Dapol Doctor Who Toys
Acknowledgements: the best online reference for Dapol figures is Richardwho's Dapol Project The Dapol Project The only published reference is Howe & Blumberg's Howe's Transcendental Toybox Telos, 2003.
Dapol was founded by David and Pauline Boyle (hence the name DAPOL).
In 1988 Dapol, best known for making model railways, began introducing the first all-new Doctor Who action figures Dapol Doctor Who Figures.
Dapol Doctor Who Figures - Thanks Robert
The first wave (1988-1989) had a playset which comprised of a TARDIS console (5 sides instead of 6), a Police Box with flashing light, and a grey plastic base. The Police Box came apart to form the walls of the Console room and had on the reverse side roundels; when placed on the base this formed the Console room. The console had flashing lights, light up monitors and a working time rotor.
Dapol Console & Tardis
Dapol subsequently produced a revised version of the Tardis; the first, which came with the set but could also be purchased seperately, just had the flashing light whereas the second version Tardis also had sound effects. A third Dapol Tardis was made of clear plastic and contained jelly baby sweets. Later versions of the playset came with an extra panel for the Tardis interior. In 1988 The 25th Anniversary Set was a limited run of a commemorative set produced by Dapol especially for the 25th anniversary of Doctor Who. The Dapol 25th Anniversary Set included Sylvester McCoy The Seventh Doctor, Melanie, K-9, Console & Tardis. More on the Dapol 25th Anniversary Set
Later versions of the Dapol Tardis and Console set also included Daleks and Ace. Early Dapol Daleks had quite rigid arms. Dalek arm articulation was later improved with the addition of ball joints.
Dapol Sylvester McCoy, Ace & Ice Warrior
Wave 1 included the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy), Mel (Bonnie Langford) a green K-9 (the publicity shot used to make the figure had K-9 on grass and the reflection made him look green) and a Tetrap from the 7th Doctor's debut story Time & the Rani. K-9 came with '20th Anniversary' on his side (1996), then later '21st Anniversary' on his side which was also offered at Longleat, and finally a gold K-9 produced exclusively for the Trekker mail order firm in America. The 7th Doctor figure was released with a beige jacket and a brown jacket which he wore in his last season. The Mel figure was released in pink top and blue top versions. In addition four Daleks were released which had pull back action: Black & Silver, Grey and Blue, White and Gold & Black & Gold. Only trouble was the paint came off easily and the Daleks had limited movement.
Dapol Davros & Red Dalek
The Second Wave (1989) featured Ace, Cyberman (from Earthshock 1982), the Fourth Doctor, Ice Warrior, and Davros Dapol Davros. The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) didn’t come with a scarf. The Ace figure was pretty accurate but Davros came with two arms! This mistake was rectified in later models with the arm 'partly removed'. The Ice Warrior's rifle accessory was originally made by Hasbro for Lady Jaye's javelin (from G.I. Joe).
Dapol Davros Figures
The Third Wave (1998) featured Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee), The Master (as played by Roger Delgado) and two Silurian’s (Doctor Who and the Silurian’s 1970 & Warriors of the Deep 1984).
Dapol Doctor Who Figures
1993 Dapol brought out a blue Dalek. This was produced for Boots the Chemist to make a Dalek in their corporate blue and silver colours. The 'Boots' Dalek was blue with silver spots and came in a box with the then current version of the 20th anniversary story the Five Doctors. A further 80 were brought out on the then standard 'rainbow' Dapol packaging/card.
In 1999 another Dalek was produced in a grey and gold livery to promote the Doctor Who Night on BBC on 13/11/1999. This Dalek came with a special backing card which gave details of the schedule for the night. These were used as trade items and also internally at the BBC.
In the year 2000 the "Commemorative Tom Baker Dalek" was made with a limited editon of 150 special backing cards stating that the Dalek may vary in colour.
Also in 2000 another Dalek was produced in aid of the charity Cancer Research. This one was a black Dalek with pink dome and arms and purple studs and slats. It came with a special backing card. Dapol donated £2.50 from every model sold to the charity.
Dapol also produced a red Dalek with a claw at the end of the arm based on the 1960's Dalek films, a Sea Devil from the Third Doctor era and the Time Lords. Wave 4 featured two Sontarans (from the Two Doctors 1985) featuring removable helmets. Melkur (from Keeper of Traken 1981) was a creature that visited Traken but actually was the Master’s Tardis in disguise. Dapol gave the toy a stone-like feel to it. Wave 4 also included the Millennium Dalek.
Dapol Sontaran Figures
In 1999 Dapol released a set of Millennium Daleks. Dalek 1 was Blue, Dalek 2 was green, Dalek 3 red, 4 Purple, 5 black and 6 silver. These were translucent glitter daleks, released one every 6 months and the presentation box was available for £2.99 by sending off vouchers supplied with each Millennium Dalek.
Dapol Catalogue circa 1990 Thanks Graham
A fire at Dapol's Winsford, Cheshire plant in 1994 closed down all toy production, including the Doctor Who figures. Much of the stock was destroyed along with several prototypes including one for the Whomobile. The company moved to Llangollen in Wales where they produced more figures for a short time. The Lower Dee Mill where the Dapol site was located has since been converted into flats. Dapol have relocated the model railway side of the business to Wrexham, which continues today.
For the Llangollen Doctor Who Day on Saturday 10th June 2000 Dapol made a limited run of Earthshock Cyberman figures in black signed by Frazer Hines and Anneke Wills on an exclusive commemorative card. Click here for more on the Llangollen Day Black Cyberman
Dapol Dalek Figures
Wave 5 featured the 1960’s based Dapol Early Daleks Set and a transmat Dalek with a mutant inside (clear plastic Dalek). Dapol also made a yellow version of the transmat Dalek which was exclusive to a US retailer. Dapol Transmat Tardis & Daleks
Dapol Transmat Dalek (Green Mutant) Figure
In July 2001 Dapol announced they would bring out 4” statue figures. These were the 1960’s Early Cybermen and a Second Doctor Figure (Patrick Troughton). These figures were made of resin. Dapol Patrick Troughton Original Sculpt
Dapol Cyberman Figures
Dapol had planned to bring out a First Doctor William Hartnell figure. The company commissioned Phillip Robinson to do the sculpt prototypes of which can be seen on the Prototype Dapol William Hartnell page. The Hartnell figure never made it into production as the BBC decided not to renew the Dapol licence. The same fate befell the unfortunate Dapol Yeti; sculpted by Philip Robinson the figure was sadly never released. See the Dapol Prototype Yeti page. Thus Dapol Doctor Who figures finally came to an end until happily Character Options began making their Doctor Who action figures once again in 2005.
Dapol Llangollen Exhibition
Contributor JW adds, "On quite a few visits to the Dapol works over the years before it closed I was shown a number of prototypes (some I wasn't supposed to see I don't think!) that your page doesn't mention. I remember an Imperial Dalek Emperor (very early stage of modelling), Silver Nemesis Cyberman, Attack of the Cybermen Cyber Controller, Dalek Shuttle from Remembrance (again a very early stage model). There was also another early Cyberman - it wasn't the Tomb version which was released. There was also a Cybermat. I still have a resin one somewhere that I was given by someone in the factory!"
This rare prototype Dapol Dalek Calling Card was never released; the BBC did not grant permission for these to be marketed commercially. It is believed that some of the cards were distributed as free giveaways for a very limited period. The cards are as used by Sylvester McCoy in Remembrance of the Daleks (1988) - Thanks Derek Rushton (Del).
Dapol Doctor Who Figures
An interesting 21st century postscript to the Dapol story is the repackaging of two figures by the Doctor Who Museum. In the fire of 1994 which destroyed the Dapol factory, the only figures that survived undamaged were the few dozen that were in the pre-packing room, the only room not destroyed by the fire. These figures are very rare in the respect that they were never packaged by Dapol; the original packaging for these items literally never existed. The then owner of Dapol is the current owner of the Doctor Who Museum in Blackpool. In 2009 the Museum owners packed these last surviving figures from the Dapol fire in their own cartons with a Doctor Who Museum leaflet insert. Hence there are now several dozen 'Doctor Who Museum' exclusive Dapol Master and Mel figures in existence. These figures were sold through the Museum shop at just £7.99. More about the Dapol Doctor Who Museum Figures
Doctor Who Museum Repackaged Dapol Figures
Carded Example of Dapol Figure - The Tetrap, Courtesy of Vectis Direct
Dapol Doctor Who Figures Prototype Dapol William Hartnell Dapol Patrick Troughton Original Sculpt Dapol Transmat Dapol Yeti Prototype Dapol Early Daleks Set Dapol Davros Llangollen Day Black Cyberman Dapol 25th Anniversary Set Dapol Doctor Who Museum Figures Dapol Vs Character
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