Updated: Aug 3
The 2020 B&M Doctor Who Sets saw the introduction of some new Dalek 2-Packs entitled the History of the Daleks. In set #2 we have the Daleks from the 1964 story The Dalek Invasion of Earth with both the Drone and Supreme Daleks. The set was released in late July 2020 to B&M stores, and internationally via overseas partners such as WhoNA.
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 Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964). 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.
'THE DALEK INVASION OF EARTH' (1964)
The TARDIS bring the Doctor and his companions to London on Earth only to find the city in ruins. As they explore they are horrified to find an army of zombified, emaciated but brutal Robomen controlling the streets and a Dalek flying saucer in a nearby square. They soon find out the entire world is under Dalek control. The invasion started with a plague sent to Earth to decimate the population and the Daleks followed in its wake wreaking death and destruction whilst enslaving any survivors. It soon turns out the Daleks have an audacious plan to mine down into the core of the earth and destroy it wit a huge bomb in order to pilot the planet wherever they want to. The TARDIS crew and some rebels band together and manage to infiltrate the mine workings. Once inside they divert the bomb enough to save the Earth but in the ensuing explosion a volcanic eruption is created which catches the Dalek ship in the blast destroying the Daleks.
The Dalek Props
Of the original four Daleks, two were to return for this second story and two all new Dalek casings were commissioned. Most o the Daleks old and new were refurbished with an updated look which included new higher 'bumper' bases hiding new wheels that coped better with uneven terrain, and new eye designs. These new taller Daleks were much more imposing on screen and in addition several new colour schemes or rather design schemes were introduced to denote different Dalek hierarchies. One Dalek played three roles in the story in fact appearing as a silver drone, a Dalek saucer variant with alternate black skirt panels and finally as a black Supreme Dalek. This Dalek was one of the new ones and had darker skirt hemispheres ad darker eye rings.
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 saucer entrance.
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 3/5
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 Invasion of Earth Dalek's feature the larger bumper base piece and the inserted saucer dishes on the back.
The Drone Dalek has a silver base with blue hemispheres and rings around the eyepiece. The midsection is grey and unpainted, as is the saucer dish. Trim around this is then coloured silver as a contrast.
The Supreme Dalek has a black base, again with silver trim around the centrepiece and the grill section under the dome also left silver. The hemispheres remain blue and the saucer dish an unpainted grey.
There are sadly some quite obvious paint issues on both Daleks. The Silver Drone has a defect on the dome on our review copy. The Saucer Commander looks to have faded silver paint on the silver bands as they go round the back, as though the paint was running out.
Both suffer from some paint bleed around the hemispheres and there are also messy patches where the base colour looks to have been touched up. And both lower bases appear to be marked even though they are cast in the base black. This looks like paint smears from the factory. Of course all of these issues will vary from set to set.
Compared with the original releases, there are some minor differences. The Supreme has darker blue hemispheres on the new B&M version vs the original 2009 version. The new version also does not have a painted saucer on the reverse, while the 2009 version is painted in a silver.
The Invasion drone also has darker blue hemispheres vs the 2012 Sound FX version. The eye piece is also a wider iris.
The new versions both look to use the body that was designed for the Sound FX Daleks and where the activation button used to be you can see some adjustments to stop this being used as a button. The base sections do not have a redundant battery compartment as I suspect they might and therefore look to be the original bases and bumper segments.
There are no included accessories with the set
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.
The History of the Daleks Set #2 brings back two Daleks from The Dalek Invasion of Earth that have been quite sought after on the secondary market. The set is far from perfect and the set I purchased for review has some ugly paint issues which demonstrates a lack of quality control in production. The worst of it is the paint smearing around the base.
The box design does not help the set either for boxed collectors, hiding most of one Dalek by cutting into the window too much. The background text is extensive, but does have errors that should have been corrected via a proofreader.
At £19.99 for two Daleks, the set is not as good value as the 3-Pack figure sets released at the same time. Daleks are however always desirable and I don't think B&M will have any problem clearing these and I hope that they see this History of the Daleks line as something worth continuing to revisit more Classic Daleks in the future.
I score the History of the Daleks #2 a total of 3 stars 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, dalek, invasion of earth, character options, toys, bbc, B&M