Updated: Apr 14
The Doctor Who action figure of Graham O'Brien, as played by Bradley Walsh, was released in March 2020 as part of a 4 figure wave of new figures from the 13th Doctor's era. He was released on a blister card along with 3 other single packed figures of the Recon Dalek, 13th Doctor and Judoon Captain.
The 2020 single figures comes with new packaging, albeit using the same design principles and colours as the more recent B&M releases. We have a shaped blister card with the new series Doctor Who logo atop. The backing for the figure is the grey lined artwork of the TARDIS and this wraps around the right hand of the blister.
The character name is also wrapped inside the blister at the base of the figure and names the figure as Graham O'Brien. There is no episode sub heading, instead the sub heading is "Action Figure (5.5"/14cm Scale"). In the bottom corner of the blister there is a red insert which on the other figures had included their features or accessories. For Graham this simply reads "4 to Collect".
The back of the card carries no bio's or story details or text of any kind. Instead we get a checklist of the other releases in the wave via images of each of them - and a look at the 13th Doctor TARDIS that has been released at the same time.
Paint & Sculpt 4/5
The head sculpt for Graham has a good likeness to Bradley Walsh, while remaining in keeping with the rest of the Character Who line going back as far as 2005. The sculpt captures Walsh's smile, which adds character to the face. The rest of the facial features are basic and the paint apps very similar with simplistic eyes. The hair is two tone paint app with a brown base and grey dry brushing on top.
The costume is closest to the one Graham wears in Arachnids in the UK and is made up of a blue jacket and jeans. The jacket is cast in a single blue colour and the collar is perhaps a bit too vs what we see in the episode. Peeking out from under the collar is a t-shirt with blue colouring and white spots. This is a match to the shirt Graham wears, but in the episode this was a collared shirt.
The trousers are cast in a darker blue to the jacket and are sculpted as jeans, but lack any denim paint effects such as a wash over the top or dry brushing. The shoes are plain brown with a painted grey sole. All the paint, where applied, is neat and tidy with no obvious errors.
Graham has very strange hands with the right almost in a pose that a hand puppeteer would make - only without the puppet. Both hands are lumpy and lack detail and the right does seem too big for the scale of the figure.
Character have been masters of reusing figures to create news ones in the past few year, predominantly for their B&M exclusive sets. Graham is another example of this with the entire body being borrowed from a 2007 Primeval figure of Stephen Hart. It has been recoloured of course to match Grahams outfit.
The weird hands now make sense when you see they were originally sculpted to carry the weapon we see in the image below.
There are no accessories included with Graham. This is a shame considering parts have been included with the other three figures. They could have thrown in a spider considering the ties to the episode Arachnids in the UK, or the torch he uses when exploring the hotel.
In line with the rest of the long running 5.5 inch Doctor Who line, Graham has the basic level of articulation as has been the norm for a number of years with 16 points of articulation in total.
Head : neck swivel
Body : waist swivel
Arms : peg shoulder, bicep swivel, single elbow joint, wrist swivel
Legs : T-Joint hip, thigh swivel, single joint knee
The joints are quite basic, and "of an era" with exposed pins and swivels that move the whole arm out of line when turned. It does mean that Graham still fits in with any Doctor Who collection without looking out of place.
There is some level of movement in the arms for gesturing and posing. The legs can't kneel or sit due to the cut of the coat, but some slightly wider stances are possible. The Doctor Who figures do not use ankle rockers and the stability of the figure is great with the feet cast flat to the floor for balance.
Graham O'Brien is a hybrid figure with a brand new, well sculpted head, that is then plopped onto a body from 13 years ago. The look of the figure is in keeping with the episode on which it is based, and with the Character Doctor Who line as a whole with basic but solid paint apps and articulation. The Who line has been around so long now that tinkering with the look or articulation would be difficult, and for that I am thankful.
I do wish they could have changed the hands on Graham and afforded him an accessory. I am also not convinced as yet by the blister card packaging in a world where window boxes are the preferred choice and allow figures to be opened and repacked if collectors wish.
I score Graham O'Brien a just above average 3 out of 5.
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, graham o'brien, bradley walsh, character toys, character options