In 2015, after a couple of years of exile, Character Options, Underground Toys and Toys R Us have joined forces to bring 5 inch Doctor Who figures back to UK toy shelves. As well as stocking the collectors series of boxed figures (alongside Forbidden Planet), Toys R Us have commissioned some blister packed figures which cover series 1 to 8 of the new series. So far, at time of writing, all of these figures have been released previously in the main range that ran from 2005 to 2012.
In these "advance" reviews I am using the original release figure to review ahead of these being in store at Toys R Us as of November 2009. Should the repack contain any new features, paint work or articulation then I will amend the reviews accordingly.
Our first review takes us back to Series 3 (2007) and the 10th Doctor era. In one of the most frightening adventures of the new series, and one that featured very little of the Doctor, Sally Sparrow found herself up against the terrifying Weeping Angels.
Character Options Who figures have never been massively articulated, enough to do a job and keep costs low enough for both collectors and kids. The Weeping Angel contains even less than normal, with the whole bottom section of the figure a static piece. The sculpt on the Angel is a reasonable job to capture the fact that this character is essentially a statue, however the figure is now 8 years old and does sadly looked dated vs the newer releases. The head doesn't really capture the blank terrifying expression of the Angels - althoug the eyes are nicely done but the nose seems a tad too long and the mouth not quite right. The hair is sculpted well and works round to a bob at the back. The whole head looks like it is on a ball joint, but it is a peg only so only side to side movement can be achieved there is no option to look up and down - and this is a shame as the head could do with being tilted upwards a few more degrees.
The arms are articulated at the shoulders, but again on a peg which means they can only move in one direction. A bicep swivel, jointed elbow and rotating wrists does allow you to move the arms to what I would describe as a lunging pose and putting four of then together round a TARDIS in this pose does replicate one of the key scenes from Blink! really well. There is no getting away from the fact the arms are spoiled by the articulation, and for me the figure could have done without the elbow and bicep movement and would have looked better for it.
Spinning the Angel round and the two wings are clipped into sockets on the rear of the figure. These sockets are themselves articulated and allow the wings to be flat against the rear of the Angel or swept further back. The waist is a joint of some form as the figure is clearly a top and bottom half - but the joint at the waist allows no movement, and once again I am left thinking "less would have been more" and by removing the joint the figure would have looked much better.
Paint application is a flat grey colour all over and over this are some lighter grey dry brushing to bring out the details and fold of the stone statues clothes. The paint could have been neater and a darker wash before the dry brush would have defined the sculpt much more. The figure will always suffer from varying applications of paint and you won't find two Angels identical the same. On some examples (I have four) you will find the arms are a lighter tone of grey, and you will also find plenty of blemishes within the paint where the colours have been sloppily applied.
As a choice of re-release, the Weeping Angel does make sense on paper - it is one of the iconic enemies purely from the new series. However, packing a figure with such limited paint and articulation and with a sculpt 8 years old is perhaps not going to win a lot of plaudits. Considering that Toys R Us are going to be charging £14.99 for this, the same as say the brand new 8th Doctor in Collectors boxed packaging, I can see the Angel warming a few pegs in the near future.
Even though this figure is 8 years old, I am going to score it as I would a brand new figure and against the other Who figures of 2015. The Angel is OK but suffers from a "not quite right" head sculpt, too much useless and unsightly articulation and a lazy paint job. She scrapes a 2 out of 5 with the articulated wings just saving her from a 1 out of 5 score.