Monday, 23 December 2013

Toybox REVIEW: Doctor Who Enemies of the First Doctor Collectors' Set

Doctor Who Enemies of the First Doctor Collectors' Set

With the 5" classic Doctor Who line now limited to one or two releases a year, now is the perfect time to start raiding the back catalogue of previous releases. I recently received the Enemies of the First Doctor set as Christmas gift from the wonderful admin guys at Tokunation, which was perfect as it was a set I've been longing to get since it was released back in 2011. Unfortunately the "Enemies of..." sets never really took off, with only a Third Doctor version being released not long later.Still, this set features some of the iconic villains from the First Doctor's run - a Cyberman, a Roboman and of course, a Dalek.

The front of the packaging

The back of the packagingInside the box


The Roboman Figure

Moving along these First Doctor enemies in chronological order, our first stop is the set's only brand new figure - a roboman from the 1964 serial The Dalek Invasion of Earth. I use the term "new figure" lightly, as in reality this is in fact a re-purposed Primeval figure with new colouring and some fashionable Dalek zombification headgear. It's a bit of a lazy move on Character Option's part, but at the same time it's not something that is at all noticeable unless you happen to compare the two figures (I myself only know because it was plastered all over the internet upon release.

The Roboman strikes a pose

Roboman from the front......and from the back!

While a roboman was never going to be the most detailed of figures, it's a fantastic representation of the very first set of Dalek slaves. Not only that, but the articulation is among the best the 5" Who line has to offer. Altogether there's a turning head, bicep/upper leg swivels, hinged arms/knees,t-joint hips and even rotating hands. The vacant headsculpt may just be due to Character Option's varied sculpting, but if there was any figure that kind of expression was going to be appreciated on it was this one.

The Daleks' Invasion of Earth

DALEK with flame arm

Master Plan Dalek with flamethrower arm

Our next stop takes us to 1965-66 and the fourth appearance of the Doctor's oldest enemies - The Daleks' Masterplan. At an impressive 12 parts it is currently the longest Dalek story ever produced, but unfortunately only three episodes (two, five and ten) are held in the BBC archive with the remaining nine still missing.Still, the audio for the story still remains in its entirety, as does a popular clip from the second episode which inspired this particular Dalek variant.

"Activate pyro flame!"

Dalek from the frontDalek from the back

The Master Plan Dalek uses the same base mould as the Chase version also released back in 2011 (so silver with light blue hemispheres, vertical slats, and orange dome lights), but with a brand new appendage in place of the standard sucker arm - the flamethrower arm or "pyro flame" as it was referred to in the story. Despite only still existing in the 10 second clip, this alternate appendage has gone down as somewhat of a fan favourite and previously saw release in Dapol's classic Dalek figure set. Not only does the Character Options version have the edge in terms of accuracy, but the flame piece is also fully removable from the arm itself. Articulation-wise there isn't a whole lot to has everything you'd expect a Dalek to have.



Tenth Planet Cyberman figure

Finally we reach October 1966 and the First Doctor's final story, The Tenth Planet. Of course this story was also famous for being the first appearance of the Doctor's second most famous enemy - the Cybermen. And while the Cybermen have changed rather drastically over Doctor Who's 50 year history, the original Tenth Planet are still by far the creepiest in terms of passing the race of as humans that have had their bodies slowly replaced by prosthetics.

The Cybermen have arrived

Bulky frontSmooth behind

The Tenth Planet Cyberman had previously seen release as part of the Collect & Build Cyberman wave, however this version features slightly revised paint apps with darker hands and face mark (see comparison image above/below). Other than that it's the same old Cyberman figure, which is still a nicely articulated figure despite the bulky chestplate with protruding tubes. Despite being the original silver giant the Cyberman has a little bit of colour variation,so the overall silver finish is complimented with clear plastic and black detailing. Articulation is the same as the Roboman, save for the lack of an upper leg swivel. My one complaint is that I'd have liked to have maybe see this version of the Cyberman come with a black cloak, just to differentiate it even more from the original release. Omega got one, so why not this?

The Cybermen invade!

So is this set worth it? Well, there are a number of factors to take into consideration. Its about two years old now and still in reasonable supply, so in many cases sports a lower price tag than it did on initial release (which was £35...perhaps a bit TOO much). At the same time, this set is made up of a re-purposed "new" figure, a variant re-release and a Dalek a new appendage...not the most appetising selection for existing collectors. It is however a very nice set and a great way to pick up a long-discontinued Cyberman, a popular Dalek variant and perhaps the only Dalek henchman we'll ever get in the 5" range (can't say I'm holding my breath for Ogrons anymore). The variety is certainly divisive, but at the very least you can be certain each figure included is of great quality.

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