Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Doctor Who Action Figure Review: 4th Doctor 1:6 Scale Limited Edition - Big Chief Studios

The wait is over! The figure is here! So grab a bag of Jelly Babies, wrap your scarf around you, and join me as I look in detail at this excellent figure!




Saturday, 23 November 2013

Doctor Who AFA 8th Doctor Season 3: Rebirth - Part Two

Happy 50th anniversary! The big day is finally here! To celebrate, here is the final episode of Rebirth!

Enjoy the day! Enjoy The Day of the Doctor! I'll be here with a round-up of what Johnny and I got up to at Excel and some other bits and pieces over the next few days!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

'The Night of the Doctor' - Thoughts and Feelings

Before we get down to the nitty gritty of this article, I must apologise that this is not a video. Now I am sure I will get around to making a video at some point, but at the moment my editing software is being reserved for animation work only. It has also come to my attention that I don't write enough articles for this blog anymore, so it might as well change this evening!

The rumours were running rampant. Everyone wanted to believe a video like this was coming, but 'wanted' is the operative word. Would they really get Paul McGann back to play the Doctor? After seventeen years? For a short? Doubtful. I wanted to believe too, but there was so much doubt kicking around Gallfreybase and the rest of the web that I finally decided "Nah. No chance". Then the synopsis for the special was released:

The Bringer of Darkness, the Oncoming Storm, the Doctor, the Warrior - A Time Lord! The 50th Anniversary features Matt Smith, David Tennant and a mysterious incarnation played by John Hurt. Only one appears in the mini episode, The Night of the Doctor. But which?

It was that 'But which?' that suddenly got me thinking about the possibilities of McGann. Could they be toying with us? Do they want us to think it's Hurt or Tennant or Smith, only to go "Ta da!" right in our faces? I wanted to believe so, but of course I had more doubt than anything else.

I screamed. Honestly. I yelped like a child on Christmas morning who got that present he always wanted. I was so hysterical that my mother wondered what the Hell was happening and told me to "Calm down! For God's sake, Matt! You'll give yourself a heart attack!" She couldn't understand the gravity of the situation. He was back. After 17 years, the Doctor that was supposed to be my Doctor (I was four when the TV Movie came out, and I can clearly remember watching it to this day) was back. Not on audio, but as a proper moving image as he always should have been.

He's back! And it's... yeah, you guys know the drill.
So was it any good? Well, yes! It was marvelous! It was the greatest 'What if?' we could have ever hoped to get! The Doctor’s first line: “I’m a Doctor. But probably not the one you were expecting” suitably channels George Lazenby at the start of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (“This never happened to the other fella”). The opening of the piece was cleverly set-up to make us think that this woman, Cass, whose ship was about to crash land, could be the Doctor’s future companion. It was also like McGann had never left. Just another day for the 8th Doctor during his tenure… the one we didn’t get. But it made us believe, just for that moment, that this is what we could have had. Seeing McGann in his new gear (more on that later) zipping about the place just felt right, and it would have made the wilderness years, well, a lot less of a wilderness!

But Cass is quick to turn on the Doctor. We’re treated to some delightful morsels about the Time War. The Doctor is a refugee; he wants no part in it. Makes sense. Cass however, seems terrified of him simply because he is a Time Lord, no better than a Dalek. Blimey, what have the Time Lords been up to? Clearly whatever the Time Lords and the Daleks are doing is devastating the universe on such an immeasurable scale that every species is feeling it. So she locks herself away and the ship goes kaboom! Doctor number 8 is killed on impact! Poor bugger. He’s only just come back and he’s practically dead before he hits the ground. But wait! Where have they landed? Karn! Jumping Jehoshaphat! And the Sisters of the Flame! Bugger me! It’s all going on in this story!

The Sisterhood’s new leader, Ohila (not to be confused with Ohica) tells the Doctor he’s been revived and only has four minutes to live, in which time he can choose a special version of their Elixir of Life that will make him regenerate into whatever body he needs for the current war situation. Why are they helping him? They know he’s the only fellow in the universe with the gonads big enough for ending the Time War, a war which not only threatens Karn but the entire universe (the Time Lord’s master plan was to wipe out everything as mentioned in The End of Time). Seeing as Karn is pretty much down the road from Gallifrey, relatively speaking, you can't blame them for not wanting a massive battlefield on their doorstep!

Faced with Cass’ corpse, the knowledge that the universe thinks he and his kind are a bunch of total shitheads, and that he’s got mere moments before he’s a goner, the Doctor chooses to become a warrior. No one wants his help anymore. The universe has ostracised him… much like the BBC had during the wilderness years, but perhaps I’m reading into that a bit too much. So he wishes to continue helping, but in a new way. We’re treated to a nice pun about John Hurt and then the Doctor rattles off some names… “Charley, C’rizz, Lucie, Tamsin, Molly…” Bugger me sideways! Moff’s only gone and confirmed the canonicity of Big Finish! It really is all happening in this episode! Stupendous news! But oh Lord, I have so many stories to catch-up on! Bloody hell, that’s going to be hard work! Who’d have thought a couple of seconds of dialogue would increase the sales of so much merchandise?

So the Doctor downs the Sisterhood’s homebrew, and he’s gone… replaced with John Hurt... a young John Hurt from I, Claudius no less, lending to Moffat’s words that this new incarnation has been kicking around for some time when we meet him in The Day of the Doctor. So he goes off to kick some arse!

Looking like his old self again
And that was it. The 8th Doctor was gone as soon as he returned. Will he pop up in The Day of the Doctor? I’d like to think so. After all, it doesn’t make sense to let that nice new costume go to waste. And it was shot in the last two days of the shooting block for The Day of the Doctor, so who’s to say he didn’t record scenes with Hurt and co. before hand? Speaking of costume, how cool was that? A nice throwback to the TV Movie outfit but with a bit more edge. I approve wholeheartedly! Now I just want the toy… in 5” scale! Also, note the Sonic Screwdriver is exactly the same as the one in the Movie too. No Weta Workshop prop to be found here, which makes me come to one conclusion: the leather jacket/jeans/satchel job is not canon. Now before someone bites my head off crying “But it’s on the cover of Dark Eyes! It’s been established as canon!” let us think about the actual story rather than flimsy box art. Where in the audio adventure is it explained that the Doctor changes his clothes for what he is wearing on the box? Nowhere. Nick Briggs noted that the sounds used of the 8th Doctor moving features the sound of leather squeaking, but I’ve listened through that story twice and I cannot hear it for the life of me. In fact, the only reference to his costume I can recall is when they mention his poor velvet coat is covered in cack. Nothing is said about him getting a new Sonic Screwdriver or a satchel either. It makes more sense that if he was going to change his clothes he’d choose a similar wardrobe as seen in this short. Honestly, I prefer this. Three consecutive incarnations in leather? One was more than enough. Let the Doctors have their own individual style, please.


So overall I loved it. Every second. Not just McGann’s return, it was all brilliant. None of this wishy-washy crap we usually get for a mini-sode. This could have easily have been on TV. Which is the reason why this is so bitter sweet. It should have been on TV. It gave us a sense of what we didn’t get. Now I love the fact that Big Finish is canon, that’s amazing, but listening to the 8th Doctor’s adventures isn’t the same as watching him in this story. By now you’ve probably seen the petitions to make mini-seasons with the 8th Doctor to help fill in those blanks for us. I can only hope that the BBC wake up and smell the coffee and go “Good grief, what a jolly good idea! Think of all of that extra money we could make?” It doesn’t need to be long, but come on; McGann would do it in a heartbeat! We’d bite their hands off for it… 

So with this and the missing episode recovery, we're doing well for the 50th.

9/10

Sunday, 17 November 2013

4th Doctor 1:6 Scale Figure - Shipping Reminder

If you're still on the fence about pre-ordering a fourth Doctor from Big Chief Studios, or if you are planning on ordering and you want him in time for Christmas then you must submit your order by Saturday the 30th November! Otherwise you'll have to wait until the second shipment in January.

You can order the figure from Big Chief here: http://www.bigchiefstudios.co.uk/site/fourth-doctor-limited-edition.php


Exclusive 50th Anniversary Celebration collectibles from Big Chief Studios

It's been a busy old week for Big Chief Studios with the announcements that their first Dynamix statue and their 1:6 10th and 4th Doctors are about to hit the UK, but today saw the announcement of a set of exclusives for the 50th Anniversary Celebration event at Excel in London next weekend! 

First up is an exclusive 10th Doctor in his Day of the Doctor outfit, with dark shirt and floral tie, limited to 100 pieces! So if you missed out on the original version here's your chance to nab another! There will be 25 pieces available on each day over the three (22nd-24th) for £179.99. I must say it looks like a stunning figure and Tennant's portrait is amazing! I'd love to own one, and I'm not even keen on the 10th Doctor! 

Any left over stock will go on sale on Big Chief's website (found in the links section on the right) as they explain: 

Any figures remaining unsold from each date will automatically be added to the next days total available to purchase.

To allow fans and collectors who are unable to attend the event a chance to own this ultra-limited figure we are reserving 25 pieces for sale exclusively via our official website. Please note however, that this figure will not be sold in the usual way. We will be setting up a special sign-up page for customers to enter for a chance to have their name randomly drawn out. Those 25 lucky customers will then be contacted to make their payment and their figure will be shipped out to them in time for the holidays. Note you will not yet be able to register your details, so kindly refrain from emailing us and look out for further details to be posted both here and on our official Facebook page.



On top of this, they will also be selling an exclusive version of their Dynamix art statue at the event! This version of the 10th Doctor comes in his brown suit, with an interchangeable head that features his 3D glasses! You can also swap the heads between the standard version too. The figure will also include two exclusive art prints, while stocks last. The figurine is limited to 500 pieces worldwide at £59.99, and will be available to order on the website after the convention. 


And if that's not all, Big Chief are launching a set of art prints at the event that will also be available on their website. 

Renowned artist Alice X. Zhang further extends the popular series that began with “The Roar of Our Stars”. Featuring breathtaking portraits of the 9th Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) entitled “The Parting of the Ways”, the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) entitled “The Turn of the Universe” and the mysterious Doctor character as portrayed by the esteemed actor John Hurt entitled “The Lonely God”.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Big Chief Studios' 1:6 Scale 10th and 4th Doctor Figures shipping in December!

The wait is nearly over! The highly anticipated releases from Big Chief will be here in the next few weeks! They've even supplied some pictures of the 'classic series' style packaging, which looks fantastic!

If you're off to the Celebration at Excell next week, you will also be able to pick up a 4th Doctor early (while stocks last of course). It should also be worth noting that if you want your 4th Doctor in time for Christmas then order now, otherwise you'll have to wait for the next shipment coming in January!

A review of the 4th Doctor is to come! Once he's in my "grubby protuberances!"





Thursday, 14 November 2013

Night of the Doctor online in 15 minutes?!?!

Well BBC iPlayer seems to think so, as does DWM's Tom Spilsbury!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p01lhhv4/Doctor_Who_Mini_Episode_The_Night_Of_The_Doctor/

More news as it comes!


Doctor Who Fancy Dress Costumes

You too can dress like your favourite Time Lord with these costumes from Rubies.

Costumes available include the 4th Doctor, 10th Doctor, 11th Doctor and Weeping Angel, as well as a child's 11th Doctor outfit. The Weeping Angel and 11th Doctor costumes are quite clearly the best.

You can order them now from Forbidden Planet.com by following the ad link on the right.




Wednesday, 13 November 2013

10th Doctor Dynamix Ultra-Stylised Figurine due in Stock Next Week!

Big Chief Studios' first Dynamix figurine is due in stock next week, with pre-orders being processed early that week and then shipping from the 26th November.

Big Chief will also be at the 50th Celebration event at Excel in London, displaying their various products and with limited numbers of this particular figurine available.

The figure now comes with an interchangeable head, featuring the Doctor in his glasses, as an added extra to make-up for the delays.

All direct orders will include two art-prints while stocks last.

I must say, I do love the packaging on this! Looks like a very cool statuette that really makes me wish we had a decent animated series of Doctor Who! I would be fascinated to see them do other Doctors and various monsters in this style.





Doctor Who Magazine Issue 467 - 50th Anniversary Issue

Wow, this is rather special! The folks at DWM have put together a massive bumper issue of their magazine to celebrate the show's 50th birthday! The issue is released 14/11/2013. Check out all of the stuff it comes with:


To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, Doctor Who Magazine 467 is the biggest issue ever, at 116 packed pages! It also comes complete with a very special 1960s-themed mini issue, which imagines how DWM might have celebrated the series’ first anniversary. PLUS! There’s also a set of 12 amazing art cards, featuring all 12 Doctors, and NINE free audio downloads of Doctor Who stories!

ALSO INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

Matt Smith and David Tennant – two Doctors interviewed together!
The Day of the Doctor – a preview of the 50th Anniversary Special, with exclusive new photographs!
Jenna Coleman (Clara Oswald) interviewed!
An Adventure in Space and Time – huge behind-the-scenes feature!
A fascinating feature on Anthony Coburn – Doctor Who’s greatest unsung hero!
An Unearthly Child – the draft scripts of Doctor Who’s very first episode revealed!
The Watcher’s Guide to Anniversaries!
The Five Doctors – a fascinating guide to Doctor Who’s 20th anniversary adventure!
Mary Peach – the guest star of The Enemy of the World reacts to the story’s recent recovery!
Production Notes – showrunner Steven Moffat is joined by someone from his past…
John Smith and the Common Men – a special anniversary comic strip!
The Time Team watch Last of the Time Lords and Time Crash!
The Watcher’s 50th Anniversary Quiz!
Competitions, puzzles, and much more!









Doctor Who Christmas Ornaments

Fancy giving the festive season a bit of a sci-fi edge? Well now you can with these Doctor Who Christmas tree ornaments! They hang about 2 and a half inches high and include silver string for hanging.


Doctor Who: The Vault - Treasures from the First 50 Years - Hardback and Digital Download

This very special book celebrating 50 years of Doctor Who is now available both in physical hardback and for digital download on Mac and iOS devices. From what I've seen of the book it does look rather lovely. I think I'll have to invest at some point! You can order from the BBC Shop via the ad link on the right.

Retail: £29.99
Digital: £14.99


The Vault is an unforgettable journey through 50 years of Doctor Who, via carefully selected photos, props, costume designs, memos, letters, script pages and more. Select and enlarge any image, and delve deeper into a number of products featured in its pages: sample chapters from books, pages from the first issue of Doctor Who Magazine, and clips from audio releases THE DEAD SHOES, THE PESCATONS and GENESIS OF THE DALEKS.

This is the full and official story of Doctor Who, from the first pre-production memos in 1963 to the most recent props created for the 2013 series, including interviews with key contributors and scores of prop photos, design sketches and behind the scenes stills from every decade of the show’s production. Taking you year by year through the world’s longest running science fiction series, Marcus Hearn explores the show’s groundbreaking innovations as well as its impact on popular culture through books and comics, magazines and toys, merchandise and ephemera.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Underground Toys to get 3.75" chase variants as a separate wave?

Rumour has it that Underground could be getting those elusive chase figures in the 3.75" line as a whole wave! So if you've been struggling to grab Dalek Sec or that Cyberman with a gun arm (seriously, why make that a variant!?) then this could be your chance to get them.

If this is true then it could be exclusive to the US... so you may be looking and some heavy postage and custom fees, but then again these figures have been going for over £100 on ebay...

More info as it comes!

Doctor Who: 8th Doctor Season Three - Rebirth

The third season begins early with this special two-part release, just in time to celebrate 50 years of Doctor Who.

Enjoy the trailer, and be sure to tune in on Saturday the 16th and Saturday the 23rd!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Regeneration Fourth Doctor - Review

An unscheduled review! A huge amount of thanks to James Naylor (ThalLovingKaled) for supplying this figure! I now have the complete collection of classics thanks to his generosity and kindness.

Enjoy the review!




Monday, 4 November 2013

Figures of the Month - October 2013

A bit slow getting this one together, but better late than never! Here’s a look at a few of my prized purchases of this month. Now many of you will know that Doctor Who merchandise has been firing out on all cylinders this month, with Ace, the Priory set and of course the recent Doctor /Dalek 2-packs. Not all of those will be chronicled here, but you can find the reviews of said sets both on here and on my YouTube channel.

So without further ado, let’s run down the list!

Doctor Who: Pyramids of Mars - Priory Set


Okay so this isn’t a single figure, but with the Doctor Who Classic range you are hard pushed to find single carded releases. Most of my thoughts and feelings for this set are detailed in the review below, but for the purposes of this article, here are a few points on why this set is so amazing. Value for money. This was something I didn’t mention in the review, but for a set that’s £29.99 you’re getting a lot for your buck. Two new figures (sort of), one of which has electronic parts. Then we have the plethora of accessories and of course that wonderful diorama. Once upon a time £24.99 would only get you the two figures. That extra fiver goes far!

I have already expressed my baffled joy at the Marcus Scarman figure, and I’m sure anyone else of an age or of a particular audience will feel the same way. My brother saw him in-hand for the first time on Wednesday, and although he admitted it was a strange choice of figure he was quick to note that it is still cool to have him. Now we just need Sarah, Ibrahim Namin, Lawrence Scarman, the poacher and the butler for a full cast of figures!

Sutekh’s glowing eyes are a much loved feature by collectors of any age, whether you’re a kid or whether you’re like me and my brother,  ‘crazy men-children’ (Thomas, Kat: 2013). It works perfectly and the feature is concealed well in the back of Sutekh’s head. No large buttons sticking out a la Toy Biz Batman/DC Superheroes here.

Then there are all the fun accessories to finish off your recreation of the story. The final set of canopic jars (which someone has informed me aren’t accurate), and that excellent Sarcophagus with the holographic Smarties flying through space. All great fun. The Osiran Service Rocket is the icing on the cake. Who cares if it’s made of cardboard? It works a treat and looks so cool on display, especially with all of the other Pyramids of Mars releases to join them.

 If you get one of the FPI exclusive sets this year, I’d say go for this one.



Masters of the Universe Classics: Sky-High and the Jet Sled


Ah another Masters of the Universe Classics figure. Well, a set. As MotUC and Doctor Who Classics are the only toys I really buy these days (my sincerest apologies to DC Universe Classics and Marvel Legends) there’s likely to always be something Masters related in this monthly slot. This time it’s Sky-High and his Jet-Sled, or Sky-Sled to those of us who care little for the copyright woes Mattel have faced with this one. Sky High is based on a piece of vintage art from the original toy-line, an unnamed pilot flying the Wind Raider. As such Mattel has released this fellow under the name Sky-High. Makes sense, no? The bio on the back gives him a bit of character, and he’s basically the Eternian equivalent to Hal Jordan. The best of the best, no rules test-pilot.


The figure is a neat design; the armour is adorned with the same dragon design as the Wind Raider in a bright metallic red, making a nice connection to his test-pilot job description. His ‘wings’ on the back, which I imagine to be some form of glider to escape exploding aircraft, also allude to the Wind Raider wings, which is also a nice touch. The ‘wings’ can be removed so the pilot can fit in the Wind Raider (sold separately) but also used as a double bladed weapon. Perfect for slicing down Skeletor’s minions or Horde Troopers. As with all of the figures in this line the head is removable, allowing you to put the heads of other characters in its place. Fancy having He-Man in full pilot regalia? Well now you can! Placing the normal head under arm even makes it look as if He-Man and co. are carrying their helmets with them. A serendipitous element that works very well! The design of the helmet, although simple, is very much a ‘knight of the realm’ design that fits in very well with the sci-fi fantasy ethos of MotU. The metallic blue paint apps help the armour details to stand out against the main black of his armour. He’s not one of the most interesting of designs in some respects, but the black makes him stand out from the rest of the Heroic Warriors, and the knight-look when stood with the Palace Guards makes you feel that the armies of Eternia are clearly regimented. I can see why those who can afford too bought a couple of these as army builders. They look cool on the battlefield.


Now the main selling point for this set was the Sky-Sled. I mean Jet-Sled… yes…  of course I do… Anyhoo, the Sky-Sleds have been one of the most common ways for travelling across Eternia. They were a common feature of both the Filmation and Mike Young Productions cartoons, the latter of which got me into MotU, and sadly only had a toy in the vintage line. I longed for one in the 2002 toy line I grew up with, but alas no. But that’s all academic now, as this version is brilliant! A beautifully sculpted piece from the Four Horsemen. The control panel details are fully sculpted and painted, as are the dragon designs on the sides, no place for stickers here folks! The application of metallic blue paint to the nuts and bolts really make these small details stand out. The back of the Sled features two small ‘clips’. For the uninformed this is a nod to a possible Battle Ram to be released, which was teased at a Toy Fair/Con back in 2010. Sadly due to the lack of interest in the first vehicle of the line, the Wind Raider, all plans for this got shelved. However what we did get is the front half, the Sky-Sled, the bit I really cared about. So it’s no issue to me that we don’t have the ‘tank’ end of this larger Battle Ram, but the fact that the Sky-Sled has been constructed with the possibility of that in mind is a cool touch.

Ace:



Well how could she not be? The funny thing is, after the laboured wait we had for this figure I was beginning to lose interest. Honestly! But when she did arrive I was besotted! Ace is a stunning figure that captures Sophie Aldred’s likeness perfectly and features some incredible details in the form of her badges. The two display options are a fun but fiddly process, which is great for anyone who is interested in displaying her in other ways.


The accessories here are amazing. She has tons! Not just her baseball bat, but a rocket launcher with removable rocket, three cans of Nitro 9, and a rucksack… that works! Underground Toys really pushed the boat out with this one and it really does show. A wonderful figure who we can at last put on the shelf alongside the professor.





Thanks for reading! Join me at the end of November for some more figures of the month!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

"Well... Here we go again" - New Review this Week!

An unscheduled review is set to appear this week! The figure comes courtesy of James Naylor (ThalLovingKaled as he's known on YouTube) who was extremely kind to part company with it, which means my long search is over! But what is this mystery figure? Well here's a hint...