Monday 26 December 2011

Toybox REVIEW: Doctor Who Classics 'The Chase' collectors set

Truth be told, my interest in Character Option's Doctor Who figure range has been waning of late. Besides their high price point (which seems to only be getting higher), there's been an increasing focus on one off monsters paired with releases or remoulds of existing figures. But among the god-knows-how-many sets they announced over the Christmas period (seriously, there were LOADS) was a set themed on the 1965 first Doctor/Dalek story 'The Chase', including a figure I've wanted to be made since I was five. Alongside two Daleks, the set also included a Mechanoid - the spherical robots that not only battled the Daleks in the final episode of the story, but was also one of their main adversaries in the TV21 Dalek comic strips.

Given its size, I was expecting the Mechanoid to be hollow. But nope, its a solid figure and therefore as you can imagine quite heavy. The sculpt is perfect (although the arm did suffer some bending in the packaging) and the colours, while simple, are striking and reflective of a 1960s Doctor Who robot (as it would look exactly the same in black and white) The anntenae decoration on the top of the figure can be extended up, and the Mechanoid's claws can be pulled out via little tabs on the side of them that make them easily accessible, but don't ruin the aesthetic or accuracy of the figure. The dish piece at the front is on a ball joint so has a little bit of articulation, but can also be swapped out for a piece with a translucent flame piece, for that weapon firing effect. The Mechanoid has 5 free moving wheels on its base, making it possible to roll the figure round in all directions.

The two Daleks are of usual fare, but notably the first release of the standard Dalek model used from 'The Chase' up until 'The Evil of the Daleks' (although the eyestalk lense would change during the second Doctor stories). The silver/blue finish still remains my favourite Dalek drones, and the translucent orange head lamps are the icing on the cake. As usual the dome rotates 360 degrees, the eye stalk moves up and down and the plunger and gun are on ball joints - all the articulation a Dalek ever needs.

I'm going to be honest, this set is for collectors only. Its fairly expensive (£40 for 3 figures) and in reality only contains one brand new figure, which is a pretty obscure one at that. But for Classic Who/Dalek fans, this set is worth every penny. The Mechanoid is a fantastic figure, and has become hands down the best Doctor Who figure I own (and I own A LOT of Doctor Who figures). The only real downside is that the Mechanoids won't get a single release, because I'd really love a few more of these. The 5 year old in me is grinning with glee, and so is the 22 year old in me. The wait has been worth it.

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