I don’t think I’ve ever done as much hand wringing over buying an action figure as I have over The Good Doctor here. I wanted this figure so, so badly when it first came out, and I even had the money set aside for it. But some of the early in-hand pictures of the outfit worried me. At $200, the price worried me. The fact that it was Big Chief’s first attempt at an action figure of this type, well that really worried me. In the end I took a pass. I just couldn’t justify $200 on such a risky venture. But $120? Yeah, I could do that. And that’s the deal I got on this figure last week from the fine folks at TFAW.com. I don’t mind telling you, that I was still a little squeamish about doing it. But in the end I couldn’t resist. You’ll find that comparisons to Hot Toys products are going to be a running theme in this feature. Hey, if you’re going to put out a 1:6 scale figure and charge $200 for it, it’s only fair to be judged against the quality of your peers. There’s a lot to say about this guy, so I’m going to start out today with a look at the box and the figure, and then tomorrow I’ll be back to look at the accessories. Let’s get to it… Geronimo!!!
The box is right in line with what I expect when I buy a higher end collectible figure. In fact, it’s a little more elaborate than what I got with my Hot Toys’ Black Widow. The front panel has gold printing with “Doctor Who” in the center along with the “DWARTIS” logo. The side panels feature shots of Matt Smith and the BBC logo. The back panel shows a full shot of the figure and a blurb. I grant bonus points for mentioning his “cool bow tie.” The blurb also points out that it is officially licensed from the BBC. All in all, this is quite an attractive box, which feels right at home next to any of my Hot Toys figure boxes.
A number of people have reported receiving the boxes in rough shape, and the consensus seems to be that a lot of the wear happened in the factory or warehouse, rather than from retailers. Mine certainly has a few scuffs on it, but overall it’s in pretty good shape.
The box features a wrap-around front flap that opens to reveal the figure behind the window. The inside of the flap shows an assortment of shots of the figure holding the various accessories. The box is easily opened from the top to reveal two trays. The first holds the figure and accessories; the second holds the stand in two parts and has a packet with a few more accessories. Again, with the exception of the second tray for the stand, I’m getting a major Hot Toys vibe off of the way the figure sits in the tray, plastic wrap around the head, and accessories and extra hands fanned out on each side. Overall, I give Big Chief high marks for the presentation.
Let’s start out with the likeness… Yep, that’s Matt Smith alright. It’s obvious that Big Chief studied some of what Hot Toys does with their head sculpts, because the influence on this piece is telling. Besides the likeness being pretty damn close, I’m really happy with how the sculpted hair turned out. You could argue that the bangs coming down the right side of his face are a tad chunky, but overall I think it’s good. The paint on the lips and eyes are extremely similar to what Hot Toys does, giving the figure that undefinable spark of life. Even the paint that makes up the skin tone looks quite lifelike. For their first figure, Big Chief really slammed the head straight out of the park. I don’t think it’s on par with Hot Toys’ best efforts, but it’s definitely in the same league as their more average efforts, and that’s not a bad thing.
The articulation on this figure is what surprised me the most, because The Doctor has some crazy articulation going on. Big Chief devised an excellent and quite durable base body for this figure. I’m not about to strip him down to see what’s going on, but Big Chief provides a nice shot of the body’s articulation HERE. Between the excellent articulation and the fact that his outfit isn’t at all restrictive, I find I can get a lot more poses out of him than most of my Hot Toys figures. Granted, The Doctor doesn’t necessarily need to be super-articulated, but it comes in handy when he needs to bust out the Venusian Aikido. It’s also great for any of the normal poses like checking his watch or wielding his Sonic Screwdriver. I’ll also note that some of the joints in the body are designed to pull out if placed under too much stress. One time when I was swapping his left hand, I was absolutely certain I broke his arm. Nope, it just pops right back in.
So far, so good. But it’s the outfit where I was afraid the figure would stumble, and while it looks a lot better in person than in Big Chief’s production shots, there are certainly some nagging issues here. The jacket is an impressive piece of tailoring on a number of levels. The pattern on the tweed looks excellent, the teeny-tiny buttons look great, the elbow patches are awesome, and the lining is particularly good. There’s even an inside pocket for his Sonic. Indeed, the jacket would be perfect if it weren’t for the bit of puffiness around the seams of the front flaps, particularly on the left flap. It makes the jacket look like it’s a little thicker and heavier than it should be. Yet touching it, it feels just right, as it’s totally soft and pliable. I’m tempted to try to iron it to get a sharper crease, but I don’t want to risk damaging it. The tiny buttons do terrify me, as a couple of collectors have had them pop off while changing around the hands. Mine are fine so far, and I’ve done a lot of fiddling about with this figure, but they’re so tiny, if one were to pop off, I’m pretty sure it would be gone forever. The Doctor also sports a wrist watch on his left hand.
The shirt underneath the jacket has a collar which looks a tad too puffy and heavy. It can be fussed into control, but one side of the collar often wants to pop up in front of the bowtie. The bowtie itself looks like it’s actually tied, proper and that’s cool. Bowties are cool, even in one-sixth scale! In truth, the bow tie is on an elastic band, although you can make adjustments to the front. The elastic suspenders are nicely done, and the trousers look and fit great. The shoes are nicely sculpted as well. Honestly, if Hot Toys hadn’t raised the bar so high for 1:6 scale costume tailoring, I wouldn’t even be dwelling on the issues here. The outfit is very good, especially for a first attempt at a figure like this, but it simply is not up to the Hot Toys standards.
Ok, I’m well past my average length for a feature, so I’m going to break here and come back tomorrow to start checking out The Doctor’s crazy amount of accessories, as well as the figure stand.