Thursday, 28 November 2013

Toybox REVIEW: Doctor Who 50th Anniversary British Icon Dalek

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary British Icon Dalek

The 50th anniversary of Doctor Who should have been a brilliant opportunity for Character Options to release some great new items to the line. While there have been a few nice bits and pieces, such as the 11 Doctor/Dalek 2-packs and the new Doctor wave of Character Building figurines, but all in all it hasn't be particularly wonderful and the focus is still very much on the new line of 3.75" figures. Still as a Dalek collector there was one prize that took my eye - the 12" 50th Anniversary British Icon Dalek, a delightfully garish figure emblazoned with the British flag. And having been persuaded by a full-sized version at the official BBC stall at London's Doctor Who anniversary celebrations, I just couldn't say no...

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary British Icon Dalek

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary British Icon DalekDoctor Who 50th Anniversary British Icon Dalek

The packaging is a fairly unoriginal window box, with most of the design taken up by the blue vortex Doctor Who packaging has had since around 2010. The box also features the silver TARDIS "50th Anniversary" logo, and numerous collectors/limited edition banners to remind you that you're presumably getting something that won't be on shelves for very long. Getting it out of the box is a little bit of a chore, as the Dalek base is screwed to the cardboard tray and needs to be released with the use of a screwdriver. Make sure you have a narrow screwdriver handy though, because the plastic tube things protruding from the bottom aren't the widest of things.

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary British Icon Dalek

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary British Icon DalekDoctor Who 50th Anniversary British Icon Dalek

So once you've struggled to take it out of the box you have a big, blue patriotic Dalek standing tall. I've always been partial to blue Daleks (which is a shame because outside the Strategists they are reduced to promo units), but there's really something great about the darker flag blue with white slats and hemispheres. Two different colours isn't a common thing on the 2005 Dalek design, so seeing this traditional styling on even a limited edition thing is a nice touch. The flag portion only covers the front section of the Dalek, stretching from the front half of the dome to the bottom of the skirt, and then wrapping around to the width of the appendage box. Under the eyestalk is a rather appropriate "2013" in place of the usual ID tag of the modern Daleks.

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary British Icon Dalek

The electronics can be switched on at the bottom of the base, and then activated via the third hemisphere down on the second skirt panel on the Dalek's left (if you look at it face on). While "on" the eyestalk will be lit blue, and the lights will flash in time with the speech. The Dalek is free-wheeling and so can be pushed along a floor, and the middle section is also capable of turning a full 360 degrees.


Doctor Who 50th Anniversary British Icon Dalek

But as nice as the British Icon Dalek looks, it certainly isn't without its problems. Strip away the wonderful decor and all it is is your standard 12" remote controlled Dalek, with all of the remote control functions naturally gutted. This is most noticeable in with the dome, which cannot fully rotate 360 degrees and instead can only turn side to side (the RC versions have it automated as the Dalek rolls along). There has been zero effort in giving this new Dalek a new voice bank, instead having it churn out the same sound clips every remote controlled one has had since the first was released (which was about the time season two aired if I remember correctly). Would it have been so hard to give it something a little different for the 50th anniversary, such as a "Celebrate!" instead of/to coincide with "Exterminate!"? Or even the infamous "Would you care for some tea?" line from Victory of the Daleks - after all, this particular Dalek is a true Brit through and through. Instead we get a poor rehash of something that's been on the market for about seven years, which takes FOUR AA batteries and lacks the ability to choose which speech clip is being used (the button method is randomised, while the remote on the RC version had specific clip buttons). Very disappointed.


As an avid Dalek collector I don't regret my purchase in the slightest and am a bit disappointed the American flag version has been seemingly cancelled (although I don't know why it needed making in the first place), but this is a difficult thing to recommend to anyone not as Dalek obsessed as I. As a limited anniversary piece it's something special and the paint job is just wonderful, but if this is your first foray into the world of 12" Daleks then you may as well save up a little bit of extra cash and spring for the new remote controlled Asylum version instead.

1 comment:

Action Ranger Timmy said...

That is so nice. I really wanted the horribly inappropriate and garish American one. Now I might have to get this one.