Updated: Dec 8, 2018
Review : Sarah Jane Smith and K9 Doctor Who 5 inch (Character Options) Wave/Series : Toys R Us, Autumn 2015 releases* Released : November 2015
Price : £14.99
Like all the blister packed 5 inch Doctor Who figures launched at Toys R Us in autumn 2015, Sarah Jane and K9 are a repack of a figure that was originally released in 2008.
* It is worth mentioning at this point that although Sarah Jane is on the card-back of the Toys R Us range, she hasn't turned up for sale as yet online or in-store. Her only appearance has been in the US, which is the figure we are reviewing. Please let us know on Facebook if you have found her in the UK. We assume that like the 8th Doctor she will show up soon in Toys R Us stores in the UK.
Sarah Jane arrives in the slimmed down blister pack, with the black through to orange star-scape/vortex design that we also see on the boxed collectors version. On the rear is a checklist of the other figures in this blister packed wave.
Sarah Jane stands a touch under 5" and that puts her nicely in scale with the 10th Doctor, the Doctor she met in School Reunion (2006) and from which her figures outfit is taken. The facial sculpt, I remember at the time, was a source of much debate with fans. But I personally think it is a good likeness for Elizabeth Sladen, capturing her as she was in 2011 rather than her 1970's more youthful appearance. The hair on the figure is also particularly well done with some depth in the sculpt and a nice fringe made up of some individual strands of hair coming off the main hair piece.
The torso is made up of a sculpted under shirt, and on top of this is a rubber coat which is detailed enough to include pockets, buttons, button holes and a couple of straps around the back. The arms also carry the detail with three buttons sculpted at each cuff. The hands also include a ring on each hand, which I always think is a nice detail that could have easily been left off, particularly as I don't remember any rings being major plot devices in the episode.
The legs are a sculpted pair of jeans, and unlike the 11th Doctor we reviewed recently, there is a lot more depth in the fabric with folds and ruffles and even the rear pockets sculpted, even though they are mostly hidden by the tails of the coat. The feet are finished with a high heel under the boot cut of the jeans, again another nice detail when it must have been easier to stick a plain flat shoe to finish Sarah's outfit.
Paint applications are excellent also. The hair has loads of depth from both a wash and some dry-brushing to bring out some highlights. The face is neatly done but not overly heavy handed, with bright and well positioned eyes and a not overly red lipstick. The coat is quite plain, as is the vest, but the jeans are nicely coloured to give a strong denim look.
Sarah Jane comes with 11 points of articulation, a couple less than some of the other figures we have seen from the Dr Who range. The head is pegged, and rotates slightly either side with most movement blocked by the hair. The shoulders are also a peg, which allows for rotating round and no outward movement. There is a bicep swivel, and as they have given Sarah more rounded arms as opposed to the flattened versions we often see, the swivel doesn't detract too much from the look of the arms. The elbows are pinned, and the head of the peg used is visible, but as the coat is a darker colour it isn't as noticeable. The hands are plugged into a hole in the arm, and therefore rotate fully.
The hips are jointed to move into a sitting position, but also out to the side to give a wider stance or even put Sarah Jane into the splits. There is no thigh swivel, which is where the figure loses 2 points of articulation vs the 13 we normally see. The knees are pegged like the arms, and here the heads of the pegs are a bit more visible. There is no movement at all on the ankles or feet as these are sculpted into the legs.
Sarah doesn't come with any accessories to speak of, nor could she really hold any as both hands are not really designed into a "grip". She does however come with a 5 inch scale K9, so let's have a look at him.
K9, like Sarah Jane, was released in 2008. He was at the time also packed with Sarah Jane, but then re-used a number of times in other pack-ins. He also originally came in both "dirty/rusted" and "clean" finishes.
K9 stands 2.5" high, and is a decent enough sculpt albeit with a few issues. Starting at the head and they have captured this really well, including the recessed nose laser, the red grilled eyes and the ear radars. The ear radars are a little soft in material, probably so they don't snap easily, but that means they aren't as well defined as they could be. The corrugated neck curves down into the body, and where it meets the body it has K9's multi-coloured collar, although lazily the dog tag has just been painted onto the body rather than physically sculpted. Underneath the neck on the front is handle, and then round the side you have his recessed panel on the right and the embossed K9 wording on the right. On top is a control panel inclusive of a number of buttons, and then the top swoops down to the rear of K9, from which extends another handle and his aerial tail. Sadly the figure was sculpted in two halves and there is an ugly joint right down the middle of the figure.
Painting is neat, with a silver metallic finish across the body and then the various detail picked out in colours. The collar and the top control bank are neatly done with crisp greens, blues and reds.
K9 has no articulation as such, but does come with two action features. The first is a pull back and go device built into the wheels - this is great fun to watch K9 go shooting off across the floor or the table. The other is a pop off panel which is done by pressing down his top control panel. The panel doesn't pop off with any real force, but it does work and underneath reveals some inner workings of K9, as seen on School Reunion. The insides have quite a lot of detail, considering it is a hidden feature, and is painted predominantly in bronze but with some blue & red paint in places although this seems more daubed on with out much accuracy.
K9 isn't perfect, but he is more of an accessory pack in rather than a figure so we can forgive him.
Overall this release is still particularly strong. It may have outdated articulation vs newer figure ranges, but it has a neat sculpt and very well done paint applications. The price of £14.99 feels a bit high when you consider that this is the same prices as the boxed collectors figures, but is more palatable considering SJS is a well executed figure and you get K9 included. If you didn't pick up Sarah Jane the first time round, or if you are just starting off a Who collection then I do recommend this release and score her a 4 out of 5 when lined up against her peers in the range..