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Published on September 1st, 2005 | by Christian Cawley

Doctor to save Character Options?

manchesteronline.co.uk reports that Doctor Who toy merchandiser Character Options have seen a recent downturn in their fortunes and are pinning their hopes on success with the remote-controlled Daleks…

Two years ago, the company, which had been struggling in the red, saw a revival in its fortunes, as it bounced back into profit, after restructuring the business to produce a better mix of products, including a move into digital cameras.

But interim results to the end of February this year revealed pre-tax losses of £1.9m, compared with a £2m profit for the same period in the previous year, despite an increase in turnover from £40.9m to £43.4m.

A worldwide fall in demand in the digital camera market, increased competition and general difficulties in the UK retail market were blamed by the company for the downturn.

The outlook for the company is good however, regardless of the Doctor’s face changing before his toy is release:

“…Already proving the most popular toy in the range is the Dalek. The radio- controlled Dalek, which retails at £39.99 stands 12 inches high and speaks the legendary words: “Seek, locate and exterminate!” There is also a Dalek Battle Pack.

“The Daleks have brought some dramatic moments in TV history to our screens. We believe the whole Dr Who toy range will prove to be popular with children and adults alike,” said chairman Richard King, who expects the Dalek to give another of its leading products, Roboraptor, a battle to be the most sought-after toy this Christmas.

The BBC’s Official Doctor Who site has some news updates:

Annette Badland – Margaret Slitheen from Aliens of London /World War Three & Boom Town is reading Radio 4′s Book of the Week.

Following on from the announcement of new shiny public call units for the Edinburgh Police (that fullfil the same function as the TARDIS-style boxes), an old type 2 box has been found embedded in a brick wall in the east end of Glasgow.

According to the Evening Times, a curious worker found the box earlier this year. Glasgow Police Museum plan to rescue it, restore it to its former glory and put it on display from next spring.

Alastair Dinsmor, of the police museum, said: “It was undisturbed until we opened it for the first time in 70 years, finding an Oxo tin and a spoon inside.”

Finally, the Official site reviews Eighth Doctor audio from Big Finish, Terra Firma, starring Paul McGann as Doctor Who which concerns a Dalek invasion of Earth…

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About the Author

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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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