Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I'm A Grown Man And I Bought This: Doctor Who Seeds Of Doom Two Pack

I first started buying Doctor Who action figures around 2007. The original plan was to buy the Tenth Doctor and Rose and maybe a Dalek and that's it. You can probably guess how that turned out, five years and several hundred figures later. Sorry wallet. Sucks to be you!

These are my newest Doctor Who acquisitions: The Fourth Doctor and Krynoid figures from the Season 13 episode The Seeds Of Doom, which first aired in 1976.

The episode starts out somewhat like The Thing as an Antarctic expedition finds an extraterrestrial pod buried in the ice. The expedition's scientists apparently never saw any sci-fi or horror movies before, because they bring the pod back to their lab and start poking around at it. 

As sure as you can say "plagiarism lawsuit" the pod opens up, attaches itself to one of the scientists and begins absorbing his body, turning him into a plant based life form called a Krynoid.

The Krynoid then moves to the comparatively warmer climate of England where it grows to ridiculous proportions, becoming the size of the average office building before being dispatched by the Doctor.

In addition to the Fourth Doctor and Krynoid figure, the set comes with two Krynoid pods; one closed and the other sprouting a deadly tendril, so you can recreate the episode in the privacy of your own home while wearing your Doctor Who Underoos. Don't act like you weren't thinking about it!

In the Season 8 episode The Claws Of Axos the Third Doctor fought an alien invasion by a race called the Axons. The Axons were tall, pink, blobby unpleasant aliens who were represented by tall, pink, blobby unpleasant rubber suits, covered with strands of expanding insulation foam.

Because this is Doctor Who we're talking about, when it came time to film Seeds Of Doom five years later, the BBC, never ones to spend a pence they didn't need to, dug out one of the old Axon costumes, painted it green, added a few more tendrils and bits of moss, and voila! They had a brand new alien costume!

Life imitates art! Character Options (the company that makes the Doctor Who action figures) made a pink Axon figure two or three years ago. So naturally when it came time for them to make a Krynoid, everyone assumed they'd do the same thing the BBC did: take some leftover Axon figures, paint them green, say "There's your Krynoid!" and call it a day.

The promotional pics for the Krynoid Two Pack seemed to illustrate just that: a previously released Fourth Doctor figure (but with a sword accessory this time!) and a repainted Axon. I was underwhelmed to say the least, and decided not to bother ordering the set.

But then the actual figure came out and it turns out it wasn't just a simple repaint after all! They used the base figure of course, but as you can see here they added new and different tendrils to the torso, gave it new hands, and even molded a different pair of feet for it. It turned out to be an almost all new figure. In fact it was so different that I changed my mind and ended up ordering one after all.

So why wouldn't the Character Options marketing people say anything about that? Why rework a figure so extensively and not let their customers know? I'm sure many people felt the same way as I did and initially didn't want to spend money on a lame repaint. Who knows how many sales their incompetence cost their company? Someone needs a good firing, or at the very least to be forced to work as a grocery cashier for a month, so they'll appreciate their position when they come back.

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