Quite a few years ago, Hasbro cooked up an affordable toy replica of Darth Vader’s mask, threw some electronics into it and struck gold. Since then, we’ve seen the “voice changer helmet” appear in all sorts of toy lines from Star Wars to Street Racer to Iron Man 2 to Transformers and yes, even Character Options got into the mix with their Doctor Who line of toys. When these things are done right, they can appeal to kids, as well as collectors who don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for a high quality studio style replica. And the Cyberman helmet is certainly done right.
Sadly, I don’t have an in-box photo of the Cyberman helmet, as I’ve had it for quite a while now and the packaging has long since been tossed. It came in an open style package, very similar to Hasbro’s helmets, complete with a try me mode that let you test out the electronics. If you’ve purchased any boxed toy from CO’s Doctor Who line, then you have a pretty good idea about the style of artwork.
The coolest thing about the Cyberman helmet is that the design hasn’t been altered to conform to any toy safety regulations. You know, like the way the visor strips on the Hasbro Clone Trooper helmets are ridiculously large or the eye holes on the Iron Man helmets are massive. As a result, you get a pretty good prop-style replica of the 2005 Series Cyberman and hey, if that means a few kids have to fall down flights of stairs because they can’t see while wearing it, I suppose that’s a fair enough trade off.
The electronics feature the ubiquitous voice changing gimmick as well as a number of pre-recorded phrases and sounds, which can be activated by pressing the somewhat discrete buttons on the left side of his chin. Pressing the buttons also cause the lights in his mouth to light up blue while the sound or voice is firing. The speech is pretty loud and sounds just like the Cybermen in the TV series, and there are quotes from the series as well as some original ones. Here’s what he says:
- You must be upgraded. Upgrading is compulsory.
- You wil be deleted. Delete! Delete! Delete!
- You will be taken for analysis. You will be upgraded or deleted.
- You will be taken for upgrading.
- You will become identical. You will become like us.
- You will become like us or you will be deleted.
- I am unit five-oblique nine-eight. I am Cyberform. Once I was human.
- Resistance is illogical. You will be upgraded or you will be deleted.
Of course, the toy is designed primarily as a roleplay item, to be worn as a mask. The helmet is a two-thirds style piece so that you really have to practically get behind it to see that it isn’t a fully enclosed helmet, which really improves the display value. It has an adjustable plastic strap inside so it will fit adults fine, but it looks awkwardly large when worn by kids. If you choose to display it, I highly recommend paying extra for this chrome metal Official Cyberman Helmet Display Stand.
Ok, actually that’s a paper towel holder from Target’s housewares department, but it really does work perfectly as a stand for the helmet and you can pick one up for about seven bucks.
The prices on this helmet vary anywhere between $30 and $50. Its been a while since I priced one so they may be getting harder to find, but for a while there it was often being sold online in the US at less than retail. There’s also a variant Cyber Leader style with black ear pipes, an exposed brain, and all new phrases. I haven’t tracked one of those down yet, mainly because I’m running out of room in my Doctor Who display case, but maybe one day.