Monday, November 25, 2013

Timey Wimey Toy Review – Doctor Who Davros & Imperial Dalek from “Remembrance of the Daleks” By Underground Toys

I have said before that the Daleks are not my favorite. I don’t dislike them; I just feel like I don’t get the full Dalek effect. The concept is scary and the execution is well done. They just don’t scare me like some other villains do. As I told somebody the other night, I’d rather be exterminated by a Dalek than turned into a Cyberman. Or kissed by a Zygon.
But I think Davros is great and I love “Remembrance of the Daleks”. As you can hear if you go and listen to Episode 47 of Earth Station Who.
Underground Toys/Character Options have definitely had an agenda to make as many “Remembrance” toys as are reasonable. First we got the Seventh Doctor/Imperial Dalek two-pack, then a solo Imperial Dalek, then this set, then Ace, then an electronic Imperial Dalek (with lights and sounds!). And I encourage this endeavor fully.
I had been eyeing this set for a while and I have to admit something to you – I am not a very good Doctor Who toy collector. Well, not a good supporter of the line, anyway. Anything more than a single-packed figure gets prohibitively expensive for me. And even those are way too pricey. But I buy them. Because Doctor Who.
What I tend to do with the multi-packs, monster packs, and playsets is wait for the prices to be reduced. I hate to admit that and I don’t like not supporting the toy lien fully, but I simply can’t afford to pay the original prices for this stuff. This set was first listed at $44.99 and that’s just fucking crazy. But a few weeks ago an Amazon seller marked it down to $29.99 and while that’s not exactly great for two 5” scale figures, I thought it was probably the best I was going to do.
It’s tough waiting these out and I have had to accept that there are a number of things I simply am not going to be able to get. Sometimes the prices will drop and sometimes they won’t, but either way it seems like everything that is released skyrockets in value at some point. The Doctor/Dalek set I mentioned above is listed for around $100 now and pretty much any of the older releases from the classic series are very expensive. The Fifth Doctor figure I bought for Dragon Con was forty-five bucks by itself (and yes – that obviously goes far above my normal price limit, but I got it signed by Peter Davison).
Anyway, I wanted this set because it is actually a very different Davros from other releases. The character’s appearance changes all the time, but never as much as it did for “Remembrance”. I refer to this look as “DJ Davros Deadmaus” or something. I can’t remember now. Go listen to that ESW episode.
First Glance: The Dalek looks totally gross. I’m a little surprised we haven’t seen more Dalek guts from Underground. Then again, it’s much easier to release a standard Dalek and repaint it from time to time. Davros looks great whether the front is open or closed. I love this figure.
Side Note: I am not bashing Underground/CO for their Daleks. I remain thoroughly blown away by the fact that every single Dalek they release from different eras has been a new sculpt in order to properly represent the evolution of the design through the decades. No matter how small the difference in detail, the company has always produced an entirely new figure. If these had been made by Mattel we would have many different colors on the exact same body.
Articulation: I would appreciate it if at this point you would imagine Tom Baker’s voice saying, “Well – how much articulation does a Dalek need, really?”
Imperial Dalek
Mutant Arm – swivel
Manipulator Arm and Gunstick – ball joint
Super DJ Davros
Canopy - hinged
Head – swivel
There are functional wheels underneath the both figure’s chassis – a feature that has been common among all Dalek toys since the very first ones produced in the 60s. These figures have two stationary wheels and one on a swivel, which allows them to roll in any direction. All three wheels move easily.
Sculpt: DJ Magic Davros is an entirely new sculpt, though the lower portion may resemble the other Imperial Daleks.
That lower portion is the standard Dalek design, with cleanly sculpted spheres and a small skirt at the bottom. The top portion is obviously quite different from any Dalek. It is a large sphere with Davros’ head situated inside in the midst of an astonishing number of wires. The exterior looks very good closed. The moving portions line up nicely and the translucent viewport in the front is a nice touch. You can look in and see Davros’ creepy head leering out at you. Everything is sculpted very precisely and accurately reproduces the look of Davros’ shell from “Remembrance”.
Davros himself is as disgusting as ever. The interior is covered in wires and detail. The Daleks’ creator’s head is all pruny and angry and cybernetic. The headset through which he controls his mad phat beats has a lot of detail and looks great as a separately sculpted piece.
The exploded Dalek is fairly standard from the neck down. It has the same precise sculpt as all of the other Daleks the company has produced. The arms look good and move well.
The upper portion is even more revolting than Davros. The top and eye of a Dalek mutant head is visible at the bottom of a little pit of slime. Beside this is an articulated arm with a pincer at the end, just like the one that grabbed the Doctor’s neck. There’s a ton of detail in here and it looks great.
Coloring: Once again, from the neck down the Imperial Dalek has the clean and precise coloring of its brethren. The gold and ivory look great together and this is still one of my favorite Dalek designs. There is some well-done (pun intended!) scorching around the top that blends into the neck and the panels.
The paint on the inside matches the gross mess of the sculpt. The mutant is nicely detailed and all of the green slime crap is… several shades of green. The pincer looks especially good. The way the blackish carapace blends into the arm is cool.
Davros’ exterior has the same clean ivory and gold paint job and looks great. I can’t believe how clean the paint apps are on all of UT/CO’s Daleks. They typically look flawless. I love the translucent window on the front as well.
Inside, the wires surrounding Davros are pretty heavy on primary colors, but for the most part are individually painted and detailed and look good. Davros himself is a gruesome deadish color with some nice blending and tight detail on the cybernetic portions.
Accessories: This is where I’m a tad let down by the set. For whatever reason, I thought that the Dalek came with an alternate un-exploded head. And for the price I feel like it could’ve. As things stand this set came with no accessories, though to be honest I can’t think of anything else that would have been appropriate. I mean, Daleks don’t exactly carry handbags or anything.
Packaging: This set came in the standard tight window box. I love the economy and style of UT/CO’s packaging. The graphics are always nice and retro-looking and they don’t waste space.

I love that UT/CO always includes a fairly thorough synopsis on these classic sets.
Value: I can’t really complain too much about thirty bucks for this set. It’s too much, but I also feel that it was worth it. If that makes any sense.
Overall: I love these guys. This is a must-have whether you’re a fan of the story, Daleks, or just the Seventh Doctor and Ace.
I really am bothered by the fact that the exploded Dalek can’t be made complete. There are other ways to build an army of Imperial Daleks, but I would’ve liked to have the option to display this one intact. As I have stated before, I’m not really a fan of battle damage. I do get it in this instance, though, as this particular damage was a key part of the narrative.
4 out of 5
Keep an eye out for a good price on this set. I bet if you’re patient you might catch a deal before it skyrockets.
Yes – Needless Things is still in the midst of a Whoniversary!

My original plan had been to take this week off, but there is more Who to be had. So to speak. I had this review, my review of The Day of the Doctor and the associated specials and webisodes, and a very special post from Earth Station Who’s own “Howdy” Mike Gordon. I think there might be a day where nothing goes up due to the fact that I just didn’t have time to write over the weekend, but the Whoniversary will go on for one more week!

We had Guest Posts, Toy Reviews, and more. We had a ton of content with lots of different viewpoints and I think one of the better themed projects we’ve done. Go back through and check everything out and share the ones you like on the social media. And if you’re so inclined, throw a few dollars at the Needless Things family. 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. Blogger doesn’t facilitate any sort of fundraising, so GO HERE and click the PayPal box to the right.

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?

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