Yuppers, it’s time for more Classic Who with yet another 2-Pack where Character Options has given us a variant of a Companion partnered with the chief baddie from the episode. “Invasion of Time” is a great episode for a bunch of reasons. The whole thing takes place on Gallifrey so we get to see a lot more of the Time Lords then ever before, and we also get to see a lot more of the TARDIS interior then ever before. It also begs the question, of all The Doctor’s enemies including the Cybermen and the Daleks, it turns out to be the Sontarans that first invade Gallifrey? Really? Wow! Well, hey, at least it wasn’t the Rutans.
Just like the “Caves of Androzani” set, this one comes on in a clamshell package with the new retro style logo and deco. The back panel shows some images of Leela and Stor in stills from the episode and does an admirable job of chronicling the rather convaluted story in just a couple of paragraphs. Get yourself a pair of scissors or a blade to cut this baby open.
So, let’s start with Leela. Let me go on record by saying that I’ve always preferred Leela’s original, darker outfit to this one, but I was still excited to get this variant since my other Leela figure had some nagging paint issues. I was hoping for better with this release, and I certainly got a quality paint job this time. Apart from a little dot on one of her legs, this figure is free of all the dirty scarring that is present on my single carded Leela.
Leela shares the same legs and head with the last figure, but also sports a lot of new sculpting to make this figure unique. The outfit sculpt is entirely new, as is her neckless, and the armbands on her biceps. She still features a sculpted sheath on her belt that can hold her tiny little knife, and she can still hold the knife fairly well in her right hand. I mentioned that the head is the same sculpt, but its amazing the differences paint can make, and while I didn’t have any issues with the figure’s head, I’ll concede that this one turned out looking a little better. Considering the quality control issues on the last Leela, I’m really amazed at how well this figure turned out, and I’ll likely be displaying her as my primary version until I can get a better example of the darker outfitted Leela.
Leela features the exact same articulation as the original release. That’s good, because it means she has the ball jointed shoulders. That’s bad, because it means she has those terrible, funky ball jointed hips. This figure’s legs don’t seem to pop out as easily as the original’s, but they’re also harder to pose. Leela’s head is technically equipped with a swivel cut, but her sculpted hair prevents much head movement. The Leela coming with the Fendahl set should fix that as she has her hair tied back. Other articulation includes swivels in the biceps and wrists, swivel in the waist, hinges in the elbows and knees, and swivels just above the boots.
And then you have Commander Stor. One of the downsides of this episode is that Stor’s makeup looked absolutely dreadful. The Sontarans had a strange habit of looking worse as the show went on, so I tend to like the ones seen in “The Time Warrior” and “The Sontaran Experiment” better than the ones seen in this episode or even “The Two Doctors.” Nonetheless, for good or for ill, the figure recreates Stor’s face with remarkable accuracy, right down to the grease paint around the eyes to conceal the eyeholes of the mask. It’s easy to do a comparison with the on screen counterpart, since Stor spends a good amount of the episode mugging right for the camera. Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to like this figure’s head sculpt at all, but it actually looks pretty good. I still prefer the one on Styre, though.
Commander Stor’s basic body is the same as the one used for the Field Major Styre figure, but he has a brand new helmet and cowl, a newly sculpted belt, and a little loop sculpted into his right leg to hold his gun. You can see some minor evolutions in the outfit design here, and I definitely like the bulkier helmet with the pronounced ring running around it. Sculpted detail includes the probic vent in the back of the cowl, which of course is every Sontaran’s weak spot. The helmet is also much easier to put on than Styre’s. Overall, the paintwork is good, but my figure actually has some silver rubbing along one of his boots. I don’t think it’s intentional, but it looks like battle wear to his armor, so I’m not too concerned about it. In addition to the armor evolving, the Sontarans themselves underwent some biological changes. Stor has the screen accurate fat-fingered claws as opposed to the regular hands seen on the Styre figure.
Stor’s articulation is identical to previous Sontaran figures. The head turns; The arms rotate at the shoulders, have swivel cuts in the biceps and wrists, and hinges in the elbows; The legs rotate at the hips and have lateral hinges, the knees are hinged, and there are swivel cuts in the thighs.
Apart from Stor’s tiny little gun, you do get one big accessory in the set, and that’s the very awesome De-Mat gun. Built by the Time Lady Rodan while under hypnosis, the De-Mat gun was a Time Lord weapon powered by The Key of Rassilon that wipes its target completely out of time and space. The sculpt is pretty nice, although it would have been cool if CO had painted the key onto the side where it plugged into the prop.
As with the “Caves of Androzani” 2-Pack, this one will set you back between $35-40. As far as the Companion figure goes, I’d rank this one as the same value as Peri. Yes, it’s a variant of a figure you may already own, but it’s not a quick cash-grab repaint. You get significantly new sculpting for your money, and in the case of my experience, better quality control this time around. I’m guessing Stor from this set will be more desireable than Jek from the last set, especially since Jek was just a one-off baddie and the Sontarans are an ongoing presence in Doctor Who. I guess what I’m saying is if you didn’t balk at paying the forty bucks for the “Androzani” set, than this one would be a no brainer. If you can only fit one of the two sets in your budget, I’d consider going for this one.