Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Whoniversary: Timey Wimey Toy Review – Doctor Who 3 ¾” Scale Doctor from Underground Toys

Time travel is damage. It's like a tear in the fabric of reality. That is the scar tissue of my journey through the universe. My path through time and space. From Gallifrey to Trenzalore.
One of the deciding factors in my purchase of these new, smaller Doctor Who figures was the Doctor’s purple coat. I love a purple coat. I very badly want the Abbyshot Clothiers replica of the Doctor’s purple coat, but it costs $430 and I can’t spend that on a purple coat. Especially not after just spending a bunch of money on a new couch and love seat set. Imagine that conversation:
Mrs. Troublemaker: We need new couches in the living room. The sofa falls apart a little bit more every day and is possibly actively trying to murder us. The futon is… well, it’s a fucking futon.
Me: Yeah, but I want this new Doctor Who coat.
Mrs. Troublemaker: I am going to stab you in the face.
Me: Hey, we should go look at sofas!
So I had no choice but to content myself with a tiny little Doctor wearing said coat.
Unfortunately the Doctor is tinier than I would have liked, as it’s 3 ¾” scale rather than 5”. But there are plenty of fantastic figures being produced in this smaller scale (mostly by Hasbro). Perhaps Character Options/Underground Toys could produce something special and awesome.
First Glance: Nope.
Articulation: I do have to give Underground credit for mostly retaining the level of articulation from the larger figures. While the Doctor isn’t nearly as poseable as a modern GI Joe or Star Wars figure, at least he does better than the old school five points of articulation.
Head – swivel
Shoulders – swivel/pivot
Elbows –pivot
Wrists – swivel
Waist - swivel
Hips – swivel
Knees – pivot
Ankles - swivel
All of the joints function as well as they need to. The hips might’ve had the swivel/pivot function of the larger series, but the Doctor’s coat would have limited the usefulness of the pivot.
Sculpt: This Doctor is an entirely new sculpt. And it is very simple. Not inaccurate, necessarily, but lacking in detail.
The head sculpt is a very general representation of Matt Smith. The hair and face are the correct shape. Everything else is left up to the paint job. Unfortunately.
The shirt, bowtie, vest, and coat are all part of the torso. None of these have any texture whatsoever and the figure looks quite cheap as a result. The actual shapes of all of these items is quite good, though. The vest has buttons and button holes with the bottom one undone. The bowtie is fine and the coat has sculpted lapels and button holes. It is the right length and shape and the arm holes are snug enough that no torso shows through.
The arms look pretty good and function well. I will give Underground credit for sculpting shirt sleeves sticking out of the coat sleeves. The hands look very much like Matt Smith’s, with lanky wrists and slightly knobby-looking digits.
The trousers are the right shape. They have details at the top – pockets and such – and wrinkles and folds. The boots look more like little old lady boots than what Matt Smith wears.
Coloring: Blargh. This is where the figure really disappoints.
There was an attempt to make the head look good. There’s shading on the skin and hair. The lips are pretty well done. But the eyes and eyebrows and hair just look so blobby and flat.
Everything else on the figure is one color with no detail. It is all precisely painted and there are no errors or blotching or anything, but man – it just looks so cheap and plain.
Accessories: The Doctor comes with his trusty Sonic Screwdriver and the absolute bottom of the barrel of action figure accessories – a stand.
The Sonic Screwdriver looks decent. It has the right shape and the details are pretty good for this scale. It has four colors, but no green for the crystal. The figure can hold it just fine.
The stand is a stand. I don’t like stands because what they say to me is that this figure is not going to stand up on its own.
Packaging: A simple blister card. The packaging is exactly the same across this line except for the insert in the bubble. It’s eye-catching and easy to open.
Value: I think these worked out to about twelve bucks apiece, which is absurd. This is a seven dollar toy at best.
Overall: I am massively disappointed in this figure. It’s mostly the lack of painted detail. There’s no doubting it’s the Doctor and I suppose kids will be okay with this one, but it’s not anything I want to own.
2 out of 5
I really don’t know if these will show up at brick and mortar retail or not. You can buy them from pretty much all of the online toy stores, though.
-Phantom
The next two weeks here on Needless Things will be dedicated to Doctor Who. I have Guest Posts, Toy Reviews, and more on the way. The site will be jam-packed – relatively – with content. Please share these links wherever you can and spread the word. And if you’re so inclined, throw a few dollars at the Needless Things family. I have to send you to the podcast homepage because Blogger doesn't want this sort of thing. Just check out the widget on the bottom right here.This is all out of pocket for me, so anything I receive during this time will got to site costs, hosting, and possibly new merchandise if I get really ambitious.

Also, you can buy the Limited Edition NeedlessThingsSite.com Luchador vs. Owlbear t-shirts here. I can’t say they’re selling fast, but once this style is gone, they’re gone forever. And I do intend on being famous one day, so wouldn’t it be cool to have the first shirt I ever designed?

Remember to check in every weekday between now and the 23rd for new, original content.
Finally, be sure and come out to the HUGE 50th Anniversary Party that TimeGate, Earth Station Who, the folks behind The Forgotten Doctor, and (others) are throwing at the Holiday Inn Select; the same location where TimeGate is held each and every year. There will be panels, games, Whovian carousing, and a LIVE recording of Earth Station Who immediately after “The Day of the Doctor” airs. You will literally never have another opportunity to attend a party like this!

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