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Review : Doctor Who Friends of the 13th Doctor Set (B&M Exclusive)


Following a solitary 13th Doctor figure 2019 release, 2020 would see the Jodie Whittaker era more appropriately represented in 5 inch figure format from Character Options. The year started with a general release wave with figures of The Doctor, Graham, Dalek and Judoon. Companions Yaz and Ryan would follow in Summer as part of a 13th Doctor Friends & Foe set exclusive to B&M along with a Judoon Trooper. All three of the Doc's companions would then go on to be repainted and repacked in a second B&M exclusive set in Autumn 2020 entitled simply "The Friends of the 13th Doctor"



The Autumn run of Doctor Who exclusive sets at B&M followed the exact same box design as the Summer sets and as established back in 2019. The box uses a grey/silver base colour with TARDIS line art and blocks of TARDIS blue carrying the logo and the name of the set - Friends of the Thirteenth Doctor.


The figures themselves are presented in a large window with a small red insert at the bottom right labelling them as the 5.5 inch scale collector series - I am not sure why Character are still using this insert as the 3.75 inch figures are long gone now. There is no room on the box front for the character names - but we do get a stick on gold foil sticker confirming these as a limited edition.


The window wraps the right hand side of the box with a cut in circle at the top that does list the characters contained within as Yaz Khan, Ryan Sinclair and Graham O'Brien. The back of the box then goes on to show images of each of the figures, with those character names underneath.


Despite putting extensive background text on the TARDIS and Dalek sets - there is still nothing on these three packs - not even a confirmation of which story each figure is taken from.



Despite putting extensive background text on the TARDIS and Dalek sets - there is still nothing on these three packs - not even a confirmation of which story each figure is taken from.


The box opens via the top or bottom flap, with a slight change here vs the Summer packs as the tab has gone and we have a singe fold in flap along the full length of the top section - taped in place at the centre. The figures are held into their inner tray by way of elastic ties around waist and legs - this is best cut with scissors from the reverse. Pulling the figures out without removing the ties can damage the paint.

3.0



Yasmin looks to be based on the very recent 2020 episode, Fugitive of the Judoon. She features a brown leather jacket, and a leopard print top underneath. The leopard print is not perfect close up, but for the 5 inch scale it looks OK. The trousers are cast in black plastic and are then painted with what looks to be a two tone finish with them looking brown from some angles, and with a blue hue from others - I assume this is a finish to recreate a dark denim look.


The head sculpt is a very good likeness to Mandip Gill, with an intricate hair piece with two rear buns and flowing hair down each side of the head. The painting is neat, but basic and perfectly in keeping with the Doctor Who line.



Yasmin is a repaint of the Summer 2020 B&M release which itself is an older Claudia Brown body from the Character Primeval line. It works fine in terms of a recreating the jacket and trouser look - although if you are being picky the jacket should have a ridged arm design and the leopard print blouse be a little smaller print.


The face treatment is very similar on both figures, so neither stand out as superior to the other. Paint apps overall are neat and tidy.



Ryan Sinclair is loosely based on the 2018 story, The Ghost Monument. I say loosely as Ryan's jacket in that episode was a short and less bulky affair and not fastened. What we have with Ryan is a paint app to match the episode - but it really needed a very different torso piece to work.


We get a single grey tone on the jacket and a light blue on the small piece of shirt we can see underneath. The trousers are tan in colour and the shoes painted white to try and recreate trainers - this doesn't really work as the base sculpt is clearly a boot design.



The head sculpt for Ryan is good, and a passing likeness to Tosin Cole, just not as clear and as well executed as Yaz. Like Yaz it is painted neatly and in keeping with the rest of the range.


Also like Yaz, Ryan is the exact same base figure as the Summer 2020 B&M release with the colours adjusted only. This new version also looses some detail, with no additional paint apps to the coat in terms of the fastenings.


Character do need to re-use a lot of parts in these B&M sets to make them viable, and they have become masters in kit-bashing their figure library and making tweaks to create new figures. The Ryan figure is from the old Primeval line and uses the Nick Cutter body. I have said in my previous review that the look of this outfit just doesn't fit with Ryan's style or any episode he is in and the best they can do is match the colours. There is better bodies out there such as Rory Williams or the End of Time Master to repurpose into a Ryan Sinclair.


Ryan is sadly the weakest figure in the set in terms of initial concept and execution.



Graham O'Brien features a brilliant likeness to Bradley Walsh with a bit of expression built into the sculpt to show him with a cheeky half smile. The hair is greyed out without being too pale and the face painted again to a good standard in keeping with the lines look.


The outfit is from It Takes You Away from 2018 and features a brown leather jacket with a checked shirt underneath. The jacket should really be open with more of the shirt exposed to match the episode fully, but the match is good. Graham is then wearing a pair of dark blue trousers and black shoes.



Graham too is the same base figure as his early 2020 release when he was single carded in the general release wave. The body is from Primeval again, the Stephen Hart figure, and brings with it some incredibly large and odd looking hands that were original made that way to hold a rifle weapon. I wish that Character had swapped these out for a more proportional pair.

3.0




While the B&M Sets have started to see the inclusion of accessories in some instances, none are included in the Friends of the Thirteenth Doctor Set.



All three figures utilise the same articulation, 14 points in total. This is of course consistent with the line as a whole and fully as expected considering all three figures use bodies previously used in this or similar lines.


Head : rotating neck plug

Body : rotating waist

Arms : rotating shoulder joint, bicep swivel, single pin elbow, rotating wrist

Legs : T-Joint hip, thigh swivel, single pin knee


None of the figure are overly expressive. The arms are quite mobile, but engaging the bicep swivel will throw the look of the arm. With no ability to extend the shoulder away from the body, only rotating round, simple gestures with the arms are the only real choice for display.

3.0



The second batch of figure sets in 2020 were far too similar to the ones that had come just 3-months earlier and this set, like the others, will suffer from some buyers fatigue and where more casual fans, collectors and kids will not necessarily feel the need for another Yaz, Ryan or Graham figure.


The re-use of older bodies is the norm now for the Who line, with new heads and over-jackets in some instances to bring us new figures or iterations of existing characters. In this set, this works for Yaz and Graham - but not for Ryan who's base figure choice is wrong when I can think of two others that would have been a better choice. Had they gone with another look for Ryan, then alongside well executed figures of Graham and Yaz - this set would have scored much higher.



Character have avoided the temptation to develop and evolve the Who line, and figures bought now can seamlessly integrate into the collection alongside figures as far back as the lines launch in 2006. And you also cannot argue with the price of three 5.5 inch figures for £20... or at the better price of £12.99 which we are now seeing in B&M stores to clear through these sets after Xmas 2020.


I score the B&M Exclusive Friends of the Thirteenth Doctor Set from Character a total of 3.0




For more News, Reviews and a Checklist of Releases - visit our Doctor Who Database





About Me : As a child of the 70's and 80's I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force) and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licences - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...

action figures, reviews, review, articulation, doctor who, dr who, yaz khan, ryan sinclair, graham o'brien, 13th doctor

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