Friday, April 22, 2011

Doctor Who Week: Toy Review - Doctor Who: The Pandorica Opens Silurian Warrior By Character Options

I was perfectly happy to be getting another Silurian in this set. I loved the two-parter from last season, what with all of the call backs to Doctor Three. It’s also a case where the modernization of classic monsters worked because we’ve already seen two other different but related variations of the species – the three-eyed Silurians and the aquatic Sea Devils.
Actually, I’m kind of hoping that we might see something more similar to the old three-eyed version at some point. I like anything that shoots lasers out of its forehead.

One thing I really dig about the Silurians is that they’re clearly some Illuminati-inspired craziness. Reptilian humanoids who live in the middle of the Earth biding their time to reclaim the surface and rule over humanity. David Icke would be proud.
First Glance: This looks exactly like the Silurian Warrior from the first series of Eleventh Doctor figures. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Sculpt: The Silurian is one of the best sculpts of the new line. The head looks fantastic. In the show, the prosthetics are some of the best I’ve ever seen, with individual scales and ridges and whatever else all over the reptilians’ heads. All of this is perfectly replicated in miniature on the figure.
The clothing is also faithfully recreated, with the points of articulation hidden a bit more artfully than in other Doctor Who figures. The tunic is a separate piece made of a flexible plastic so that it does not interfere with movement.
Speaking of movement, this Silurian is articulated the same as other Character Options releases. I really wish they’d start doing ball-jointed necks and shoulders. Other than that, this one is pretty solid. No loose joints on our Silurian, either.
Design: The paint on the head of this figure is just as fantastic as the sculpting. There are several washes to highlight the scales and facial features, and the eyes and mouth are painted in such a way that they really stand out. This is one of the finest paint jobs CO has given us, and that’s actually saying quite a lot.
The rest of the figure is painted accurately, but the tunic is another excellent job. All of the mesh and detail looks great. I was initially hoping that the pattern might be a bit different from the original Silurian Warrior release, but after watching “The Hungry Earth” and “Cold Blood” again I realized that aside from Restac (the leader of the Silurian warrior caste; who already has a figure), Malohkeh (the Silurian scientist or maybe doctor who will hopefully get a figure soon) and Eldane (the leader of this branch of Silurians who also needs a figure); all of the Silurians looked identical.
Accessories: Each figure in this set comes with a piece of the Pandorica and a CD with part of a Doctor Who audio adventure. That may seem a bit strange, but Doctor Who audio stories and plays are what kept the franchise alive and current in the UK from 1989 until 2005 (the TV movie got mixed results). These audio-only adventures are hugely popular over there and are considered as in-canon as anything else, so it’s pretty neat that CO worked them into the Pandorica design.
That being said, the Pandorica is kind of a letdown. It is not a toy. It is a flimsy plastic box to keep your six CDs on. Once I need the room I won’t hesitate to take it off of my Doctor Who shelf.
Compared to other Doctor Who figures, this Silurian Warrior comes with a veritable cornucopia of accessories. She has her mask, a blaster (or whatever the appropriate term for Silurian firearms is – I still think they should have been shooting lasers out of their foreheads…) and one of the discs that the hibernating Warriors stood on and that were used to travel from the surface to the Silurian caves.
The mask looks great and fits snugly if not entirely securely onto the figure’s face. The blaster could use a little more paint and better hand grips. I appreciate authenticity, but plastic action figure hands can’t adjust to squeeze those rounded grips like flesh can. The figure has a little trouble holding onto it. The disc is a black disc with some markings and that’s pretty much all it needs to be.
Packaging: A plain old blister card, which is totally okay. There aren’t bios or anything on these – just a generic shred back. I don’t care because I opened these, but it might be a bit dull for those of you who keep stuff in the package. I like the plain packaging of Character Option’s main Who line, though. It means to me that they expect their toys to be opened and played with.
Overall: This is a great figure of a great monster. If they were cheaper or if Character Options did a fairly-priced troop builder set I’d want ten of them.
4 out of 5
While this is a great figure, you can probably get the original cheaper if you don’t care about the Pandorica part. I’ve seen it as low as $9.99 + shipping and the only difference is you don’t get the disc.
Until next time, stay creepy

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