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Review : Doctor Who, 12th Doctor Collectors Set, B&M Exclusive (Character Options)

Welcome to our review of the 12th Doctor Set, a 2018 B&M Exclusive 3-pack from Character Options Doctor Who line. The set was released in August 2018 alongside other three packs from the 1970's and 11th Doctor era's. There was also a 3rd Doctor and TARDIS set released at the same time. The 3-packs had a £16.99 RRP, which was awesome value - although it did mean the sets were predominantly repaints and tweaks f existing figures.

The 11th Doctor set comes in the same window box packaging as the other sets and is consistent with the current packaging design of the Who 5.5 inch figures going back to 2016. The set uses the cosmic cloud design with varying pinks and oranges that blend and fade to a starscape around the box. The Who logo is the generic white logo that was first used on the 1996 TV movie. Character names and features are shown in blue inserts around the box.

The figures are pictured on the side spines and on the reverse where the names are confirmed as Missy, the 12th Doctor and Bill Potts. There is no specific bio or even a nod to which episode these figures are from.

The figures are accessed via the top flap of box. They slide out in a cardboard backing section with a lovely blue clockwork vortex design. The three figures are then set into an inner clear tray with some elasticated clear ties holding them in place. Sadly these ties do have a habit of rubbing against the paint and on our set the Doctor in particular had some markings on his shins.

We start with the 12th Doctor, while this appears to be a direct re-use of the 2015 12th Doctor figures it is actually a combination of the 2015 and the 2017 figures. The head sculpt is the much nicer 2017 version which is a pretty decent likeness to Capaldi - and the paint is applied nicely to help the sculpt - defining key features like those angry eyebrows.

The torso and arms are from the 2015 version. This shirt and jacket combo is painted to represent the outfit he was wearing in the 2015 episode, Face the Raven. It is sadly not screen accurate as the coat was more of a velvet texture and finish and the Doctor was wearing a waistcoat underneath.

The lower half of the figure has been swapped with the 2017 version. This is more obvious when you look at the boots which are now a touch larger but with smaller tags on the back. Using these legs also makes this a taller figure all round - a criticism of the original Capaldi sculpt was that he was too short.

The 12th Doctor has 17 points of articulation, which is a decent number for a Who figure. The head design remains the usual head and neck combo that plugs into the torso and allows only for rotation. The arms start with the newer shoulder joint which both rotate and raise out from the body by means of a hinge. Under this is a bicep swivel and elbow and wrist joints.

The legs are T-Joint hips which will swing out to side and out in front - although the coat tails do impede this a little. Under here are thigh swivels, knee joints and a rotating ankle where the boots meet the legs. All of this makes this Capaldi pretty mobile for posing and he stands well.

The one criticism is the lack of a sonic screwdriver accessory - particularly when the hand is still the sonic holding pose - it looks a little odd.

Our second figure is that of Missy, the 12th Doctor's nemesis across a number of episodes. Like the Doctor the Missy figure combines a couple of prior 2015 releases with the head previously used on the black dress version, and the body off the darker purple releases.

While the original head sculpt was an acceptable likeness to Michelle Gomez, this new version spoils that with a gaudy paint job which is frankly frightening. The make up around the eyes is a bright blue and the eye brows very dark and painted up in a "surprised" look. The mouth is sculpted open and once painted it ends up looking halfway between a smile and a grimace. The hair is quite messy with the edges not quite finished, leaving her with what looks like bald patches at the sides as they remain skin coloured.

The outfit (and makeup) is based on Missy's look from the episode Extremis. Like the Doctor this is an approximation of the screen accurate, using figure already out there. To be closer to the onscreen look Missy would need a different hair piece and a new bow around her neck rather than a tie - although overall it is not a bad look. The outfit is well executed in terms of paint with crisp purple colouring and black edging.

Missy boasts a staggering 18 points of articulation. While this reads well you have to consider that the 8 points under the skirt are not really viable as the fixed skirt blocks most movement. Under said skirt we have a t-joint hip, thigh swivel, knee joint and a rotating ankle piece on the sculpted boots.

Missy also get a waist joint as well as the usual head rotation. Arms are the improved two-way shoulder joint, followed by bicep swivel, elbow and wrist joints.

So while promising lots of movement, Missy is kind of restricted to arm gestures only. And the big frustration is how hard she is to stand. The 2015 Missy's stood without an issue while using the same heeled boots we see here. Having had a good look it seems this new version has the heels a touch shorter than the shoes - perhaps a warp in the mold - and this means Missy always wants to lean backward however you position the shoes.

The final figure of the set is Bill Potts. Bill is the only brand new figure both in this set, but in the whole of the 2018 B&M releases full stop. She was originally sculpted to be an exclusive at Toys R Us - but there demise put that on hold, so B&M have obviously taken advantage. The same figure has since been released by Amazon using a different paint scheme.

The likeness to Pearl Mackie is good considering the scale. The skin tone and face details are well painted, but the hair is messy with a bow that is painted to look more like she has had orange paint drip on her head.

Having got both of these Bill's in hand I prefer the B&M paint job, which is impressive considering the whole 3-pack cost about the same as the single figure from Amazon.

The outfit is made to be the one she is wearing in the Doctor's office at the start of her debut story, The Pilot. The stripes are neatly painted and I really like the trousers which are painted and then dry-brushed to look like denim jeans. Even the trainer boots are well done with sculpted laces and then neat paint apps with a muddy wash over the top.

Like the Amazon version, Bill does have some issues with paint. The skin paint on the arms is very heavily applied so much so it has made the elbow joints freeze - even with hot water treatment they are well and truly stuck and when force is applied the joint splits open rather than bends.

Articulation on the whole is quite a bit lower than other figures with just 13 joints overall. We have a standard head which rotates at the neck. There is no waist swivel so you go straight to t-joint hips. They also skip the thigh swivel, replacing it with a ankle swivel where the boots meet the trousers. Just above this sits the knee peg joint.

Even though its a new release, Bill isn't blessed with the newer shoulder joint and so it only rotates around the body. We do get a bicep swivel, and then those ugly (and stuck) elbows. Being a female with bare arms there is no wrist joint.

Character still can't quite get the scale right on these figures, particularly when they are calling it a very odd 5.5 inch collectors series. Bill is more like 5 inch scale and the Doctor now 5.5 inch - making the two of them look a little mismatched with Bill half a head too short.

The same issue is evident with Missy. Michelle Gomez usually is looking straight at Capaldi's nose when they are side by side. In the figures she is a good head too short.

When summing we do have to consider that this set has a price tag of just £16.99, that is under £6 per figure which is fantastic value when the latest Bill Potts release has a £15.99 RRP on its own from Amazon. With this set you get a kit bashed 12th Doctor with his red jacket and a new Bill figure - albeit paint variance to the Amazon.

Missy is the weak link and for me I'd have much rather have seen her replaced with something like a 10th Planet Cyberman or even a kit-bashed John Simm Master.

I score the 12th Doctor Set a 3 out of 5 rating.

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