Since the return of Doctor Who in 2005 we’ve seen plenty of the Cybermen, but it wasn’t until last season that we finally got to see a NuWho Cybermat courtesy of the story, “Closing Time.” That was a fun enough episode, but I thought it was a pretty piss poor use of the Cybermen. Nonetheless, I did enjoy seeing the return of the Cybermats and their newest version is pretty damn creepy. Character Options promptly presented us insane collectors with an opportunity to own one of these little beauties in plastic form. I’m a sucker for toys that double as cheap alternatives to prop replicas, so does the B&G Cybermat fit that bill? Let’s find out!
This little fella comes in an impenetrable blister pack similar to the kind used for the 3rd and 4th Doctor’s Sonic Screwdrivers. It’s a pretty straight forward package with an insert that uses the current series logo. There’s some verbiage that describes some of its features, and the back of the package points out that the toy requires two AA batteries which aren’t included. This is a pretty key call out since most of the battery powered Doctor Who toys I’ve purchased in the past came pre-equipped.
After hacking away at the package with a pair of scissors, I was finally able to get the Cybermat out. My first impressions are that he’s a very nicely detailed toy and pretty screen accurate, although he does feel a little undersized. That’s not too big a sticking point, because for all we know the new Cybermats come in different sizes too. The most disappointing thing is that the mouth doesn’t open to reveal its set of creepy organic monster teeth, but this is a toy and I think that would have been a bit much for the young’uns to deal with. It’s also worth noting that the lights on the sides aren’t real lights, just painted on. Let’s get some batteries into him and see what he does.
A small screwdriver (of the non sonic variety) opens the battery door. Pop in the batteries and turn the big switch to “on” and this guy is ready to go. The “bump-n-go” gimmick works pretty well. Luckily I have some hardwood floors and I was able to set him skittering about my entrance hall and kitchen area. He’s an energetic little guy, but it was difficult to watch him for very long, as my cat would not stop pouncing on him. Make a note, Doctor, Cybermats do have one natural predator and it’s a house cat.
The Cybermat ran me $22 including shipping. It’s tough to say whether it was entirely worth it or not. As a display piece, it’s ok, but I would have been willing to pay a little more to get something that looked and felt more accurate, and perhaps with lights instead of the motorized gimmick. On the other hand, the toy is perfectly fine for what it’s intended to be, and I could certainly see kids having a lot of fun chasing it around. Character Options might have gone the extra mile and released it with a special Sonic Screwdriver so the kids could sonic it to get it to stop, but I probably wouldn’t have gone for something like that. I’m mainly interested in having this guy sit on my shelf, and overall I’m pretty happy with it. It’s not a “must have” item by any means, but cool nonetheless.