Doctor Who: The 7th Doctor and Renegade Dalek by Character Options

It’s long past time I revisit those Doctor and Dalek 2-packs that Character Options put out earlier this year. This time we’ll check out one inspired by the story “Remembrance of the Daleks.” A long time ago, CO put out another 2-pack from the same story with a different version of The 7th Doctor and an Imperial Dalek. They gambled that we crazy collectors would pony up for a similar set and in my case they were correct!

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There’s nothing new about the packaging so I won’t dwell on it very long. The figures come in a compact window box with a cool retro-style deco and a printed insert that shows a scene from the story and can double as a display backdrop. There’s no synopsis of the story, but we do get a little blurb about The 7th Doctor and the Daleks. Let’s start with The Doctor.

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This release is the third version of The 7Th Doctor that I have in my collection and it is definitely my favorite one. The first version features The Doctor with a smiling portrait and wearing his hat. The second version is a direct repaint of that one depicting him in his darker coat. This version is identical to the first from the neck down. The only difference is the portrait has a more serious expression and is sans hat. The 7th Doctor’s more memorable stories were when he adopted a sinister and plotting personality, so I think this figure suits him best. I also think the likeness to Sylvester McCoy is just a tad better than the alternatives.

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Yes, from the neck down it is the same figure, but it’s worth mentioning what a great job CO did on the sculpt and particularly the paintwork. In addition to his paisley scarf and matching tie, he has his handkerchief hanging out of his pocket, again fully painted. The paintwork on his question mark jumper is absolutely immaculate as is the plaid deco on his trousers. They even bothered to sculpt and paint in the gold chain for his fob watch. On the downside, CO couldn’t be bothered to toss in his umbrella. Since this figure will be the Number Seven that I display in my Doctor lineup, I just borrowed the brolly from one of the other Sevens.

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The Doctor may be a newer release, but he features the older standard style of articulation, and sadly that means no ball joints in the shoulders. Instead you get arms that rotate at the shoulders, have hinged elbows, and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs have universal movement at the hips, swivels in the thighs and hinges in the knees. The head can rotate.

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Moving on to the Dalek, the story “Remembrance of the Daleks” featured two warring factions of pepperpots. The Imperials were the white and gold and the renegades were the gun metal blues, which is the kind included in this set. My favorite of all the Daleks were the ones from “Genesis of the Daleks” and this guy is pretty close to that deco with a few minor cosmetic differences in the shoulder slats and eye stalks. He may not be the flashiest Dalek out there, but the drab coloring makes him akin to a piece of military machinery and I just think that’s cool.

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I’ve looked at dozens of CO’s Daleks here on FFZ and there’s not a lot new to be said about this one. He has the same three wheels under his apron, the front of which can rotate 360 degrees. The gun and sucker arm are on ball joints, the dome can rotate 360 degrees and the eye stalk can raise and lower. There’s a tiny bit of slop on the silver mesh around the slats, but otherwise the quality of paint on this figure is quite good.

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This set was an instance where I actually bought it more for The Doctor figure than the Dalek. Don’t get me wrong, I can never have enough Daleks, but it was the serious and hatless Doctor that made this set a “must have.” At just under forty bucks, it certainly wasn’t cheap, but I’ve never been frugal when it comes to my plastic addiction and that goes double when dealing with Doctor Who figures.

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Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor and Dalek Alpha by Character Options

As much as I bitch and moan about the demise of the 5-inch line of Doctor Who figures, the truth is that CO is still managing to deliver some product to the hands of us collectors. One little sputter of activity has been the release of a whole slew of Doctor and Dalek two-packs. While seeming to be mere repacks, each one of these sets actually does feature some form of new figure, either repaint or re-sculpt. While I will no doubt eventually collect all of these sets, some have garnered more attention and excitement from me than others and the one I’m looking at today was the one that had me quite excited indeed. Why? Because of it, I finally added the Eighth Doctor to my shelf!

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The window box here should be familiar to anyone collecting the line. It’s compact, collector friendly and it displays the figures quite well. You get a very vintage style Doctor Who logo on the front as well as the Doctor Timeline on the bottom. This set is somewhat unique in that the inspiration isn’t pulled from a TV story, but rather the comic strip “Children of the Revolution” which was published in Doctor Who Magazine. It makes sense, since Eight only made a single TV appearance (ok two if you count “Night of the Doctor”) so virtually any new set featuring Paul McGann as the Doctor would have to come from a comic or a Big Finish audio production. Oddly enough, the box doesn’t tell you anything about who Dalek Alpha is nor does it give you a synopsis of the comic, so I’ll step in here: To put it succinctly, Alpha was one of three Daleks genetically altered with a human element, a concept that dates all the way back to the Second Doctor story, “Evil of the Daleks,” and he was encountered by the Eighth Doctor in the comic.  Let’s bust open this set and start with a look at The Doctor.

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As far as I can tell, Eight has only been available in figure form by buying the huge Eleven Doctors set. As much as I wanted him, I wasn’t prepared to pay $100+ and get minor variations on all the other Doctors to do it. Yes, I am indeed the same person who twenty years ago would have sold one of my kidneys for Doctor Who figures and now I’m bitching about buying variants. There’s just no pleasing some people! Nonetheless, I decided to play the waiting game to see if CO would release him again later on down the road. They haven’t and that’s why this figure is such a welcome addition to my collection. Of course, he’s not the same figure that came in the box set, but at least I finally have Eight on my shelf.

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I haven’t read the comic, so I don’t know exactly what his costume looked like in it. This figure, however, gets by with a convenient repaint of the figure from the previous release. It’s the same Elizabethan style suit with a cravat, double buttoned vest, and a long overcoat. The coat this time is painted blue, the cravat is a sort of ochre, the vest is brown, and the trousers are tan. All in all the costume is sculpted quite nicely and the paintwork is all clean right down to the chain on his fob watch. I like the costume here well enough, but it’s worth mentioning that the paint on the original Eighth Doctor figure is much more interesting and dynamic.

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The portrait is certainly a passable likeness of Paul McGann, although I think it’s one of the weaker efforts among all the Doctor figures. I’m not saying it’s bad, I can certainly tell who it’s supposed to be, but it just isn’t a total slam dunk to me. Nonetheless, the hair is quite good and as with the rest of the figure, the paintwork on the face is top notch.

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Eight features the standard articulation for this line. The arms rotate at the shoulders, swivel at the biceps and wrists, and are hinged at the elbows. The legs are hinged at the hips for universal movement, swivel at the thighs and are hinged at the knees. Both the head and the waist can swivel. The Doctor’s right hand is sculpted to hold a sonic screwdriver and since he didn’t come with one, I leant him one from one of my many Fourth Doctor figures.

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Moving on to the Dalek, I have to once again confess to not having read the comic, so I can’t really vouch for how accurate this guy is, but he is certainly a cool looking piece. Alpha looks like he’s a repaint of one of CO’s “Destiny of the Daleks” figures with a new eyestalk and one of the original Dalek guns swapped on. For someone who has been a fan of the show for nearly 30 years, you’d think I’d be better at telling my Daleks apart. The deco on this Dalek is very striking. He’s red and silver with black sensor domes and skirt and I really dig finally getting a Classic-style Dalek with some color to it. He also as a silver Alpha symbol painted on his dome right beside his eyestalk. I’ve had a few issues in the past with the paint quality on my Daleks, but this one is done very well. There’s virtually no slop or bleeding and the silver and red paint on the mesh between his slats is downright impressive.

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In the end, the only downside to this set is the price tag. I got mine for $40 and I was lucky to get it for that, because of all these Doctor-Dalek sets, this one seems to be the hardest to find. My regular retailer sold out of it almost immediately, but I was able to get in on a second shipment that they received. At twenty bucks per figure, these two certainly aren’t cheap, but they’re quite unique and I don’t feel at all squeamish about dropping $20 each on figures from my all-time favorite property. Just the fact that figures like this exist still blows my mind, so I’m not going to quibble about the price.

Doctor Who: Assault Dalek and Imperial Guard Dalek (3 ¾” Scale) by Character Options

Today I’m pressing on with Wave 2 of Character Options’ 3 ¾” scale Doctor Who figures and we’re looking at Daleks! Yes, today I’m doing TWO figures because these Daleks are just very minor variants of the ones released in Wave 1 and I doubt even I could pad out the feature enough to give them each their own spotlight. In fact, this shouldn’t take long at all. But don’t think that speaks badly about them because these figures are fantastic! Army building the little Daleks has been the best thing about this line so far and these two new pepperpots are every bit as cool.

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The packages are mostly the same as the ones we saw with the 12th Doctor figure. The big difference here is the addition of the “Heritage Line” on the bubble insert. It seems to be a sub-line that will draw material from earlier periods of NuWho, as both of these Daleks come from stories that pre-date Matt Smith’s tenure. I would presume that the 10th Doctor and Amy Pond figures that were shown off at Toy Fair may be released under this moniker. The only other thing worth pointing out here is that the Daleks do not include stands, but they certainly don’t need them.

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If you haven’t clicked back to my review of the Wave 1 Dalek, just imagine that CO took their excellent 5-inch scale Daleks and shrank them down to this smaller scale. Nothing is lost in the translation as they are superbly painted and detailed and everything I could want in a tiny Dalek. Stand one of these next to the 11th Doctor figure in the same scale and there’s such a wide chasm of quality between the two they feel like they come from two totally different lines. And I don’t have to spell out how awesome it is to have Daleks roughly in scale with Star Wars or GI Joe figures, do I? Anyway, let’s press on to what makes these little containers of hate different from the regular Daleks.

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Both of these variants come from the 9th Doctor episode “Parting of the Ways.” First up we have the Assault Dalek. This figure is your basic regular Dalek with his plunger arm replaced by a claw arm that can double as a cutting beam. This was the Dalek that tried to cut the bulkhead to get to “Lynda with a Y” before one of his chums blew out the window to space and robbed him of the kill. That’s it! That’s really the only difference. There’s nothing else to say about this one except he’s awesome.

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Next up, we have the Imperial Guard Dalek. This little fellow’s plunger arm is replaced with a big sphere arm. It’s called a sensor arm, although I don’t think it was ever established in the episode what it was used for. The other notable difference is the repainted black dome. I honestly didn’t even know these Daleks existed until I re-watched the episode to specifically look for them. He’s an interesting variant, but I don’t dig him as much as the Assault Dalek.

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And that’s all I got on this pair. I told you today would be brief! Obviously these figures were pretty quick and dirty tweaks, but that doesn’t make me appreciate them any less. I’ve got a nice little army of Daleks building up in this scale so I’m happy to pad out their ranks with a couple of unique models. I’ll likely be picking up some more of the Assault Dalek and maybe one more of the Imperial Guard. Next week, I’ll wrap up my look at the figures I bought from this wave with the one I was anticipating the most… The Zygon!

Doctor Who: Sound FX Special Weapons Dalek by Character Options

I’m wrapping up the week with a Dalek Double Feature. Yesterday we looked at the Black Dalek Variant from the 3 ¾” line. Today we’re checking out this unique fella from CO’s 5-inch line. Yes, the Special Weapons Dalek! It turned up once in the 7th Doctor story “Remembrance of the Daleks” without any explanation or backstory. All we knew from that appearance is that this badass pepperpot is capable of destroying a squad of Daleks with one shot. He had a cameo appearance in the more recent 11th Doctor story “Asylum of the Daleks,” but you had to be pretty quick with the pause button to even see him. I like to think of this guy as the Boba Fett of the Doctor Who universe. People love him because he’s a mystery and looks cool, and similar to Boba Fett, details about the SWD have been fleshed out in “expanded universe” content of questionable canonicity. Sometimes known among the Daleks as “The Abomination,” he’s a Dalek that sports a weapon so powerful that his brain cannot be adequately shielded against its radioactive recoil. In short, every time he fires his weapon his brain gets dosed with rads and he gets angrier and crazier. It’s no surprise the Daleks only roll this guy out when the shit really hits the fan. It’s also no surprise that he wound up in the Dalek Asylum.

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The SWD figure was originally released in the “Remembrance of the Daleks” Collectors Set, which was never brought over to the US. As a result, this guy has been crazy expensive and hard to get for us Yanks. It’s been a sticking point for me for quite some time, but CO has finally made things right by releasing him as part of this electronic Sound FX Daleks. He comes on a small card with a bubble large enough to contain his Dalek supremacy. The deco uses the current series branding, including the “DWARTIS” logo. It’s also a little misleading because it  exclaims “SPEECH & SOUND FX” and “EX-TER-MIN-AAATE!!!” but in very tiny words it points out that the SWD doesn’t actually say anything. I’ll come back to that in a few ticks when we talk about the electronics.

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The back of the card shows the other SFX Daleks in the wave. I’m really tempted to buy some more of these, but they are rather expensive, so I’m trying to control myself. There’s also a ridiculous amount of warnings and information printed on the back of the card. You’d almost think you were buying a real Dalek.

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There’s no doubt that the SWD features a unique design. I used to refer to him as the WWI Dalek because he looks like a cross between a bunker and an early 20th century war machine. While the skirt is standard Dalek through and through, the top half is what departs from traditional Dalek design and makes him so distinctive. There’s no eye stalk, just a shallow dome with a deep set ring that looks like it has what might be viewports all around it. There are no shoulder slats or mesh, instead his middle section is just smooth. And the biggest change is the giant cannon that replaces the usual plunger and gun arms. This appears to be the exact same sculpt as the original UK release of the figure and I’ve got no complaints. Articulation includes 360-degree rotation in the mid-section and his cannon angles up and down. He also sports the same style of wheels under his skirt that we’ve seen on all of CO’s Daleks.

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While the sculpt here is fantastic, the paintwork was a sticking point on the original release of this figure. Many collectors complained that it was rather heavy handed, particularly the grease around the roundels. When the SFX version was announced I was hoping that it would receive a better paint job. Alas, this guy features the same caliber of paintwork. I think the antiqued brass or coppery parts look good, but the brushwork around the sensor domes is still pretty half-assed. It’s supposed to look like grease leaking from the domes, but instead it looks like just what it is, ham-fisted dry brushing.  It looks passable from a distance, but the more I scrutinize it, the more it falls apart. That having been said, it doesn’t ruin the figure for me at all. This guy is supposed to look old, decrepit, and ugly and he does. Besides, I’ve waited too long to add this guy to my collection so I’m willing to be rather forgiving.

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Obviously the big difference between this one and the original release is the added electronics. He has an On-Off switch under his skirt as well as a battery compartment. The SFX are activated by pressing a well concealed button comprised of one of the sensor domes on his left side. As already noted, the SWD doesn’t speak and I suppose that’s understandable since he never spoke in the episode, but I was still hoping that CO might have thrown in an “EXTERMINATE!” Maybe he’s not supposed to be capable of speaking. Anywho, if you press the button once it will activate a firing sound and if you double-tap it you will get both the firing sound and an explosion.

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Paint notwithstanding, I really dig this figure and while there are still more than a few variant Daleks for me to collect, this guy is the one most conspicuously absent from my shelves. Unfortunately, the SFX Daleks run at a rather pricey $27-30 a pop at most e-tailers. That’s not a bad price for this guy, since it’s a lot cheaper than hunting down the original non-electronic release. However, considering the other SFX Daleks are basically just a lot of the same figures we’ve seen before with added electronics, I haven’t been eager to hunt them all down.

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: “Remembrance of the Daleks” Collector Set by Character Options

There were a couple of reasons why I passed on this set when it was first released. First off, buying a figure of a destroyed Dalek seemed like going overboard, even by my insane standards. Second, as much as I love Remembrance of the Daleks, it did contain my least favorite incarnation of Davros. Not to mention the big reveal at the end didn’t do anything for me. I called out that the Emperor was probably Davros under that thing as soon as he rolled onto the bridge of the Dalek ship, and I’m not usually that good at spotting things like that. Nonetheless, when CO finally delivered on Ace, this set seemed to be a lot better-rounded out and so I tossed it into the basket when I shipped.

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The set comes in the same little compact style of window box that CO has used for the two-packs that won’t fit into a blister pack. The deco is based off a rather retro style that gives off a 70’s vibe. There’s a timeline on the bottom showing the different Doctors and the back panel of the box has a blurb about the episode. Sure, this box is one big spoiler for the episode, but it’s been like 25 years, and if you’re like me you probably would have guessed that was Davros anyway. The inner tray has an illustration, which could be saved as a display backdrop, but it’s not one of their better ones, so I didn’t bother. The box is collector friendly, but as much as I wish I had the room to save these, with space being limited, I have to be a lot more selective about packaging I keep.

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Starting off with the destroyed Dalek, this piece is a lot better than it has any right to be. My first thought was that CO was just going to take a regular Imperial Dalek, cut it in half and melt it a bit. Nope, they actually did a lot of new sculpting for the Kaled mutant inside. The sculpt is heavily influenced by the Kaled mutants we’ve seen in NuWho and I’m fine with that since this is the last time we see The Daleks in the Classic series. The excellent sculpt and paintwork conspire to make for an appropriately disgusting mess. We never actually get to see inside the Dalek in the episode, so I really dig that they did this.

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The claw that we do get to see is recreated here, complete with articulation, as it’s actually set on a ball joint! The area around the shoulder slats are painted brown to simulate the explosion, but from there down, it’s just a regular Imperial Dalek, complete with ball jointed sucker arm, weapon arm, and three rolling wheels under the base. This figure is by no means the cheap-out that it could have been, and I find I’m a lot happier to have it in my collection than I could have imagined.

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And then there’s Dalek Emperor Davros. The design here is pretty lame and lazy. When closed up, he’s just an Imperial Dalek base with a huge sphere mounted on top. There are two ear lights and a hexagonal screen in the center. One of the things I hate about this design is that there are no Dalek arms. Ok, I get it that you’re The Emperor, but why wouldn’t you want a weapon and a sucker arm like all the other Daleks? Your Davros! People hate you! There are tons of people around the universe that want to take a pop at you! Why not have a gun arm? I know, the Emperor Daleks in the past haven’t had weapons, but it still bugs me. Granted, the figure here does a good job with what it had to work with.

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Flip open the top and you reveal… Oh. My. God! That’s Davros in there! In the episode, you just saw Davros’ head emerging from a crazy nest of cables and wires. The figure features a good head sculpt and some detail paintwork for the wires. Again, it looks good for what they had to work with, but I’m just not at all crazy about this version of Davros.

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The real reason I stayed away from this set in the past is that it retailed for $39.99. I’m the last to complain about the cost of Doctor Who figures, but that’s a lot of damn money for what you’re getting here. Nonetheless, now that I have an Ace with an RPG and an Anti-Dalek baseball bat, I thought it would justify having the destroyed Dalek in my collection. As for Davros, like it or not, it’s part of his history and it deserves a place on my shelf. I’m no fan of Eric Roberts as The Master, but if CO had put a figure out, I’d be obliged to get it. To be honest, with the line ending, I’ll likely be hunting down the few sets that I passed on, just so that I can have closure when there are no more figures forthcoming.

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

Like it or not, the NuWho scale change is upon us. A couple of weeks back  I checked out The Doctor and Clara, last week it was the TARDIS, and today we’re looking at Daleks. While we Who collectors can wring our hands and gnash our teeth over the fact that we will never get a five-inch scale Clara, or Series 7 Ice Warriors or Cybermen, the Daleks released in CO’s new 3 ¾” line are undeniably a welcome treat. These guys have already been released in the old scale and I have plenty on my shelf to go with my five-inch collection, so there’s no heartbreaking exclusivity issue. Not to mention, I’ve wanted proper 3 ¾” scale Daleks for my other non-Who figures to fight for as long as I can remember. This is win-win, folks, so long as they turned out better than the last two figures we looked at. Here’s a spoiler… they did!

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This is the same packaging as we saw last week. The only real difference is that there is no figure stand included.

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That’s right, Mr. Dalek! As much as I like the New Paradigm Daleks as toys (not so much on the screen), I’m glad CO went with the regular NuWho Dalek for this scale, or RTD Dalek if you prefer. This is the now familiar coppery colored Dalek first introduced in the Series 1, Ninth Doctor story, “Dalek.” I’m also happy to report that these little guys are like shrunken down versions of their larger scale predecessors with fantastic sculpts and nice clean paintwork. Seriously, if you own the larger scale versions, you should know exactly what to expect from these little little beauties.

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Interestingly enough there appear to be some variant Daleks in the line. Some variations are as subtle as the different length eye stalks. So far, I’ve picked up four of these little guys and only one of those has the smaller eye stalk, so it’s clearly a chase figure. But apparently some black Daleks have also turned up in circulation in the UK and are fetching high prices on the secondary market.

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Articulation is identical to CO’s five-incher Daleks. The head turns, the eye stalk can raise and lower, and the arms are on ball joints. If you turn him over, he even has the same locomotion as the other Dalek figures, with two wheels in the back and a rotating wheel up front.

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If you can’t tell, I’m thrilled with these little Daleks. They take everything that is great about the larger versions and reduce them to the 3 3/4″ scale. Honestly, even if CO hadn’t rebranded NuWho into this scale and just produced these Daleks, I still would have bought a ton of them for the sheer crossover potential alone.

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The only downside. Even with four in my collection now, I have another on the way to me. Will I stop there? Who knows!

 

Doctor Who: Dalek Sec and Hybrid Dalek Sec by Character Options

[It’s Saturday, I’m tired from a long week and I’m anxious to get on with the weekends boozing. So today I’m going to get quick and dirty with a couple of Doctor Who figures and then you won’t see me again until Monday. -FF]

Yes, its time for another little jaunt in the TARDIS to a couple of years back so we can look at this pair of figures based on Series 3. To be more specific these come from the much maligned two-part story, “Daleks in Manhatten” and “Evolution of the Daleks.” I was none to keen on these two episodes when they first aired, but I have to admit to warming up to them a lot after subsequent viewings. There’s some cool stuff in here, buried under all the problems. I have no package shots of these guys, as I’ve had them for a long while. Each of the figures came individually carded, but I’m pairing them up here simply because they were featured in the same story.
Let’s kick it off with Dalek Sec. He was the leader of the Cult of Skaro, a secret group of four Daleks that were given names and repurposed to think outside the box and help the Dalek with new strategies. I can’t remember if it was disclosed whether or not they were a product of the Time War, but they could have just as easily been created to help in the war with the Movellans. While the other three members of the Cult of Skaro (Daleks Caan, Jast, and Thay) all looked like regular Daleks, Sec had a snazzy gloss black paint job that really made him stand out. Let’s look at the figure!
If you have any of the standard Daleks from the modern series, Sec should be instantly familiar. He’s basically the exact same figure as the “Mutant Reveal Dalek” (which we’ll get around to looking at eventually) only without the removable compartment and he’s painted black. The paint job is actually quite nice on Sec. He’s got a matte black finish for his apron and base, and high gloss black for his upper half and his sensor domes. He’s also got the tiny little pins painted silver on the base of his apron and along his shoulder slats. He even has his tiny little symbol painted white in the compartment under his eyestalk. I’ve had my share of paint issues with my Dalek figures, but Sec here is not one of them.
As usual, this Dalek rolls along on three concealed wheels underneath. His eye stalk can raise and lower, his dome rotates 360-degrees, and his plunger and gun arms are ball jointed. He’s certainly a great looking figure, and can easily stand in as a different rank or line of Dalek, if you aren’t so keen on the whole Sec storyline.
And then there’s Hybrid Dalek Sec. Faced with their own extinction, the Cult of Skaro deemed it necessary to crossbreed with a human host to create a new form of Dalek. Sec volunteered for the honor and the result was Hybrid Dalek Sec. He was humanoid, but he looked like a guy who’s head was being devoured by a one-eyed octopus. Whether you loved or hated his look on the small screen, you can at least rest assured that the figure is a pretty good recreation. From the neck down he’s jsut a guy in a 1930’s style pinstripe suit. It’s a good sculpt and the paintwork shows off some wet patches here and there that I can only presume is supposed to be Dalek afterbirth (Blech!). The head sculpt is a little softer than what I’m used to seeing on CO’s figures, and I think they went a little overboard with the super-high gloss finish, unless that’s supposed to be more Dalek goo covering him. Nonetheless, the sculpt is pretty good. His tendrils are all present and the squiggly bits of his brain are visible.
Hybrid Sec has the same level of articulation we’ve seen in the older Doctor Who figures. You get a swivel neck, arms that rotate at the shoulders, hinged elbows, and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs rotate at the hips and have hinges in the knees. The poseability is ok, so long as you don’t need your Sec figure to be some kind of action hero.
Dalek Sec seems to have been a fairly popular figure among collectors, probably moreso because he’s a cool looking black Dalek than for the character he was intended to be. Hell, even I’ve considered army building a couple of him to go along with my modern series Dalek legions. Hybrid Dalek Sec, on the other hand, was far more of a pegwarmer. He’s still pretty easy to get for next to nothing, and its hard to tell if that’s because of his goofy appearance, the fans’ general dislike for the story, or a little bit of both. Personally, I can’t really hate on this guy, so I was quick to pick him up when he first came out. If nothing else he’s a unique addition to my Doctor Who figure menagerie.

Doctor Who: Professor Bracewell by Character Options

“Victory of the Daleks” is probably one of the most maligned episodes to come out of Series 5. Personally, I don’t mind it much at all. Sure, the story was crap, but it had its moments and one of them was Bill Paterson’s performance as Professor Bracewell, the tragic Dalek android who was programmed to believe he was human. The Daleks have snuffed out plenty of lives as they’ve rampaged across the small screen over the last 50 years. They’re evil, I get that. But I don’t think the scope of their cruelty was ever driven home as well as when they blew off Bracewell’s hand just to illustrate that he was a mere mechanical pawn in their plot against The Doctor and that his entire existence was just one big work of fiction. Oh, and by the way… he was a bomb too. Yep, the Daleks aren’t just evil, they’re also dicks. He was a great character, and I finally got starved enough for NuWho figures that I decided to pick him up.

Bracewell comes in the standard style cardback that has been used for the Series 5 and 6 figures. Its serviceable and displays the figure quite well. There’s not much else here to say. You get a couple of extra goodies with Bracewell that are mounted beside him inside the bubble. The figure is available in two variants. One with a flesh-toned left hand as he was seen in “Victory of the Daleks” and another with a gloved hand as he was seen briefly in “The Pandorica Opens.” I got the glove-handed version.
Bracewell comes equipped with a couple of different display options, so let’s start with regular Bracewell first. Ok, so he’s basically a guy in a suit wearing a labcoat. Not terribly exciting, but my hats off to Character Options for doing a great job with the detail and paintwork. The headsculpt is an excellent likeness of Paterson and while eyeglasses are usually tough to do in this scale, I think CO pulled it off quite well, as they are actually sculpted separately from his head. The tie and collar are nicely sculpted, as is the chain on his fob watch. The labcoat features sculpted pockets and buttons and lots of little wrinkles. Paintwork includes the tiny stripes on his shirt and tie and the sharp, clean detailing on his watch chain. There’s a little paint slop along his hairline, but nothing too bad.
The first alternate display option involves pulling off Bracewell’s left arm at the swivel joint and replacing it with the one with the blown off hand. There’s some paintwash around the coat sleeve to make it look damaged from the blast and the stump is an exposed clump of wires and servos. Cool!
The other display option involves pulling off the front of the figure’s torso and swapping it with the alternate one. Its actually sculpted in a separate piece and plugs into three sockets on the figure’s body. The alternate torso reveals his robotic body and the countdown dial for his internal bomb. The effect is very well done.
Bracewell has decent enough articulation, especially for a lab guy. You get a swivel neck, swivel shoulders, swivels in the biceps and wrists, and hinged elbows. His legs feature universal movement at the hips, swivels in the thighs, and hinged knees.
I’ve heard some folk refer to Professor Bracewell as the Dr Constantine figure of this wave. I can’t say as I agree, as a character Bracewell had a much bigger impact on “Victory” than Constantine did on “Empty Child/Doctor Dances.” They’re both dudes in lab coats, though, I get it. I’ll concede this isn’t a “must have” figure by any standards, but I think CO put some really nice work into him. In all honesty, I waited until I could snag him for five bucks, but either way I would have been perfectly happy with him.

Doctor Who: “Destiny of the Daleks” Collector Set by Character Options

It’s more Who today. Yay for more Who! Today we’re looking at another one of the four Daleks-and-Davros-themed sets that came out not all that long ago. These consisted of 4-packs based on the episodes, “Genesis of the Daleks,” “Revelation of the Daleks,” Destiny of the Daleks,” and “Resurrection of the Daleks.” The one I previously looked at was the 6th Doctor “Revelation” set, this time we’re checking out the 4th Doctor’s “Destiny” set.

The style of packaging is the same for all four sets. You get a long window box with the older style blue background and 2005-era logo. There are lots of photo stills from the episode and the back of the package has a nice blurb about the  story. The interior of the box features a tray with a printed backdrop from the episode, which you can save and use for display. “Destiny” was one of my favorite episodes growing up. It had Daleks and Davros, Tom Baker was really on his game, and the lovely Lalla Ward was wearing that adorable pink version of The Doctor’s scarf and coat. CO, when you finally get around to doing a figure based on Romana II, this is the version I want! Anyway, these sets all follow the same formula: You get a Doctor figure, a Davros figure, and two Daleks. These were a good idea for CO as they allowed for an economy of repaints, resculpts and repacks across four sets. And yet while these may seem like a quick cash grab, CO did right by fans and paid a remarkable amount of detail to the subtle differences between the sets.
Let’s start with The Doctor. Oh, look! I’ve got another 4th Doctor figure for my collection. Ten years ago I would have killed for a Tom Baker figure, now I’ve got a half dozen. You’d think I’d be griping about this, but nope. This version is a nice variant with new sculpting and his grey jacket. I’ve got plenty of him in his brown jacket, one in his burgundy jacket and even one in shirtsleeves. He uses the same serious expression 4th Doctor hatless head that we’ve had before and I think it still holds up well. His scarf is the same sculpt with new paintwork. It doesn’t quite seem episode accurate, but I’ll take it anyhow. This time he isn’t wearing his tie and his shirt collar is open. As with previous figures, his head is easy to pop off if you want to mix and match heads from your other Tom Bakers. I was hoping against hope this one would have the new ball jointed shoulders, but no dice, as you get the same level of articulation on the past 4th Doctors. Still, not bad. The Doctor also comes with his Sonic Screwdriver.
Davros is a great figure. I originally thought the four different Davros figures were just repaints of each other, but there is a remarkable amount of new tooling on this figure. The head sculpt is original to represent David Gooderson, as opposed to the Terry Molloy Davros from the“Revelation of the Daleks” set, including new wires and whatnot. Davros’ dashboard is also completely different from the previous set we looked at. The skirt is grey instead of black, but otherwise its pretty much the same, right down to the pop open service hatch added for the benefit of the “Resurrection” set. Davros comes with his computer sphere, which is appropriately the same piece used on the Source Manipulator from the “Keeper of Traken” set as the sphere was used in both props.                                     
And then there’s the Daleks. You get two standard Daleks from the episode, although one seems to be a higher rank than the other as he has a black stripe painted along his midsection and extra black paint around his bumper. Apart from that they’re identical. From my experience, CO traditionally has QC issues with the paintwork on their Daleks, but these two are just about perfect. Its ironic since the Daleks used in the episode were in terrible condition and practically falling apart. These guys look too new! The shade of grey does look a bit too light on them, but it might just be the lighting used on the episode. The ball joints on the gun and sucker arms were painted over, so I had to pop out the arms and carefully “crack” the joint by using a pen in the socket. Once done, the articulation is fine. These are definitely a couple of great additions to my Dalek armies.
I picked up this set for about $45 with shipping. It’s certainly not a bad deal for four figures. Chances are you long time collectors are getting tired of adding Tom Bakers to your collections, but even still I think the Davros and Daleks are still worth the price of admission. If you’re new to collecting Doctor Who figures, this one is a great starter set. The attention to detail in making Davros episode specific is impressive and if you’re in the market for some nice generic Daleks, these two certainly do the job nicely.