorry! Point is, Christmas has just passed, and that means another round of Christmas reviews. However, before I can get to the Christmas reviews, I have to first do the anniversary gift, which is sort of kind of Christmas Review #0.

One year ago, I looked at the War Doctor, from the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special (the surrounding promotion of which was my primary reason for getting into Doctor Who in the first place). Today, I’ll be going back to the 50th Anniversary another time, to look at another figure from that special. Yes, it’s the Curator, played by legendary Doctor Who actor Tom Baker, who may or may not be a future incarnation of the Doctor!


Curator2The Curator is a deluxe release from the Doctor Who line from Character Options. Despite the line’s supposed move to 3 ¾ inch scale, there seems to be a continuous stream of new product at the larger scale. I’m not complaining, though. The figure stands about 5 ½ inches tall and has 22 points of articulation. He’s certainly taller than lots of previous figures from the line, but seeing as Tom Baker is 6’3”, that seems about right scale-wise. The Curator is based on Tom Baker’s cameo appearance from the very end of “The Day of the Doctor.” His sculpt appears to be all-new to him, though I’m not familiar enough with the Doctor Who molds to know for sure. The sculpt is, overall, not a bad piece, but he does feel like a slight step back in quality after the fantastic work seen on the “Time of the Doctor” version of Eleven. The best work is definitely the head, which has some fantastic detail work, and sports a wonderful likeness of an older Tom Baker. The rest of the sculpt is alright, if not amazing. He’s better than the vast majority of the line, for what it’s worth. His proportions are a little exaggerated, but they aren’t terrible. The thing that holds the sculpt back the most is the lack of any real texturing on the clothing. It’s in keeping with most of the line, so I’d give it a pass, except that was one area that the recent version of Eleven really excelled in. Still, the basic sculpt is pretty decent, and it’s a pretty good translation of the look of the character from the episode.  The paintwork on this figure is generally pretty good, but there are some issues that hold him back a bit. The biggest is the substantial amount of paint slop on his right ear, but there are also a few other places with some missed lines and slightly iffy application. That being said, it isn’t the worst I’ve seen from this line, and he looks pretty good overall, as a whole. The Curator includes a cane, which he carries for the entirety of his appearance. It’s a fairly basic piece, and he holds it pretty well. The other accessory is what makes this a deluxe item. It’s the “Galifrey Falls” painting, which has been done as a lenticular image, so that it can change to “Galifrey Falls No More” as it does in the episode.  It’s a neat addition, and the frame is very well sculpted, but the lenticular image makes it hard to really clearly see a fully formed painting. Still a cool piece, though.


The Curator was an anniversary gift from Super Awesome Girlfriend. Isn’t it clever how she got me another anniversary special figure for our anniversary? And, since our anniversary is on the 24th, he’s also a pseudo-Christmas gift! So, the Curator’s not as cool as Eleven or the War Doctor, but he’s still a pretty neat little figure, and certainly a cool novelty item. Not a bad addition to the collection!


#0676: Captain Jack Harkness




So, interestingly enough, before I got into Doctor Who, I actually gave the Who-niverse a try-out with the spin-off series, Torchwood. I liked the show well enough at first, but I decided it wasn’t for me when I got to the finale of the third series, Children of Earth. Just like the comic version of The Walking Dead, I found there are some storytelling techniques I just can’t move past. When I finally got around to watching Doctor Who proper, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Torchwood’s lead, Captain Jack Harkness, when he was given the chance to be a little more light-hearted than Torchwood had allowed.


CapJack2Captain Jack was a special single release in the Doctor Who line. He was actually a re-issuing of the line’s first Captain Jack figure, which had become a little bit difficult to get a hold of in the years since its release. The figure depicts Jack in his gear from his second tenure on the show, during the Tennant run. It also happens to be the look he has for most of Torchwood. It’s a look with a lot of appearances, so it’s definitely a good representation of the character. The figure stands a little over 5 inches tall and has 16 points of articulation. Compared to some of the more recent figures from this line, he’s a bit lacking in movement; you aren’t going to get much more than a basic standing pose out of him. A fair bit of that comes from the somewhat restricting nature of his long coat, but even without that, the figure would still be a little stiff. Jack features a unique sculpt. It’s decent enough, over all. The proportions are mostly pretty good, aside from his somewhat alien looking fingers. Some of the areas, particularly the coat, are a little bit lacking in texturing, but that’s about the same, stylistically, as the other figures from this era, so he fits in pretty well. The likeness on the head sculpt seems like it’s pretty good, under the paint, but it’s hard to tell. As it is, it feels a little bit off. It’s still recognizably him, but not quite 100%. Also, the expression seems a little bland for Jack. I think a grin of some sort would be far more in character. So, what about that paint I was just touching on? Well, it’s best described as “adequate.” Not bad or anything; in fact, it’s remarkably clean. That being said, it just feels too smooth for a figure based on a real person. Also, it’s a bit thick in application, so things like the likeness on the face can be rather hard to make out. Jack includes a revolver, which is more than a lot of Doctor Who figures get, so that’s good.


Jack here was one of a handful of things bought for me by my Super Awesome Girlfriend while we were at Yesterday’s Fun. After purchasing a rather sizeable selection of figures myself, she came out of the store and presented me with another bag full of things, Jack amongst them. Jack was the one major Tennant companion I was missing, so I’m glad to finally have one, even if he isn’t a perfect figure.


#0661: Eleventh Doctor




So, my favorite Doctor is definitely David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor. That said, I have a pretty great appreciation for his successor Matt Smith, who definitely made the role his own. Unlike a lot of other Whovians, I actually didn’t mind Smith’s last few episodes and I was pretty happy with his send off in “Time of the Doctor.” Though I like Smith quite a bit, my only Eleventh Doctor figure in my collection was a non-standard Christmas episode version. Fortunately, that changed.


EleventhToD2The Eleventh Doctor is part of Underground Toys’ 5-inch Doctor Who line. He was released in early 2015 as part of a special collector’s “set,” released to commemorate Matt Smith’s last episode, “Time of the Doctor.” The figure stands 5 inches tall and has 20 points of articulation. The figure is, obviously, based on Eleven’s appearance in “Time of the Doctor.” While his look in the last half of the series changed from episode to episode, the long purple coat is a nice summation of his later appearances. The figure uses the hands and legs of a few of the previous versions of Eleven, but the rest of the sculpt appears to be all-new to this figure. The likeness on the head still isn’t 100% Matt Smith, but I think it’s probably the best version we’ve gotten so far. Regardless of likeness, it’s a top-notch sculpt, with lots of great fine detail work. The coat has some fantastic texturing, which really showcases its distinctive pattern pretty well. The EleventhToD3body as a whole is also just a lot better proportioned than prior Who figures. Great to see them finally getting these things down right as they move away from the scale, right? Eleven exhibits some of the best paintwork I’ve seen on a Doctor Who figure, which is great to see. Everything is nice and clean, the colors are well matched, and there’s plenty of small detail. The face is a little too clean, and the eyes feel a little lifeless, but he’s pretty good overall. The Doctor is quite well accessorized, including his sonic screwdriver, Handles (the beheaded Cyberman who serves as his companion for a good portion of the episode), an aged Eleven head, a cane, a shirt/vest piece sans bowtie, and a Twelfth Doctor head. Handles is definitely my favorite extra; he’s very nicely detailed both in paint and in sculpt and represents one of my favorite parts of the episode. The extra heads both swap out relatively easily, as does the extra vest. The Old Eleven head has a pretty decent Smith likeness, but I’m not seeing much of Capaldi in the Twelve head. Still, they’re both great from a technical standpoint and they make for some really fun additions.


It’s a Doctor Who figure. You get no points for guessing where this guy came from. Yep, this guy was a birthday present from my Super Awesome Girlfriend, who continues to live up to her name. This figure is really well done. In fact, I think he may well be the best Doctor Who item that I’ve gotten. He’s that good.


#0508: Cyberman




Hey look! Another Doctor Who review. It hasn’t been that long since the last one, and here’s another one. Well, most of my Doctor Who stuff has been the 5-ich scale stuff, which is the scale that Underground Toys really stuck with for a while (and still hasn’t completely let go of, either). But, nowadays, the line’s made a transition to a smaller 3 ¾ inch scale. A while back, I picked up the Tenth Doctor from that line, and he was getting a little lonely by himself. So, how about a Cyberman? Yeah, let’s have a look at that one.


Cyberman2The Cyberman was released in the first series of the 3 ¾ inch Doctor Who line. He’s about 3 ¾ inches tall (surprising no one) and he has 13 points of articulation. That’s a bit of a step down from the Cyberman’s larger counterpart, but it’s in line with the rest of the 3 ¾ inch Who stuff. I just wish he had some waist articulation. The figure is based on the second Cyberman design from the new Who series, which premiered in Matt Smith’s last season on the show. This is the first time this design has shown up in the toyline. While it’s not quite as strong as the previous Cyberman design, it’s not bad. And, as the new standard look, it’s gonna show up some time. The sculpt does a pretty good job of replicating the show design. The details are all nice and sharp, and everything looks appropriately machined. The only nit with the sculpt is that the head is just a little bit too large, and by extension, slightly less detailed than the rest of the sculpt. Paintwork on the Cyberman is simply superb. It starts out with just a simple base level of silver paint, which is covered with a wash to bring out the details of the sculpt and then a fair bit of dry brushing to give the armor the appropriate worn-in look. The Cyberman’s loan accessory here is a DW logo base, which is the same as the one included with Ten, but in a dark blue. Which actually makes a lot more sense, color-wise.


Three guesses as to who got this figure for me. Yep, this one’s from my Super Awesome Girlfriend. It was the last day of Farpoint, and I was rather sick and sleeping on the Con Suite (which I was totally supposed to be running). In came Super Awesome Girlfriend, who brought me two of my favorite things: Food and Action Figures! Remember how I said that Ten was lonely? Well, Super Awesome Girlfriend agreed! Ultimately, the Cyberman’s not quite as good as Ten, or even as good as the larger version, but it’s a neat little figure.

#0446: The Doctor & Clara “Oswin” Oswald



It’s Day Nine of the Christmas Reviews, and we’re back with that funky British Sci-Fi show Doctor Who. If you’ve been closely following the reviews up to this point, you’ll probably notice that, while I have a fair assortment of Eleventh Doctor-related characters, I don’t actually have an Eleventh Doctor. That changes today! Also of note, I’ll be rounding out the main companions of the Eleventh Doctor (well, sort of). So, let’s have a look at The Doctor and Clara “Oswin” Oswald.


These two figures were released in a two pack dubbed “The Impossible Set,” which is a clever name for a couple of reasons. From a show perspective, Clara, who makes up half of this is set, was dubbed “The Impossible Girl.” But, in addition to that, what’s also somewhat impossible about this set is the scale! See, right before Clara joined the cast of the show, Character Options, who make the Who toys, decided to change the scale of the line from 5-inch to 3 ¾-inch. This meant that the first Clara figure was not compatible with all the other Who companions, which was definitely a bummer. Fortunately, it didn’t last too long, and now we have a Clara in 5-inch scale (well, sort of… I’ll get to that.)


First up, it’s the Doctor, who’s sort of the requisite figure in this set, what with it being his show and all. The figure is about 5 ½ inches tall (counting the hat) and he has 20 points of articulation. The Eleventh Doctor was no stranger to toys, and he ended up with a fair number of them, covering many of his looks. This particular figure is not one of the Doctor’s standard looks. Instead, it’s a specific look from the Series 7 Christmas episode “The Snowmen.” That episode was the first episode following the departure of longtime companions the Ponds, so the Doctor is in a somewhat distraught state, leading to the darker colors and the lack of his signature bow-tie. The episode is set in Victorian-era London, and the Doctor’s dressed to fit in, resulting in a rather unique look for Eleven. The figure is a mostly new sculpt, though he does re-use the hands and legs of the basic version of Eleven. Generally speaking, the sculpt is quite nice. It seems a bit gangly at first, but some re-watching of Smith’s episodes shows that this is pretty accurate. I really like the amount of texture present on the figure. This is something that’s frequently absent from Who figures, but that’s not the case here. I particularly love the hat, which has the perfect well-worn look to it. The figure’s face is a decent approximation of Matt Smith, though I think they’ve made him just a bit too conventionally good looking to be a spot on rendition of Smith. While the sculpt is quite good, and certainly up to par with other Who releases, the paint seems to have taken a slight down turn. It’s not bad, mind you; just not as good as previous Who figures. Overall, the general application and the color scheme are fine. However, there are a few issues with some bleed over, and the paint just seems to be thicker than usual. I’m also not a fan of how the eyebrows look, as if they’ve been drawn on with a pencil. The Doctor’s lone accessory is his Sonic Screwdriver, which seems to be well represented here.


So, how is this figure only “sort of” a Clara Oswald figure? Well, it’s like this: this figure is based on Jenna Coleman’s character Oswin the Soufflé Girl, who appeared in Series 7’s “Asylum of the Daleks.” The episode was written, filmed, and shown following Coleman’s casting as the next Companion, but she wasn’t playing the character she would go on to play. However, through a convoluted series of events, the end of Series 7 revealed that Oswin had been a fragment of Clara the whole time, effectively making them the same person. So, this is essentially a Clara figure, more or less. Fortunately, Oswin and Clara had similar styles of dress, so it’s pretty easy to pass this off as either of them. The figure is a little under 5 inches tall, and she has 21 points of articulation (though, I’m not really sure why they even bothered with the neck joint, as the hair renders it useless.) The figure features a unique sculpt. It’s a pretty good one, too, with nice proportions and a good likeness of Jenna Coleman. The majority of the dress is a rubber slip-over piece, allowing for it to go seamlessly across the figure’s waist, while still maintaining a fair bit of the articulation. I’m not sure how well it’ll hold up over time, but it’s good in theory. The figure’s paint is pretty good overall. Everything is evenly applied, and it’s nice and clean. There’s no real issue with slop or bleed over. I’m not sure what’s going on with the eyes, though. They were definitely trying to capture Coleman’s wide-eyed look, but her pupils are a bit low, resulting in an almost frightened look, which, when coupled with the slight smile, looks a bit frightening. Like the Doctor, Oswin includes a single accessory: her soufflé. It’s a fun enough accessory, though she can’t hold it very well.


The Doctor and Clara/Oswin, like all my Doctor Who figures, were a gift from my Super Awesome Girlfriend Jessica. I’m really happy to have an Eleventh Doctor for my shelf, and I really like this particular look. I’m also happy to have another Companion. While I’m not the biggest fan of Clara, I actually really liked Oswin during her short appearance on the show, so this figure’s even more of a win for me!

#0444: Rory Williams



Today marks Day Seven of my Christmas Reviews. We are officially at the mid-point of these reviews, so hang in there.

My gifts this year had a definite split between Aliens stuff and Doctor Who stuff. The last two days were Aliens-related, so it’s only fitting that I jump back to Doctor Who for the day. The last set of Who figures added to my Eleventh Doctor collection; today’s figure does the same. In an effort to make poor Amy even less lonely, today I’ll be looking at her husband Rory, second companion of the Eleventh Doctor.


Rory was released as part of Character Option’s 5-inch scale Doctor Who line. He was a later addition to the line, coming after it had stopped doing regular series releases. As such, Rory was released on his own, although there were three different color variations available. This one is the red/blue combo, which is the most readily available of the three. Rory is roughly 5 inches tall and he has 18 points of articulation. While I don’t know specifically what episode he’s based on, he’s definitely a Rory from his first season on the show. The figure features a unique sculpt, though it was shared by all three Rorys. Generally speaking, it’s really not bad. Let’s talk about the sculpt from the neck down first. It’s a nice, sharp sculpt, with lots of nice detail. It’s a bit light on texture, but that’s less of an issue here than it was on, say, the Roman Auton. The figure is generally well proportioned, if perhaps a bit stocky for Rory (though that’s not new for this line).  The head sculpt is, overall, pretty good. It certainly bears more than a passing resemblance to Arthur Darvill, but he seems too full in the face, and the hair is a bit too short for Rory. That said, I’ve seen far worse likenesses. Rory’s paint work is pretty good, if a tad basic. For the body, that’s not too bad. The colors are nice and clean, and everything stays in the appropriate spaces. There’s also some very nice texturing on the figure’s pants, and some decent work on the shoes. The issues begin to arise with the head. It’s clean enough (aside from a spot on his nose), but the eyebrows are a little too clean. There’s also some bleed over along his hairline. None of it’s bad, but it could be a little better. Rory included no accessories.


Rory was yet another gift from my Super Awesome Girlfriend Jessica. Rory was one of my favorite characters on the show, and I’m thrilled to have him in figure form. What’s more, the figure is actually a really good figure. For a normal guy in normal clothes, he’s actually a pretty fun figure!

#0441: Doctor Who Pandorica Set



Christmas Reviews continue to merrily chug along today, with entry #4. This one is another venture into the world of Doctor Who, which I am still relatively new to, especially when it comes to toys. Prior to this Christmas, the vast majority of my Who collection has been related to David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor. The one lone exception was Amy Pond, first companion to the Eleventh Doctor. Well, now Amy should be just a tad bit less lonely. Today’s review covers a few of the villains to show up during Matt Smith’s inaugural season of the show.


These six figures were released as a special “Pandorica Set,” based on the final two episodes of the Eleventh Doctor’s first season. Of the six included, only the Underhenge Dalek is actually new to the set. However, this is the first time I’ve seen most of these figures, so I’ll review them as if they were new.


The Daleks are one of the Doctor’s most recurring foes, and they undergo just as many “regenerations” as he does, if not more. The Dalek figure is a little over 5 inches in height and it features 4 points of articulation, as well as three functioning wheels at the bottom. Both of the Daleks in this set are based on the slightly changed design that first appeared in “Victory of the Daleks.” It’s not my favorite of the Dalek designs; it just seems a bit clunky. This particular Dalek is based on the “Underhenge” look, where one of the Daleks is turned to stone by the Pandorica. It’s the same sculpt as the regular Dalek in this set. The sculpt is certainly accurate to the design from the show, and it features some very nice, very clean work. All of the parts look properly machined, which is good. The figure has been molded in a very dark blue plastic, and a rocky finish has been applied. The paint has purposefully been done so as to leave clumps and such to make the figure appear as if it really has been turned to stone. It’s a solid effect, and it certainly makes the figure unique. The Underhenge Dalek includes no accessories.


The Roman Autons are probably the most storyline specific of the characters included in this set. They are created by the Pandorica (with a little help from Amy), and they aren’t seen again after the story wraps up. Mostly, they served as an interesting way to bring back Rory. The figure is about 5 inches in height and it has 18 points of articulation. Sadly, it predates the line’s move to better shoulder articulation, greatly limiting the figure’s posing potential. He doesn’t appear to be based on any specific Auton; instead he seems to amalgamate a few of them. It might have been nice if they had given him a Rory head to make this particular release a bit more unique, but it’s okay as is. The sculpt is a pretty nice piece of work. There are a lot of layers to it, and it sums up to look of the characters pretty well. However, it could definitely benefit from a bit more texturing to help spice it up a bit. The cape is a cool touch, and I guess it’s consistent with the rest of the sculpt. The head looks a tad too much like a portly English actor dressed up like a Roman, which makes it a bit difficult to take it seriously. The paint job is one of the shining points of the figure. There are a few spots of slop and bleed over, but nothing too major or distracting. What’s more, the figure feature some wonderful texture work on the armor pieces, which really makes them look like more than just chunks of plastic. The Auton includes a sword and dagger, both of which can be put away in the provided sheaths.


Amy is the one figure in this set that isn’t new to me. This figure is pretty much identical to the single release, which I reviewed a few months back. The one difference that I noted is that the skin tone on this one seems better than the last, which does a fair bit to improve an already good figure.


The Sontarans are another recurring foe of the Doctor, though they’re nowhere near as prominent as the Daleks, or even the Cybermen. Probably the most memorable thing about them as of late is Strax, the Sontaran who began making recurring appearances as one of the Doctor’s companions about halfway through Eleven’s tenure. While this figure is meant to just be a generic Sontaran, the fact that they’re all clones and therefore should look approximately the same means that this figure will be Strax, as far as my shelf is concerned. The Sontaran figure is about 4 ¾ inches tall and has 22 points of articulation. Most of it’s pretty straight forward, aside from the weird ball joint thing they’ve used for his waist. I’m not sure why they didn’t just use the standard cut joint; the end result both looks and moves very oddly. Aside from that, the figure’s sculpt is really quite nice. The head has a wonderful amount of texture and really looks like one of the Sontarans from the show. The body, while not quite as impressive as the head, features some pretty solid work and has its fair share of little details that stand out. The paintwork is about on par with the sculpt; the best work is on the head, but the body isn’t bad either. The Sontaran includes his blaster-staff-thingy and a helmet. Sadly, neither of them is quite as good as they could be. He has trouble holding the staff, and the helmet simply does not fit within his collar.


Like the Dalek, one of the Roman Autons also found himself turned to stone by the Pandorica. Which, of course, translates to another action figure! Like the regular Roman Auton, this figure is about 5 inches tall and he sports 18 points of articulation. Structurally, he’s the same as the regular Auton, except this figure is missing the cape. It actually looks a bit better that way, if I’m honest. Like the Dalek, the Underhenge Roman Auton is molded in a dark blue plastic and has been painted with a rough tan paint. In the Auton’s case, this serves as an improvement to the figure on a few fronts. Most notably, it alleviates the issues of texture with the sculpt. It also helps to mask the somewhat goofy headsculpt and just works to give the figure a lot more character in general. The Underhenge Auton is packed with the same sword and dagger included with the regular version, with the handles done to match the rest of the figure.


So, after looking at the Underhenge version, let’s wrap things up with a look at the standard Dalek from the set. Like the ‘Henge version, this figure is just over 5 inches tall, has 4 points of articulation, and sports three working wheels on the bottom. The Dalek Drone has the same sculpt as the ‘Henge one, but now we’re free to see it more clearly. It really is a very well handled recreation of the Daleks from the show, and all of the parts look just about right. There are a few issues with mold lines being more obvious on this version, but so not bad that it ruins the figure. That paint on this Dalek is certainly more involved than the ‘Henge Dalek, but it’s not quite as well done. The head and “neck” are both extremely well-handled, but from there down, issues start crop up. The worst problem is with the spheres on the lower half. The paint on them is very sloppily applied, and there is more than a little bleed over. Viewed from a distance, it isn’t terrible, but it’s pretty bad at a normal view. The Dalek Drone includes no accessories.


The Padorica set was a Christmas gift from my Super Awesome Girlfriend, Jessica (okay, technically from her parents, but she was the one who suggested it, and she’s the one who’s insanely supportive of my hobby, so I’m gonna give her a lot of the credit). I really like this set. The Amy included is a slight improvement on the last, Strax is really cool, and I can’t help but love the Underhenge figures. Seriously, I’d buy an entire line of Who figures done like those two!

#0437: The Other Doctor



And let the gift reviews begin! Today’s review is the first of my “Christmas Reviews” so to speak, but it’s not exactly a Christmas gift, for reasons I’ll get into at the end. So, let’s consider this Christmas Review #0.

A year ago, I owned no Doctor Who action figures. In fact, just a few months before that, I’d never seen an episode of Doctor Who. Two things changed that: a) My girlfriend got into it and encouraged me to start watching it, and b) virtually everyone was talking about how cool the 50th anniversary special was. One of the things that intrigued me the most was John Hurt in the role of the “War Doctor;” I’m a fan of John Hurt, largely due to Alien. So, I caught up to the show, and I am now a very definite Whovian. So, in honor of the thing that pulled me into the show, and by extension the toyline, let’s have a look at the War Doctor in toy form!


The War Doctor, or the “Other Doctor” as he is referred to on the package, was an individual release in the Doctor Who line, meant to capitalize on the 50th Anniversary special. He is notable in that, while he was released after the line’s move to the smaller 3 ¾ inch scale, he was done in the previous 5 inch scale, so he could fit in with the older figures. As such, he is a little under 5 inches tall (Hurt’s not a particularly tall guy), and he features 20 points of articulation. Near as I can tell, the sculpt is all new to this particular figure. It’s really a great sculpt. His jacket is perhaps a little too bulky, but not overly so, and the rest of his body is well-proportioned and has some nice detail work in the folds and textures. The head is pretty much a spitting image of Hurt, which is great. Hurt is notoriously strict about his face being used on merchandise, so this is, I believe, the only official Hurt sculpt to date. They did well on this one. War Doctor’s paint work has its goods and it’s bads. The overall paint work is pretty good,; everything is pretty much clean, and there’s no slop or bleed over to speak of. There some truly tremendous work on the pants and boots, and some exceptional work on the funky pattern on his ascot. It seriously looks like they shrank the real thing down. However, the figure has some seriously goofy looking eyes. They aren’t too bad from a little distance, but up close they look weird. The jacket’s paint is definitely a case of good in theory, but less so in practice. They’ve tried to give it a weathered, broken in look, but the lighter brown is inconsistently applied. It’s really thick some places, but totally absent elsewhere. It’s not terrible, but it’s obviously not the effect they were trying to get. The War Doctor includes his version of the Sonic Screwdriver, the “Moment” accessory from the 50th Anniversary special, and an extra Paul McGann Eighth Doctor head, depicting him from the “Night of the Doctor” short done to lead into “Day of the Doctor.” The head’s a neat enough idea, though Eight never actually wore this getup (though War Doctor did grab the bandolier right after his regeneration).  It’s still a cool idea, though.


The War Doctor was a gift from Super Awesome Girlfriend, given to me as an anniversary gift (yep, I got the Anniversary Doctor for our anniversary. She’s a clever one.) “But, wait, Ethan, didn’t you say this was sort of a Christmas Review?” Yes, I did random imaginary reader! See, we’re the crazy sort of people who started dating on Christmas Eve, so, extra present I guess. The War Doctor has a small fault or two, but, overall, he’s a phenomenal figure. They really hit it out of the park with this one.