Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Doctor Who Classics: Figures we'd Like to See - Monsters and Villains - Part Three: The Eighties

We’re back! Finishing off with the monsters and villains of the 1980s that deserve to be toys! Like the 60s the 80s hasn’t done that well for figures. Sure there are a lot of them, but these are mainly Doctor variants and Daleks and Cybermen. Now a lot of people say the 80s is where the rot set in, and yes I would agree there is an element of that with some utterly dreadful scripts and production decisions, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of good stories and it definitely doesn’t mean there aren’t some brilliant monsters! So read on and see what I think deserves to be immortalised in plastic!

Terileptil and the Android
This has to happen. Has too! The Terileptils are great monsters and I think the design would work even better as an action figure, rather than a man wobbling around blind in a rubber suit. The beauty of them is that one sculpt fits all. The basic body could be used across all three Terileptils. Then the face could be a separate piece, one damaged sculpt for the leader and a normal sculpt for the two henchmen. Repaint them to match their onscreen counterparts and give one of them the little gun used to destroy the Sonic Screwdriver with. A rotocast green chamber thing that the inhale the fumes from would be nice too. One set a la the Revenge Cybermen or split into two, one of which includes the Android.

Just look at that robot. It’s a brightly coloured glittery sequined concoction that just exudes 80s design. It would look amazing! Even Al Dewar has mentioned how cool it would look! They could get one or two releases out of it, depending on how they work it. One standard Android and another dressed as the Grim Reaper with Scythe. That or they could do it as one figure with accessories. Either way I want want want!

The Master - Anthony Ainely
“But you have the Master. It is Anthony Ainely’s head sculpt, in his outfit from ‘Planet of Fire’.” That’s me paraphrasing a comment left on Gallifrey Base by our friends at Character. So what is the big deal? The big deal is that technically that isn’t the Master. That is Kamelion in disguise as the Master. The Master in that story is stuck in a box wearing, oh yes, his proper outfit. Something fans have dubbed the penguin suit. This Traken-esque outfit with tails is great and is this particular Master’s favoured outfit. He wore it in every story bar one. One! But for some reason that doesn’t warrant a release. Now a card often played is “Oh but there are no suitable reuse possibilities” No? Well here’s three off the bat:

 1) Standard outfit with gold collar. Give him a Cyberman gun and pack him with a ‘The Five Doctors’ Cyber Leader. Heck, pack him with his pillar Tardis again, who cares. I just want a proper Ainley.

2) In cloak from ‘The Five Doctors’ packaged with either a Cyberman or Cyber Leader, or Third Doctor variant from said story (if Character Building can get one, then I want a proper action figure)

3) Standard outfit with silver collar. Now this could be packaged with a Sixth Doctor in his ‘Trial of a Time Lord’ red neck tie and chequered waistcoat or even the Valeyard or the Rani. The latter are unlikely given their excessive tooling needs.

4) ‘Survival’ outfit. Change the arms and the PVC wrap around piece of the torso for one that resembles his gear in this story. You could get two releases from this. One with normal eyes with Cheetah Person, one with Cheetah eyes and packaged with a Seventh Doctor also with Cheetah eyes.
So hurry up and get on it!

I love Tetraps! They’re a great looking monster! Giant bats with four eyes and sticky out tongues! I used to love the Dapol version and Designworks would make them look incredible! Two variants are possible, a standard version and the lead Tetrap, Urak, with little communicator bracelet. A net gun would be a cool accessory. Package them with either a regeneration seventh Doctor or the Rani.

This has to happen! So the head design caused controversy back in the day, but this would be brilliant! Look at how cool the design is! It’s aching to be made into an action figure! Stick one with Mel or a re-release of the sixth Doctor from the Eleven Doctors set. A total must have for me.

The Destroyer
No one tell me that the 80s monsters sucked, look at this guy! He looks like he’s stepped off the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer from six years into the future! Incredible make-up! He would look so cool towering over the other Seventh Doctor era figures, especially with those massive horns on his bonce! He may have done little in the story, but he certainly needs a figure! Put him with an old Brigadier to recreate the showdown at the end of ‘Battlefield’.

Haemovores and the Ancient One
Another easy and obvious one. There are numerous sculpts that Character could stick a Haemovore’s head and hands on to. The Gelth Zombie, any figure wearing a suit, the Scarecrows, any of the Primeval figures… I wouldn’t mind if they weren’t spot on. Repaint any of those figures mentioned to look like they’ve been festering underwater and they’d look great. Obviously I’d love to see Haemovores in other period wear, but this is the cheaper option. A must have.

The Ancient One is sadly incredibly tricky. Look at him! All that new tooling! Sigh, it’ll never happen. But he’d look awesome. Especially with a few Haemovores to flank him.

Silurians, Sea Devils and the Myrka
‘Warriors of the Deep’ isn’t great. The Silurian and Sea Devil designs aren’t anywhere near as good as in their 70s stories, but they still deserve figures because they both look cool. The Silurians still look great, and I love the shell-like structures they have on their torsos. One sculpt would fit all. You could tweak it to include a standard Silurian and one with bracelet as featured on Ichtar. The Sea Devils are also a must have. Personally I think they’re helmets look bloody ridiculous. When they walk around they wobble all over the place. But the toy wouldn’t have that issue. Removable helmets would be fun, that or two releases, one or two packaged together with helmet and another helmetless like Sauvix.

The Myrka is the butt of many jokes. On screen it looks ridiculous. It even tries to karate chop Ingrid Pitt, which is one of the most hysterical things ever seen in Doctor Who. As a rotocast toy I think it could do better. Designworks could make it look more structurally sound and it would only require arm articulation, heck I’d be happy to forgo that if I’m honest! Package it with a Sea Devil or Silurian.

Cheetah Person
Well if we can get Novice Hame, who is as dull as dishwater, then we should at least be able to get one of these. Sadly it won’t happen because the tooling costs would be mad. I’m not even going to be crazy enough to suggest a horse. But a few of these would be fantastic, they’d look marvelous. Package one with a tweaked Ace! Come on! It was the last proper episode for sixteen years!

Omega and the Ergon
We have the seventies version, which is generally considered the best design, so why not the 80s one? An interchangeable Fifth Doctor head would also be really cool! I think as a design this would make for a cool figure.

The Ergon would also be a welcome addition. Okay it looks like a cheap wobbly monster when in motion, but I can’t see any problems with the design. It’s pretty creepy and always reminded me of one of the bosses from ‘Super Castlevania IV’. Certainly a cool looking figure, especially with all of those bone like protrusions. Maybe even rotocasting could work in this case.

Another figure that would be great! I love the story and the concept behind it and I’ve always liked the look of them. I remember being rather creeped out by the Marshmen rising from the mist in ‘Full Circle’ so I think this is where my longing for this one comes from. Include a branch/staff weapon and maybe a decapitated K9! Easy retooling for sure!

Another must have! They’re great, plus they’re an easy rotocast with only little arms for articulation. Repaint one to look like the Gravis. You could even include a rolled up ball version! I’d love these! Make it so CO!

The Rani
You’re probably surprised to see her so low down the list, but I would love to see her released. In either costume from both of her appearances or just one. However I do think it is incredibly unlikely we’ll see her at all. Package her with the Master or a Tetrap. That would be awesome.

Josiah’s Husks
Now these have to happen surely. Character can take any of their suit wearing figures (Lord knows there’s a fair few) and just tweak the sculpt a little to be a bowtie/dinner suit and then add new heads and hands. I think their jackets include tails, but I’d forgive Character for not bothering. I always thought they were creepy looking and managed to see them up close and personal at Longleat. They’d be pretty cool.

The Valeyard
Since his name check in ‘The Name of the Doctor’ people seem to be more interested in this mysterious chap, even though what he is isn’t entirely clear. But I’d love to see an action figure. It would never happen of course, but I’d like to see it. Maybe two release, one with hat and one without. That or interchangeable heads.

Sontarans: Stike and Varl
Again, probably surprised to see these so low down the list but because we have a few from the 70s I’m happy to hold off on these in favour of totally new creations. Whereas the previous Sontarans have used the same body sculpt, this would have to be different. The actual suits do not feature the same ribbed effect and of course Stike is a very tall Sontaran. Odd yes, but I think Clinton Greyn is very good in the role. In all honesty I think I could let it slide if they reused the standard body. Just add new heads/collars/helmets and the massive guns they have along with their usual wands. A nice little two pack.

Now I know there is an element of daftness to their look, notably the elasticated section around their neck, but in toy form I think these guys would be pretty neat! A rotocast figure would make up for their plump appearance and with nice detailing for scales etc I think they could look rather impressive. Maybe even make them a tad larger like the Axon/Krynoid. Release it with the 4th Doctor in his burgundy costume with hat and socks. Lovely.

The Black Guardian
It won’t ever happen, but he was the key villain to season 20. A far more interesting look than his brief glimpse in the Key to Time season, I’m not sure a bloke with a raven glued to his head is going to do that well. But I think he’d be a nice addition, especially given his all-powerful status. Stick him with Turlough perhaps.

Another cool figure, but not one I’m clamouring for. You could probably get two uses from the same sculpt with a teeny tweak. One normal a la Biroc, and a scarred version of the poor bugger who had his hands and face melted off. Or stick Biroc with Romana and K9! That would be nice.

The Garm and the Vanir
Now I saw the Garm for real at Longleat when I was about 2/3 years old. We have it on video in fact! I think as a rotocast figure this could work. It’s not a great monster as it is basically a fat Chewbacca with the head of a dog. Perhaps Designworks could make it look fiercer? But towering above the other figures on the shelf would be really cool!

The Vanir would also look good! I’m not fussed about alternate human heads or anything, just the full body armour and helmet head. It’s a rather snazzy design, again skeletal, which is fun. It is also a case of one sculpt fits all. Release this twice, one with tan brown cloak and another with red and you are sorted!

Meglos Doctor
Okay, I know this is a Doctor variant but it’s also a baddy too. A really simple one. Tweak the hands and head and give it a lick of green paint. Simple. Stick in a rotocast cactus in for fun too!

Raston Warrior Robot
Utilising the Sharaz Jek/Humanid Axon body, I think this is an easy one. The sculpt could even be reused on an ‘Earthshock’ Cyber-Android (see later in this article). Release it with Cybermen with the new boots used on the Rogue Cyberman release. Or release it with the Third Doctor in his ‘Five Doctors’ outfit. Or with damaged Cybermen! Missing limbs, heads etc. Or with a Cyber Leader. Lots of options there!

The Three who Rule: Zargo, Camilla and Aukon
Okay, never going to happen. Ever. Not in a million years. But I’d love them! My favourite story of the E-Space Trilogy, ‘State of Decay’ has a lovely return to the Fourth Doctor’s early gothic years. Zargo, Camilla and Aukon would make great figures, but the tooling costs would be mad an unusable elsewhere. Pity.

Stengos Dalek and the Great Healer Davros
A bit further down the list because I’d prefer all new monsters, but I think this should happen. A glass Dalek with the mutated remains of a man’s head inside. Not sure how they would do it to be honest, but it would be cool f they could. Especially if packaged with…

The Great Healer aka Davros. Now this is tricky as it is pretty much a table with Davros’ head in a jar. A rotocast perhaps? I’d understand if it was an absolute no.

Probably a possible one, given the ability to pack them with the ever popular Cybermen. It would also be a handy way of getting those new boots Cybermen figures out too. The Cryon could be release as standard and then add a cloak and repaint for their leader, Flast.

Cyber Controller
Another one that baffles me, why haven’t we seen him? I’m not asking for them to make a brand new portly Cyberman sculpt, use the existing one and retool the existing Cyberman head! Easy!

It’ll never happen and I wasn’t sure where to plonk him on the list, but Shockeye would be great. Alas the amount of new tooling makes him nigh on impossible. Perhaps if they tweaked the Troughton sculpt they could repaint it and stick his head on that to match the part where he and the Androgum Second Doctor go off to eat. I’d prefer a normal outfit version though. In fact, tweak Troughton to look like an Androgum too! That would be fun! I’ll mention that when I get to Doctor variants…

The Borad and Android
‘Timelash’ is truly a terrible story, the Borad however is very good! I love the make-up. I love figures that are two halves; I find them visually very interesting. I don’t see this ever happening but I would be pleased to see him. The Android would make a neat figure, but alas I don’t see much call for him either.

Not keen on ‘Dragonfire’ myself, but the Dragon would make for a cool monster. It looks pretty good in the story and I think it would work well in plastic. I'm not expecting the head to collapse open to reveal the stone inside. Maybe a variant in another set?

Mestor and the Jacondans
Another crappy story (seems to be a trend) and this villain looks, well pretty crappy too. I’m sure Designworks Windsor could make this look a hell of a lot less like a guy in a suit and more like an actual slug creature. Rotocast it with articulation at the head and arms. Maybe include some eggs for accessories.
Jacondan guards or the main Jacondan followers of Mestor could also be quite cool. I think the make-up here isn’t half bad! They always put me in the mind of something from ‘Return to Oz’. But an unlikely release. Maybe the old Sharaz Jek body could be of use?

Sil (Mindwarp)
Simply because I think the make-up and costume are better in this story. But sadly that large chair construct is so big and complex that I doubt it’ll happen. Ever.

Drathro and the L7 Robot
Not entirely fussed if I’m honest, but a simple rotocast for sure. Package him with a Sixth Doctor in blue necktie with red chequered waistcoat.  Or with the L7 robot. Surely just a rotocast block of plastic.

Chief Clown, Clowns and the Bus Conductor
Now the first two aren’t likely to happen. I’ll be honest I am not desperate for these but they’d be handy henchmen for the Joker. The Chief Clown is wonderfully creepy in that episode and his body sculpt could easily be repainted and/or tweaked to be used for the other clowns. Perhaps the Sharaz Jek body is useable here?

The Bus Conductor, I’m really not fussed with at all, however there is more chance of seeing this one. Stick a new head on the body of the John Simm Master in suit and change the hands. Job done. It could be an easy release with a tweaked Ace. After all, they need to get their money’s worth out of her sculpt.

The Gods of Ragnarok
Unlikely. After all it is just three people sat down. I think the easiest way to do this would be as one solid rotocast piece. Sculpted to their throne, all joined together, with only the heads and arms being articulated. Toss a Seventh Doctor with normal head, hat, sword and Eye necklace.

Not a figure I’m in desperate need for, and again she will never happen. But I think this one is a nice pairing for the Destroyer, the only reason she's on the list.

Unlikely, again, and one I’m not overly in need for. I’d be happy with just the Husks, but this golden robed chap could really stand out amongst the dark suits of the Husks and the brown clothing of the Seventh Doctor. Perhaps the Sharaz Jek body could be used for under the robes, which just slip over the top?

Kalid, Xeraphin and the Plasmatons
Never going to happen, especially considering the episode is terrible. But I would love Kalid especially with an interchangeable Anthony Ainley head. It’s such a weird moment of madness that is never explained as to why he decided to dress up like that. Just shits and giggles I guess.
I have no real desire for the Xeraphin but this would be a perfect reuse of the Sharaz Jek/Humanoid Axon body sculpt. Add a new head and repaint and you are sorted.
With the Plasmaton I’m again not particularly fussed, but I think it would look interesting on the self. An easy rotocast figure given they are simply blobs with legs.

Androzani Android and Bat Creature
Not fussed about either, but the Android could be an easy one to do, especially without likeness rights. Would be nice to have two to flank Sharez Jek on the self.

The creature isn’t the Queen Bat, in fact I don’t know if it is named. But it looks terrible on screen. An ill proportioned rubber mess. But I think Designworks could make it work and in doing so it could be quite a fun figure. Probably rotocast due to its size. But it could be fun.

Cyber Leader
Not desperate for this, but why the hell hasn’t it happened!? An easy repaint of the existing ‘Earthshock’ Cyberman! Stick him with Adric or perhaps an Android utilising the Sharaz Jek/Humanoid Axon body.

Lytton and Policemen and/or Dalek Troopers
Never in a billion years! But he had to appearances and has a range of variations. In police office gear, use the same body with alternate heads to be his two police lackeys. They don’t even have to resemble the actors, just use generic faces like the Roman Autons.

Or there’s the Dalek Trooper gear. With/or without helmet. Could be an interchangeable head job. The basic body may even be useable for Dalek Troopers.

Or just reuse the Primeval figure in suit and repaint it. Surprising that this character could have so many possibilities!

The Kandyman
“Why is this at the bottom of the list!?” I hear you cry! Well simply because we know it will never happen (damn your hide to hades Bertie Bassett!) But yes, I’d adore the Kandyman. I’m sure most would.

The Master (Eric Roberts)
Yeah, okay this is 1996 but I’m not doing an article for one figure. I don’t like him as the Master, I’m not so keen on the film itself, but I would like to have every incarnation of the Master on the shelf. He is the only one stopping that from becoming a reality. Well, that and a proper clothed Ainely. I’d prefer the Time Lord gear as that would look awesome, but I’m up for his Terminator cosplay version too. Never going to happen though. Some rights issue with Universal or Fox or whoever produced this bloody thing. Lesson learned BBC, don’t do co-productions with the big American studios. They’ll want to change everything and they’ll stop you from making action figures.

We’re done! Every monster and villain I would like to see. Some more than others, obviously, but I know the vast majority will never see the light of day. I’ll be lucky if one figure on this list gets made. Are there any figures you’d like to see? Let me know!

Join me next week when I look at Doctor variants, Companions and supporting characters from the Sixties! Until next time! 


  1. Whether this suggestion counts as a Doctor variant I don't know but a Watcher figure from 'Logopolis' would be good to put with the Regenerated 5th Doctor or maybe a giant snake (probably would never happen) from 'Kinda'.

  2. I know this is talking about figures, classic figures, but what I would really like as well is if we finally had some proper classic TARDIS playsets. I mean my classic figures just look a tad out of place standing around with a morbius and a voc robot next to them, considering the ninth, tenth and eleventh all have their own TARDIS consoles. So if they can make a TARDIS playset as good as 9th/10th Doctor's one, why on Earth can't they make the classics? I mean some of them were exactley the same, pratically.