#1958: Eighth Doctor & Dalek Alpha



“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?


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.”


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 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!


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!

#1916: The Fourth Doctor & Dalek



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!


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.


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.


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.


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.

#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!

#0097: Doctor Who – Doomsday Set



So, apparently, there’s a part 13 to my “post-Christmas review.”  It came as a surprise to me as well.  Good surprise, though.

So yeah, this time around it’s a first for me.  I’ll be reviewing a set of Doctor Who figures, which are my very first set of Doctor Who figures ever.  So, on to the review!


The figures in this set were released as part of the Doomsday set.  It’s a three-pack based on the second series finale, “Doomsday,” and I believe it was released in 2012.


First up, it’s the titular Doctor.  This is the Tenth Doctor, which means he’s based on David Tennant’s version of the character.  He’s shown here in his usual pinstriped suit, and he’s also wearing his 3-D glasses which are important to the plot of the episode.  The Doctor stands about 5 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  The articulation is actually pretty decent over all, though I di kind of wish he had more than simple cut joints on his shoulders.  However, the rest of the articulation works really well, which makes up for the somewhat limited shoulders.  The sculpt is pretty decent over all, but the head is where this figure really shines.  I’ve seen pictures of some of the earlier Tens and the likeness to Tennant is only passable at best, but this figure seems to have really improved in that area.  The 3D glasses are a separate piece, which is really well scaled to the figure, which is super cool.  The body sculpt is pretty good too, if not quite as good as the head sculpt.  The separate piece used for the suit jacket is a little bit too bulky, but not too terrible.  The paint is all really sharp, with no noticeable slop or bleed.  Of note is just how well handled the pinstripes on the suit, which are all very small and evenly spaced.  The Doctor includes one accessory, his trusty sonic screwdriver.  It’s a decently done piece, and matches the quality of the figure, and fits perfectly into his hand.


Next up is one of the Doctor’s recurring foes, the Cybermen.  This is just one of the basic Cyberman drones, based on the revamped design from the Russell T Davis era.  The Cyberman stands a little over 5 inches tall and features 16 points of articulation.  The articulation is actually a bit better here than on the Doctor, as he’s got a ball jointed neck and shoulders, which really adds to the posing options.  The sculpt looks fairly spot on to the design of the character on the show.  The detailing of the wires under the armor plating looks particularly interesting and gives the figure some nice dimension.  The paint is decent, though, due to the nature of the design, it is a bit simpler than the Doctor’s.  It’s all very cleanly done and nothing is out of line or sloppy.  There’s also a bit of airbrushing to help bring out the details of the sculpt.


Last up is one the Doctor’s greatest enemies, the Daleks.   In particular, it’s Dalek Sec, the leader of a group of individual-ized Daleks created to better fight the Doctor.  The group was introduced in the two-part second series finale where they proved quite pivotal to its plot, so the inclusion of Sec in the set makes a lot of sense.  Sec stands about 4 ½ inches tall and features 4 points of articulation (9 if you count the wheels on the bottom, I suppose).  Obviously, he’s nowhere near as articulated as the other two figures in the set, but that’s totally understandable, since the real Dalek props only had a few moving parts.  The sculpt is pretty much just one of the Daleks shrunk down, with pretty much all of the details handled exactly the way they should be.  The paint is really cool.  It replicates Sec’s unique color scheme, which is super awesome.  He’s all black, but the figure has paint of various different finishes, which really adds some neat detail to the figure.


I was kinda late to the whole Doctor Who thing.  I’ve only in the last 3-4 months really started watching the show, but I’ve gotten pretty well hooked.  I’m most of the way caught up, and Tennant was definitely my favorite, so I wanted to track down one of the many figures released based on his interpretation of the character.

While I was visiting her this weekend, my super awesome girlfriend presented me with a wrapped package containing these guys and informed me it was a slightly late Christmas gift. I was super excited to get these, and they’re one of the best gifts I received in an already pretty awesome selection of gifts.  The Doctor is my favorite in the set, even with his minor flaws, just because of how much fun he is to mess around with.  However, the other two are pretty awesome too, and really neat additions to the Doctor figure.  My Doctor Who collection just went from 0 to 3 super fast, which is really nifty.