SDCC10 Exclusive Underground Toys 11th Doctor & Dalek Scientist
The Daleks have returned, and nothing will be the same...
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It's pretty much a given that in every season of Doctor Who we're going to see Daleks. For the last few years, there have been some great Dalek stories that have introduced a few unique members of the robotic race while keeping the standard model the same. All of that would change just three episodes into Series 5 of the current show, titled "Victory of the Daleks." In his first time meeting the aliens, the Eleventh Doctor (played by Matt Smith) is tricked into allowing them access to a Progenitor orb that carries pure Dalek DNA. With it, the race was transformed into a brand new style of Dalek with different colors representing different tasks within the hierarchy. For one of their San Diego Comic-Con exclusives, Underground Toys was proud to pair up the Eleventh Doctor with the orange Dalek Scientist!
With the show going through major changes this season (including the new Doctor and other main characters), it was also time for a change in the design of the Doctor Who toy packaging. Gone are the red and yellow swirl, TARDIS-shaped bubble, and all the rest. The new packages are darker and more stylish, taking advantage of the updated logo and overall different tone. The exclusive Doctor and Dalek Scientist are firmly secured in a wide plastic bubble attached to a fairly short card. In front of the figures is an insert with the show's title, the names of the characters, and Underground Toys' information. The card itself has the dark blue swirl of the time stream along with the BBC logo, SDCC logo, and the traditional "Highly Detailed Poseable Figures!" seen on Doctor Who toys.
The back of the card has a very interesting angled scheme with photographs of the figures, a photo of the Dalek from the show, and a good amount of text on both characters. Overall the packaging is very attractive and fits in well with the other items in the line.
While there have been a few figures of Matt Smith's Doctor thus far, this one is unique with regards to wardrobe. Representing a slightly more casual (or harried) look, this Eleventh Doctor wears his iconic pants, striped shirt, suspenders, and bowtie, but does NOT have a jacket. The figure stands just over 5 ½ inches tall, slightly taller than the Tenth Doctor. As with all of the figures from Underground Toys, the Doctor has an excellent sculpt with tons of great details. The clothing has lots going on, from the laces on his shoes to the rolled up cuffs, seams, and creases on his pants, buttons and creases on his shirt, and the intricate bowtie. Matt Smith's likeness is truly uncanny, a testament to the great use of scanning technology as well as expert sculptors.
The paint job on the Doctor figure is also very well done. It's not extravagant or flashy, but definitely gets the job done and accurately represents the character onscreen. Both his pants and shoes are black, but they are matte and shiny respectively, giving the illusion of different materials. His pinstriped shirt is red on top of tan, with complementary burgundy suspenders and bowtie. There are even painted silver suspender clips on the figure’s belt and at his back. The Doctor's hands and head are painted in normal flesh tones with brown hair and very well done eyes.
Underground Toys is thankfully sticking with the recent improvements in articulation, and so this Doctor has it where it counts. He is articulated at the neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, waist, ball-jointed hips, thighs, and knees. He may not be "super-articulated," but all of that is plenty for the Doctor and gives him great posing options!
One other thing that will determine how your Doctor is displayed is his included accessory, his trusty Sonic Screwdriver. Though tiny, the technological wonder has all sorts of cool details and colorful paint applications.
Next we come to the Doctor’s nemesis... One of the new wave of Daleks hatched from the Progenitor, the orange Scientist is a pretty fearsome foe. The "old" Daleks were scary in their own way, but these new ones are more intimidating for their sheer size. Taller and much more bulky, they have an imposing physical presence to match their horrible weaponry. At about 6 inches tall, the new Dalek design retains the segmented body made up of a domed head, central body, and lower "skirt." Then it starts getting interesting.
The dome is smooth and even more rounded, though it too has the two clear cylinders on either side. From the front extends a much beefier eye stalk which is tipped with a larger ridged sphere with what looks like an eye at the front. Below the dome are four stacked disc-like structures which in turn rest on the central body. While this area was barrel shaped on the previous Daleks, the new ones have a shorter, reinforced ring around their bodies with a flat front surface. From there are the Dalek's traditional weapons/tools, the "plunger" and death ray.
As with everything else on this Dalek these are much larger than on the previous version. The Scientist's skirt is much less pointed in the front but still has the vertical panels studded with control spheres, 12 columns to be exact. These do not actually go all the way around the Dalek, but stop at a reinforced rear panel. Finally, the bottom edge of the alien is no longer like a bumper, but a taller smooth section.
In the episode the Progenitor created five new Daleks, each a different color to represent its station. This Scientist is bright orange, which appears on its dome, the short level just above the central body, and the skirt. The disc-like "neck" levels are gray, as is the central body and the control spheres on the skirt. The Dalek's bottom edge, plunger, and parts of the eye stalk are black, while the plunger's stalk and the death ray are shiny silver. Finally, the very tip of the eye is yellow with a white "iris" and black "pupil."
Daleks pretty much always have the same articulation, and the Scientist is no different. The dome rotates 360 degrees, while all three stalks have ball-joints for a huge range of motion. The new Daleks ride on three individually rotating wheels, so they can travel in any direction without you having to lift them up or move them along a curved path.
This exclusive set has two great figures that you won't find anywhere else. Some might see these as merely cosmetic differences, but Doctor Who toy collectors know better. Every version of the Doctor is special and unique, including this one with his bowtie on full display. And the orange Dalek will be quite the sought after piece as Underground Toys continues to roll out the other four colors. If you missed out on this set at Comic-Con, good luck finding it on the secondary market!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review sample courtesy of Underground Toys