Updated: Dec 8, 2018
Review : 8th Doctor (Night 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
With this exception of one figure, the current Dr Who 5 inch range at Toys R Us has been made up of re-releases and tweaked repaints across both the boxed and blister packed collections.
The exception is this figure, that of the 8th Doctor as seen in the 2013 50th Anniversary prequel, Night of the Doctor.
This release represents the 4th version (kind of) of the 8th Doctor. We had the original green coat from the 11 Doctor box set, and then a tweak of that to a blue coat in the Dalek 2-pack. The 3rd version was only really a head, and included with the War Doctor figure. It is surprising, as you will see from the gallery and the review to follow, that even with a head from the 50th anniversary - they still went ahead and sculpted a new version for this figure.
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 fair 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 4 paragraph bio of the 8th Doctor and talks about his first adventure in San Francisco through to his regeneration in the Time War. 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 this is a good looking figure by any standards and shows how strong the Dr Who range could still be in this scale if Character returned to the larger scale en-masse. The Doctor stands 5.5" high, taller than some of the older figures, and representative of this move to calling this a 5.5" range. This makes him a good half inch taller than his younger self from the earlier 5" figures. This doesn't make a massive difference unless you are putting clearly odd sized figures next to each other.
The sculpt is one of the strongest I have seen on this scale of figure for a long time. As I said, this is another new sculpt rather than using the existing Paul McGann heads, and it captures his look from Night of the Doctor really well - much better than the lone head that came with the War Doctor. Unlike previous releases, the hair on this also captures his on-screen look really well.
The outfit on screen was an evolution of his clothes from the original TV movie, and all of it is represented on the figure. The Doctor is wearing a detailed waistcoat into which is sculpted very crisp button details, and a watch chain snaking away under his coat. Under this is an off white shirt, which has its collars folded outward and under this is a blue scarf. Like most CO coated figures, the coat itself is an additional piece that slots around the sculpted torso. The coat is new also, and is much crisper again on detail than any older coats CO may have done. You can see clear button holes on the collar and then buttons down the front and across the back. The white shirt protrudes from the cuffs of the coat and the hands are sculpted in a gripping position to hold the accessories, we will talk about these a bit later.
There is a slung "gun slingers" type belt round The Doctors waist, and then we go down into the trousers which are then tucked into a pair of knee high boots. The trousers aren't massively detailed, but there is a much improved folding of the cloth and matching how natural fabric would behave, even bunching it up where it tucks into the boots. The boots are laced from top to bottom, with each lace sculpted.
So big tick for the sculpt.
Painting is also excellent. Working back up, the boots are painted a patent leather colour and then dirtied up with a dark wash which picks out the lace detail even more so. The trousers, which on older Who figures would have been plain brown, are really nice with a dark brown base coat and then carefully painted details into the fabric folds - more so than a dry brush even, as though each stroke was done by hand to match the fold of the fabric. The belt is black but with a very neat, and incredibly thin, silver painted buckle. The waistcoat achieves an almost metallic copper look and again is washed to bring out detail and "dirty it up". The shirt, scarf and coat are quite a flat colour but don't really need much else.
The head is a flat skin tone with a subdued lip colour and those bright eyes McGann has picked out really neatly. The hair is a dark brown and then like the trousers dry-brushed/painted to bring out the high points and give the hair depth. One niggle here is that around the ears the hair paint doesn't extend far enough and leaves a touch of sculpted hair a skin colour - but it is barely noticeable.
By this point articulation is more of a side issue as this figure has ticked all the boxes so far. But it doesn't let you down here either. Granted it's not Marvel Legend or Star Wars Black level of articulation - but it does represent a step on from earlier Who figures.
The head remains pegged, and simply rotates. It is a tad tight and I would worry down the road about rubbing paint on the neck, so be careful. The shoulders have been upgraded to ball joint now (hurray) pivot joint so as well as moving his hands round he can also move the arms outwards and then rotate the whole arm rather than relying on that bicep joint to rotate the arm. The bicep twist is still there, not that it is needed, and does still pose a week spot on the figure and the arm can pop out if mishandled (it pops back in easily enough). The elbows remain a pinned joint and the wrists a peg so they rotate.
There is a waist joint, and you can move the whole torso separate to the legs to a small degree either side of facing front. The hips move front to back and side to side, although side in particularly is restricted by the coat. There is a thigh swivel - which is a touch too wide for me on one leg. The knee joints, although still pinned, are much better looking, with some thought going behind how the joint looks closed up. The boots rotate just under the knee - and for me I would have taken this ahead of the thigh joint to the stance if needed. Unlike a couple of other Who figures we have reviewed recently, Doctor 8 stands perfectly well.
Accessories packed in with the Doctor include the Sonic Screwdriver, the Karn Goblet and the bandoleer he took from the ill fated Cass in the mini-episode. The bandoleer comes already on the figure, but can be easily removed by pointing the right arm up and then bending the elbow. It is sculpted to hang naturally one way up, so make sure you get it right if you are replacing it back on the body. The bandoleer is painted black with silver detail. The Karn Chalice is a pewter coloured cup, with a decent amount of detail sculpted into the base considering it's size. It fits best in the left hand. The sonic is a brand new sculpt also from what I can tell. This is another surprise as I would have assumed this may just have been a tweak from an earlier classic figure. The screwdriver is cast in silver with an insanely small, yet neat, gold ring round the handle and a red emitter at the top.
So you can probably tell by now that I am really impressed with this figure. Even at a smaller scale it certainly holds its own against the bigger 6" scales. It has no major flaws, and in fact only scored two minors in the whole review - that of the gap on the thigh joint and the hair paint.
The one issue this figure will have, is staying on shelves. It isn't clear if he is packed as a wave, or packed individually, but he will certainly outsell all the other figures by a substantial degree.
I score Night of the Doctor 8th Doctor figure a top notch 5 out of 5. Well done Character