Welcome to our review of Amazon's exclusive Bill Potts action figure from Character Toys 5.5 inch Doctor Who range. The figure was announced Christmas 2017 by Pearl Mackie and has been picked by Amazon UK as an exclusive and started shipping on 19th September 2018.
Being an Amazon exclusive, the figure arrives in its own outer brown box complete with barcode sticker and the description "Dr Who Bill Potts Action Figure". Once this is open we find the same window box packaging that has been used for the last three years for the Forbidden Planet International and Toys R Us releases.
I do like the box art with its vortex / cosmic cloud design and the blue clockwork cardback which is also consistent with the multi-packs at B&M stores. The pack wording sits in dark blue insert boxes and here it confirms (like usual) the scale as 5.5 inch and that Bill Potts is a "Collector Figure"
Round the back of the box is a darker colour scheme with a full image of the figure to the side of this sits an extremely lengthy bio piece and on the other side a quote from Bill "I know you know lots of stuff about, well basically everything, but do you know any sci-fi"
The larger Bio pretty much sets the scene for Bill and the Doctor's first adventure but includes some odd terminology "In searching of the answer"
"Bill Potts wants her life to be about more than serving chips. The cleverest person in the university canteen, but never a student, Bll lives with her foster-mum Moira, and things exciting things happen to other people.
But when Bill makes a connection with student Heather, she soon finds herself dragged into a creepy and dangerous world that revolves around a mysterious and inexplicable puddle. There's something wrong with her reflection... but what? In searching of the answer, she discovers that the lecturer who's taken her under his wing is actually a time travelling alien who's about to take her on the trip of a lifetime to get to the truth!
This impossible man, calling himself only 'The Doctor', promises to be Bill's personal tutor. And anywhere in space and tie is the backdrop to the most unique education that the universe can offer."
Sculpt and Paint 2/5
The likeness to Pearl Mackie as she appeared in Season 10 is pretty good on the figure, in keeping with the other 5.5 inch releases going back to 2006. The paint apps on the face are basic with very heavy eye brows and lip colouring and cartoonish eyes with a thick black line on the eyelid. The hair piece is really good, but left a plain black colour. The bow is a plain gloss orange and there is some messy edges so it looks like she has spilled paint in her hair.
The outfit is a vest shirt with trousers. The shirt is painted with numerous coloured stripes while the trousers are plain black. Sadly the paint is not particularly well applied and there are numerous faults on our version including where the flesh colour has not been covered properly on the front to some pretty horrible black markings on the back and a very flaky skin texture paint that also impacts the joints. The lower half of the body is much better and I do like the details on the trainer boots.
The figure is the exact same sculpt as the Bill Potts included in the B&M 12th Doctor pack recently. While the Amazon version is more colourful with its rainbow vest - I do think the much cheaper B&M release has a better paint job. This is both in terms of actual application being crisper, but also the skin tone being more realistic and some added features on the trousers like the denim effect wash. You would think it should be the other way round considering the Amazon release has an RRP of £15.99 and the B&M 3-pack only costs £1 more.
Bill sports just 13 points of articulation - lower than the usual 16 points on a Doctor Who figure. Even though this is a brand new figure, there has been no upgrade in joints too. We start with a rotating head which turns left and right. I expected the waist to do the same, but this is sadly fixed in place. The arms don't get the extra shoulder piece to allow them to raise outwards and in stead can only rotate around the shoulder. We have a bicep swivel under this and then some particularly intrusive elbow joints with visible pegs - these also suffer from paint issues being stuck to start with and then having flaking paint as these are bent. There is no wrist joint at all.
The legs have a T-joint hip and the same pegged joints in the knees as they had in the elbows - these are less intrusive on a darker plastic. The thigh swivel has gone, but instead we get a twisting joint where the boots meet the legs. Bill stands pretty well in a number of poses - although most poses past the neutral stance look particularly stiff and unnatural.
Bill does not come with any accessories.
Considering the RRP, this Bill Potts release is pretty disappointing. Especially when you see the same figure in a B&M 3-pack for about the same price you pay for the Amazon release. Bill has a lot of paint issues, some so bad I am considering returning my figure to Amazon to try for a better one - the issue of course is these are blind boxed essentially so you have no idea what you will get until it arrives. There are other flaws too like the failure to update the articulation to the recently used two way shoulders (see 12th Doctor figures) and dropping a waist joint altogether.
With all things considered I score Amazon exclusive Bill Potts 3/5, the excellent packaging getting it over the halfway point on our rating system.