Sunday, 28 December 2014

Doctor Who AFA 8th Doctor Season 3: The Gates of Elysium - Part Two

Davros has opened the Gates of Elysium and the Web of Time is still out of his reach. The Doctor will make an uneasy alliance to ensure the safety of the universe, but something else is lurking within the Gates...

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Doctor Who AFA 8th Doctor Season 3: The Gates of Elysium - Part One

Episode one is here! The Doctor and Leela are on an endless search to locate Emily, while Davros and the Daleks create a replacement sixth segment to the Key to Time...

Friday, 19 December 2014

Doctor Who Action Figure Review: Dalek with Mutant Scoop - 3.75"

"Daleks conquer and destroy!" An extra, unscheduled, review courtesy of the very kind Chris Clark! Chris was awfully generous in sending over this new Dalek variant from the 3.75" range! Enjoy the video!

Click here to order! 

Don't forget that the 8th Doctor returns tomorrow morning at 9 in The Gates of Elysium, which also features Chris' amazing CGI work!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Batman the Animated Figures Wave 4 REDUCED PRICE

Forbidden Planet International were quick to place the latest wave of figures up for pre-order on their site after last week's image reveals, but after a brief period of being set to the usual pre-order price of £19.99 they have now been reduced to £16.99!

If you already pre-ordered the wave while at their normal price point then you should receive an email from FPI explaining you will be refunded the extra money.

You can pre-order all of wave 4 and the previous waves here!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

12th Doctor 1:6 Scale Figure - Big Chief Studios

Big Chief's 12th Doctor figure is now up for pre-order on their website! The figure features an impressive likeness of Peter Capaldi and includes his costume as seen in most of the episodes in his first series. There's even a magnetic fastener so that you can pose the figure with coat closed (with no unsightly poppers ruining the illusion)!

As usual the figure comes with a variety of interchangeable hands, including a 'leather glove' hand with removable spoon from The Robot of Sherwood, as well as a 'pointing fingers' hand to recreate the iconic image of his costume reveal from earlier in the year.

Other accessories include an open and closed version of the Sonic Screwdriver, Psychic Paper, TARDIS in Siege Mode cube a Cigarette Case with Jelly Babies and a Yo-Yo. He also comes with the standard light-up display base with the number twelve written in Gallifreyan text, as well as as a card backdrop of the inside of his TARDIS.

As an extra bonus, the first 500 pre-orders will receive a bonus mini TARDIS from Flatline, which features opening doors, includes the ability to clip in the interchangeable hands and also features a paper insert of the Doctor's face. A very novel and fun accessory!

Unfortunately, there will be no Signature Edition of this figure.

Pre-order is £169.99 and you can get yours by clicking here! Due to ship July 2015.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Monday, 17 November 2014

Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor Set - Review

I take a look at the latest figure in the 5" range: the highly anticipated 11th Doctor from series 7, complete with alternate 12th Doctor head!

You can order the set here: Doctor Who Exclusive - The Time of the Doctor 11th & 12th Figure

Friday, 14 November 2014

An Outsider's Doctor Who Action Figure Review

This is not your normal action figure review... My big brother Paolo hasn't collected toys since Return of the Jedi, so let's see what he has to say about the Doctor Who figures...

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Power to the People: Could voting be the future of the 5" Classic Doctor Who figures?

Now this is a mixture of both old and current (or should that be possible future?) news that has caused a great deal of discussion on Twitter. I have posted and commented on said news on the Facebook page, but otherwise I have had little to say.

Lately there has been something of a drop in the production of Classic Doctor Who figures in the 5" line. As a line pretty much limited to the likes of Underground Toys and Forbidden Planet, we had gone from a period of several two-packs and box sets per year, almost bi-monthly, to one or two single figures per year. This winding down did seem to set alarm bells ringing. The suddenly, on the evening that Murder on the Orient Express aired, we were asked by Al Dewar on Twitter to vote for the next Classic figure. The choices were incredibly tantalising:

  • Jamie
  • Silurian (Doctor Who and the Silurians)
  • Sarah Jane Smith
  • Tegan
  • The Master (Anthony Ainley in velvet costume) 

Not an easy choice to make by any means (I went for Silurian) and Jamie was definitely hogging the limelight. But why this sudden 'vote'? According to Mr Dewar, plans were being discussed to make the Classic line a limited edition collectors line, similar to Hasbro's Star Wars: Black Series. The idea would be that two to three figures would be produced per year at around £19.99 each and fans would vote for what figure would be produced. Considering we pay the same amount from Forbidden Planet, that's not bad, especially if it was limited to only 2-3 per year. By doing this, it would allow figures that fans have demanded get the opportunity of being made. There would be no ties to variants, so don't expect one Jamie being the release of three variants featuring different coloured neck ties or anything like that. This is what would make them so limited, original sculpts that once they're gone they're gone.

Now this is all hypothetical. Nothing is set in stone until there is a formal announcement (if ever), but it's always fun to speculate. Should this go ahead, and I'm sure we're all crossing our fingers that it does, it will be a very bold move on Character Option's part. The concept of making the figures web store exclusives that is very much placed in the consumer's hands is not something that you would expect from a company like Character. Our very own White Guardian, Jonathon Carley, and I, had discussed the idea of Classic figures moving to online exclusives in the past. We contemplated the possibility of a figure per month, some being repaints/re-tweaked variants, that people would subscribe to for a year. This was based on the techniques employed by Mattel's Matty Collector site and their Masters of the Universe ClassicsDC Universe Signature Series lines, as well as Hasbro's own collector site. However, Mattel is a huge global toy company with franchises under the DC Comics banner that greatly overwhelm the Doctor Who's global status. Similarly, Masters of the Universe may not be the franchise giant of DC or, arguably, Doctor Who, but while the fan numbers may be small, the franchise is based on the action figures and therefore you can assume that 90% of the Masters fans across the planet will pick up the figures in some capacity. Unfortunately, the same can't be said of Doctor Who fans. They may outnumber the He-Man fans, but not all of them invest such great amounts of time and money into it's respective toy line. 

The very fact that the Classic figures don't have the same collector weight behind them as the other franchises I have listed is a cause for concern. We have no idea how many numbers of people are need to commit to buy these proposed figures in order to make them viable. These collector sites work akin to Kickstarter - if they don't get the numbers/money that means we don't get the product. I have seen toy lines meet their end because there was not enough numbers, and it's really disappointing for the fans who are desperate to keep a line going. Sadly, that's the way these things go. Alongside this, we have the fact that Character Options is not a collector brand. Doctor Who is really the only action figure range they have produced that appeals to the collector, but at their core they are still kids toys (yeah, sorry about that). If you look at Character's website, it is a mass of children's products like Peppa Pig and not the sort of place you would imagine finding a page of collector specific figures where we have to vote for what comes next. For collectors to know what's going on this will need to be advertised on every site, forum and in every sci-fi magazine across the land. Unfortunately, even Doctor Who Magazine rarely gives time to the figures, something that doesn't help the casual buyer who doesn't keep their ear to the ground 24/7. 

So lets forget all of the concerns for the moment and lets focus on 'what if it all goes ahead'. The option to have original figures with new sculpts is a tantalising one. That's not to assume that they won't stop sharing old parts, why not if you can get away with it? But this would mean we will see the figures Underground/FPI weren't interested in. For instance, 1960s and 1980s Doctor Who have always been considered a black hole for the figures. The concern from those in retail was that no one remembered the fuzzy old black and white stories and everyone was trying very hard to forget the brightly coloured 80s stories. This isn't the case for the fans and collectors who have been clamouring for more monsters and companions from those respective eras. It's no wonder that Jamie and Tegan are the first of the five figures being proposed in this initial vote-off. Even Ainley's Master didn't get a proper release in his trademark costume on the basis that he wasn't liked/known by the general public, unlike Delgado who remains the archetypal Master for many. This will be a massive opportunity to see these often sought after figures made a reality. 

Currently the proposed number is 2-3 figures per year. Not many, but I assume that, should it become a major success, we could see more. Mattel's Masters of the Universe Classics was originally planned as three two-packs per year, which was abandoned in favour for a figure per month way before the figures were up for pre-order. I am not expecting the same from this, but it would be lovely to get a new monster/companion every month in the post. One of the things that helped Mattel was their later inclusion of a subscription, where fans would pay $20 in advance to commit to the full 12 months of standard figures and beasts and receive an exclusive subscription only figure. This would be a great idea for those, like me, who want everything. It would also ensure that those voting actually did buy the figure. There's no use in having 500 people vote and only 100 actually buy the thing, so steps must be planned in order to make your vote lock you in as committed to buy. I have also seen people worry about whether they will be able to purchase multiple figures, especially for army builders like Silurians, Cybermen etc. I'm sure this would be a possibility, after all they're not going to turn down figures being sold.

If this new system does come into play and if it does become a success, then perhaps this could mean we might see some larger items? Again, using Matty Collector as an example, they had no expectations of producing larger items like beasts, vehicles and, ultimately, playsets. Now we have a ton of them and a massive Castle Grayskull. If this was to happen with the Doctor Who line, could we see additional TARDISes? After all, we do know that additional Police Boxes were sculpted. Could Bessie ever get made? Again, it's been sculpted and is gathering dust in a cupboard somewhere. Perhaps we may even see some sort of console room? The possibilities are endless, but it all depends on if it happens and if it is a success.

I welcome this new idea with welcome arms. If it means the Classics, as we know and love them, can continue, then you've got my vote! I'll give you £40 for two Silurians now! I'm sure the new series 5" figures will probably be limited to the likes of Underground Toys, but at least we'll be getting the best of both somehow.

Not quite the end, and the moment hasn't been prepared for.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Big Chief Studios Update - 1:6 Scale 11th Doctor's TARDIS, 11th Doctor Stetson Portrait

Big Chief have revealed their upcoming 11th Doctor's TARDIS, complete with lights and interchangeable backdrops to reflect the series 5 and 7 console rooms. Limited to 1000 worldwide, the TARDIS is £269.99 and is due for release in June 2015. Pre-order here.

By paying in full or using one of Big Chief's payment plans, you will also receive the 11th Doctor's green trench coat from series 6.

In addition to this, Big Chief have also released an additional 11th Doctor portrait for their first figure, this time in his Stetson. At £34.99 this is the perfect addition to your trench coat that comes with the TARDIS! Pre-order here.

There have also been several updates for other products. The 1:6 scale First Doctor is now expected to ship early in January. The 1:6 Weeping Angel polystone statues are due towards the end of January, and finally the Fourth Doctor's new grinning portrait is expected in March. Just in time for my birthday!

More updates as they come!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Diamond Classics Regenerated 4th Doctor from 'Planet of the Spiders' and Holographic 10th Doctor from 'Blink'

Some interesting additions from across the pond, it seems that the previously exclusive 4th and 10th Doctor figures are getting a US release. Recently Underground Toys has been repackaging older figures in the 'Classics' packaging, and these appear to be the latest additions.

What's interesting is that the 4th Doctor appears to have the standard head, rather than the unique version featured in the Time Capsule set. However, early prototype images of the UK release featured the standard head before being altered. Therefore, it is currently unclear as to which head the figure will feature until we get in-package pictures.

Similarly, the holographic 10th Doctor also features an altered deco with dark 'phasing' lines running horizontally across his body.

It is unlikely that these figures will be released in the UK, and as such you'll be looking at hefty import fees for these chaps.

Doctor Who 1:4 Radio Control Classic K9 Mark II

Having previously been teased on Twitter, the new Mk II version of the 1:4 scale K-9 has been revealed. Exclusive to Toys R Us, it features new phrases recorded by John Leeson, and comes in the classic series colour.

Much like the previous release, K-9 features an extending nose blaster, motorised ear movement and a removable access panel.

Currently the only detractor is the whopping great price of £69.99!

Robert Harrop Doctor Who Figurines - Paint Samples

After months of WIP pictures, Robert Harrop have finally released images of the paint samples of their upcoming Doctor Who figurines. Details such as the scale and the prices have yet to be revealed, but at present the figures are as follows:

Commander Linx the Sontaran from the 1973 episode ‘The Time Warrior’. Sculpted by Mike Rogers.

A Cyberman from the 1975 episode ‘The Revenge of the Cybermen’. Sculpted by Simon Boden.

A Silurian from the 1970 episode ‘The Silurians’. Sculpted by Mike Rogers.

and finally The Ice Warrior ‘Varga’ from the 1968 episode ‘The Ice Warriors’.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Monday, 20 October 2014

Batman the Animated Series - Wave Three Images

Newly painted prototype images of the third wave of figures based on the critically acclaimed series are now available. The wave is set for release May 2015.

First up, we have the Creeper from The New Batman Adventures. 

Secondly we have Killer Croc, who comes packaged with Baby Doll. Although I'm not a fan of Croc's redesign, they have done an excellent job with the likeness. This also marks the first time Baby Doll, a character created for the series, has been released. 

Rather surprisingly, Tim Drake's Robin comes straight after Dick Grayson's Robin was released in the previous wave. At least our wave one Batman will have a sidekick with him! 

Finally, we have Harley Quinn as she appeared in the 1992 Batman the Animated Series. She will be a perfect addition to the Joker who will be released in the previous wave.

As ever, each will come with episode specific accessories and a display stand. More info as it comes! 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

12th Doctor's Touch Control Sonic Screwdriver

Forbidden Planet and the BBC Shop now have the Twelfth Doctor's Touch Control Sonic Screwdriver in stock.

This faithful copy of the Doctor’s trusty Sonic Device has spring loaded extending action and unique touch activation.

Hold index finger against lower side of the Control Collar and touch thumb to the top surface to activate sound and light FX which operate in both closed and extended positions. Open the cap at the end of the Screwdriver to reveal the removable power core. Requires 3 x 1.5v L1154 batteries (included). For ages 5 years and over.

Forbidden Planet
BBC shop

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Seventh Doctor Umbrella - Pre-Order

The BBC shop now have the Seventh Doctor's umbrella up for pre-order! Due at the start of December, this is a must have for any cosplayers out there!

You can pre-order from the BBC shop

BBC VIP Offer on DVDs and Blu-Ray

If you fancy grabbing some bargains on Doctor Who DVDs, now is the time! The BBC Shop has an offer on for the next five days which includes The Time of the Doctor, Terror of the Zygons, the Series 7 Boxset and more!

You can get yours by clicking here! 

Monday, 13 October 2014

Doctor Who - 8th Doctor Season 3 Behind the Scenes: War comes to Gallifrey

Masters of all they survey
I apologise for the somewhat spoilery title, but it's the Time War, it's not like there wasn't going to be a load of fighting at home on Gallifrey.

The Daleks ravage the streets of Gallifrey
If you had watched my previous update video, you will already know that the first three episodes are complete. At the time of typing this (in fact, the reason I'm typing this) I have just finished the rough assembly on episode eleven, Rise of the Time Lords. The following images I am sharing with you are not final. Many of them are a work in progress as they require heavy special effects work, from the addition of smoke to laser blasts to extermination negative filters. On top of that there's a ton of sound work to do, including the arduous task of adding footstep sounds, so it's not over yet!

That's a lot of Daleks...
Emily, Romana and K-9 Mk II go searching under the Panopticon
I wonder what this could be? Hmm...

So here is an example of some greenscreen work that I shot on the 11th October. Yes, I know I finished filming months ago, but sometimes reshoots are required and in this case I fancied using a new toy on the market: The Dalek Patrol Ship and Pilot.

What you can see here is the 'almost' final image of the Dalek and ship being composited on to an animated sky background. Below this is the original image before the chroma key effect was applied. As you can see, there was only one toy to film with and as such the green screen enabled some duplication.

As ever, we have sterling work from Chris Clark in the CGI department. He has provided some fantastic aerial battle sequences between the Time Lord fleet and the Dalek saucers, as well as increasing the size of the limited physical Dalek figures.

From episode 10 (with the unrevealed title), we have some finished shots. Alas, I cannot share too much as it will spoil the episode. Practically every part of that story has something in it that is best kept as a surprise, so you'll just have to wait until the air date!

He's blowing stuff up again
The Doctor contemplates recent events
The Castellan looks over his handy work
That's it for now, folks! I shall return with more images and info as production continues. At the moment all I can say is that I am thrilled with how this series is shaping up. I wholeheartedly believe that it is the best set of episodes I have produced  with some of the best scripts I have written. I cannot wait to get them to you and hear your thoughts on them too. That's always my favourite part of the process.

Until next time!