Thursday, November 14, 2013

Timey Wimey Toy Review – Doctor Who 3 ¾” Scale Clara from Underground Toys

Is there a word for total screaming genius that sounds modest and a tiny bit sexy?
I have to admit a little something to you here – I am not a big fan of Stephen Moffat’s Mary Sue character, Clara.
I liked her a lot in Asylum of the Daleks. But then the very nature of her character and her story arc regressed Clara to the point of being a helpless and uninteresting companion. And then several sub-par episodes later we find out that Moffat has insinuated his little doll into the entirety of Doctor Who history.
Now, I like Jenna Louise Coleman quite a bit and she’s certainly adorable and capable of spunk and wit. I don’t blame her for any of this. Clara just has not been a very entertaining or effective companion for the most part. She is continuing a trend that has long outlived its ingenuity – the companion overshadowing the Doctor.
Okay, I almost went off on a rant there.
Okay, well – I did. But I cut and pasted it for a later date because the Whoniversary is for celebrating Doctor Who and I don’t want to bring it down.
Well, not any more than I am by reviewing a bunch of toys that are, quite frankly, pretty bad.
So anyway, I bought Clara because I bought the whole set of new scale figures. But I probably would have picked up a 5” scale Clara if they had done one, though I would have preferred Asylum of the Daleks Clara to this Lilith Fair version.
First Glance: The paint apps on this figure look a little more complex than the rest of the series. But they sure have made Clara look tubby.
Articulation: Character Options have mostly preserved the articulation of the larger line.
Head – swivel
Shoulders – swivel
Biceps - swivel
Elbows – pivot
Wrists – swivel
Waist - swivel
Hips – swivel/pivot
Knees – pivot
That neck joint is ugly. And essentially useless thanks to the figure’s hair. I would have preferred the head be stationary since it can’t move anyway.
Clara’s shoulders do not have the pivot that most of the others in the line do. They can only go forward and back.
This figure features the traditional hip articulation for this line, but it is somewhat restricted by the dress.
Sculpt: Like all of the figures in this initial wave, Clara is an entirely new sculpt.
Let’s start with something good. Clara’s hair looks good. It’s long and full and has sculpted detail so that it actually looks like hair and not just a towel on her head or something. Her face, however, is wide. The sculpt does look like her, but as though it were reflected in a funhouse mirror.
Her arms are really long like monkey arms. As far as detail and stuff they’re good. The sleeves look good and the watch is nice. The hands aren’t all giant or anything. The arms are just too darn long.
The legs are fairly petite and dainty, which is accurate but looks weird under her big,. poofy dress.
Coloring: The paint on this figure is actually quite nice.
The hair and the dace are well done. The hair has a wash to give it a little more depth. The face has precisely placed eyebrows and lips. The eyes kind of look like crazy eyes, but there are times when Jenna Louise Coleman kind of has crazy eyes. They aren’t great, but this is a 3 ¾” scale figure.
The arms are well done. The sleeves match the jacket and there are no errors. I like that the turned up ends are a lighter color. The watch, though tiny, is colored nicely.
Clara’s legs are painted plain black, though her shoes are slightly glossier.
Flair: Clara has a big ol’ piece of plastic that is sculpted as her dress and shirt and jacket. It’s a pretty terrible look that makes her look like she’s been wandering around since 1993 looking for the Lilith Fair, but this is what the character looks like. Maybe Stephen Moffat is hung up on Natalie Merchant.
The piece itself is a little too bulky and make poor Clara look like she’s had a few too many Jelly Babies, but the sculpted detail is great. The different layers are very well defined and have button holes and thickness and textures. Well, not so much textures, but they look a bit rumpled.
The paint on this thing is nice. The dress has a very well done pattern on it and the colors of the shirt and jacket stay within the lines. Well, mostly. There are a couple of spots that are a little off, but it’s not too bad.
Accessories: Clara comes with her big red purse. It looks like a big red purse. It can be worn over her shoulder or across her chest. It’s not the best accessory ever, but Clara’s not the best companion ever.
Oh, she also comes with a stand. Whatever.
Packaging: A simple blister card. The packaging is exactly the same across this line except for the insert in the bubble. It’s eye-catching and easy to open.
Value: I think these worked out to about twelve bucks apiece, which is absurd. This is a seven dollar toy at best.
Overall: Clara really isn’t too bad for this scale. If her head weren’t so fat she’d be pretty darn good. She’s far from a must-have unless you just have to have a figure of Clara (and I’m sure those folks are out there).
3 out of 5
I really don’t know if these will show up at brick and mortar retail or not. You can buy them from pretty much all of the online toy stores, though.
The next two weeks here on Needless Things will be dedicated to Doctor Who. I have Guest Posts, Toy Reviews, and more on the way. The site will be jam-packed – relatively – with content. Please share these links wherever you can and spread the word. And if you’re so inclined, throw a few dollars at the Needless Things family. I have to send you to the podcast homepage because Blogger doesn't want this sort of thing. Just check out the widget on the bottom right here.This is all out of pocket for me, so anything I receive during this time will got to site costs, hosting, and possibly new merchandise if I get really ambitious.
Also, you can buy the Limited Edition Luchador vs. Owlbear t-shirts here. I can’t say they’re selling fast, but once this style is gone, they’re gone forever. And I do intend on being famous one day, so wouldn’t it be cool to have the first shirt I ever designed?
Remember to check in every weekday between now and the 23rd for new, original content.
Finally, be sure and come out to the HUGE 50th Anniversary Party that TimeGate, Earth Station Who, the folks behind The Forgotten Doctor, and (others) are throwing at the Holiday Inn Select; the same location where TimeGate is held each and every year. There will be panels, games, Whovian carousing, and a LIVE recording of Earth Station Who immediately after “The Day of the Doctor” airs. You will literally never have another opportunity to attend a party like this!


  1. Uggh.... I'm really not feeling this figure. Character Options has really went downhill with their handling of the newer Who stuff. Starting with odd character selection during the fifth series and going through the delays and lack of good product during the sixth series and now this change to a new scale at the end of seven and you've got a line that I haven't purchased anything from for quite a few years now.

    1. Agreed. While I have bought the odd figure here and there, there hasn't been a full wave I've purchased since the Pandorica, and that was only so I could build the thing.