Doctor Who: The Third Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver by Character Options

In addition to a bewildering number of awesome Doctor Who action figures, CO has been dabbling in other Doctor Who toys from time to time. These are what we’ve come to call Roleplay Toys. But while toylines like Star Wars has its lightsabers and blasters, ever since his second incarnation, The Good Doctor wades into the danger with only his trusty Sonic Screwdriver. CO has put out a number of toys based on The Doctor’s trusty gadget, although today’s featured toy is the first time they’ve gone back to the Classic Series to produce one.

I don’t have any of CO’s Sonics from the modern series, so this one is my first. Why? I’m just not a fan of what the writers have done with the device in the modern series. Longtime fans may remember that the Fifth Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver appeared to be destroyed on screen by an angry Terileptil, but in reality it was destroyed by the producer who felt it was being used way too often as a crutch to get The Doctor out of a jam. Boy, could we use a trigger happy Terileptil in the new series, because in my opinion the Sonic Screwdriver has gotten way out of hand. What was originally a clever little device to open locks, vibrate screws, and detonate the occasional landmine, has become a device so ridiculously versatile, that they ought to start calling it the Sonic Swiss Army Knife. Seriously, once The Doctor started using it as a bio scanner, it was well past time to either retire the device, or reign in the way the writers’ use it. But I’m waaay off topic now. Rant over… let’s get back to the toy at hand.3rdsonic2

The Sonic comes sealed in a blister pack with an illustrated insert, similar to the way CO packages the figures. The artwork includes the blue swirly field introduced for the current line of figures, but retains the logo from the 2005-2009 series. It has nice blurbs on the front and back about the Third Doctor and his trusty device. One would expect a toy like this to be packaged with a Try Me feature, but that’s not the case here. In fact, the batteries are mounted right next to the toy. The package also displays an included hologram card, which shows the desolve from the title screen to The Doctor’s face as it appeared on the opening credits of the show. For a bonus pack-in, I think this is a really cool item. Oh, and make sure you have a trusty blade or a pair of scissors if you want to get this thing out.

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The first thing I noticed about this Sonic Screwdriver is that it isn’t ridiculously oversized, like I feared it would be. It’s definitely a bit bigger than the prop, but only enough to allow for the electronics. I was surprised to see that it strikes a nice balance between replica and toy. It has a nice metallic silver paint job with black trim. The trademark yellow and black swirl is there on the shaft, and the “head” is bright red with the silver nob in the middle. The “head” is made of rubbery plastic, which may feel cheap, but I’m guessing it was the better way to go since the connecting rod is so thin harder plastic would have been more susceptible to breakage.

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As in the show, the Screwdriver is activated by pulling down on the shaft with your thumb. It makes the head appear to be extending and it emits one of two sonic whirrrrs, depending on how far you push it down. The sound will continue as long as you have the shaft pressed down. I don’t really detect all that much difference between the two sounds, but what I do hear sounds pretty authentic to the show. The speaker is unfortunately located in the very base of the toy, which means it tends to get a little muffled if you hold it a certain way. I would have loved the sound to come out closer to the top, but from the Screwdriver’s design, I’m guessing that CO was forced to most of the electronics in the thicker base of the gadget.

The Sonic Screwdriver set me back $24.99. If this were a toy that was being sold off the pegs in the local toy aisle, I would call that a bit steep. But keeping in mind that this is an import, and an extremely niche item featured in a show from the early 1970s. I’m not going to complain. I would have adored this toy as a kid, as I tended to have to improvise a Sonic Screwdriver with various small tools from my Dad’s garage. I do remember seeing some toy Sonics when I went to a Whovent Doctor Who convention in NJ back in the late 80s, but they were just oversized, hollow molded plastic and nowhere as cool as this baby.

 

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