Thursday, February 28, 2013

I'm A Grown Man And I Bought This: Doctor Who Rory Williams Action Figure

Last year you'll no doubt remember me voicing my shock and disbelief that Character Options/Underground Toys-- the makers of fine Doctor Who action figures, which I rabidly collect-- made a freaking Winston Churchill action figure before they made one of major character Rory Williams. Because what kid wouldn't enjoy playing with an action figure of a 400 pound Prime Minister?

Thanks to the power of my powerful and highly influential blog, Character Options/Underground Toys announced late last year that they were finally making a Rory figure. It's about damn time! Let that be a lesson to you other corporations out there. You do not want to be the subject of one of my stinging exposés.

The Good News:  
Our long national nightmare is finally over. The Rory action figure's been released!

You may be wondering why I'm all atwitter this toy. After all it's just a figure of a guy in his street clothes. There's nothing unique or exciting about it. But it's Rory! The Boy Who Waited! The guy who was killed several times on the show, reincarnated as a robotic Roman Centurion and waited 2,000 years to see his true love again! Half of the first married couple to ever travel in the TARDIS!

He's a major character and part of the team. Would a company make figures of the Two Musketeers? The Six Dwarves? Of course not! So I don't get why fans had to practically threaten Character Options/Underground Toys before they grudgingly doled out a Rory.

So now that he's finally here, how does the Rory figure look? Pretty good! That's definitely Arthur Darvill's likeness immortalized there in plastic. He's got the sleepy eyes, the prominent nose (well, he does) and the usual unkempt hair.

Bear in mind here that he's blown up way more than actual size here, so things like the big seam in the side of his neck aren't as apparent in person.

He's wearing his trademark down vest, which has a lot of detail sculpted into it. They used a dry-brush paint job on his jeans that does a pretty good job of simulating denim.

One minor complaint: I don't ever remember Rory wearing a maroon shirt on the show. He wore a brown shirt in quite a few episodes and is wearing it in a lot of promotional materials. It's possible he did wear a maroon one and I just don't remember it, or maybe it's one of those deals where something looks one color on TV and another in reality, like Han Solo's Hoth jacket in The Empire Strikes Back. Other than that I think he came out very well.

Anywho (see what I did there?), I took the liberty of Photoshopping his shirt to its proper brown color, and I think it's a big improvement. Maybe one of these days when I have some spare time (HAW!) I'll paint his shirt for reals.

Rory's got the standard articulation for Doctor Who figures these days, including cut joints at the bicep and hip, which greatly increases his flexibility. His untucked shirt kind of limits the range of motion of his hips though, preventing him from sitting down. One thing that's missing: ball joints at the shoulders. Poor Rory can only raise his arms straight out in front of him; he can't raise them at his sides, so he won't be doing any jumping jacks.

At long last, Team TARDIS is finally complete!

Now for the Bad News
Sadly, Rory is the last figure in the 5" Doctor Who action figure line. Yep, you heard right. According to Character Options/Underground Toys, high production costs have forced them to discontinue the 5" line and introduce a new smaller scale. From this point forward all new Doctor Who toys will be 3 3/4" scale, the same size as Star Wars action figures (which has inexplicably become the dominant scale in the toy aisle these days). That's a shot of Rory with one of his 3.5" scale brethren above (Willrow Hood, the Greatest Star Wars Action Figure Ever Made). As you can see they're going to shrink them almost by half!

I have to admit I'm not happy with this boneheaded move. I've spent literally thousands of dollars on these toys and it's frustrating and disappointing to see the line end so abruptly. I've not yet decided if I'm going to collect the new smaller line. I really don't want to start over from square one and I don't have the space to store or display yet a second line of figures. 

But the main reason I'm on the fence about them is that thanks to my rapidly aging eyeballs, I can barely see action figures of this size anymore! I'll have to break out the magnifying glass if I ever want to look at them.

Ah well. All good things come to a stupid and ill-conceived end. The Doctor Who figures have had a good run. Time to spend my hard earned money on more important things. Like $4 a gallon gas.

Strangely enough, the Doctor Who Classic line of toys (encompassing figures from the First through Eighth Doctor's tenures) will remain at the 5" scale. That means when the day comes that we get a Twelfth Doctor figure, he won't be in scale with the previous eleven. Brilliant move, Character Options/Underground Toys.

"Come on Doctor, let me in! Doctor! Amy! Amy, I'm you're husband, now open the door! Guys, this isn't funny! Let me in, NOW! We're in the year 5,000,000! I don't want to stay here! Let me in!"


  1. Man, I totally feel your pain. I too collected this line and loved the detail of the figures and I am also on the fence about the new, smaller line. Ugh!

    Love your blog!!

  2. 3 3/4" seems to be the new scale of choice. Star Wars, Marvel, G.I. Joe, Power Rangers, Ben 10-- the action figure aisles are lousy with this scale. There are still a few larger scales out there, but they seem to be disappearing in favor of this new size.

    I guess we did get some pretty amazing figures in the 5" line though. The Cybermen, Scarecrows, even the giant Empress of Racnoss!

    By the way I just checked out your blog as well. Nice stuff!

  3. Something I forgot to point out-- although the Doctor Who figures based on the NEW series are changing to the tiny 3 3/4" scale, the CLASSIC figure line (think Tom Baker) is inexplicably staying at 5". I have no idea why.

    So when the day comes that we inevitably get a 12th Doctor figure, if you want to display him with your other 11 Doctors he'll be half the size of them.

  4. Don't show this toy to KW Monster or he will smash it to bits simply for looking too much like Paul Reiser haha !


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