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Review : Doctor Who History of the Daleks #1, The Daleks 2-Pack (B&M Exclusive)


The 2020 B&M Doctor Who Sets saw the introduction of some new Dalek 2-Packs entitled the History of the Daleks. In set #1 we have the Daleks from the 1963 story The Daleks, with two Dead Planet Daleks in their silver and blue livery. The set was released in late July 2020 to B&M stores, and internationally via overseas partners such as WhoNA.

Packaging 3/5


The 2020 releases keep the same design principles as were used in 2019. The box features a silver and blue design, with the silver elements designed to look like an outline illustration of the TARDIS. The box itself is rectangular with a cut out window. The left hand cut out carries the Doctor Who logo, but does hide the left hand Dalek somewhat. The set name is carried on the lower frame and just above this, cut into the window, is a red box that confirms the story as The Daleks (1963). A gold foil limited edition sticker is placed on the lower left part of the window.


Around the back of the box we have an image of both figures. Like some of the other B&M Dalek and TARDIS sets before them, the History of the Daleks does give a very comprehensive overview on the back of both the story they Daleks are taken from, and, in a new twist for this set, an overview of the Dalek Props used in the story. Like other B&M sets there are some grammatical issues - including missing commas and some capitalisation issues. There are other disappointing errors such as "Whilst the Daleks have mutated in hideously scarred genetic monsters..."


'THE DALEKS (1963)'


The TARDIS brings the Doctor and his companions to a dead forest on the planet Skaro. The travellers seek help with repairing the Doctor's ship in a nearby metal city but when they get inside they find themselves at the mercy of the Daleks. The Daleks are able to survive inside armoured and weaponised casings, powered by static electricity from the floor of the city. Finding themselves suddenly feeling ill they are diagnosed with radiation sickness and find out the planet Skaro is suffering the long term effects of a prolonged and drawn out nuclear war of attrition between the two indigenous species the Thals and the Daleks. Whilst the Daleks have mutated in hideously scarred genetic monsters, the Thals have mutated in the opposite way and evolved into a race of very beautiful humanoids. Joining forces with the Thals the travellers find a way to cut off the city's electrical power and leave Skaro knowing the Daleks have been completely defeated... or so they believe


The Dalek Props

The four original Dalek props were robustly built and finished to a high standard. Each was a composite of wood, fibreglass and metal and they all looked identical in their original livery of silver, mid grey and blue. The original eyestalks had special lens apertures designed to become larger or smaller like the pupil of an eye and the guns were straight metal rails with inset plastic octagons. The Daleks were each numbered on the rear with a set of parallel black lines (1,2,3 or 4) so that the technicians in the gallery could identify each Dalek and give instructions to the operators. The original voice of the Daleks had no electronic processing an the guns created a hissing effect when fired. It is a testament to the quality to which they were built that most of the original Daleks survive to this day.



Unpacking is via the top flap which is taped on three sides. Once open both inner trays slide out and can then be seperated. The cardboard part includes a backdrop from the story, an image of the Dalek City Corridors from the 1963 story.


The Dalek sit in a clear inner tray and this wraps around the base and locks the base sections in place to. Nothing is taped into place, but both Daleks are secured with a paper tie that is best cut with scissors from the back.

Paint & Sculpt 4/5


The Classic Dalek sculpt from Character has been around for nearly 12 years now and it has always been a well proportioned and well presented piece with the options to update the various parts to specific stories. The Drone Dalek has a silver base with blue hemispheres and rings around the eyepiece. The midsection is grey and unpainted. Trim around this midsection is then coloured silver as a contrast.



The two Drones are almost identical, but there are two variations that line up to the props background text from the box. The first is a nod to the original props with marked lines on the back of the Dalek between the two midsection straps. These indicate which Dalek prop the Dalek is representing - in this case Dalek 1 and Dalek 2. The second difference is the eyepiece which is wider on Dalek 1 and more contracted on Dalek 2.


The paint across both is quite neat with little paint bleed around the hemispheres and no obvious touching up of the silver paint or patching of errors.



The Dead Planet Dalek has been released twice before, initially in 2008 as part of the Dalek Set #1 and again as a Sound FX Dalek in 2013. This version does seem to use the 2013 version as you can see a faint circular anel where the Sound FX button use to be on the right hand side. This new version does come with a marginally brighter silver finish and darker blue hemispheres.



Accessories N/A


There are no included accessories with the set


Articulation 4/5


Both Daleks have articulated eye stalks that can look up within the confines of the slot in the doom. The sucker arm and gun sit on ball joints plugged into the body and can move on a full 360 degree range.


The dome is also articulated and cn rotate a full 360 degrees for additional posing options. Each Dalek also runs on three castor wheels, two fixed and one swiveled so they can be pushed along the floor.


All of this is in line with what the Daleks on screen (and the original props could do). The only real enhancement that could have been considered would have been a telescoping sucker arm - which would be difficult at the scale.



Summary


Most of the Classic Era Character Daleks have been going up in price on the secondary market, and this set brings the Dead Planet Daleks back for those that missed them first time round - or for those who want to army build a larger group of them. The price point of £19.99 is relatively good value, although the figure 3-packs do offer a better deal in terms of contents.


The packaging offers some great insights into the props, but is perhaps a little too extensive on the story covering the whole serial rather than providing a teaser. The gramatical errors continue sadly.



The Daleks themselves are well painted on a sculpted body that has been pretty much perfect since its inception in 2008. The varying eyestalk iris and the prop markings adds some variation to the set and vs the original figures.


I score the History of the Daleks Set #1 a score of 4 out of 5.




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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...

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