SDCC 2010 Exclusives
With the news that the 11th Doctor and Dalek Scientist (referred to by yours truly as Dalek Tang) two pack 11th Doctor & Dalek Scientist was an SDCC only release US Page a lot of brits have been talking about how it is unfair that they didn't get it.
To be precise, the only people who could get it were the attendees of the convention itself, and not only Americans.
If you were from the highlands of Scotland, or the outback of Australia, if you came down from the wilderness of the Canadian Rockies, or even the flats of the Powell Estate in London, and you attended SDCC you could buy the figure. I live just outside of the city of Chicago in the United States and I wasn't able to buy one directly.
So, even though the event was held in the United States that doesn't mean only Americans could get the figures. This is just the latest symptom of that most vile of diseases in the collectibles world, EXCLUSIVES!
I am not going to debate which country, the USA or the UK has been the one to have a greater number of exclusives. I will list just a few of some of them. Woolworths, Tesco, B&M, Forbidden Planet, SDCC, Newbury Comics.
Woolworths had a series of tweaked figures that were sold at their stores exclusively. Tesco had the three packs last year, and will have four more of them this coming year. B&M really only had one with the cyberleader. Forbidden Planet had the Pyramids of Mars 4th Doctor, commonly referred to now as POM Tom, Newbury Comics in the USA received one of the six figure box sets, series two, as an exclusive in the United States. SDCC has had figures each of the past few years. However, with last years releases it was felt that the disease was going to be defeated as FP in the UK was able to sell them also, as well as retailers in the USA. Before this, FP took approximately 95% of the stock of the 4th and 7th Doctor TARDIS sets, as well as the Unearthly Child 1st Doctor figures that were supposed to be sold through US supplier Underground Toys.
One of the forgotten 'victims' of this insanity is that Australia is the greatest loser when it comes to getting any of these figures from their favorite program.
As to the terms stating that items can only be sold to certain territories served by the US and UK retailers, that is false! I personally received an email from a USA retailer offering to sell me an item. This was sent to me in the mistaken belief that I was in Australia and wanted to get the item. An Australian was interested in the item and I was able to send one to them, as I am a consumer and not a retailer. But if Character Options and Underground Toys think that all retailers are following that rule, they are mistaken.
What is the effect of this exclusivity? Everyone loses, in one way or another
My final thought on this matter,
For Sale to the Highest Bidder
Photos of a purported prototype of the long-rumored Krynoid Collect and Build figure appeared briefly when the figure was recently offered for sale and quickly withdrawn from Ebay. I say 'purported' as there has been no official confirmation of what the 'real' figure might, or might not, look like.
Personally I'd be confident it is 'kosher'. The Krynoid was expected to be the CAB figure for the second wave of Classic figures that were released earlier in 2010. This figure would have made a suitably creepy addition to the collection, especially alongside the monstrous Morbius figure. Unfortunately, instead of bits and pieces of this greenhouse ghoul appearing next to the figures in their plastic packaging, we see it up for purchase by the highest bidder on that paragon of priciness, ebay - thank goodness the auction was pulled!
This brings me to the subject of this particular blog entry; prototypes going to profiteers, rather than the serious collectors. I've never been fortunate enough to have someone from CO or Designworks Windsor send me a prototype, mind you being in the US, I've never met any of them in the flesh and probably never will - but I do greatly admire their work. To them, the prototypes are simply one of the final stages in the process of creating the figures that we eventually put up on our shelves at home or even desks at our offices. I see them a bit like sketches of the final piece of artwork, and as such, important items that should be cared for. Especially the prototypes for all, at this point at least, 11 Doctors. I find seeing the photos of the prototypes quite fascinating!
I am not so sure if many other collectors feel the same way that I do, but I hope that the actions of a handful of profiteers hasn't brought on the veil of secrecy that CO has dropped over future releases. But I'll be covering that subject in a future blog...
Priceshock - Classic Wave 2 Arrives in the USA
This month sees the arrival in the USA of the latest works of art from the sculptors at DesignWorks Windsor. Classic Wave #2 also known as the 'monster menagerie' has arrived!
One interesting fact is that all but one retailer, from the ones I know of, were selling the Earthshock Cyberman figure for an eyebrow-raising $20.00 (the Suggested Retail Price was $14.95). The other figures were priced at varying points. Only one retailer sold them for a more reasonable $12.99. Shocking!
Yet even at this price point, the 'Earthshockers' are sold out all over the USA.
Hopefully, this price gouging is not a permanent trend in the USA...
Wouldn't it be great if...
With the news of the forthcoming release of the CyberWave of figures many fans have asked about the other versions of the metal invaders.
I started to think what Cyberman Wave Two (if indeed there ever is one) would be made up of. This in no way reflects whatever release plans Character Options have and is PURE speculation on my part.
I will say this from what I have seen of the first wave ... BRILLIANT! FANTASTIC!! CYBERIFFIC!
The Collect and Build would be the CyberController from Attack of the Cybermen.
These four different versions of cyberman each represent a significant design change. The Wheel in Space design was the first one to use painted wet suits and also the tear drop motif on the facial features. Revenge of the Cybermen are the one many people who have a nostalgic feel usually ask for. It was also the first appearance of the Cyberleader.
The boots on the cybermen did indeed change for The Five Doctors, much to the cold-footed dismay of the men in the suits.
Attack had the black painted scout.
As I said, it is pure speculation on my part, but as a fan of the Cybermen I will confess a deep desire to see these produced...
45 Years of Doctor Who Toys...
I have been a follower of Doctor Who since I was about nine years old. I am now 39. I can hardly believe it myself!
My first story was Planet of Evil broadcast from the PBS station KPTS Hutchinson/ Wichita channel 8. I watched it in the basement tv room on a small black and white set. Probably ideal as I was at the time a fan of Star Wars and Star Trek and their 'big budgets'. The creativity of the entire production staff is what made me a Whovian at the time.
Back then, around 1978, there wasn't much in the way of merchandise for Doctor Who fans, especially not in the United States. In fact, the first pledge drive I witnessed had a female fan knitting a scarf while the phones were ringing and it would go to the highest pledger. A mere ten dollars!! ARGGGGHHHHH.
There was a local bookstore in my town called Treasure Chest Books. They carried the magazine Starlog, and also the Pinnacle Ten, at least that is what I called them. I devoured them as a starving man would devour a meal, voraciously! These novelisations were feasts for the senses. The covers by David Mann were imaginative, to say the least. And the prose, thanks to the authors; Dicks, Hinchcliffe, and Hulke, added so much to fire my imagination. And of course the introduction by Harlan Ellison, certainly put Luke Skywalker in his place! Although I am still trying to find the chapter that covers the U.N.I.T spaceship that appeared on the cover of Day of the Daleks!
When I was in High School, my senior year in fact, I was able to answer phones at WTTW 11 - Chicago. It was a really remarkable experience. I wore the scarf that my grandmother had made for me a few years earlier. And I had a British Flag tea towel that was hung over the front of the table I was sitting at while answering phones. And as the camera came to our section, another fan put her fedora on my head so that I would look more like Tom Baker! The camera lingered on me for a VERY long time, and returned a number of times, no doubt due to the British flag!
A short time later, Doctor Who was 'rested' then cancelled. 1996 brought a brief glimmer of hope, that was quickly snuffed out, like a forgotten candle. I did have my videos to watch, and would read the novels every so often. But I thought Doctor Who was gone forever.
Then, years later, an eternity it seemed, I read an article saying that some bloke named Russell T. Davies was to be the new producer of Doctor Who!
The rest, as they say, is modern history. Christopher Eccleston brought the Doctor back to life, in an all too brief tenure, followed by David Tennant. And with the good Doctors return we got new 'stuff' to play with, including all the wonderful toys you see on the pages of this site.
I write this just days before the 45th anniversary, and here in the USA, also before Thanksgiving, not a big holiday in the UK I am sure. In the spirit of both observances, I would like to thank everyone that has contributed to the production of Doctor Who over the years, from Ray Cusick giving 'form' to Terry Nations words, to Phillip Hinchcliffe and Robert Holmes for giving us the 'Gothic Who' to Lalla Ward who gave Romana a second life and Colin Baker who was only in the Tardis for such a brief time. I do want to thank everyone who gave us Doctor Who, especially those who are no longer with us! And as this is being written for doctorwhotoys.net I would like to thank all the sculptors and crafts-people that have given us these amazing toys!
I know that Doctor Who is a fictional character that is on the telly but he is so much more! A hero, for all of us kids around the world, young and old, and to that I say ..... HAPPY BIRTHDAY DOCTOR WHO!!!!
My wish on this birthday? Hugh Bonneville gets chosen as the 11th Doctor! Just think about it.............
"Since it appears that some of the newest ideas for CO toys have come from the pages of doctorwhotoys.net I am giving my choice for the hot 2009 SDCC Figures!"
"The Fourth Doctor in his Talons of Weng-Chiang costume with interchangeable heads!"
"This figure will include a walking stick but no sonic screwdriver."
"The second SDCC Figure will be a two pack of Eldrad the Kastrian. The figures will be based on the Judith Paris and Stephen Thorne portrayals. There will be hand and ring accessories included."
"Both releases will benefit the Children In Need fund with a special coupon to be sent in that will be redeemed for Underground Toys to make a further donation from the USA for $10.00 when fans actually open the figures to get the coupon."
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What is it worth to you? A question many people get asked about something they have a particular regard for. For us Doctor Who fans, that question usually refers to whatever collection we own. Whether it be the Target Novels, or the trading cards, or even the Harlequin Pewter miniatures, when you put a price tag on those items it is subjective.
Today I am going to be objective and discuss the price of toys. Specifically, the Character Options toys. The latest, as of this writing anyway, assortment of figures arrived on our shores this past week See the US Page for the full list. Incuded in this was Sarah Jane Smith and her little tin dog K-9. This pair came one to a case. I am going to list a number of retailers and their asking prices for the SJS/K-9 figures. I am not going to list names because it may come across by some as bashing a retailer. And I am not going to do that here.
The suggested retail price for the Character Options figures in the USA is $9.95. This is excluding the future Classic Figures line which is already reported to be increased app. 30%.
As you can see there is a signifigant price difference between retailers. And with the exception of retailers #4 and 5 who just recently listed the figures, they are SOLD OUT!
I haven't even received my figures yet, and if there is a shortage I may not get them. Even though I am not listing the names of the retailers, I will be using this number system to represent them in any future blogs regarding price.
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With the speculation regarding the range of the action figures I wanted to list my own ideas, some just off the top of my head, as to what I would like to see produced. Mind you, with over 26 years of stories the classic wish list could be endless, so I am concentrating on the top ideas for what I would like to see. Let me know your opinions...
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Deluxe Figure - K-1 Robot
Eldrad the Kastrian two pack
Omega and Gell Guard two pack
Scaroth figure with interchangeable heads
The Key to Time is the one season that has the greatest possibillities:-
Key To Time Villians Six Pack
Key To Time Heroes Six Pack
The Guardian Two Pack
Romana Key To Time Six Pack
The First Segment figure pack
The Second Segment figure pack
The Third Segment figure pack
The Fourth Segment figure pack
The Fifth Segment figure pack
The Sixth Segment figure pack
HIGHLY doubtful ANY of these would be produced since its all very specialized. But thought I would have fun. I also want to see an Evolution of the Cybermen Set like so many others have mentioned.
My next Blog...Current Doctor Who figure wish list!
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The following is just my opinion regarding each figure:
With an opportunity to expand the range Character Options has decided to take a step back. The Zachary Cross Flane character played by Shaun Parkes, who also appeared with David Tennant in Cassanova would have been a natural choice instead of a Toby variant. Or even Ida Scott as the new spacesuit figure.
The Ood is an excellent rerelease, glowing eyes are a definite plus, and since they are returning in Series 4 a natural rerelease was inevitable.
As Cassandra and Chip never made a big release, rereleasing it would have been a better idea. Even releasing the frame with a Sister of Plentitude, not necessarily Hame would have been a better choice.
The Doctor in his coat, this figure was one of the Ten Pack exclusive figures, so nice to see him released separately, however, NO SCREWDRIVER! ARGHHH!
Rose could have at least been put on a variation of her pink hoodie with this head sculpt.
With the retail prices going up approximately 30% in the USA many fans have already stated they will not be collecting all of the figures. I personally was buying two of each to have a collection to one day share with younger fans, but have changed that stance and will only buy one, and none of some figures from this point forward. I am grateful to have a line of figures after almost 30 years of being a fan and am always impressed with the sculpts, I only wish that a bit more thought would be put into future release choices. Not to mention MORE SONIC SCREWDRIVERS!
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The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of doctorwhotoys.net