It’s only a one and a quarter inch difference but to fans it represents the gulf between what Character Options are offering and what ardent collectors want – the 3.75” Doctor Who figures have been nothing if not divisive.
Robbed of all subtly and nuance thanks to the reduced size (My God! What happened to Clara’s face?) and seemingly isolated from continuity by the decision to make that change mid-range (with no alternative 5” size offered – for an example of what you should offer collectors, see the recent changes to the Doctor Who DVD sleeves) you need only look in stores to see that both customers and buyers don’t really care for them.
Take this recent Kasterborous Instagram post from a major chain of UK toy shops: Where are the displays? Where is the clearly demarked Doctor Who section? Where is the expansive range of figures in that size?
You don’t have to worry about blinking around those Weeping Angels; they’re going nowhere.
Without knowing exactly what effect the negative feedback from fans has had on sales (apart from the objective look at those shelves above and a brief glance at the comments sections of any report about collectibles) it’s hard to judge whether or not Character has reacted at all to your comments.
However, there are encouraging signs that Character have learned the kind of lesson even the most hopeless candidate from The Apprentice picks up at around week four.
Peter Capaldi has finally got his own 5” figure!
Cast aside the louche, overbearing eyebrow of the 3.75” figure and feast your eyes upon the finer details of his slightly less louche, overbearing eyebrow (to be honest, how can anyone capture that stare in moulded plastic? It’s impossible without casting some sort of incantation into a vat of plastic).
Although it’s not of Capaldi in his Twelfth Doctor clothes, it’s a step in the right direction!
A new ‘Regeneration Set’ based on the end of The Time of The Doctor has been announced for later this year, complete with a whole host of alternative heads for that purple tweed clad body.
The figure features two alternative heads – one of the Eleventh Doctor’s ‘aged’ appearance and one of the Twelfth Doctor, which, yes my friend, comes complete with removable bow tie to fully recreate his first manic appearance.
Other accessories include the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver, a walking stick, and perhaps best of all, Handles – the Doctor’s Cyberman-head companion during the earliest parts of his time on Trenzalore. There is no news on whether you can swap Handles out for one of those alternate heads.
Exciting? Yes, but does it solve the problem or have we simply fallen for what scientists call ‘The Malibu Stacy Has a New Hat! Syndrome’ With only one figure announced in the ‘normal’ size, it’s difficult to say but with a new Doctor whose purpose and look have been taken from the past, perhaps Character have a found new purpose in their past too.
The Time of The Doctor 5″ Figure Set will be available for $34.99 later this year in both the UK and the US.