Silver Nemesis was one of the very last episodes of Doctor Who to air before the show got shitcanned by the BBC in 1989. While impressions of its quality varies from fan to fan (The Doctor was up against 16th century time travellers, Cybermen and Neo Nazis!), it did give us the absolute final incarnation of the Cybermen until they were later recreated in 2006 for the modern series. This final version, though based heavily on the model that appeared back in the episode Earthshock and later Attack of the Cybermen, featured a number of key changes, well worthy of a brand new figure… or in this case, two!
The Silver Nemesis Cybermen come in a two-pack, mounted in a blister pack very similar to other recent classic-era figures. The front insert shows a photo of the characters and the back gives a brief synopsis of the episode, along with a timeline of all The Doctors. Actually, the timeline cheats a bit since it doesn’t have Sylvester McCoy retiring as Doctor #7 until his regeneration in the 1996 Fox TV movie. I don’t have much else to say about the packaging, we’ve seen it many times before, and it still works just fine. It is interesting that Character Options is still using the 2005-2009 logo for the Classic figures and have yet to adopt the current one from the Mat Smith era.
The figures represent a standard Cyberman soldier and a Cyberleader. They’re actually the same exact figure, except for the black paint on the Leader’s handlebars. They also both come with the same terrible, terrible weapon, which is basically a hunk of soft rubber that neither one can hold very well. Compared to the amazing detail that went into the Earthshock Cybie’s gun, I’m really not impressed with these accessories. But then the prop used in Silver Nemesis was vastly inferior to the Earthshock one as well.
So what’s different on these guys from the Earthshock figure? The biggest difference is in the body, which is a completely new sculpt. Gone is the chainmail style of the Earthshock Cybie (seen below on the left), and in its place are coils of wires on the arms and legs. The former Cybie’s big ski boots are replaced with smaller boots, but the newer versions have much, much bigger hands. Both figures have a nice level of detail, although the new version includes some wash over the paint, which makes the foil jumpsuit look more textured and realistic.
The cowl that hangs over their shoulders and chests are mostly identical, with the main difference being the black plate in the center of theEarthshock version’s chest. Obviously, the Cybermen got tired of people grinding up gold into these cheesegrater plates and did away with them. There’s also an extra helping of clear tubing that runs into the back of the Silver Nemesis Cybies. As for the head sculpts, the only major difference there is the weapon or sensor cluster sculpted into the top of their heads and the fact that the chin plate on the older model is more transparent.
The articulation on the Silver Nemesis Cybies adds just two swivel cuts in the thighs that were unfortunately missing from the Earthshockfigure. Otherwise, you get rotating shoulders, swivel cuts in the biceps, wrists, and waist, hinged elbows and knees and universal movement in the hips. The heads do not turn, but then I’m pretty sure they couldn’t turn their heads in the show either. Basically, this is the level of articulation we’ve come to expect from this line of figures, and while ball jointed shoulders would be nice, what’s here isn’t at all bad.
While the overal 80’s Cyberman is still my favorite design, I don’t have a huge preference over the differences here. I will, however, say that the overall quality on my Earthshock Cyberman is a notch above these new guys. The sculpt seems a bit more detailed and crisper, and I think the detail in the body just pops more on the older figure. The new Cybies’ hands are a bit soft and I’ve already expressed my dismay over their reluctance to hold their weapons. Although, I will say that the added tubing on the new figures is very nicely done. In the end, its almost a toss up, but I’ll give the Earthshock figure the nod. I was considering buying a second set of these, but now I think I’ll just invest in two more of theEarthshock figures. Either way, Character Options did an amazing job incorporating every little detail of the differences into these figures.
While previous classic-era two packs have sold for $49.99, these Cybermen were released at only $34.99, which really isn’t that bad. Granted the previous fifty dollar sets all included a version of The Doctor. But considering the Earthshock Cybermen sell for around $15-18 each, this set seems to be priced just right. And army builders will be happy to know that just a few dabs of silver paint can turn your leaders into warriors. Now, all Character Options really needs to do is give us the model from Revenge of the Cybermen and we’ll be all set.