Updated: May 22
Review : 12th Doctor*
Doctor Who 5.5" Collectors Series
Wave/Series : 2015 Toys R Us Wave
Released : October 2015
Price : £14.99
* The 12th Doctor is available with 4 shirt colour variations. Black, White, Purple, Spotted
We start with the 12th Doctor in 5" scale, or rather 5.5" scale as it is now advertised. This 12th Doctor's head sculpt first cropped up in the Time of the Doctor set earlier this year, and has now been put on it's own figure, and over the next few months will be released in at least 3 different varieties. I write this review with the white shirted version in hand, and I plan to update the images to include the planned black and polka dot shirted versions once I have them.
The new 2015 figures have launched with a brand new packaging strategy, that of putting single figures in boxed packaging similar to that of Hasbro's Star Wars Black Series or NECA's newer Terminator and Planet of the Apes figures. These boxes allow collectors to open the figures and then return them to the boxes for display if they wish, something you could not do with the single figure blister packs we have had since 2006.
The box design is much brighter than the packaging we have been used to, and reminds me of the packaging Dapol were using around the 25th Anniversary in 1988. The front see's the characters name in the bottom right in a purple flash, and on the left side the Underground Toys Logo who have commissioned these for production and are the distributors in the United States. Here in the UK the figure is available as a joint exclusive between Forbidden Planet International and Toys R Us.
Spin the box round and the reverse is considerably darker in colouring vs the bright visuals of the front, with a space nebula background. You will find a large picture of the Doctor figure itself, with an extensive bio down the right hand side, and a quote from the show to the right of the figure. Turn the box back round and the right side panel is completely clear while the left panel holds the Dr Who Logo, the 5.5" collectors scale diamond statement and the character name.
Once unpacked the Doctor comes fixed into the clear plastic insert, along with his Sonic Screwdriver accessory. Behind him is a 2 sided cardboard blue backdrop which is another element that matches what Hasbro and others are doing, but also reminds me of the backgrounds Character did in the mid 2000's with the 2 and 3 packs like the Doomsday box set. Some collectors will display with these backdrops, and it certainly makes a nice background for photography.
The Doctor stands dead on 5 1/2" high out of the box, putting him the same height as the 3rd and 4th Doctors and considerably taller than the 1st and 2nd. He is also taller than the 10th Doctor, so I would avoid putting his side by side with Tennant. The sculpt is, once in hand and up close, a good likeness to Peter Capaldi who I would suspect has a difficult face to capture as he is so expressive. The paint is neat and picks out the eyes and those famous eye brows and appears to have some ever so subtle shading to help the definition of the cheekbones etc. The hair does a job and is probably as accurate as you can get on a 5.5" figure, but it does lack the bounce and wispiness of the 12th Doctor's real hair. It's painted in a dark grey and then dry-brushed in a lighter tone. The only fault I can find on the head is a slight blemish on his neck which can only be seen when the head turns to look to the Doctor's left - looks like a mold error in the factory.
Like the Doctor's real outfit, the clothing is quite plain and made up of a thigh length black coat, trousers and a shirt. It is the shirt that changes on each of the variant figure coming in White, Black, Purple and Black with Polka Dots. All the clothing is painted quite flatly, but it is nice to see the coat has the red lining. This lining is a nice touch, but it would have been nice if it could have been visible when the figure was on display, perhaps by flaring the coat tails a little? Everything else is neatly painted including the belt buckle and the sleeves of the shirt which protrude slightly from the coat arms. The figure is sculpted with a ring on its left figure and the right hand is sculpted to hold his screwdriver which looks the same one used on the older Matt Smith 11th Doctor figure - nothing wrong with that, it is the same screwdriver. The figure is finished in the Doctor's boots which are painted in a gloss black finish with seperate grey soles, which adds some variation to the dark costume.
The Doctor Who figures from Character have never been massively articulated, but never needed to be. It is nice to see this one has got a couple of improvements. The head rotates on a peg, but is stopped from getting right over to look fully to the left or right by the sculpted shirt collar. The arms are where we now find a ball jointed shoulder. This means the arm can both rotate right round the body, but also 90 degrees out to the side. This has only been seen on a few CO figures to date, but certainly helps get a few more action poses out of the figure. The elbows are a joint and the wrists rotate in the sleeves.
There is a waist swivel and the hips are on a similar joint to the arms, although not quite ball joints. That means you can sit the Doctor down, but also stretch his legs to either side to do the splits if you want, but more realistically to give him a wider stance and show off a tad of that red coat lining. Thigh swivels and knee joints add to the leg articulation and the ankles rotate, although aren't on a rocker - this means there is only really one neutral pose that has the Doctor's feet planted firmly on the ground.
As I start a brand new archive of reviews I suppose this figure sets a precedent in terms of scoring, so I have considered this carefully.
At the RRP of £16.99 it is comparable to other figures on the market when you consider a smaller 5POA Star Wars figure now costs £9.99 and slightly larger 6" collectors figures are around £22. The articulation is not comparable to say the Funko Legacy range or the Marvel Legends, but it does enough and is certainly a step up from the older CO figures. The sculpt is as good as any similar scale figure, and the paint job neat and accurate to the figure it it is representing. If I had to point out the negatives then the neck blemish on mine is unfortunate, and if it is a mould issue at the factory may well exist on the other figures. The red coat lining could have been more visible by tweaking the coat mould, and if any articulation was going to be added, I would have loved to see ankle rockers to help these figures stand a little better in more dynamic poses vs the neutral pose they arrive in.
At the price point these are coming in on then I award 4 out of 5