Opinion no image

Published on August 5th, 2006 | by Brian A Terranova

Rise of the Merchandise

So the new Doctor Who series has not only captured our imaginations for forty-five minutes per week, but it has also found a way to capture them at home, while not watching.

You’ve seen them on the Internet sites, Magazine ads, TV ads, and most of all the Toy Stores. While this may not be the first time Doctor Who has made it to the toy world, this may be the biggest boom the show has ever made within this world of fun since the Dalek hay days of the sixties.

As many of our readers know we have already talked about the Radio Contolled (RC) Daleks, in fact a few of them are still weeding their way through Kasterborous Towers and multiplying – a fact that Christian never lets me forget – and even show their faces… er, eye stalks when they feel like trying to take over the site every so often.

But what else does this toy world of Who have to offer aside form RC Daleks? Well one biggie of course is the Sonic Screwdriver. Depending on the one of three versions you have it is pretty darn accurate, with it’s lighting blue tip and extending emitter head and its sound chip with two different sound effects, this may be one of the most useful toys ever created. Mind you I still can’t get it to open the doors when I accidentally lock myself out of K Towers, but maybe I’m just not using it right. Practice makes perfect.

Anyway, moving on. We don’t yet have a fully functional and life size TARDIS, but we can get pretty close with the TARDIS Playset. Looking at the design of the play set I feel it important to note that “set” seems to be the operative word. It looks just like the pictures of the console room TV set itself. It has the domed console walls and pillars, as well as the mock Police Box doors. So all you amateur film makers out there break out your David Tennant, K9, Billie Piper, John Barrowman as Captain Jack and even your Phil Collinson… er I mean Christopher Eccleston action figures and the old home video recorders and start making some Doctor Who adventures of your very own with your handy dandy TARDIS set.

As most of you know this year saw the return of the Cybermen, and I have to tell you I can’t wait for these toys to come out. There is of course the regular 6 inch figures but there is also the much anticipated 12″ David Tennant and Cyberman.

We here at the K couldn’t wait for all the Cyberman goodness to come to our local shops any longer so we decided to break into the Character Options warehouse and steal… er ‘borrow’ the prototype Cyberman 12 inch figure just so we could play with it. Uh, er…I mean so we could tell you all about it.

After Christian, Ant and I were done fighting over who got to play with it … ‘study it’ first we noticed that it had gone. Yes I said it had gone, vanished, left us high and dry. Naturally we blamed the Daleks as they take pretty much everything that we own, I mean Christian hasn’t seen Ceri in a month now, and none of us can find our cell phone. Oh occasionally we’ll hear the faint ringing of the Doctor Who theme, but when we get close we are met with the even more faint laughter of a Dalek.

Luckily we were able to catch a Dalek under an old fashioned dustbin trap that Ant set – oh the irony – but we found out very soon that the Daleks had nothing to do with this when we were attacked by a band of 12 Inch Cybermen. They wanted to upgrade us, that is until Christian stepped on one and started screaming on top of a chair, then they wanted to delete us.

After I woke up – no I didn’t faint.. I was just really, really tired… – Ant and Christian had told me that all of our 12 inch G.I. Joes were missing. Apparently they had been ‘upgraded’ to form a massive army bent on taking out the Kasterborous Towers staff and the Daleks. How we wished we stole… er ‘borrowed’ the prototype David Tennant too.

Thinking we were going to be exterminated or even deleted we did the only thing we could under the circumstances, we packed up all the rest of the good toys and went home for the night to play…‘study’ in safety.

The next morning, after we cleaned up the mess from the toy wars, we saw a package left on our doorstep. It was the next batch of Who toys, and low and behold there were three Cybermen voice changing helmets! Accurate in every way down to the 1:1 scale, the only thing there were missing, that would have made our lives complete, were the back plates. Oh well beggars can’t be choosers.

We started to think about our life before the 2005 series of Doctor who. Dapol toys, hard to find Mego Tom Bakers, Leelas, and K-9’s and … uh… is that it? How have we survived so long on the lack of toys? Good old imagination I guess. Where a fork can be the old sonic, and a closet can be the TARDIS, and anyone with a plunger can be a Dalek. But no more! The world in our imaginative littlie heads and the world of the toys were going to collide and take us for another trip of a lifetime.

Oh the places we can go with all these fun new toys, places far from the stuck on Earth world the new series lives in, no sir we could ago anywhe… OUCH! Why you little… sorry gang a pesky Dalek just shot my foot and now its asleep, all pins and needles. As I try to hobble after it I notice Christian is doing much the same, but they must have gotten both of his feet as he is dragging himself along by his fingernails. But where is Ant? Oh… oh my…

Ok, I hope you all have fun with your toys and remember to watch out for those RC Daleks and 12 Inch Cybermen. For now Christian and I have to figure out how to cut Ant down and pull him back in the window before the Cybermen cut the chord and ‘let him down’ for us.

“Christian Be careful! These Cybermen have Kung Fu Grip!”

Ant cried, while I was being overridden by a swarm of Daleks and Christian was reaching for the sonic screwdriver water squirter. Is this the end for us? Uh oh, gotta go now, pray for us!

“ZZzzappp!!”

But what’s this? Surely not…?

“Threat eliminated, Master.”

We’re saved! By the 10″ Radio Control K9 and his trusty nose gun!

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About the Author

Doctor Who and me go way back. I first discovered it on my local PBS Station WHYY in the suburbs outside Philadelphia when I was a young kid; though I am uncertain of the exact age.




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