2018 is a year of sweeping change for Doctor Who. We have a new Doctor, and the first female Doctor to boot. We have a new showrunner in Chris Chibnall and a full new set of companions to accompany the Doctor on her adventures.
Character Toys have been the master licensee for Doctor Who since it returned to our screens in 2005. And while the previous few years have been a bit rocky, they are back with some brand new products for the 13th Doctors adventures.
The first of this new product is the 13th Doctor Adventure Doll, the first figure of Jodie Whittakers regeneration. While some may be disappointed this isn't the 5.5 inch scale many of us have collected for many years now, it is still consistent with previous scales put out by Character and has been designed to fit in with the 1/6 scale figures released back in 2006 during the 10th Doctor era.
The 13th Doctor arrives in a very vibrant clamshell packaging with a stark yellow TARDIS backdrop that accentuates the figure and makes it pop - it will definitely stand out to kids and parents alike on the Toy aisles. The new Doctor Who logo sits on a blue card insert at the bottom with a grey stripe holding the character name and this new term of "adventure doll".
The blister wraps round at all sides and there is a TARDIS shape to this too, with the hanging tab being the light on top of the Police Box. TO further this imagery the left hand side of the packaging wraps round to the side - yellow on the inside, but on the outside it is decorated like one of the doors of the TARDIS, complete with Police Telephone instructions.
Around the back and the yellow on blue theme continues as well as a large image of the Adventure Doll. There are two red inserts showing the Doctor's new Sonic Screwdriver, with the second also confirming the real fabric clothing. Above the image of the figure is a short bio that talks about the Doctor as "one of the iconic sci-fi characters ever" and how the 13th Doctor is ready "to sort right from wrong and save civilisations throughout the galaxy".
Like the card front we get the TARDIS peeking into view bottom left, and there is even some Gallifreyan symbols poking through on the grey bottom flash.
The packaging is designed to be torn open by means of perforations around the side of the blister. This means there is no way of opening the figure and then returning it to its packaging - something the recent boxed Doctor Who figures could boast. Opening up the Doctor is easy and the perforations rip easily.
You are then left with the card back and the Doctor is strapped to this with a combination of cable ties, twist ties and elasticated ties. These all feed through and are sandwiched behind the card back. The easiest way to release the Doctor is grab a pair of scissors and trip carefully. Be careful also pulling out the tails of her coat which are tucked behind an inset. And also make sure you do not discard of the packaging before retrieving her Sonic Screwdriver (more on that a bit later).
Once freed from the packaging, the Doctor is a nice weighty figure in hand. The likeness, now done by 3D scan, to Jodie Whittaker is excellent. Details like her earings are included on the sculpt and the hair is cast to hang over her face to create some shadow The hair is cast in a blonde colour with some darker roots added across the parting. I am pleased that they decided on sculpted hair and not to go down the soft goods route like some of the similar Harry Potter and Star Wars Adventure Dolls we've seen recently.
The paint application on the face is neat and the eyes are crisp and clear, the lips neatly painted and the eyebrows thin and curved. For a £20 figure this is about as good as it gets, we aren't into high end collectibles here like Mezco where we'd be paying 4 times this price.
From the head down we are into soft goods tailored clothing on top of an articulated body. Each clothing piece has a different texture and feel and there is a quality feel to the clothes. They hang very well on the body and do not look oversized - often an issue with soft goods clothes. The only part that I don't really like is the fastenings on the trousers. While it is screen accurate it is a little big and clunky looking with exposed stitching. And talking of screen accuracy, it is nice to see her braces are also included albeit hidden by the coat most of the time.
The coat includes a hood which does indeed come up and go over the head. It is the one part of the soft good that doesn't sit well once in place and it has too much of a peak when in place.
The hands and bottom part of the legs are exposed skin, and are simply cast in a slightly glossy skin tone plastic. The boots are sculpted and not removable. These are painted brown with weathering on top. The sole is black and at the top of the boots blue socks poke out from underneath.
The Doctor has 14 points of articulation built into the body of the figure. This starts at the head, and its not a great start as the head doesn't turn as far as you would want it too. The piece t is cast as a head and neck together rather than a ball jointed head on a sculpted neck this means it is quite tight to turn and you lose that forward, backward and side tilting motion a ball joint would give you.
Also on the trunk of the body is an articulated waist. This is ball jointed and turns much better than the head and has some forward and backward lean motion.
The arms are ball jointed at the shoulder and then double jointed at the elbows. This means the arm has full mobility, with the Doctor able to fold the forearm almost back onto the upper arm. The hands are plugged in at the wrists and are also pivoted for further movement.
The legs follow the same theme with a ball jointed hip and double jointed knees. There is no ankle rocker, just a swivel at the top of the boot. This does make standing the Doctor a touch trickier, but overall its doable in a lot of poses. And if you want to display her more securely being 1/6 scale opens up a good range of after market stands.
The soft goods all seem to work well with the joints and they move and bend with the joints without looking out of place. You do need to be careful you don't twist things like the sleeves or trousers as you pose as that can but pressure on the stitching.
Onto the sole accessory, the only accessory any Doctor needs - the Sonic Screwdriver. The Screwdriver is found top left of the packaging in a circular section. You clip this off and then have to separate the two halves to get the Screwdriver out. This is a new design for this Doctor, very organic with a curve to the handle.
While the artwork on the box shows the Sonic to have variant colours - particular an amber end - the actual accessory is cast in a single silver colour. This, along with quite a soft sculpt, doesn't do it justice. Especially when you consider how much detail Character can put into a 5" scale Screwdriver.
It only fits into the Doctors right hand, and here again is a variation from the promo art and box art as the hand provided is a simple gripping hand and is not shaped like we see on the box to hold the Sonic in a pointing pose as though the Doctor were unlocking a door or threatening a Dalek.
We have got an early production sample here, provided by Character, so these may be corrected once the figure hits stores in August.
In the press release it was confirmed that this figure was scaled to work with the previous 12" range of figures released around 2006. I don't have all of these to hand, but managed to get the Judoon and Cyberman out for some comparison shots.
The 13th Doctor figure stands 10.5 inches high, that's about 26.5cm. Jodie Whittakers advertised height is 1.67m which comes out at 27.8cm when scaled down to 1/6 scale. That puts the figure a touch too small, but nothing dramatic.
When you consider both the Judoon and Cyberman are larger characters then the scale is workable, it certainly doesn't look out of place. We may see the aftermarket for these older 12" figures go a little crazy if this 13th Doctor leads collectors and kids into a whole new scale of Doctor Who.
The new 13th Doctor Adventure Doll is a triumphant return for Character into the Doctor Who Action Figure arena. At an RRP of £20 it is great value for money for collectors and kids.
The only criticism I can throw at the release is really because of what we are shown on the packaging with the sonic holding more detail and the hand being shaped to pose with the Sonic. The head articulation could do with a tweak for any future releases, but all in all a very impressive effort that stands alongside the similarly sized and priced Harry Potter Adventure Dolls (Mattel) and Forces of Destiny Star Wars Adventure Dolls (Hasbro).
I score the 13th Doctor Adventure Doll from Character 4 out of 5.
You can get your 13th Doctor Adventure Doll direct from Character Toys
or from our Affiliate Partners at Forbidden Planet
Our 13th Doctor Adventure Doll was supplied for review by the PR team at Evolution PR on behalf of Character Options