Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm A Grown Man And I Bought This: The Eleventh Doctor And Dalek Scientist

Here's the rare and exclusive Eleventh Doctor and Dalek Scientist 2 Pack, exclusively available only at the 2010 San Diego Comic Con (which coincidentally is held every year in San Diego).

Every year the SDCC features several toy items that are supposedly only available at the show. Then every year, fans who can't make it to San Diego declare their outrage at this practice, vowing to sell their entire collections in fits of sweaty rage if they can't possess these valuable toys. Then, every year shortly after the show, most of the exclusive pieces become available for purchase on the internet.

That's how I got my Doctor and Dalek set; I couldn't afford to fly out to San Diego, so I simply waited a couple of weeks and bought it online. Pretty simple, and I didn't even have to leave the house.

When Season 5 of the new Doctor Who series premiered in 2010, pretty much everything about the show had changed. There was a new Doctor of course, a new companion, a new Tardis (interior AND exterior), new theme song, new production staff, even new Dalek designs!

Underground Toys, the company that makes Doctor Who action figures, has already made a figure of the Eleventh Doctor. This is a new and different version, sans his trademark tweed jacket. The Dalek is one of the new models that debuted in the Victory of the Daleks episode.

Both figures are well done, as are most of Underground Toys' Who figures. The sculpting of the Eleventh Doctor is very good, especially at this scale (he's about 5.5" tall). The figure actually looks a lot like Matt Smith (I've read that UT has started laser scanning the faces of the actors in order to get better likenesses), and they did a great job of sculpting his David Tennant-esque hair.

The paint job is very good as well; they added a wash to his hair and did an amazing job on the stripes on his shirt. My only complaint with the paint job is with his pants. Instead of using a flat paint, they went with glossy, making it look like he's wearing shiny, metallic trousers. A bit of sculpted texture on the pants might have helped too.

The Eleventh Doctor comes with his trusty sonic screwdriver accessory, a tiny 3/4" piece of plastic that will immediately become lost in your carpet unless you glue it to his hand.

The Eleventh Doctor figure contains quite a bit of articulation, including neck, shoulders, mid-bicep, elbow, wrist, waist, hips, mid thigh, and knee. He's much more poseable than any of the Tenth Doctor figures, which has always been a complaint among Who collectors.

The Dalek Scientist is a well sculpted figure, but I wish it had a bit more articulation. The head dome rotates, the eye stalk moves up and down and the two arms have ball joints, and that's it. Would it have killed them to add a "waist" joint, so that you could rotate the dark ring in the middle? Apparently it would have. That plunger arm also makes me nervous. It's very thin, and every time I touch it I'm afraid it's going to snap off. If the Dalek Scientist ever takes a tumble off the toy shelf, he's gonna lose his arm.

So far fans have been divided on this new Dalek design. It's definitely bigger than the previous versions; the Daleks seem to be growing. They seem bulkier as well.

I have to admit I didn't much care for the design at first, but the more I see of it, the more it's starting to grow on me. Like it or not, we might as well all get used to it; the BBC built 5 or 6 of these new versions, so they're not likely to waste all that time and money and scrap them just because of some fanboy outrage.

I think the biggest problem with the design is that the head seems too small for the body. It's set a little too far towards the front as well, giving it an almost hunchbacked appearance. If you enlarge the head as I did in the image above, it looks perfect. Again, it's too late to do anything about it, so we might as well accept it and move on.

The previous Dalek designs had fairly conservative color schemes: the classic Daleks came in blues and grays and other almost pastel colors, while the new series versions were all metallic bronze. These new candy coated designs (called Paradigm Daleks on the show) are positively gaudy. The almost look like products from the Apple Store. Some wiseacre fans have taken to calling them "Skittles Daleks."

Personally I liked the previous bronze Daleks the best. The Paradigm Dalek colors make them look less real somehow, more like oversize toys than threats to life on Earth.

The new colors actually mean something on the show: red = drone, blue = strategist, orange = scientist, yellow = Eternal and white = Supreme. No one, including the show's writers, knows yet what function the Eternal Dalek serves.

So far the orange Scientist Dalek is the only one that's been released in the states. Not to worry, I'm sure any day now the rest of them will be available in a pricey box set.

1 comment:

  1. We don't have to except a second rate design and the so called fixed version still looks proportionally incorrect.


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