A couple of years back, Character Options actually released their Classic Doctor Who figures in waves of single carded releases, rather than episode themed boxed sets. One of the cool things about these waves is that one of them came with Build-A-Figure parts to build the K-1 Robot seen in Tom Baker’s debut story as the 4th Doctor, which was aptly but unimaginatively named “Robot.” I like “Robot” a lot. Besides the fact that it introduced us to that most iconic of all Doctors, its a pretty good story that takes the core element of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein story and runs with it. Its one of those few old Who episodes where the villain is complex enough to earn our sympathy. Let’s set aside the whole part where it has the K-1, grown huge by absorbing radiation, running around with an unconvincing Barbie doll of Sarah Jane. Of course, the other thing I love about this episode is the amazing design for the K-1 itself.
And there he is, in all his Build-A-Figure glory. No package shot, because he came scattered over eight carded figures, which included: A Sea Devil, a Zygon, two robots from “Robots of Death,” Magnus Greel, as well as the 4th, 5th, and 6th Doctors. I recall picking up this wave all in one shot, so I was able to put him together all at once. Its a good thing too, because a couple of these figures became notoriously hard to find, and I probably would have blown rent money if I had to in order to complete this beauty.
I can’t gush enough over this guy’s design. He has that classic retro kind of look and the figure is a beautiful recreation of the costume used in the episode. He’s big and has a real bulky upper body with fanned segmented shoulders and an amazing head sculpt with clear red translucent dome in his head. There are little sculpted instruments and dials on his chest and back, as well as some clear hosing. The cylindrical, mechanical arms end in soft rubber claws so that they can hold his gun. Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure I’d shit myself if this thing was coming after me.
K-1’s articulation is a tad limited, but it matches the mobility of the actual suit perfectly. The head is ball jointed and can turn and look up and down a bit. The arms have some limited movement at the shoulders. Its just enough so that he can raise his gun a bit. He has a ball joint in his waist that lets him swivel at the waist and bend a bit. His legs will swivel at the hips and he can move his legs back and front a bit. Lastly, the front of his feet are hinged.
There’s not a ton of paint apps on this guy, but he didn’t really need them. There’s a little black paintwork on some of his dials and his mouth and eyes. You also get a little red striping on his shoulders. The rest of the figure is cast in a really satisfying metallic silver finish.
The K-1 ranks up there as one of my all time favorite Doctor Who Classic figures. He was a perfect choice for a BAF, since he is so bulky and required a lot of special tooling and joints. He would certainly fit in one of the boxed sets CO releases now, but back then he was just too big for a standard card. He holds together perfectly and looks amazing standing at the back of one of my Doctor Who displays and towering over the rest of the figures. Looking back, I was pretty shocked that I hadn’t featured this guy here on FigureFan before, nor have I explored the wave of figures that contained the parts. Maybe I’ll try to dig those out for next week.