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Dalek Toy History

The original idea for the Daleks came from Welsh novelist and scriptwriter Terry Nation (1930-1997). The Daleks were actually first given form by BBC designer Raymond P Cusick.

Original Daleks Invasion Earth poster from 1966 & TV21 Issue 28 July 1965 Dr Who and the Daleks - Thanks Combom

The Daleks were first seen in the second Doctor Who serial 'The Daleks' in 1963. They were hugely successful and so began the '60s phenomenon known as 'dalekmania'.

The 60's

1965 Louis Marx & Co

The first Dalek toy was the Marx Dalek which stood 4.5 inches tall, had friction drive and came in black or silver. Marx Toys then released a battery-operated Dalek robot action toy in a 6.5 inch scale, also found in black or silver. The later version would glide around like a Dalek and when it bumped into a wall it would turn and move. It also had a flashing light in the dome section. A subsequent version had a siren as well as flashing lights.

Louis Marx Dalek

The battery operated versions were actually used in the final part of the 1967 episode 'The Evil of the Daleks' during the final battle on Skaro.

1960's & 1970's Marx Daleks

Marx also released their Dalek construction kit. This was a seven piece kit but lacking the friction drive mechanism of the other Marx toys Marx

Dr Who & the Dalek Rolykins

Dalek Rolykins stood about an inch tall and had detachable guns and eye. They were found in three colours - black, silver and red. These dalek toys had a very distinctive feature; a ball bearing in the base which meant they could glide down surfaces such as tables. The original price was just one shilling; needless to say they go for quite a bit more than that now especially in near mint original boxes (note Product Enterprise released their own Rolykin Dalek replicas in 2000). Because of their size, seaside arcade machines were filled with them. The Rolykins were amongst the most popular Dalek toys, with over a million units sold by October 1965.

Dalek Rolykins

1965 was the year of release of the Dalek Nursery Toy by Selcol. This was a blue plastic Dalek which could be filled with sand or water. This dalek came in a plastic bag with a header card and the arms and eye were detachable.

Selcol Nursery Dalek Selcol Nursery Dalek Selcol Nursery Dalek Base

1965 Selcol Nursery Toy Dalek

In 1965 Cutta-mastic Dr Who and the Daleks was released by Bell Toys UK Ltd. In the box you got a heated wire tool, templates and several thin sheets of expanded polystyrene which could be cut into Dalek shapes and then painted.

1965 Cherilea Toys UK Ltd

The Cherilea Daleks were about 3 inches tall, consisted of three removable sections and were found in several different colours all retailing at a shilling. The arms and eye stalk could also be removed. The dome of the Cherilea 'Swappit' Daleks came in two types, one slatted and one solid. Initially they came in three colours - black, light blue and silver Cherilea

Cherilea Dalek

Cherilea Dalek circa 1965

In 1965 Cherilea also produced a small Mechanoid toy. Based on the story 'The Chase', the Mechanoids became enemies of the Daleks and were never seen again except in comic strips.

The 1965 Dalek by Herts Plastic Moulders Ltd UK was sold exclusively through Woolworth's stores. This model stood over 7 inches tall and was packed in a plastic bag. Herts also produced a large Mechanoid toy in 1965.

Also from the original wave of '65 dalekmania came the metal dalek badge from Plastoid of Leicester.

Plastoid Dalek Plastoid Dalek

Plastoid Dalek Badge circa 1966

In 1965 Charles Newfield had a meeting with BBC representatives at a toy fair which resulted in the 'Bendy' Dalek by Newfield Ltd. Newfield was impressed by the Daleks and was convinced of their market potential. At the time the BBC were trying to sell Doctor Who to America and the film 'Doctor Who & The Daleks' was already on release, so he became keen to add the Daleks to his Bendy empire. The Bendy Dalek came in three colours, black, grey or white. These seven inch daleks were made of pliable rubber over a wire armature; as the rubber perishes over time it is thought that only a handful of Bendy Daleks have survived in reasonable condition.

Newfield Bendy Dalek

Newfield Bendy Dalek circa 1965, sold at auction for £1500 in 2008

The 1965 Dalek (mechanical) by Cowan, de Groot Ltd (Codeg) was a six inch clockwork wind-up Dalek made from tin and plastic that moved through 360 degrees featuring a dome which had an eye which scanned the horizon. It was available in blue or black and retailed at 16s 5d Codeg

Cowan de Groot (Codeg) Mechanical Dalek Codeg Dalek Money Box

From the mid 60's Bell made the dart-firing battery operated Astro Ray Dalek Gun.

Bell Dalek Gun

Possibly the first Dalek bubble bath was the black and yellow-domed Water Margin Dalek Bubble Bath. This 250ml dalek was originally sold boxed.

Water Margin Dalek Bubble Bath

The 70's

1974 saw the release of Louis Marx & Co's 6.5 inch Battery Dalek. There were two colours available, red and yellow. The earlier versions were used in the 1973 story 'Planet of the Daleks' to represent a frozen Dalek army.

The 1975 Talking Daleks by Palitoy came in two colours; red and black or blue and silver. There was a small disc inside not unlike an old vinyl record; by pushing a button at the top of the dome you could make the Dalek intone one of several recorded phrases like "Exterminate! Exterminate! You will Obey! and What are your Orders?" Palitoy

Palitoy Daleks 1975

In 1977 Denys Fisher Toys UK released their Plastic Dalek which is renowned as one of the most accurate to date. It featured movable arms and eye stalk. Denys Fisher

Denys Fisher Dalek

The 80's

1988 - 2000 Dapol UK

1977 saw the last of the Dalek toy releases for some 11 years. It was not until Dr Who's 25th Anniversary in 1988 that Dapol (better known as makers of model railways) approached the BBC and were granted the license to make Doctor Who toys. Dapol produced over a dozen different Daleks based on the show's 25 year history including Davros (the first version of which had two arms!) and one based on the Dalek movie. In 1990 they re-made the classic Marx Daleks with the friction drive and bump and go Daleks. Dapol

Dapol 'Movie' Dalek 1980's

In 1988 Bluebird Toys UK released 'Doctor Who in the Domain of the Daleks'. This playset was the shape of a Dalek and when opened it became the Dalek Headquarters. It contained a Tardis with doors opening outwards and inside you could see the console room, a silver Dalek (with a ball bearing in its base) the 4th Doctor and at the top the Emperor Dalek. You could push back the front of the Emperor Dalek's dome to reveal Davros (as seen in 'Remembrance of the Daleks' 1988).

Bluebird Dalek 1988

The 90's saw the further continuation of Dapol releasing Dalek toys but not much else; hardly surprising as Doctor Who was taken off air in 1989.

2000 and Beyond

Product Enterprise Ltd

Product Enterprise came up with the idea of releasing their own reproduction versions of Dalek Rolykin toys based on the 1965 toys. Between May and November 2000, 17 repro Rolykins Daleks were released including several limited edition versions:

  • Gold metal chrome plated
  • Silver metal chrome plated
  • Red metal chrome plated
  • Crystal clear Incubating Dalek with visible Dalek creature inside

Product Enterprise Rolykins Daleks 2000

In November 2000 a Dalek with a unique livery was produced for the Day of the Daleks convention.

A special metallic green Dalek was produced for the Alien Entertainment mail order store in America, limited to just 1000 Daleks. This version does not have the ball bearing, but has a small hook on the head to hang it from a Christmas tree.

In 2001 Product Enterprise released the Talking Daleks. Each Talking Dalek came tied to a display box and was around 17cm or 7 inches tall. Three colours were produced - black, grey and red. To make the Dalek talk you pressed the oval between the arms and each time the Dalek uttered a well known phrase, "Exterminate! You are an Enemy of the Daleks! Daleks Rule Supreme! Destroy the Doctor! & Seek, Locate, Annihilate!"

In November 2001 a white gold version of the Talking Dalek was made available via mail order.

In May 2002 there were four Product Enterprise blister packs released each containing three small Daleks standing around 6cm/2.5 inches high. They had a pull back action in the wheels to make them move along. The colours released were 2 x grey/black, 1 x black/silver, 2 x blue/black, 1 x gold/black, 3 x white/gold & 3 x silver/blue.

In October 2002 Product Enterprise released grey and gold versions. The box was redesigned using the diamond Who logo. Each Dalek had four phrases, "Halt do not move! You will obey! Locate and Destroy! & Exterminate the Doctor!" They also made the extermination sound.

In November 2002 Product Enterprise released a foot high remote controlled Dalek, available in silver or black. This Dalek emitted the phrases "Halt do not move! You will Obey! Locate and Destroy! & Exterminate the Doctor!" They also made an extermination blast sound.

Since 2002 Product Enterprise have produced a range of Daleks based on the Classic Series. All the Daleks are the same but the colour schemes are different. For example, grey & black from 'Genesis of the Daleks', gold and white from 'Revelation of the Daleks', blue and silver from 'Evil of the Daleks' and various Movie Daleks.

Product Enterprise also produced a remote control Davros. Operated via a Tardis shaped handset, it has impeccable voice accuracy as well as directional movement.

Also produced were Micro Daleks with the phrases "Under Attack! Exterminate the Doctor! The Enemy of the Daleks! & Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!" Product Enterprise

Product Enterprise Micro Daleks

2004 Corgi

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who Corgi Toys released several die-cast models in twin packs and sets. The 40th Anniversary Gift Set contained Davros and a silver Dalek with blue studs. There followed three limited edition sets containing eight variously coloured die cast Daleks and a Davros in white and gold. Corgi also released a black and gold Supreme Dalek as part of the limited edition UNIT Set Corgi.

2005 Character Options

With the return of the New Series of Doctor Who Character Options were awarded a licence to produce an all new range of Doctor who toys.

The first Character Daleks were in a pack containing the 9th Doctor and Rose, the Dalek Battle Pack. This pack contained the standard gold versions seen in Dalek (2005). The later release had the colour scheme of black & gold not seen in the series. Each Dalek had a unique ID tag under the eyestalk and both had slightly translucent sections on the grill under the dome so the infrared transmitters could be used in 'battle'.

Since 2006 Character have released several versions of the 5 inch Dalek as part of their action figure line including:

  • Genetic hand print Dalek (Dalek 2005). Hand glows and fades when a finger is placed on picture of hand on the dome
  • Mutant Reveal Dalek. Mid section pulls off to reveal mutant inside (Dalek 2005)
  • Assault Dalek (Parting of the Ways 2005)
  • Chocolate coloured Assault Dalek US SDCC exclusive
  • 5 inch R/C Bronze/Gold Dalek
  • 5 inch R/C Black Dalek Sec (Army of Ghosts/Doomsday 2006)
  • Genesis Arc (Doomsday 2006) - Contained the Cult of Skaro: Daleks Sec, Jast, Thay & Caan
  • Dalek Thay with missing panels (Daleks in Manhattan/ Evolution of the Daleks 2007)
  • Dalek Sec Hybrid (Daleks in Manhattan/ Evolution of the Daleks 2007)
  • Supreme Dalek (Stolen Earth/Journeys End 2007)
  • 5 inch R/C Supreme Dalek (Stolen Earth/Journeys End 2007)
  • Davros (Stolen Earth/Journeys End 2007)
  • 5 inch R/C Davros (Stolen Earth/Journeys End 2007)

Character have also released 12 inch & 18 inch Daleks

  • 12 inch Gold/Bronze Dalek (best selling toy at Christmas in 2005!)
  • 12 inch Gold/Bronze Assault Dalek
  • 12 inch Black Dalek sec
  • 12 inch Supreme Dalek
  • 12 inch Davros
  • 18 inch gold/bronze Voice Interactive Dalek (see Dalek page for further info)

In 2008 Character released the Classic Daleks Set consisting of three very accurate Daleks based on classic Dalek stories.

Character Classic Daleks with David Whitaker's 'Doctor Who and the Daleks'

  • Silver and Blue (The Daleks 1963)
  • Gold and Black Supreme Dalek (Planet of the Daleks 1973)
  • Grey/Black (Genesis of the Daleks 1975)

Character Options Classic Daleks 2008

2009 sees the release of the Dalek from 'The Dalek Invasion of Earth' in a twin pack with First Doctor William Hartnell. This features an 'energy gathering' disc and is available in colour with blue studs and in an exclusive black and white version Invasion Dalek.

In 2009 the BBC renewed Character Option's licence so the future of Dalek toys for now seems assured.

From 2010 new licensee Wow Toys began making their Desktop Patrol Dalek.

In 2010 the BBC revised the dalek shape and Character released new dalek toys to reflect this.

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