Saturday 17 January 2015

Toybox REVIEW: Doctor Who Dalek Collector Set #1 (Children of the Revolution)

Dalek Collector Set #1 - Children of the Revolution

Despite a rather mixed reception toward Character Options' no-longer-particularly-new 3.75" scale Doctor Who figures, it's an almost universally agreed fact that the Dalek figures are the best on offer. With the more recent waves having now dived into the realm of classic-era Daleks, its no surprise that a series of two-figure collector's sets were soon put into production and released as Toys R Us exclusives. Some of these proved to be more imaginative than the usual "... of the Daleks" sets released in the older scale, featuring Daleks that haven't even appeared onscreen in the television show! The first of these three sets is based on Children of the Revolution, a Doctor Who Magazine/Panini Books comic strip featuring the Eighth Doctor in world populated by human-factor Daleks that escaped the aftermath of 1967 story The Evil of the Daleks. This is the second time Character have paid homage to the story, the first being the Eighth Doctor/Dalek Alpha set released at the end of 2013.

Packaging Front

Packaging backPackaging Insert

While the result jump into series eight figures has resulted in considerably blander packaging for the main line, in contrast the collector sets feature some of the finest packaging Character Options have ever manufactured. The comic-styling of it all is absolutely perfect for a set of Daleks that exist solely from a comic strip, and the use of the McGann era logo (which is still officially used on all different kinds of merchandise) really tops it off. The back features comic-style art of classic 60s Daleks (which is also featured on the 2014 calendar for anyone interested) along with a generic Dalek bio and a few short sentences on Children of the Revolution itself.

The bubble is sealed by only a few strips of tape at the bottom, so it's incredibly easy to lift off the plastic shell without damaging any of the card. The Daleks themselves are only attached to the (rather rock-like) tray by clear elastic bands, again making them easy to remove without having to damage or destroy the plastic.

Out of the packaging

Dalek Alpha SideDalek Alpha frontDalek Alpha Back

Gold Dalek SideGold Dalek frontGold Dalek back

Included in this set is the renewed Dalek Alpha (reappearing from The Evil of the Daleks, where he was the standard silver/blue colour scheme) and one in yellowish-gold/black livery - a colour scheme which was amongst the various occupants of the human Daleks' new home (others included blue and green Daleks). It's a given that any Children of the Revolution set would include a Dalek Alpha, but to get another unique one from the comics rather than something more generic is a nice surprise. Both figures are repaints of the previously released Genesis Dalek mould, as none of these new collector sets feature any new moulds or tooling. This means that the eyestalk inaccuracy that plagues the mould is still present, yet somehow it doesn't look quite as glaring here as it does on the grey Daleks. It's certainly still inaccurate as the comic art features the disc section at the dome-end of the eyestalk too, but bright colours make it explicably easier to ignore.


Eyestalk posingMore posing

Of course as straight repaints there are also a few other minor inaccuracies worth mentioning, other than the debate on Dalek Alpha's colour scheme I mentioned in the previous review (the comic has panels of it being red/silver, but also red/black in some places). Let's begin with Alpha himself - while the 3.75" figure has the correct circle iris (unlike the 5" version which incorrectly used a ring iris), it's stuck with the standard white colouration rather than orange. As Alpha is the only Dalek to have EVER had a glowing orange iris, I'm not especially surprised that this change wasn't made. Meanwhile the dome correctly features the silver alpha symbol printed on it, the symbol is both too small and sits too high up on the curve. Both the comic and 5" toy have it printed directly to the side of the eye slot, while this one has it just sitting above.

The gold Dalek's inaccuracy is a lot more minor, and one can easily be fixed yourself. Just pull out the weapon! Most of the Daleks that appear in Children of the Revolution do not use guns (having harnessed the power of psychic energy), and so that slot on the chest is completely covered up. Again being a simple repaint for a store exclusive I'm not surprised that this change was omitted, especially since all you need to do to fix it if it really bothers you is take the Dalek apart and remove the piece. 

I realise that in most cases these inaccuracies are extremely minor and/or petty, but they seemed worth mentioning out there just for those who are a stickler for complete accuracy. Character Options certainly could have gone that extra mile to give us perfectly accurate Children of the Revolution Daleks, but I'm still getting over the surprise that they paid any attention to that comic at all.

More Dalek AlphaDaleks togetherMore Gold Dalek

With the 3.75" Genesis Dalek

Let's face it - the 8th Doctor/Paul McGann era of Doctor Who is unlikely to ever get a huge amount of love in figure form. Most of the film's characters are either uninteresting or probably tied up in likeness rights, and after nearly ten years of Character toys there's still not a single release based on something from the Big Finish audios. Fans are going to need to take what they can get, and if all we ever get is a brilliant little repaint set like this then it's still more than I could have hoped for. Daleks are always going to be easy money spinners, so it's fantastic to see a company dive into some of the more obscure Doctor Who media for their special releases. This colourful pair look absolutely fantastic even with their minor inaccuracies, making them a fantastic addition for any kind of Doctor Who collector (even mint in box collectors are getting a treat with that packaging). One can never have too many Daleks, so if you're looking to get a few more and want something special then I highly recommend seeking these out.

No comments: