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Eleven Doctors: Toy Review

art by the incomparable Paul Hanley

So, I broke down and ordered the Eleven Doctors action figure set, as I knew I probably would, and I’m here with my consensus.  I don’t collect toys in general, so I don’t have much of a basis other than gut reaction.

I hadn’t decided whether I was going to remove them from the package or not until I got them.  I’m not too pleased with the TARDIS packaging; it’s fine but the toys don’t look good in it.  I think I was hoping for too much, after all it’s not a display case, it’s a box.  So I took them out, which took about a half an hour with all the plastic twisty ties they used.  After inspecting them, I decided to judge each figure on four criteria: Likeness, Detail, Toy Quality, and Overall Coolness.

LIKENESS: The thing you (I) want in figures based on real people is resemblance and these toys by and large do a good job.  Most of them are above average facsimiles of the actors, with the best being Jon Pertwee, William Hartnell, and Christopher Eccleston and the worst being Peter Davison, Paul McGann, and Colin Baker.  C. Baker in particular has almost no definition in the face. I know he’s the pudgier one, but he has a chin.  They did get the hair pretty dead on. RATING: 4/5

DETAIL: The detail of the costumes on these toys is astonishing.  They know mainly super critical nerds such as myself would buy these and if they didn’t get the look of the figures right, they’d have a bespectacled horde on their ass.  The coloring is absolutely wonderful and the costume choices for Pertwee and Tom Baker were great.  They must have rushed a ton of these out in a short time, so I can forgive a little paint running.  I’m not a monster.  Accessories are also excellent.  Six figures have a specially designed sonic screwdriver from their era, the First Doctor has his cane, the Second Doctor has his recorder, the Seventh Doctor has his umbrella, and the Sixth Doctor has, well, nothing.  They can’t make an ego toy, I guess.  One thing I’d say against it is the Sylvester McCoy figure doesn’t have his trademark hat so we can only assume the figure was based on the four minutes of screen time in “Ghost Light” where he’s not wearing it.  That’s a minor nitpick, though.  RATING 5/5

TOY QUALITY: Here’s where I have a point of contention a little bit.  Action figures need to have some weight to them and not feel chintzy. I spent $100 on these, I don’t want them to feel like dollar store fodder.  The earlier Doctors are all well and good, the middle ones are okay, but it seemed that the three new series Doctors are just repackaged versions of the mass-produced original line.  They’re lighter and not as sturdy.  On the upside, each figure has 15 points of articulation so you can put them in any action pose you’d like.  RATING 3.5/5

OVERALL COOLNESS: They’re just so damn handsome as a set.  Right now I have them on my living room’s mantle and it really is awesome.  Comic books aside, this is the only way we’re going to see every incarnation of the Doctor in one place and if you are into memorabilia, there really are none better.  RATING 6/5.  That’s right, 6.

Now, is it worth the price?  I feel like they could have been about $25 less expensive.  For $100+, I expected more perfection than what I got, but since I already bought them, I’m happy.  It might be possible to find them cheaper on ebay or through some dealer, but I’ll bet the price will only go up from here.  If you Whovians out there are into such things, I say go for it.

Then you can do this!

By the way, the top illustration is by Paul Hanley and it friggin rocks.

You’re welcome
-Kanderson

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33 comments

  • On JRS Toyworld website you can buy this set for 84.99. The catch is that the box is not in mint condition but great if you were going to take them out of the box and put them one by one inside your flight control tardis and take pictures( at least that’s what I plan to do)

  • @PSpeed42

    It can be done… sorta. This slightly older pic of my office — http://j.mp/c5c8zO — shows the toys and action effigies (as I like to call them) scattered about, and for the most part, my kids don’t try to play with them (save for my son swiping the sonic screwdriver once in a while).

  • While I hate “me too” style posts, I just have to say, I love everything about this post and thread. It strokes both my inner and outer nerd.

    …now if I only I thought I could keep these away from the kids. :(

  • I think that The Doctor is the greatest asset and enemy of the high council, they could give him another set of regenerations so they can be brought back from the time vortex.

  • @Kyle

    Totally agree on the second part. Heck, if the popularity of the franchise fizzles with Matt Smith (I highly doubt it will) they could end it or him (the Doctor) right now.

    So if that time ever comes up where they get to his “last life,” and the ratings still hold, I’m sure they’ll just continue on and write something timey-wimey to make it all work.

    Now, Kyle, the important question – did you buy my run on the IDW Doctor Who title? ;)

  • author

    @Chris and Blair

    I think the “Official” media calls Tennant’s hand-zapping a “False Regeneration,” which is just a way of saying “It was a good cliffhanger but ultimately a cop out.”

    I’m sure it doesn’t actually matter if Smith is the Eleventh or Twelfth. If the show’s still popular, they’ll find a way to keep it going forever. The number of regenerations was established back in “The Deadly Assassin” to explain why the Master’s body was deteriorating; he used up all his regenerations. But he took over another guy’s body and then did it a second time and then was given a new full set of regenerations by the Time Lords for the Time War. So if the Master can do it, so can the Doctor. He’ll find a way.

  • @Chris

    There was a little debate about that, and even David Tennant said in an interview that it might count as a used regeneration – but I think it’s all kinda moot.

    If they get to that “last” Doctor, and the show is still successful, and the 13th Doctor wants to leave the show, I’m sure they can write a way for the Doctor to continue on.

    Hey, it’s not like the Master followed the rules.

  • As far as regeneration, Matt Smith is TECHNICALLY the 12th Doctor…Tennant was transforming but regenerated off of his jar hand…right? That was a regeneration! He would have been the 11th right there but used his own DNA to regenerate back into himself.

    Gahhhhhhhhhh! It’s too early in the morning.

  • author

    @Blair

    You’re absolutely right. I meant no disrespect, I just found the picture on Google Images and thought it was cool. I have remedied this. Thanks for catching me.

  • @Christine

    The Master stole a couple peoples bodies and implanted his genetic code in an object later to be regenerated from it. The first The Doctor would never do, but the later would be possible.

  • @Travocity

    This is true, but didn’t the Master find a way around this and is still around way past when he should have been? Not saying The Doctor would even want to cheat this rule, but it is possible.

  • @Sara

    The limitation was imposed because there is eventual decay in the molecular structure and possible mutations after regeneration, and the probability increases after each regeneration.

  • Kyle – any credit for Paul Hanley, the artist who actually drew the 11 Doctors picture you’re using above? You seemed to have ripped it straight from his deviantArt account, so maybe a bit of applause for the person who did the work?

    I’m sure it’s just an oversight, but it’s hard enough for illustrators out there without finding that their fan art has been used without any credit given to them.

    I should know; http://www.bleedingcool.com/2010/07/11/blair-goes-to-war-with-argentina/

  • @Travocity

    That is true, but that was something imposed by the Time Lords, not a fact of their DNA. I’m sure that when the time comes, there will be an easy way to get around that detail. After all, the whole concept of regenerating came as a result of Hartnell leaving, so necessity is indeed the mother of invention.

  • Well, there can only be 2 more incarnations since Matt Smith is the eleventh doctor and a Time Lord can only regenerate 13 times and there is already speculation that he is The Other, there may only be one left.