Yep, its been a while since I looked at one of the figures from the current series, but with the toy shelves being so dried up around here, I’m taking the opportunity to pick up some of the releases I’ve been procrastinating over. Today we’re checking out The Astronaut, originally seen in the Series Six two-parter “The Impossible Astronaut” and “Day of the Moon” and if you haven’t seen all of Series Six yet, well you better get to it because there are spoilers abound.
Character Options is still using the same style of cardback that we’ve seen since Matt Smith took over in Series Five. Its simple, its effective, and since its nothing in particularly special, I don’t mind tearing the cards open to get at the figure. I’m fond of the use of the cardback and bubble over the blister pack, because I don’t need a blowtorch to get it open. As has been the case with a lot of the Series Six figures, The Astronaut comes with a packet of spunk behind the figure, which is a misguided attempt to merchandize The Flesh Goo from “The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People.” I have quite a few packets of this stuff, and I’m too disturbed and afraid to open any of it. Anywho, the package shows off the figure rather nicely and the back of the card has photos of other figures in this assortment, most of which are minor rehashes of figures we’ve seen before.
Out of the package, the first thing that strikes me is The Astronaut is one big figure. I realized this one was going to be bulky to replicate the scale of the Apollo spacesuit, but I was still surprised at the size of it. Of course, The Astronaut isn’t really an Astronaut, but really River Song trapped in an alien suit designed by The Silents to assassinate The Doctor. I think I’ve got that right. Truth be told, I’ve watched Series Six more times than I can count and there are still some points I’m a bit shaky on. In any event, its supposed to look like an Apollo Spacesuit, so let’s just go with that.
The sculpt is very, very soft, almost to the point that it looks like the figure was molded out of sculpty as a custom. I know that sounds like a horrible dig against the figure, but CO has
always almost always delivered quality sculpts, so I’m thinking this is an effort to replicate the soft and overall rough appearance of the Apollo suit, which was like wearing a giant white garbage bag. For the most part it works, and its only around the hoses and instruments on the chest where it seems a little off. I’m also not a fan of the giant seam running across the helmet. There isn’t a lot of paintwork on this figure. The visor is gold, there’s some paint on the boots and gloves, and the US Flag is tampo’ed on the backpack and left shoulder. There are two blank emblems on the chest, which should be NASA, but I’m guessing CO didn’t want to pay for the rights to use the logos. All in all, this is a pretty good looking figure for what it is.
One cool point about the figure is that the visor opens to reveal River Song, and its actually a new head sculpt too, and bewilderingly better than the one we got on the regular River Song figure. The hair doesn’t look like a separate piece anymore and instead looks more natural. The paintwork gives her a bit of a vacant, creepy stare, but all in all not bad.
The Astronaut features a lot of articulation for a character that just waddled out of a lake and shot The Doctor. Her arms have ball joints at the shoulders, hinged elbows, and swivels in the wrists. Her legs feature universal movement at the hips, swivels in the thighs and boots, and hinges in the knees. The figure also swivels at the waist.
While The Astronaut may not seem like great action figure fodder, it was one of the most iconic “characters” from all of Series Six and so its probably a good thing CO made it. The end result could have been better, as the sculpt is soft and wanting, but overall, I think it gets the job done and its still a cool addition to my Doctor Who collection. Probably not a “must own” but then so few of the Series Six figures have fallen into that category for me. Ultimately, it was the $12.99-15.99 price tag that gave me pause. Toss in shipping and this is essentially about a $20 figure. If it were anything other than Doctor Who, I’d say “no way” but I’m all about supporting this line as much as I can.