We’ve all been waiting for a decent figure of Doctor River Song for quite some time now. They did the space suit one from her first appearance a while ago, but that one just wasn’t good enough for the character as she ended up developing.
I was almost expecting Underground’s SDCC Exclusive for 2011 to be Dr. Song, but I can’t say I called it. I definitely didn’t have any idea what look they would go with. Obviously her female Han Solo look from the finale of Series 5 was a wise choice. It makes for an action-oriented figure and is probably what most would consider her “default” look for when she’s not undercover or going native.
What truly surprised me was the inclusion of the interior of the already-released Pandorica. I bought the series of figures that included the six pieces needed to build the Doctor’s prison. While I realize it was basically a freebie; I was a bit disappointed in the execution. The included CDs of audio adventures that attached to the outer walls of the Pandorica were a really neat idea, but sitting on the shelf with your toys the piece lacks quite a bit in aesthetics. It doesn’t look like a sinister device meant to imprison the most dangerous being in the universe. It looks like the most awkward and inefficient audio media storage system ever.
But now we have the chair to stick in the interior and all is pretty much well. Because even an inefficient storage system can be made to look diabolical with the addition of a imposing restraint chair.
I was lucky enough to be able to get one of these sets for an extremely reasonable price – probably the most reasonable I’ve ever paid for a Doctor Who toy outside of the Eleven Doctors Box Set – from JR’s Toyworld and it came just a few days after I placed the order. I love that place.
First Glance: No surprises here, really. It looks just like it did in the pictures. They did an outstanding job with River’s face.
Sculpt: The chair is far more than I expected. The base is sculpted to interlock with five of your existing Pandorica pieces; or you can leave one or two off to display the chair inside (I’d imagine this is what most folks will do). It’s a little tricky getting the pieces on, but not frustratingly so. The chair itself has opening wrist restraints, a waist restraint and two shoulder restraints. Everything has an amazing amount of detail and the parts fit perfectly around any of the figures of Doctor 11 and can be sort of faked around an Amy Pond.
River Song has a tremendous head sculpt as I mentioned above. It really capture’s Alex Kingston’s likeness well and even features her signature smile. The figure sports the standard Doctor Who articulation – swivel neck, biceps, wrists, waist and boot-tops; pivoting elbows and knees; and those weird hip joints that are sort of like Mattel’s DCUC figures but not as much of an eyesore. Oh, and BALL-JOINTED SHOULDERS!!!!!! Finally... the ball-jointed shoulder... has come... to Doctor Who toys.
The jacket looks great and features tons of sculpted detail, as do the gloves. Seriously – those gloves look awesome, and I’m not one to get overly excited about handwear. The pants and boots look as they should and the figure has a functioning holster, which is always a nice treat.
Design: River Song’s paint is solid all the way through. The face is nicely detailed and the hair looks good. The rest of her is pretty standard, but there’s some good paintwork in detailing her holster and gloves (those gloves again!).
There is very little painted detail on the Pandorica chair, but it really only needs to be grey and menacing. And it is.
Feminist Batgirl – “Batgirl here. You might have seen me a couple of weeks ago at San Diego Comic Con outing the male chauvinist pigs who run DC Comics. They don’t feature enough strong female characters and certainly don’t utilize an acceptable percentage of female creative talent. I rocked the comic book industry with my public indictments and now I’m turning a critical, feminine eye towards another seething cesspool of insidious male domination – the action figure industry.”
Me – “Oh, boy.”
Feminist Batgirl – “And speaking of domination; doesn’t it just figure that one of Doctor Who’s strongest female characters would come packaged with a restraining device. That’s right – Doctor River Song, hero to women and young girls everywhere comes with a bondage chair.”
Me – “Yeah, but it’s actually for the Doctor…”
Feminist Batgirl – “I KNOW. The fact that she’s a doctor must have just torn up those misogynist pigs so much that they had to prove a point with that sinister device of oppression.”
Me – “No, no – I mean The Doctor – the guy; the main character goes in the chair.”
Feminist Batgirl – “Then why didn’t it come with a figure of him? Answer me that.”
Me – “Because there are already like, fifty figures of the Doctor.”
Feminist Batgirl – “And only one strong female River Song, huh? Big surprise.”
Accessories: The set comes with Dr. Song’s laser pistol. It is very well sculpted and has a nice wash on it to give it an aged look. It fits well in the figure’s hand or the holster.
Packaging: I like that Underground never goes overboard with their packaging. This came in a simple window box with the appropriate logos and product photos plastered all over. Nothing ostentatious or wasteful. I’m no tree-hugger, but even I get offended when there’s a ton of empty space in some toy packaging.
Overall: Personally I think this set is a must-have. I don’t see how you could pass up such a critical character, especially when she comes with such a great and critical prop. Nothing in this set could be one bit better and if you can get it for right around the price I paid – thirty bucks – it’s a steal.
5 out of 5
If you don’t already own the Pandorica series of figures you can get that and this set for $99 from Jr’s ToyWorld. You should. If not, you’re going to pay a lot more for the set alone from BigBad or eBay.
Until next time, stay creepy