Updated: May 22
Review : 11th Doctor (Time of the Doctor) Doctor Who 5 inch (Character Options) Wave/Series : Toys R Us / Forbidden Planet International, Autumn 2015 releases Released : November 2015
Price : £14.99
In 2014, Forbidden Planet and Underground Toys (the US distributor of the Character Options Dr Who licence) released an 11th Doctor set based on the Time of the Doctor, the Christmas episode that saw Matt Smith's era come to a close.
The set was widely criticised for its £29.99 price tag, particularly as it only included one figure - albeit with three heads and two chest pieces.
Some 12-months later and this same figure, with the 11th Doctor head, has now been included in the boxed collectors figures that are being sold at Toys R Us, and via Forbidden Planet International.
The Doctor arrives in the boxed packaging, which gives him a more collectors feel vs the blister packed figures we have also seen on Toys R Us pegs. As well as being sold via Toys R Us, these boxed figures are also being sold via Forbidden Planet International as part of their partnership with Underground Toys.
The packaging is standard fare for this new boxed range with its black through to orange vortex design around a window through which you can view the figure. Round the back is a large image of the actual figure, and to the left of this is a potted history of the 11th Doctor which talks you through his time with Amy Pond and then with Clara before his regeneration on Trenzalore. If you have purchased from Forbidden Planet, or indeed overseas, then you will find the Underground Toys logo bottom centre next to the Character Options logo and safety/legal notices. If you have bought at Toys R Us then this Underground Toys logo will have been over-stickered with black as the Toys R Us deal is solely with Character.
Out of the box and the Doctor stands 5 1/2 inches high, somewhat shorter than the 6 inch 12th Doctor figure released in the same wave. In reality Smith and Capaldi are the same height (1.8m), but long time collectors will know that adherence to scale hasn't always been a strong point of this line.
The figure is really nice and shows how far the range has come in the 10 or so years it has been running, and shows off what Character could be doing with the 5" scale now. The head sculpt is really well done, and puts other ranges to shame - Star Wars Black Series I am talking to you right now. Smith's hair looks just right with a sweeping fringe to the side of his forehead. Paint is basic, with a flat flesh tone. But the lips, eyes and eye brows are all done neatly and the hair does have two tones of brown with the lighter tone brushed on top to bring out the depth of the sculpt.
The coat is cast in a separate rubber piece but hangs really well on the figure, and is also textured with stitched panels built into the design. It is coloured a single tone purple, but they have coloured the collar section in brown to match the on-screen appearance. Under the coat is the trademark bow tie, and this is neatly painted with a polka dot design. Beneath this is a waist coat, complete with very intricate gold fob watch chain - sculpted, not painted! The top half is finished in a blue shirt, complete with white buttons.
Trousers are quite plain in black, and are similar to those used on most 11th Doctor figures to date. They are sculpted with folds and ruffles in the cloth and are bunched up and then tucked into the Doctor's boots. The boots, so often a plain colour on older figures, are now two tone with a brown base colour and grey panels painted on top with a dark wash applied over the laces to bring out the detail.
So looks tick plenty of boxes, what about articulation?
Well this has advanced a little since the launch of the range - but not much and the joints are showing their age considering this is badged as a collectors range. The head is on a peg and should technically only rotate. On the review figure we have here this head is loose and although initially frustrating, it does mean we can achieve a little bit of movement to make the Doctor look up and down.
The shoulders have moved on to a ball joint, so these can move outwards from the torso to about 45 degrees, and then rotate round above the head. A bicep swivel is included, but as the arms are quite "flattened" at the upper arm, twisting this just ruins the lines of the figure. Elbows are a basic pin joint, and the pin is clearly visible on the elbow. The hands are pegged and should rotate round, but you will find that they feel "stuck" when you come to turn them and I didn't force the issue as I have had sheared hands on other figures.
There is a waist swivel hidden under the bottom of the waistcoat, and this moves a full 360 degrees if you wish. The hips are what I would describe as a T-joint, and similar to what Diamond uses on their select figures. The joint allows the legs to spread out in a splits motion and also to swing forward towards a seating position. The side movement finds itself blocked by the coat tails after just a few centimetres, whereas the forward movement will go to a full seated position - although again the coat tails will prevent him from actually sitting.
Like the arms, there is a cut swivel and this falls halfway down the thigh and for me adds no value other than being able to quote an extra +2 points of articulation. The knees are a single pegged joint and have a 90 degree bend. The peg head is not as visible purely due to the colouring of the trousers. There is no movement on the feet (I guess that is why the thigh swivel is there).
The Doctor comes with a single accessory, his Sonic Screwdriver. This uses the same sculpt as has been in use since the 2010 11th Doctor figures. That's no problem though as it is a good sculpt, and the paint applications are better now with clear gold, green and silver paint throughout the Screwdriver. As always it is quite a soft plastic, so watch out for it bending - but being pliable it will fit easily in the Doctor's right hand.
I really like this figure. Both this release, and the 8th Doctor we reviewed earlier in the year, show what Character could do with this range if they put it back on the table. Yes, the articulation is showing its age - but the ramping up in looks more than compensates. For £14.99 its pushing value for money, but Who collectors have always paid more to get the figures of their beloved show. I score the Time of the Doctor 11th Doctor a very strong 4 out of 5.