In a quiet backwater store, a scandal is brewing. The massed forces of the universe’s most passionate fans have gathered, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars…
“Have you seen the price?!”
That’s right. Forbidden Planet has released pre-order details of its Time of the Doctor Eleventh and Twelfth’ figurines… at an eye-watering £29.99 (reduced from £32,99, I should point out!). While that price is enough to leave any staunch Whovian in need of a new regeneration cycle, let’s first examine the positives of this admittedly cool piece of merchandise.
Here’s the description from Forbidden Planet:
“Presented here is the Eleventh Doctor in his iconic final season long frock coat. The set comes with a Twelfth Doctor regenerated head plus young and ‘aged’ Eleventh Doctor heads with 2 swappable shirt / chest pieces. It also includes 1 x walking cane, 1 x Sonic Screwdriver and 1 x ‘Handles’ accessories.
“The set is presented in a TARDIS inspired gift box with opening front panels to reveal episode information and display your collector figure. Exclusive to Forbidden Planet!”
I so wish these had been available when I was a kid. But then, my mum would have whacked me round the head if I’d asked her to pay £29.99 for them…!
Why the high price? Forbidden Planet itself is reportedly mystified, so it seems the problem originates with the manufacturer (that’s Character, if you’re planning a protest).
Moreover – and this is where the scandal reaches almost Omnirumour proportions – the same product will be available in the US at a much cheaper price – $35.00 in fact, which is roughly £20.44 according to my desktop widget! And you don’t need a badge in mathematical excellence to realise that is a staggering £10.00 less.
But you may need a time machine if you want to get your hands on one of these at the same time as our American friends, because they will be out in the States long before they’re out in the UK; the UK release date is currently September 30th, 2014.
It really is very perplexing, especially at a time when the BBC is making steps to achieve a sort of international Doctor Who synergy, with ‘simulcast’ episode transmissions being arranged for the benefit of the global audience, for example. Is it helpful, or necessary, for there to be such a price gap for this particular piece of merchandise? And why the long wait for UK fans? Are these figures being dispatched from the other side of the world on a very, very slow boat, pulled by snails, through an ocean of wallpaper paste, on a hot day? Because even then they should reach us before September 30th, surely!
On the plus side – this is a very snazzy collectible, and one that I would be happy to add to my assortment of Doctor Who paraphernalia in the years to come.
But – maybe when the price has dropped a bit…
(With thanks to Ian.)