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Published on January 31st, 2005 | by Christian Cawley

New Doctor Who Toys – Updated

In a long awaited development, BBC Worldwide yesterday issued a Press Release announcing the appointment of Character Options as “Master Toy Licensee” for the new series of Doctor Who:

BBC Worldwide has appointed Character Options as the Master Toy Licensee for the brand new series of Doctor Who.

Already in production, the new series (13 x 45minutes), which is written and executive produced by Russell T Davies, and stars Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose, is scheduled for transmission on BBC ONE in 2005.

The special effects have been created by Oscar®-winning visual effects house The Mill and bring the world’s longest running sci-fi series into the 21 st century.

Travelling through time and space, the new series sees the Doctor and Rose come face to face with a number of new and exciting monsters – as well as battling with the Doctor’s arch-enemy: the Daleks!

Jon Diver, of Character Options, said: “We are delighted with the appointment, and will be producing an innovative range of products to complement the heritage of this property. The footage that we have seen to date is simply awesome”.

Richard Hollis, Head of Licensing BBC Worldwide, commented: “We are excited to be working with such a strong toy partner, and one who has had such success with technological and robotic toys”.

Shipment to trade will be October 2005 with further product development in Spring 2006. Initially product will focus on gift and novelty lines which will include Radio Control Daleks and Doctor’s Electronic Sonic Screwdriver.

Publishing for the new series includes audio products and ranges from BBC Books and BBC Children’s Books, due for release in 2005.

BBC Worldwide Press Release

Character Options are a manufacturer, of toys gifts and games targeted mainly at the UK market, although they’re also able to distribute on the international market. The company is responsible for the manufacture/ distribution of recent popular lines such as Robosapian (a dancing remote controlled humanoid robot), the Disney Princess range, the legendary Stretch Armstrong, and the Simpsons Chess Set in a Tin.

It seems to be a strong move from the BBC, and once again reaffirms their commitment to new Doctor Who. We don’t think it will be too long before radio controlled Daleks begin to stalk younger siblings, pets and grandparents around the living rooms of Britain…

31-January Update

Both BBCi and The Times online have run stories on this development. The BBCi report suggests that the Dalek toy will retail around £30, and repeats the quote by jon Diver, above.

Meanwhile, The Times’ article reveals that:

There will be Cyberman biscuit jars, a PlayStation game and Doctor Who clocks and watches linked to the show’s theme of time travel.

Penguin will publish children’s books and audiobooks and DVD sales could top one million for one of British television’s most internationally renowned brands.

There will also be action figures of a leather-jacketed Eccleston and his new assistant, Rose, played by Billie Piper. The BBC sought a trademark application for a new crescent-shaped Doctor Who logo as soon as plans for the series were announced.

While news of a PlayStation game is naturally exciting, the curious part is the mention of Penguin Books. Could this be the first sign signalling the end of Big Finish’s Doctor Who licence?

The Times is also sees the same potential in Dalek toys as Kasterborous.com:

Expected to retail for £30, evil-minded children can direct the Daleks to chase parents around the living room from a raido-controlled distance.

Character will also produce the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver, a design still under wraps, as well as vehicles from the new series and talking mugs.

Richard Hollis, of BBC Worldwide, said: “We wanted a partner which had an innovative record with technological and robotic toys.”

Doctor Who will battle Character’s own Robosapien V2 in the crowded Christmas toys-for-boys market.

All-in-all, early expectations seem to be high over the deal. Expect to see the Christmas shelves full of Daleks!

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About the Author

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




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