Thursday 11 September 2014

Toybox REVIEW: Doctor Who 3.75" Classic Dalek (from 'Genesis of the Daleks')

Doctor Who 3.75" Scale Classic Dalek (Genesis of the Daleks)

With Doctor Who finally back on television screens, its time for the merchandising train to continue on full steam once again. The Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff Bay will reopen from its "regeneration" in a few weeks time, and both the 3.75" action figures and Character Building mini figures are back for brand new waves. The subject of this review is particularly special, as it marks the new scale's first foray into the classic series. This Classic Dalek figure hails from the 1975 story Genesis of the Dalek, released as part of wave 3 of the new figure line. In the US, it is also a Walgreen's exclusive figure.

New look packaging

Blue and yellow overloadCollect them all!

As previously seen with the Dalek Patrol Ship, wave 3 of the new Doctor Who range is showing off some brand new packaging thats ditched the blue vortex in favour of a light blue background, some jagged yellow shapes and a TARDIS in the top corner. For collector who doesn't open the figures it isn't the best of packaging, but for the majority who open their toys it serves its purpose. The figure itself is simply labelled "Classic Dalek", with the story it appeared in and date below. 

A brand new wave means a brand new figure assortment too, and bridging the gap between the season seven and eight toys means this wave is a bit heavier on the old stuff to keep things spoiler-free. This Dalek is the only classic figure in the wave, however past seasons are covered with a trench coated Tenth Doctor, Amy Pond and Asylum Dalek. The season eight figure in the wave is the 12th Doctor, who is finally released in his own costume. The TARDIS display bases that come with the non-Dalek figures have also been slightly shook up again, now red as opposed to the blue and silver of the previous waves.

The Mark III Travel Machine

Dalek of the 70sGrey/black is back in style

Perfect sculpting at such a small scaleShame about that eye piece :(

As a 70s Dalek this particular model sports a gunmetal grey with black colour scheme, "iris ring" eyestalk with blue disks and meshed vertical slat shoulder section. Despite having a much smoother and simpler shape than its modern counterparts, these Daleks still have their own little intricacies and its great to see them well handled here. The white paint for the mesh sections look great, as does the copper colour used for the gun. Articulation is pretty minimal being a Dalek, with the head able to turn a full 360 degrees, hinged eyestalk that can move up/down and adjustable appendages. As has been a staple with Dalek toys for decades, the base features three wheels that allow the figure to be pushed along on a flat surface.

"We obey no one!"

EXTERMINATE!Not quite TV21, but close

Future and past collideDaleks through the ages

The figure is so good its a massive shame that Character Options had to go and mess it up with a really obvious inaccuracy. I'm of course referring the eyestalk, which lacks the large disk-like section where it protrudes from the dome. Instead it uses a smaller connector like the ones featured on the modern Daleks, but more obvious thanks to the lack of raised sections on the dome. What makes this an especially baffling mistake is that the back of the wave 3 packaging actually features a Genesis Dalek with the CORRECT eyestalk. So why the change? Usually I wouldn't be so harsh on one inaccuracy (especially when everything else is so good) but I just can't understand why it was there only to be subsequently taken away before release.

But even with this flaw, this miniature piece of classic Who stands up surprisingly well against its 5" counterpart. Not only does the 3.75" version have the correct layered base section, but the matte finish looks and feels a lot better than the shinier version used on the bigger Dalek. 

(Note: This is a comparison with the 5" Genesis Dalek included with Collectors Set #1. If there were any alterations to the mould made for the Genesis of the Daleks figure set, I didn't know about them!)

Father and sonLittle and large

Respecting your eldersWho said Daleks couldn't be cute?

The classic Genesis Dalek figure is a beautiful little figure, but that one niggling inaccuracy holds me back from falling completely in love with it. This is only because as the first classic Dalek released in the new scale, any future ones produced are inevitably going to be produced with the same inaccuracy. And if they aren't, this one is going to look even weirder. Character Options know how a Dalek eyestalk is supposed to look, they've had practice doing it a larger scale and have more than enough reference pictures at their disposal. When everything is so right, it makes the one wrong thing stand out all the more.

Or you could just not be as picky about it as me, in which case this is a pretty great figure all around. The humanoid figures still might not be much to look at, but there's certainly a future in these Daleks for sure!

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