Doctor Who fans who fancy having a new collectible range of goodies to devote a whole new display cabinet to will soon have something to put on their Christmas and birthday lists with the likely autumn launch of the Robert Harrop figurine collection!
As reported by Kasterborous in March, the company, long established as producers of all manner of ceramic collectibles, are hard at work on designs for their next range. Some images of their sculpts for the first items in the series can be viewed online, and rather promising they are too.
So, assuming all goes well and the various levels of approval are successfully negotiated, we can anticipate figurines of the Third and Fourth Doctors, Linx and an Ice Warrior. It’s safe to say they won’t be stopping there, however. As the company’s Matt Buckley says in an online discussion:
“To be honest most humans/creatures/robots/cyborgs/beasts/machines are on the list, hehehehe…”
Robert Harrop clearly know their stuff when it comes to ceramic items to put on the mantelpiece. Probably best known for their various ranges depicting (often alarmingly anthropomorphised) dogs, they’ve also branched out into the film and TV collectibles market with lines including Aardman Animations, Supermarionation and (my favourite) Camberwick Green.
One wishes them well in this new venture. The history of what you might call ‘premium display’ Who merchandise (not a technical term) has not always been a happy one. I recall a series of plates launching in the 1980′s which covered Doctors 1-3 plus a couple of other characters before the range petered out, presumably through lack of sales. A couple of collectible bust sets over the years haven’t exactly gone down in the annals of must-have items. Perhaps there is a limit to how much fans are prepared to pay for new collections? Or is Doctor Who’s current global domination in the afterglow of the 50th anniversary so all-consuming that this new set comes at just the right time?
I’m no industry specialist, but presumably it’s all about getting your product right, with the pricing and sales pitched at the right level. If the care they are taking over the designs is anything to go by, Robert Harrop could have a big success. Interesting to see how they are using their discussion forum to make their prototypes available for people to comment on. One conscientious poster has made a plea for the correct colour to be used on the promised Genesis-era Dalek’s grille. These things matter.
The figurines aren’t likely to be cheap, and are surely most likely to appeal to fans of a certain age who have perhaps moved on from remote control Daleks (if such a thing is possible). The fact that the early figures will feature the classic era of the programme, with Sontarans preferred to Slitheen, is an indication that they have carefully considered who is most likely to be willing to shell out for this stuff.
What do you think? Are you likely to buy this range? How willing are Doctor Who fans to pay top whack for new goodies? Have Robert Harrop Collectibles got this one figured out?