Review : Doctor Who 5 Inch Series - The Monsters (Classic Enemies) Collectors Set (B&M UK Exclusive)
Updated: Dec 8, 2018
Review : The Classic Enemies Collector Figure Set
Doctor Who 5.5" Range (Character Options)
Wave/Series : B&M Exclusive
Released : July 2016`
Price : £14.99
Before we say anything else about this new 3-pack of Doctor Who 5" figures we have to comment on how unbelievable this piece is in terms of value for money. Toys R Us for example are selling one figure presently for £14.99 and a lot of these are re-releases or repaints of figures from up to 10 years ago. This set, exclusive to B&M in the UK, contains 3 figures for the same £14.99 price tag. That's a fiver a figure. What a brilliant price and an excellent opportunity for the next younger generation of Who fans to get a taste of the 5" range.
The Classic Enemies boxset (titled simply The Monsters on the box) was the one of three releases in 2016 - the other two being a 3rd Doctor Set and a 10th Doctor Set. The Classic Enemies set was a repack of three Classic figures from the original run of the Classic Doctor Who figures from Character Options. The Zygon, the Ice Warrior and the Invasion Cyberman.
The set arrives in a window box, and this packaging is a match to the current packaging being used on the 5 inch Who figures across other retailers like Toys R Us and Forbidden Planet. That means you can pick this one up and it will fit in perfectly with other boxed figures. The front of the box is a pink/purple hue of a vortex or a nebula in space that then darkens up towards the top of the box into a star-scape. The window is cut out to display the figures in their entirety and they are set against a blue clockwork background. The Dr Who logo sits in bold white to the bottom left, and the character names in a blue diamond to the bottom right. The centre blue panel confirms the name of the box set as The Monsters Figure Set.
The window wraps round the top of the box, and here the Who logo and box set name is repeated, along with a Character Option website flash in pink with white text. The two sides hold the Who logo again at the top and the box set name and character names at the bottom. In between these are two images of the figures themselves. The Cyberman appears on both spines. On the right with the Cyberman is the Zygon. To the left is the Ice Warrior.
The back of the box is a little disappointing as it again uses the white Who logo the two blue panels confirming the contents and set name - and then just three large images of the figures. There is no blurb or background - nor is there even an indication of from which story each figure is taken.
Once unpacked the figures are packed into a clear plastic tray, with the figures held in with cotton wraps. The tray sits on top of a very visual blue clockwork backdrop.
The Ice Warrior
One of the iconic Doctor Who villains, the Ice Warrior is a welcome addition to this set having not been seen on store shelves since its original release in 2010. The Ice Warrior stands 5 3/4" high, and carries a significant bulk and weight as you would expect from the lumbering giants we see in the show. The sculpt is based on their original appearance in the 1967 story "The Ice Warriors".
There is a really beautiful texture across the figure, from the scales around the head and either side of the central chest - to the ridged central chest piece. There are little fronds of hair or fur round the neck area and at the various joints on both arms and legs. The hands are vicious looking two pronged claws, while in contrast the feet are pretty plain. There is a nice feature build into the head where there are two openings where the ears would be. These can let in light and create a glowing effect in the deep red eyes of the Warrior.
I must mention at this point some quality issues with this 2016 release. Straight out of the box the feet popped off with little effort and continued to do so as my son and I played with these ahead of reviewing them. In the end they had to be glued in place. This was not an issue with the original 2010 release and could indicate some material or constructional changes in this set. There is certainly no real visual differences, with the paint apps and sculpt almost identical to the original version.
Articulation starts with a rotating head. There is then the novelty for Doctor Who 5" figures of a ball jointed shoulder. This allows the arms to move out and to rotate round, although rotation stops about 90 degrees round as the shoulder armour blocks the arm going any further. The arms are also jointed at the elbow and then the clawed hands rotate.
The hips feel more than a single joint, perhaps a ball, but they move very little being locked in by the lower armour of the Warrior. A thigh split does nothing other than ruin the lines of the legs. With no hip movement, the knees can't really do much in terms of posing - but they are jointed to bend 90 degrees. The feet rotate, but as I said earlier these may well pop out far too easily when they are moved.
The Invasion Cyberman
The Invastion Cyberman was first released in 2009 as part of the Age of Steel wave. It would later be repacked in a 3 pack which was first sold in Tesco, and latterly went into B&M around 2012. Ironically B&M are now pretty much the main outlet of Doctor Who 5" figures in the mainstream UK market, and they have brought back the Invasion Cyberman as a pack in for this Monsters box set.
The Cyberman stands 5 3/4" high, comparable to the Ice Warrior in the same set. It is sculpted to the design we saw terrorising London in the 1968 story, The Invasion. We start with what is now the iconic Cyberman head. The sculpt lacks a bit of definition and the eyes are not deep or defined enough, and the lines around the sides of the helmet are not crisps. The figure also suffers from misshapen handlebars, although the issue we had in 2009 of them sticking out too much is not a problem on this 2016 re-release.
Like the Ice Warrior, there are quality issues with the figure - and mine came with some flaking metallic paint right on the face plate. The whole figure is coloured in this silver down the retro zipped top and into those trousers with their pipe trim. The only other colour is found on the chest box where two panels are painted back and a central one is cast as a clear plastic.
Articulation on the Cyberman is standard for the 2009 era Who figures. While it doesn't look like it can move, the head is jointed and can turn a few degrees either side. The arms are a single rotating shoulder - with no lateral movement outwards. There is then a single jointed elbow and a rotating hand. The hips are locked in by the lower part of the tunic but they do swing outwards to give some wider stance. There is no thigh swivel, so we go into a single joint knee and a rotating ankle.
The original Invasion Cyberman did pack the figure with a weapon and a cyber-mat - neither are included here. Aside from the paint quality isssues, there is no significant difference between the 2009 release and this 2016 repack.
The original Zygon was part of the first wave of Doctor Who Classic figures in 2008. He is sculpted to match Broton, the lead Zygon in their only classic appearance in the 1975 4th Doctor story - Terror of the Zygons. When originally sculpted the Character Options sculptors went down the route of matching the onscreen details rather than reinterpreting the figure as "real". We therefore get a microphone sculpted into the chest. The rest of the figure is a mass of suckers and fleshy detail, with the large over-sized domed head and its beady eyes and nose peering out at the bottom.
The figure is shorter than the other two in the set, standing 5 1/2" high. He is however the best painted, with a deep orange base coat and then layers of washing and dry brushing to create the look. This paint job is also considerably different to the original release - enough for collectors to potentially want both versions. The main difference is the darkness of the colouration on the newer version, although the facial details are less defined.
Like the other figures we have quality issues here too - this time with the hands which pop off with barely any movement. Articulation is locked at the head so we start at the shoulders. On the figure we are reviewing both shoulders are stuck. They should rotate (no lateral movement outwards) but both feel stuck and we didn't want to force them and break them. The arms have a single elbow joint and that pegged hand with rotates.
The legs are two way jointed so they swing out to a sitting position, or to the side to a splits position. As the Zygon is not restricted by the outfit or any armour there is a good range of leg movement, but nothing you would want to pose. The knees are a single joint and we finish with a rotating ankle. As was the case with the original release, the feet aren;t bit enough or flat enough to keep the figure upright - and with that huge head and upper weight you will find standing your Zygon frustrating.
The original figure came with a communicator accessory. That is not included in this set
Now as we said at the start, for £5 a figure you can't really go wrong with this set. It is however the only one of the three we have had any quality issues with. I would be interested to here if this was the case for other collectors - or we were unlucky. There is no doubt that this gives us three classic Monsters back onto the market, and gives new collectors (like mini-Meph) to own these without having to pay inflated secondary market prices.
I really do applaud B&M for going with these sets and keeping the price low for the kids and collectors alike. I can't overlook quality issues with all figures, and the accessories missing are a shame as they were episode specific to the characters. I score the Monsters (Classic Enemies) a 3 out of 5 score.