Tuesday 4 February 2014

Toybox REVIEW: Doctor Who "The Chase" Sound FX Guard Dalek

"I'm in The Chase, I swear"

After what feels like an eternity of waiting (I'm fairly sure they were first revealed back at Toyfair 2013, which was this time last year), the second wave of Character Options' sound FX talking Daleks have finally hit retail (albeit seemingly very limited at the moment). Possibly due to the decline of Doctor Who figures in the 5" scale, the wave has sadly been made much smaller than initially expected, dropping a number of Supreme Daleks to make up a wave consisting of:
  • Standard Dalek from The Dead Planet/The Daleks
  • Standard Dalek from Genesis of the Daleks
  • Guard Dalek from The Chase
  • Special Weapons Dalek from Remembrance of the Daleks
Once again the majority of these are variations that have been previously released without sound FX as part of various sets (not that I'm complaining - Dead Planet Daleks are ideal custom fodder), so this review will be looking at the one brand new variation - the Guard Dalek.

Wave 2 finally arrives!

Sadly only 4 Daleks in this waveJust get me out of the box already!

As you can see the packaging hasn't really changed much at all since the first wave, with only a few cosmetic changes worth noting. The Dalek dome/neck backing card now has a proud "WAVE 2!" symbol in place of the previous "TALKING DALEK", while the Doctor Who logo on the font placard has also changed slightly (the DW is no longer centered and the font is now silver). The back features images of the figures in wave and is also (well, mine is anyway) plastered in Underground Toys stickers. Character may be the ones in charge overall, but UT are making sure they know who rules the roost when it comes to the classic figures.

"If you squint I can be a movie Dalek"

A front lookAnd a rear view

So I'm sure many of you are asking just where the hell this "Guard Dalek" appears in The Chase? Well, let me assure you it isn't a very prominent role, so nobody should judge you for not knowing about it. The Guard Daleks are in fact refurbished movie Daleks from the 1965 Dr. Who and the Daleks film, and appear in the background during scenes in the Dalek time machine. To make them fit in better with their television counterparts, these Daleks had their considerably larger bases and dome lights removed - making them look rather bizarre indeed. Click here to see a screenshot of them in-show.

My advice? Think less of them as Daleks that appeared in The Chase and more as movie-style ones, because given the Product Enterprise no longer have the license (and judging by what Character have made so far, I presume they can't touch the movie designs) this is best we're ever going to get in this toy line. And even if it is, it couldn't be a better (and more versatile) colourscheme. The darker blue dome/hemispheres and gold bands make for a much more exciting and striking design than any 60s TV Dalek drone, and represents the colour many people considered the Daleks for a long time. Not only was it the colour of them in the first film (although I think the blue is a bit darker here), it was also how some of the older toys and comic Daleks looked. I've never really been one for buying multiples of the same colour, but this is the first time I've been tempted - one for the "television Dalek" display, and another to join my growing ranks of TV21 comic Daleks.

Daleks conquer and destroy!"EXTERMINATE!"

For anyone who bought any of the 60s Daleks included in the previous wave (so the Dalek Invasion of Earth and Power of the Daleks versions...the two I happened to buy) the sound effects may be a little on the disappointing side as they haven't changed since those releases. Below is a short video on the various voice clips that can be activated by pressing one of the hemispheres on the side, along with the gun FX which is triggered by pressing the button twice.

While yet another obscure Dalek may not be the most exciting release to some people, this one is rather special. As I said earlier it represents a pretty iconic colour scheme for the Daleks in the 60s, even if it was barely in the show itself. Its also practically a movie Dalek - all it needs is a quick base and light swap, something that even the most basic of customisers could do if they put their mind to it. I don't feel I'm exaggerating when I say this is one of the best looking Daleks CO/UT have released, which when paired with Dalek Alpha suggests that they may have really saved the best until last.

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