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Published on October 8th, 2011 | by Andrew Reynolds

Doctor Who Chess Set

If kids love one thing, its chess. Forget your PS3’s, your Xbox’s and your iPhones, all children talk, read about and do is play chess. Come the ring of the playtime bell and kids everywhere are unfolding their boards and preparing to enter the cerebral, antiquated world of feudal battleship.

Footballs are deflated and stickers remain unstuck while Rooks, Pawns and Bishops are scattered across classroom tables – all for the chance to unlock the secrets of the board – the reward, a place amongst ‘the chess set’.

That alternate state of being where everything is the successful completion of another mind-boggling stratagem but, though they try, not everyone can make it.

Other, desperate souls, eager to climb above their ’pawn’ status resort to novelty chess sets and like anything with the word ’novelty’ in front of it those are a gateway to misery.

Sure you could pick up the Doctor Who Chess Set (which we warned you about several months ago) with its plastic pepper pots capturing the 3-D Lenticular images of your favourite characters but once out their in the arena of serfdom, you’ll be as clueless as a Cluedo player in Boggle county.

Without the handy information of the box, how will you know what each piece means? ‘What’s this chequered board? Where’s the Pandorica? Is this nobbly one supposed to be Rory? Where are the Smilers?’

There’ll be Smilers alright, and they’ll be laughing at you.

I had a Flintstones set. For years I would baffle proper chess-playing aficionados with my daring ‘Barney Rubble, Pebbles, Log Car, Log Car’ strategy before they wiped the floor with me… or the caretaker got our ball down from the roof.

I had no idea what my pieces did or what they were supposed to represent apart from abject failure and, I suppose, The Flintstones.

So kids consider this a warning from history, a missive from the future, stick with the real thing because pre-ordering a Doctor Who Chess Set from Firebox for £31.99 might seem like a good strategy but it’ll be checkmate for the rest of your life.


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About the Author


Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.

7 Responses to Doctor Who Chess Set

  1. avatar Simon says:

    I’d sooner make my own Doctor Who chess set and sell it; I know someone from my University who’d be the perfect business partner to market it…

    Stay tuned!

    • avatar Krumstets says:

      This does look rather tacky.
      Plastic rectangular shapes with photographs stuck inside and bit of plastic on top to differentiate the pieces. And all for £32 …Me thinks not.

      Yes Simon, make your own chess set. As long as it looks `classier’ than this one you could be on to a winner.

  2. avatar January Lost says:


    I’d have to agree with the other comments. What spectacular waste of marketing, resources, and theme.

    They could have retailed out a fantastic set at a remarkable price that—had it even been half-way detailed—would have had us all grinding at the bit to spend large sums of money (or possibly parent’s money, as it were).

    If I found this thing depicted above at a yard sale for less than one republic credit, or at very least a wink at the geriatric looming behind her card table… I might possibly almost maybe nearly kind of potentially consider taking it home. Or not. ;)

  3. avatar Bryan Simcott says:

    I have the original pewter Chess set from Danbury Mint (who are trying to fellce us with the most garish and awful pin badges ever seen, but I digress)

    So wehn I saw theis mentioned and then saw it, I was applaed that the BBC could flog this trash at that price and put the Doctor Who Logo on it.

    This isnt even up the standards of the Simpsons Chess set with small detailed figure (and thats not even brilliant) but this really dose stink of “stick a logo on it” style Branding.

  4. avatar Julian says:

    Themed chess sets are often hit and miss. I agree that little perspex boxes with photos inside are a cop out. I think these sorts of sets are aimed very much at the Dr Who enthusiasts who just have to have everything that is Dr Who. I would guess very few of the sets end up being used for serious games of chess.

  5. avatar Jimbo says:

    Searching for Doctor Who chess sets on the web and these keep coming up. If they are so rubbish, does anyone know where I can get a proper one?

  6. avatar gail says:

    I too have the Doctor Who pewter chess set from the Danbury Mint from the 80′s. And I live in the US. This time, tho, the Danbury Mint informed me that the beautiful DW pins they’re making are NOT available outside the UK. I’m disappointed that the Danbury Mint is not offering these pins outside the UK. Anybody know why? Or a way around that? I’ll probably just have to watch eBay! Thanks!

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