Monday 24 October 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Doctor Who History of the Daleks #10 Set

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Release Date: October 2022
RRP: £24.99

After an extended stop-off at Planet of the Daleks, Character Options continues its journey through the History of the Daleks! We move forward in the Doctor Who timeline to 1974 with History of the Daleks #10 - a set based on Death to the Daleks. This story saw the Daleks arrive on the planet Exxilon, where they initially needed to ally themselves with the Doctor when the energy drain from the Exxilon city rendered their weaponry useless. Following secret development of physical projectile weapons, the Daleks were then able to reassume their exterminating ways before their eventual defeat.

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Together with set #9 Character Options are debuting a more environmentally-friendly version of their packaging here, eliminating some of the superfluous plastic used on it. The boxes remain the same overall shape but the window section has been completely removed, leaving a hollow area at the front. The Daleks themselves are no longer stored on a plastic tray, instead held down by a moulded bubble glued to the inside tray. The general design and art layout of the box remains exactly the same though, using the TARDIS stencil shape and blue/white colour scheme. As usual the back features a rather lengthy synopsis of the story in question, as well as some behind the scenes information on Death to the Daleks. Overall these packaging changes don't make a great deal of difference, other than the tragic loss of the story-themed backing cards. They might not have been to everyone's use or tastes, but they did give the packaging a little more uniqueness and relation to their corresponding story.

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Death to the Daleks debuted a brand-new silver and black colour scheme for the Daleks, which was tragically short-lived as they returned to their more familiar gunmetal grey colouring for their next appearance in Genesis of the Daleks. Truth be told this is one of my favourite colour schemes for Dalek drones, and it’s a crying shame that it was never seen in a main story ever again. Those colours have been wonderfully reproduced here by Character Options, with the set featuring two slightly different Daleks based on the props that were used in the story. One features white dome lamps, a standard Dalek gunstick and lacks the oval in the centre of the chest, whereas the other has orange lamps, chest oval and aforementioned bullet-firing weapon. This alternate gun sports a more interesting shape and moulded detail than its standard counterpart, both of which look great on the figure.

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Character Options originally released the orange lamp/projectile gunstick variant in 2009 in a two-pack with the Third Doctor, and then the white lamp/standard gunstick version as a sound FX Dalek in 2013. There's been a few changes made for these new editions, however not all of them are good. The addition of the screen-accurate ridged dome lamps is a good thing, however Character have once again repeated a glaring error they previously made with the Power of the Daleks set. Whereas the whole chest section should be black underneath the mesh, only the front half is correct – the back being left an unpainted silver. Granted it's an easy fix for customisers, but it's not an error Character Options should really be making twice in the space a year. Is the budget for these figures so bad that they can't afford to paint that section of mould? Character also missed an opportunity to give these Daleks some differing paint applications based on how they appeared in the show too. While an attempt has admittedly been made to give the Daleks darker ball joints than their predecessors, they still don't quite match up to the near-black ones some of them have in the episode itself. Some of the Daleks also have all-black bases, as opposed to the half silver/black look that was used on both figures here. Finally, the standard gunstick should be also be black as opposed to silver (so admittedly this was the case on the original release too). Considering many of these releases have fixed accuracy issues, it's always disappointing when one comes along and does the exact opposite.

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If you've handled one Character Options classic Dalek you've handled them all, so there isn't a whole lot to say when it comes to articulation. Both figures sport a 360-degree rotating domes, moveable eyestalks and ball jointed appendages. The bases also feature three free-rolling wheels (a pivoted wheel at the front and two fixed ones at the back) which allow them to move across surfaces in a realistic Dalek manner. Pretty much everything you can't ask for from a Dalek really, considering they aren't the most articulate of monsters in the first place.

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History of the Daleks #10 is a serviceable set that succeeds in its primary goal of making the Death to the Daleks variants more widely accessible, but compared to other the other History of the Daleks sets it feels pretty unexciting. There's been no real attempt to make these figures more screen accurate than or even different to their original counterparts, even though the ability to was right at Character's fingertips. As it stands this is a solid set for anyone looking to buy more Death Daleks, but definitely falls as one of the less remarkable ones put out in the last few years.

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