Tuesday 11 March 2014

Toybox REVIEW: Doctor Who 3.75" Scale Assualt & Imperial Guard Daleks

3.75" Scale Assault & Imperial Guard Daleks

We're still quite a long way off season eight of Doctor Who, but in the meantime Character Options have finally released their second wave of figures in the new 3.75" scale. As there haven't been many new episodes since the last wave was released, this wave mainly draws from the Day of the Doctor and Time of the Doctor specials while at the same time choosing a few choice favourites from older (i.e. pre-Matt Smith) episodes as part of a new "Heritage" sub line. And just to spoil fans like myself, this wave contains two exciting new Dalek variants based on versions seen in the season one finale episode The Parting of the Ways. So combined into one special Dalek-filled review, I introduce to you the Assault Dalek and the Imperial Guard Dalek with sensor arm!

Assault Dalek in packagingImperial Guard Dalek in packaging

Wave 2 - collect them all!Plastic bubbles!

The packaging hasn't changed all that much since the last wave of figures, however there are a few alterations here and there that are worth mentioning. Most obviously there's the breakdown of this new wave, which is as follows:

- 11th Doctor (twee jacket)
- 12th Doctor (regeneration version)
- Clara (red dress)
- Zygon
- Weeping Angel (Screaming)
- Assault Dalek
- Imperial Guard Dalek

Other than that, the main change is the overabundance of yellow on the "Wave 2" and "7 figures to collect!" circles on the front of the bubble. As the two figures in the "Heritage Line", the front cards for these Daleks also feature the older 90s Doctor Who logo rather than the modern Moffat-era version.

Daleks conquer and destroy

The Assault Dalek Imperial Guard Dalek with Sensor Arm

The Assault Dalek hasn't changed all that much from the original release, with the only difference being that the plunger arm has been replaced with a three-pronged claw (which in the episode is used to cut through barricaded doors). The Imperial Guard Dalek however features another alteration in addition to its strange looking sensor arm (which is never shown functioning in the show - in fact its appearance is pretty blink-and-you'll-miss-it) - a black dome akin to the classic Emperor Guard Daleks in Evil of the Daleks. The sensor arm itself looks fantastic, putting my previous custom efforts to shame.

Imperial Guard Daleks seem to be a pretty big hit in the Doctor Who line at the moment, with this being the third release in the last few months. The first was a 5" version (with standard plunger arm) packed with the 9th Doctor in the Toys R Us exclusive 2-pack, while the second (also with standard plunger) was released as a variant in the last wave of 3.75" figures (which I also picked up recently). These aren't the first time they've been made into toys - in fact both the plunger and sensor arm versions were released as limited edition 12" remote controlled figures years ago. But suddenly seeing them make their debut in the proper line almost 10 years later is a little surprising.

Cutting through!Daleks on the assault!

Scanning...Protect the Emperor!

Usually discussing the articulation of a Dalek figure seems a bit redundant - not only because I'm repeating the same thing over and over in each review regardless of scale, but also because when it comes to Daleks there's never a whole lot to say anyway. Head rotates 360°, eye moves up/down, appendages wiggle and the base has wheels - that's about it. However here I actually have something new to add, and it's something I've been wishing for/complaining about for quite a while now. These Daleks are able to look down!

This is something I've wanted on my Dalek figures for longer than I can remember - the amount they look down in the show, it seems almost ridiculous to have the eystalks stop at a 180° angle. I'm not sure what's changed here, but THANK YOU Character Options. Please keep it up on future releases.

The Dalek task force is ready

While I'm still adamant that in terms of quality the new scale has done the Doctor Who figures more harm than good, I really don't have a bad word to say about these Daleks. Not only does this new wave improved on the very minor flaws of the original, but its also great to see that Character Options have ditched doing the more pointless variants they did with the 5" versions (genetic print Dalek and damaged Dalek Thay anyone?) and moved straight to some of the more interesting ones. The Assault Dalek is always a firm favourite, and its fantastic to see Imperial Guard Daleks finally hitting the main figure range - and with the sensor arm no less! Hopefully two out of the three means that the final Guard Dalek variant will show up in later waves, and from there it'll be interesting to see what comes next. With one more bronze variant along with classic Genesis and Revelations models seen at this year's Toy Fair, it's a great time to be collecting these little guys!

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