Doctor Who: Daleks (3 3/4” Scale) From “Asylum of the Daleks” and “Day of the Daleks” by Character Options

If you haven’t heard by now, Wave 3 of Character Options’ 3 3/4” Doctor Who figures have officially become a Walgreens Exclusive, which is pretty cool because prior to that deal the figures were not available at any brick-and-mortar stores in the US. On the other hand, I’ve had no troubles getting the figures from my preferred Who online retailer and so I was a little worried how this deal would effect the US distributor (Underground Toys) and their ability to supply to online US retailers. Turns out it didn’t complicate things at all and I was still able to pick up most of the wave online. Today I’m checking out two more Daleks in this series, one from Classic Who and one from Series 7 of NuWho.

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Here they are both in the packages, which have been redesigned for this wave. While the re-branding has received a fair amount of criticism from collectors, I kind of like it. It’s bright, attractive and as quirky and kitchy as the show it’s based on. The Asylum Dalek is pictured on the back as part of the Wave, but the Classic Gold Dalek is something of a mystery because the Classic Dalek in this wave is expressly listed as the “Genesis of the Daleks” even on the back of the figure’s own card. Interesting! Maybe the Classic Dalek is a rotating slot of variants? I just don’t know, but I’m not going to complain about getting an extra variety of evil 70’s pepperpot. Both of these little fellas are repaints of figures that I’ve already reviewed HERE and HERE, so there isn’t a whole lot new to talk about, so I’ll pad things out by discussing the episodes a little bit. Let’s start with the Asylum Dalek…

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“Asylum of the Daleks” aired in 2012, (holy hell, has it been that long already?) and is one of my favorite NuWho Dalek stories. It’s creepy, it gives us some truly scary Daleks, and Matt Smith looked like he was having a blast doing it. It also gave us Jenna Coleman in that red dress and had a mind-blowing twist at the end that I sure as hell didn’t see coming. But perhaps best of all, it gave us all a sense of relief that the Skittles Daleks revealed in “Victory of the Daleks” weren’t going to replace the regular RTD Daleks after all. The Dalek zombies were a cool new idea that seemed like a great amalgamation of the 1960’s Robo Men and the 1980’s Duplicates that the Daleks have used in the past. Sure, some things about the story didn’t make a lot of sense (How is Skaro still around? A Dalek Parliament? Really??) but it was still a cracking good episode as far as I’m concened.

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What we have here is a regular NuWho Dalek repainted to look all warn and neglected. CO used some kind of heavy, greasy paint for the weathering and man, it stinks! I mean that literally. When I opened the package, it smelled like this guy really has been rotting in an asylum for a couple of hundred years! Apart from the initial odor shock, the weathering looks amazing and it even supplies some panel lining, which brings out the sculpt in a way the regular Dalek figures never quite did. You also get a symbol painted on the side of his dome. I don’t remember ever seeing these in the episode, but it looks good and it’s another nice little touch to separate him from the regular Daleks. It would have been nice to see a little more distress here, like maybe a missing ear light or a few missing sensor globes, but, for what is a quick repaint, this one works pretty well. You get the same old articulation, which includes a dome that can turn 360-degrees, an eyestalk that hinges up and down, and two arms that are on ball joints. The undercarriage has three wheels, two fixed and one that rotates 360-degrees.

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“Day of the Daleks” first aired in 1972, which coincidentally is the year I was born! It features a great time travel story about guerrillas from the future coming back in time to assassinate a politician and prevent their rather unpleasant future from ever happening. It’s a Third Doctor story, starring the late great Jon Pertwee, and prominatly features both UNIT and the Daleks, hell it even featured the rarely seen Ogrons… what more could you want? “Day of the Daleks” marked the first return of the Daleks to the show in about five years. Rumor has it that no one on staff knew exactly how to recreate the voices and so the Dalek voices heard in the episode are pretty annoying, out of character, and off-putting.

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The figure is a straight repaint of the “Genesis of the Daleks” release that I looked at just a couple of weeks ago. The body of this one is all metallic gold with black sensor globes and black trim around the skirt. It makes for a pretty attractive looking Dalek, but the paintwork on this one isn’t as good as it could have been. There’s some chipping around the neck rings and a little scuffing on the dome itself. I’ve thought about possibly trying to touch it up with a metallic Sharpie. It also looks like a couple of his rear sensor globes are leaking. But in fairness the Dalek props that were used in the show were often beat to hell, so I kind of think the scuffs add character to the figure. The articulation on this Classic Dalek mold is identical to the NuWho Dalek.

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Both the NuWho and Classic Dalek are easily the best molds that this 3 3/4” line has produced so it’s no surprise that these repaints would be great figures. These fellas set me back about ten bucks each, which feels about right to me considering that they are technically imports. I’m not sure there’s a lot more that CO could do with the NuWho Dalek in terms of repaints, but I’ll be interested to see the Classic figure reappear. I wouldn’t mind getting him in the original grey and powder blue coloring with the mesh slats replaced. In the meantime, I’ve still got two more figures in this wave to check out, so next time we’ll check out the 3 3/4” versions of Amy Pond and The 10th Doctor.

Doctor Who: “Genesis of the Daleks” Dalek (3 3/4” Scale) by Character Options

When it comes to toy hunting, hitting the pavement has long been a thing of the past for me. I will still sometimes go out of my way to buy groceries at Walmart or Target just to take a pass through the toy aisles, but these days, 99% of my toys come from online retailers. That’s not my choice, but that’s the way things have evolved due to the horrible distribution among the big chains. That having been said, I have been doing some little toy runs these last few weeks and to the strangest place one could imagine… Walgreens! For whatever reason the drugstore chain has decided to edge their way into the action figure market by offering a number of exclusive figures in lines that range from Marvel Legends to Game of Thrones to Star Wars. And they even have exclusive US distribution rights for an entire line of figures based on Doctor Who. Yup, Doctor Who action figures in an American drugstore. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around that one!

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In case you’re confused, what we’re dealing with here is just a rebranded continuation of CO’s 3 3/4” line. Wave 3, to be precise. These appear to be identical to the wave that is being widely distributed in the UK, only with an Underground Toys label slapped on the back of the card. I didn’t have a problem with the old packaging, but I kind of like this style too. It’s bright and colorful and it has an almost kitchy 70’s vibe to it that suits the show I love so much. This wave consists of The 10th Doctor, The 12th Doctor, Amy Pond, an Asylum Dalek, and this Classic Dalek taken from the 1975 story “Genesis of the Daleks.” Why toss in the one Classic figure? I have no idea. Maybe it’s a tie in to the older Daleks that had cameos in “Asylum of the Daleks” or maybe CO just wanted to capitalize on the crazy popularity of Daleks by including them in this new scale. Let’s bust this little hate-monger out of his package and check him out.

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Yup, that’s a Classic Dalek alright! And one of my all time favorites, too! The gun-metal-blue and black Daleks that amok during The 4th Doctor’s reign always looked so cold, utilitarian, and extra sinister to me. While a good portion of this 3 3/4” line has been mediocre at best, CO did manage to get the Daleks in this scale right from the start. They’ve done three variations of the NuWho Daleks and every one of them has felt like a shrunk down version of the excellent 5-inch scale figures. Well, the same can mostly be said of this little guy here. The sculpt is completely new and while it lacks a lot of the fancy panel lining and such from the current Dalek design, this little figure is faithful to their appearance back in 1975.

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The biggest thing that sets this guy apart from his 5-inch cousin is the ear lights. Instead of using clear plastic like they did for the 5-inch figure (and even the 3 3/4” NuWho Daleks) the ear lights here appear to be part of the dome and just painted over white. The ears are also the only part on this Dalek where the paint isn’t quite all it could be. It’s not terrible, but there is a bit of slop and rubbing. The rest of the paintwork is quite good and they even got some silver spray on the mesh in between his shoulder slats. Cool!

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If you own any of Character Options’ Daleks than you should know what to expect when it comes to articulation. This little guy rolls along on three wheels under his skirt. The back two wheels are fixed and the front one spins 360-degrees. Both the gun arm and the plunger arm are each mounted on ball joints, the eye stalk can raise and lower, and the dome will rotate 360-degrees. It’s basically all the articulation you can hope for in a Dalek.

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And that opens up the debate on whether or not all Classic Who is now fair game for this smaller scale. It’s true that this line doesn’t really impress me, but the idea of having Doctor Who figures that are more compatible with many of my other playsets and figures makes me a little more forgiving than I should be. It also leads me to be perfectly honest and admit that if CO were to start releasing the Classic Doctors in this scale I’d be all in, but that probably goes without saying. Right now, it could just be that CO recognizes the repaint potential of getting a Classic Dalek mold into the mix. Either way, I’m very happy to have this little guy in my collection.

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I found this Dalek just lying on the shelf of a Walgreens that I was visiting while on the hunt for Marvel Legend’s Agent Venom. There didn’t appear to be a peg for the Doctor Who figures and there weren’t any other to be found. Nonetheless, I scooped him up. The price was $9.99, which is about what these figures have been selling for through my regular Doctor Who retailer. Right now he’s just a lone curiosity among my Who figures in this scale, but I’ll be on the hunt for the rest so if luck is with me, it’s very possible a few more of these Daleks will follow me home.

Doctor Who: The 12th Doctor Regenerated (3 ¾” Scale) by Character Options

Getting The War Doctor as a 5-inch scale figure was a nice treat, but now it’s back to reality as CO continues to push the smaller scaled NuWho figures on us. If you haven’t been keeping track, I’ve found the aliens in this line to be fairly good to excellent, but the 11th Doctor and Clara were rather weak efforts. This new assortment is being called Wave 2, even though we Yanks got a complete wave of variants in between, which I suppose we’ll call wave 1-B. I guess numbering these waves properly will be as confusing as the new numbering scheme for The Doctor’s incarnations. Anyway, in addition to the figure we’re looking at today, this wave features a pair of new variant Daleks, a Zygon, a Weeping Angel, The 11th Doctor in his tweed jacket and what appears to be a straight repack of Wave 1-B’s red dress Clara.

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The packaging hasn’t changed much. You get a generic cardback with the TARDIS on it and a bubble insert specifying who the figure is. The back of the card shows off the other figures in the wave as well as a pair of those cardboard Time Zone playsets that we’ve seen before. All in all the packaging is serviceable and suits the smaller line of figures pretty well.

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As is often the case with the regeneration figures, this 12th Doctor borrows heavily from the previous Doctor figure. I will, however, give CO credit for not just doing a quick-and-dirty head swap. The torso has actually been re-sculpted to account for the fact that he removed his bowtie before regenerating. The collar on this figure’s shirt is open at the top button and properly sans bowtie. Apart from that what we get here is the same purple coated body complete with right hand sculpted to hold the sonic screwdriver accessory that is inexplicably absent from this package. There is one minor variation in paint worth mentioning, the vest is slightly lighter. Alas, I can’t tell what color his kidneys are painted.

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Of course, the biggest issue I had with the 11th Doctor figure was the poor head sculpt. You’d have as good a chance pulling a random mini-marshmallow from a bag and having it resemble Matt Smith more than that figure did. I’m happy to say that CO has upped the ante and this new Peter Capaldi sculpt is actually not bad at all. It’s a fairly detailed portrait for such a small figure and the likeness is undoubtedly there. We don’t have a lot to go on as to what kind of Doctor Number 12 will be, but CO went with a raised eyebrow and an offset smirk that seems to agree with what little we’ve seen so far. Even the paintwork here is quite good.

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Same body, same articulation, but let’s run through it anyway. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, hinged at the elbows, and have swivels in the wrists. The legs feature a simple T-crotch for the hips, hinges in the knees, and swivels at the boots. There is no waist or torso articulation and his head can rotate.

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While CO decided they couldn’t afford the few millimeters of plastic needed for the recycled sonic screwdriver accessory, we do still get a figure stand. It’s the same “DWARTIS” style logo as the previous stands only cast in grey plastic. Um, what? Why?? Laying aside the fact that my borderline OCD now has to deal with two different colored stands, why the change from the traditional TARDIS blue?

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I tossed this figure into my shopping cart just because I was buying a bunch of others and I just said, “why not?” As it turns out I’m mighty glad I did because I really dig this figure! The portrait is leaps and bounds above the last Doctor in this scale and it actually gives me renewed hope for this line. In fact, even if they just recycle this head again, I’m still really looking forward to the release of the proper 12th Doctor in his new costume. If CO can pull off this kind of Capaldi license, I’m thinking that their forthcoming David Tennant and Karen Gillian likenesses in this scale might not be so bad after all. It’s certainly possible that the first wave was just a matter of awkward first steps and we could start to see better. Here’s hoping!

Doctor Who: Dalek Invasion Time Zone by Character Options

Cardboard playsets! Some weeks ago I waxed nostalgic and looked at Biff Bang Pow’s “retro-style” TARDIS, which harkened back to the days of Mego and their cardboard environments. Everybody knows that playset-grade toy plastic wasn’t invented until sometime around 1981. But even today some companies are using cardboard in their playsets. Playmates’ TMNT Sewer Lair is a fairly recent example. Character Options, however, appears to be trying to revive the cardboard playset with their new Time Zone sets. These are diorama display areas that rest on a plastic frame, but are otherwise made entirely of illustrated, glossy cardboard and held together by folded tabs and a handful of plastic pins. I wasn’t going to delve into any of these, but I finally broke down and bought this Dalek Invasion set, not so much for the environment but for something amazingly cool that comes with it… The Dalek Hoverbout!

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The set comes in a rather smallish enclosed box. It’s pretty thin and it could have been a lot thinner if it weren’t for the included Hoverbout. When you open it up and spill out the contents you find a whole lot of flat cardboard, the framework for the plastic base, some instructions, a bag of plastic pins, and the Hoverbout. Originally, I was not even intending to put this thing together, as I have nowhere to display it. But after a little examination I realized it could be disassembled again and put back into the box. Putting it together was pretty quick and easy and the parts tabbed in pretty well.

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Unlike the other Time Zone sets, this one doesn’t really relate to any specific episode. I suppose you could argue the case that it’s a “Journey’s End” set, but that was a 10th Doctor story and there are no figures from that era that are in scale with this set. Me? I kind of prefer a generic set over something very scene specific. Anyway, the diorama features two walls that form a backdrop of Dalek infested London, complete with Big Ben and part of a huge Dalek Saucer. There’s a landing pod coming off the Saucer with a ramp and a little enclosed hatch where you can stand a Dalek. Because of the pod there really isn’t a lot of extra room on the base for more figures, but you can squeeze some more in here and there. It’s quite sturdy for what it is, although the plastic tabs that hold the upper extensions on the walls don’t lock very well. I’ve already lost some of them. It’s also worth noting that these Time Zone sets are modular, so you can connect them together. Why you would want the submarine from “Cold War” stuck to “Dalek Invasion” and stuck to the mansion from “Hide” is beyond me. But, hey, whatever floats your boat.

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The biggest failing of the set is the cardboard TARDIS panel in the backdrop. It’s way too big to be in scale with the 3.75” figures and so it just looks weirdly out of place. It seems like a pretty careless oversight. Fortunately, the TARDIS is a separate piece so you can just leave it out creating a window where you can place the properly scaled Spin-and-Fly TARDIS and it looks pretty good there.

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Back in the old Doctor Who comics, the Daleks were sometimes pictured piloting hoverbouts into battle and this set actually includes one of those vehicles. It may seem like an odd piece considering that the NuWho Daleks can pretty much hover and flit about wherever they please, but I always loved the concept of Daleks using these little vehicles. The hoverbout included in this set is a wonderfully sculpted piece, complete with a control panel with an orb to interface with a Dalek’s sucker arm and detailed engines underneath the platform. There are indentations in it that match up with the wheels on the CO Daleks to keep him from rolling out as you’re wooshing this thing around your living room. The hoverbout is without a doubt the sole reason I bought this set and it certainly justifies the purchase. The 3.75” Daleks are awesome figures and they look great in this little vehicle.

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I had no real positive expectations about this set as a whole, so when I say it wound up being nicer than I thought, you should take that with a grain of salt. It’s not a bad little way to display some figures on a shelf, but it’s too big for any of my bookshelf displays and with how much space the saucer pod takes up, you can’t really pack it full of figures either. Nope, mine is destined to be disassembled and put back into the box for storage. The hoverbout on the other hand? That little beauty will be displayed all the time. It’s a wonderful pick up of a toy that I’ve wanted ever since I was a lot younger and reading the comic adventures of Abslom Daak and his Dalek hunting exploits.

Doctor Who: Weeping Angel (3 ¾” Scale) by Character Options

[Merry Christmas, peeps and toy-hounds! This is actually a recording as I am off celebrating Christmas with my family and after that I will be coming home, getting snockered drunk (hopefully off a nice bottle of Scotch that some generous friend bestowed upon me as a Christmas present) and watching “Time of the Doctor” where we will be waving off the 11th Doctor. Oh, boy… Scotch and a regeneration episode. Before this night is over I’ll likely be crying like a baby. A big drunken baby.  Anywho, today’s feature was carefully chosen because it is Doctor Who content, and because nothing says Merry Christmas more than a creepy-ass stone angel that wants to kill you. Enjoy and have a great holiday!]

The last batch of 3 ¾” Doctor Who figures that I featured here on FFZ came from the wave of variants, but there was one figure in the original wave that I initially passed on and that was the Weeping Angel. I’m just not as smitten with these monsters as most fans seem to be, so picking up a tiny version wasn’t high on my list. Nevertheless, when I put in my order for the variant figures at Who North America, they still had some of these left, and so I decided to just complete the wave and get one, because.. well, why not? It’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for the figure, but let’s see how she/he/it turned out.

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Here’s the packaging. We’ve seen it plenty of times now, so I won’t dwell on it. In fact, the only thing I’ll say here is that I’m really surprised that CO packed a stand in with this figure. It obviously doesn’t need it, but we got one nonetheless and there is indeed a peg hole in the bottom of the angel to plug it into the stand if you so desire. This pleases me because my borderline OCD demands that if one figure in a collection is displayed with a stand, they all should be.

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Out of the package and I’m pretty impressed with how this little angel turned out. The sculpt is quite good. In fact, all things considered, it’s probably one of the better ones in this collection. The head is detailed and is as disturbing as a screaming alien-demon-angel creature should look. The robes are sculpted with all the pleats and wrinkles, and the wings are feathered. What’s more, the coloring and paint wash really do conspire to give the figure a pretty convincing stone look.

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As you might expect, there isn’t a lot of articulation to be had here. The Weeping Angel has that classic tee-pee design that a lot of figures wearing robes or long skirts have. In this case, however, the robes are one solid piece and there’s nothing under them. Granted, the 5-inch version had a shorter skirt and actual legs, but considering the smaller scale here, I’m not complaining. It’s certainly fitting for a figure that is supposed to be a stone statue and besides the 5-inch version can’t stand on its own very well, so I’m not sure the legs helped it. This smaller Angel does feature ball joints in the neck and shoulders, and it can swivel at the waist. The arms are sculpted slightly bent, so you can get them into various boogity-boogity poses and that’s good enough for me.

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The 3 ¾” Doctor Who line has certainly had its ups and downs, but I’m going to count the Weeping Angel in the plus column. It’s a nice looking piece with a good sculpt and a nice, realistic looking finish. Plus, considering the subject at hand, the limited articulation really shouldn’t bother anyone. After all, if you’re looking at the Weeping Angel figure it shouldn’t be moving at all, right? If I was a bigger fan of the Angels, I could see myself grabbing a few more, but seeing as how I’m lukewarm on these monsters, so one should suffice.

Doctor Who: Variant Clara “Oswin” Oswald (3 ¾” Scale) by Character Options

Today I’m winding down my look at the variant 3 ¾” Doctor Who figures that washed up on our US shores a few weeks ago. This time, it’s Red Dress Clara. The original Clara figure was pretty terrible; mainly thanks to her bloated and bug-eyed head. Why would I throw more money at a repaint? Because this one has a brand new head sculpt. Does it fix the problems that made this figure so bad on the first try? Let’s find out!

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There’s the packaging. I don’t have a lot more to say about it. It’s fairly attractive and serviceable and just the kind of package that’s made to be torn apart to get at the figure. Clara comes with her purse at her side, which is the exact same accessory as last time, and the same “DWARTIS” logo figure stand that we’ve seen with most of the figures in this collection. There’s nothing on the card or insert to distinguish this figure from the first Clara release, other than some of the new Time Zone playsets pictured on the back.

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From the neck down the only major difference you’ll see here is that her dress is now painted red instead of blue, so depending on your own personal color preferences this may be an improvement or not. I’m pretty sure this is the outfit she wore in Day of the Doctor, but I could be wrong. I’m not watching that again until I get the Blu-Ray next week. Another minor difference is the set of bracelets painted on her right arm. The paintwork here is pretty solid, particularly the pattern on her dress, which looks like it would be something tough to pull off in this scale.

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It’s the new head sculpt that represents the really significant change here and it is indeed much improved. The mad eyes are gone, the face is structured more like Ms. Coleman’s and the hair is a little flatter and more sensible. The original figure’s likeness was pretty bad, but you can’t really appreciate how bad it was until you stand these two side by side and see it done better. I’d actually go so far as to say that this new portrait is pretty good for a figure in this scale. On the downside, stand her next to The Doctor and it makes his portrait look all the worse.

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Articulation is the same as the original figure. The arms rotate at the shoulders, swivel at the biceps, and are hinged at the elbows. The legs have a T-crotch at the hips, swivel at the thighs, and are hinged at the knees. Her head can rotate, although the hair restricts the movement a bit.

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Once again, this is a tough and expensive figure to get in the UK, but I was able to pick up Clara for $10. I wouldn’t have bothered if the color of the dress was the only difference, but when early reports came in that there was a new and improved head sculpt, I decided to take a chance and I’m rather glad I did. As poor as the first effort was, I think this Clara is actually pretty good and I’m hoping that we may see at least one more 11th Doctor release with a better portrait to accompany her. But even if that doesn’t happen it’s nice to know that CO is working on improving these things, so when they do get around to releasing The Capaldi Doctor that figure could benefit from some of these improvements. That’s all I’ve got for the variant figures. There was one more released, a phasing Weeping Angel, but I didn’t bother picking that one up. I did, however, pick up a regular Screaming Angel, so I’ll try to get around to looking at that one sometime next week.

Doctor Who: Variant Black Dalek (3 ¾” Scale) by Character Options

Today we’re going to take a gander at another one of CO’s variant Doctor Who figures! I’ve had a killer day at work and I just want to ease myself into a warm alcohol-soft stuper so I’m picking something I can get through pretty quickly. I’m going with the Black Dalek because he’s a repaint of a figure that I’ve already looked at. I’m tempted to call this guy Dalek Sec, but I think he’s just supposed to be a Black Dalek because, much like bowties, Black Daleks are cool. I haven’t decided where he’ll fit into my ranks, but right now I’m waffling between “Stealth Dalek,” “Dalek Commander” or “Black Hole Dalek.”

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The package is the same we’ve seen in this line before with a generic card and an insert that simply reads, “Dalek.” Just like the regular Dalek release, he doesn’t come with a figure stand because he clearly doesn’t need one. The back of the card has the newer “Time Zone” playsets pictured.

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The variant Cyberman had some new sculpting, but the Dalek here is just a straight repaint. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, because the Daleks are easily the high point of this entire 3 ¾” line. That’s not meant to be a back-handed compliment either. While the bulk of this line has ranged from fairly decent to downright poor, the Daleks are excellent figures with great sculpts. They are, for all intents and purposes, shrunk down versions of CO’s 5-inch scale figures. The regular Daleks came with two different eye stalk lengths, but of the five of those I own, only one has the shorter one and this Black Dalek follows suit with the longer stalk.

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The paintwork here is absolutely fantastic. This guy has a beautiful high-gloss black for his upper half and sensor globes and a matte finish for his skirt and the screening under his dome. Toss in silver paint for the sucker arm, gun, and eye stalk, and clear plastic eye lights, and you have one beautiful looking pepper pot of hate. The articulation remains the same. The dome will swivel, the eye stalk can move up and down, and the arm and gun are each ball jointed. The Dalek rolls along beautifully on three wheels concealed up under his skirt.

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I told you today would be quick, but the truth is there’s not a lot to say about this guy other than he’s a gorgeous repaint of a great sculpt. These Daleks seem way too good to be part of this line and I’ve been picking up the regular ones every time I come across them at a good price. For now I’m content with just owning one of the Black Dalek, but if they’re still around after all this Christmas madness subsides, I may pick up another two and make a “Black Hole Dalek” Squad.

Doctor Who: Variant Cyberman (3 ¾” Scale) by Character Options

VARIANTS!!! Love them or hate them, they’re a fact of life when collecting action figures. In this case, Character Options unleashed a number of variants in their 3 ¾” Doctor Who line and relegated them to severe limitations in the UK. The figures instantly began demanding high prices on the secondary market and pissing off a lot of collectors. I’ll admit, I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for those collectors, because there was no sign of these figures ever making it over here. At least those people had a chance! Well, in a bizarre turn of events, the figures not only became available in the US through Underground Toys, but were actually delivered to specialty retailers as their own wave making them no more difficult to get than the regular versions. In fact, with many of the regular versions sold out, some of these variants are currently the only ones available at the moment. Crazy! The variants range from both minor and major paint variations and even some new sculpting. Today we’re kicking things off with a look at the new Cyberman.

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The packaging is identical to what we’ve already seen in this line and even the name of the figure on the insert still simply states, “Cyberman.” They’re regarded as variants because the package still states “6 Figures To Collect!” whereas if the variants counted, you’d now have 11 figures to collect. The Ice Warrior is the only one in the batch that doesn’t have a variant. Although word is that a second Dalek variant is turning up, so that would put the total number back to 12. God, this is confusing! The cards are generic across the line, although the back of the variant packages are updated to show two new “Time Zone” Playsets, in this case inspired by the episodes, “Hide” and “Angels Take Manhattan.” The Angels set is a peculiar choice, since it’s from the first half of Series 7 before the figures changed scale and before Clara became a companion. And yet there she is pictured on display in the playset! As you can see in the bubble, you still get the same “DWARTIS” style figure stand, which I still feel is a nice bonus.

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Referring back to my review of the original figure, I was overall pretty happy with these guys; certainly happy enough to army build them. Yes, they strike me as being rather undersized and the sculpt is rather soft in places, but overall I think they capture the details of the new design quite well for a figure in this scale. One thing that was conspicuously missing from the original figure was the arm gun and here we have one of the only two instances of new sculpting in these variants. This Cybie comes with a brand new right arm with the gun deployed and ready. The articulation is identical to the regular version, so while there’s no swivels in the arm, the ball joint in the elbow allows you to rotate the gun to the top of the arm and give him a more credible firing position.

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The other change to the figure is the addition of the blue paint app to light up the circle in the chest. I think it looks good on the figure, but it really screams “Arc Reactor” to me way too much. The new design already mingles a bit too closely with Stark Industries’ suit designs and adding the blue light in the chest completes a homage that I’m not eager to acknowledge.

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The paintwork on this figure is in line with the orginal release, which means it has its ups and downs. The silver paint that’s used is quite nice and certainly achieves a metallic finish for the figure. On the other hand, it has a lot of black swirls that make him look tarnished. I don’t mind that so much, but in this case there was a large and unsightly black mark on his face, which I needed to fix with a metallic silver Sharpie. Hey, considering I had to do the same thing to my $80 Takara Masterpiece Prowl, I’m not going to make a big deal about it for a $10 3 3/4″ Doctor Who figure.

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This 3 3/4″ line of figures certainly is lacking, but the Cyberman is one of the higher points and this variant is certainly a welcome release. In a perfect world I would have liked a Cyberman with the gun arm and no blue chest, but that’s something I can easily change myself if I want to. I will, however, argue that rather than be a variant, this is the way the figure should have come out originally. I mean, who wants Cybermen without their guns armed? People in the UK shouldn’t have to pay a premium for what should have been standard on the regular release. At the very least it should have been a common running change. That having been said, I’m happy to have him in my collection, and yes, I already have two more heading to me from the fine folks at Who North America. I’m happy to get them at regular price, but I certainly wouldn’t have paid a premium or lost any sleep over not getting him if he had stayed a rare chase figure.

Doctor Who: Cybermen (3 ¾” Scale) by Character Options

Alrighty, time to wrap up the look at the new 3 ¾” Doctor Who figures with the Cybermen! The Series 7 episode, “Nightmare in Silver” gave these guys their first real upgrade since their return to the show in 2006. It’s a much sleeker and more agile look than the Cybermen have had in a while. In fact, they now look like Tony Stark may have had a hand in their redesign. Let’s see how they turned out in the new 3 ¾” format.

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There’s the packaging and it’s the same as we saw yesterday with the Ice Warriors. There’s a personalized insert in the bubble and the Cybermen come with the generic “DWARTIS” figure stand. Once again, I am unable to resist troop building these guys.

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The sculpting on these guys is definitely well done, albeit it does strike me as a bit soft in some areas, particularly the head. Although, it may be because the new heads are more rounded and I’m still not used to seeing that. I’m not a big fan of the disc in the center of the chest. The discs were only ever on the last design and when it’s carried over to this new body, it really does look way too derivative of some of the Arc Reactor in the Iron Man armors. Of course, that’s a gripe with the creature design and not the figure. The figure is excellent, with all the various plates and panel lines of the new design wonderfully recreated. I love the sculpted spine in the back and the figure even achieves a look of convincing layering between the armor plates and the softer joint segments.

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Obviously, there isn’t a lot of dynamic coloring on this figure. The cybermen are black and silver and that’s it. The figure is cast in grey plastic and painted entirely in a metallic silver, which overall looks pretty nice, although some figures have inconsistencies in the paint. The deco makes them look a bit weathered, which I’m pretty happy with, but if you’re looking for your Cybie to be super shiny and fresh, it may disappoint a bit. Coincidently, this is the kind of paint I would have liked to see on the Ultron figure that I looked at on Monday. So in that instance, Character Options 1, Hasbro nil.

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The Cybermen have the same basic style of articulation as the Ice Warriors. The head is ball jointed. It can turn fine, but the rest of the head movement is a little shallow. The arms feature ball joints in the shoulders and hinges in the knees. Again, the lateral shoulder movement is a little restrictive because of the shoulder plates. The legs feature ball joints in the hips and hinged knees. You can get some Ok poses out of these guys, but I would have really liked a swivel in the waist or a ball joint in the torso. Still, considering how crappy the articulation has become with other lines in this scale, I’m not going to harp on it too badly. This is actually better articulation than most of Hasbro or Mattel’s current film-related efforts in 3 3/4 inches.

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And there you go, we get the new Cybies exclusively in the 3 ¾” format. I absolutely love these figures, but only getting these in the new scale format… I gotta be honest, folks, it really stings! I’ve got every incarnation of the Cybermen in my five-inch collection (well, except for the “Revenge” versions, which have yet to come Stateside), so not being able to add the latest versions to that display really sucks. This is the first time the scale change has really pissed me off, but I’m sure it will not be the last. But hey, at least the figure is really good.

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And that wraps up this initial wave of Doctor Who figures. Fan response to this new line has not been very favorable, although my dealer has now sold out on all but The Doctor on two or three occasions. It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for the line, and whether we’ll be getting a new wave from the 50th Anniversary special and the Christmas special. I suppose it’s possible we could get a 10th Doctor in the scale, since Tennant is reprising his for the 50th. The Zygons are also appearing and I could easily see myself buying three or four of those. I will say that the biggest opportunity for going small scale was more playsets and vehicles, and I’m not real keen on those cardboard environments. If we don’t at the very least get a TARDIS console room, I’m going to be pissed.

Doctor Who: Ice Warriors (3 ¾” Scale) by Character Options

In the interest of trying to be topical, I’ve decided to just push through with a Doctor Who 3 ¾” scale figure trifecta. Yesterday we checked out the Daleks, today we’ll look at the Ice Warriors and we’ll wrap it up with the Cybermen tomorrow. The move to the new scale has been rocky so far with some good and some bad. Let’s see which side of the fence the Warriors from Mars fall on…

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There’s the packaging and it is virtually identical to what we’ve already seen with The Doctor and Clara. You also get the same generic “DWARTIS” style figure stand, which was understandably missing from the Daleks. This figure is based on the new Ice Warrior design introduced in the episode “Cold War” although only one Ice Warrior was shown in the episode, so I’m surprised that CO didn’t release the figure as Grand Marshall Skaldak. I’m guessing they went the generic route to encourage kids and collectors to troop build these, but what sad fool would bother doing that?

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Yeah… Getting multiple Daleks was a given, but even surprised even myself when I picked up more than one Ice Warrior. The problem with this new line is that they don’t take up a lot of room and they are relatively cheap, so my restraint has been failing me. Besides, I do love the Ice Warriors. Like the Daleks, the NuWho design of the Ice Warriors is pretty faithful to the classic one. I always assumed the armor was their natural shell, but “Cold War” dispelled a lot of things we thought we knew about these Martians. Anyway, let’s get him out and see what we’ve got…

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The figure is pretty good. It features a lot of detail in the sculpt, showing all the little segmentation and craggy lines in the armor. The likeness of the head is particularly nice for the smaller scale. I can’t help but wonder that if he was in the old five-inch scale, whether we might have been given a swappable head, sans helmet, but I guess we’ll never know. The torso is a bit bulkier and more barrel-chested then I think it should be, but I haven’t re-watched the episode since I got the figure, so I could just be remembering wrong. Another quibble is the lack of a gun in his wrist. I know it was sort of built into his sleeve in the episode, but a little sculpted knob or painted bit would have helped. I may wind up robbing some big-ass gun from my POTF2 figures for these guys. Either way, I’m still totally happy with the way the sculpt came out. As for the coloring, the only paint apps on the figure are the red for the eye shields, and that’s really all it needed. Otherwise, the figure is cast in a very cool, slightly metallic green.

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Articulation on this new line has been all over the place, so let’s see what we’ve got here. His arms are ball jointed at the shoulders and hinged at the elbows. There are sadly no swivels in the biceps or wrists, but since he isn’t really sculpted with a gun, I guess that’s not such a big deal. The legs are also ball jointed at the hips and have swivels in the waist. There is no articulation in the torso at all, but he can turn his head. All in all, I’m fairly pleased with the articulation here. Even Skaldak was a lumbering dude when he was in his armor, so I didn’t need thee guys to be super-poseable.

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The Ice Warriors are definitely a solid effort and one that was desperately needed for this inaugural wave of the new line. They don’t quite equal the pure win of the new scale Daleks, but they’re definitely executed much better than The Doctor or Clara. I’m also not terribly heartbroken that the NuWho Ice Warriors are exclusive to the smaller scale. Sure, given my druthers, I would have liked at least one of these in my five-inch collection, but the design is close enough to the Classic versions and I have four of those standing on my shelf, so I’m good.

I opted not to buy any of the new scale Weeping Angels, so tomorrow we’re going to wrap up this wave with a look at the Cybermen!