It should come as no surprise that I’m quite the fan of DOCTOR WHO. Heck, I even started a podcast to that effect (Whotininnies, natch). So, as we find ourselves in another holiday season, I wanted to do another dedicated shopping guide geared towards pointing my fellow fans towards all of the wonderful merchandise they should empty their bank accounts for this year. Special thanks to the fine folks at the BBC, Thinkgeek, Underground Toys, Big Chief Studios, and the BBC America Shop - and please be sure to use the links provided if you decide to snag anything you find below.
Though Character Options had a go at it a few years back - the [Doctor Who] universe has been largely absent from all of the utterly fantastic 12″-scale figures that have been coming out from the likes of Hot Toys and Sideshow. Finally, though, the good Doctor has arrived on the scene in truly fine fashion thanks to the folks at Big Chief Studios, whose initial offering is a 12″ 11th Doctor (£149.99), as portrayed by Matt Smith. Not only have they nailed the sculpt of Smith, but they’ve also made good on the tailoring of the costume. And accessories! In addition to a TARDIS-interior themed base, you also get sonic screwdrivers (open, closed, and even the 10th Doctor’s), psychic paper, handkerchief, a charred TARDIS shard, Time Lord message cube, memory chip gun, invitation to his death (in TARDIS-blue envelope), and a repair tool. The figure even looks great in front of the TARDIS trash can that came out recently. Kudos to Big Chief for arriving on the scene in style, and getting me excited for what they have in store for the future.
The TARDIS really is the workhorse of [Doctor Who] merchandising. You can do just about anything with it, and licensors have. Why don’t we taker a look at some of the permutations currently available this holiday season - starting with the TARDIS Trash Can ($44.99). That’s right - a pedal-operated flip-top trash can, which plays the standard TARDIS sounds and activates the flashing top light when used. And, considering it stands nearly 16″ high, it’s actually in-scale with Big Chief’s 12″-scale 11th Doctor, if you’re keen on display options (see above).
I don’t know if I’m quite ready to wear one, but you can take your Who-fandom to bed, bath, and beyond with a TARDIS bathrobe($69.99), made of super-soft 100% cotton terry cloth, with embroidered details.
Of course, when you go to bed, you can rest assured that you can ward off complete darkness with the TARDIS Night Light ($14.99), which allows a soothing glow to emanate not only from the top light, but also the TARDIS windows.
But what if you can’t sleep? THE TARDIS HAS YOU COVERED. You can pop yourself up and reach over to turn on your very own TARDIS Table Lamp ($49.99), which provides a soothing light from beneath its 11th Doctor & Amy-themed lampshade that in no way will make you feel like you’re a 7-year-old (though the [Doctor Who] bed sheets might).
And if you still can’t seem to get some shuteye, you can head off into the kitchen and fix yourself a bit of relaxing tea, which you can then serve in your very own ceramic TARDIS Teapot ($34.99). Please note that serving yourself tea out of a TARDIS teapot is terribly, terribly British. Pip pip, cheerio.
If you want to fill that free time with even more geekiness, you can take notes in the still available 10th Doctor’s Journal Of Impossible Things ($22.99), which is a 78-page reproduction of the leatherette-bound diary kept by the Doctor when in hiding as a human (sans the memories of his Time Lord identity), plus an additional 20 blank pages to write in with your included sonic screwdriver pen.
But what if you just want to leave yourself a reminder? GOT YOU COVERED. Covered with Doctor Who Sticky Notes ($5.99), to be exact. You get a combination of large “To Do” notes featuring the 11th Doctor, TARDIS notes, and a trio of Daleks. Take note.
When traveling through time (as we all do, albeit in a linear fashion), it helps to know when you are, which is why you can hang the special 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition 12-Month Calendar ($17.99 SRP), with each month featuring a montage of a corresponding Doctor, wrapping up with all 11 in the TARDIS-themed month of December.
And if you might need to keep more detailed track of your day-to-day affairs while celebrating the 50th Anniversary, then the Doctor Who: 2013 Diary ($18.89 SRP) is probably what you’re looking for, as in addition to your regular day-by-day diary, each pages also contains photos and trivia spanning the history of the show.
But if you’re into old school Who, then you can jot down your itinerary in the Doctor’s 500 Year Diary ($12.99 SRP). It’s a hardbound, saddle-stitched journal featuring 320 lined pages with faux-aging.
Keep warm in classic 4th Doctor style with a replica of his trademark neckware via the Deluxe 12′ Scarf ($49.99 SRP), which is pretty darn stylish, if I do say so myself. Jelly babies?
Speaking of style, let’s fast-forward to the 11th Doctor, because you can now replicate a slice of his sartorial panache with the Fez & Bowtie Set ($14.99 SRP). Because both are cool. Very cool.
Save a little scratch (now that you’ve spent most of it on all of these products) by packing your own lunch in your very own modern-style TARDIS Lunch Box ($29.99 SRP), which includes a travel mug and coasters. Because no one wants to leave rings on the furniture.
Though if you’re having some friends over, you might want to crack out your set of 5 Dalek 16oz Tumblers ($59.99 SRP), in red, yellow, white, blue, and orange. They may be evil, but with lids and straws, they sure do make sipping your holiday egg nog nice and easy.
And once you’ve nogged, would you believe you can practice good oral hygiene with an actual battery-powered Sonic Toothbrush ($14.99 SRP)? Unbelievable, right? Kids of the past could only dream of having it as good as today’s nerds.
With 100% of the royalties going to support Alzheimer’s Research UK, it’s easy to justify the decision to pick up a copy of Behind The Sofa (Matador, £14.99), which features 100 celebrity fans sharing their favorite memories of [Doctor Who]. You can read lovely anecdotes from notables including Jonathan Ross, Stephen Merchant, Neil Gaiman, Rufus Hound, and more.
When the box blurb explains that the product is “An epic struggle for the balance of taste in the universe!”, how can you not pick up a Doctor Who TARDIS vs. Dalek Salt & Pepper Set ($17.99 SRP). I mean, if you gone down the rabbit hole this far, you might as well go all the way, right?
Oh, hey! I almost forgot that for all of you retro Whovians, they’ve got a classic Doctor Who Lunchbox ($16.99 SRP), fashioned out of metal for that retro feel and featuring an old school TARDIS motif all around.
Place all of the small [Who] doodads and whatsits you’re gifting (either to others or yourself) this holiday season in a Doctor Who Christmas Stocking ($24.98 SRP), with an explosive image of the TARDIS surrounded by cosmic hoo-ha emblazoned on the front.
I wish the design of the bricks made them hold together as well as LEGOs, but at least we have a close approximation for [Doctor Who] fans with the sets from Character Building, with the latest being the sure-to-delight Dalek Spaceship Kit ($59.95 SRP). The design is the modern Dalek saucer, and comes with a pair of exclusive gold Dalek Drone figures (that’s the modern bronze Dalek).
If you want a pair of toys that are as baffling as they are cool, you can pick up the Electronic O.L.A. Anti-Time Device ($38.95 SRP) and Trans-Temporal Sonic Screwdriver ($34.95 SRP). Both feature a curious backstory, with the Anti-Time Device involving a war between the Daleks & Cybermen, scavenged over by the Angels, and fought by the Cleric army with these devices, which eliminates unfortunate victims from the timeline. The Sonic ties into the TARDIS being trapped in a “trans-temporal schism”, with the Doctor at the center of 4 different time zones, within each of which the TARDIS produces a stylistically appropriate Screwdriver - this one looking Victorian. Are these hints at stories to come? Odd to create such an elaborate, quite impactful-on-the-modern-mythology rationale just for toys.
It’s heartening to know that this holiday season also features additional figure releases from classic Doctor Who stories, the first of which reaches all the way back to Tom Baker’s 4th Doctor for the Pyramids Of Mars Collector’s Set ($39.95 SRP), featuring the villainous Sutekh the Destroyer and a pair of the robotic “Guardian” mummies.
The next blast from the past comes from 5th Doctor Peter Davison’s era - literally the start of that era, with the Castrovalva Collector’s Set ($39.95 SRP) finding the newly-regenerated Doctor still in his 4th Doctor togs, and comes with the Master’s TARDIS (disguised as a stone column) and a shrunken TCE victim.
And our final classic release propels us forward to Colin Baker’s 6th Doctor as featured in Stealth Of The Cybermen ($39.95 SRP), coming with both the Doctor and the ebony Stealth Cybermen (for you Cyberman variant completists out there).
Okay, maybe not quite our final classic release, as Underground Toys has decided to help out fans frustrated by trying to find standalone Daleks that are either no longer being produced or are just in larger themed sets. So what have they done? They’ve plussed the whole affair by bringing out episode-specific Sound FX Daleks ($29.95 SRP) featuring vintage speech and sound effects. Pictured here, you see the silver & black Dalek as seen in the 3rd Doctor story “Death To The Daleks”.
Layabout over the holiday break like a Time Lord with your own very incredible Sonic Screwdriver Programmable Remote Control ($99.95 SRP), which in addition to be a pretty nifty prop replica and display piece, also allows you to change channels. We live in remarkable times.
What would be the most appropriate item to wrap up this year’s Doctor Who Holiday Shopping Guide? How about the long-awaited debut of the Rory Figure (Underground Toys, $14.95 SRP), featuring Mr. Pond’s oft-seen blue puff jacket. Way to go, Rory!
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